The instrument was crafted, literally, in a kitchen in 1836 in Seesen, near Hannover. But it defined piano history. It’s pianoforte “Steinway No. 1,” built by Steinway founder Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg. And now its sound is inside more modern electronic keyboards, from Swedish builder Clavia.

Clavia aren’t unveiling any new gear this week, but they do have two interesting new sound libraries. One is “Steinway No. 1.” There’s been a lot of effort between the original instrument and Herr Steinweg’s kitchen and you. Expert builder Chris Meane of Belgium got an exclusive authorization from the Steinway company to recreate the historical instrument, with 2000 hours of work and x-rays and photos and digital sketches and the help of a specimen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and more. That story is itself fascinating even if you don’t care about Nord.

If you do have a Nord, though, you can take advantage of a specialized sound library sampling the recreating instrument. (That’ll be a fairly sophisticated sample of a sample of a piano, in other words.)


Equally cool, Clavia are also releasing what they call the Royal Grand 3D, a binaural dummy head recording of a grand. That should give you the feeling of sitting at the piano, which I think will make this particularly nice for anyone using a Nord for practice.

Fun fact: “dummy head” is also how I would best describe my piano sightreading skills.

The news:


(There are sound samples of the Steinway, too, on their site, though those appear not to be available yet on SoundCloud.)