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Local and Loving it: Ghost Piano at Cleveland State University

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Ghost Piano at Cleveland State University Ghost Piano at Cleveland State University
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

They're calling it the ghost piano and it goes way beyond one of those electronic pianos that play by themselves.

This one is called the Yamaha Disklavier piano. Imagine playing a piano in your living room, then imagine a piano in another state playing the exact same song at the same time, note for note.

It's happening at Cleveland State University where they're using technology 25 years in the making. 

It's called the "Disklavier Education Network" or DEN for short. Musicians are singing its praises.

"What we do here at Cleveland State University is to be able to enable the students to get immediate feedback, how they sound," said Professor Angelin Chang, a Grammy award winning classical pianist. "They can actually go out into the audience and hear how the audience perceives their playing."

And it's made the process a lot easier for students who can't travel for auditions.

"We record the audition, then enter this network where you know there are let's say 20 different schools that have signed on into this program with that one audition. It can hit all those different places without having to travel without having to worry about the recording quality because it's the instrument that's playing back", noted Chang.

The technology doesn't just help the students, but professors and judges as well.

"This is great because we don't have to be locked in times let's say Saturday morning at 8:30 am and be back to back on this," said Chang. "We can actually find the time that will work for the faculty at different times and can see the exact same thing." 

Pianists say it also allows their performances to be more realistic than they were when they just recorded and sent them.

"I've not had any experience with any kind of similar technology," said CSU graduate student Seth Thomas. "I think the thing that surprised me the most is the accuracy down the last mistake, down to the last pedal, down to the last touch.  I can listen to how it sounds out there and make revisions or keep it the same or whatever I need to do to make it the best performance I can."

The Disklavier may also have a future in "tutoring" long distance.

"So I can actually teach somebody out in Texas without having to fly there," said Chang. "And I can hear the students and vice versa. So it's really exciting to be a part of."

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