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Jokes / Inverted Joke about elephant and blind man (BREXIT?)
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 11, 2018, 02:51:39 PM »
Just exactly what is BREXIT?

I think we are all familiar with the ancient fable of several blind men who encountered an elephant.    They all felt a different part of the animal and on just that basis, declared what an elephant was like.

I like this poem about the incident:

It was six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind

And so these men of Indostan
    Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
    Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
    And all were in the wrong!

So oft in theologic (or political) wars,
    The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
    Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has seen!

Here is the inverted joke about the elephant.

Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like.
After arguing they decided to find one and determine what it was like by direct experience.
The first blind elephant felt the man and declared, 'Men are flat.'
After the other blind elephants had felt the man, they all agreed 'Men are flat!'

This is what your manual says about the knee lever, when used for the sustain function:

Basically, when using this sustain feature, you activate it just before you play the first note(s) to be sustained, then release it, but re-engage it at each change of harmony.     If you simply keep it operating all the while, the harmonies all continue to sustain and run into each other.   This is something that you ought to avoid doing.

A pianist uses their right foot to control the sustain pedal, but we have to use our right knee, moving it sideways to the right to activate the sustain and moving it to the left, to de-activate it.     Just as the pianist has to control the action of their foot, so we need to carefully control the sideways action of our right knee, which because this is not a normal function for an organist, may require some practice.

Some piano scores, particularly classical pieces, give specific directions as to when to operate the sustain pedal and here are two examples of what the score looks like, but the words in red Press Down and Lift Off would not appear on the music score:

Here is a reminder of what your manual says about the Touch Tone feature, via this link:

Especially, pay attention to the reference about using Touch Tone with Piano Voices and Percussion instruments.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__99___Keyboard Percussion - AR User Manual detail
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 10, 2018, 09:38:27 AM »

In the final Reply, there is a list of percussive voices for use in the Accompaniment function.

There are three more Chiho tracks on Just One Tune Disk 44, but  Track 7   Do You Know has another piano section for you to marvel at.

Label the disc “Just One Tune Disk 44”

Just One Tune Disk 44

Chiho Sunamoto sadly died last month, but she shared eight tracks with us that you can find in Just One Tune.

I recommend that you listen to her track Work Song, which besides having that characteristic vivacious style, unique to Chiho, there is a phrase or two where she uses the piano.......masterfully.

You can download that disc by clicking this link, then playing Track 12 = Work Song.

Label the disc “Just One Tune Disk 43”

Just One Tune Disk 43


Peter's Pearls / Re: No__95___Using the Touch Tone Feature
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 08, 2018, 12:53:46 PM »
Here is a little more about the history and technicality of Touch Sensitivity, on electronic organs and keyboards.

Touch Sensitivity is also known as Velocity sensitivity and is found on more expensive keyboards and electronic organs, whereby the process of sound generation in chordophones (the correct name for such string instruments) which are sensitive to the speed (or "hardness") of a key press, is able to be imitated.

Mid-range instruments may only have two or three levels of sensitivity, generally soft-medium-loud, but more expensive models may have a broader range of sensitivity.

In practice, two sensors are installed for each key –
        the first sensor detects when a key is beginning to be pressed and
        the second triggers when the key is pressed completely.

On some higher-end electronic keyboards or digital pianos, a third sensor is installed, which allows the player to strike a key and still sound a note even when the key has not yet come to its full resting position, allowing for faster and, therefore, more accurate playing of repeated notes.

The time between the two (or three) signals allows a keyboard to determine the velocity with which the key was struck.    As the key weight is constant, this velocity can be considered as the strength of the press.     Based on this value the sound generator produces a correspondingly loud or soft sound.

The least sophisticated types of touch sensitivity cause the keyboard to change the volume of the instrument voice.     The most sophisticated, expensive types will trigger both a change in volume and a change in timbre, which simulates the way that very hard strikes of a piano or electric piano cause a difference in tone—as well as an increase in volume.

Some sophisticated touch-sensitive systems accomplish this by having several samples of an acoustic instrument note per key.   So for example you may find a soft strike, a mid-level strike, and a hard strike, for each one.

Alternatively, a similar effect can be accomplished using synthesis-modelling of the Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release envelope, (ADSR) or digital modelling.    So in this case, for example -  the hard strike, of the keyboard would add the timbres associated with a hard strike, which would generate a biting, "bark" sound.

After-touch was another feature brought in the late 1980s (although synthesizers like the CS-80 extensively used by artists like Vangelis featured after-touch as early as 1977).    For this feature, dynamics are added after the key is hit, allowing the sound to be modulated in some way.   So for example you might find fade away or an increase in sound volume, based upon the amount of pressure applied to the keyboard.
In some synthesised voices, if the key continues to be pressed hard after the initial note has been sounded, the keyboard will add an effect such as vibrato or sustain.

After-touch is found on many mid-range and high-range organs and synthesizers, and is now an important modulation source on modern keyboards.

After-touch is most prevalent in music of the mid to late 1980s, such as the opening string-pad on Cock Robin's When Your Heart Is Weak, which is only possible with the use of after-touch (or one hand on the volume control).

After-touch is not normally found on inexpensive, beginner-level home keyboards.

To elicit the aforementioned features, a modification to the Keyboard action is required; namely Weighted or spring-loaded keys.

The least expensive home keyboards have no keyboard response, and they use plastic keys that are mounted on soft rubber or plastic pads. This set-up, called "synthesizer action" is also used in synthesizers.   
Weighted response refers to keys with weights and springs in them, which give a "hammer action" feel, similar to an acoustic piano.

Most electronic keyboards, including your Yamaha AR, use spring-loaded keys that make some kinds of playing techniques, such as backhanded sweeps, impossible, but make the keyboards lighter and easier to transport.     
Players accustomed to standard weighted piano keys may find non-weighted spring-action keyboards uncomfortable and difficult to play effectively. Conversely, keyboard players accustomed to the non-weighted action may encounter difficulty and discomfort playing on a piano with weighted keys.


The piano was invented around 1700.


Some people disagree about whether the piano is a percussion or a string instrument, but it is generally considered to be part of the percussion family.    You play it by 'hitting' its 88 black and white keys with your fingers, which suggests it belongs in the percussion family.   However, the keys lift hammers inside the piano that strike strings (indeed, the piano has more strings than any other string instrument), which produce its distinctive sound.

So which family do you think it belongs to?     And why do you think that?

Please feel free to add your opinion at any time below by way of a Reply, and give your reason why you think that.

In addition click this link and give your response there, so that we have all your comments in one place, please:

I have included the Piano here in this Percussion section, because I don't think that it fits logically into any of the other groups that I have covered, but I do consider it to fit closest to this group.

There is a difference of opinion here among musicians anyway.

Wherever it fits in, there's no disputing the fact that the piano has the largest range of any instrument in the orchestra.     It is a tuned instrument, and you can play many notes at once using both your hands.    Within the orchestra the piano usually supports the harmony, but it has another role as a solo instrument, and  can also play both melody and harmony together.
Now, the harder you strike the keys, so the harder the hammer hits the string, and therefore the sound produced is louder.

On our Yamaha AR organs, the piano voice is probably the one that really benefits from the Touch Sensitive feature that is built in to them.

To see what your Yamaha AR Manual says the Touch Tone feature, especially with regard to piano voices and percussion instruments then click this link to open that Pearl in a new window:

When using a piano voice, rather than politely caressing the keys, as we do when playing an organ voice, you have to strike the notes quite firmly, with both the left and right hands.    So remember, when using a piano voice on your AR, to give it some stick!

The piano also has a sustain pedal, which, when depressed, operates a mechanical action to lift the 'dampers' off the strings, allowing the string to continue to vibrate and produce a lingering sound, even after the player's fingers have left the keys.     Many make the mistake of calling this the loud pedal

This is probably because the original name of the piano was pianoforte, which translates to soft loud.   I think you can see why it was given this name.     Be aware that the sustain pedal can be used when playing the piano at any volume.

We have a sustain "pedal" on our Yamaha AR organ, but it is operated with the knee and not the foot.     Yes it is called the Knee Lever, but because the Knee Lever has 3 different possible functions, you have to programme it to use it as a sustain.
You will find specific detail about the Yamaha AR sustain 'pedal' and how music scores define it's use, in the next main Reply.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__99___Keyboard Percussion - AR User Manual detail
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 07, 2018, 09:29:55 AM »

For the pdf of this page, please click this link:

User Keyboard Percussion Categories

In the next Reply we have Other User Keyboard Percussion Functions.

Jokes / My daily work out
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 06, 2018, 07:50:28 AM »
I can't believe, I didn't make it to the gym today,

That makes it seven years on the trot.
Jokes / How young people think about Christmas
« Last post by Peter Anderson on December 04, 2018, 04:27:08 PM »
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