A Conversation for Peer Review

A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Entry: Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech - A87926944
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni - U1590784

Last PR entry for the year from me. smiley - winkeye

This entry was brought about by the concatenation of events around the holidays:

I got my piano tuned. The tuner threw in a free tip: he showed me how to transpose on my Yamaha. I ran to share this info with the church pianist, so she wouldn't have to force small children to hold down the 'wow' wheel while she played a whole hymn.

I got a huge stack of really old sheet music for Christmas. Of course I'm researching Tin Pan Alley history like mad. I said,'Irving Berlin played in WHAT key?'

So I figured we needed an entry.


smiley - dragon


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

Happy New Year! smiley - biggrin

This Entry is educational indeed! I struggle with the tunes in my music books that are in the key of F sharp, but I didn't think of that key as focusing on the black keys, so I wonder if that would make it easier for me to play the songs as written... However, I also have a Yamaha electronic keyboard and wondered what the 'transpose' function was for, so I learned that, too! smiley - eureka

"The early 1900s were surprisingly high-tech." - yes indeed smiley - ok

smiley - applausesmiley - biggrin


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thanks for reading, Sasha. smiley - smiley And Happy New Year to you, too.


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 4

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

That's really fascinating!

I am not a piano or keyboard player and there's one thing I don't really understand:
When the whole keyboard shifts does that mean that notes which usually are on white keys end up being on black keys and vice versa? Does that not make things more confusing than they originally are? smiley - huh


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni

You're right, Tav, that the notes that are on black keys can end up being on white keys, and vice versa. smiley - smiley But playing it is not confusing at all.

You play the song exactly as before. Only the sound will change, just as when you transpose on an electronic keyboard. You play C, but now the sound is C-sharp, or D, or whatever.

What is very confusing and difficult is if you transpose mentally by changing keys. Then the pianist has to hit different keys from the ones written on the music. smiley - winkeye

Right now, my piano is already transposed downward - the tuner said the piano was too old to tune 'to pitch' because it might break the strings. So when I play a 'C', it's really a tone lower. smiley - smiley

I hope that wasn't even more confusing.

One question: doesn't your accordion have a keyboard? smiley - bigeyes Just asking.


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 6

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Makes sense. smiley - smiley

Mine does have a keyboard (some have only buttons on both sides) but I never had the problem of transposing anything. I always just played what the notes say.smiley - laugh


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - laugh A wise choice.


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 8

SashaQ - happysad

I had a go at transposing my keyboard last night and it was quite successful - much easier for the right hand, but the left hand wasn't sure what to do because I use chord symbols (that's the advantage of an electronic keyboard for me, because I can just about make chord shapes with one hand while playing a tune with the other, but I haven't got the brainpower to play tunes with both hands simultaneously because the messages are scrambled at the best of times!).

However, focusing on the black keys was even more successful - it meant I didn't waste brainpower thinking F --> F# etc but just chose the black key and only sometimes had to think about E and B smiley - ok


A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - biggrin The Irving Berlin Method is winning converts!


Key: Complain about this post

A87926944 - Irving Berlin's Amazing Transposing Piano: Ragtime High-Tech

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more