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Author: admin | Category: Learn Piano Online | 01.09.2015

The Sibelius Academy has acquired the more ergonomically designed instrument, created by two alumni. One of Europe’s most esteemed music institutions, the Sibelius Academy in Finland, has acquired an extremely rare instrument: a radically redesigned quarter-tone piano. Two former students of the Sibelius Academy, pianist Elisa Jarvi and composer Sampo Haapamaki, have been collaborating for almost a decade to realise a more ergonomically designed full-size quarter-tone piano. The use of quarter-tones is fairly common among contemporary compositions, but the concept of breaking the scale down into smaller divisions is hundreds of years old.
Quarter-tonality is also a form of equal, or as it’s sometimes known, circular temperament and composers have experimented with it for decades.
With a mechanism almost identical to its regularly tuned cousin, the most conspicuous difference from a conventional piano is the keyboard: instead of dividing the octave into 12 pitches, it is divided into 24.

Previous solutions to the quarter-tone piano involved two separate instruments, or multiple manuals, which created limitations on the complexity and virtuosity that could be reasonably expected by a composer. The equal division of the octave, known as well-tempered, only became commonplace from the late 17th century. One of the earliest pioneers (although by no means the first composer to use quarter-tones) was Czech composer Alois Haba. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of Limelight's Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.
Other quarter-tone piano designs have previously been built but have often been bulky and difficult to play. With assistance from the Sibelius Academy development centre, Jarvi and Haapamaki first created a one-octave proof-of-concept, before a full-scale prototype of their design began construction in 2014.

Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was the first collection of keyboard pieces to explore the full range of the 24 keys possible with equal temperament. Among his quarter-tone pieces are a number of piano works, including a Sonata for quarter-tone piano (1946-47), written for an earlier quarter-tone piano design using three separate manuals. The opposing tonality before this was meantone temperament, which contained microtonal deviations depending on which octave a particular pitch occurred.

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