Make your own free website on Tripod.com

BoLFeb01

Table of Contents


Hamburg Steinway identification; (Dale Probst)

----- Original Message -----
From: Ward & Probst <wardprobst@cst.net>
To: PIANOTECH <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 12:18 PM
Subject: [Hamburg Steinway]?

List,

A customer inquired about a piano I have not seen. It is supposed to be a
1912 Hamburg Steinway but the plate says New York. She was told (by the
dealer) that the New York factory made plates for Hamburg at that time. The
dealer claims to know that it is a Hamburg by the vertical grain direction
of the case veneer. He says New York ran the veneer grain horizontal. Anyone
confirm or deny his claims?

Thanks,
Dale

Dale Probst, RPT
Member, TEAM2001
PTG Annual Convention
Reno, NV --July 11-15, 2001
email: wardprobst@cst.net
(940)691-3682 voice
(940) 691-6843 fax
TEAM2001 website: http://www.ptg.org/conv.htm


During that period the vast majority of Hamburg S&S had only two
pedals.

S&S NY can tell you where it was made by the serial number.

There are numerous clues when you pull the action. Action screws are
different, shanks are different, hammers are different, wippens are
finely finished, keys are different. They essentially are not the
same piano as NY because they did not use parts imported form NY but
those made my Renner.

Older S&S plates had New York and Hamburg cast in the plate.

There are so many difference that you will be able to tell immediately
what it is. Europeans do use vertically oriented veneers inside the
rim and NY does mostly horizontally. Europeans rare paint inside rim
veneer the same color as the outside.

Luck.

Newton

Dale,

I'm not positive if this applies to Steinway pianos that far back, but generally the Hamburg pianos have curved case arms at the front, and a rounded fallboard lip. NY pianos are squared off.

Maybe the real Steinway experts will correct me if this doesn't apply that far back.

Don Mannino RPT


Hi, Dale,

As both Newton and Don note, there are a number of differences to which one
can look. The fact of the matter is that S&S has shared various kinds of
parts/supplies back and forth for most of the company's life. I certainly
know that I have been mistaken when I thought I had something nailed. The
only sure way to find out is to check with S&S by serial (and case, if
available) numbers.

Best.

Horace

I've also seen that some/many/all? of the fallboard lettering on Hamburg
Steinways are inlaid rather than decals.

David Love

[ Top of Page ]

Hitch Pin Installation/Plate Problem (Newton Hunt)

----- Original Message -----
From: Newton Hunt <nhunt@optonline.net>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 5:31 PM
Subject: Re: Hitch Pin Installation/Plate Problem (Newton Hunt)

The ridge helps control bearing consistency and acts as a termination
point for the waste ends of the strings. First check the bearing, if
it is excessive then do as you suggest, glue on a sliver of maple and
paint the plate. If the bearing is acceptable you can just weave the
waste ends to keep them quiet.

What concerns me is that there is not enough bearing because the hitch
pin is in a higher spot on the plate. If this is the case then you
might consider notching the top of the bridge to accommodate this
factor.

In simple words, bearing is critical, tail length is secondary.

Keep us informed.

Newton

Farrell wrote:
>
> Hello all you restringing types out there. David Sanderson called me today
> to inform me that some rescaling he is doing for me resulted in changing
> four sets of plain wire tricords into wound bicords. So of course, a few of
> the original hitch pins happen to be in an ideal location, but several were
> not, so I removed five pins and installed five new hitch pins.
>
> One of them, on the bass side of the sixth note up from the end of the
> treble bridge, will have one of the hitch pins in that little area just to
> the bass side of the bass bridge, and the other hitch pin for that note will
> be in front of the bass end of the bass bridge. The strut that goes from the
> bass end of the bass bridge to the bass end of the tuning pin area separates
> the two hitch pins. The hitch pin for the bass-most string of this note is
> far (relatively) from the tenor bridge, AND it passes over a low spot on the
> little ridge on the plate just in front of all the old hitch pins. The ridge
> is the ridge in the plate that the string bends over just before the hitch
> pin.
>
> So this one string goes right over the ridge, but does not touch it. In
> other words, all strings on the treble bridge leave the rear bridge pin,
> bend a tad over the plate ridge, and then loop around the hitch pin. As it
> is, this will be the only string on the treble bridge that leaves the rear
> bridge pin and angles straight back to the base of its hitch pin, without
> touching/bending over the little plate ridge. Will this cause a problem? If
> so, how can I build up the ridge? Can I just glue a little sliver of
> appropriately sized hard maple?
>
> If this is not clear, I can take a photo and send it. Thanks
>
> Terry Farrell
> Piano Tuning & Service
> Tampa, Florida
> mfarrel2@tampabay.rr.com

[ Top of Page ]

The All new Ronsen hammer

The All new Ronsen hammer

Hey Paul
 Long time no see! Good to see you posting up .The post to David Love as to
the ronsen hammer question listed my E - mail incorrectly. The address is
Erwinpiano@ msn.com and the post was made 1/21/01 . You can find it in
archives or if you'd like a copy of that post which will most likely answer
your questions as to quality,voicing procedures and more I'd be glad to fax
it if you send me a fax no. I would like to make a couple of further points
since on the subject . I really feel the RONSEN product has been or is
currently grossly under rated. My own personel business philosophy is one
that trys to support suppliers and people who are inextricably linked with
my own efforts to produce a quality product. Ronsen is one such supplier.
Although I understand that Ronsen has had there share of ups as downs over
the yrs in the quality dept. it would be simply
your loss not to try them. For all those that have suggested that they
would not use them in a quality pianos are missing an oppurtunity to produce
a vintage steinway/ mason hamlin quality of sound .In fact all of the
steinways in our shop have received the german felted Ronsen hammers and
have been for the last four yrs. Have likely installed 40 sets in
steinways. Yes I know there are other hammers out there that are more
widely marketed and yes I know Everyone has there prefrence( and this is
mine) But we find that in our shop we can produce that classic steinway
sound in a fraction of the time it was taking with all of the others and I
did'nt have a blown out elbow from ridiculous amounts of needle work.
     I learned recently that Ronsen also carries The American felt which it
has been using in a limited way. This felt is the same company that
Steinway used for decades but no longr (to the best of my knowledge) It was
/is the felt that many loved/hated but I do understand that the concet
techs. loved it and were dis appointed at its disuse . I have order ed up a
set to try even though I know they will likely need more juicing. However
anyone who has been paying attention has heard glorious sounding Steinway
pianos with this felt application. Yes more work But very versitle and
very full of tone color . Yes and many of these were overdowsed with
laquer and we hate all them in that condition uugghhhh
     Recent used 14lb. german felt in mint condition Steinway M . I
applied the usual prep. procedure Weight matching ,, boring coving,tapering
etc.
After installation reg. tuning I spent appox. 30 min. voicing . The cool
thing about this was that the original hammers were barely worn but on
vertigreed part and they sounded well you know good . In all candor I have
to say the new replacement set was incredibly similar in sound to the
originals but more refined . It was about as close to an A. B. comparison as
a tech can get .
     Just completed a Mason A using the 16 lb. german felt and the outcome
also similar. In this case I juiced the bass as described in previous post
and spent 20 min. needling from not 40 up And I was there!
  enough for now , and No I'm not a salesman just happy to find a product
that produces great results with out the gnashing of teeth.
  Sincerely Dale Erwin

Anyway, back to Ronsen. I've been using Ronsen on non-SW for years and going
through all of the vagaries of their manufacture and scratching my head, and
cursing at times as the changes seemed to go extreme, but I am excited to
hear from you that you are discovering such quality and consistency in them.
Being an inertial type of guy, it will take a lot to get me off of dead
center with SW hammers which I've been using happily for years with great
success and not too much trouble. The one thing I think I'm sensing, and have
for years, about SW hammers, is folks don't spend enough time at the outset
shaping these hammers before dosing them. Properly shaped, they begin to sing
in a low range which gives the technician directions about where to go with
chemicals. Without the shaping, all kinds of horrible things are done to
them--lots of overdosing and misuse of chemicals.

Thanks again.
Paul

Paul:

By the way, I agree that good filing makes a huge difference. I always
order the sets unbored and gang file them in a hammer clamp before I bore
them.

David Love

[ Top of Page ]

Touch weigh rebuild Chickering (David Stanwood)

----- Original Message -----
From: David Stanwood <dstanwood@hotmail.com>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 7:32 PM
Subject: Re: Chickering rebuild -- touchweight.

Major issue here... should we reproduce what was original or "Improve"
on it based on evolved knowledge? I'm sure that my tuning mentor Bill
Garlick would choose the former. Based on what I've learned in the field of
Touch Weight Metrology I can't help but go for the broader dynamic range and
fuller tone that I know comes from from hammers that are in the High mid to
high zone. These hammer weights usually create disaster in regards to touch
weight when applied to old pianos.
I also know that with expertise that any action may be configured to handle
higher weight hammers. The result usually unleashes a suprizing amount of
tone potential so I would put myself in the latter catagory... I choose to
"Improve". Hammer weights have evolved upwards for good reasons. Either
choice is valid if it serves the need of the piano owner.

David Stanwood

>From: "Erwinpiano" <Erwinpiano@email.msn.com>
>Reply-To: pianotech@ptg.org
>To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
>Subject: Re: Chickering rebuild -- touchweight.
>Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 12:24:28 -0800
>
>Hi Brian
> I believe there might be one major step and oversight that I ,Yourself
>and
>many others have made at the beginning of any chickering action rebuild
>And
>that is to weigh the original hammers and get over the shock of how
>incredibly light they are. And then after checking your gram scale a time
>or two for accuuacy it is realized it was right . The hmmrs. had to be
>light for the leverages that were chosen and when the're set up as designed
>they work well and if not well you're expieriencing that tooo heavy feel .
>If you can't get the hammer wt. down a slight change in the knuckle
>placement will get you there but will change the reg. requirements
>slightly.
>I have used the ronsen 14 lb. saepele molding and taperes as Newton
>suggested from strike pt. to tail and also recove or cove to reduce wt.
>further.
> Your current options are as stated ( reducing wt.if possible) or
>starting over uugghhh
> Good Luck Dale Erwin
>
>


David S.:

I would tend to agree with you that all things being equal, we should
improve. However, there is all too often an underlying reality--cost. I
would love it if my customers would give me their pianos and a blank check
but that rarely happens. Most of the time I am working within tight
parameters and must present cost benefit anaylses that resonate with the
customers needs and means. I agree that many of these old small Chickerings
would benefit tonally from a heavier hammer. But as you know, throwing a
heavier hammer on there starts an unstoppable chain of events that must be
seen through to the end if one wants to avoid a touchweight disaster. Given
that these are the restrictions under which I often find myself, I sometimes
opt to try and reproduce as closely as possible the original design making
small modifications where possible. In the case of the Chickering I have
mentioned, using a slightly forward knuckle position, a lighter shank and a
slightly heavier hammer allows me to maintain the original leading pattern
(3, 2, 1) and keep the inertia to a minimum and gain some tonal benefit from
a slightly heavier hammer.

David Love

Just to add some numbers to this, I just measured the strike weight of some of the old hammers on my old Chickering . Turns out strike weigth was ~9.3gm in the bass, around 7 gm in the middle, and about 5-6 gm at the top. These numbers are all pretty low and account for the difficulty I am having with the new set - which I have yet to measure. (They are "Pacific Gold" hammers - recommended by the fellow at the parts house who I talked to as a good quality hammer. To my ear they produce a nice full sound.) Now I just have to solve the "touch weight disaster" thats come from putting these hammers on my old piano!
Thanks to all who have posted responces to my original inquiry.

Gary Rondeau
  
  

[ Top of Page ]

Steinway hammers; hardening; laquer

----- Original Message -----
From: David Love <davidlovepianos@hotmail.com>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: Ronsen hammers: was Chickering rebuild -- touchweight.

Paul:

I've gone to 3:1 lacquer on Steinway hammers for the reasons you describe--I
always needed two passes with 4:1. (of course, it depends on the lacquer
you use and the solids content. I am currently using Maclac clear gloss
high solids lacquer diluted with acetone). The sets tend to be week
starting around f, f#, g in the 5th octave and I usually thouroughly
saturate the hammers from there up. Two or even three applications in this
area is not unusual. Often the top of the piano will need an additional
application. Going down in the tenor I have started to apply the lacquer
from the side so that I can get it under the strike point (I find that
unless the lacquer gets under the strike point it is relatively
useless--shoulder applications that stay out on the shoulders make no
difference). I apply the lacquer from both sides and keep it 1-2mm away
from the strike point with the gap getting larger as I go toward the
tenor/bass break. (I spent some time experimenting with the side
application to get a feel for the amount needed for the proper penetration.
I would make an application from both sides, wait a minute or two and then
cut the hammer open to see if it penetrated all the way to the center.)
Going down in the bass I keep the lacquer away from the strike point in the
upper bass but let it creep closer in the lower bass, especially the
monochords. I find that going in through the side allows me to get the
lacquer where I want it without it leeching to the crown where I often don't
want it. If I have a concert piano and want to get a little more bite, I
will put a thin line across the crown (you need a small applicator for
that). If I then have notes that are too loud on a hard blow in the tenor
or bass, I insert a needle straight down into the strike point going fairly
deep. I try to listen to each string and address them individually if there
is a noticable difference. I am more cautious bringing down loud notes in
the treble, testing each string of each trichord, being careful not to kill
the note. I always file off the bass side corner of the hammer to avoid
pinging with the shift pedal and refine at different levels with shallow
needling in the crown.

David Love

>From: Yardarm103669107@AOL.COM
>Reply-To: pianotech@ptg.org
>To: pianotech@ptg.org
>Subject: Re: Ronsen hammers: was Chickering rebuild -- touchweight.
>Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 11:03:28 EST
>
>David:
>Ditto. I have always used SW hammers on SW, and after shaping, working on
>the
>shoulders of all of the hammers with lacquer. But the first shaping makes a
>huge difference before any chemicals. The quality of tone generation I get
>with that shaping pretty much tells me how much and where to concentrate my
>efforts. With SW, I have found that I need at least two passes with 4:1 to
>get close to where I want to be. From there it's spot application,
>sometimes
>groups; then evening everything out. I always go back over the hammer tops
>with very fine paper to get rid of the felt raised by the lacquer
>application. Also, for attack, I apply a couple of drops of acetone
>(actually
>the solution from Pianotek works just fine) directly on the strike point,
>then shallow needle for evenness. Thanks for your responses.
>Paul

[ Top of Page ]

Computer;calibrating computer clock

----- Original Message -----
From: David Ilvedson, RPT <ilvey@jps.net>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 12:56 AM
Subject: Re: Off topic - Outlook Express

Speaking of clocks...you can go to www.isbister.com and download for free
Atomic Clock. When online, you can open Atomic clock and it will check with
the Ping Atomic clock and update your computer's clock if you like. Cool.
While at the site download Time & Chaos and give it a try.

David I.


Hi There,

I think this url will get you directly where you wish to go.

http://www.worldtimeserver.com/

[ Top of Page ]

Computer; plotters (David Stanwood)

----- Original Message -----
From: David Stanwood <dstanwood@hotmail.com>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2001 8:12 PM
Subject: Re: Off Topic - Info on Plotters

Hey!

I have an HP 7580a pen plotter and it was fantastic..!
I used it to develop the SmartCharts for Strike Weight Specification
that are sold with the Touch Designer Toolkits.....

I use AutoCadLite for my drafting software and the configuration for this
model is in the manual! Amazing for a dinasour! It required Cables that I
made up according to their diagram. Infortunately when I switched to a new
computer I haven't been able to get it to work.. Need a nerd....

But they are built to last and I believe you can get it working....

The results are quite outstanding. The work of a pen plotter looks alot
like it was drafted by hand. They are amazing to watch with the paper
jigging and jagging in the x and y planes...

You can still buy all the supplies you need..

David Stanwood

[ Top of Page ]

Older Steinway parts (Jon Page)

----- Original Message -----
From: Jon Page <jonpage@mediaone.net>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: old old old steinway parts

At 08:56 PM 01/31/2001 -0500, you wrote:
> I have a customer with a Steinway grand built before 1900. A player system
>has been installed. Yes with the old whippens, don't ask.
>These would be pre capstan whippens with the arm that enters a(rocker arm?)
>type
>capstan on the key sometimes used on old uprights.
>The customer wishes to keep this part of the piano genuine.
>steinway factory is no help. Does anyone no where i can obtain as many as
>possible?
>I have returned to this forum after 3 years without a computer. I hope i
>addressed this problem correctly and sppellded every wrd correctly
>
> ed ohio

Ed,
I hope there is not vertigris present.

You will be hard pressed to find replacement wippens for this. I would
reinforce all action
glue joints with CA glue or reglue with hot hide glue. This will brace the
old joints for the
rigors of the machine's pummelling. Remove the jacks before gluing joints
(or replace
jacks altogether and install jack regulating spoons).

Replace the repetition springs to insure against metal fatigue and repin
everything:
jacks, repetition levers and wippen flanges. Replace the repetition lever
upstop leather
while you have them apart as well as the regulating punchings. Let off
punchings too.
Rebush if they are really bad or if you have the ambition.

If the joints are firm, apply accelerator and then some thin CA to
reinforce the joint. The
reason to first let the accelerator soak in first is so that the glue does
not wick away from
the joint. If they are loose, you have the option of gluing them back with
hot hide glue; this
would be a preferred method since that is what you should be using to glue
the regulating
punchings and upstop cushions anyway.

Another option you could investigate is to modify a new wippen for the
sticker installation.
This would entail cutting off the heel, routing a slot and drilling a hole
for the center pin.
If there is vertigris, this may be your only option while still maintaining
'originality'.

Rocker arm actions are more of a botheration to work on than they are
difficult. From the
ones I have encountered, I surmised that they offer a lower friction by not
having the
wippen cushion to capstan contact bearing point.

Good Luck,

Jon Page, piano technician
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Mass.
mailto:jonpage@mediaone.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ Top of Page ]

Plate bar screw in Steinway B D removing?

----- Original Message -----
From: <A440A@AOL.COM>
To: <pianotech@ptg.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 3:28 AM
Subject: bars

Greetings,
   So, in my email this morning is a note from the head of the music
department, (who has students playing a Crumb piece_)

"We will need to remove the diagonal screwed-in bar on one of the hall
pianos for the performance (I don't recall which, but will figure it out by
this weekend) in order to strum strings that are on either side of the bar.""

    I don't really think taking the plate strut out is a good idea, seems
like it isn't going to go back in very gracefully. Anybody out there have
experience with strut removal and reinstallation, under full tension, on a
Steinway D?
Thanks,
Ed Foote RPT

>..."We will need to remove the diagonal screwed-in bar on one of the hall
>pianos for the performance...
>Anybody out there have
>experience with strut removal and reinstallation, under full tension, on a
>Steinway D?
>Thanks,
>Ed Foote RPT

Ed, List,

Did it on both a D and B few years back. The B (in a studio) was left that
way for a semester to practice. The D (on stage) was put that way for the
performance.

No side effects to date.

Keith McGavern
Registered Piano Technician
Oklahoma Chapter 731
Piano Technicians Guild
USA No side effects to date.


Hi Ed,

This subject came up some time ago on pianotech. I cannot remember who
did the post but the message was clear; do not force the bar off if it
does not lift out. This suggestion came from a Steinway rep. I tried all
4 Ds and a C here at IC and only one would lift off. I pulled a bit on
the others and it was obvious that they were not coming off without a
fight.

Don McKechnie

Ed:

I've heard it from Steinway and others, the bar is OK to remove. I've done
it for working on dampers, it has no effect, comes out and back in easily
under full tension.

If you bring a "B" in for the program, it has the same bar on it that the
"D" does and can be removed as easily and safely as the "D".

dave

I guess this is only anecdotal, Ed, but being from Philly, George Crumb
pieces are performed on a regular basis here. (He was/is a U of Penn prof)
Although we all hate "prepared pianos", I have NEVER heard of one of his
compositions needing a plate strut removed.

Gotta be another way.

Richard Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co. & Factory
Philadelphia, Pa.
1 (800) 394-1117
http://hometown.aol.com/voce88/cunn.html

I'll just repeat here what I have written a couple times previous, and
which others have confirmed. Crumb's music for inside the piano was
written at the model L in his office. The layout of the strings
(particularly the bass break) makes many of his effects specific to this
or similar model pianos (eg, Steinway M, Baldwin M). A model D (or A or
B) Steinway is problematic for many effects. So if it were me, I would
inform the powers that be (starting lower on the totem pole with piano
faculty, and pointing out in a couple scores how this is so - Vox
Balaenae and Makrokosmos are good) that an alternate piano would serve
the purpose better. (And, BTW, it is likely that a small Yamaha or Kawai
might _not_ be a good alternate, due to cross struts at the far side of
the dampers. Makes it hard to obtain 5th partials and to do "chisel on
the strings" among other problems).

Best luck,
Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico

Hi Ed,
          At that diameter I would have been sure the rod was supposed to
under tension. It's too thin to take much compression. That being said, the
extreme inconsistency in diamentions of Kelly plates you may be dealing
with an odd ball plate.
Maybe it's there to help compensate for poor mfg of plates as a safety
margin. In which case DO NOT remove it.
I don't have the experience on D's that others have, but I have seen the
results of measuring Kelly plates from the foundry. They varied as much as
1/8" in a batch of 12 baldwin L plates from the same production run. This
was the primary reason Baldwin entered a Joint venture with a supplier that
could manufacture consistent plates. Modern manufacturing methods demands
consistency in this critical area.
Probably the single biggest improvement in the new Baldwin line line has
resulted from the new plate supplier.
Plate, board, bridge, and block is now within very acceptable tolerences.
All measurements within the piano tend to move outwards from the plate. I
know that's a big general statement. Don't get picky.
I think Del had problems with the quality of these plates back in the 80's,
and was the first to try to get some QC in this area. All in vain I might add.
From an engineering view point, it only seems to make structural sense if
the rod is under tension. At that diameter it will not bear much in the way
of compression or shock loading.
From the design point of view, it definitely looks like a retro fit, or
after thought, to save on the cost of making new plate patterns. Is the
long strut that weak?????? Or is the plate horn so far to the right that it
is not sharing the load????? I don't know.
My best guess is that it is just a safety margin feature, added because of
some failed plates early in history, and has now been shrouded in mythology.
I would not gamble.
Roger


Roger writes:
<<From the design point of view, it definitely looks like a retro fit, or
after thought, to save on the cost of making new plate patterns. Is the
long strut that weak??????

    I don't think so, I have a customer with an 1872 concert grand, and it
has a strut as part of the plate design.

 
>>My best guess is that it is just a safety margin feature, added because of
some failed plates early in history, and has now been shrouded in mythology.
I would not gamble.>>

   I have restrung both of these pianos in the last 20 years, and both had
the strut quite compressed until the string tension was let off, and then
they were much more easily moved out. I believe that that strut is to resist
any tendancy of the middle section from bending due to string loading. The
only piano I have tuned without one is very easily put out of tune by
temperature changes.
I'll see,
Thank,s
Ed

Fred, Roger, Ed, et al,

I think the engineering issues may be one thing, but my experience with Ds
is that this strut, whether by design or accident, comes (in many cases) to
have a fair amount of compression. I do not think I have ever found one
under tension, if by that, we mean that, on removing one screw there is a
noticeable/perceptible movement of the plate.

In terms of tuning stability, my main experience with pianos with struts
removed has been at the Greek Theater and Universal Amphitheater in LA. In
both of those places, the house instruments were as stable as can be
expected (espcially in the days when Universal was essentially an outdoor
platform)...until someone wanted to use a Countryman pickup, which requires
removing the strut. Then, forget it.

Fred, thanks for the names of those pieces...sigh, the memory is the first
thing to go...but, I really do agree with your statements on this. I know
that Crumb composed for the L, and that the instructions in the scores are
for that model. It is a constant battle with performers, who always seem
to want to use the biggest, newest, etc. instruments. This is another tip
of the lack-of-substantive-knowledge-of-their-instrument iceberg with which
we all deal.

Best and Happy Friday!

Horace

Just to expand and be more specific as to some places a D won't work for
Voice of the Whale (which I performed a couple months ago on a Steinway
A - the only available house piano in the venue - so have a recent
memory of the problem spots). The most prominent places where a D/B/A
won't work are
1) Second movement (Theme, I think called "Sea-Time"). The octaves with
included 5th held silently by left hand while strummed by right include
F2 and F#2 as upper notes. These are, of course, on the other side of
the break, so are practically speaking impossible to include in the
strum. And the highest note is part of the theme, hence absolutely
essential.
2) Last movement (Coda, something about "End of Time"). At the beginning
of this movement there are several three note clusters (adjacent
semitones) played by the left hand while the right touches nodes at the
5th partial - just beyond the dampers. A couple of these nodes are
inaccessible on the D/B/A. Also, toward the end, the final echo of the
tympani from Also Sprach Zarathustra requires a similar touching of
inaccessible nodal points. And it's one of the highlights of the whole
piece, IMO.
There are a couple other spots, but this should be enough to make the
point to a doubter that a D is definitely not the right instrument for
Crumb, even if he is a distinguished guest and "therefore worthy of the
best the venue has to offer."
Regards,
Fred

Fred Sturm wrote:

Fred, List,

"Whale" was performed here a year or two ago and if I remember correctly,
we moved a Yamaha C-3 Disklavier from the pianist's studio for it. To my
knowledge, there were no problems with it.

He's also performed that piece on a D at A & M Univ. but as he said, with
great difficulty. Something about having to find different nodes and
sounding an octave higher. In this case, there was just no other
alternative.

Avery

[ Top of Page ]

Caut archive URL

> Sometimes it is bad that this list is not digested somewhere. Some time
> ago, did we not talk about policies for prepared pianos and stuff?

The list is archived, and searchable to an extent.
http://www.ptg.org/archive/caut/ is the link. I remember distinctly a
thread on removal of the Steinway bar on this list, but was unable to
find it. (I tried Steinway plate strut, plate strut, plate bar, and a
couple other similar possibilities). However, "Prepared piano" yielded a
large range. Somewhat clunky to look through, but it's there.
Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico

[ Top of Page ]