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Re. A piano is a piano is...

Dear Andrew

>> It seems to me that the issue is not only whether one can notice the
>> difference between a real and synthesized piano
>Is a piano heard on the radio in a sense a "synthesized piano"?

I would submit that it depends how far down the sound production chain
you want to isolate the sound as to whether the sound itself is
"synthesized". At the route source - i.e. the muso thumping out the notes
on the (presumably real) piano, then yes - obviously it is a "real" sound
from a "real" piano being played. However, by the very nature of
broadcasted/ recorded sound, any sound you hear is going to be a
"synthesized" sound - whether it sounds "real" or not.

Then again, the above paragraph should be interpreted in the light of the
assumption that "synthesis" by definition has to incorporate a
reproductive element/ process of the originating event - I'm sure there
are others out there that would argue that this is not neccesarily so,
and that synthesis could occur acoustically on a non- synthesized
originating event. The very nature of harmonics & acoustics per se could
give weight to such an argument. That being the case, (at a base level)
the real issue is not between "real" and "synthesized" sounds, rather our
interpretation of the level of synthesis on any given sound (correlated
against our perception of what a "real" or "synthesized" sound is).



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