Is London’s music up-tempo?

Having moved to London not so long ago, I have noticed a definite surge in my energy. The crowds and the hustle and bustle, coupled with the relentless pace of life, are all definitely a shock to anyone’s system, especially if the person has not been accustomed to living in big cities. Now that I am settled and gradually becoming more established, I can certainly appreciate the whole spectrum of activity and opportunities that this world-renowned capital of ours has to offer… and I love it more every day.

I love London guitar

Having lived in Bristol and Bath for a considerable chunk of my life, I was fortunate enough to attend plenty of events that featured some of the best music I have ever heard. Whilst Bristol may be renowned for its music scene, there is certainly no place like London when it comes to the Arts. Having just attended an Ed Sheeran gig last week, it got me thinking: does London’s music tempo match its lifestyle?

Comparing the size, population and average distance travelled per week, the pace of London completely dwarfs that of Bristol. I now find myself walking and talking faster and I certainly want to achieve a lot more in the smallest possible timeframe. Assuming that this phenomenon applies to every Londoner, does it mean that I am now listening to more up-tempo music to match my energetic lifestyle? London has certainly given rise to many musical genres including Drum and Bass and more recently Dubstep – both being a somewhat up-tempo take on the world famous West Indian influences of Reggae, Calypso and Steel Band. I have not conducted formal scientific research. However, I do wonder whether or not my music loving customers expect their pianos to be prepared differently to produce more up-tempo and louder sounds so that they can play at top-notch speed. Given that a piano is always a piano and serviced in exactly the same way to produce the best quality of music regardless of location, are there underlying factors expected by the piano player to aid their composition that matches the pace of their lifestyle. It goes without saying that with each passing day I seem to be working faster and more efficiently in line with the London way of life.

Street Piano London
courtesy: streetpianos.com

Humans have a tendency to naturally increase their rhythm over time once they have mastered a particular pattern – a psychological phenomenon known as forward telescoping. It is therefore imperative that strict discipline is required to counteract this tendency if one intends to produce top quality music. The question still remains: Does the pace of London, or for that matter any city, impact the rate of playing or producing music? I would certainly love to hear from my readers purely to generate interesting ideas on the subject that I could one day turn into academic research.

Give a shout out in the comments! :)

More than just the mechanics!

Andy tuning a piano

My name is Andy Howard. As an experienced and fully qualified piano tuner and technician I’m often astounded when people ask me the following question: ‘If a smartphone app is able to determine an instrument’s perfect pitch, then why would anyone require a human expert to look after their piano?’

Sure, an app can gauge pitch, and if you’re into DIY, then you might be able to fiddle around to achieve the desired effect. However, there is so much more to having a good working instrument than just the mechanics of the strings and keys. If you have paid good money for an instrument, and created a large amount of room in your personal or professional space to satisfy your love for music, then I strongly feel that regular maintenance of your pride and joy would give you a longer life for your piano. Not only would it enhance the quality of your music, you will also benefit from a well serviced and tuned piano.

I strongly feel that as beneficial and accurate technology might be, the human element still remains a vital part of insuring that you get the most amount of pleasure for your long-term investment. Make sure that you show your piano some love. It will ensure that your love for music is maintained and constantly enhanced with time.