Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pianos for Asians?

From "Classical Musicians Suffer for Their Art" WSJ 1/31/07
One interesting conclusion of the research program is that many piano students are now Asian or female, and both groups tend to have smaller hands. As a result, at this university, two Steinways are modifiable, so that narrow keyboards can be slipped into place. Doctoral recitals sometimes utilize a smaller keyboard, preventing unneccesary strain on the performer. And why not? Standardized keyboards are a fairly recent development, and some artists of the past -- including the legendary early-20th-century piano virtuoso Josef Hofmann - used pianos with narrower keys.

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