The movement of pianos with narrow keys has been around for years, but many are not knowledgeable about it. So in this episode today, I’ve invited Rhonda Boyle and Linda Gould to talk more about the narrow key piano movement, how it works, how it started, and where it is now in the process.
- A short history on the narrow key piano movement.
- How the first few narrow key pianos and keyboards were made.
- The challenge of convincing manufacturers to invest in these products.
- Rhonda shares how and why she started PASK Piano (Pianists for Alternatively Sized Keyboards).
- Linda tells us more about Narrow Keys.
- The development of circular pianos in the market.
Linda Gould is the author of Play Piano Chords Today. She has been teaching and performing for 5 decades, debuting at age 11 when she performed a Bach Piano Concerto under the baton of J.S. Bach and the Mount Royal College Orchestra. Linda has an ARCT and B Mus in performance with distinction, and a minor in Math. She is a competition and exam award winner and recently won Tech Teacher of the year. In her late 30s, she met David Steinbuhler, the inventor of the D.S. 5.5 and 6.0 narrow keys piano actions. Within two years, Linda was back performing big works with orchestras and the Orford String Quartet. This spring she completed a two-piano concert tour with her sister, Sue Gould, performing 11 concerts in 6 days on her new narrow digital piano keys.
Rhonda Boyle studied piano as a child, but her small hands discouraged her from pursuing a career in music. She has tertiary qualifications in science, environmental science and urban planning and her career was mostly in the Victorian State Government. Rhonda returned to the piano in 1999 as a student of Robert Chamberlain. She stumbled across Steinbuhler keyboards on the Internet at the start of 2007 and acquired a DS5.5® keyboard for her piano in 2009. She has since been involved in research relating to hand size and piano playing, presenting at conferences in Australia, USA and Europe and contributing articles to various journals.
In 2011, she set up a website devoted to sharing information on research and developments relating to alternatively sized piano keyboards. In 2013, she co-founded the world-wide advocacy group PASK (Pianists for Alternatively Sized Keyboards) with Erica Booker and Professor Carol Leone (Southern Methodist University, Texas). She is also a director of the US-based DS® Standard Foundation and a co-artistic director of the International Stretto Piano Festival.
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