Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info
MMD > Archives > January 1997 > 1997.01.26 > 09Prev  Next

Re: Switched-off Keys
By Craig Brougher

I will fall toward the side who believes that the keyboard lock on a player piano was to prevent youngsters from banging on the keys, particularly when the player was playing.

I can understand how someone would feel that decoupling the action from the keys would speed it up, but Galileo and every physicist I know would disagree in theory. You can disprove it to anybody's satisfaction (or dissatisfaction), if you run a fast, repetitive test roll, like the 25-note repeat test roll which Ampico used to use. Crank it up on an upright, both with and without the keyboard lock on. There is no difference. Adding weight does not change the speed of anything which falls by gravity return.

However, if you have some rather sticky keys, then it will. So we are assuming that things are clean and snappy. Most rebuilders also understand that keyboardless pianos are no faster in their action (or slower) than the ones with keys.

Craig Brougher

[ The expression Craig used, "crank it up ..." is undoubtedly older
[ than cranking the automobile to start the engine. I bet that it was
[ shouted more than 200 years ago, probably in a pleasant German
[ Biergarten: "Crank it up, Hans!" (in German, of course) ... and the
[ barrel-organ began playing! :) -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 26 Jan 1997, 15:18:27 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Keys, Switched-off

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   

Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google

CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2024 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Please Support Publication of the MMD with your Generous Donation

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

Translate This Page