Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 8
Musical News & Notes
igali Keys is working to build the first
piano in Rwanda. If successful, this group of
three entrepreneurs will become the first piano manufacturer in Africa in nearly thirty years, and the only
piano manufacturer to exist outside the country of South Africa.
Pianos are difficult to obtain in Rwanda, and challenging
to maintain because of the lack of trained piano tuners and
technicians. The Dietmann company manufactured pianos in
South Africa before it went out of business in 1989. Currently,
new pianos are very expensive in Rwanda, and most are
imported from Korea or China.
The goal of Kigali Keys is to build a quality and affordable
upright piano with local wood and culturally decorative patterns.
They hope to have the first Rwandan-made piano completed in
time for the Made in Rwanda Expo at the end of the year. Visit
them at kigalikeys.blogspot.com.
Musicians react faster
A new study suggests that professional
musicians react more quickly than nonmusicians when exposed to audio, tactile, and a
combination of audiotactile stimulations.
researchers at the
the first time
musical training reduces
auditory, tactile, and
times."1 These results have
implications for aging adults
and others with slower reaction
S. P. Landry, F. Champoux. Musicians
react faster and are better multisensory
integrators. Brain and Cognition 111, Dec. 2016.
The psychology of tone deafness
lthough as many as 17% of adults identify as being
tone deaf, only about 4% of the population actually suffer
from the clinical condition called amusia. Psychologists now
believe that individuals who self-assess as tone deaf lacked musical
exposure as children. A recent study suggests that "family music
participation and positive attitudes towards music... can predict with
74% accuracy which students
choose to continue in elective
music."1 Adults who participated
in musical activities as children
were statistically less likely to
identify as tone deaf, regardless
of their objective musical
Zhang awarded Avery
Fisher Career Grant
Pianist Haochen Zhang was awarded a 2017
Career Grant from the Avery Fisher Artist
Program of the Lincoln Center for the Performing
Arts. These $25,000 grants offer recognition and
assistance to exceptionally talented artists for
launching their solo careers. Zhang is a graduate
of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied
with Gary Graffman. In 2009, he became one of
the youngest performers to win a gold medal at
the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Photo by Benjamin Ealovega
Building pianos in Rwanda
S.M. Demorest, J. Kelley, P.Q.
Pfordresher. Singing ability, musical
self-concept, and future music
participation. Journal of Research in
Music Education 64(4), 2017.