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Famous Songs with Electric Scores

A variety of modern leading tracks have their roots in digital piano compositions. Utilizing Wurlitzer electric pianos, these compositions form a core collection of electronic music. The editors of Electric Pianos review some of our favorite tracks with electric scores:

Daft Punk, the French music duo featured the track “Digital Love” as a single on their 2001 album Discovery. The song is based upon an electronic sample by BJ Sneak, which is overlaid by vocals by the Daft Punk duo, along with various electronic samples. Produced using synthesized samples from electric pianos in the studio, the track gained world wide acclaim.

A popular track on Pink Floyd’s well received Dark Side of the Moon, Money is composed by Roger Waters with the assistance of a variety of electronic effects. The song gained widespread acclaim for its unique 7/4 time signature as well as its electronic effects and chord progressions.

Another classic track “You Don’t Know How it Feels” from Pink Floyd, was the top single from the band’s 1994 album Wildflowers. Featuring a variety of electronic effects, the album explores the downsides of the drug scene.

History of Electric Pianos

The evolution of the two major electric pianos over the past few decades largely mirror the development of digital music technology. Improvements in electronic feedback have allowed musicians to incorporate digital technology with studio-quality audio feedback standards.

The Fender Rhodes electronic pianos emerged from the researched of Harold Rhodes, who was constructing traditional acoustic pianos for decades. Rhodes developed a music school to focus on music theory, and further developed his skills as part of the Army’s Air Corps. Based upon the skills developed in the military, Rhodes began to develop one the first electric pianos in 1946, which was capable of reproducing 3 and a half octaves of sound, and including an integrated digital speak and amplifier system. The patented design led by a complete 72-note model, working with legendary musician Leo Fender to improve the model to develop the modern electric piano we know today. Fender expanded his reach from classical guitars to pianos, and began to work on the release of a series of improving models until they realized an accurate 88-key model in the 1970s. Over the past few decades, the company has introduced improved electronic acoustics and integrated software.

The modern Wurlitzer piano has its roots back in the early 20th century, when Benjamin Miessner, who helped develop the modern electronic radio at RCA. As a result of this research, Miessnger began working with Wurlitzer to develop an electric piano, and produced the first modern model in 1954. Advances in the technology produced near perfect-tune by the 1970s, and the software continued to improve, becoming a performance-class machine by the 1980s.

A Look at Piano Acoustics

Standard acoustic pianos are known to produce a unique set of sounds which are directly linked to their physical construction – digital pianos are engineered to re-produce the delicacy and intimacy of this sound. Piano purists focus on the inability to truly replica the details and richness of the acoustic sound in electronic form, but advanced electric acoustic technologies are increasingly coming closer to this level.

The sound emanating from an acoustic piano is inherently linked to its strings, which must be regularly tuned to ensure they remain true to form. Strings vary in thickness, ranging from 1/30 inch, which produces a high-end vibration to a third of an inch, a thickness that produces a higher level of base. In general, the thickness is proportional to an octave on the piano – so that pianos are designed to reproduce the vibrations of strings accordingly.

The vibrations also produce overtones, which oscillate to produce harmonics which are pleasant to the ear. These oscillations are difficult to reproduce, although advanced digital pianos can now capture these frequencies with a high level of accuracy. The quality of the strings is directly related to the ability to produce high-quality sounds. As a result, tuning a grand piano requires important attention paid to the detail.

A variety of measures of the scale vibration, including the Railsback curve, capture the deviation between a tuned piano and a perfect scale. The unique sounds produced from a piano, including overtone vibrations, give it a unique sense of sound quality.

Clavinova Instruments

An advanced electric piano series released by Yamaha, Clavinovas are designed to replicated the features of acoustic pianos, while allowing for advanced electronic feedback and sampling. A digital replica of advanced acoustic pianos, clavinovas have impressive digital sampling capabilities, including integrated software packages.

Clavinovas featured advanced hammer grading, which simulates the graded feel of traditional acoustic keyboards. The digital sensors provide a higher level of feedback quality when compared to traditional digital pianos – as a result, Clavinovas are considered more reliable substitutes for acoustic pianos for training and educational purposes. Advanced models such as the 407 include improved keyboard technology, making them true to scale.

With graded keys, musicians can feel the true feedback scales as they ascend and descend the keyboard. Advanced synthesizers result in improved sound quality and feedback, resulting in a true acoustic feel and product. Each model features an impressive acoustic digital technology that can easily replicate sampled effects, as well as a variety of instruments, including pianos, percussions and guitars. As a result, individuals can compose a broader range of pieces than they otherwise could playing solo.

Features on Digital Pianos

Modern electric pianos have advanced to offer a full spectrum of features in an affordable, reliable package when compared to more expensive acoustic pianos. Modern electric pianos are automatically tuned and their quality output has improved to mirror that of well-tuned acoustic pianos. Additionally, integrated features, such as metronomes and internal recording, allow for feedback and practice features that allow you to get more out of your compositions.

Digital pianos have advanced to feature impressive digital sound replications, which are now as advanced as digital pianos for top models. Additionally, many electric pianos feature effects such as synthesizers, sound sampling and other effects that go beyond what a traditional acoustic piano can offer. Top electric pianos feature complete 88-key scale keyboards, as well as functioning pedals that allow for complete feedback.

The major features of electric pianos result from their ability to play back and record MIDI inputs – as a result, you can integrate samples from instruments such as strings, guitars and vocals in the same key as the traditional piano scale. Many pianos feature impressive synthesizers which allow for advanced feedback from a variety of music samples. Depending on the particular make and model that you select, it’s possible to realize a variety of potential benefits from your digital piano, including the ability to review your performances in real-time and modify them using integrated digital music creation software.