Arthur Rubenstein describes the sustain pedal as “the soul of the piano”. We’re going to delve into a bit more of the mechanical side of the damper pedal in hopes that awareness will clarify what happens when it is being incorporated into piano playing. … Read More

A Voice from the Past
“Step right up… See the amazing piano that plays by itself!” I can just hear the man at a trade show in the 1920’s. “Just push the pedals and this paper roll will play songs like Swanee and The Entertainer and Bicycle Built for Two.”

This invention in the late 1800’s was quite remarkable. It functions similarly to a harmonica in reverse. Rather than blowing through holes in a harmonica, the player piano sucks air through a perforated tracker bar. The paper roll has a punch-out hole position for every note on the piano. Through the use of bellows and gears, the paper roll would mechanically slide over the tracker bar and when a hole would appear in the paper, air would get sent through a tube and pneumatically play the corresponding note.… Read More