A couple of months ago I began playing with our new digital* piano. What a lovely thing a keyboard instrument is! You just push a button, and out comes a perfect note— hard if you hit it hard, soft if you hit it softly, and never out of tune. The buttons feel great and they’re laid out in a neat row. The tonal range yawns across many octaves. You’re limited only by the physics of your hands. It feels like cheating compared to every other instrument I’ve ever played. No wonder music began really taking off when this technology was introduced.
(*Why digital? Because it has headphones.)
Not that I can be said to actually play the piano. Over the past couple of months I’ve “learned” it in much the same haphazard way I learned to type thirty years ago— without any discipline or technique whatsoever, driven purely by the urgent desire to transduce. (Now that I think of it, most of what I know is characterized by this rather sloppy approach.) I’m sure I could achieve better results by studying it properly with a teacher, and I’m still painfully slow at reading from the staff. But: I began making music anyway, with the piano, a handheld recorder, and some notation software. There have been some late nights.