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MMD > Archives > May 2013 > 2013.05.24 > 05Prev  Next

Building a Transparent Player Piano Action Model
By Bill Chapman

A working model of pneumatic action would be a great help in building
interest in players among neophytes.  When the economic crisis hit,
AMICA and MBSI lost some members.  This was a concern what with the
general decline of special interest organizations.

As then AMICA membership secretary it was apparent to me that steps
should be taken to maintain interest in the field.  John Motto-Ros,
as president, encouraged me to get ads placed in other publications.
However we felt that the rock-bottom prices of unrestored instruments
was another overlooked source of new members.  For inquiries about
AMICA I included a diagram and lengthy explanation of the basic
principle (valves, pouches etc) given to new members who showed
interest or capability of restoring an instrument.

This is where an action model would be especially useful if seen
directly or as a slow-motion video on YouTube.  Changing of colored
lights based on the pressures involved would make the process easy
to follow.  I wish I was one of the people to see this possibility.
A real time a demo would go by awfully fast but could be filmed for
slow motion playback.  I sincerely hope that a model will be available.
I watch as beautiful old players go unsold on eBay, all hand-made,
with beautiful craftsmanship, special woods, materials and historic
music unrecognized!

Concerning the math involved in pneumatics, I am reminded of the
technical book on tubular pneumatic pipe organs.  The book was out
of the Portland, Oregon, city library and it included measurements and
illustrations on tube size, pouch size, valve design, etc.  As a 4th
grader much of the math (more likely all of the math) was over my head.
I went back to the library as an adult but I could never find the book.
As I recall it mentioned that Russians were creating a calculator based
on tubular pneumatic design.  Somewhere there has to be a copy of this
hardbound book.  I'll keep looking.

Bill Chapman - 88 degrees F. and 16% relative humidity in
La Quinta, California

(Message sent Fri 24 May 2013, 17:44:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Action, Building, Model, Piano, Player, Transparent

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