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


Visit the NAMM show in Anaheim, California and see what piano companies presented this year at the annual trade show. Breaking the silence of 30 years, Steinway made a presentation with Spirio, their automated digital player system. I sat and watched legendary pianists on a display and simultaneously those same notes were being played on the Steinway grand in front of you. Digital systems were a bit of a theme this year. … Read More


Every piano has one. It is the backbone to structural integrity. It’s also what gives a piano most of its weight. What is it? Commonly called the frame… Read More


When I was young I was slightly misguided in thinking that every piano brand had a signature sound. While there is truth in that statement, pianos can sound vastly different from model to model… Read More


He would then quote what has become my favourite piano moving line, “Remember, fingers grow back, pianos do not”. Slightly horrified at the thought of having my fingers pinched… Read More


Piano Touch

Today we have the privilege of speaking with David Stanwood, a piano technician who also happens to be a published author specializing in piano touch metrology. (Metrology being the science of measurement)… Read More