This is Your Brain on Piano

It has been quite recently that I realized, that Pinterest could be a great source for information about music and, surprisingly, music research. Especially when searching for pictures, graphs, and infographics. I know, this shouldn’t be a surprise. But I thought, that Pinterest as a visual discovery engine, was only for recipes, home decor, cute kittens, and such. 

One really interesting infographic I have discovered, very well depicts how playing a piano works our brain. As the text in the picture clarifies it

Playing the piano activates the brain in ways no other game, gadget, instrument or tool can. It’s the total brain workout!

Although I have found this on Pinterest, I decided to research a bit further, and the link guided me to the website of the Classic fm, which is the UK’s favourite classical music radio station. And the truth must be said, that their website is a real treasure trove of all imaginable information related to music. Highly recommended!

Please have a look at the picture below, depicting what our brain has to do and process when playing the piano. All that coordination of eyes, ears, hands, fingers, feet, and all that in tempo, with dynamic, and with the artistic expression. 

While I have been looking at the picture, a question popped in my mind. If playing the piano is the total brain workout, what about a modern pipe organ? 

A typical concert piano has 88 black and white keys and three pedals. 

An organ, on the other hand, is a much more complex instrument. Its console has two, three, even four manuals, each with no more that 61 keys; plus dozens of stops — buttons for changing sound while playing; plus a pedalboard with 32 keys plaid with heels and toes; plus two, three, or four expression pedals. 

I understand, that much fewer people have access to an organ, than to a piano. But when you look at an organ like the one pictured below, playing it must be similar to driving a spaceship in a real time. A “super-total” workout for the brain. Then a piano with its mere one manual may look much easier to master.

What do you think? 

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