A special Piano

It’s happened – during the Finals of the National Chamber Music Competition, I tried to turn a page, but 2 pages ended up turning and I didn’t have a place to turn it back! So I ended up playing 2 pages from memory, which would be okay if it was a solo piece, but this being ensemble playing – I needed to see their parts!

Or how about the case of trying to turn a page of loose paper and another sheet ends up flying elsewhere? Or how about when you mis-ordered the pages of loose music paper, going to the next page and discovering that (whoops!) you’re on the wrong page!?

It does even happen on Steinway Model D pianos, or the other big pianos.

So… the solution?

A nice A3-sized LCD monitor in place of the music stand!

I’ve been going through the web looking at sheet music of late (an example being sheetmusicarchive.net) – and have downloaded the music onto my computer. I end up having to print the music onto loose sheets of paper – which end up flying about when I play!

How nice would it be to have the piece displayed instead on a monitor? Get rid of the mess of books as well (I’d still keep some though). And no more ‘swishes’ of page turns in recordings!

In the 1st-generation LCD monitor pianos :
A3-sized – displaying two pages of your music, say page1 on the left and page2 on the right
An extra pedal could be connected to the piano, so that when you press your foot on that pedal, page3 replaces page1, when you press it again, page4 moves in place of page2, and so on.

2nd-generation :
Touchscreens! We all love to scribble on our scores, extra “accidentals” or “crescendo” markings, phrasing marks, reminders, goodness knows what else. So, why limit it to the paper? With touchscreens, just get the stylus out and scribble in any colour, highlight, erase, anything you want! And when you play, you can also just press the screen to turn the page, in addition to the pedal.

3rd-generation :
How about.. a video camera? Just move your head from right to left and it turns the page (set to only monitor your movements in the last stave of the pages, so that it doesn’t accidently turn in the middle of a page!). And while we’re at it, why not add sensors to the keys so that the computer can follow the score as we play, and turns it automatically for us, 2 bars before the end of a page?

How exciting!

Oh well, I had nothing else to think of. Go listen to Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for left hand.

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