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MMD > Archives > December 2009 > 2009.12.10 > 01Prev  Next

New Player Piano Book by Juergen Hocker
By Matthew Caulfield

I have received a review copy of Jürgen Hocker's new book,
"Faszination Player Piano; das selbstspielende Klavier von den
Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart" (translated "Fascination Player Piano;
the self-playing piano from its beginnings to the present") to
review for the MBSI's journal "Mechanical Music."

While its title proper is a bit strange, the book provides really
comprehensive and wondrous coverage of the whole player piano field:
its roots, its development, its refinement into the reproducing piano,
roll standards, methods used for recording artists' performances, the
nature and trustworthiness of artist testimonials, authenticity of
"hand-played" rolls.  All that and more in the first half of the book.

In the second half, Hocker covers ground that I have not seen covered
before: how player piano technology created what the author calls
"Klaviermusik ohne Grenzen" (piano music without limits).  Using Conlon
Nancarrow as an example -- a musician whom he obviously admires and
whom he knew personally -- he shows how the player piano allowed
creativity and musical expression not possible with a manually played
piano and how the path forged by Nancarrow was followed by more than
a dozen successors.

The 350-page book (ISBN 978-3-937841-80-9), written in German
and profusely illustrated, is available in paperback from Edition
Bochinsky in der PPVMEDIEN GmbH, Postfach 57, 85230 Bergkirchen

Now there is a translation job that cries to be done by some MMD'er
who can read German and write good English!

Matthew Caulfield
Irondequoit, New York

(Message sent Thu 10 Dec 2009, 22:28:13 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Book, Hocker, Juergen, New, Piano, Player

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