What Is Piano Voicing?

What Is Piano Voicing?

When you begin to learn a new hobby, there are more aspects to learn than just the craft itself. Take, for instance, learning to play the piano. Not only do you have to learn the notes, scales, and finger placement, you also have to learn the buzzwords of the industry.

Like voicing.

Voicing refers to the changing tone of the instrument. Tone can be thought of as the brightness or mellowness of the sound. A note may be perfectly in tune, yet vibrating at a consistency that sounds harsh and bright. It can have a fullness to it that makes it seem like it hovers in the air, or it can have a flat, dullness to it that barely creates a presence.

There are three basic problems when it comes to tone:What Is Piano Voicing?

1. Select notes don’t seem to blend in with the others

2. Entire sections seem to be out of balance with each other – the bass may be bold while the treble is weak

3. The entire piano seems to be balanced, but the overall tone is too bright or mellow

These problems have nothing to do with tuning, and everything to do with voicing.

When you listen to music through a stereo system, you can control the sound in a variety of ways. The easiest is by turning the volume up or down depending on your preference. But with a sophisticated system, you have more controls than that. You can adjust the treble or bass to make the music sound richer and fuller. You can move the sound from one channel to another, creating surround sound. You are not changing the music; just the way you hear it.

The human ears are designed to pick up many different frequencies. Every frequency has its own volume and pattern. That’s why you can distinguish a friend’s voice calling to you across a crowded room, or why a mother can hear her infant cry in a room full of children.

If a piano is in tune and properly voiced, it will create a harmonious sound that is not only a joy to listen to, but also a joy to play. Imagine a beginning piano player sitting down and playing her first tune. She hears the melody, but knows the sound simply isn’t right. That’s where frustration can begin to set in.

Voicing is bringing every note into balance so that one note compliments the other as it is played. Instead of each note working individually, they work together to create one harmonious sound.

How is this accomplished?

Through proper tuning. The strings must be properly seated and firmly in place. Hammers must be in proper working condition and centered on their strings.

Think this is a job for just anyone? Think again. This is where the art of tuning comes into play. The art of listening and diagnosing the tonal weakness takes years of experience and a great deal of patience.

If its been a while since your piano was tuned, you may have noticed some issues with the tone. The voicing may be off. Which means its time to schedule tuning with a trained professional and bring it back into full working condition. Give us a call today; we can have your piano playing beautifully again in no time.