Close to where I live is a sea wall made of large concrete blocks that extends out into the ocean. It serves to protect boats coming and going into the harbor. At times, the waves crash up against the sea wall and at other times, the waves bounce gently and you can see the reflected… Read More


“What do the Italians offer to the world?” I was recently in the home of an Italian dentist. We were walking through his modest but tastefully designed home, predominantly decorated in white. I followed him down a hallway as he continued. “The Italians, we don’t have massive manpower. We don’t have natural resources. What do… Read More


Renner piano action

“I shall build an Arpicembalo!” stated Cristofori excitedly. The year was 1698 and his new invention literally translated means “harp-harpsichord”. It would be a new instrument that would sound like a harp and have keys like a harpsichord. Harpsichords have plucked strings but this new invention would have mallets that strike the strings. It was… Read More


Sauter soundboard

When doing research on pianos, what role does the soundboard play? After a key is struck on the piano, the hammer is activated to strike against the strings. The vibration of the strings, in turn transfers the vibration through the bridge to the soundboard. It’s the job of the soundboard to act as a transducer,… Read More


They say that French cuisine and baked goods are inseparable from the ingredients grown there, that the quality of the food is due in part to the local culture from farm to table. In music, there is something similar in Austria known as the Viennese sound. It is a unique sound that is also considered… Read More


A piano bridge is a thin section made of wood that runs perpendicular to the strings. Pianos generally have 2 bridges; the short bridge for the lower bass section and the long bridge for the tenor and treble sections. The sizes vary from maker to maker but they run the width of the piano and average about 1½” wide and are about 1” tall in the treble and 2” tall in the bass.… Read More


The decisions made regarding string gauge is part of the blueprint for a piano called the piano scale (not to be confused with the 7 notes on the keyboard also called the piano scale). The blueprint mathematically is calculated as a starting point to determine what gauge of wire will best suit the piano. Before we discuss wire, however, we need to understand the concept of standing waves and how they relate to making music. … Read More


I’ve heard this statement many times before: “I’m just doing my research on what piano to buy”. But what does this actually mean? What do people research when they say that they’re examining a piano? Isn’t a piano just a piano? They’re shiny, they have 88 keys with 3 pedals, right? While that is a… Read More


…The soundboard actually acts as a transducer changing vibration into audible signal. Ideally, to hear the piano you would want to have full exposure to the soundboard to hear all of the tones and overtones. When people ask what the difference is between a grand and an upright, that’s a major difference…… Read More


This year in sunny Anaheim, California, the NAMM show once again had a fantastic display of incredible pianos. From inexpensive to opulent, there are pianos for everyone to see and enjoy. Present this year (in alphabetical order of brand): Baldwin, Bluthner, Bösendorfer, Brodmann, Emerson, Fazioli, Geyer, Grotrian, Hailun, Hallet Davis, Hardman, Irmler, Kawai, Kayserburg, Knabe, Mason & Hamlin, Mendelssohn, Niendorf, Pearl River, Perzina, Ravenscroft, Ritmuller, Samick, Sauter, Schimmel, Schulze Pollmann, Schumann, Seiler, Wilh. Steinberg, Steinway, Weber, Yamaha and Young Chang.… Read More