Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Ravenchord: will wing-shaped piano design ever be built?

Although we’re not great fans of pianos being destroyed in the name of art, we are quite happy to see people creating interesting visual designs which challenge the status quo of what a piano should look like. That is, of course, if the piano continues to play and sound the same.

In the case of Ravenchord, we needn’t worry. For one, it isn’t actually built yet (and we wonder if it ever will be). Secondly, the creator has kept the fundamentals of how the piano is played, including the keyboard and pedals, so there would be no learning curve for a pianist to sit down and play it.

Based on the shape of a raven’s wing, the Ravenchord does look beautiful. It also looks a little shell-like. The near semi-circular piece has the piano strings fanning out from a central point. An immediate advantage of the design is that, because the mechanism is all below the keyboard, there is no longer anything to hide the pianist, as would be the case with an upright or grand piano.

A second advantage is the increased visual appeal of the instrument. The workings of a piano are usually hidden away unless you are a piano tuner, take a panel off or choose to stand and peer into the body of the instrument. An audience at a concert or recital would never ordinarily see all the moving parts which work together to create the sound.

The Ravenchord puts the strings, hammers and mechanism on full display, also adding an optional subtle lighting effect whenever keys are played (though this is a fully acoustic instrument).

Designer Dan Harden, CEO of Whipsaw, says:

“Sometimes when one is designing, it is a product to solve a client problem that maybe only 1% of the population, or less, are going to see, use, or appreciate. But no matter where you are in the world, everyone knows what a piano is. Everybody loves music. Everybody wants to play the piano. So, if Ravenchord, through its design, can stimulate one to play or visit the symphony, it leaves a positive impact on society.”

Whether the design can be turned in a physical instrument is another matter. There will be many things to consider if it is ever to be built. We look forward to hearing more.

Design page.