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  1. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    For what it’s worth, he’s not actually playing the notes, he’s just triggering a programmed sequence. Where the balls hit the keys (or how many) doesn’t seem to have any effect on the notes played.

  2. Buford says

    I do a routine with a trombone mouthpiece in the base of a folding music stand. Peter Schickle gave me the idea with his (PDQ Bach’s) double-reed slide music stand. I call mine the slide stand bone.

    It doesn’t matter how I slide the parts, I control the sound with my mouth. I usually try to move the stand the opposite way of a real trombone just to see if anyone notices.

    This guy’s juggling is built upon the work of others. I’ve seen guys juggle balls in rhythm and in round and triangular spaces to get double and triple beats from a single throw. It takes real skill, even if you take advantage of programming as the previous commenter suggests.

    This guy does a creditable job of making it look like he’s playing notes, but it would be very difficult indeed to hit them all without any extra keys- especially the double-ball throws.

    Very entertaining, however he does it.

  3. HP says

    @ Buford: Just for fun, stick a bassoon bocal in a trombone leadpipe. Schickele called this a “tromboon.” Hilarity ensues.

    Chalk me up as another “meh” for this viral video. If he were actually hitting the right notes, say, on a digital marimba, I could almost forgive his horrid rhythm. But since it’s a sequence, there’s no excuse for having such a crappy sense of time.

    It’s like the musical equivalent of a satirical limerick with faulty scansion.

    “Kids! What’s the matter with kids these days?”

  4. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    The first time I watched, I bought the idea that he was actually playing the individual notes, and I forgave him the terrible timing.

    Now that I realize he wasn’t doing anything of the sort, I’m significantly less impressed. One or the other would be forgivable, both is not.

  5. Mano Singham says

    Are you sure that the notes are not being played when the ball bounces on the keys? It seems dishonest to give that impression, no? Also, he performs at basketball games and on TV. Surely the people running those would know if he was not actually playing the notes?

  6. OverlappingMagisteria says

    I just sat down next to my piano to compare the notes we hear with the notes he plays and they definitely do not match. It is especially evident on the 3rd and forth notes, where he plays multiple notes while only throwing one ball. This could work if the notes were right next to each other and he hit two keys at once, but the 3rd and 4th chords contain notes that are more than an octave apart*. I can’t even play them with one hand, stretching as far as my fingers go.

    He does throw the balls in the general direction of where the melody goes to give the impression that he is playing, but he is not.

    *4th chord contains a low C# and a high B, almost two octaves! And I think also a F in there. So that’s 3 notes with one throw!

  7. jimiross says

    Mano,
    Dishonest or not, as a professional music educator and an amateur 7 ball bounce juggler, I can categorically confirm that the balls are only send a signal to the midi file to play the next note or notes in the sequence. There is still skill involved in doing what you see here for sure, but anything and everything you see on pianojuggler.com is based on this principal. It’s still a juggling feat, but a musical farce.

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