Today if you ask pianists and other accomplished musicians who they think are the top ten classical musicians of modern times, their lists are all bound to include the legendary Daniel Barenboim. Throughout his life time he has accomplished many great things both musically and politically and at the age of 75, he is showing no signs of stopping.
Evolution of the digital piano starts way back in the 1980’s. They were use predominately, at the time, to aid touring musicians with the age old problems the acoustic piano offered: tuning, hammers, the usual problems. People still, however, feared they sounded too electronic. Skip forward 30 years or so, and technology has enabled them to come on in leaps and bounds since that decade…
Back in February, the award-winning singer songwriter Adele had her performance at this years Grammys halted slightly, due to a technical hitch regarding her acoustic piano. Microphones inside the instrument had fallen, causing vibration sounds. Had she been using a digital piano, however, and this problem would be a thing of the past. As, of course, digital pianos do not require tuning before a show, nor do you have to mic it, or indeed run a risk of mics falling onto the strings.
The most significant improvement in the evolution of digital pianos is undoubtedly their ability to be able to mimic 3 dimensional sounds that are produced from acoustic pianos. Indeed, digital piano technology has advanced in such stages that more and more big touring acts are using them on their worldwide tours. The question many ask is how manufacturers actually worked out how to improve the sounds. And the answer is relatively simple. Digital pianos have gotten better mainly due to the fact that they have merged with traditional pianos. Thus, the hybrid approach, which, as stated, merges the traditions of an acoustic instrument with the innovation of digital technology.
Digital pianos for musicians on tour
Indeed, as aforementioned, many musicians even still favour the digital piano. Coldplay’s Chris Martin was shown earlier this year at the Superbowl in San Francisco playing a Kawai, and has been sported in the past with a timeless Yamaha upright.
Ironically, Lionel Richie, in his most recent tour, had a unique request. He had the shell of an old grand piano made, which he could then slide a digital piano into, thus, in a stadium of thousands, hopefully nobody would be able to tell the difference as the music blasted out of the PA system.
Indeed, as time moves on, many people and musicians don’t have the time, energy or money for old acoustic pianos. Digitals are small, cheaper and more convinient. And, as proven, they can now be seen as the new alternative to acoustic, and have revolutionsed digital music since their beginnings.
A homeless man in Newcastle has reduced passers-by to tears, and gained a crowd of admirers with his hauntingly beautiful piano renditions. The man, talented 26 year old Alan Donaldson, was frequently spotted lying rough at Newcastle Central train station, owning nothing but a sleeping bag and the clothes he wore. When finally upon being asked to move along by the police, he instead took to the digital piano that lives at the train station and began to play a beautiful rendition of the Beethoven Classic ‘Fur Elise.’
You may recently have heard of Alexey Romanov, or indeed, been in awe at his videos gone viral online. Alexy, an inspirational student from Russia, has self-taught himself to master the piano – despite being born without any fingers.