"Sounding Board"

26/10/15 - "Sounding Board" - Article from International Piano Magazine. (back to Articles and Information Home)

Dawn Elizabeth Howells of Peregrine's Pianos considers the question "Can a digital keyboard ever hope to match the glories of the acoustic piano?" We reproduce here (with permission) her comment as published in International Piano (November-December)

International Piano p18

International Piano p19


Hi there Dawn!
Congratulations on your interesting article.
Gillian Davis, The Henselt Society

Dear Ms Howells,
I wanted to drop you a line to say how interesting I found your article in International Piano magazine (Nov/Dec), and how much I agreed with it. I am a pianist (and examiner/adjudicator) on the EPTA management committee, having studied at the RAM on a piano scholarship, but have also had considerable involvement with keyboards. I founded and directed National Electronic Keyboard Courses from 2005-2012, running national courses for keyboard players. I advised Trinity on their keyboard syllabus, helped ABRSM set up Music Medals for keyboard, and in November's Music Teacher magazine wrote a round-up of the electronic keyboard market as requested by the editor. How often I have wished that pianists would not confuse the two very distinct instruments! The keyboard has much more likeness to the organ, with its accent on registration, articulation etc and is not a 'poor man's piano'. There are things you can do on it which you can't on piano (such as forming keyboardists into 'orchestras' with all the different instrumental voices) and there are very definitely things you can do on an acoustic piano which you cannot do on keyboard, such as harmonics, or really sonorous pedalling, or enjoying the sheer tactile pleasure from connecting with the hammers, strings etc. I totally agree that the two should be kept separate, even though electronic pianos can sometimes be useful for practise purposes. I look forward to viewing your splendid showroom in due course.
Yours sincerely,  Nancy Litten, Maidstone, Kent