Below are listed the criteria by which the Music Board evaluates recordings as to their suitability for inclusion on the Piano Society website.The Mussic Board reserves the sole rights to verify whether these requirements have been fulfilled. Exceptions will only be allowed in rare circumstances. The decisions of the Music Board cannot be appealed.
Regarding the Recording
- Recordings are to be sufficiently free of ambient noise and other distractions, so as for the piano to be clearly audible without inducing ear pain or headaches. Obviously, whether a certain recording meets this requirement has to be decided on a per case basis. Cut out any applause at the beginning and/or end of the performance, unless this cannot be done by impacting the performance.
- The piano used for the recording must not be out of tune to the extent that it clearly affects the listening experience in a negative manner.
- There are no rules concerning the exact kind of acoustic piano utilized, as long as the piano sound is what one would reasonably expect from an “average” acoustic piano. Digital pianos may be utilized if their quality is sufficiently high as to provide a credible semblance of an acoustic piano. Mentioning exact models is obviously not possible, but as a minimum, the piano should be capable of variation in dynamics and include a sustain pedal. Graded hammer action is certainly recommended, if the overall impression is to be sufficiently accurate.
- Audio Recordings are to be submitted in MP3 format only. The format must be CBR (constand bit rate) with a compression between 128 Kbps and 192 Kbps.
- The full name of the pianist must always be supplied, we do not accept anonymous recordings or artists using nicknames.
- Recordings meant for inclusion on the website must be ID3-tagged according to the rules explained here: http://pianosociety.com/new/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5115.
- Video Recordings are no longer accepted. We feel that YouTube is a better place for those. You are free to post links to video recordings on YouTube or elsewhere.
Regarding the Performance
- Technical skill requirements: The Piano Society does not only cater to professional artists, but also to amateurs of various levels. We do not judge the quality of a recording based on the credentials and experience of artists, but with a starting point in the recording itself. What is central to whether a recording is admitted or not is whether the pianist has mastered the piece. In other words, it is considerably better to play a technically simple piece well than to attempt pieces that are above one’s capacity. This is not to say that a piece has to be perfectly played – even professional artists slip at times. However, it is generally immediately apparent whether a pianist’s capacity correlates with the level of a certain piece.
- Interpretative issues: Personal interpretation does not generally have any direct bearing on the decisions concerning admission of a particular recording. Nonetheless, particularly unoriginal or otherwise uninteresting interpretations of pieces can be turned down, even when the technical level of the performance is found to be adequate according to what has been said above. This can be the case especially when dealing with works that already exist on the site in many versions.
- Deviations from the composer´s written score are only accepted if they are minor. Complete control can obviously not be upheld, as some composers (e.g. Chopin) are published in so many editions, that verifying the “correct” version is a close to impossible task.
- The nature of the performances: Regular performances, to be categorized as such, must include a pianist actually playing a piece using his / her fingers and capturing the resulting sound live. This does not exclude that the actual sound source is digital (according to what has been said above about permitted pianos).
- Performances created through automatic rendering, e.g. MIDI sequencing, can be submitted for evaluation and discussion but will NOT be hosted on the website.
Regarding Requirement on Originality
- Submitted recordings must represent original performances by the artists who apply for inclusion. If a recording is subsequently found to be copied from another source, it will immediately be removed, and the submitter will be permanently banned from Piano Society.