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MMD > Archives > August 1996 > 1996.08.17 > 02Prev  Next

Acoustic Improvements for Music Rooms
By Gloria Schack

Pete, the easiest way to live with the bright sound of your Steinway (many Steinways tend to be "bright" in sound) may be to change the acoustics of your room, rather than trying to change the piano. First, if you have a tiny room and a huge piano, you've got a problem no matter what you do. Assuming this is not the situation, the following things may help --

Find ways to change the shape of the room away from a plain box or rectangle. Since you are not building a new room, you could angle a couch, piano, or other large pieces of furniture. Just putting some big pieces of furniture anywhere in the room will help break the straight lines of the room.

Carpet at least parts of the room. Bare floors, walls, and windows do not mix well with loud instruments. At the minimum, try putting a thick throw-rug under your piano, or a large thick area rug someplace. If you do the entire floor, you probably want a fairly flat rug, rather that something very heavy.

Add large open bookshelves to the room - lots of them, and fill them with books, or better yet, piano rolls.

Add large upholstered furniture (or substitute upholstered chairs for wooden ones). Put an upholstered cushion on your piano bench.

Add drapes to the window treatments, and use heavier fabrics.

If all this fails, you can add carpet-like fabrics to the lower half or 2/3 of your walls, especially behind the piano. This can look very attractive if a nice fabric or carpet is used.

Try these things one at a time. Right now your room is too live. But having a room that is "dead" can be even worse. Acoustics is not an exact science, but you can probably improve your enjoyment of the piano by doing some of these things.

Gloria Schack
Member, Musical Box Society International (MBSI)

(Message sent Sun 18 Aug 1996, 00:28:34 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Acoustic, Improvements, Music, Rooms

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