On Air Now
The Full Works Concert with Catherine Bott 8pm - 10pm
4 June 2013, 12:15
Families, friends, neighbours, pets – and shy musicians – everywhere, celebrate! The Yamaha 'SH' silent piano lets you practise silently.
Are your family sick of your scales?
Is your neighbour not a fan of your Rachmaninov?
Does your dog look like this when you sit down to practise?
The company’s Silent SH pianos are standard acoustic pianos – but you can plug in a pair of headphones and play them silently.
WE KNOW. Revolutionary.
So – how does it work? How can you make a normal hammer-action acoustic piano silent?
Here's the technical bit: "When the silencing function has been engaged and keys are struck, hammer shank stoppers move into place to prevent the hammers from striking the strings. While the piano is outwardly silenced, the movement of the keys and other performance information are picked up by optical sensors and converted to digital data by a tone generator. Digitally sampled acoustic sound is then sent to stereo headphones."
We still think there's some kind of sorcery behind it, though.
To demonstrate just how silent these silent pianos are, HJ Lim played Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto on a barge floating down London's Regent's Canal in the middle of the night.
Not a peep. The piano is one of Yamaha's 'SH' silent upright and grand pianos. They're so quiet, even the Noise Abatement Society are fans - awarding the piano its prestigious international 'Quiet Mark'.
He 'practised' in the middle of a sleepy London housing estate - and thanks to the Silent Piano all those people missed out on a free gig on their doorstep!
You can learn and compose on these pianos, too. If you connect it to a computer, you can access a huge range of learning and composing software.
If you want a Yamaha silent piano, you can get up to £1,500 off if you trade in your old piano.