Billy Joel once said, “I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music” (“Music Quotes”). Although many instruments exist to enliven human existence, two of the most stimulating are the piano and the voice. While piano and singing both create poignant music, they differ due to the instruments themselves, the training involved, and the musician’s individuality.
A traditional piano consists of strings, keys, hammers, pedals and pieces of wood (“Piano”). When an individual hits a key, the hammer attached to the key strikes the string. The string is attached to a wooden board. Each note has a different string length; the shorter the string, the higher the sound. Encasing all these tools is a wooden frame. Pedals, placed at the bottom of the wooden frame, can be played by the foot, to distort and smooth the sound. On average, the piano keyboard contains 88 keys. 52 of these keys are white and 36 are black (“Piano”). These 88 keys cover 7 octaves and a minor third. Interestingly enough, more than one note can sound instantaneously on the keyboard. This means that the left hand can play at the same time as the right, creating full, rich melodies.
Singing, in and of itself, requires no machinery. All implements necessary are housed in the human body. As a wind instrument, the voice requires air. Air can be found in the lungs and forced up the windpipe. The pushed air vibrates the voice box, creating sound. Chest and head cavities then magnify the sound. In order to shape the sound into coherent words and phrases, the mouth, including the teeth and tongue, is utilized (“Singing”). Individuals all sing at different ranges. Generally, people have a one octave range (“Vocal Ranges”). The starting point of that octave determines whether singers serenade at low pitches or trill high tones. The higher sound is produced by a shorter string, exactly like the piano. Singing differs, though, because the voice box stretches all the strings at the same time. This results in only one note sounding per individual. Some people are assigned different notes to create a harmonious, rich sound.
For an individual to play the piano or sing well, training becomes essential. Training strengthens the muscles, solidifies techniques, and enables progress. Usually, a teacher institutes the training and the pupil completes it. Part of training is practicing songs and drills. Discipline of the mind also comprises a large part of the training.
Piano training begins by starting to learn the note names and positions. Without the ability to read the notes, playing the notes is impossible. Rhythm and meter also become necessary in order for the notes to be played at the right time. At first, one learns to play single keys using only one hand. As time goes by, chords, consisting of multiple keys, ring out. Both hands learn to play together through different...