A digital piano is a modernized version of the electronic piano that was manufactured and sold from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Electronic pianos were based upon synthesized sound as opposed to the mechanical sounds carried by the electric pianos which were sold for awhile in the 1960’s and 70’s.
When the digital piano appeared on the scene in the 1980’s, they began to take the place of the acoustic piano because they were less expensive than acoustic pianos. Comparing a digital piano and an acoustic piano of the same size, the digital piano generally costs much less. Today, the cost savings also continue to add up because the digital piano has no strings; this, in turn, means that it does not have to be tuned. Since the cost of tuning an acoustic piano can run between $ 75.00 to 175.00 each time the piano is tuned, usually at least once a year, obtaining a digital piano as opposed to an acoustic piano may also be desirable because of the savings in its continued upkeep.
The digital pianos were and are also a bit smaller than their acoustic counterparts making them easy to put into tight places. The feel of the key on the modern digital pianos compares favorably with the acoustic piano, as well. For a pianist, the touch of the keyboard is very important in how that musician plays the instrument. The digital pianos available now are able to simulate the weight of the keys on the acoustic keyboard making them an attractive alternative to the serious musician.
There are other features which make digital pianos very attractive to keyboardists as well. The ability to transpose is available at the touch of a button. For those who sing solos or who sing with other groups, that ability is a very attractive feature, especially when a lot of music is written for sopranos and the person who wants to sing a solo may be an alto or a bass.
Many of the newest digital pianos have the ability to link to a computer or they have a place for a disk on which the keyboardist can record the music for later use. With the advent of digital music players such as Ipods, Zunes, mp3’s, and other equipment, this can be seen as very advantageous for the person who wants to record his or her own playing so that it can be used later at a different venue.
The most important feature is the timbre of the instrument. Timbre has to do with the quality of sound that comes from an instrument. New digital pianos do not have the “tinny” sound that came with early electric and electronic pianos. The timbre of the instruments synthesized into the piano gives a beautiful tone that can even sometimes be deepened or lightened according to the whims of the keyboardist. This is very easily done at the touch of a control wheel or slider on the digital piano.
While most concert halls still used highly crafted acoustic grand pianos, the advent of the digital piano is a great help to people who desire to have pianos in their homes so that their children can learn to play the piano. Since learning to play the piano on an old upright piano of indiscriminate age, having a digital piano has been a delight. It provides for creativity and enjoyment in my home for the listener and the keyboardist. Having access to a piano in the home is one of the greatest joys of my life. I wish that joy for children and adults everywhere.
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