I

STORE HOURS
9 TO 6 CDT
GMT minus 5 hours
Monday thru Friday
Do not call on
Sat. Sun. please

If you have read MY BOOK ABOUT PIANO REPAIR AND TUNING ONLINE you will find all of the
tools and piano parts you need in this Catalog.
NO piano supply company will sell you
parts this painlessly and simply.  If I didn't make this Piano Parts Catalog available,
you could not, in many cases, get the materials to do the repair.

 

Piano Parts and Tool Catalog
"The piano is a monster that screams when you touch its teeth." Andre Segovia

Menu of Products-- Scroll W-a-a-ay Down

Companion to:  Piano Owners's Survival Guide
     By Steve Van Nattan- Piano Tuner
     Address: Steve's Piano Service
   
   
         
  2545 Roosevelt Rd #107/#225
   
   
            Marinette, WI 54143

We are a Family Operation--
    We serve you every way we can, and you have made us
    prosper in this niche we have on the Internet.
    THANKS neighbor!

      
 
                                                 

We have no printed catalog.  
The catalog is right here and on the CD we offer.

ORDERING INFORMATION:

MINIMUM ORDER:
Minimum Order $20

SHIPPING POLICY:
     Priority Mail shipping for most items. UPS by request.

You MUST browse the Catalog area, and try to learn what you want. We no longer search our catalog for you.

Have this information ready:
     1. Description of parts
     2. Part Numbers
     3. Prices
     4. Dimensions where needed
BEFORE you call us please.

Make sure you are in the catalog area for your kind of piano--
Such as Grand Pianos,
Full Uprights, Spinets, etc.

If you are confused, call us for assistance.

If we do not answer the phone, we are probably here-- Just leave a message- we will return your call (it may not be the same day).
:-)

Enjoy.

MIDI music to browse

We try to do business like the folks in Briertown, Oklahoma-- Alice Springs, Australia-- Hang Zhou, China-- and lots of other little places where a man's word is his honor

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you,
do ye also to them likewise.

Please read about:
Our pricing and service philosophy

 

SEARCH THE WHOLE SITE

   Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
   
Site search Web search

UP FRONT: Once in a long while we have a complaint that our prices are
too high. We are beef eaters. We do not gnaw on marked down celery out of
some perverted guilt that we owe you the cheapest deal in town. If you buy
here please understand that you are rewarding us for doing things no one else
on the Web does for their customers :-)




 

 


ORDER BY PHONE WITH CREDIT CARD

Ordering Customers CALL: (800) 338-8863
This dedicated number is for questions
ONLY if you intend to order.
You can order by mail also.




ORDERING OPTIONS:

USA Ordering Customers
CALL:
(800) 338-8863
D
edicated number ONLY if
you intend to order.
Have the following ready:
-- Part Description
-- Part Number
-- Price
Please: Call after visiting the catalog.
If you do not speak English well,
kindly send E-Mail.

We try to make sure you get the
right part for your piano, and in
this way we avoid returns.
Absolutely NO profanity, blasphemy,
sexual innuendo, or racism.
For Technical support
CALL:
(715) 803-4556
If you bought your parts elsewhere,
kindly ask that seller for technical
support. I realize it is a comfort to
hear a real voice, but you will
probably get a better answer if you
SEND E-MAIL
.
This is because I have more time to
meditate on your situation.


If you do not speak English well,
kindly send E-Mail.




International Customers
CALLS:
01-715 803-4556
Please call between
1400 and 2200 GMT

If you do not speak English well,
kindly send E-Mail.

See what time it is at our store


Canadian Customers

CALL: (715) 803-4556

You can....
Order by Mail
with a printed
Order Form

PayPal and
Western Unioayment
accepted.

SEND MAIL first



Call to make a purchase after visiting the catalog please.
LEARN ABOUT ORDERING BY PHONE


 

I have not listed every possible piano part out there, but I can get it. If the part you need is not in the catalog, just send E-Mail.

CATALOG CATAGORIES:
The Catalog and Repair Contents are heavily inter-linked.
This will help you install the parts you purchase.

 

MAIN CATEGORY  areas are the safest way to enter
         SUB-SECTIONS are linked to sub-pages

ACCESSORIES

BENCHES, BENCH PADS, AND STOOLS-- Prices Reduced




SCHAFF PIANO SUPPLY CO. BENCH PADS
SCHAFF PIANO BENCHES

PIANO MOVING TRUCKS
PRESENTATION TROLLEYS AND SPIDERS *
HARP STOOLS                       
                   
DECALS
KEY COVER LOCKS, PEDAL EXTENDERS, AWARD STATUES
STATUES

COVERS
DESKS

METRONOMES

KEYCOVER LOCKS
DECORATOR FABRICS TO COVER UPRIGHT PIANO BACK

ACOUSTIC CONTROL
And decorator fabric for covering the back of uprights
Keep out of trouble with neighbors in apartments and condos.
We are the only piano related site carrying these products.

ACTION PARTS

GENERAL- Piano Parts which apply to all Uprights
SPINETS- Smaller Upright Pianos, some Consoles
UPRIGHTS
- Larger Upright Pianos
GRANDS
HAMMERS
BRIDGE REPAIR PARTS
SOUND BOARD PARTS
PEDALS
CENTER PINS-- For moving action parts
TUNING PINS, PIN BLOCKS, BRIDGES, AND PIN TREATMENTS
We now offer pin block duplication !
PLAYERS

WE WILL DO THE REPAIR FOR YOU BY MAIL:

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

BENCHES -- Artist Benches, Conventional Benches, and Round Top Stools

SCHAFF PIANO BENCHES

BOOKS

NEW! Wonders of the Piano By Catherine Bielefeldt-- Amazing new book
         Learn the heritage of piano making from the beginning, and many techniques
         used in making a piano, top to bottom.
PIANO SERVICING, TUNING, AND REPAIRING-- Arthur Reblitz-- 2nd Ed-- Only $32
TUNING from simple to complex instruction
REGULATION of Grands and Uprights
PUMP AND REED ORGAN REPAIR
PLAYER PIANO REPAIR
THEORY
STEINWAY
HISTORY and Dating of Pianos
EUROPEAN PIANOS

PLEASE SEE THE INSTRUCTION KIT BELOW UNDER "KITS"

 

CABINET PARTS

RUBBER [ Rubber headed nails and bumpers ]
BRASS [ Props, Knobs, Hinges, and Braces ]
METAL [ Springs, Catches, Pedal Hinges, and Bolts, ]
WOOD [ Props, Knobs, Legs, Lyres, and Desks ]
KEY COVER AND SOUND BOARD NAME DECALS
UPRIGHT LEGS- New item
LOCKS, PEDAL EXTENDERS, Carpet saver, and Statues
GRAND PIANO LEGS, LYRES, AND LYRE RODS and Lyre Hardware-- Hard to find items
GRAND PEDALS, PEDAL RODS, and Pedal Extenders
OLD TIME VICTORIAN LEGS, LYRE, BENCH, AND DESKS for Grand Pianos

CASTERS

COMMON STEEL AND RUBBER
BRASS

CD OF TUNING INSTRUCTION, RESTORATION, AND REPAIR

The CD is not subject to our minimum order rule

1.  The whole piano site as you see it on the Web.  
      Browse some more to see what you get.
      My book is nowhere else, nor is it in print.

2.  You get Robert Scott's TuneLab piano tuning software.  
      This is the complete program. It is ideal for a laptop, but
      it can be used also in any IBM compatible PC.

3.  You get my Music page with MIDI, WAV, and Real Audio features just like it appears
      on the Journal.

4.  On the CD you get my professional piano tuning instructions.
      These lessons are more complete than other professional courses that I have found.
      The language is plain.  Humor is sprinkled here and there.  
      And, I give away many secrets to successful tuning and repair.

5.  COST:  $18 plus $1.50 postage [ FREE with a $200 order ]


Music to rest
your mind while you shop :-)

 

Baptist
Convention

At Calvary
Amazing Grace
Are You Washed
Take the Name of Jesus
At The Cross
Banner of the Cross
Blessed Assurance
Burdens are Lifted
Bible Stands

Coming Home
Draw Me Nearer
Footsteps of Jesus
Higher Ground
Old Time Religion
Great is Thy Faithfulness
He Lives
I Must Tell Jesus
Jesus Paid it All
Just As I Am
Look and Live
Lord I'm Coming Home
Marching to Zion
There is A Fountain
Near The Cross
Hold the Fort
Nothing But the Blood
I am Resolved
Kneel at The Cross
Saved
Rock of Ages
Oh, How I Love Jesus
Shall We Gather at River?
Praise Him
Redeemed
In The Garden
Wonderful Words
Beulah Land
Sound the Battle Cry
Stand Up for Jesus
Sunlight
Once For All
Sweet Hour of Prayer
Power in the Blood
Send the Light
Rescue the Perishing
That Will Be Glory
The Comforter has Come
The Way of the Cross
More About Jesus
To God Be The Glory
Trust and Obey
When I see the Blood
Gospel Medley


CLEANING AND POLISHING SUPPLIES

CLEANING SOLVENTS FOR RESTORATION NEEDS

COVERS

GRAND PIANO COVERS

UPRIGHT

ORGAN COVERS

PIANO AND ORGAN BENCH AND SPEAKER COVERS
Piano Bench Covers, Grand Leg Moving Covers, Moving Envelop,
String Covers, Furniture Cabinet and Speaker Covers

DESKS for Grand and Upright Piano Desks

FELT PARTS and Leather

CABINET AND ACTION FELT
DAMPER FELTS
J

GLUE

HAMMERS  

SPINET
UPRIGHT
GRAND
SQUARE GRAND

HARDWARE--  All the bits and pieces not in other sections

UPRIGHT PIANO HARDWARE-- Hinges and action mounting hardware
for upright pianos are found under other links listed here.

GRAND PIANO HARDWARE
BENCH HARDWARE
CABINET HARDWARE-- Mostly Upright, but some Grand Piano
SMALL CABINET PARTS-- RUBBER, BRASS, WOOD, AND METAL
GRAND AND UPRIGHT PIANO DESKS
GRAND PIANO PEDAL HARDWARE
PIANO AND PIANO BENCH LEGS
PEDAL HARDWARE
UPRIGHT PEDALS
GRAND PIANO PEDALS
FALLBOARD AND SOUND BOARD DECAL PAGE

HARP AND PLATE WELDING

We have a source who knows of high end welding operations nationwide, especially on the East Coast.
If you have a harp that is cracked but no pieces have broken out, and if this is absolutely the LAST RESORT,
we will find a welder who will weld your harp for a fee to us. The welder will have his own fee for his work.
You will be required to sign a "Hold Harmless" statement for us and the welder. There is NO way we caromise it will not break again. The welders we find are famous for their work with cast iron, and they will
heat the harp if needed, and stress it and cool it scientifically. The harp will have to be delivered to the welder
and picked up by you. No shipping arrangements will be offered.
SEND MAIL

Here is another company doing harp repair. They require the whole piano be at their store, and they install the
repaired harp and restring the piano and tune it. Expensive I am sure, but very good reputation.

HUMIDITY CONTROL

Humidity Meters and Indicators
Desiccants to keep Upright Pianos dry

KEY COVER LOCKS

Locks to keep fall board (key cover) from being opened
Pedal extenders
Carpet protectors for under pedals

KEY TOPS-- Naturals and Sharps
       Do-it-yourself or mail them to our shop to re-cover.

KEY TOP KIT-- Based on our many years of experience restoring piano keys

PARTS AND GLUE
DONE BY
YOU OR BY US IN OUR SHOP

KITS-- Complete selection of restoration, tuning, and learning tools need for specific tasks.

       PIANO TUNING, REPAIR, AND REGULATION LEARNING AND STUDY KIT
              This kit combines books, a cassette, and our CD to give a complete
              
and professional start in the piano tuning trade. These learning tools were
              
compiled by men who spent many years tuning and repairing pianos.

       TOUCH UP TOOL KIT-- For studios, music areas, and touch up situations.

       STANDARD TOOL KIT-- Tuning and Regulation Kit-- For serious situations.

       PROFESSIONAL LEVEL TOOL KIT--
       
       This kit is for someone making a major career change or choice

       OUR BEST PROFESSIONAL KIT--
              
Standard tool kit (above), Learning Kit (above), High End Tuning Lever, and Tool Case
              
Toward a professional income earning situation and to go with piano tuning school

       KEY TOP RESTORATION KIT-- Replace naturals and flats with tools included

       KEY LEVER RESTORATION KIT-- All felt and leveling needs plus tools

       WIRE KIT-- Treble wire for one piano

       BASS AND TREBLE WIRE KIT WITH ALL TOOLS-- Coming soon

       PIANO MOVER'S KIT - Coming Soon -
              This kit will include materials not usually associated with piano moving

LAMPS- COMING SOON

LEGS for Grand Pianos-- Also Lyres, Legs, and Braces and Rods

LUBRICANTS, PIN TREATMENTS, GLUE, STAINS,
FINISHING PRODUCTS, AND CLEANING SOLVENTS

SOUNDBOARD REPAIR SHIMS

METRONOMES

MOISTURE CONTROL

Humidity testing card to keep on the piano
Humidity Meters showing high / low extremes
Instruction on using control alternatives to devices applied to the piano

MOLD AND MILDEW ERADICATION

MOUSE TRAPS-- Non-poisonous mouse traps for upright pianos

MOVING EQUIPMENT "TRUCKS" AND SAFETY DEVICES

GRAND SKID BOARDS
BLUELINE STEEL MOVING EQUIPMENT ................................................................................... >
WEBBED BELT AND BUCKLES
BLUE LINE MOVING EQUIPMENT
SELF-LIFTING PIANO MOVING TRUCK
ROLL-OR-CARRY TWO PIECE TRUCKS
PLATFORM DOLLIES
SKATES-- New Item for sliding objects across the floor
QUILTED PADS, ROLL WRAP, STRAPS, AND SAFETY SUPPLIES
MOVING INSTRUCTIONS FOR PIANOS AND GENERA

NOISE CONTROL--
For apartment dwelling and contominiums

PEDALS--

GRAND PIANO PEDALS
UPRIGHT PIANO PEDALS
GRAND LYRE RODS AND BRACES
PEDAL MOUNTING HARDWARE

PIANO TUNING INSTRUCTION--

INSTRUCTIONAL CD By Steve Van Nattan
BOOKS ON PIANO TUNING AND REPAIR
PIANO SERVICING, TUNING, AND REBUILDING By Arthur Reblitz PTG
PIANO TUNING BOOK AND CASSETTE FOR BEGINNERS By Dennis E. Kurk PTG
ONLINE RESOURCES
CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR PRODUCTS

PIN BLOCKS, TUNING PINS, AND BRIDGES

PLAYER PIANO PARTS--

BELLOWS MATERIAL
VALVES AND VALVE MATERIAL
SPECIAL TOOLSRESTORATION BOOKS
TUBING
PEDALS
FELT AND GASKET MATERIAL
SPECIAL PARTS AND MECHANICAL DEVICES
ANIMAL HIDE GLUE
TEST ROLLS
MUSIC ROLLS

REED ORGAN PARTS

REFINISHING PRODUCTS

PRACTICE MUTE AND RINKY TINK OR MANDOLIN KIT
This kit can be used to either quiet an Upright Piano or make it sound like
an old time honky tonk piano

SMOKE, MOLD, MILDEW, AND VARMINT REMOVAL
We offer chemical cleaners and ozone generators to eradicate smoke odor,
mildew, and mold.
We are the only piano related site carrying these products.
NON-TOXIC- Mouse Traps for Upright Pianos or for anywhere in the home.

SOUND ABSORBING BARRIERS AND MUFFLERS
And decorator fabric for covering the back of uprights
Keep out of trouble with neighbors in apartments and condos.
We are the only piano related site carrying these products.

SOUND BOARD REPAIR SUPPLIES

TOOLS--  Tuning and Repair- Very complete selection

PIANO TUNING TOOLS -- Three Kits Offered

SCHAFF TUNING LEVERS-  The Best in the World

TUNING METERS

ADJUSTMENT, ACTION REGULATING, AND REPAIR TOOLS                                     

NOVICE AND PROFESSIONAL TOOLS

ACTION REPAIR AND ADJUSTMENT TOOLS

REBUILDING TOOLS

CENTER PIN REPAIR AND FITTING TOOLS AND ORDER CENTER PINS

HAMMER REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND VOICING TOOLS

RESTRINGING AND WIRE HANDLING TOOLS

PLIERS AND WIRE CUTTERS

TUNING PINS AND REPAIR TOOLS AND TUNING PIN TREATMENTS

PIN BLOCK DRILLS

LUBRICANTS, PIN TREATMENTS, GLUE, STAINS, AND CLEANING FLUIDS

 

TROLLEYS AND GRAND SPIDERS

"SPIDER" TROLLEYS AND UPRIGHT AND DIGITAL TROLLEYS

TUNING METERS

TUNING METERS AND METRONOMES

TUNING PINS

WIRE OR STRINGS

BASS [ Universal and Exact Duplication ]
PLAIN TREBLE
RÖSLAU, Mapes International, and American made Wire

 

 

Confused: CLICK BELOW
To study the diagram of the
Grand
, Spinet, Full Upright, or Grand Damper Action

 

SHIPPING:

USA Shipping is by US Post Office, Priority Mail.
We pack well in order to get the product to you in good condition.

Minimum Shipping-- $ 12.00
CHECK PRIORITY US POSTAL RATES

International Shipping is by US Post Office, Air Mail.
For high value items, we may ask international customers
to find an agent in the USA to forward the product.

Piano Parts are Duty Free into Canada
Tariff # 9209.91.9090
For all parts made in the USA, we ask Canadian officials to honor NAFTA rules.
We put this number on the declaration form of the parcel.

CAVEAT EMPTOR-- Let the Buyer Beware:

When you purchase parts, tools, or the CD from us, or when you apply a technique we describe in the Table of Contents, YOU are 100% liable for the results. We only stand behind anything except the perfection of the product when it arrives at your home. After that, you are 100% on your own. If this worries you, you should call a piano technician in your area, and ask him to do the work. This disclaimer also applies to advice we may give over the phone, or in e-mail, in answer to your questions as you consider buying a product, making a repair, or tuning a piano.

Having said the above, you need to understand that we are possibly the ONLY ones in the world who go as far as we do to help you. Please have the grace to understand that YOU and God are the final authority in your fate and the fate of your piano.

Isn't it awful that we have to make such disclaimers as the above. The world is plagued by diddle heads who cannot take charge of their own lives. So, I apologize for having to ask God fearing and responsible people to read the above disclaimer.

Finally, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Also, posted prices may be changed due to price increases or errors on our part.


MAIL ORDER FORM

To send a mail order you MUST print out this order form, and fill it in, even for one item.
International orders will be accepted, but we must have US dollars.
A postal order or bank cheque is the best way to send international funds.
You may send international orders with their VISA or MasterCard number on the order form.
You may want to send the last four numbers of your credit card number by E-Mail for security.
We do not use the "shopping cart"

STORE HOURS
9 TO 6 CDT
GMT minus 5 hours
Monday thru Friday
Do not call on
Sat. Sun. please

Go to Mail Order Form for printing:

OR:
YOU MAY ORDER BY PHONE WITH CREDIT CARD
Our Toll Free Number: 1 (800) 338-8863

Pay by PayPal
Email address to use to send payment:
keith@stevespianoservice.com

We WANT to talk about your order and avoid errors.
We like to meet our customers.



STANDARD UGLY NOTICE

Price Policy--
Read carefully please-- We put a number of parts on more than one page in the catalog because you (and we) are not sure which category they best fit. This makes the catalog more friendly. BUT, when we have to raise prices, we may forget all the places a given part shows up. In this case you will be expected to pay the HIGHER price if we ask you to. Reasonable folks will appreciate this problem, and those few that push us for the lower price will simply be asked to buy elsewhere. While we are dedicated to give value and service worthy of your payment, this is not a philanthropy-- It is how we pay for our boiled dinner :-) I.E. It is our choice please. Also, typos are NOT final.

The price you see will be the price you pay with very rare exceptions.

I am sorry to have to write the above, but we had one fellow try to force us to take a loss due to a typo, and we just will not take that kind of abuse. The marketplace is a two way friendship, right? :-)

 



TERMS OF SERVICE

READ CAREFULLY- Caveat Emptor

All mail orders must be pre-paid- No credit accounts.  Personal bank checks will have to clear before shipping.
Money Orders or Cashier's Checks receive immediate response. Never send cash please.

No discounts are offered. Quantity rates may be offered by negotiation. Religious entities which seek discounts
should consider when Jesus Christ or the Apostle Paul asked for a discount for God-- never.

Turn around runs from 3 days to 6 weeks, depending on the product. Please ask when you order.

Credit Card orders will be filled quicker than mail orders (often the same day).

Returns for refund must include EVERY part sent in original condition.  
Partial packets returned must be negotiated by our decision which is final-- Send E-Mail.

Credit Card orders will be refunded to the credit card account, which is required by law.
No returns on CD ROMs unless they are defectivly produced, in which case they will be replaced.
Old CDs are worthless since we change the "burn" copy every time we send a CD.

No refunds for decals, key top work, bench tops, vacuum motors, pin treatment, lubricants,
or damaged parts, UNLESS we agree to accept them back, with a partial refund, after a PO mail or E-Mail exchange.
If you product was drop shipped from our supplier, DO NOT return it so our supplier until you call us at:
(800) 338-8863

A 20% restocking fee may be deducted by me on all credits for returned parts.

Online help available

When sending a question by E-Mail,
kindly refer to the Table of Contents title
and the Web page URL on the subject in question.

Steve's Piano Service
2545 Roosevelt Rd; #107/#225
Marinette, WI 54143

 

LAST WORD:

Did you ever find a do-it-yourself book where you could contribute to the next edition?

If you have any anecdotes which result from using this book-- anything from, "I wrecked my piano and had to take it to the dump," to, "You helped me save my piano from destruction and saved me from a $5000 repair bill,"
SEND YOUR STORY. I want material for the page, Update and Forum.

If you OR your tuner have made some startling repair or improvisation, SEND it to me. I will give full credit to you and / or your tuner if I use the material. Be sure, in your E-Mail, to let me know that I am free to use your story, and that includes your tuner's signature and phone number.

Hey, how about a photo of you and your happy piano that you fixed?  We have a scanner, and we can include photos of our friends on the Update and Forum page.

STORE HOURS
9 TO 6 CDT
GMT minus 5 hours
Monday thru Friday
Do not call on
Sat. Sun. please

 

ORDER BY PHONE WITH CREDIT CARD
CALL TOLL FREE: (800) 338-8863
If there is no answer, please leave a message- we do answer our voicemail

OR:
Go to Mail Order Form for printing:

Pay by PayPal
Email address to use to send payment:
keith@stevespianoservice.com



For Technical support CALL: (715) 803-4556
If you bought your parts elsewhere, kindly ask that seller for technical support.

 

 

Online help available

 



BACK TO PIANO TITLE PAGE




PIANO CARE AND REPAIR- Table of Contents, Repair, restore, and tune your piano. Order piano parts and tools from our Catalogue / Catalog. Some piano tuners send customers to us.
Save hundreds of dollars. The only book of its kind anywhere.

 

Chapter VI. THE MODERN PIANO.


Scope of this Chapter.

The piano is the most familiar of musical instruments and one of the most accessible for purposes of examination. In the following pages, I shall assume that the reader has a piano at hand and will follow me throughout, with it as a model. Such a method will be found more satisfactory than if I asked the student to follow me with the aid merely of a few illustrations. I shall not undertake any critical examination of the details of piano construction, for this is the province of a special technical treatise,1 but shall confine myself to describing the features of the modern piano in a manner calculated to be of the greatest assistance to the tuner and repair man.

An Instrument of Percussion.

The piano is a stringed instrument; and to this extent belongs to the same general family as the violin. But its strings are excited by blows inflicted directly by a hammer and indirectly, through a mechanism called the “action,” by the performer's hand. Hence the piano is also an instrument of percussion and belongs to the same general family with the dulcimer, the xylophone and the drums. This last fact is of great importance, for it is impossible to understand the peculiarities of the piano unless we entirely forget its incidental likeness to other stringed instruments and concentrate our ideas upon the outstanding fact of percussion as the cause of the sounds evoked by it.

Upon the fact that the strings are violently struck, instead of being bowed or plucked, rests the entire character of the piano, making any comparison of it with the violin or other stringed instrument absurd. This is especially true with regard to the sound-board.


Three Elements.

The piano proper comprises three elements; the scale, the sound-board and the hammer action. All other parts are entirely incidental and accessory.

Scale.

The scale of the piano consists essentially of the set of strings which are struck by the hammers. There are eighty-eight digitals in the keyboard of the piano and thus eighty-eight separate tones. The strings are grouped three to an unison throughout some five octaves of the range, and thence in double grouping (2 to a note) downwards to the lowest bass. The last ten or twelve at the lowest bass extreme are usually single strings. Now it will be understood that the strings of the piano increase in length and weight as the scale descends. The highest note on the piano (C7) is evoked by a string some 2 inches long, and this length rather less than doubles at each octave descending, until the lengthening process is brought to a stop at the size limits of the piano. This lengthening increases the weight of the descending strings until at about five octaves below C7, it becomes necessary to shorten the remaining strings between this point and the extreme bass on account of the size limits mentioned above. The requisite slowness of vibration therefore must be had by over-weighting the shortened strings; which is done by covering them with iron or copper wire. This covered section is usually strung cross-ways over the treble strings and is therefore called the overstrung section.

Now the immediate point is that the maintenance of this enormous mass of steel wire stretched tightly between fixed points and capable of withstanding the hardest blows of the hammers, means that (1) the tension at which each string is stretched must be high and (2) that in consequence, an elaborate structure must be provided for the purpose of supporting this mass under this high tension. The pull on each string averages not less than 160 pounds, taking modern pianos by and large, although I consider this too high for the best tonal results. The total tensional strain therefore is not less than 35,000 pounds on the average; and this strain must be borne by the supporting structure.


Upright Piano; Plate and Back.

The supporting structure in the upright piano consists of (1) a relatively thin plate or frame of metal backed by a decidedly heavy and massive framing of wood. The shape and dimensions of the plate vary with the size of the piano and the peculiarities of the individual scale plan. The back consists of three or more wooden posts crossed at top and bottom by heavy planks. The top plank is faced on the surface nearest the strings by a specially prepared wooden block or “wrest-plank” into which are driven the tuning-pins which fasten the upper extremities of the strings and which the tuner turns when adjusting the pitch of the piano; “tuning the piano” as we say. The iron plate covers the front of this massive wooden back, and the sound-board is fastened to the back with the iron plate over it. 1

Grand Piano: Plate and Back.

The supporting structure of the grand piano is somewhat different. In the upright the sides and the casing generally are simply attached to the fundamental structure known as the back. But in the grand piano the whole case is glued around a rim of cross banded veneers which in turn encloses another rim, into which runs the system of braces and struts which comprises what corresponds to the upright back and on which sound-board and plate are laid.

First-hand study of pianos in grand and upright form will reveal all these matters to the student clearly.

Sound-Board and Bridges.

The sound-board of the piano is the resonating apparatus which amplifies and modifies the string-sounds, so as to endue them with the characteristics of piano tone. It is an open question how much influence the sound-board exercises in the development of tone. My own theory has been for long that the sound-board is a true vibrator and the direct producer of the piano tone; and that the string acts rather as the selector, imposing upon the board the particular wave-form which its own vibration evokes.2

From the tuner's point of view, the chief present interest of the sound-board lies in its physical character and its behavior under use. Even a cursory examination of the sound-board and of the bridges which cross it carrying the strings, indicates clearly that two essential conditions must exist if the board is to perform its resonating duty well. The strings must be maintained on an adequate up-bearing and side-bearing, whilst the board must be in a state of tension. The board must be resilient, but also stiff, in a sense. It must be arched upwards to maintain itself against the immense down pressure of the strings, but also it must be built so that the necessary arching will have no injurious effect upon the wood fibres, with consequent splitting or crack- ing. It will easily be seen then that the soundboard of the piano is a structure of exceeding delicacy, called upon to perform difficult and laborious duties.

The strings are carried over the soundboard on two wooden bridges, one for the overstrung bass and one for the remaining strings. It is customary to construct these bridges of cross-banded hard maple veneers, to avoid splitting. The strings in their passage across the bridges are given side-bearing by means of suitably driven pins. These bridges are glued on to the soundboard and secured from the back thereof by means of screws.

Ribs.

The sound-board is ribbed with strips of the same lumber (spruce) which is used for the body of the board. The object of ribbing is (1) to facilitate the impartation of a proper curve, or arch (called usually the “crown” to the board, (2) to impart tension to the board and (3) to strengthen it against the string-pressure. Ribs are usually 12 to 14 in number and cross the board diagonally, from the top of the treble to the bottom of the bass, side. The above description applies equally well to grand or upright pianos.

Hammers.

The strings of the piano are excited by blows inflicted on them by what are called “hammers.” The hammer consists of a molded wooden head covered with a special kind of felt, and varying in size and thickness from treble to bass, the heaviest hammers being of course those in the bass. Postponing a complete technical discussion of the piano hammer for a later chapter we may here remark that important considerations are the position of the hammer with reference to the point at which each string is struck, and the nature of the mechanism whereby the performer translates his desires into mechanical action upon the hammer.

“Touch.”

All that which is known by the general name of “touch” in relation to the playing of the piano means, ultimately, control of the piano hammer. A great deal of confusion on the part of tuners, not to mention musicians and the lay public, would be altogether swept away if only it were realized that in piano playing the control of the string's vibration, which of course, means control of the wave-form and hence of the sound-board vibration, and hence lastly of the volume and quality of the tone, is entirely a matter of the hammer. The weight of the hammer, the nature of its material as to density, etc., and the arc of travel through which it turns, together with its velocity, are the controlling factors in tone production. This turning of the hammer in obedience to the depression of the piano key is the province of what is called the “Action” of the piano.

Action.

The “action” of the piano is the mechanism interposed between hammer and performer. It consists essentially of a set of digitals or finger-keys, one for each tone in the compass of the piano, and an equal number of lever-systems, consisting of levers turning in arcs of circles, one to each key, operating the hammer. When the key is depressed, the hammer is thrown forward, trips before it touches the string, is carried to the string by its own momentum, and instantly rebounds. The string is allowed to vibrate so long as the key is depressed.1

Damper Action.

The so-called “damper” is a piece of molded wood faced with soft felt, which presses against the string, but is lifted away therefrom as soon as the key is depressed. The damper allows the string to vibrate freely until the key is released, when it at once falls back on the string and silences it.

For the purposes of artistic piano playing, however, it is necessary very often to take advantage of the sympathetic resonance of the soundboard by allowing the tone emitted by one or several string-groups to be strengthened, colored and otherwise enriched by the simultaneous sounding of other strings whose fundamentals are true partials to the originally sounded strings. When the entire line of dampers is lifted from the strings and held away from them by suitable mechanism, this property of the sound-board comes into play, and the warm color thus imparted to the tone constitutes one of the most valuable elements in piano playing.

In order to permit this advantage, the line of dampers is adapted to be pushed back from the strings (or in the grand piano, lifted up from them) by means of a rod actuated by a simple lever system which terminates in a “pedal” operated by the right foot of the performer. This lever system is called the “trapwork” of the piano and is situated under the keyboard in the grand piano, with the pedals arranged in a framework known as the “lyre”; whilst in the upright the pedal and trap-work are placed at the bottom of the piano on what is called the “bottom-board.” The pedal is convenient to the performer's right foot and is called the "sustaining pedal"; sometimes, wrongly, the “loud pedal.”

Soft-Pedal.

In the grand piano the keys and action are put together on a frame which can slide transversely. By depression of a second pedal the action is slid towards the treble, so that each hammer strikes only two strings of each triple, and one of each double, group. The effect is to soften the tone and modify its color. Similar trap-work is used between pedal and action, placed alongside the sustaining pedal action. The second pedal is placed conveniently to the performer's left foot and is called the “soft pedal.”

In the upright piano the arrangement is the same except that instead of shifting the action, the hammers are pushed forward closer to the strings by a rod which rotates the rail against which the hammer-shanks rest.

Sostenuto or tone-sustaining pedal.

On grand pianos, and occasionally on uprights, is to be found a third pedal situated between the other two and arranged to hold up dampers which are already lifted by the action of the performer in playing on the keys ; and to hold them up as long as desired. A rod is rotated when the pedal is depressed, which catches against felt tongues on any dampers that may have been raised, and holds them up. So if the performer wishes to sustain a chord after his fingers have quitted the keys, he depresses this pedal after he has struck the keys and allows the strings to vibrate accordingly until the pedal is released.

Middle pedals in upright pianos are sometimes arranged for the same purpose, and sometimes lift the bass section of dampers. Sometimes they operate a “muffler,” being a strip of felt that can be thrown between the hammers and the strings for the purpose of “muffling” the sound. This is useful for practice purposes.

Case Work.

The case of the upright piano consists of the following parts :

Sides: Glued on to the sides of the back.

Arms: Extending from sides to support key bed.

Key Bed: Upon which the key frame is laid.

Toes: Extending from bottom of sides to support Trusses.

Trusses: Resting on Toes and holding up keybed. Sometimes called the “Legs.”

Fall-Board: The folding lid over the keys. The double folding type is now usual and is called the “Boston” fall-board. The older type or single lid is called the “New York” fall-board.

Shelf: Laid over fall-board to support music.

Name-Board: Resting over keys to support single type fall-board.

Key-slip: Strip in front of keys.

Key-Blocks: Heavy blocks at each extremity of keyboard.

Top-Frame: Folding or fixed frame, often elaborately decorated, which supports music and conceals piano action and hammers.

Bottom-Frame: Similar frame to the above, covering trapwork and parts of piano under keybed.

Pilasters: Decorative pillars sometimes placed on either side of top-frame to support it.

Top: The folding lid which covers top frame and finishes off the casework of the piano.

Bottom-Rail: Rail running across the bottom of the casework, in which the pedals are housed.

Bottom-Board: Board on which trap work is mounted, behind the bottom-frame.

 

Names of External Parts.

Although the piano is such a familiar article there is a great deal of confusion as to the names to be applied to its various parts. In figure 15 are shown the external or visible parts of an upright piano with the proper name for each appended.The various case parts of the grand piano are of course largely similar, but the different position of the scale necessitates modifications, which involve some changes in names and positions of parts, as shown on figure 18.


Names of Internal Parts.

In order to provide the reader with a list of correct names for the various internal parts of the piano, the illustration, figure 16, shows an internal front view of an upright piano. The rear view shown on figure 17 indicates the position of the various elements in the back frame and the rear of the soundboard. The grand piano, figure 18, cannot so well be shown as its internal parts are hidden by the solid case. The differences, such as they are, which exist between the two types, however, are thoroughly explained in the pages which follow.Various other materials are used in small quantities, for individual manufacturers have their own special methods which require special materials. But the above includes the principal materials common to all pianos.


Finish.

Modern pianos are elaborately finished with a highly polished surface. The base of this finish is several coats of varnish, which are rubbed down and then re-varnished with what is called a “flowing” coat of very heavy varnish. This is again rubbed down, first with pumice stone, felt pad and water, then with rotten stone, felt pad and water and then with the hand. The final finish is given by rubbing with lemon oil, which is lastly wiped off with cheese cloth wrung out in alcohol. Although this finish is very beautiful it does not retain its brilliancy long under domestic conditions. In the remarks on piano repairing I have made several suggestions concerning the repair of damaged varnish work.

This brief description of the modern piano has been intended to furnish the student only with an explanation of the relation of the various parts to each other and the correct functions of each. More thorough studies are made in following chapters of certain elements which the tuner requires to understand in completeness and the present chapter will be perhaps most useful in providing a convenient peg on which to hang them. Although it fulfills so humble a purpose, however, it will not be without its value if it impresses on the reader's mind the great truth that the piano, as it stands, is by no means to be regarded as the fruit of sudden inspiration but rather as the contemporary stage in a long process of evolution. The history of the instruments which preceded the piano in point of time, and

which in system are its ancestors, shows plainly that the invention of the hammer action by Cristofori in 1711 was merely the culmination of a long series of efforts on the part of many great craftsmen, looking towards the production of a musical stringed instrument capable of doing for domestic use what the organ has always done for the church; namely, furnish complete command over all existing resources of harmony as well as of melody. The piano as it stands to-day is the crown of three centuries of endeavor; but it is by no means certain that it will not yet be modified much further. No one can pretend that the piano is a perfect instrument. Its tempered intonation, its rather hard unmalleable tone, its lack of true sostenuto, all represent defects that must in time be improved out of existence. Meanwhile, we have to take the piano as we find it, realizing that after all it is a very fine and very wonderful instrument.1

Incidentally, it is a matter for congratulation that the modern development of the piano is almost wholly an American achievement ; and that European makers are confessedly inferior to the best of their American colleagues. Why this should be so is another matter; but it certainly is so.


1"Theory and Practice of Pianoforte Building," by the present writer.

1 The method of gluing the soundboard to the back and all similar technical details may be found described in my “Theory and Practice of Pianoforte Building.”

2 This matter is further treated in the following chapter. Cf. also, “Theory and Practice of Pianoforte Building,” pp. 58 et seq.

1 Cf. Chapter VIII for complete discussion of these points.

1 The reader who desires to study the extremely fascinating history of the piano may find an extensive literature on the subject. Hipkins is the best authority by all means. See bibliographical note at the end of this volume.