Is today Revolution Day for the piano world? I don’t know! What I know for sure is that a new musical instrument based on piano will be unveiled today (Via The Guardian). You already know it: a piano has 88 notes. Each are separated by a semi-tone which prevents pianists to explore non-western scales. The Fluid Piano is a microtonal piano that should allow them to finally play the most exotic scales.
Basically, British composer and performer Geoff Smith thought of adding a tuning mechanism on each string of a fortepiano. The player alters the pitch by sliding the fine-tuner on the string which allows him to reach microtones. Now adventurous pianists will have access to a new palette of expressiveness they’ve never had before. I found it interesting because it allows oriental scales to enter the piano register, and thus maybe this will bring some novelties in western piano music. On the other side, maybe the piano will fully enter the eastern music world (such as Arab or Indian music) in which it is of limited use.
The Fluid Piano will be officially unveiled tonight at 19.00 at the University of Surrey with a live performance of the first Fluid Piano compositions from several players. Let’s wish all the best to Geoff Smith and a bright future to this wonderfully weird piano.