More Than Black And White Keys: A Critical Review Of Keyboard Instruments

996 words - 4 pages

As I settled on the worn wooden bench for my first organ lesson, a mix of emotions rushed through my mind. I looked down at the familiar black and white keys beneath my fingers with relief, but when I glanced up at a second keyboard and a row of switches, I cringed. My teacher flipped the power switch and the organ began to hum. Tentatively, I tested out a simple melody. The blast of sound that came from the pipes behind me caught me off-guard. This was nothing like the piano I knew so well. Yes, the organ features a set of black and white keys and produces beautiful music, but the similarities end there. The piano and pipe organ, two common keyboard instruments, differ greatly in structure, sound, and use.
Simply structured instruments are cost effective and space efficient. Musicians prefer affordable instruments that fit in small performance spaces over extravagant, expensive versions. A simply structured, comprehensible keyboard instrument will best suit the average musician.
The piano, one of the most well-known keyboard instruments, comes in several sizes. Upright pianos range from three to five feet tall, nearly five feet long, and serve as the best option for a home piano. Grand pianos average three feet tall and four to nine feet long. Wealthy, professional musicians and large organizations tend to buy grand pianos. Pianos cost anywhere from $2,000 to $200,000 new, but many buyers turn to used upright pianos for cheaper options.
No matter the size or cost, all pianos contain the same basic elements. The instrument's outer mechanisms do not present great challenges for musicians. Pianists only need an understanding of a single keyboard and up to three foot pedals.
In contrast, the pipe organ is large, expensive, and complex. Pipe organs are rarely found in private homes because of their size, elaborate construction, and extravagant cost. Because of its size, each pipe organ is custom-built to fit its permanent performance space. These specific construction requirements contributes to high organ prices.
Pipe organs feature a four- to five-foot-tall, five- to seven-foot-wide console. The console houses two to five keyboards, called manuals, a foot keyboard, expression pedals, and sets of stops. The stops, which come in the form of switches or buttons, control the sound the organ creates. Sets of pipes, called ranks, are built around or behind the console. Fancier, more expensive pipe organs include more ranks, requiring a greater space. The ranks alone need ten to 30 feet of vertical space. Overall, the organ requires a considerably larger space than the piano.
While the keyboard portion of the pipe organ is similar to the piano's and easy to understand, the system as a whole is complex. Organists face the monumental task of simultaneously controlling the stops, manuals, pedals, and foot keyboard.
Just as musicians value structure, listeners value an instrument's sound. A keyboard instrument's sound should please...

Find Another Essay On More Than Black and White Keys: A Critical Review of Keyboard Instruments

Joseph Conrad is More Critical of Whites than Blacks in Heart of Darkness

2356 words - 9 pages An essay arguing that Joseph Conrad is more critical of Whites than Blacks in Heart of Darkness To the vast majority of Europeans of the 19th century, colonization was a noble cause that brought civilization, Christianity and culture to underdeveloped civilizations. Many Europeans believed that they were welcomed abroad and were improving societies in the name of God. Far ahead of his time, Joseph Conrad saw the hypocrisy with this

I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) – A Critical Reflection Paper – Personal Review

1685 words - 7 pages PAGE PAGE 1 Brennan Tara BrennanStudent # 3745834Prof. Marie-Katherine Waller, Ph.D.FEM 1100 C24 March 2005I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) - A Critical Reflection Paper - Personal ReviewAudre Lorde, in the article I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities, provides a clear assessment of the traditional and contemporary difficulties that Black Lesbian Feminists have to deal with

This is a critical lens response to the quote literature opens a dark window on the soul, revealing more about what is bad in human nature than what is good

563 words - 2 pages "Literature opens a dark window on the soul, revealing more about what is bad in human nature than what is good." This quote means that literature will show all sides to a person not just their good side. It will show how evil a person maybe even though they may seem nice. I would have to agree with this quote because in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Macbeth was once a noble man but the powers of greed made his true side come out. In


2122 words - 8 pages Challis employed a different, more modern approach to construction of the instrument. Though he based the decorative scheme of his designs on Dolmetsch's works, Challis experimented with new techniques and materials, such as metal and plastic, to produce harpsichords that were better adapted to the extreme climate changes in North America and maintained a rich tone quality. Organ, keyboard musical instrument in which compressed air vibrates within

More than a spoonful of sugar

1195 words - 5 pages back to the mother. They need the warmth and the touch. A child is constantly held and cuddled. Premature babies receive three massages a day. (Ackerman72) “Massaged babies gain weight as much as 50% faster than unmassaged babies. They’re more active, alert and responsive, more aware of their surroundings, better able to tolerate noise and the orient themselves faster and are emotionally more in control.” (Ackerman 73) Premature babies benefit

Black and White

779 words - 3 pages making any sense” (55). White fails to understand that everything is common sense for Black, who has not only suffered more than White could ever imagine, but also believes in a force outside White’s wildest dreams. Originally a convict, Black turns his life around after a near-death experience, believing God chose him of all people to talk to. He lives in hopes of delivering God’s message and love to those bereft of it, for what pain can someone

More Than a Prize

555 words - 2 pages . They are not trained to properly maintain animals.More often than anoles, goldfish are given away as prizes as well. A common goldfish will grow approximately 14 inches or more. It is obvious that a lot of people do not know this. I work at a pet store and so many customers are surprised when they find out their goldfish won't live happily in a six ounce jar. To grow properly, one goldfish requires at least a 20 gallon aquarium. Unfortunately

More Than A Homemaker

1366 words - 5 pages for women were always limited and the only thing that women could do was to become housewives. People were very conservative to the idea of the traditional role of a man and a woman. Men are always the provider and women are always the caregiver. Men held more power because of the fact that they earned money. It is hard for people to lose the conservative idea because the idea was around since the beginning of the era. So, rightful place for woman

Black and White

1796 words - 7 pages Black and White Following the Civil War, just prior to the turn of the century, many American novelist were writing more freely of the previous slave culture. Two of these writers being Mark Twain and Charles Chesnutt. Mark Twain was a popular "white" author by this time. Charles Chesnutt, the son of free blacks, decided to pursue a dream of becoming an author in order to remove the spirit of racism. By studying these authors in

Red, White, and Black

1256 words - 5 pages The complexities of race effected the Jacksonian era through the shrewdness of the white man’s desires for economic expansion. Democracy, during its infancy in early nineteenth century America, considered all ‘people’ as equals. However, this designation of ‘people’ excluded African and Native Americans. The institution of slavery was a return investment venture for southern planters in their greed for the production of more staple crops. Many

The keyboard sonatas of Haydn and Mozart

1050 words - 4 pages I. Haydn           Haydn has a special preference for writing music in a bundle of six. Each of the six pieces has its individuality while sharing many common features at the same time. Haydn’s solo keyboard sonatas show striking diversity in type and style. They often could be categorized by their style periods and each of them reflects a corresponding social background. Sonatas composed from

Similar Essays

More Powerful Than The Government? A Review Of The Federal Reserve

2310 words - 9 pages would cause to great of a strain on the economy and demanded more independence. The accords agreement allowed Fed independence from having to protect government bonds and complete control of monetary policy. The accords also laid out three responsibilities for the Fed, maximum employment, price stability and controlled long-term interest rates. The extension of power to the Fed following the accords increased independence and allowed for reduced

Critical Thinking Is More Than Common Sense

1291 words - 5 pages system. From an educator’s standpoint, the assimilation of critical thinking into the current curriculum would generate a noticeable rise in academic achievement. Because students must examine and rationalize the material rather than simply applying it to rote memory, the material and concepts are more readily understood. An example of increased test scores as a direct result of critical thinking comes from the San Francisco Unified School

Snow White: Nothing More Or Less Than Beautiful

1320 words - 6 pages Sexton's “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” likens Snow White more to an object than to any sort of sentient being. Vivid imagery, or descriptive language, is used to present a delicate and pristine sort of beauty to the reader. Snow White is said to have “cheeks as fragile as cigarette paper . . . rolling her china-blue doll eyes”(Sexton 3). This manner of comparison suggests that Snow White is beautiful because of the items of value that her

Critical Review Of Educating The Black Child In The Black Independent School

3039 words - 12 pages As part of our politics and multiculturalism class we had to do a critical review of a book. This book is entitled "Educating the Black Child in the Black Independent School" written by Seth N. Asumah and Valencia C. Perkins. As a whole this book covers the many inadequacies that the inner-city school system has in educating black children and problems that black children have to deal with while seeking an education in America. It also