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The Baldwin Piano.. .

You can see why it sounds better 4

We firmly believe that hammer making is one of the most critical of all piano
building processes. That’s why we spend significant extra dollars in materials
and time in the manufacture of all of our own hammers for both vertical and
grand pianos.
Our special concern starts with materials. We pay a
premium price for 100% virgin wool felt made to our
standards for weight, thickness, taper, size and hard-
ness. To guarantee that all hammer felt meets our
standards, we subject every sheet we receive to strin-
gent testing before accepting it for production.

The same extra concern continues in our exclusive

construction procedures. First felt is treated in our
moisture-conditioning chamber until it reaches a pre-
scribed moisture content. Then the felt is placed in a
special hammer press, designed and built by our
engineers. This press has preset closing pressure and
automatic cycling for consistency. We use a special
thermosetting glue to secure the felt to the moldings.
And we check throughout the process to insure that
the proper felt hardness is retained.

The object of all this extra care in design and construc-

tion of hammers is tone quality.. .and tone quality
that is consistent from note to note.

Fifth in a series of informative ads on piano tone published by Baldwin Piano &
Organ Company exclusively for the benefit of piano technicians.

For more information contact Kent Webb, Technical Service Manager; for parts contact Linda Gann,
Baldwin Piano & Organ Company, Highway 63 South,Trumann, AR 72472 - Phone: (501) 483-6116
Due to the increase in popularity of Japanese- 1. A full range of wood moulding sizes and felt
made hammers the last few years, Schaff has weights to accommodate almost any hammer
engaged with the lmadegawa Company in duplication requirement.
Japan t0 be a nationwide distributor. We will 2, Both upright and grand type hammers,
maintain a large stocking inventory which to- 3. Either standard bore stock sets or custom
gether with our years of replacement hammer made hammers,
expertise, will enable us to provide the finest
4. A long standing history of providing reliable
hammer duplication service in the U.S.A.
service and selling quality products.
Who else can offer..


UPRIGHT HAMMERS-A set consists of 30 bass and 64 treble hammers. All bass section hammers are drilled
at an 18O angle. Tenor section has 14 hammers at 12O, 10 hammers at 7O with the balance of tenor and
treble at O”. A %2” diameter drill is used for the bore hole. On a special order basis a type “B”aet can be
ordered with all tenor and treble hammers bored at O” angle. On a stock basis upright hammers are available
in the following striking distances (as measured at the treble end) of 23/s”, 2%6” and 2%“. Also 12 Lb.,
14 Lb., and 16 Lb. weights of felt available. All hammers are made of birch wood moulding, stapled throughout
and have the option of being reinforced and unbored.
GRAND HAMMERS-A set consists of 30 bass and 65 treble hammers. All bass section hammers are drilled
at a 9O angle. Tenor section has 8 hammers at go, 8 hammers at 6 O, IO hammers at 2O and the balance
of tenor and treble at O”. A ,204” diameter drill is used for the bore hole. All hammer tails are shaped and
tapered at no additional cost. On a stock basis grand hammers are available in the following striking distances
(as measured at the treble end) of l%“, 2” and 2%“. Also 12 Lb., 14 Lb., and 16 Lb. weights of felt
available. Hammers come stapled throughout and can be provided unbored. Except for Steinway style,
all grand hammers are made of birch wood mouldings and have the option of being reinforced.
STEINWAY STYLE-A set consists of either 20 or 26 bass hammers, reinforced with walnut mouldings
and bored to Steinway specifications.


Both upright and grand hammers are duplicated from customer samples and bored to exact specifications.
With our extensive inventory we should be able to match 90% of the samples received for duplication. The
samples we cannot match for lmadegawa hammers can be made from our high quality U.S. made hammers.
Tty Schaff and avoid unnecessary replacement hammer costs and order processing delays that occur in
dealing with smaller suppliers.
6 12 24 31
Behind the scenes, FORUM Del Fandrich at the The PTG Asian tour,
By Ronald L. Berry, RTT Hammer-string contact, Portland convention: By Yat-Lam Hong, RTT
By Susan GYU~UM,RTT “HOW the soundboard
redly works,”
8 By Nick Gravagne,RTT
Membership .,.,..................38
Coming Events .................39
Auxiliary Exchange .........40
What’s it worth? TUNING UP ClassifiedAdvertising ......42
AT LARGE Display Ad Index .............44
By Larry Goldsmith An interview with lmrning to passthe
concert artist PTG tuning exam,
10 Arie Vardi,
By Rick Baldassin,RTT
By Michael Travis, RTT
A handcraftedwooden
19 28 COVER:
By Carl Root, R7-T Carl Root usesthis hand-
BASIC SKILLS Early researchon velocity crafted toolbox. Seethis
Vertical regulation, of sound in air, month’s “EconomicAffairs”
By Bill Spurlock, R7T By JackGreenfield,RTT column, beginning on
page 10.

Piano Technicians Guild Board of Directors Piano Technicians Journal Staff

President South Central Regional Vice President 4.510 Bellezkw, Suite 100 Technical Editor
6520 Parker Lane 9707 Ttmbervtew Kansas City, MO 64111 2967 Madeline
Indianapolis, IN 46220 Waco, TX 76710 (8161 753-7747 Oakland, CA 94602
(317) 255-8213 (817) m-0546 (Hl LARRY GOLDSMITH RICK BALDASSIN, Rl-l’
(817) 755-1723 (w) Editor/Executive Director Tuning Editor
CYNDI DAVISON 2684 W. 220 North
Bookkeeper Provo, UT 84601
619 Barbier Avenue Central East Regional Vice President
Thilmdaux, LA 70301 2134 Walters Avenue GEORGE DEFEBAUGH, RTT
(504) 4466812 Northbrook, IL 60062 Journal On Tape Reader
(70s) 4980379
ROBERT SMIT, RTT Assistant Editor
17 Carmichael Court Central West Regional Vice President Membership
Kanata, ON Canada K2K 1Kl 1052 South Fork Drive
(613) 592-6907 (II) River Falls, WI 54022
(613) 8281292 0 (715) 425-2068 (It)
(715) 425-3940 (S) 8 1969 The F’iano Technidans Guild, Inc. Articles published in the Pimw Tcdmicinns
NORMAN HEISCHOBER, RTT Jmmd represent only the opinions of the author and not those of the Piano Technicians
Northeast Regional Vice President FERN L. HENRY, RTT Guild, Inc. AU rights reserved. No part of this publication my be mpied 01 reproduced
In my form without petmlsim from the publisher, The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc
295 West Shore Drive Western Regional Vice President The words Ihe Plan0 Technidans Guild, Inc.,” and the Rgistemd Tuner-Technidan
Massapequa, NY 11758 3574 Cantelow Road emblem mu qistered wtth the US. Patent and Tndanuk OfAce - Unauthorized use ia
(516) 799-1656 Vacaville, CA 95688 shictly prohibited.
cm 4484792 The Piem T&michs jcnmnd GSN 00319562) is the offkal publication of The Piano Tech
nkian8 Guild, kc., 4510 Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64111. The low& is
Southeast Regional Vice President STEPHEN H. BRADY, RTT published mmthly. Second class postage paid at Kansas City, MO., US ISSN 0031 9562
8861 Greenville Highway Pacific NW Regiarnl Vice President fore@ and domzstk. IZXlMAsIER: please send address changes to: Piam Tcchnicims
Spartanburg, SC 29301 +nd, 4510 Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64111.
1402 3rd Avenue W.
(803) 5746165 (W) Seattle, WA 98119 Annual mbmiption prim $65 &E) for Oneyeu; $155 (UsI for two years; $750 (Us) per
(803) 574-9639 (H) (206) 281-8292 (II) single mpy. Piano Technicians Guild mzmben receive the Pimu Tcdnicims @md for
$45 per year as part of their membership dues.
(206) 545-9371 (W)


Randy Potter School Of Piano Technology
Training Competent Technicians for the 2 7st Century
61592 Orion Drive
Bend, OR 97702
(5031382-54 11
Randy Yotter School
Of Piano Technology

Registered Tuner-Technicians don’t need basic study courses.

But many of them buy our course.
Why? Here’s what Karl Roeder, RTT, of Macon, GA says:

“Your course is really top drawer. I have spent a lot more money for
thingsthatweren’tasgoodforme. Itishightimesomebodydid it! lthink
every tuner, and every responsible RlT ought to take this course. You
have done a tremendousservice for the piano tuning community. And
the tuning tape is the best tuning class I have ever seen.”
We have home study programs to help Beginning Students get
started, Associates to upgrade and reclassify to Registered Tuner-
Technician, and Rll’s to continue their education. We can help you,
See us at the Annual PTGConvention & Institute in Portland, OR, July
10-14; theTexasState Association Seminar in Lubbock,TX,October 13-
15; or the California State Convention in Irvine, CA, Feb. 16-18, 1990.

,,-~. tL

z/ Planu Tuols + a/4 ‘1 and Supphes

No machine will ever fully replace a fine tuners muskcal genrus But the Hale 1399 Nel
Sight-O-Tuner electronrc tunrng devrce will complement your skills. It allows
you to tune any prano faster and more accurately than you ever thought was bnefcase. Brrng it Indoors or outdoors It’s battery operated to elrmmate lme
posstble. or microphone wornes.
Even rn the noisiest environment, you choose whtch note you want to tune Every professronal tuner, music or orchestra director could use and
and rt wrll tune that note only. Extraneous sounds won’t affect the special should have one.
tunmg light on the HALE SIGHT-O-TUNER. You can also tune faint notes, Let the HALE SIGHT-O-TUNER make your tunmg easrer Jorn the thou-
from UD to 30 feet Or mdrvidual harmontcs Or weld stnnas. sands of people, mcluding the late Arthur Fredler. who already have
The solrd state unrt IS about as accurate as you can get, to I % cent, over
none full octaves. Internal cahbratton makes tunrng forks and lme frequen-
cres obsolete
Serving the MUSIC Industry Smce 1884
It all comes rn a compact, self-contained package whrch is lrght enough EASTERN BRANCH: 94 Wheatland Street, Somervrlle, MA 02145 . (617) 666.4550
(2 Ibs ) and small enough (3%” hrgh x 7” wade x 6”deep) to fit rnstde your WESTERN BRANCH: 190 South Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94066 . (406) 736-2355


to improve.
No one notices a center pin until there We’ve also developed a moisture
is a problem. absorbent finish for our black keys and a
Most manufacturers make them out of new satin casefinish to bring out more of
brass. Eventually they tarnish, and can the natural wood grain highlights.
causeverdigris to form. But it usually While these recent improvements have
happens after the piano has left the sales gone largely unnoticed, our 12 yearfull
floor. And ofien after the warranty has warranty is getting all kinds of attention.
expired. It’s the kind of promise people under-
At Young Chang, we make our center stand. And the kind of promise no other
pins of non-oxidizing German silver. manufacturer is prepared to offer.
They don’t tarnish. So they move freely Little by little, we keep refining our
for the life of the piano. Chances are pianos. Becauseit’s the little things that
you will rarely need to repin or ream the make the difference between a good
bushings of a Young Chang action. And instrument and an extraordinary one.
chancesare our efforts will go completely For more technical information, please
unnoticed. call Alan Vincent at (213) 926-3200. Or
You also may not notice we coat many write to him at Young Chang Technical
of our action parts with EmralonTMto Services,13336 Alondra Blvd., Cerritos,
reduce friction and noise and eliminate CA 90701 for a fi-ee copy of our Service
graphite penetration in felt and buckskin. Guide & Technical Specifications Manual.
Or that we’re using an improved
premium English hammer felt that lasts
longer and produces a bigger sound. Or
that there’s now whippen auxilliary
springs on our 7’ and 9’ grands for finer
touch adjustments.
Or that we’ve strengthened our grand
keystop rails to prevent damage during
moving, and steel-reinforced our grand
keyslips to minimize warping due to
changes in the weather. The besttheworld hasto ofkr


Behind The Scenes

many different people and fac-
PTG work. Some of these
and have better technical programs. Their
recent program, along with all the re-
are obvious. Chapter officers are in the gional administration work, is a video
forefront of local activity and the Home contest encouraging chapters to make a
Office produces the Journal among all its video of proper procedure for meetings
other duties. One of the not-so-obvious which can be used as a guide by chapter
parts of PTG is its committees. In many officers. The chapter management hand-
organizations, committeesare merely titles book has been recently revised by the
given with little or no work involved. But CMAC. I found this book quite helpful
in PTG we have many hard-working com- during my time as chapter president.
mi tteesand have had them for many years. Under the leadership of Marshall Hawk-
One of the most active committees ins and Dale Heikkinen in the past, this
Ronald L. Berry, RTI’
we have is the Examinations and Test committee headed by Webb Phillips is
Standards (ET!3 Committee. Testing has always hard at work. This committee, like
always been an important part of our ETShas a representative for each region to
organization and is the necessary counterpart of having keep track of activities within the region. This approach
the RTT category of membership. Over the past 15 years has been successful in those committees and we have ap-
this committee has been responsible for developing a new plied this approach to other committees.
tuning exam, training personnel to administer it, develop- Bylaws revision is an important function in setting
ing two technical exams which have subsequently been the direction that PTG goes. The Bylaws Committee serves
fused into one, and providing exams at seminars and con- to help chapters work out wording for what they want to
ventions.Duringmytwoyearsaschairmanofthiscommit- accomplish, and integrates proposals from various sources
tee, I found that the work load was heavier than any office on the same subject. The committee is made up of people
in PTG other than President. This committee has a steady who are in the know of PTG operations so they can help
diet of management of CTE’s and their training and recer- predict the results of the proposed changes. Based on this
tification, along with the training of technical examiners. It they make recommendations to Council for adoption or
seemsthat thiscommitteehasalwayshad somemajorproj- rejection of the proposals. Sharla Kistler, with her ever-
ect to do along with its regular administrative jobs. These watchful eye for detail, keeps everything in order in a
have ranged from writing exam manuals, developing the superb manner.
recertification exam, developing written tests, developing The College and University Technicians Committee
countless forms to be used during the exam process, and was almost deleted because of inactivity until then Presi-
currently studying the feasibility of making the aural veri- dent Marshall Hawkins asked a group of university tech-
fication a graded part of the test. Every time changes in nicians to get together and elect their own chairman. Tom
membership structure or requirements have happened, McNeil was their pick, and Tom hit the road running. This
most of the exam forms have needed to be revised. This committee has its own newsletter, and is identifying who
alone is a job big enough to consume most committees the technicians are who do university work, whether PTG
energies. Under the guidance of Wayne Matley, with members or not. They have just completed a written plan
Michael Travis and Bill Spurlock as subcommittee chair- for proposed maintenance of an institutional piano, which
men, we have had a committee that has worked hard. can be presented to university administrators to show
Wayne and Michael have been involved with the ET’S what the Guild feels is proper maintenance.
committee since the early days of the new tuning exam. The Teachers Relations Committee is another impor-
Keeping up that level of activity for so many years is real tantone.Thiscommitteehasbeen setup with regional rep
dedication. resentatives. They will attempt to see that PTG is repre-
Another active committee is the Chapter Manage- sented at all the various meetings of piano teachers within
mentandAchievementCommittee(CMAC).Thiscommit- their region. The film developed by the Cincinnati Chapter
tee has been involved with collecting information from is a useful tool for presentations to teachers. This commit-
chapters not only for awards, but so that the information tee has developed a handbook on how to give presenta-
can be used to help other chapters operate more efficiently tions to teachers. This helps them train others to give their


own local programs. This committee is chaired by David nary Code, which has long needed rewriting. With Co-
Rostkoski. He is typical of the members in his understand- lette’s detailed approach they should have a new set of
ing of the teaching profession and how they deal with it. codes ready for approval at the next Council Meeting.
The Trade Relations Committee has long made sure The Continuing Education Committee worked last
that PTG was present at the NAMM (National Associa- year to find out how to set up a Continuing Education In-
tions of Music Merchandisers) show to talk with dealers centive Program linked with the national CEU (Continu-
and manufacturers. Brian Mott chairs this committee, and ing Education Unit) system. This year Ellen Sewell will
being from Chicago, Brian has been around NAMM shows chair this committee to work out the details of how such a
for some time. PTG’s involvement at NAMM is often a plan can be administered.
place where plans can be made for receptions that manu- This year, Council made a special committee to work
facturers give at our convention, where we can pickup new out a bylaws proposal to create a Registered Technician
exhibitors for our convention, and where dealers can be category of membership which would be for those who are
introduced to the Guild. competentin technical work but do not tune as part of their
The Economic Affairs Committee has brought you business. This committee is headed by Mitch Kiel.
regular]ournuI articles on subjects that affect economically There are many other committees dealing with
rather than technically. This side of our business is often awards, chapter newsletters, chapter programs, Council
overlooked and is gaining increasing importance. Carl minutes, international relations,membersrights, member-
Root chairs this committee and has been instrumental in ship promotion, nominating, and visually impaired. Com-
developing a questionnaire for members. This question- mittees are an important part of our organization. They
naire will give us a good picture of who is in this business tackle problems which are complex and would be impos-
and how we operateour business. Look for a future article sible for the Council to deal with. They also get on and do
discussing this questionnaire and plans to distribute it. the work through the year that is necessary to keep the
Another hard working committee is the Internal Code Guild’s projects working. My thanks to those who have
of Ethics Committee. This committee headed by Colette agreed to serve on committees to make the Guild work
Collier has been given the task of rewriting the Discipli- better for us. g


Dampp-Chaser Introduces water into thereservoir; and a Low Water exposed to very dry conditions.
New Product Line Warning Light, which shows the piano Smith noted the product improve-
Dampp-Chaser ElectronicsCorpo- owner when the reservoir needs water. ment includes new packaging for the
ration, manufacturer of humidity con- These systems are generally installed by Piano Life Saver Systems that make it
trol equipment called Piano Life Saver piano technicians, tuners and dealers, possible for technicians to order a sys-
Systems for pianos and organs, has an- and are widely used in privately owned tem with as many as three Dampp-
nounced their recent introduction of a pianos as well as by churches, schools Chaser rods, since many installations,
number of new products and product and other institutions. especially in grands, require more than
improvements,according toSteveSmith, The new products recently intro- one rod for optimum stability.
President. duced, according to Smith, include: Also noted, the brackets for hang-
ThePianoLifeSaver Systems, with 1. Low Water Warning Light (LWL-2B) ing the grand humidifier tanks have
models for vertical and grand pianos, that not only flashes for increased visa- been converted to stainless steel, to
are designed to stabilize Relative Hu- bility, but ‘beeps”, as an aid for the eliminate rusting from moisture in the
midity in any piano at 42% which is visually impaired, as well as for institu- tank.
ideal for maintaining its pitch and ex- tional maintenance; All these new products and fea-
tending its life by eliminating swelling 2.New Short Tank (GHN-IST) for grand tures are now available from piano
and shrinking of the piano’s wood parts pianos such as the Steinway B which supply distributors who sell Dampp-
(85% of total). The system consists of an lacks sufficient space between the sup- Chasers. As in the past, these new prod-
electronic control, called a Humidistat; port braces to permit out-of-sight instal- ucts and features are based on requests
one ore more dehumidifier rods, called lation of a full sized grand tank; or suggestions from piano technicians
Dampp-Chasers; and a humidifier, 3. New stripped-down, full-size Grand who install Dampp-Chaser equipment,
which consists of a reservoir with wicks, Tank (GHM) with easy-fill watering and appreciate its substantial contribu-
a heating rod and a baffle to distribute tube, but no Low Water Warning Light, tion to client satisfaction with their work
warm, moist air around the piano when for use as a second reservoir in larger and the performance of their pianos. =
needed; an Easy-Fill System for putting pianos, such as the Steinway D, or those

What’s It Worth?
Larry Goldsmith
Executive Director

Fa time
or those of us who work with the Guild’s finances, this is
of evaluation and examination. For one thing, early
you should view it not as just another bill to be tossed
onto the pile but as an invitation. When you’re evaluat-
drafts of the Guild’s budget for 1991are being prepared for ingthebenefitsofyourmembershipagainst itscost,you
this winter’s Board meeting and the Council meeting next should also take a moment to consider what you want
summer. For another, the annual process of collecting and expect from the organization. As a franchised
membership dues has begun. member of the Guild, you have as much power as
Inevitably, everyone who receives an invoice for his anyone else to make it into the type of organization you
or her 1990 dues will stop to weigh, however briefly, the want.
cost of membership against the benefits received. This is as Obviously, not everything is possible - the laws
it should be. In these times of increasing economic pres- of physics and finance can be pretty solid barriers. For
sures, no organization can reasonably expect that its con- example, the current state of the insurance industry
stituents will automatically renew their memberships. makes it impossible to offer the kind of coverage we
Obviously, we hope that each one of our more than want for the price we want to pay -the annual cost of
3,700 members will opt to continue his or her participation our member life insurance program alone has increased
for another year. The organization operates efficiently, as more than $10,000 (more than a third) in the past five
shown by the fact that RTT dues have not increased since years, and it seems obvious that that trend will con-
1981.Very few things have not increased in price since then tinue.
- I hope your own fees have kept pace with the economy. With those limitations, however, I invite you to
There are tangible benefits such as the Journal, our help form the Guild into a more effective organization.
other publications, conventions, seminars, the insurance Communicate with your chapter, your regional vice
programs;and our affinity credit card program. There are president, the committees which are responsible for
also intangible benefits, such as the opportunity to meet various areas of the Guild’s operations, and with the
and work with the leading technicians in your area and Home Office. Contribute your ideas, your thoughts and
around the country, and the opportunity to help set the your wishes.
standards for your profession. Everyone will benefit - you most of all. i
When you receive your membership dues invoice,


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A Handcrafted Wooden Toolbox

Carl Root
Economic Affairs Committee

A re you happy with your toolbox? I used - and re- also holds two 8” parts boxes that are interchangeable with
moved from service - four different kinds before finding similar boxes which contain such things as punchings,
the right one. The first was a metal box with a tray on top; screws, scrap leather, felt and cloth, and miscellaneous
everything was thrown in loose. Next was a leather tool parts.
casethat looked great but it had to be unpacked completely In addition to the three drawers and 8” boxes, I carry
for many operations and the trays that slid out of the a leather tool roll for blades and other long narrow tools. It
bottom held only the smallest parts and tools. The next was takes up a little less space, is less noisy, and is made to fit
a vinyl covered plywood tackle box which was poorly the length and width of the tools I use. I dislike standard
made and permitted only limited accessto the larger tools pallets because they don’t accommodate many tools I use
in the bottom section because of the overlapping fold-out regularly. They can also cause the lid to close unexpect-
trays. I then bought a Jensen Super-Deep attache-type case edly. If anything heavy is removed from the bottom of a
which turned out to be much too big and was my first and case with pallets, it can even flip over backwards, spilling
last one with pallets. The one I have now has been in use for the contents all over the living room floor!
about nine years and meets my needs beautifully. There is My caseis always in an upright position, whether it’s
one drawback (although some may seeit as an advantage). on the floor next to a piano, being carried, or in the front
You have to make it yourself. seat of my truck. Everything remains in its proper place,
The September/October, 1980 issue of Fine neat and orderly. The lid serves as a portable office; it is the
Woodworking has an article entitled, “A Joiner’s Tool Case” perfect place for a leather portfolio which holds pamphlets,
written by Tony Taylor, a British cabinetmaker and writer. cards, billing pad, etc. (seeinsert). The lid can also hold two
The tool casehe describes has several noteworthy features. extra parts boxes as an alternative.
The design is easily adaptable to any size. The article In years past, the joiner’s toolbox was useful to pro-
describes a box 15 l/2” x 28” x 7 l/2”. Mine is 10” x 14” x 6 spective employers as an indication of a craftsman’s skills.
l/4”. I think I would now increase the width from 14” to 17” The skills used in building a durable, attractive, well-
to accommodate two 8” wide parts boxes as well as a 12” designed toolbox may seemless transferrable to piano care
blade in a combination handle. in the home, but the compliments I’ve received from my
The use of drawers makes everything accessible. clientele are a bonus nonetheless.
Removing several items to get to the necessary tool is a The average piano shop has all the tools necessary to
thing of the past. Placing a partition or two in each drawer make this toolbox. If you don’t have a thickness planer, you
to reflect the space required for each group of tools encour- canbuy3/8”hardwoodS2S(surfacedonbothsides)forthe
ages organiza- top, bottom,
tion and alerts and two sides.
you to missing If you are put off by the prospect of building a toolbox as described in the The front and
items. I made back panels
accompanyingarticle,Ihaveanothercaseof sorts thatIknow will interest you.
several extra A leather portfolio-or organizer, whatever you want to call it-that fits in are l/4” ply-
drawers which your tool box or can be carried separately, will hold all of your paperwork and wood. The
contain the tools other business aids that you use every time you run a service call. The drawers are
necessary for necessary items might include the following:
l/4” hard-
specialized tasks. wood with
They are stored 1. pamphlets and brochure 8. thank you cards l/8” plywood
loose in a larger bottoms. use
2. business cards 9. appointment cards
back-up toolbox 3. billing pad dovetails or
10. service manuals
in my truck and 4. appointment book box joints for
11. supply house catalog
can be exchanged 5. service stickers the hard wood
12.8 x 10 photos of pianos you have
with a drawer in 6. contract forms case parts,
rebuilt or are offering for sale!!
the primary tool- rabbet theside
7. work sheets
box. The toolbox edges to ac-


cept the panels, and cut dados for the drawer bottoms and 7” x 9 l/2”, but I would prefer 9” x 11”. This would allow at
side runners. A combination dado and rabbet works well least two pairs of side by side pockets for pamphlets and
for the comers as an alternative to dovetails or box joints. other 8 l/2” x 10” sheets folded in thirds. Several PTG
Cut dados in the sides of the case to accept drawer runners members, notably Fred Fomwalt and Bob Smit, have been
before assembly, but do not install yet. Glue up the caseso promoting the idea of distributing an official PTG portfolio
it is entirely enclosed, then mark and cut open the lid with through the home office. A portfolio stocked with PTG
a thin-blade handsaw so the drawer fronts will be flush business aids was available at the convention in Portland,
with the edge of the case.Install drawer runners, sand, and but was not made of leather and was too big to carry inside
finish to suit. I bought solid brass draw catches and handle most tool cases.
at Garrett Wade (l-800-221-2942) from their special hard- I think a sturdy attractive leather portfolio would be
ware catalog. You can also buy acceptable alternatives a business asset to any technician. Any comments on this
from your local suitcase store. subject, or any other business-related subject for that mat-
The portfolio I use was purchased at a craft fair from ter, would be welcome. Write or call: Carl D. Root, 3 Tap-
a local leather worker and works reasonably well consid- iola Court, Rockville, MD 20850, (301) 279-2440. c
ering it was not designed for the items I carry. It measures

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Hammer-String Contact
Susan Graham
Technical Editor
o continue last month’s discussion of
filing/shaping, let’s consider
curves. It is coiled as it is produced, and
it retains a memory of that shape. If you
Some technicians make a tool for wire
seating by heating a screwdriver blade
thecontactbetweenhammerand string. cut a string out of an 80-year-old piano until it glows and letting it cool slowly:
Good voicing requires that the hammer and toss it on the floor, it will revert to a this removes the temper, softening the
strike all the strings of a unison simulta- curve. This tendency to coil means that blade. Keep in mind that the tool must
neously; this starts the unison vibrating wherever the wire changes directions: be long and narrow enough to reach the
in phase, producing a clear, strong tone. bridges, capes, agraffes, etc., it tends to hitch pins and bridge in the tenor sec-
Thesymptomofirregularcontact/ take a rounded bend rather than a more tion, under the overstrung bass: that is
vibration within a unison is a nasal or acute angle. The result is indefinite ter- the purpose for the length of rod. The
sizzling quality to the tone, similar to a mination, less positive contact and poor brass screwdriver is good for seating up
cape or agraffe zing. This canbe difficult transfer of energy. Tone is weak and under the cape, so I carry them both, as
to isolate by troubleshooting, however. “fuzzy” (and features our old friend, the well as a standard string hook. Round
It is simpler and more efficient to begin false beat). Tuning stability suffers. off the sides and comers of the blades,
voicing by insuring that the strings are All those tiny curves need to be removing sharp edges which could mar
level and well-seated at the termination turned into tiny bends. This presents a plate or bridge surfaces.
points, (often referred to as “pre-voic- dilemma. The piano should be at pitch, If a fresh stringing job is involved,
ing”, or “voicing the piano”) and that i.e., the wire should be where it is going it should be complete: wire spaced,
the hammers are shaped and fit to strike to be in relation to the various bearing beckets and coils tight. Be sure to check
the unisons correctly. points. Doing otherwise is ineffective, plate bolts and screws for tightness.
We sometimes get tunnel vision since a major pitch change will change If the customer is present, explain
and think of voicing only as needling or the contact point of string to termina- briefly before you begin that you are
hardening hammers. The preliminaries, tion, and possibly can create more about to perform a strange-appearing
tedious and lacking glamour though troublebyproducingabendinthespeak- and noisy procedure and tell them why.
they may be, are critical for success in ing length. Seating wire, however, will Otherwise, it may be little alarming for
final hammer voicing. In fact, the need definitely knock the instrument out of them to find you wandering around
for extensive needling/hardening is tune. their piano with a hammer and a pur-
usually greatly reduced once these ini- The best solution I have to avoid poseful look in your eye...
tial operations are done. As the inimi- wasted effort is to do a partial seating Beginat the hitch pin. Tap the wire
table Joe Saah used to say, try anything job, pitch-raise or lower the piano, redo down so it is seated firmly, contacting
beforeyou resort to needles and dope. a complete seating, and then do a final the plate at the base of the pin. Conven-
Finally, the “pm-voicing” proce- tuning. Anything which might result in tional hitch pins are soft steel (made
dures are safe: even a novice technician akinkinthespeakinglengthisleftoutof from the same stock as standard nails).
can be assured of some improvement in the first seating but the overall result is Under the pull from a piano string, they
tone through wire seating and fitting more stable since movement of wire will yield if the string has walked or
hammers to strings, and it requires no during the final tuning is minimized. been left “up” on the hitchpin: tuning
venture into the murky and hazardous will be unstable. Theexceptionis the Bald-
waters of invasive hammer treatment. Wire Seating win Accu-just system: this employs a
It stands to reason that before we Tools for the job are always a good hardened steel roll pin. Bearing is set by
fit thehammers to thestrings,thestrings place to start. Whatever is used must be the position of the wire on the vertical
should be level and seated. This is usu- dull-edged and softer than music wire. I pin. This system is found on newer Bald-
ally most needed in new or freshly use two brass implements. One looks win grands and their large upright, and
restrung pianos, but older instruments just like a screwdriver: a flat brass blade is easily recognizable by the unusual
(particularly those which are heavily as wide as a three-string unison, set in a appearance of the pin.
played or subject to extreme swings in woodenhandle,about S’inentirelength. Seating is done with a light tap:
climate) require it as well. The other is a 4” length of l/4” diameter firm enough to knock the wire down to
Climate and use are factors be- brass rod with one end filed to a similar the base of the pin without driving it
cause exaggerated movement of the blade.Thisfitsinthecombinationhandle into the plate finish. The finish on the
strings or bridges allow the wire to creep (one of these days I am going to cut the plate or hitch pin may tend to chip dur-
up bridge pins and dig into capes, etc. other end so it can be locked in, al- ing this procedure; placing the tool to
The need for wire seating is also created though it seemsto work just fine merely one side of the pin rather than at the
by the nature of music wire itself: it pressed in with the collet tightened). back may help (putting fewer coats on
the plate will, too). Simply go along and or by prying them up with a twisting Joy’s Rust-Sol4 on [I pieceof hammerskiv-
give the wire a little rap to settle it at the motion of the blade tool. If the action is ing which is cut to a wedge. This is used
baseof the pin. At the same time, tighten out, I seat wire at the cape with the to rub the strings at the contact points.
any new looped or tied plain wire (not screwdriver-type tool, propping my Nothing is sprayed into the piano! Do
wrapped or bass strings) by tapping the elbows on the keybed and forcing the not use any product containing silicone
coil back toward the hitch so the loops of wire up with the blade. Since the blade or oil! Don’t goop up contact points as if
wire are tight against each other and the contacts all three strings of a unison at lubricating your ‘57 Chevy!
hitchpin. There is a fairly high breakage once, it requires a little effort, but with All this fooling around with wire
potential in this move, so I don’t do it on the leverage of elbows against keybed and banging away on the piano has set
old wire: since the wire has been under (padded with a rag), I still prefer this to the stage for stable tuning as well as
tension, older tied strings have stabi- the effort of lifting each string with a productive voicing. Now we can get
lized. hook. It also tends to result in level back to the beginning of all this: fitting
When the wire is seated at the hitch strings, since all three are done at once. hammers to strings.
pins, work toward the tuning pin. If Plate configuration prevents run-
there are duplexes or plate bridges be- ning a tool up from underneath in the Hammer Travel
tween the hitch and the bridge, seat agraffe section, since agraffes are in- As part of either regulation and/
there, but do not tap the wire directly stalled back from the edge of the plate. or voicing, check hammer travel. We
down on these metal contacts. Rather, This section must be done with a hook. need a hammer which takes an efficient
tap lightly just on either side of them, Avoid bending over the string as you lift path to meet the strings squarely and
where the wire is suspended and can with a hook: otherwise, you run the risk transfer energy. If the hammer is travel-
yield a little if you get too enthusiastic. of slipping and taking a hook in the ing to one side, it will not contact the
Even a soft tool, if placed on the wire chin-or worse. unison squarely. Although the hammer
directly on top of a duplex and given a An advantage which forcing the could be shaped to compensate, this is
sharp rap, can break a string-go on, ask strings up from under the cape bar of- bad policy. Solve the problem, not just
me how I know. fers is that it is possible to exert pressure the symptom.
From the duplexes move on to the against the strings on both sides of the It is really the shank which travels:
hitch-side bridge pin. Wire should be cape. Accessto the short length of string as it rises from rest position, it should
seated in two directions at bridge pins: between the cape and the counterbear- not drift or wander to one side, but
down onto the bridge, and sideways ing or plate bridge just in front of the should follow a vertical line toward the
just in front or back of the pin (where the tuningpinsisdifficult fromabove, since string. Incorrect travel may be due to
wire is suspended in the speaking or thissegmentof wireissostiffandclosely unevenness in the rail under the flange,
waste length, not directly against the spaced. If possible, however, it is worth or the problem may be in the flange
pin). Here again, light raps: you don’t the effort to pull or force the wire up itself. If the hole for the center pin in the
want to drive the string into the surface against the cape from both sides. Fi- flange is not parallel with the bottom
of the bridge, nor do you want to loosen nally, tap down on either side of the surface of the wood, the axis is tipped
the bridge pin. Often, the change from counterbearing, as was done at the and the shank will travel to one side (see
curve to angle will be visible, particu- duplex bars: not directly on the metal “Basic Skills” this issue for illustration).
larly if the wire is new. This can clue you surface, but on the wire just to either Uneven drilling of the holesin the shank
as to how strong a rap is needed. side, whereitissuspended. Evenif there produces the same result, as can un-
If this is the first seating, prior to a is muting felt here, tap anyway. evenly worn bushings. Traveling also
pitch raise, I do tap the wire duzunat the Chances are that the piano is now maybedue to irregularitiesin the flange
front or speaking length bridge pin, but dramatically out of tune. Even if it was rail: when shanks are replaced, clean old
I don’t knock it sideways yet. It is debat- at pitch before you started, it may have traveling paper off the rail and renew
able whether kinks in the speaking dropped. Pulling it back up may or may the rail covering, if necessary, to pro-
length can cause trouble, but it is cer- not require two tunings; it depends on vide a clean and level surface.
tainly unproductive to create what the degree of drop and on the particular In any case,the cure is to shim the
should be a small bend at the bridge pin instrument. If the piano started at pitch flange to align the centerpin so it is
and then move the string so far in chang- and wire seating is done quickly with parallel to the rail.
ing pitch that the bend moves away the tuning immediately following, there When shanks are installed, travel-
from the pin. In addition, when the wire is little time for the soundboard and ing is done prior to hammer hanging,
is lifted or forced up against the cape or bridges to react to the lessening of pres- and the stack is usually removed from
agraffe, it can lift up off the bridge sure, and it may be possible to achieve a the keyframe. Use the bubble level in the
slightly: seating it down on the bridge stable tuning on one round. If a great handle of a combination square to level
will need to be redone anyway. deal of wire movement is involved, if the stack to the bench: observe the loca-
Seating the wire at the front termi- there is rust, acute angle chances at ter- tion of the bubble while the square is
nation (cape or agraffel requires that it minations, or any of a number of the sitting on the bench, and then check
be forced up against these points. It can mysterious factors which affect pianos, with the square on the lip of the ham-
be done from above with a string hook, it may be necessary to tune twit-r at merflange rail, or across the shanks right
catchingeach wire in the speaking length least go over the unisons several times. at the flange. The desirable condition is
and lifting firmly as you slide the hook If there is rust, incidentally, I do lubri- that the hammerflange rail be parallel
toward the termination. Do not run a cate the metal-to-metal contact points. with the bench top; shim under the
string hook along windings: lift these This is done by spraying a rust dissolv- appropriate bracket feet so the bubble
stringsby hooking theexposed core wire, ing agent (such as Liquid Wrench or registers the same on the bench and
figure1 ficult to Since tilting the flange to correct
make it travel tilts the shank and hammer, the
stick to the hammer must be m-aligned by heating
flange and and twisting the shank. A heat gun is the
it annoys best tool for this, since it is efficient and
me to have leaves no smoke marks on the shank.
traveling Simply apply heat to the shank, moving
paper fall the gun to heat the entire length of the
out if I have shank and twisting it by hand in the
to remove a desired direction (to square up the ham-
shank. The mer). You will feel the wood yield
flangeispa- slightly; remove the heat source and
pered, not hold the hammer for another second or
the rail: glue sountilit sets.Thiscanalsobedonewith
the paper to a butane lighter. A match will work in a
the flange. pinch but usually blackens the shank
To use and lacks that professional touch which
“Illustrations by Valerie Winemiller * paper tape, distinguishes good piano work. Don’t
slice it into apply heat so vigorously that the shank
resting on the rail or shanks (don’t put strips of varying widths: the wider the is burned or charred! A few seconds
the level on top of the screw heads, since strip, the more effect it will have. The should be sufficient. Yes, travel does
theyaren’tnecessarilyuniform:thesame closer the paper is placed to the screw, change: some shanks just seem inclined
goes for the shank rest cushions). the more effect it will have as well. I to twist with weather changes.
With the stack level to the bench, make the strip long enough to protrude Well, where are we in fitting
the squarecanbeused to set end samples from the front edge of the flange (so I can hammers to strings? The strings are level
in a truly vertical plane (figure 1). With- see where I’ve been) but do not to allow and settled, we’re sure that the ham-
out doing this, it is entirely possible to the tape to extend under the flange mers and shanks are traveling in the
travel an entire section of shanks going toward the drop screw, where it might most efficient path-straight up to the
uniformly off to one side. In reference to make noise against the repetition lever. string. The next step is to position the
each other, the shanks seem correct, but Unfortunately, the flange screw hammers (and action) under the strings.
they actually are not. must be securely tightened for traveling Alignment To Strings
When end samples are set, the re- to be accurate. The screwing and un- Check alignment first in agraffe
mainder are traveled by comparison. screwing involved makes the job a little sections, since the wire spacing is fixed
Liftagroupof shanks(usingthebladeof time-consuming. Other than that, it re- and hammers must be adjusted. Before
your flange screwdriver) and watch for ally is quite simple. It is never necessary moving individual hammers, decide if
those which wander. I actually watch to paper both sides of a flange. If shim- the entire action should be moved by
the spaces between the shanks more ming one side tips the flange so far that shimming at the end block (usually in
than the shanks themselves; my eye finds it seemsto need a shimon the other side, the bass - opposite end of the keybed
it easier to detect narrowing or widen- don’t. Remove the initial papering, and from the return spring). If repositioning
ing gaps. I also find it best to work replace with either a narrower piece the whole action improves alignment to
quickly: staring fixedly at the samegroup farther from the screw, or possibly a the strings while keeping the hammers
of shanks over and over is counterpro- short, narrow strip which doesn’t cover aligned to the wippens, it is a better
ductive. I start at the treble, sitting on the theentireundersideof the flange. Avoid- choice. In the cape sections either the
hammerflange rail side, work all the ing papering on both sides is one reason strings or the hammers can be moved,
way down into the bass, and then turn to leave the paper protruding: if it ap- keeping in mind hammer alignment to
the action around and check from the Rears that I’ve papered the wrong side, wippen and damper alignment to strings
opposite side. In the case of any ques- I check with the square before re-remov- to find the best compromise.
tions, use the square. As you lift each ing the flange, to be sure that things I don’t usually use the flange
group of shanks, keep your head still: haven’t gradually gone askew and the cruncher-the tool which is designed to
changing perspective by leaning to one neighboring shanks are fooling me. engage the back end of a flange and
side will confuse the eye and yield inac- When traveling is complete, I trim the permit you to turn it while the action is
curate results. paper flush to the flanges with a razor under the strings. It just results in more
The cure for incorrect travel is to blade. damage and frustration for me than any-
tip the flange so the centerpin is parallel If the hammers are already in- thing else; it can’t be used on actions
to the rail. I use plain brown paper pack- stalled, traveling may need to be fol- where the flanges are close together, ei-
aging tape: the kind which must be lowed by re-aligning hammers. Ham- ther. I simply mark the keys, pull the ac-
moistened to activate the glue. Shari mers should be vertical: the side of the tion, space hammers and reinstall the
uses l/8” wide auto detailing tape (they hammer is at 90 degrees to the plane of action to check.
don’t have a “natural wood” but the tan the flange rails (except in caseswhere a
is pretty close). I don’t recommend section is deliberately tilted to one side- Fitting Hammers To Strings
masking tape, since is is soft and com- most often in the bass of small grands, The fit of the hammer to the strings
presses,changing the result. Other tech- where spacing is tight and this is done so is checked by blocking the hammer up
nicians like sandpaper, but I find it dif- the hammers meet the strings). so it stays in contact, and plucking each
string of the unison. Those which are in several days previous; with figure 2
solid contact with the string will be final traveling, regulating,
muted, while those which are not will etc., the spacing may drift a
ring. little). Needless to say, cor-
The easiest way to lift the hammer rect spacing and recheck
against the string is to reach in with a hammer fit before filing.
hook such as a spring hook and hold it Keysbeingnarrow and
up. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. chalk being rather blunt, it’s
There is potential to pull the hammer hard to distinguish whether
slightly to one side, or to exert either too a mark is in the middle or to
little, too much, or variable lifting force one side, so I slant the marks
with the hook, getting inaccurate read- for sides and use a straight
ings. It is better to block the hammer by vertical line to indicate con-
lifting the wippen by hand. This is done tact with the center string
by jamming the palm of the hand against (figure 31,and use an arrow
the jack toe, so the jack cannot com- to indicate a spacing change. pleasure from the new hammers. I like
pletely let-off, and lifting the wippen Now we have a keyboard with all an action to have at least 40 hours’ play-
with the fingers at the same time (figure these little hieroglyphics on the keys. I ing before I add any chemicals to the
2). It requires practice, since the jack re- use a l/V strip of 180 paper, backed hammers: this final voicing will be done
ally does want to pop out from under with tape (back it before you slice it) to as part of the follow-up call I include in
the knuckle. knock off the high spots in the hammer. all rebuilding or extensive regulation
It also requires that regulation be With this narrow strip, material can be jobs.
correct. If let-off and drop occur too far removed from the section of hammer Remembertocheckbothalignment
from the string, blocking the hammer under just one string at a time. It usually and fit with the una corda engaged.
becomes impossibly erratic. If the action requiresverylittlematerialremoval,but Some pianists prefer that the action shift
is not in good reguation, you shouldn’t care must be taken not to change the far enough so the hammer entirely clears
be trying to voice it anyway; uneven shape (profile) of the hammer. The strip one string. Others prefer less shift, so the
mechanical response results in uneven is simply drawn along the surface of the hammer stillcatches the third string, but
tone production regardless of hammer hammer under light to medium finger all three strings are contacted by the
treatment. In fact, the’blockability” of a pressure. One stroke across the top and softer sections of the hammer which do
hammer is a good check for uniform, a stroke on either shoulder usually is not usually contact strings. If no prefer-
close escapement. enough, guiding the shape by place- ence is given, I usually set up the shift in
With the hammer blocked up to ment of the pressure finger (on larger the first style, which will permit full
the string, depress the damper pedal (or hammers it may also be necessary to shift if desired and the pianist can exert
wedge it so- it stays figure 3 -take another stroke slightly less pressure if a different effect
lifted) and pluck each further down on the is desired. The una corda pedal is not an
string of the unison. shoulder to maintain on-or-off switch: good pianists utilize it
They should be uni- shape.) with many shadings. Una corda voicing
formly muted. If you If the hammers may require a very slight rounding of
are being very fussy, have been ironed prior the edge of the hammer nearest the free
vary the pressure to fitting it will be string; sometimes spacing is too close to
which with the ham- necessary to re-iron permit a particular hammer to clear fully
mer is forced against very lightly. It’s easy and it will be louder; if a chemical hard-
the string to simulate inadvertantly to alter ener has been used, it may form a slight
different dynamic lev- the shape of the ham- crust at the hammer edge. It needs to be
els. Mark on the keys; I mer with any ironing. very lightly knocked off with a sandpa-
mark for strings which Ironing after fitting re- per file.
don’t ring, since that is quires a light, skillful Well, we certainly have wandered
the part of the ham- touch, or the shape through the topics here. Typical of pi-
mer I will need to file. may be lost. ano work-no procedure happens in
Others mark for the Why iron? In isolation, particularly voicing. The fo-
strings which are ring- the case of soft ham- cus on hammer treatment has generated
ing. It makesnodiffer- mers which may even- a mystique about the subject. Hammer
ence whatsoever, as tually need some voicing is complex, and can be tricky,
long as you remember chemical hardening, I especially given the widely varying
which it is. As I am prefer just to file and styles of hammers we encounter. How-
doing this, I double- iron for an initial ever, string seating and settling, ensur-
check the spacing of break-in period. Iron- ing good power transfer through travel,
the hammer centered ing gives a little crisp regulation, alignment and fit-will
under the string. (Par- ness to the tone imme- benefit any piano. They are not only
ticularly in rebuilt ac- diately, so the artist “safeRand beneficial by themselves, but
tions, I may have cen- getssomeretumonhis are critical for effective final voicing
tered the hammers effort and immediate procedures. f
An Interview With Concert Artist Arie Vardi
Rick Baldassln
Tuning Editor

Bof eginning his artistic career at the age

15, Israeli-bon Arie Vardi has re-
nothing. Nothing.
When I was younger, I wanted to
afternoon I asked my colleagues, “Do
you know whether this is theYamaha or
ceived international recognition as one better understand my piano, asmuchas the Steinway?” They all started to listen
of that country’s finest concert pianists. any player of bassoon should know his and say, ‘Well, come to think of it, we
After winning the Chopin Compe- instrument, and I even tried to teach are not any more so sure as we were
tition in Israel, he appeared with the myself and be taught how to tune a years ago.” So I think the international
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with piano, and gave up because I simply scenenowisveryinteresting.Someother
Zubin Mehta, and upon winning the couldn’t do it. I could make little correc- firms are making tremendous progress,
George Enescu International Competi- tions,but Isimplycouldn’tdoit.Iwasso like Yamaha and Fazioli.
tion in Bucharest, he played many con- sensitive to many phenomena of the RB: Are the concert halls in Europe
certs throughout East and West Europe. sounds that I could not concentrate on different than they are in the United
In addition, his concert tours have taken what is needed to tune. And therefore, I States?
him to the United States, Latin America, appreciate so much the people who can AV: I don’t think so. I think that
‘the Far East, Australia, and Japan. do it well, and I know what it does take. Carnegie is a very European concert
In addition to his concert career, RB: You, yourself are from Israel. hall, and the hall here is very European
Arie Vardi is Professor of Piano at the Can you tell me what different types of in concept. I hear a European sound
Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv pianos are used there and in Europe, as here in Salt Lake City, and I think I
University. Mr. Vardi frequently gives opposed to what we are used to in the praise thislittleroomverymuch.Itlooks
master classes in other countries and United States? very rich and noble and calm, and it
participates as adjudicator at leading AV: I, personally, like many pian- sounds the same. It sounds the same as
international piano competitions. He is ists, prefer the Hamburg Steinway. it looks. And it is a wonderful audito-
Chairman of the Music Advisory Com- RB: Is that a very popular piano in rium. One of the best that I recall.
mittee of the Artur Rubinstein Interna- Europe, more so than the American RB: You are involved with the
tional Piano Master Competition. Steinway, or is the American Steinway Rubinsteincompetition. Tell me what it
The following is a conversation I popular in Europe? was like to work with Artur Rubinstein
had with Mr. Vardi after his perform- AV: Oh, you don’t seeany Ameri-
ance with the Utah Symphony in Salt can Steinways in Europe. You simply
Lake City, Utah, in April, 1989. don’t see them. Never in a concert hall.
Rick Baldussin:From your years of RB: So,beside the Hamburg Stein-
experience, are there any words of ad- way, are there any other instruments
vice to these piano technicians you that you see a lot?
would like to begin with? Al? Yes, in Vienna, of course, you
A& Vurdi: I must repeat that if we see Bosendorfer, and sometimes you
are to respect each other, we must not must play Bosendorfer. And I must say
tell each other what to do. I know some that the Bosendorfer in Vienna sounds
pianists that like to teach the technician well in this particular ambience. Like in
what to do, and this would be just as Musikvereins, I would like to play Bosen-
much as a technician would teach the dorfer. The people there are used to this
pianist how to phrase. The pianist has sound. I think I have told you about this
the right to ask for certain changes, but new piano, Fazioli, which is quite amaz-
not to tell what to do, just tell his ideas ing, and I think it has a great future. I am
and concepts. Whenever I see good a great believer in Fazioli.
pianists who talk like debutantes con- RB: So, it is an Italian piano. Are
cerning some technical problem on the they appearing in concert halls there?
piano,itisquiteamazinghowwedonot AIt Yes. I also saw quite a few
know our instrument. Every player good Yamahas, and I must say they are
knows his instrument. An oboe player making tremendous progress. I remem-
knows his reed, I meana violinist knows ber in the Bachauer Competition here,
hisinstrumentfromtheinside.Weknow that pianists changed instruments. One Concert Artist Arie Vanii
as part of that competition. one, and he preferred him or her, and today. I was happy that here on this
Air: I was privileged to know Ar- that one did not succeed so much. We particular piano, I didn’t have to pre-
tur Rubinstein ever since I can remem- know that we are all human, and we tend that it waslight. I felt it wasa light
ber. He used to come annually to Israel. have our preferences, and historically piano.
I think the first time I played for him, I speaking., he was not right, or perhaps RB: What to you would be the
was 12. And I played for him many we were all wrong. Perhaps he wasright, ideal situation, working with a piano
times since. Just to know that he was and that First Prize Winner was not so technician, coming in to work with an
listening was really something. He was good, and the other one was much bet- orchestra or giving a recital?
a wonderful listener. The way he sat and ter. But, who knows? AV: The ideal situation, to speak
listened was something quite unique, RI?:When you come in to perform very frankly, is that the piano is so
because, you know, today people can with an orchestra on an instrument that wonderful that you meet the piano tech-
play, perhaps, and can talk, but very few you may have never seen before, how nician and just say to him, “God Bless
are good listeners. And, of course, his long does it take to get used to it, or to You!” You have nothing to negotiate,
touch, his hands were something that is adjust to it? because you negotiate to the person
never to be forgotten. Just if you looked Air: Sometimes, in a very short through the piano. Of course, human
at close distance to his hands and fin- periodoftime,likehere.Here,Isatat the relationship and friendship are very
gers, his rich and soft hands, very big, piano,and I knew right away that I must precious today, and it is nice to meet
even though he was not a tall fellow. He not experiment with it because the pi- good people in this profession. But per-
wasveryshort,verysmall.Yethishands ano revealed its qualities so quickly, so sonally, I must admit that I prefer that I
were so huge and developed and soft. that you knew right away what you like the piano and have no comments to
This softness of the fingers, and then the have to do. Sometimes it takes much say. That is rare, because usually you
magic touch to the keys is something longer. Sometimes you need an hour or have certain problems, because no pi-
that I don’t see anymore. I am missing two to discover its secrets. Of course, it ano is perfect, and then you need the
the Rubinstein touch. I heard him dur- depends also on how many styles you technician very badly. As I remember
ing his last concert when he recorded are playing in one recital or concert. the first time I met you, I told you that
the Brahms First Piano Concerto, when Here, I played only two different styles. notes B and D were a little soft. You told
he was 80. Then, I was in a kind of I played Mozart and Ben-I-Km. But if it me that was a problem of this piano, that
master class which was videotaped in was a recital with many styles, I perhaps you were aware of it, that it was hard to
Jerusalem when he was 92, I think. He would have needed much more time to overcome, but that you would try your
played theFirst Ballade of Chopin, and discover each style, sound, touch, and best to remedy the situation, and so on.
he was 100 percent blind, and could not so on. This is the kind of human relationship
hear very much. Only one of his ears I must say that there is something that I appreciate very much, because the
served him, and yet his hands produced whichisveryimportantformeinMozart audience might not even notice this
the most wonderful touch. Just this soft- playing. We know that some of the thing. But this little thing for me is striv-
ness of the hands and this delicate rela- contemporary pianos have a very hard ing together for perfection. This give
tionship to the keys, like the man was action, and it serves tone control very and take relationship between the tech-
not playing the keys, he was playing the well, because when the action is soft, nician and pianist. And this little satis-
strings, some direct contact to the strings, you can’t control the sound in many faction of overcoming certain difficul-
is something that is never to be forgot- degrees of color, dynamics, and so on. ties sometimes is more rewarding than
ten. So, this hard action and deep penetra- to meet the perfect piano right away.
RR: You told me earlier that Artur tion help us very much to control the RB:Howdoyouhandleasituation
Rubinstein served on the jury of the first sound. But on the other hand, when you where the instrument has a lot of prob-
competition, and invited several of his play Mozart, you would like a light lems?
colleagues. Who were some of the people piano, because if not, then the leggero is AV: Then you need a lot of time to
who were there, and what was Artur lost. In Mozart playing, if you don’t practice and to try your best to know
Rubinstein like as a juror? have any of the leggero playing, it is and recognize each tone individually,
AV: This is a very interestingques- very bad. I played some early keyboard and remember it during the perform-
tion. Of course, the colleagues were instruments like the Pianofortes which ance. And this is not so easy.
people like Arturo Benedetti Mich- Mozart used, and when you play these RB: So that you can compensate
elangeli, and so on - people who usu- instruments, the leggero comes so natu- for it?
ally don’t judge in the competition, and rally, because the touch is so light. It is AV:Yes.Itcanbedone,butitisnot
they came just to join (Mr. Rubinstein). nothing to compare to the modem pi- veryeasy.Sometimesitrequiressomuch
We were very privileged to have a panel ano. The keyboard has been changed concentration that it is on the account of
of judges at the Rubinstein Competition tremendously over time. Mankind has inspiration and forgetting yourself,
that no other competition in the world not been changed at all. Our hand is the which is the ideal of any performer.
would have. As a jury member, I must same hand that people at Mozart’s time Sometimes, it happens that when you
say he had his preferences. And histori- had. So when they played leggero, it try too hard to overcome certain diffi-
cally speaking if I look back, I must was really leggero. They felt physically culties, you even succeed a little better.
admit that he was not always right. I the leggero. Today, sometimes we have It is a very mysterious thing. Sometimes
remember that he didn’t like the First to pretend that it is leggero-we have to having certain difficulties makes you
Prize Winner of the first competition, work very hard with our fingers, yet try harder, and perhaps you succeed
and this First Prize Winner happened to pretend that i t is light. And this is a very more. If it isone tone or another one, it is
be a very good one, but he liked another dangerous aspect of Mozart playing not a major difficulty, but when you
don’t like the whole piano, when you more than we think. AV: Good pedals. For instance,
cannot enjoy playing it, when the pedal RB: It is probably something that whenyoucanusenotonlythefullpedal,
is wrong, when the bench is wrong, we as piano technicians often overlook. buthalfpedalsorvibratopedalsinsome
when there are major difficulties, that is We go through and make sure that the pianos, thiscancreate miracles. And it is
very bad. When there is a major, general piano is so evenly voiced with the action very important not to have any sound of
difficulty, then sometimes we feel com- in its normal position, not remembering the dampers on the strings, like once
pletely lost. What can we do? that it has to shift and still sound even. upon a time you had in the bechsteins.
RB: There are problems with tone AV: And there arevariousdegrees You heard all the time this “swishing”
and problems with the mechanics of the of una corda. Sometimes you press the sound of the dampers suffocating the
action. Which is harder for you? una corda to the end and it makes a good strings. And when you don’t have fear
AV: I try not to separate it, because sound, then you make it three quarters of that sound, you can vibrate the pedal,
I have to remember that for the audience and the sound is a little bit funny, or or take half pedals at ease. That is very
it is the best sound, and not the mechan- vice-versa. What I hate very much is an important, because with half pedals we
ics that is important. Like the piano we una corda which is only good when it is can clean up the harmony in the middle
had the day before yesterday in another 50 percent, or 60 or 70. This is very hard of the piano and yet keep some basses
city. The action was perfect, but the to control during the performance. I vibrating, because if you change the
sound was not enough. And perhaps would prefer an una corda that you can pedal only half, it is enough to clean the
the action was even more perfect than in just push all the way, and it still sounds middle section of the piano, but the bass
the piano here. It was a wonderful ac- good. could be sustained. So being able to
tion, yet the sound was not enough. Of RB: beside the una corda, are there control half pedals is something that is
course, we pianists also fail sometimes any other characteristics of the piano very, very important.
to separate between the action and that are particularly desirable to you? RB: !3oyou would admonish us to
sound. Sometimes we say that this pi- AV: Something that we all love to check our damper regulation more care-
ano is very hard, and the technician will have in the piano is a warm sound. We fully?
tell you it is not hard at all, and will have to remember that the piano is a AV: Yes, and perhaps try to release
prove to you scientifically that the ac- very mechanical instrument. No other the pedal very quickly, to make a spic-
tionisnot hard. But we find it always the instrument is so mechanical. There are cato pedal, and see whether it makes
relationship between the action and the so many parts in the transmission be- any sound when thedampersfall quickly
sound. So,if the sound is not enough, we tween the fingers and the strings. The on the strings.
consider it as a hard touch piano. only way to compensate is to have a RB:Anypartingcommentsinclos-
RB: because you have to play warm sound. No action, or lightness, or ing ?
harder to make the same amount of clarity could compensate for lack of AV: That I thank you very much
sound? warmth. We need a singing and warm personally. It has been a great pleasure
AV: Yes, and that is very natural. sound, and this is the number one qual- to meet you, and to work with’you. We
!%metimes,it isvice-versa.Idon’t know, ityof the piano. Thisis thefirstthingrtry experimented with twodifferentpianos.
for instance, whether this piano has a to learn about a piano-whether it can It was very interesting.
normal action, or a hard action, because sing and has this warmth, or not. This RB: Yes, it was. Thank you very
it has a very bright sound, and it is very warmth is sometimes the consequence much.
rewarding, so I couldn’t feel if it was of good tuning. Sometimes a good tun- Until next month, please send your
hard or not. Can you tell me? ing createsa very harmonious and round questions and comments to:
RB: It is normal. It is not what I sound. Other times, when the tuning
would consider heavy or light. It is just creates sudden sharpness, or when the Rick Baldassin
normal. octaves are too sharp, or the thirds are Tuning Editor
AV: For Mozart, I must say it was not warm, even a good piano can sound 2684 W. 220 North
very light. bad. Good intonation can compensate Provo, UT 84601
RB: Really? even a bad instrument.
AV: It felt very light. Very light. RB: !30 it has been your experience
Also, the difference between una corda that a different tuning will drastically
and tri corda was quite natural, so I change the character of the instrument? PERKINS SCHOOL OF PIANO
could use una corda naturally, and not AV: Of course. It goes without TUNING & TECHNOLOGY
get scared that every time I use the una saying. We all know it. A different tuner
corda, I find a completely different can change the whole piano. I know
sound. That is something which makes some pianos very well. If they are tuned
me fear greatly, sometimes, because I by a different person, they sound com-
love to use una corda, and when it pletely different-a complete difference.
changes the sound totally, it is a major I must not tell you your professional
difficulty. I remember, speaking of secrets, how to make it more brilliant PIANO SERVICING
Rubinstein, he used to say that he loved when you sharp a little bit the descant By ARTHUR A REEUIZ, KIT
very much using una corda, not only in (treble) or when you lower a little bit the 7%~ Technician’s Bible'
pianissimo, but sometimes he played Now in Paperback for only $19.95
bass, all these little tricks which serve so + $.?moi107$3 UPS
mezzo-forte with una corda, and found well. THE VESTAL PRFSS
great pleasure in doing so. I think good RB:Besidea warmsoundandgood Box 97 l Vesta! 62NY 13851
NYRt?s. add 7% sali; far
una corda can serve the pianist much tuning anything more?

Vertical Regulation
Bill Spurlock
Sacramento Valley Chapter

A ction regulation procedures are

readily available in most manufactur-
will only be as good as the condition of
the action parts will allow. It is usually
locked into shape to properly fit the
upper and lower mounting posts in the
ers’ service manualsand books on piano not appropriate to spend hours precisely piano. (Old upright actions with loose
repair. These procedures are usually regulating a very worn action; little screws will flop back and forth like a
presented simply as a list of adjustments benefit will be realized from having the parallelogram when removed from the
to be made in a certain order. Given a let-off set exactly to l/8” on each note if piano.)
pianoinlike-newconditionwithallparts each hammer has a different tone and Hammers should be checked for
within specifications, following such a each hammer butt leather is worn to a traveling and any problems corrected
list of adjustments will usually give good different shape. In such cases the cus- by papering the flanges as shown in
results. However, in the real world ac- tomer might be given the option of ei- Figure 1. For ease of installation, it is
tion condition varies considerably; parts ther a quick touch-up regulation using handy to use a travel paper that sticks in
wear and change dimension, and felt wholesale methods to improve symp- place. Avery correction tape from a sta-
and leather change texture and friction. toms or else extensive parts replacement tionery store is one popular type; brown
Even in a brand-new piano, the materi- followed by a thorough regulation. It is gummed tapecutintostripsisalsogood.
als used in the action and the position- important to realize that regulation Always stick the paper to the flange
ing of the action and keys in the piano cannot overcome the effect of deterio- rather than to the rail, so whenever a
case may not be what were originally rated parts, so when selling a regulation new flange is installed it starts out on a
called for in the plans. All of these vari- job the technician must not promise more bare rail.
ables affect how an action functions, improvement than the piano can de- One benefit of properly traveled
and therefore regulating “by the book” liver. hammers is that they strike the strings
may not give the best result in all cases. Before we can regulate we must straight on, rather than with a sideways
The technician who understands first have the action in good mechanical motion, and therefore transmit more
how an action works and who can visu- condition. Hammer shaping if appro- energy to the strings. Perhaps a more
alize the operation of each action part in priate, should be a preliminary step. basic benefit is that when all hammers
relation to others is in the best position Otherwise re-spacing hammers with move parallel it is easier to avoid rub-
to regulate an action so it will really visible string cuts will result in very bing hammers, especially in the angled
work well. I feel that we should all be uneven tone as some hammers now sections, since each hammer occupies
familiar with manufacturers’ service strike on the “high spots.” Action cen- the narrowest path as it moves toward
procedures, but we should also have a ters must be free but not wobbly, action the strings.
thorough understanding of the logic felt and leather must be useable (not
behind those procedures so we can adapt worn to the point of dysfunction), all Parts Alignment
themasnecessaryforbestresults.Inthis action parts should be free of interfer- Our first regulation step will be to
and next month’s articles I will present ence or rubbing, and all screws should confirm that the action is properly lo-
procedures that emphasize regulating be tight. It is a good idea to tighten the cated in the piano and that the action
for proper action function. screws that hold the action brackets to mounting posts hold it securely in that
Preliminary Steps the rails while the action is still in the position. Here we are most concerned
Regulationistheprocessofadjust- piano; this way the action frame will be with action height and the proper strik-
ing the action parts to give the most
efficient operation; in other words, to
give the most power, repetition speed, toward bass because centerpin correct by placing
and evenness in touch and tone from is not parallel travel paper under
note to note. Depending upon the cir- to rail treble side of flange
cumstances, regulation can mean any- /
thing from touching up capstans, key
level, etc. (to improve a slightly worn
action) to going through an entire regu-
lation sequence to make each part con-
tribute the most to best action perform-
ance. Whatever the situation, the results figure 1: Trawling Hammers
leather which will quickly wear down,
causing lost motion to develop.) Wip
pen flanges canbe shifted, and shimmed
with spacing paper if necessary to align
To move jack top the jacks, and on console actions to bet-
to one side ter space the wippen cushions over the
To move jack and capstans. See Figure 2. On actions with
1 ( ;z.s;;tx,cushion to
dowel capstans mounted on wires, the
wires can be bent to align the dowels to
the wippens. On actions with stickers,
the sticker flanges can be papered to
place spacing paper between top end of space stickers to the capstans.
behind same side of flange and rail Once the wippens are positioned
ers. At this point we will only be con-
cerned with side-to-side position of the
- backchecks and rotation (asviewed from
above) square with the catchers. Later
on we will adjust the actual checking
distance. Caution! Many technicians
make the mistake of bending the back-
check wires to the side using a straight-
on damper wire bending tool, placing it
figure 2: Spacing Wippens on the wire and twisting the tool handle.
The result is that this entire twisting
ing point for the highest treble notes, heat. I prefer the small butane “gas force is born by the wippen flange cen-
since a slight change from the optimum match” type lighters for this. An electric terpin, leaving the birdseye ovalled out
can drastically reduce volume in this heat gun or the traditional alcohol torch and the wippen wobbly. Holding the
area: Hammer #88 should strike its can also be used. Although this proce- wippen body with parallel jaw pliers
strings approximately l/8” below the dure is known as “burning the shanks,” can help take some of the load, but a far
V-bar. After tuning the top couple of do not take this literally; you must keep better method is to use wire bending
notes, the right action bracket can be the heat source moving up and down pliers as shown in Figure 3. While work-
pried up or down slightly while striking the shank to avoid burning the wood. ing in this area make sure that the bridle
a key and listening for best volume and Hold the hammer lightly to one side straps are slack enough that the wip
the clearest tone. Once the best strike while heating and as the shank cools. I pen/jack assemblies can drop down
point is located, the lower action mount- am not a fan of the electric shank bend- enough to allow some lost motion be-
ing posts should be adjusted so that the ing pliers, at least not as they come from tween the jack tops and hammer butts. If
action brackets rest evenly upon them. the suppliers. They have no heat regu- they are too tight, the jacks will be un-
Next, the top posts should be adjusted lating thermostat and so can easily bum able to get back under the hammer butts,
bybendingupordownsothat,astheac- wood once they’re really warmed up, no matter how much lost motion is in-
tion is tipped back against them, the “II” and their jaws are curved quite drasti- troduced. Later on we will do the actual
of each bracket is snug under its mount- cally so they tend to cause large dents in bridle wire adjustment.
ing stud. This ensures that as the action the shanks.
is removed and reinstalled, it always Next the key height should be set, Choosing Hammer-Blow
goes back in the same location, and thus and the keys squared and spaced, as de- Key Dip Dimensions
damper alignment and lost motion ad- scribed in last month’s article. Since At this point in the procedure we
justments are preserved (see 8/89 JOUY- squaring and spacing the keys moves need to decide what our hammer blow
MI, “Pulling Piano Actions”). the back ends of the keys as well as the distance and key dipshould be. ‘What’s
Oncetheactionisproperlylocated, fronts, capstan position is affected. to decide?” you might be asking. “Ev-
action parts can be spaced; start with Therefore this work should be done be- eryone knows that key dip should be
hammer to string alignment. Most often fore spacing wippens on console actions 3/8” and hammer blow distance should
it is possible to space hammers by loos- where the wippens sit directly on short be 15/8” for spinets, 13/4” for consoles
ening the flange screws and shifting the capstans. and 17/8” for full sized uprights.” As it
flange sideways on the rail. Push the Having located the hammers and turns out, those dimensions will proba-
flange over in the desired direction with hammer butts, as well as the capstans, bly be in the ball park, but will not nec-
a flat screwdriver blade, then hold the we can then space the wippens to center essarily give the best results for a given
hammer head in position with the fin- the jacks to the hammer butts. (In the action. Let‘s look at what happens when
gers as the screw is tightened. Avoid case of older parts that have operated we regulate ‘an action to different ham-
forcing hammers to the side by pulling off-center for years, there will be a ridge mer blow dimensions and how those
hard with the fingers, as this can dam- of un-worn leather on one side of the settings affect jack escapement.
age pinning. If shifting the flange is not hammer butt. In this case the spacing is In Figure4 we have views of an ac-
sufficient, or if some hammers point to better left as it is; otherwise the jack will tionwiththekeydipset to3/8”butwith
one side, the shanks can be warped with be operating only on a narrow ridge of a different hammer blow distance in
figure 3: Spacing Backchecks To Catchers stand back away from the mer drops abruptly. With a vertical ac-
door when you knock; in- tion, however, a slow depression of the
To prevent damage to wippen stead, you stand right up key does not produce any sudden point
flanges, use only wire bending close so as soon as it opens of jack escapement. Instead, the ham-
pliers to adjust backchecks. you can get your foot in the mer reaches the let-off point and just
Pliers will reach around the door! slowly falls backwards, riding the jack
In the second case, the top back as the jack rotates away.
smaller bridle wire and bend
blow distance is set to Thus it is not easy to define a spe-
only the backcheck wire.
13/4”. Here the key had to cific part of the key travel that we can
move the hammer a little call aftertouch in a vertical action.
further than before (15/V) However, wecundefineacertainamount
backcheck wire to get to the let-off point. of jack escapement as being correct.
More key dip was used in Actually, proper jack escapement is the
bridle wire
doing this, so there wasless most meaningful measure of correct
dip left over after the jack aftertouch in vertical OTgrand actions,
escaped. Consequently, and in either case the action will tell us
when the key bottomed out what “aftertouch” (or at least what range
and the hammer went into of aftertouch) is required for that action.
wire bending check, the jack had only In the case of a grand action, excessive
pliers rotated slightly away from aftertouch will result in two problems.
the hammer butt. In this First, if the hammer fails to check, it can
casethe jackcan move back rise up to rest against the string as the
each case. Let-off is set to l/8” for each, under the hammer butt more quickly, so wippen continues lifting after let-off.
lost motion is adjusted, and checking is repetition should be better than in the Secondly, the jack can be rotated so far
set to 5/S”. Each view shows the action first case. from the knuckle that the jack jams into
parts as they appear with the hammer in In the third case,the blow distance the felt cushion in the repetition lever.
check, with the key held down after a is set to 2”, so the key had to move the On the other hand, insufficient after-
medium blow. In the first case,hammer hammer much further (17/8”) to get the touch can cause the jack to not quite
blow distance is a relatively short 11/2”. hammer to the let-off point. In doing escape from the knuckle, especially on a
Here the key only had to move the this, almost all the key dip was used up soft blow, causing a blubbering ham-
hammer 13/V to get to the point where by the time the jack started to escape mer. In addition, the touch will feel
the jack escaped from the hammer butt from the hammer butt, and very little “shalloti and difficult to control since
(the let-off point); at that point there was dip was left over to continue lifting the the keys must always be fully bottomed
considerable key travel still remaining. wippen. As a result, the jack was not out. Thus, while we might have a certain
This additional key travel continued rotated back away from the hammer dimension in mind that we favor for
raising the wippen until the key reached butt; rather, the hammer butt bumped aftertouch, we have to observe jack and
the front punching. As the wippen con- into the jack, pushing it back out of the hammer motions to see if that dimen-
tinued to rise, the jack, with its tender wayasthehammercamebackintocheck. sion will really work.
restrained by the regula ting button, was In this example, repetition may not be a In the vertical action examples in
rotated farther away from the hammer problem. However, jack escapement is Figure4, I held the key dip constant and
butt. By the time the key was bottomed incomplete, so that there is a danger that only varied the blow distance. However
out and the hammer was in check, the on a soft blow the hammer assembly either dip or blow or both could be var-
jack was left quite a distance from the will not check but will instead bounce ied to achieve the desired jack escape-
hammer bu tt. This would not be an effi- back and forth between the jack top and ment. It is the proportion of key dip to
cient action. Why? Consider what must the strings. This problem is what is hammer blow that determines the de-
happen during fast repetition: A repeat known as the “blubbering hammer” or, greeofjackescapement.Regulatingwith
blow cannot occur until the jack gets as we like to call it, “the automatic re- 7/16”dip and 2” blow, or5/16”dip and
back under the hammer butt. In this peating staccato feature.” 1 l/2” blow, would give results similar
case, since the jack is far from the ham- The dimensions stated in these to our example of 3/V dip and 1 3/4”
mer butt, the key must be released quite examples are taken from experiments blow. However, since the key is the part
a bi t to allow the wippen to drop enough on one particular action and would not that the pianist moves, we should try to
for the jack to get back in position for a necessarily apply to other actions. The keep dip in the “normal” range. Most
repeat blow. Jack return depends upon point is that the relationship between spinets require 7/16” key dip in order to
the wippen and key falling faster than key dip and hammer blow distance is get enough movement at the back ends
the hammer/butt assembly; the back- very important to proper action func- of their very short keys. For other pi-
check gives these parts a slight head tion. In a grand action, we set a dip/ anos, I suggest starting with the manu-
start over the hammer. However, the blow relationship that results in a cer- facturer’s recommendation for key dip,
farther the jack is from the hammer butt, tain amount of aftertouch, which we can or on older pianos using a dip block that
the more likely the key will have to be measure as key travel remaining after is 3/8” thick measured 3/4” back (over
released all the way to rest before the the point that the hammer drops. This the front rail pin).
jackcanget backunder. LaRoy Edwards point is easily identified when depress- To summarize, I recommend
uses the wonderful analogy that if you ing a grand piano key very slowly, since choosing dip and blow dimensions as
are a door-to-door salesman, you don’t at the moment of escapement the ham- follows: Re late three or four sample
notes across the keyboard by setting figure 4: How Hummer Blow Affects Jack Escapement
their let-off to l/8”, their key dip as
above, and their hammer blow distance All 3 actions below have 3/8” key dip, l/E” let-off, and S/8” checking distance.

to a reasonable guess. If the existing Action parts are shown with key depressed, hammer in check.
blow distance seems too great, just run
thecapstansupuntilthehammersstand Case 1: blow distance Case 2: blow distance Case 3: blow distance
off the rail at your desired experimental 1 l/Z” 1 3/4” 2”
blow distance. If the shanks rest on the Jack top interferes with
rail and the blow distance seemsreason- Jack rotated far from Jack top approx. l/16” butt as hammer comes back
able, adjust the lost motion on the from butt. into check.
hammer butt.
samples to a minimum. Then, test your
blow distance by playing the sample
keys with a medium blow, holding each
key down and observing the jack posi-
tion. If a hammer does not check at 5/V
just take your free hand and move the
hammer until it is 5/8” from the strings.
At this point, if the jack is resting against
the butt leather there is insufficient es-
capement so your blow distance is too
great. If the jack top is more than l/8”
from the butt leather there is more than
enough escapement and you could in- Poor repetition, Better repetition, Blubbering hammer,

creasethe blow distance. I normally like blow distance too blow distance just blow distance too
to have l/16” to l/8” jack clearance, short . right. great. .
knowing that as key dip diminishes and
lost motion develops, jack escapement jack top curve away from each other. felt or leather to set the blow distance to
will decrease. Starting out with no clear- Therefore the escapement portion of the the setting just determined. If the blow
ance will result in blubbering hammers key stroke is short, beginning late in the distance is uneven across the set, you
as soon as slight wear occurs in the stroke. With the worn part, however, can either shim behind the hammer rail
action. When you think you have a the jack has to rotate further before it cloth with thin cardboard or bushing
workable blow distance, go ahead and loses contact with the butt leather. This cloth, or bend the hammer rail hangers
prop up the hammer rail and set lost is partly due to starting out further under by grabbing the rail and pulling out-
motion on your samples, adjust the the butt, and also because the butt pro- ward where the blow is too short while
backchecks on your samples so they do file does not curve upwards as sharply pushing inward where blow is exces-
check at S/S” and double check your away from the arc of the jack top. There- sive.
conclusions. fore with the worn part, the escapement Oftennewpianosarefoundtohave
phase starts sooner in the key stroke and the hammer rail resting too far back due
The Effect Of Worn Hammer is more prominent; instead if slipping to settling of the rail rest felts during
Butts On Regulation out from under a cylinder, the jack must shipping. Adding a piece of bushing
As action parts wear, action effi- force its way over a bump. because the cloth or a cardboard balance rail punch-
ciency decreases.Even though an action worn butt profile does not curve away ing to each rest felt will quickly restore
can be re-regulated to take up lost mo- from the jack’s path, more jack escape- lost motion.
tion and bring other adjustments back ment is needed to prevent blubbering.
to standard, there is one change that Thus for a given key dip, the action with Adjusting Lost Motion
adjustment cannot correct. That change worn parts will require a shorter ham- Once the hammer rail is set cor-
is the worn profile of the hammer butt mer blow. rectly you can adjust lost motion. How
leather. This small strip of leather is the much lost motion should therebe? Once
Even though the worn action can again the piano will tell us what it re-
focus of all of the force applied through be regulated and will play, it will not be
the key, and its shape has a big effect as powerful, and the touch will feel quires to work properly. Some lost
upon an action’s touch. motion, or space between the jack top
“funny“ since the resistance of jack es-
Figure 5 shows the difference in capement occursearly, around the same and hammer butt leather at rest, is
profile of a new versus a worn hammer time as the dampers start to lift. because needed to allow the jack to return fully
butt. Notice that on the worn part the of this deterioration in performance under the hammer butt when the key is.
butt felt has compacted, so the jack sits caused by worn parts, I feel it is inappro- released. During most playing condi-
further under the hammer butt at rest. priatetoputnewhammersonverywom tions the jack will return before ‘the.
Also, the round curve of the butt leather hammer butts; to get the full tone poten- hammer and wippen return to their rest
has worn, so the jack now sits in a dent. tial out of a set of hammers the action positions. However, when the key is
With the new part, the jack only has to must be efficient and controllable. released very slowly the wippen and
rotate slightly away from the hammer key cannot get ahead of the hammer
butt before it loses contact with the butt Setting Hammer Blow Distance assembly. In other words, the wippen
leather. This is because the curve of the The hammer rail should be cannot fall back faster than the hammer
butt leather and the arc traveled by the propped up with firm hammer scrap and so the jack cannot get back below
figwe 5: New Versus Worn Hammer Butf ter a hard blow. The sus- jack spring to push the jack under the
tain pedal should be held butt.
New part Worn part down during this test, oth- Common wholesale checks for lost
erwise the damper springs, motion are: Pull back on the hammer
acting through the spoons, rest rail to seeif the hammers follow the
will help to give the wip rail back about l/16”. If any hammers
pen a head start when the do not follow the rail, they have no lost
keyisfirstreleased.Assum- motion. Also, tap on the back ends of the
ing the damper spoons are keys; if any hammers wink, this indi-
adjusted properly, the cates that they were standing off the rail.
dampers will not be acting These checks are useful, but it is impor-
on the wippens in the last tant to fine tune the lost motion using
halfofthekeyretum.How- the jack return test on each key to avoid
ever,bygivingthewippens that call back for the “sticking key.”
a push as the key is first re- Conclusion
leased they can hide a jack Next month I’ll conclude with fi-
return problem that only nal regulation steps and damper regula-
cannot fall back faster than the hammer occurs when the pedal is depressed. tion. I hope this has not been too tedious
and so the jack cannot get back below Theamountoflostmotionrequired a treatment of the subject so far. My
the hammer butt until the hammer stops willvarydependingupontheparticular object in presenting so much analytical
at the rest rail and the wippen drops that action. More will be needed if the ham- material is to promote understanding of
little extra amount provided by the lost mer butt springs are too strong, the the way action parts work, so that we
motion. wippen or jack centers are too tight, the can correct problems easily rather than
Excessive lost motion,beyond that key bushings are tight, the jack tops are just “reaching in and turning things”
required to allow the jack to return relia- rough, the jack springs are weak, or if until the symptoms go away. The only
bly,canacceleratewearof thebuttleather the keys are not weighted. Actions with way to really grasp action mechanics is
because the jack hits the butt with a felt rather than leather on the hammer to sit down with an action model and
running start when the key is struck buttsseem toneedmorelostmotion,but experiment. Try various adjustments as
from rest. (As Chris Trivelas and Darrell this may be partly due to some of the I’ve suggested here and notice their ef-
Fandrich point out in their 2/89 Journal above problems also being present in an fects. Watch each action part individu-
article, there is always a “dynamic lost economy grade piano. ally and as part of the whole. Once you
motion”duringmultipleblows,aswhen Sometimes when trying the jack can visualize eachpart’s function in your
playing a trill.) Excessive lost motion return test the jack will snapback under head you will be rewarded with supe-
also makes the keys feel sloppy and the hammer butt before the hammer re- rior diagnostic skills out on the job. Star-
loose. turns to the rest rail, no matter how ing at an action model may not be the
The correct amount of lost motion slowly the key is released. This is a sure most exciting way to spend your spare
is the smallest amount that will allow sign that the hammer center is too tight time, but remember, no pain-no gain! E
the jack to snap back under the butt or the butt spring is too weak. Either
leather, all the way against the butt felt, condition can cause the hammer to
when the key is released very slowly af- almost stand in mid-air, allowing the

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Del Fandrich At The Portland Convention:

How The Soundboard Reallv Works
Nick Gravagne
New Mexico Chapter

I f the title of this class seems auda-

cious, or if it promises what it can’t
Upon entering the classroom ev-
eryone received a multi-page, copy-
used ribs yield a higher crown, all else
being thesame.Nomatterhow theboard
possibly deliver, you probably don’t righted handout entitled ‘How the is crowned, though, the “long term sta-
know Del Fandrich. He is the first to Soundboard Really Works.” This hand- bility of crown” in theloaded piano isan
admit that the subject matter challenges out, which is in outline form, guided the ever-present consideration for manu-
thoroughinvestigation,especiallygiven class through a series of mechanical, facturer and technician alike.
thegeneralattitudethat therereallyisn’t acoustical, and scientific propositions Del explained that it is essentially
much more that can be done with a and principles. The first part of the dis- the function of the ribs to support or
soundboard that hasn’t already been cussion was general in nature in that it maintain the curvature in the sound-
done. Besides, solid research takes time. dealt with mechanical principles which board. But there are contrary forces and
But who outside of our little world cares are common to all engineering materi- inherent limits at work which tend to
about piano tone? The big money for re- als. The emphasis was, of course, on impair, if not actually undermine, the
search sends people whirling in space wood. Headings included “The Me- ability of the soundboard system to
shuttles and, according to the theory of chanical and Vibrational Characteristics maintain a crown. One primary limit is
“trickledown,“givesus non-stick frying of Wood” and “The Strength of Wood.” the “elastic limit” of wood. Strained
pans. Nonetheless, Del is a prober, a Since all building materials, especially beyond this limit, wood will not return
self-starter,and thesetraits,coupled with those employed in load-bearing capaci- to its original shape. Another insidious
many years of total immersion in piano ties, are subjected to a variety of forces, factor at work is that of “creep and stress
technology (including several years in no analysis would be complete without relaxation,” the final end of which can
the R & D department at Baldwin), have alookatFlexuralfbending)Theory.Here render an otherwise healthy structure
whetted an insatiable appetite for “pi- the discussion revolved around beam uselessgiven enough time.Even withlight
ano things” and what makes them tick. mechanics, types of beams, and bending loading, permanent deformation (not
Most of us have heard tales of pi- stresses. necessarilyserious)resultingfromstress
ano manufacturing mysteries, of design Since the subject at hand is the often takes place in most load-bearing
features and secrets more closely piano soundboard, these theoretical systems after several years, or maybe
guarded than Star Wars. What actually discussions naturally segued into ap only several days. Initially, a certain
do we know about how the soundboard propriate piano applications, i.e., the material may pass a stress test indicat-
really works? What do the designers mechanics of the soundboard system. ing that it should be able to support a
know, or think they know, and are they Did you know that the soundboard is a given load. But “creep and stress relaxa-
free to share it with us soldiers in the “two dimensional, wave-carrying me- tion are time-dependent,” and “strength
trenches, or is it that, to borrow from dium”? Or that it isa “driven plate” and characteristics charts are based on ‘time
singer Paul Simon, “the information’s not a “driving plate”? These concepts under load’ (TUL) of three to five min-
simply unavailable to the mortal man.” were defined along with several others utes.” What this means is that, in the
Del’s instruction, although purposed to as a lively instructor-class dialogue short time period of the test, the material
scrutinize the scientific and mechanical ensued. Also mentioned were the two (or system) may look strong enough for
aspects of the soundboard system, also basic methods for crowning a sound- a particular application. But over the
set out to dispel1 a few myths along the board, the “compression stress” and the long haul, that material could creep and
way. “forced crown.” The compression stress pull like silly putty until it has essen-
The first part of the class included method relies completely on drying the tially failed to serve its function. Such is
a slide presentation and discussion of soundboard panel to a very low EMC. the fate of most soundboards.
Baldwin manufacturing processes, Straight ribs are pressed flat on the dry Probably the most intriguing as-
something Del ought to know a great panel after which the assembly is ex- pect of Del’s work in his field centers
deal about. Although the slides were posed to the normal atmosphere where around “characteristic (or mechanical)
interesting and informative (if not di- it “bellies.” In the forced crown method impedance of the soundboard system.”
rectly translatable in job-shop terms), the ribs are pressed to the board in a This impedance is defined as “the ratio
they were only the appetizer; the real curved or “crowned” caul. The ribs can of maximum force to maximum veloc-
“meat” of the class was still to be served. be either radiused or straight but radi- ity. It is an indication of a vibrating
body’s ability to accept or release en- grenade, and woe to theone who hastily tests and much tabulated data are neces-
ergy.” Wave impedance, on the other jumps on it. ‘Wrong!” he insists, “Any- sary in order to isolate the inevitable
hand, is a little different; ‘When a dis- one else?” A tentative hand goes up. Del patterns of soundboard, behavior at
turbance is set up in one medium (i.e., a nods at it with an amused grin. The given conditions. For many in the class,
piano string is caused to vibrate) and it question is answered. We all wait. the instruction conveyed terms and prin-
travels to a boundary between it and “That’s two down. Do we have a third?” ciples which were obviously Greek to
someothermedium(...thesoundboard) The class explodes in laughter but the them. Others already familiar with the
a certain fraction of the disturbance questioning and answering and relent- language were curious as to Del’s inves-
(energy) is transmitted into the second less probing continues. tigationsandinterpretations. But, what-
medium, and the remainder is reflected Did we find out “how the ever the “Greek Comfort Zone,” every-
back into the first.” soundboard redly works”? Well, yesand one learned something more of how the
In more intuitive terms, it is obvi- no. And Del is quick to admit that the soundboard functions. And we did so
ous that a string given a certain energy returns are not yet in on the subjjt. underthecareofoneof theGuild’smost
(vibration) interfaces quite differently How could they be? Many controlled animated and knowlegable instructors.
with a heavier, stiffer soundboard sys-
Del related an interesting story of a piano
suffering from a bad case of the “wah-
wahs” and short-windedness in the
upper treble. The usual causes were not
apparent so it occured to Del that per-
haps the string energies were buffeting
the lightweight soundboard and bridge / COMPLETE GRAND MYUSIC DESKS
in that area. What effect would more REPRODUCTIONS OF PERIOD STEINWAYS, KNABES,
mass in the bridge have? Key leads were OLDER MODEL YAMAHAS
inserted into holes drilled for the pur- Built to your specifications
pose, (Del owned the piano). When the
strings were re-connected the “wah-
wahs” went away and the sustain time
increased. The impedance ratios had
been more closely matched. That is, the
transmitted disturbanceinterfaced with
the reflected disturbance so that neither
was master nor slave. FLEISRER PIANO CARINEYRY
If all this Seems like pretty dry ,P.O. Box 618 Santa Monica, California 90406 (213) 399-1227
stuff, if you imagine class attendees
sporting shirt-pocket calculators, or a
white-smocked, beady-eyed instructor
weilding a pointer like a rapier, then The Finishing Touches
you’ve been watching too much bad
Dry Transfer Decals Grand Piano Carriage
television. After all, this was Del, and
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these were Piano Technicians. in PVC
A big man with a big voice, Del l Superior engineering and looks
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l Over i’O0 Fallboard and Soundboard
ion the next, Del’s ebullient and eclectic names
style of teaching grew out of carrying a l Custom decals-send tracing for
physics book in one hand and a tuning price quote
hammer in the other. Equally large is Music Racks
Del’s love and knowledge of the pi-
ano-and it comes through. But this l Smooth and effortless movement
instructor wasn’t the only one in rare l No finish damage to piano legs
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The class turned in a performance l Two styles Schroeder’s
which paralleled Del’s. ‘What about Decals Unlimited Classic Carriage
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out a question like an activated hand- Catalog available upon request



Learning To Pass The PTG Tuning Exam

Michael Travis
Washington, D. C. Chapter

Part I: Why Bother? In this sense,a successful exam does not level of information on tuning how-
The FIG Tuning Exam, adopted depend on whether you pass or fail so ever, have had their needs more ade-
by the PTG Council in Philadelphia, 1980 much as whether you feel your examin- quately met in all ‘basic skills” areas I
and most recently revised in Portland, ers treated you fairly. Whether you pass can think of. I doubt that technicians
1989,is the most complete and objective or fail, however, depends entirely on who tune suffer from a lack of informa-
evaluation of piano tuning skills avail- your performance. You may not per- tion on how they might improve nearly
able. The exam is administered under form up to your abilities on a given day, as much as from a lack of incentive.
the guidance of the PTG Examinations and for a variety of reasons. Among Perhaps their clients are not demanding
and Test Standards Committee (ETSC), these could be your disorientation with or particularly discriminating, and they
and requires the direct supervision of a the very process of the exam or a nerv- are making a good living without taking
specially trained and functionally ousness under pressure, as well as a any tests, thank you. So why bother?
sighted Certified Tuning Examiner basic lack of knowledge and/or skills. The challenge of beginning this
CI-E). When Rick Baldassin asked me to series on tuning and the tuning exam is
This exam provides both an objec- begin a series of articles on tuning and to stimulate your interest. What can I
tive baseline for minimum or “entry the exam, I had some reservations say that you haven’t heard many times
level” tuning skills of Registered Tech- whether I could add significantly to the before about a group of skills that you
niciansand a sufficient challenge for the information already available in the way probably practice every day? Just this:
masters of our craft. Those who pass this I thought he had in mind. Rick proposed The local artist who raves about your
test with scores in the low 80’s may a series which does for the tuning exam work is probably not qualified to judge
congratulate themselves on achieving a what the “Basic Skills” articles by Bill it critically, nor are any of your long lists
milestone in their careers, but should Spurlock and Fern Henry do indirectly of satisfied customers; if you haven’t
not rest on their laurels; they should for the technical exam: cover basic tech- had your skills objectively evaluated
continue to advance their skills and niques with current information that all then you have not taken full advantage
perhaps try taking the test again at some Craftsmen should know. As Bill has of your PTG membership. The PTG
point to evaluate their progress. Many written recently, on the evolution of the Tuning Exam is almost 10 years-old,
examiners who have the experience to current PTG Technical Exam, ‘7’hrough- and we are now fully confident that it
associate scores on the exam with how out this process I had been aware that provides the most objective evaluation
the piano sounds have expressed the examinees would frequently perceive of piano tuning skills available. Your
opinion that high-level tuning skills are the exam as unfair if it included content dues help offset the administrative costs
generally indicated only when test scores that they were not expecting. After all, if of this exam so we can keep the exam
are in the 90’s-the higher the better. To they had been in business for several fees low. A comparable professional
my knowledge, no one has ever scored years and had never done a certain job, evaluation in other trades could easily
100% in all categories on any one exam. that job must not be typical and was cost several times what we charge our
Nevertheless, most who have tried therefore unfair; never mind that other members for the RlT Exams. Whether
have come away with a sense of the technicians might do that job routinely. you are an established RTT or a “young
fairness and thoroughness of this exam In some casesthe solution to this was to whippersnapper,” you owe it to your-
as an evaluation of their abilities. This eliminate the test problem. However, self to find out just how well you can do,
occurs partly by design: in the exam the bigger fault was usually a lack of and I’d like to help you.
manual, ClE’s are reminded that ‘The available information on basic technical I am going to try to enlarge upon
real success of a tuning examination procedures in Guild and industry me- the base of information available for all
depends on your ability to make it ac- dia.” The “Basic Skills” articles are one those wanting to challenge the tuning
ceptable and valuable to the person who way of addressing this need and hope exam, and make it specific enough for
takes it.” M’G examiners want you to fully improving everyone’s chances of you to have a clear idea of how to make
succeed, and if you’re willing to try, passing the technical exam. the best scores that your abilities allow.
you’re already more than halfway there. Those who require a comparable This information should not in any way
“spoil” the test itself; there is nothing I
can say here that will change one crucial
fact: whether you pass or fail depends
solely on your performance. Of course,
if you know what to expect on the test,
you may be less nervous, work more
efficiently, and be better able to do your
I am going to introduce you to the
Great Instruments Require
whole tuning exam process next month, Great Crabmanshit,
and in subsequent articles I’ll discuss For centuries, musicians have depended on in&ment ,
techniques you may find useful in spe makers and restorers to enhance the beauty of their
music. Our program in Piano Technology lets you
cific areas. And these are not merely join this tradition.
test-taking techniques, but also practi-
cal tools you can use to improve your Piano Technology
In our two-year program, you’ll learn upright and ’
everyday work. From time to time I’ll grand pianos from inside out. First-year students learn
drop hints to you to point out some tuning, regulation, repairs, and maintenance. Second- _
things you can do or some pitfalls to year students learn comprehensive piano rebuilding:
avoid in preparing for, and taking the case refinishing, sound board repairs, scaling, and replace-
ment of wrest plank, bridge, and action. Advanced tuning,
test, because thafs my slant on the sub- regulation, and voicing round out the curriculum.
ject. And here’s a good place to begin: The course is full-time davs. Financial aid for aualified students,
Accredited member NAT?3 For catalog, write or call
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your work. This opinion should give AN EDUCATION IN CRAFISMANSHlP
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you an idea of whether your tuning
would pass and, though not a guaran-
tee, it could save you some grief (and
exam fees) later. Get as many evalu-
ations as you can from different R’lT’s.
Now that I’ve hopefully whet&d
your appetite for information, I’ll stop
here, but remind you that next month n - .A# The Accu-lluter II Can!
I’ll be back with a new article on how we It’s a jungle in there
run tuning exams: what happens be- L That’s why you need the Sanderson Accu-
%ner II- to help speed you through the
fore, during and after an exam, what to ’ most rugged terrain. This amazing computer
expect. Future articles will deal with the II can store up to 208 complete M-note tunings.
Store as many temperaments as you desire, or
specific areas of the test in more detail. f” develop and store your own tunings, including
In the meantime, you may want to re- r’ special celeste or non-standard-pitch tunings.
view Jim Coleman’s piece entitled a It’s pitch range, nine full octaves from Cl through
“Passing the Tuning Test” in the Au- B9, easily accomodates every pipe on even the
largest pipe organ. And for quick temperature
gust, 1988]ournal. And by all means, go compensation, pitch can be easily offset to match
get that critical evaluation; if you’re that of a principal A or C.
ready to take the test, don’t wait for this Now, with stored tunings, you can tune any pipe
organ or piano quickly and accurately. And you
series to wind down-just do it! There’s won’t have to remember how great your last tun-
no better teacher than experience. I ing was, you simply recreate it.
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Earlv Research On Velocitv Of Sound In Air


Jack Greenfield
Chicago Chapter

Sound Travel In Vacuum “Musurgia” contains many other from the vessel that held the timepiece,
Investigated items of an acoustical interest, some sci- by a new type of vacuum pump Guer-
icke had invented. As air was with-
Among the questions scientists of entific and practical, others curious and
drawn, the ringing sounds became
the 17th century tried to answer were: speculative. Kircher’s valuable studies
weaker finally turning into dull thuds
Does sound travel as a result of some on architectural acousticsand the propa-
which could not be eliminated no mat-
motion of the air? How fast does sound gation of sound through tubesand horns
also includes some oddities he built; ter how long the vacuum pump contin-
travel? Although ancient philosophers
such as a portable loudspeaking horn ued to operate. Guericke concluded
as far back as Aristotle and Vitruvius
nearly 10’ long by 3’ in diameter, which “sonorous objects, such as bells, cym-
had proposed theories of sound waves
projected sound up to four miles away, bals, glasses and strings of musical in-
in the air, some of the later theorists
and statues that appeared to speak or struments produce their ringing by
were skeptical since they could neither
could be used for eavesdropping as benefit of air,” but mechanical, “noise
seenor feel movement of the air. One of
sound wascarried toand from the statue and din is aroused not through the
the alternate theories advanced was that
through a hidden conduit leading to medium of air.”
sound emitted a stream of minute par-
ticles in an action similar to the modern someone who spoke or listened in an
concept of atomicradiation. Experiments adjoining room. Boyle’s Successful Test
to determine if sound would travel in Kircher described many musical Guericke’s pump and sound ex-
the absence of air began about 1615. instruments of the 17thcentury. He also periment attracted the interest of Robert
These and others carried out during the presented his designs for a “clavicem- Boyle (1627-1691) an Irish chemist and
next 35 years were crude, inaccurate balo,” a keyboard instrument ‘bowed” physicist who specialized in the study
tests that produced more confusion than by a rotating wheel, and automatic of air and other gases. With assistance
conclusive results. player organs and bells operated by large from Robert Hooke (1635-1703)an Eng-
music box type rotating pinned cylin- lish scientist later famous for work on
Kircher’s Acoustical Studies ders. elasticity, Boyle improved the efficiency
One of the studies conducted of Guericke’s pump. He then repeated
around X40-1643 was described in de- Later Bell-In-Vacuum Tests Guericke’s sound experiment but used
tail by Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), During the next 10 years similar a watch that wasnot asloud. Boyle’s test
a German-born Jesuit, who became bell-in-vacuum experiments were con- was successful with complete elimina-
Professor of Mathematics in the College ducted by the Academia de1Cimento, a tion of all sounds from the enclosed
of Rome in 1635. Fifteen years later he scientific academy in Florence main- watch. In the discussion of his experi-
published his chief work, “Musurgia tained by the grand duke of Tuscany, ments in a book published in 1660, he
Universalis,” an abundantly illustrated FerdinandII(1610-1670LTestswerealso concluded “whether or no air be the
1,100 page encyclopedia containing a conducted with a small organ pipe onely, it is at least, the principal medium
wide range of topics in sound and music. mounted inside a cylindrical copper of sounds.” Boyle also discussed the
The vacuum testsKircher described were chamber. Air to the organ pipe came mode of transmission of sound.through
conducted with a small bell held inside from an externally operated bellows. the walls of the enclosure vessel and
a glass globe from which air had been Vacuum in the chamber was created by through media other than air. Final
withdrawn. The iron clapper was swung a hand-opera ted piston pump, evidently definitive demonstrations by Francis
by placing a magnet nearby just outside ineffectively, since there was no differ- Hauksber in trials similar to Boyle’s at
the globe and then withdrawing it. The ence in loudness. The investigators 1705 meetings of the Royal Society in
sound of thebell could be clearly heard. concluded that air was not needed for England gave confirmation “that actual
While some observers believed this transmission of sound. sound is not transmitted through a vac-
proved that sound could travel in a During the same period, Otto von uum.”
vacuum, others had the now obvious Guericke (1602-X86), an engineer of
opinion that the presence of sound indi- Magdeburg made tests with a mechani- Early Velocity Determinations
cated that someair still remained inside cal timepiece that rang a high pitched Serious research to determine the
the globe. bell on the half-hour. Air was withdrawn speed of sound began during the 1630’s.
Marin Mersenne began the earliest in- general writings on dynamics-the re- the treatise has a section in which
tensive investigations. He used two lation between force and motion, were Newtondiscussed his theoriesof sound.
different test methods. In one, a proce- also highly vital to the advancement of He considered that sound radiating from
dure which Francis Bacon suggested but the science of acoustics. a vibrating source, moved through gases
never actually carried out, the interval Newton, from a rural family in and liquids as a series of pulses or com-
between the sighting of a flash of a dis- eastern England, had not been an out- pressionsand expansions. By a long and
tant gun and the sound of the discharge standing student at Trinity College, difficult series of geometrical steps he
was timed. In the alternate method, Cambridge where he received a B.A. demonstrated that such oscillations were
Mersenne measured the time for the degree in 1665.He began to conceive his the equivalent of the swings of a pendu-
return of an echo from a known dis- brilliant new theories in mathematics lum. Then, from the equation for motion
tance. Since the clocks available were and physics during the next 18 months of a pendulum, Newton derived his
not accurate to seconds, Mersenne used while at home in seclusion. He then formula showing the velocity of sound
a pendulum with a one second period. returned to Cambridge and received his in a gas equal to the square root of the
He found that he could pronounce a M.A. degree in 1668. During graduate ratio of the ambient pressure of the gas
seven syllable word in one second. When work, he demonstrated such mastery of to its density:
he shouted this word at a reflecting his studies that he wasgiven theprestig-
surface 520feet away, a responding echo ious post of Professor of Mathematics. velocity = (pressure/density) -1/2
followed immediately. His conclusion During the early years of his ca-
was that the sound had traveled at about reer, he wrote extensively on mathemat- Newton calculated the velocity of
1,04Oft/sec-about10percentlessthan ics, motion, optics, astronomy, chemis- sound in air using information on the
the presently known value under aver- try and theology. He kept his writings in physical properties of air then available.
age conditions. His gunshot tests, less his diary, notebooks, and dictated lec- Since the value he obtained, about 970
accurately timed, gave figures exceed- ture notes, but published very little, ft/sec did not agree with experimental
ing 1,400 ft/sec. however. The academic world knew of determinations, heattributed the differ-
Pierre Gassendi (1592-16551, a his great learning through his corre- ence to the inaccuracy of the experimen-
contemporary of Mersenne also wrote spondence with leading scientists and tal procedure. However aftermorecare-
about determination of the speed of the papers he presented to the Royal ful testsconfirmed figuresof about 1,140
sound by gunshot timing although his Society. Finally, in 1687, persuaded by ft/sec, he began to suspect his formula
writings do not indicate whether he had scholar friends, Newton published the lacked some factor that would give cor-
drawn his conclusions from his own treatise with his most important studies rect figures. In the 1713 second edition
experiments or from Mersenne’s stud- on motion and his mathematical theory of “Principia,“Newton offered a revised
ies. Gassendi discredited the Aristote- of gravitation, ‘Thilosophae Naturalis formula, but his explanation was im-
lian view that velocity of sound de- Principia Mathematics” (“Mathemati- plausible. He had made arbitrary and
pended on loudness. He pointed out cal Principals of Natural Philosophy”). unjustified assumptions that gave him
that thesimultaneousshotsfroma small The publication of “Principia” brought the mathematical figures he desired.
musket and a large cannon could be international fame. He was accorded Newton now was not very active
heard at the same time. However, Gas- the same degree of respect as Einstein in in scientific research. He had left Cam-
sendi had the mistaken belief that wind modem times. Besides the Latin and bridge University in 1689 to enter gov-
speed had no effect on the velocity of English editions, ‘Trincipia” was pub- ernment service. He had been appointed
sound. lished in French, German, Italian and Warden of the London Mint in 1696,
Further studies attempting to Portuguese translations. Master in 1699,a position he held for the
achieve greater accuracy were carried Newton had assembled a vast remainder of his life. During his final
on in Florence by the Academia de1 amount of material by earlier scientists years he worked on revisions of his
Cimento. In 1656, scientists of the Aca- including Galileo’s studiesand Kepler’s writings and he remained President of
demia,VencenzioVioniand G.A. Borelli, observations of planetary motion. From the Royal Society after his election in
achieved better accuracy than Mersenne this diverse information and his own 1703.
in a series of tests with gunshots and discoveries, he derived simple, general
pendulum timing. They obtained a value principles for the relation between force
Revisions Of Newton’s
of about 1,148ft/sec. Research in France and motion that apply throughout the Calculation For Velocity
and England later in the 17th century universe - for astronomical bodies as Of Sound
was no more accurate. well as for objects on or near the earth. Research on revisions of Newton’s
He defined the nature of mass, momen- calculation of the velocity of sound was
Newton And The Theoretical tum, inertia and force and stated the continued by others. Leonhard Euler
Calculation Of Sound Velocity three basic laws of motion, concerning (1707-1783) in 1727,1749 and 1759,and
Among the scientists concerned inertia, acceleration and reaction, and Joseph Louis Lagrange (17361813) in
with the study of sound, Isaac Newton his theory of gravitation. He presented 1759 revised Newton’s reasoning and
(1642-1727) introduced a radically new his work in the form of propositions, made his theory of sound propagation
concept, a mathematical wave theory of theorems, and problems which he clearer and more generalized. Their
sound propagation and the determined proved and solved by geometrical rea- mathematical results however were not
velocity by calculation. Newton’s more soning and demonstration. Book II of much different than those obtained with


A Correct Formula useful in acoustical research. Specific
For Sound Velocity heat constants were determined for each
particular gas under study. From the
Determined relations stated by the gas laws, a new
Soon after the start of formula was obtained for calculating
the 19th century when physi- velocity at different ambient tempera-
cists had gained a better un- tures.
derstanding of the gas laws
which state the relations be- Selected References
tween volume, temperature
and pressure and other phys- D. Abbott, editor. Physicists. Peter Bed-
ics of gases, Pierre Simon rick Books (1984).
Laplace (1749-1827) discov- ‘Newton, Isaac.”
ered the answer to the “New-
tonian acoustical puzzle.” F. V. Hunt. Origins in Acoustics. Yale
Laplace pointed out that pre- University Press (1978).
vious calculations did not
consider temperature. He R.B.Lindsay,editor.Acousfics:Hisforical
theorized that the condensa- and PhiIosophical
tions and rarefications of Development.Dowden, Hutchinson and
sound waves in air caused Ross (1973). A compilation of excerpts
temperature variations too from original writings including stud-
rapid to pass off as heat and ies by Newton, Euler, Lagrange and
cold to the surroundings but Laplace translated by theeditor withan
they produced pressure introductory article, “The Story of
changes instead. Reasoning Acoustics,” by the editor.
from the gas laws, Laplace
derived the following* for- D. C. Miller. Anecdotal History of The
mula: Scienceof Sound.
Kirscher’s Music Nofation For Bird Calls Macmillan (1935).
velocity of sound =
Newton’s original formula. In 1738, to (gas constant x pressure/density) -‘I* J. W. S. Rayleigh. The Theory of Sound.
eliminate doubts about the accuracy of Dover (1945 reprint of 1894 edition in
earlier experimental determinations, the Laplace determined his constant two volumes). Explains Laplace modifi-
Paris Academy had sponsored tests for air from relevant data on physical cation of Newton formula for velocity of
under carefully controlled conditions. properties observed in laboratory tests. sound. “Historical Introduction,” by
Cannons were fired alternately at oppo- His first constant gave an error of less Lindsay contains same information as
site ends of a measured 18 mile distance than 3% in the calculated velocity. With his introductory article in Acoustics. i
to allow for the effects of prevailing a new constant based on more accurate
winds. Although the influence of tem- data available later,L.aplace’scalculated
perature was not considered, tempera- velocity agreed with the velocity of air
tures at the observation posts were re- observed experimentally.
corded. The velocity data obtained was Laplace’s formula was found very
quite accurate, close to modern figures.

Effects Of Temperature Change Velocity Of Sound In Various Materials

Experimental evidence of the in-
fluenceof temperatureon the velocity of Substance Temperature Speed
sound was first obtained in 1740. Count
G. L. Bianconi made observations at the
“F “C ftlsa V&C
Air 32 0 1087 332
same locations in Bologna, first in win- Air 68 20 1127 343
ter and then in summer. Charles de la Carbon Dioxide 32 0 846 258
Condamine tooklow temperaturemeas- Water 32 0 4626 1410
urements in 1740and high temperature Water 77 25 4913 1498
measurements in 1744,each at different Steel 16700 5100
locations in South America. For the Pine (along grain) 10890 3320
remainder of the 18th century, the effect Maple (along grain) 13444 4111
of temperature on the velocity of sound Spruce (along grain) 15000 4572
drew little interest. Spruce (across grain) 5000 1524




The PTG Asian Tour

Yat-Lam Hong
Western Michigan Chapter

1989PTG Asian tour started from,
in, San Francisco. Covering
our buses with stick-mounted dried liz-
ards! It may sound like a cliche to say
the pipe organ) as the bride and groom,
both draped in flowers, walked down
the period from May25 through June 14, this, but there was honestly not a dull the two aislesof the Boeing747-SPjumbo
it was essentially a tour of piano facto-’ moment, and we got to know each other jet. So that all 202 passengers on board
ries in the Orient, during which we vis- better than we ever thought we would. could participate, the entire ceremony
ited seven piano factories in all: two in Ourtripwasexcitinginmanyother wasbroadcastover theintercom-over
China, three in Korea, and two in Japan. ways, too.Who’d have thought that we’d the reassuring rumble of the jet engines.
We discovered one of the factories (the be attending a wedding in mid-air on Those who managed to squeeze into
one in Xian, China) practically by chance our way to Hong Kong? Or eating live that tight space were all busy recording
when some of us visited the Xian Con- snake and eels in Guilin? Or having the the ceremony on tape recorders, cam-
servatory of Music. Great Wall of China practically all to eras,and videocameras-including the
The 35-member group that tour ourselves?Ordodgingmachinegunfire several stewardesses, who were taking
director Charles Huether led was a very in Beijing? Or visiting the super-luxuri- photos for the United Airlines newslet-
diverse one. Eleven members had previ- ous Tsumagoi resort in Japan as guests ter. The wedding and celebration lasted
ously been on the 1986 PTG European of Yamaha? fourteen hours, and nobody left early.
tour, so about a third of the group al- As nobody could, or would want After the ceremony, the steward-
ready knew each other well to begin to, experience everything, the 35 of us esseswere busy serving champagne. By
with. Of the 35, 14 were Registered actually had 35 different tours, although prior arrangement with the airline, a
Tuner-Technicians (RTT); six were As- physically, we might be in the same piece of the whipped-cream-and-fruit
sociate members; and the remaining 15, airplane, bus, boat, train, hotel, restau- wedding cake was served as dessert
spouses and tourists. Although the rant, factory, etc. This report represents with everyone’s dinner. The mid-air
average age of the group was 56, the only the highlights of oneof these tours. wedding was truly an unearthly experi-
actual age range was from 25 to 89, and Our first round of excitement came ence, and I have no doubt the event will
our interest in pianos ranged from all- on board United Airlines flight #805 en make it into the Guinness Book of World
consuming to nil. route from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Records. As we flew west and kept gain-
With a group this diverse, I’d be On this non-stop flight, two membersof ing on daylight, the sun never set in all
lying if I told you that everyone got our group, Claudia Ellison, RTT, and L. of fourteen hours we were on board,
along perfectly well with everyone else Paul Cook, were united in holy mati- which is certainly a good omen for the
at all times, that we never argued about mony by the Rev. Edwin A. Hilbert, new couple. Obviously for creative in-
petty things like how much to tip our RlT, who was also a member of the spiration, our newlyweds bought an
tour guides or whether to pay extra for group. The idea of getting married on educational ivory carving while in Hong
the romantic notion of “eating Beijing board a plane in flight is surely a novel Kong, which was also the object of much
duck in Beijing,” or that there were no one, but this particular wedding had curious admiration. If you guessed this
moments of friction among ourselves another purpose: to enter the Guinness couple is from California, you’re right.
throughout the twenty-one days of to- Book of World Records as the world’s From Hong Kong, we traveled to
getherness. As can be expected in any highest (35,000feet) and fastest-moving Guangzhou, China, by train. This is the
group this large, we had,a few know-it- (traveling at 600 mph) wedding that city long known to westerners as “Can-
alls who had no qualms about dispensing spanned two days (May 25 and 26, as we ton.” The train was a rather slow one, as
their wisdom on every topic under dis- crossed the International Date Line, the88mile trip took two-and-half hours,
cussion. They soon came to be known as which,inourcase,wasabout 1,OOOmiles but it provided us with a relaxing op-
the ones to avoid, and it was dismaying west of Hawaii.) The event was elabo- portunity for sight-seeing along the way,
to be confronted day after day with rately planned. which we wouldn’t always haveat some
evidence that age and maturity don’t It was also a very cramped one, as later segmentsof the trip -as we rushed
always go together. the wedding took place in the landing to make travel connections.
But on the other hand, we also had between the rear emergency exit and the That evening we were the guests
our share of clowns, who would break toilets - a space no bigger than 4’ x 6’. of the Pearl River Piano Company for a
up tense moments with a few well- Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary welcoming banquet at a fancy restau-
placed wisecracks. One of us even de- was played over the intercom (a pre- rant. It gave us a chance to meet our
veloped the strange habit of blessing all recorded tape with Anne Doerfler on hosts, who were to guide us through
their factories the next day. This 12- fast, because seasoning of wood is a tory, where huge elevators big enough
course banquet was an exquisite affair: process that cannot be rushed, or the to carry 60 people at a time can simplify
Every dish came with more food than quality of pianos would suffer. moving the pianos around between
we could eat, and some food was always Although both factories are floors. I first met Mr. Xiao, who speaks
left on the serving platter to be taken equipped to produce complete pianos only Chinese, at the Atlanta NAMM
back to thekitchen afterwards. This was from scratch, they do specialize. The Show last year, where we had a long
so nobody had to take the last piece of rough-sawing and seasoning of lumber discussion on pinblock drilling. (For
anything. Our plates and bowls were and case-finishing are mostly done in most Chinese names, the hyphenated or
replaced withcleanonesaftereachcourse the new factory, while action work, double-syllabic one is the first name,
for eachperson - so the flavor of one stringing, tuning, and voicing are done which follows the last name.) It was like
dish wouldn’t get mixed with that of the in the old factory. meeting an old friend again - seeing
next. (This banquet must have been a Obviously trying very hard to him 8,000 miles away.
dishwasher’s nightmare.) This kind of become self-sufficient, most materials Of all the factories we visited on
elegance is normally reserved only for used in the Pearl River pianos are pro- this trip, I enjoyed Pearl River the most.
the most important guests, and we were duced in China. Chinese maple from It was perhaps an ideal way to visit a
greatly honored by such treatment. northeast China is used to make their piano manufacturer. We spent a whole
When the chicken dish came, Charlie action parts and 17-lamination day at one company, which allowed
Huether was served the chicken head, pinblocks. Camphor wood, an evergreen ample time to seeevery operation in the
as he was the “head” of our group - a native to China and Japan, is used for manufacturingprocess-fromthelum-
“punny” gesture that Charlie took in soundboards. Tuning pins, center pins, ber yard to the shipping department,
good humor. and miscellaneous hardware (hinges, where we got to try some of the finished
Pearl River is the largest and the pedals, etc.) are all made at the old fac- instruments and judge the quality for
most modern of the four piano manu- tory. Some of the imported items in- ourselves. We also had time for a ques-
facturers in China - not counting the clude steel strings from Germany, tion-and-answer session in a relatively
various “mom-and-pop” operations hammer felts from England, and ma- quiet room, which is almost always
scattered throughout the country. Based hogany from Malaysia. necessary, since the deafening noise of
in Guangzhou, it has two factories: the However, most of the machinery the machinery in the plant often made
old one in the city, which we could see is imported from Italy, Japan, and Ger- conversations impossible.
from our hotel across the Pearl River, many. We even saw some hammer Being Chinese and fluent in the
and the new one in the country, about presses that Pearl River purchased from three main Chinese dialects (Mandarin,
five kilometers to the south. As with a defunct American hammer manufac- Cantonese, and Shanghainese), I had a
most manufacturing facilities with more turer.It wasinterestingtonotethat,asin major advantage over the rest of the
than one location, the story is the same: European piano factories, almost all the group, which greatly facilitated the
By the time the original factory runs out machines were painted green - for gathering of information. Much of the
of space, the adjacent land is already safety reasons. (Psychologists tell us that time, I spoke in Mandarin and Canton-
taken up by other businesses, and the green has a “calming” effect on people. esewith our guides, but when I detected
only way to expand is to build a new Could this be why U.S. currency is also a slight Shanghai accent in one of them,
facilityfaraway.Thismeanssomeof the printed in green?) I switched to Shanghainese to make him
unfinished products have to travel be- After stringing the pianos are to feel more comfortable. This was admit-
tween factories tobecome completed in- be chipped five times - starting at 100 tedly an overkill, but it’s probably no
struments, and some of the supervisors cents above A=440 Hz., and dropped 20 crime having a little fun.
also have to go back and forth to ensure cents with each succeeding chipping. As long as I’m on the topic of lan-
smooth operations at both locations. The final tuning is done at 10cents sharp guage, I must relate a funny incident in
Both Pearl River factories are enormous (about A=443 Hz.) to allow for settling Guangzhou. We’d just gotten off the
seven-story structures, and we visited during shipping. I was delighted to see train and cleared customs, and our tour
the new one in the morning, and the old that every tuner at Pearl River tuned the guide took us to lunch at the Pan Hsi
one in the afternoon, accompanied by vertical pianos (the only kind it pro- Restaurant-a huge establishment that
about ten supervisors and administra- ducesat themoment) with theleft hand. serves 18,000customers a day. Already
tors. Just to make sure this was not a coinci- reserved for us were three round tables,
The new factory has a huge lum- dence, I asked one of the supervisors each with 12 chairs, which ought to seat
ber yard (50,000 square meters), where about it. Hesaid, ‘Vertical pianos should all 35 of us. However, seeing the size of
large quantities of wood are being sea- only be tuned with the left hand.” Obvi- someof us, the waitresses replaced some
soned and stored. As large as it is, that ously, someone had taught them right. chairs already set with bigger and stur-
lumber yard was already undergoing It’s only logical to assume that, when dier ones. Clearly, the intention was to
another round of expansion, as bulldoz- Pearl River startsproducinggrands, they protect us as well as their furniture.
ers were clearing off more land. We will be tuned with the right hand. However, the few bigger chairscaused a
were told that, should further expan- Incidentally, plans for the 5’ 6” space problem, and the regular chairs
sion become necessary, there’s enough Pearl River grand havebeen in the works had to be squeezed together a lot tighter
land at this site to expand to, and a for several years now. According to Xiao to make room for them. Obviously think-
totally separate third location wouldn’t Yong-Long, the technical supervisor and ing that none of us could understand
be necessary. Miss Liang De-Yan, the head of research, it’ll be going into pro- her, one waitress complained loudly to
Assistant Manager, told me that they duction soon. And Pearl River grands another in Cantonese: “Americans are
have to be careful about expanding too will only be produced at the new fac- so fat, a table set for twelve just won’t
seat twelve!” I had a good laugh over as tight as theirs. We must make them toothlike mountains in Guilin that rise
that remark. tighter.” Another one read: “Our hard- straight out of the plains. Only three
Peopletendtotalkalotmorefreely ware is not as well-polished as theirs.” It places in the world have mountains like
when they speak the same language. was a no-holds-barred self-evaluation, these - the other two being Guiyang
Being a curious person, I asked a lot of and I was amazed by its frankness. The and Kunming, both also in China -but
questions at Pearl River, and our guides fact that this sign was all in Chinese the ones in Guilin are the most spectacu-
answered all of them without the slight- seems to indicate that it was strictly for lar. Theyre what attract tourists fromall
est reservation. One of the things that internal consumption. (Otherwise, it’d over the world to this city in the Guangxi
always fascinates me is the working be in English, German, Japanese, and Zuangzu Autonomous Region, which is
conditions of the people. I learned that other languages foreign visitors could also the home of China’s largest minor-
the employees there work an average of read.) It’s clearly a reminder to all em- ity, thezuang people. Asour tour guide
48 hours a week: from 890 a.m. to 590 ployees that there’s room for improve- said, “In Guilin, we live on the scenery.”
p.m. Monday through Saturday, with ment and that everyone must strive to Although these mountains can be
an hour off for lunch, which is heavily produce abetter product. Working long seen from almost anywhere in the city,
subsidized by the factory. (Li Da-Su, the and hard is certainly one way to achieve we took the famous cruise down the Li
company president, said that, because this goal, and we could see this no- River to havea closer view. As we wound
of his heavy responsibilities, his sched- nonsense attitude at work throughout our way downstream, the mountains
ule is from 790 a.m. to 790 p.m. -also the entire factory. I was truly impressed. practically came at us like “waves” on
six days a week, and he still gets be- In case anyone thinks I’m just being both sides, and there were waves be-
hind.) Typically, lunch consists of one sentimental because this was my first hind these waves - for as far as we
serving each of a soup and a meat/ trip back to China after being away for could see.It wasanoverwhelming sight.
vegetable dish, plus unlimited quanti- 37 years, let me assure you I wasn’t the The inspiration of many artists through-
ties of rice and hot tea. The menu varies only one who felt this way. John Ford of out thecenturies, theselimestonemoun-
everyday, but the format remains the New York City, another member of our tains of Guilin have been called the most
same. In addition to having every Sun- group, later told me, ‘When I left Pearl scenic sight in China, and that’s proba-
day off, the employees also get three River, I nearly cried. I felt like taking my bly not an exaggeration.
holidays a year. The concept of a “vaca- jacket right off, and get on the produc- For me, one of the fun things to do
tion” (an extended and uninterrupted tion line to work with them, and share while traveling is to sample the local
period of, say, a week or more off) is with them what I know about pianos.” cuisine. One evening while in Guilin,
unknown here. The flat roof top of the The annual production at Pearl two American friends and I decided to
factory building offers a nice view of the River is about 25,000 pianos, and the have a dining adventure: We went
countryside, and it is available to the company has 1,400 employees, each downtown for a meal of snake and eels.
employees for parties, dances, concerts, earning an average monthly salary of The restaurant we picked happened to
picnics, and celebrations of one kind or $81.00. A simple calculation shows that be an outdoor one-a “sidewalk cafe,”
another. Salaries vary, depending on the average labor cost per piano is only if one chooses to use an elegant term. It
the individual’s level of skill and re- $55.00,which should give Pearl River an served live animals cooked to order,
sponsibility, but the range is rather nar- enormouspriceadvantage.I’msurethat, and we watched and filmed the prepa-
row, which means the president of the in time to come, Chinese pianos could ration from start to finish. It was another
company makes more than the janitor, beaformidablecompetitioninthe world memorable experience.
but not very much more. The average market. The snake we ate was a poisonous
salary is 300 Yuan per month (about US We were given Pearl River souve- one, about five feet long. First, the chef
$81.00)- not a great amount, but it’s a nir pins, tea cups, and miniature sound- chopped off its head and tail, and then
living wage in China. Medical needs are boards as mementos of our visit. On our removed the skin and internal organs.
all provided for by the state, which also way out, we had ourgroup picture taken In the last throes of a death struggle, the
owns almost everything. under a colorful bi-lingual sign made rest of the snake still wiggled violently
While visiting the old Pearl River specially for us. Its English portion read: on the chopping board, and the chef had
factory in town, our hosts treated us to a ‘With Pearl River Pianos heartiest wel- to pound it with his cleaver repeatedly
14-courselunch,prepared right thereby comes to International Relations Piano to “quiet it down,” so he could slice the
their cafeteria staff. This was literally Technicians Guild Inc.” In spite of the meatneatly.Thesidewalkandcurbwere
“factory food.” What it may have lacked grammatical errors, the message of littered with animal skins, entrails,
in finesse, it more than made up with goodwillisunmistakable.It’savisitwe’ll blood, etc. If you think the method of
quantity. Not knowing this wasgoing to long cherish in our memories. preparing the snake was bloody, the
be a 14-course meal, we ate and ate, and From Guangzhou, we flew to way the eels were prepared was even
more food kept coming. The expression Guilin on CAAC (Civil Aviation Ad- more so. Let’s just say it surely wouldn’t
“piggingout” must have taken on a new ministration of China) - China’s na- have earned any certificates of honor
meaning that day! tional airline, which operates all domes- from the Humane Society. As we
For some reason, Pearl River seems tic flights. It was a short flight (225 miles watched all that blood and gore, my
toseeSouthKoreaasitsgreatestcompe- by air). friends became a bit nervous, and asked
tition. There was a huge sign on a bulle- Guilin (meaning “forest of cassia me, “Is this really safe to eat?” Pointing
tinboard which listed 12 areas where, in trees”) is a city of 600,OCQand is world- out the obvious, I said, ‘Yes. The meat is
the management’s opinion, Pearl River famous for its limestone mountains, guaranteed fresh.” Asit turned out, fresh
pianos are inferior to Korean ones. The which geologistscall “karst formations.” snake and eels were delicious - al-
first one read: “Our tuning pins are not There are about 6,000 of these craggy, though that particular snake was a bit
tough. As we left the restaurant, the tail was also the ancient capital of the coun- getting its final regulation. When not
of the snake we just ate was still moving try, and the beginning of the historic building pianos, the shop’s technicians
by the curb. It was an eerie sight. “Silk Road”- a major trading route of are busy servicing the Conservatory’s
Like countless others, this restau- the past. The 600-year-old city walls still 3OOpianos, tenof whicharegrands.Like
rant had its share of cages where live stand there, parts of which have been students there, most of the employees
animals (chickens, ducks, pigeons, rebuilt and open to visitors. The city has live on campus in facilities provided by
turtles, etc.) are kept, which are slaugh- now grown considerably beyond these the school. We saw a few chickens (meat,
tered and cooked when customers or- walls. not pets) being raised there as well as
der them. To Americans, butchering live The day of our arrival, 12 of us small patches of vegetable garden in the
animals immediately before eating them decided to visit the Xian Conservatory back.
may seem incredibly cruel and inhu- of Music while the rest of the group Wealso met Mr. Liu Da-Dong, the
mane, but in China and many other went sightseeing, so we split for the director of the Conservatory, who filled
poorer countries, it’s often a necessity. afternoon. Not knowing where the us in on some background information
These animal cages (or fish tanks, for Conservatory was, we decided to go by about his school. The Conservatory has
that matter) are really the equivalent of taxi. As only one taxi was available, it about 600 students and 500 faculty and
the refrigerator or freezer. They’re a had to make three round-trips to get all staff, although not all employees have
means of food preservation: as long as 12 of us there, and three more round- dealings with the students. (The instru-
the animal is kept alive, the meat will trips to bring us back to the hotel after- ment factory is an example.) The Con-
not spoil, and it’s safe to eat. Not only do wards. The driver was patient, and we servatory is really three schools in one:
many restaurants have no means of tipped him accordingly. elementary school, high school, and
keeping food refrigerated, the only Xian Conservatory is not just one university, and its students range from
source of electricity that particular one building; it’s a complex of perhaps 20 children to adults. Admission is strictly
had was just a single wire hung between buildings. Not knowing where to go by competition, and those judged to have
trees, which powered two light bulbs. once on campus, we just told the taxi- no talent for music need not apply. The
Everythingelsehad tobeself-contained: driver to take us to the “piano depart- Conservatory offers six areas of study:
the stove ran on charcoal, and water was ment” - thinking we’d see its pianos, piano, orchestral instruments, Chinese
carried there in buckets and stored in practice rooms, etc. But the driver mis- instruments, voice, composition, and
tanks nearby. If this restaurant were in understood us, and instead took us to music education. Mr. Liu complained to
the United States, before the animal- the musical instrument manufacturing us about the very small budget the state
rights people could picket it, it’d have division, which makes pianos among gave him to run the school. Not only
already been shut down by the govern- other instruments. Thus, we discovered was the budget terribly inadequate to
ment for numerous violations of health a piano factory purely by accident. Al- begin with, what’s allotted was also
codes. though it’s part of the Conservatory, constantly being trimmed back - fur-
But then, most Americansbuy their this60-employeefacilityisaprofessional ther tightening an impossible situation.
groceries in supermarkets, where meat manufacturer of instruments, and not a He said there’s not enough money even
almost always comes in neat plastic training ground for students to learn to maintain the buildings, and buying
packages, wrapped in clear cellophane, how to build them. Its main product is new pianos from outside is simply out
already weighed, priced,dated, and kept the “cheng,” a large zither-like folk in- of the question. In the meantime, life has
under refrigeration. When they have strument with movable bridges (some- to go on for his faculty, staff, and stu-
steaks, for example, the fact that they are thing similar to the Japanese koto) for dents - regardless.
eating the carcass of a dead cow proba- which this factory is largely known. Its From what we could see, Mr. Liu
bly never crosses their minds-because annual production of 300 chengs is sold was not exaggerating his plight in the
the killing and thebloody scenarios took to customers in Japan, Hong Kong, Tai- slightest. The rundown building where
place far from the supermarkets, and wan, Korea, the United States, and other applied music is taught was a good
the customers never have to see them. countries. As a sideline, it also makes example: The paint was peeling; plaster
It’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” some 20 violins and 10 cellos a year. was brokenat numerous places; the very
Butinapoorercountry,peopleareforced Its piano department produced six long, dark, main hallway had only a
to live a lot closer to Nature-as the instruments (all 47” verticals) last year. single lightbulb in the middle for illumi-
intervening steps between production This is one of those “mom-and-pop” nation;theodoroffermentingurinefrom
and consumption (refrigeration, pack- operations few people have heard of. the bathrooms (located near the en-
aging, advertising, etc.) are costly and It’s essentially an assembler of piano trance) was overpowering. It was in this
have to be kept to a minimum, or no- parts purchased from Pearl River Piano building where we met a professor of
body could afford the product. There- Co. in Guangzhou, and assembled with piano,who triedtoplayforuspartofthe
fore, food has to be eaten while it’s still hand tools. Thus, it may be more appro- Grieg Concerto she was learning. The
fresh, and when going places, they walk priate to call this outfit a “workshop” piano in her studio was a vertical built
orbike,rather thandrive, whichis proba- rather than a “factory.” All six pianos by Hsinghai in Beijing, and it was badly
bly not all bad. It’s a life-style that has produced last year went to service in the out-of-tune. Apparently, the technicians
evolved out of necessity over many Conservatows classrooms. Since the were way behind schedule in making
centuries, although unfortunately, those consumption is all internal, the work- their rounds. The 800-seat concert hall
who don’t understand it may see it as shop didn’t even bother to put any la- had two concert grands backstage: a 40-
“primitive” or “barbaric.” bels on them. It was here that we were year-old Hamburg Steinway and an 80-
From Guilin, we flew to Xian, the privileged to see the first harpsichord year-old Bliithner, both are in dire need
largest city in northwest China, which built in China: it was still in the shop of rebuildingbut there wasno money to
buy parts with. airline to combine us with the 7~00p.m. Summer Palace, which was where we
That evening, we returned to the passengers. Being the only airline in went. Traffic on the way was sparse,but
Conservatory for a concert by the school China, CAAC could do whatever it instead of staying on the main roads,
orchestra, for which Mr. Liu was the wanted:maketherules,andchangethem our bus driver would zigzag through all
conductor. The ambitious program at will. Inconvenience to the passengers the side streets at high speeds to get us
consisted of a single work: Beethoven’s is a secondary consideration, if at all, as there. It looked like reckless driving.
NinthSymphony. Although at times the it doesn’t need to worry about losing What he was really doing was trying to
orchestra played with more energy than business to any competitor. But this is a avoid meeting army trucks face-to-face,
polish, it was a very respectable per- fact of life travelers in China have to and risk being stopped and have to
formance. The soloists and choir in the resign themselves to. answer questions. It was for our safety.
last movement sang in a Chinese trans- To fill the extra five hours, our Along the way, we could seeburnt and
lation, and all from memory. After the tour guide took us to visit one of the overturned army trucks, jeeps, and
concert, we met with Mr. Liu backstage, largest communes in Xian, where about buses,somestillsmolderingwithflames.
and presented him with a gift for his 5,000 people live and work together. It Numerous traffic dividers, made of
school: $150.00 that we had collected had its own kindergarten, schools, heavy steel bars set in concrete blocks,
among ourselves earlier. It wouldn’t medical clinic, animal and vegetable weretwistedlikepretzels,andthestreets
solve his budget problems, but it was a farms, and factories that produce craft were littered with broken bricks. It
small token of our appreciation. items for tourists. We were told that the looked like there had been a war, but we
The next day, we visited one of the people were very friendly, and that we didn’t see any bodies. Still, nobody told
greatest archeological treasures in the could visit any homes just by walking us anything, but it was obvious some-
world: Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s un- in. We did visit a few, and all of them thing had gone terribly wrong. We re-
derground funeral vault, where over looked rather prosperous by Chinese turned to the hotel in the early afternoon
7,000 life-size terra cotta warriors were standards. For example, one family of in the same zigzaggy fashion. Our tour
buried and grouped in battle formation four had a two-bedroomapartment with guide advised us to stay in “until further
to protect the emperor in the under- its own living room, dining room, notice.”
world. Built 2,000years ago, the site was kitchen, and bathroom. The living room Our hotel, the Beijing-Toronto, is
discovered only in 1974, and the dig- had a working color television set, and right on Changan Avenue (a major thor-
ging, repairing, and cataloguing are still the kitchen had running water and a oughfare running east-west through the
far from complete. What was already refrigerator. For life in the country, it city) about five kilometers east of Tian-
dug up was an awesome sight. The terra just seemed unnaturally prosperous, anmen Square. By then, the U.S. Em-
cotta soldiers were left exactly where which made me suspicious. So,during a bassy had put up a sign for all Ameri-
they were originally buried - about 20 quiet moment, I cornered ourbusdriver, cans staying there, which read: “June 4,
feet underground, and only the dirt and asked him whether he had been 1989. Notice: The American Embassy
around them was removed to reveal there before. He said, “Yes, many times.” advises all American guests of the hotel
these figures. The site measured 200’ x That confirmed my initial feeling that to remain inside the hotel. The situation
700’, and over this vast space, a single we were seeing what the government is extremely dangerous.” It was a terse
roof had been built, so the work of the had wanted us to see: a cleverly dis- message, but still not very specific. So,
archeologists could continue without guised propaganda machine. Although we stayed in the hotel the rest of the day,
being affected by the weather and the they enjoy a few special privileges, the trying to get some news from radio, TV,
flow of tourists could also continue residents there were really being used and newspapers, but none of it told us
without interruption. Even though I’d as “stage props” in a performance to anything we wanted to know. I learned
seen the sight before in photographs, impress visitors. from the hotel doormen and waiters
they didn’t prepareme for thereal thing. By the time we arrived in Beijing that,bccauseofthekillingsintheSquare,
The scope of the Emperor’s project was that night, it was already past 1O:OO p.m. all tourists were leaving, and the hotel
simply breathtaking. Judging by the It was June 3 - the night the massacre was then only about 10% full - while
number of tourists there, this site has to was to take place at Tiananmen Square, normally it’s so packed that, if anyone
be a source of considerable income for although we had no way of knowing arrived without reservation, he had no
the government. In addition, photogra- that at the time. Our tour guide told us hope of getting a room there.
phy by tourists is strictly forbidden, as that the Hsinghai Piano Company, Charlie Huether had tried to
the officials prefer that we buy post- which we had hoped to visit, was”under change our flight, so we could leave on
cards and slides from the gift shops renovation,” and could not receive visi- Monday, June 5 -only to discover that
nearby. This site is about 23 miles east of tors. (Few of us believed that.) United Airlinesdoesn’t fly out of Beijing
Xian, and is the major reason tourists On our long ride from the airport on Mondays, and that our original sched-
come here from all over the world. to the hotel, we saw a lot of soldiers in uled flight for Tuesday, June 6, was the
We were to leave Xian for Beijing army trucks parked by the roadside, next available flight out of Beijing any-
the next day at 2:00 p.m., but shortly and all of them were surrounded by way. So there was no point in reschedul-
before we were to depart for the airport, crowds of people talking to them- just ing. As it turned out, our flight was.the
we were told that our flight had been asin U.S. news photos we’d seen.Due to last scheduled flight out of Beijing. The
cancelled, and that we were to take the the total news blackout in China, we subsequent ones were all evacuation
7~00p.m. flight instead. The reason for didn’t know how serious the situation flights chartered by the State Depart-
the delay, we later learned, was that the had become. The next day, our guide ment to get the Americans out.
2:00 p.m. flight was nowhere near full, told us that all the sights we were sched- Still, we didn’t know how bad the
and it’d be more fuel-efficient for the uled to see were closed, except for the situation had become, and we asked our
tour guide if we could at least see the way just to sit in the hotel, even though “whoosh” with a crescendo to it. It’s
Great Wall on Monday. After much the Beijing-Toronto is a first-class facil- probably from the movement of the air,
head-scratching, he relented, and said ity. We thought about the sign from the but it was a hair-raising noise that I’d
he could possibly take us to the Mu- U.S. Embassy, and finally decided that never heard before or since.
tianyu section of the Great Wall. This is the warning was really more for its As I ran the five kilometers back to
the newly restored section, less trav- protection than ours-so if anything the hotel, it was already pitch-dark, and
eled, and less accessible than the old terrible happened to us, it could claim, I could see army trucksin the side streets
section (called Badaling), and it’s about “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.” making their maneuvers for another
50 miles northeast of Beijing. Mutianyu It was a dangerous and erroneous round of action. I couldn’t rest until all
is a lot steeper than Badaling, but it’s conclusion we arrived at, but we didn’t four of my friends were accounted for.
equipped with a Swiss-built cable car know it at the time. So after dinner, five None of us knew we could run so fast,
system, and the view from the top is of us decided to walk to Tiananmen and it must havebeen the only time I ran
superb. The main reason he picked Square to see the situation for ourselves. this far without warming up first. Any-
Mutianyu was that, on this more iso- Along the way, people were gathered in way, the experience was more excite-
lated route, we’d be less likely to run groups of one or two hundred every few ment than we’d bargained for, and we
into army trucks and possible trouble, blocks apart. To get some real news, I’d still haven’t seen Tiananmen Square!
although he didn’t tell us that at the work myself into a crowd, pick out a But, who says we can go to Beijing only
time. person who looked “approachable,” and once?
Came Monday, and we were off to start asking dumb questions. (Knowing The next morning, our bus was
Mutianyu. The driver again drove in his the language really makes a difference parked at the back door of the hotel by
zigzaggy fashion. One of us made the there.) One exchange actually went like the garbagedumpsters, so we could load
comment that we were a “dying this: and leave without attracting too much
breed”-a deadly appropriate pun ‘What’s going on?” I asked. attention. It was a tense trip to the air-
under the circumstances, which broke “Lots of people died over there port. Once we got there, it was total
us all up. Only two thirds of our group last night,” he said, pointing in the di- pandemonium. There must have been
went on this trip, while the rest decided rection of the Square. several thousand foreigners trying to
to play it safe, and stayed at the hotel. “What happened to them?” leave the country. It was a scene of mass
The4,000-milelong Great Wall has “The tanks drove over them.” confusion: Everyone was waiting in a
had an extensive history. Its first sec- “What tanks?” line for something, and the lines all
tions were built as early as the fifth Withadisbelievinglookasthough crossed each other, some more than once.
century, B.C., and the rest was linked up saying ‘Where have you been?“ he The noise was deafening. The airport
under Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di in 221 started to tell me what he knew about employees tried to maintain order by
B.C. Since then, the Wall has been aban- the situation. And then, I’d tell my shouting instructions through mega-
doned and rebuilt many times. It winds American friends in English what he phones, but they couldn’t be heard at all.
around, following the top of the moun- said. It was here that we learned the impor-
tain ridges. The newly rebuilt Mutianyu I did this five times along the way, tance of two documents: a U.S. passport
section has 22 watchtowers, and paved and the stories all agreed closely. And and a ticket with a confirmed reserva-
with stones, some weighing as much as the fifth time, we were only half a block tion. We had both. Even so, we had to
a tonapiece,and eachone of these had to away from the Square. As I was talking wait a few tense hours before we could
be carried to the mountain top without with a man near a lamppost, suddenly board our plane. As soon as it was air-
the help of modern machinery. This weheardmachinegunfireblastingaway borne, everybody broke out in applause.
should give you an idea of the immen- just ahead of us. He said, “Get down! We even signed a letter of appreciation
sity of the project. The day we were Get down!“+nd we both crouched to United Airlines for making the diffi-
there, there was only one other bus of behind the lamppost base to avoid being cult negotiations with the Chinese gov-
tourists. So, we practically had the whole hit by bullets. (At close range, machine ernment to fly into Beijing that morning
Great Wall to ourselves. Without the gun fire sounds just like firecrackers- to get us out. i
thousands of visitors who crowd the only louder.) I saw my friends duck
place on normal days, it was very, very behind some bushes near the buildings, “The PTG Asian Tour” will be continued next
quiet up there, and we couldn’t help and that was the last I saw of them until
being awestruck by the sight. In that we got back to the hotel.
silence, we could almost visualize the As soon as the firing stopped,
thousandsand thousandsof peoplewho everybody turned around and ran as
had died building, attacking, and de- fast as possible away from the Square.
fending this great wonder of the world The hundredsof people who wereahead
throughout the history of China. of us were now behind us. When so
That afternoon, we were again many people ran for their lives in the
cooped up in the hotel, and became same direction, they created a weird
restless. After all, we didn’t come all this noise that sounded something like a
and thefinest rebuilding shops
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Northeast RlTs 545
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Southeast RTI’s 400
ERIE, PA-165 LEROY, MI 49655 September 1989 South Central Reg. 325
EMMA M. BRENNAN CHICAGO, IL-602 South Central RIB 217
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Jan. 5-6,199O Arizona State Seminar

Aztec Inn, Tuscan, Arizona
Contact: Kathleen Kattija-Ari, 4743 East Bellevue, Tuscan, AZ 85712 (602) 3264936
Feb. 16-18,199O California State Conference
Irvine Hilton, Orange County
Contact: Austin Mason, 25842 Ave., Cabrillo, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 (714) 661-1416
Mar. 2-4,199O South Central Regional Spring Seminar
Hilton Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contact: Joanie Wagoner, Rt. 4, Box 50-C, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 984-8179
Mar. 29- Pennsylvania State Convention
Apr. 1,199O Warrendale Sheraton Hotel
Contact: David Barr, 524 Jones Street, Verona, PA 15147 (412) 828-1538
April 7,199O East Tennessee One-Day Seminar
Heritage Music, Inc., 7212 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN
Contact: Tom E. Graves, 228 Hillcrest Dr., Knoxville, TN 37918 (615) 688-0916
April 20-22,199O Michigan State Conference
Lansing, MI
Contact: Les Jorgensen, 4201 Wabaningo, Okemos, MI 49964 (517) 349-5959
April 26-29,199O NELCRO Seminar
Hotel Auberge Des Gouvemeurs, Qu&ec, Canada
Contact: Roland Bessette, C.P. 364 SNCC, Brossard, Quebec, J4Z 3N3 Canada,
(514) 444-1135 or (514) 465-8076
April 26-30,199O Midwest Regional Seminar
Henry the 8th Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Contact: Liz Baker, 16301-A Manch Rd., Glencoe, MO 63038 (314) 664-4914
May l&19,1990 Intermountain Seminar
Provo, UT
Contact: Jack Reeves, 486 N. 300 W., Orem, UT 84057 (801) 225-1757

July 7-11,199O 33rd Annual PTG Convention & Technical Institute

Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion
Contact: Piano Technicians Guild, Inc., 4510 Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 753-7747

Be sure your Journals
follow you. Send address
changes to:
Piano Technicians Guild
4510 Belleview, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64111




President’s Message
Last September America lost one of its truly great
giants. While he was not a Macaulay or a Mozart or a
Maeterlinck, he will long be remembered. Irving Berlin,
born Israel Baline in Russia on May 11,1888,was brought
to the United States when he was five years of age.
Raised in poverty on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, his
only musical training was acquired from his father, a
cantor. His public school education was a brief one. His
father died when he was eight, and he was forced to
drop out of the second grade and earn a living on the
streets. An errand boy.... a peddlar’s helper...and finally
a job as a singing waiter helped to launch his musical
career. Although he could never read music and picked
out the melody of a song with one finger, he claimed he
felt like an awful dope because he knew so little about
the mechanics of his trade!
Alexander Woollcott oncecalled him the”creative Ginger Bryant presentsJulian Chenand Su-yen Wang with a certificate
ignoramus,” this man who wrote 19 stage musicals and of appreciation, in Portland. Chen (high school),and Wong(college),are
15 movie scores! Irving Berlin’s ambition as a song- the recipients of this year’s PTG Auxiliary PerformanceScholarships.
writer was “to reach the heart of the average American.
Not the highbrow nor the lowbrow, but the vast inter-
mediate crew which is the real soul of the country. The Scholarship Benefactors
highbrow is likely to be superficial, overtrained, su-
From time to time we will list the names of our Scholar-
persensitive. The lowbrow is warped, subnormal. My
public is the real people.” ship donors. Early this year contributions were made by
Elementary school children in their music appre- Kathryn Snyder, Miriam Snyder and Jean Fornaci. Memorial
ciation classes are taught to sing “Alexander’s Ragtime donations have also been made in memory of Raye McCall
Band,” “God Bless America” and “Oh, How I Hate To and Eunice Hilsenbeck at the request of Ginger Bryant. These
Get Up In The Morning.” Cabaret singers, who know contributions are a worthwhile and very special way to re-
and are encouraged to sing the latest songs, invariably member those whose lives contributed to the world of music
resort to the old Berlin reliables like “Say It Isn’t So,” and will continue to provide opportunities to the young mu-
“Let’sFaceTheMusic And Dance” and”Always.“When sicians of the future.
we hear “Isn’t This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The
Rain?)” don’t we immediately think of Fred Astaire? PTGA Scholarship Recipient
And how about “Cheek to Cheek?” Of course we can Wins International Award
“see” Ginger Rogers and her dance partner Astaire. DarisonDuarte,F’TGA’sfirstAuxiliaryScholarshipwin-
Irving Berlin, reportedly a workaholic, was a very
private person who avoided publicity, never made the ner, wonthe$5,OOOfirstplacescholarshipprizeintheKingsville
tabloids or the gossip columns. We do know his first International Performers Competition according to a recent
wife died of typhoid five months after their marriage in announcement in The Piano Quarterly.
1912. Her death prompted the song ‘When I Lost You.” Mr. Duarte received his PTGA award at the St. Louis
Berlin’s second marriage was to Ellin Mackay and they Convention and thrilled the membership with his skillful and
had one son and two daughters. Theirs was a joyous and entertaining performance at the Auxiliary Tea.
fulfilling marriage. One just has to string out the Berlin Darison’s continued success should be encouragement
song titles and/or lyrics to learn about their life to- to you to keep your generous donations coming so our Fund
gether. It was “Blue Skies,” “A Pretty Girl Is Like A can continue to grow, and the program keep expanding.
Melody” and “The Girl That I Marry.” Ginger Bryant, Scholarship Committee Chairman
This November while we are thinking of or ex-
pressing our thanks to an Almighty, for our country,our
family, our health and career, we can be thankful for and Want To Join PTGA?????
“Remember” lovely melodies like “Easter Parade” and PTGA is an active support group for the Piano Technicians
‘White Christmas.” “The Song Is Ended” but the mem- Guild. For information about joining, please write or phone
ory lingers on. our membership chairman:
Agnes Huether, President Arlene Paetow, Vice President,
RFD 1, Box 473, High Falls, NY 12440, (9141687-0364.
Love And Marriage poned until August 19,1989. Kith and
Do you suppose Irving Berlin’s kincamefromHolland,Spain,NewYork OUR NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY
1937hit “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me and California to rejoice with thecouple CELEBRANTS:
Warm” reached all the way to Holland and celebrate their 50 years of happy
where Willem Blees’ parents were plan- married life. Jan and her sister-in-law Nancy Kravendonk 3rd
Marge Williams 5th
ning their nuptuals for June 29, 1939? hand-made some 55 or 60 invitations
Ruth Pollard 9th
That song had special meaning for lov- for the party and sent them all over the
Irene Iverson 11th
ers all around the world so it is pre- world. While Jan makes no claim to
Helen Desens 12th
sumed they knew it too. Since January compete with Elizabeth Barrett Brown- Barbara Welton 13th
of this year our member Jan Blees and a ing, she does enjoy trying her hand at Margaret Dye 15th
select group of assistants were busy limericks and small verse. She sent the Adelisa Clayton 16th
planning an elegant Golden Anniver- following to us last summer and we
Arlene Grimley 23rd
sary party. For the convenience of all thinkyou’llenjoyherrhyming.Theverse Jeanine Geiger 23rd
relatives and friends the date was post- was enclosed in the party invitations. Lillian Tobias 27th
Virginia Daehnert 27th
Sue Gray 29th
Jean Fornaci 30th
Something “gmnd” is being planned,
And we hope you will be on hand!

For Willem and Liesje, a time o elation; PTG Auxiliary

Their fiftieth anniversary celef ration. Executive Board
They’ve made music together that’s fifty karat gold, President/Exchange Editor
Since the day they vowed “To Have And To Hold...” Agnes Huether (Charles)
In Holland, and then ‘cross the sea to nao land, 34 Jacklin Court
They’ve played their love song, with children and “grand”. Clifton, NJ 07012
(201) 473-1341
“For better, for worse” through laughter and tears,
“In sickness and health,” for fifty “short” years, Vice President
Arlene Paetow (William)
“For richer, for poorer," in harmony galore- Rt. 1, Box 473
With their strong committment, they‘ll “play” fifty more!
High Falls, NY 12440
So come at four-thirty, on August nineteen, (914) 687-0364
To their home in Decorah, their garden so green.
Recording Secretary
Please bring chairs, and a potluck dish fog the table, Judy White (Charles)
Or just buy some fruit OY chips, if you’re able. Rt. 1, Box 134
Alma Center, WI 54611
In place of gifts, we request that you bring
Flowers that bloom as perennials each spring. (715) 964-8566

We’re lanning to stage a little “mock wedding”- Corresponding Secretary

T Re/lowers will make it a lovelier setting. Marge Moonan (William)
811 Amherst Dr.
And then, when they see them blossom each ytzr, Rome, NY 13440
They’ll remember the “grand” time, and you folks so dear.
(315) 337-4193
Besides this, your letters and quilt squares will serve
As meaningful gifts that they can preserve. Treasurer
Barbara Fandrich (Delwin)
So RSVP, and by keeping in touch, 1809 Covey Road
Tine can send you directions and such. Jonesboro, AR 72401
(501) 933-8543
She‘ll give you suggestions for pIaces to stay,
In Decorah itself, OYalong your way.
Immediate Past President
Won’t you please ‘oin us? Let’s make it a date Ginger Bryant (James)
That their hearts wil i remember, and long celebrate! 1012 Dunbarton Circle
Sacramento, CA 95825
Janet Blees, May 1989 (916) 929-5706


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or products listed. SYSTEM is the BEST system for rebushing featured in August ‘88 Journal. Precision
Send check or money order (U.S. keys! (Many have already changed over; if machined, tough, & glue proof, in quanti-
funds, please) made payable to Piano Techni- you haven’t you are losing time and ties of 45,90, or 180,25c ea. Available for
cians Journal, 4510 Belleziew, Suite 100, money). MASTERCARD & VISA accepted. key pin sizes .087”, X25”, .131”, .133”, .137”,
Kansas City, MO 64271. KEY BUSHING SUPPLY, 84A Main St., .146”, & .163”. Also key clamps, felt knives,
Kingston, NH 03848. For information gram weight sets & soundboard cleaners.
For Sale only, call (603) 642-3633. For brochure, call or write Bill Spurlock,
FOR SALE by retired technician: Howard 3574 Cantelow Rd., Vacaville, CA 95688.
upright by Baldwin+500. Recently AUBREY WILLIS SCHOOL-Our home (707) 448-4792
refinished, keys recovered. All strings & study course in piano tuning, repair and
parts available. ALSO: STIEFF and regulating has been used by hundreds to PREFER TO REBUSH both sides of
STEINWAY square pianos, late 1800’s. learn the basics. Accredited member mortise at once? Now manufacturing
Make offer. J.J. Rose, 625 McCormick National Home Study Council. No cost conventional double shouldered bushing
Blvd., Clifton Forge, VA 24422. (703) 862- information. Aubrey Willis School, 1212 cauls of high density polyethylene, 25~
4910 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013. each. Bill Spurlock.

KORG AT12 AUTOCROMATIC TUNER. THE GUIDE. The Piano Technicians A CAREER in Band Instrument Repair or
Shows note, octave, pitch: seven octaves Guide. A job time study and work guide. Piano Tuning can be yours! Enroll in
(some pianos, 5 octaves). Generates four Printed on heavy stock to fit a pocket . Western Iowa Tech Community College’s
octaves. Calibrate A=430450 Hz. Batteries, Newton J. Hunt, 74 Tunison Road, New programs and develop skills from tuning
adaptor, earphone, case, warranty, one lb. Brunswick, NJ 08901. $10.00 p.p. to rebuilding pianos, or overhauling and
($155 postpaid) ($225 list). Song of the repairing brass and woodwind instru-
Sea, 47 West Street, Bar Harbor, ME SELF-PLAYING PIANOS. Pianocorder, ments. Specially designed facilities include
04609. (207) 2885653 Pianomation, Pianodisc. Sales, Installation, individual work stations and up-todate
Servicing. America’s #l Installer and equipment. In-state tuition is $296.00 per
AFFORDABLE FILLED MEMORY for Dealer. Grant Leonard, 401 West Lake St., term; out-of-state tuition is $592.00 per
SANDERSON ACCU-TUNERS. Revised Minneapolis, MN 55408. (612) 8246722 term. Most students qualify for in-state
MIDI format reduces installation time, tuition by the second quarter. Employers:
lowers costs. Over 265 tuning charts to 88 PIANO KEYS REBUSHED fronts and contact our placement office about
choose from. All are AURAL QUALITY centers with extra quality felt, $45.00. availability of graduates. For more infor-
complete 88 note tunings, with pitch raise Return freight paid with prepaid orders. mation, contact Admissions Office, P.O.
compensation and detailed index. Less Tommy L Wilson, 1418 Ewe11 Ave., Box 265, Sioux City, IA 51102 or call (712)
than $1.00 per chart! Write for free Dyersburg, TN 38024. (901) 285-4046 2746400 collect.
brochure write to : THE PERFECT PITCH,
84057. line of professional products for producing Authorized Distributor. The most accurate
the ultimate polished polyester piano and advanced tuning aid available. Tuning
LEARN PIANO TUNING-Small classes; finish. Black, White, Clear, Custom Colors. lever note switch for Accu-Tuner $25. Con-
personal attention; Cal State & Vets Catalog $2.00. Donald M. Steinert, Dept. signment sale of used Accu-Tuners and
approved; NOT a mail-order course. Call PTJ, 800 Messinger Road, Grants Pass, Sight-O-Tuners or new Accu-Tuner
or write for free brochure. SF. School of OR 97527. customers. Call for details. Rick BaIdassin,
Piano Tuning 657 Mission St., Suite 507, 2684 W. 220 North, Provo, UT 84601. (801)
San Francisco, CA 94105. (415) 543-9833 SIGHT-O-TUNER SERVICE: Repairs, 3742887
“Our 9th Year”. calibration & modifications. Fast, reliable
service. Richard J. Weinberger, 18818 52 PIANO KEYS RECOVERED-.50-
HARPSICHORD AND FORTE-PIANO Grandview Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375. $50.00; .060-$60.00; .075 with fronts-
PARTS and kits, original factory materials (602) 5844116 $75.00. New sharps-$32.00; sharps
from the finest early keyboard suppliers in refinished+l7.50. Keys rebushed, felt-
the world. Also troubleshooting and CUSTOM PIANO COVERS MADE TO $60.00. Return freight paid with prepaid
assistance to fellow RlT’s on harpsichord YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. Perfect for any order. Charles Wilson, 1841 Kit Carson,
problems. Authorized Zuckermann Agent. storage or moving situation. All work Dyersburg,TN, 38024. (901) 285-2516
Lowest Factory-Direct Prices-buy from guaranteed. Also available, many gift
the source. Catalogs, price lists free. Yves items. Send for brochure and samples. JM ACCU-TUNER TOOL CASES. ‘Newly
A. Feder RlT, Harpsichord Workshops, 2 FABRICations, 902 185th St. Ct. East, Redesigned.” Carry Accu-Tuner and Tools
North Chestnut Hill, Killingworth, CT Spanaway,WA 98387. (286) 8476009 in the Same Case. $120, $149, $189 Bob
86417. (203) 663-1811 Conrad, (816) 4444344. CaII colIect
turnings, inlays, and marquetry, including TAPES, PIANO TUNING AURAL/ ment, University of Wisconsin-Stevens
repair of existing work and reproduction ELECTRONIC--$175. The most accurate Point. Applicants will tune, repair and
of missing pieces. Edwin TeaIe, 19125 approach in fine tuning. KEY MAKING, rebuild 90 pianos and one harpsichord.
S.W. Kinnaman Rd., Aloha, OR 97007. $124.75.GRAND REBUILDING (2 tapes), Must have knowledge of techniques of
(503) 642-4287 $225.75.Preparation, pinblock replace- tuning uprights and concert tunings of
ment, damper installation, restringing. grands. Position is a half-time appoint-
SO YOU WANT TO BE A CONCERT GRAND REGULATING, $175.75.SOUND- ment, with full benefit package. Stevens
TECHNICIAN, by Norman Neblett. This BOARD REPLACEMENT, $94.75. Ship old Point is located in the center of Wisconsin
informative lecture, professionally board-new board comes to you ready for at the gateway to the state’s vacationland.
recorded and edited in May 1988, is now installation, Please specify VHS or Beta. If interested, please call Vi&i Kubisiak
available on cassette. $10 postpaid. Rick All prices include shipping. THE PIANO (715) 346-2606;Personnel Services; UW-
Baldassin 2684 W. 220 North, Provo, UT SHOPPE, INC., 6825 GERMANTOWN Stevens Point for application information.
84601. AVE., PHILADELPHIA, PA 19119. (215) Deadline for applying: November 21,1989.
438-7038 An Equal Opportunity Employer.
programs for beginning students, associate Paperbacks $16.50 plus $1.50 for postage IMMEDIATELY to work with established
members studying to upgrade to Regis- and handling. Hardbacks $2150 plus $2.00 R’IT. Plenty of tuning & shop work. 70%
tered Tuner-Technician, and RTT’s for postage and handling. Order today. tuning, 30% shop. Van, Secretary pro-
wanting to continue their education. Sorry, no COD’s. Make check or money vided. Good salary, benefits. Prefer RTT
Tuning, repairing, regulating, voicing, order payable to: JOHN TRAVIS, 8012 but will consider recent Tech School/
apprentice training, business practices. Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912. Apprentice graduate. Call Greg Shaffer
Top instructors and materials. Call or write (319) 394-9101or 3943090.
61592 ORION DRIVE, BEND, OR 97702. Stripping, buffing, and NICKEL plating, PIANO TECHNICIAN. Pottsdam College
(503) 382-5411 Seeour ad on page 3. with hinges up to 60” lengths $X25-$225/ of the State University of New York invites
set, depending on quantity of parts applications for the position of Piano Tech-
NILES BRYANT SCHOOL-Since 1898 included. Enclose packing list indicating nician. Responsibilities: Implements and
Piano tuning, regulating and repairing number of screws with description and manages all aspects of stringed keyboard
learned easily at home through time tested quantity of items. REFERENCES AVAIL- technology at The Crane School of Music,
method proven over 90 years of continu- ABLE. COD delivery in 2-3 weeks. including piano and harpsichord mainte-
ous service. ELECTRONIC ORGAN SERV- A.R.O.M. throughout the U.S.A.! We will nance, concert preparation, inventory
ICING also covered. World’s only home serve you with quality & reliability. CRAF- control, and instruction in piano technol-
study course covers all makes and models TECH ELECTROPLATING, X46R ogy. Working directly with faculty, staff,
and contains over 100 pages of schematics. Endicott St., Norwood, MA 02062.(617) students and guest artists, the technician is
Write or call: NILES BRYANT SCHOOL, 769-0071days, (617) 469-9143eves. responsible for the tuning, voicing,
Dept. G, P.O. Box 19700, Sacramento, CA regulating, rebuilding and repairing of all
95819. (916) 4544748 (24 hrs.) NEW SOUNDBOARDS MADE FOR Crane pianos and harpsichords, including
YOU. Ship old board. New board comes to 35 Steinway grands, 20 Mason and Hamlin
RESCALING SERVICE: Customized you ready for installation. Send for grands, 100 Steinway uprights, and 3
tunings for Sanderson Accu-Tuner; custom instruction on: Victor A. Benvenuto, 6825 harpsichords; plans and manages budget
rebuilding and remanufacturing. Sound- Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA and resource requests and allocations,
boards, pinblocks, etc. Lawrence Buck, I71 19119. (215) 438-7038 identifies and works with contractors and
Lincoln Street, LowelI, MA 01852. (508) supervises tuners and student assistants;
458-8688 “COMPONENT BEARING GAUGES will continue the Apprenticeship in Piano
give readings in degrees (string angle) and Technology Program. Qualifications:
DON’T LEAVE HOME without your thousandths of an inch (dimension). Bachelor’s Degree and/or certification
bottle of Pearson’s Super Glue ($3.25) or Available at supply houses. Box 3247, from accredited Piano Technology
your tungsten carbide sanding file ($7.00). Ashland, OR 97520.” program and at least 5 years experience as
Rapidly becoming an essential part of a technician with concert experience
every technician’s bag-of-tricks (Postage Wanted required. Appropriate length of experi-
extra). Steve Pearson Piano Service, 831 WANTED: STEINWAY AND MASON ence in lieu of degree/certificate will be
Bennett Ave., Long Beach, CA 90804. (213) HAMLIN GRANDS. All sizes and cabinet considered. Salary: cummensurate.
433-7873 styles. Ask for Karen Bean at (415) 676- Application review will commence
3355. Piano Finders, P.O. Box 23814, November 1 and continue until position is
“LET’S TUNE UP” $20.00 per copy. Last Pleasant HiII, CA 94523. filled. Send application, resume and
few hardbacks will soon be gone. No references to : Sal Cania, Crane School of
immediate plans for another printing. INSTRUCTOR WANTED; RTT needed to Music, Potsdam College, Potsdam, NY
Paperbacks still available at $17.50. Make teach piano repair. Saturday only-flex- 13676. Potsdam College is committed to
checks payable to John W. Travis, 8012 ible-good pay. SF School of Piano providing opportunities for women and
Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Tuning-657 Mission St., Suite #507, San minorities and actively seeks these candi-
Francisco, CA 94105-Tele: (415) 543-9833. dates.


ous finder’s fee. Jim Bulfer, t9991 Yukon NICIAN/REBUILDER Secretary work Uprights.” Call collect, Ben Knauer (818)
Lumber Company, 520 West 22nd St., provided. One week paid vacation. Van 343-7744.
Norfolk, VA 23517. (804) 6217131 provided. Begin ASAP. $25,000yr. Near
Grederick, MD. Call Cheryl at (301) 898- TWO POSITIONS OPEN with leading
THE UNIVERSITY OF REGINA invites 3245 or (301) 775-7393 at Kramer’s Piano central New York piano dealer. Piano
applications for the position of TECHNI- Shop. Service Manager, R’IT required; minimum
CIAN II in the Conservatory of Music. 5 years experience. Piano Technician, RTT
Duties include: tuning, regulating and TECHNICIAN REQUESTING WORK IN preferred; minimum 3 years experience.
voicing pianos and harpsichords; main- THE U.S. OR CANADA. Experience Both positions full-time with excellent
taining, repairing and rebuilding various includes: 2 years-action assembly; 10 salary and benefit options. Send resume
components as required; determining years tuning (aural) and repair. Contact: and references to Evan TubIitz, Syracuse
parts required, estimating cost of repairs Nicolas Briza, 118 Bolosan, 2400 Dagupan Artist Piano, Ltd., 5780 Celi Dr., East
and arranging for parts to be ordered; City, PHILIPPINES. Syracuse, NY 13057. (315) 446-5660, fax
dealing with piano and harpsichord (315) 446-2219
malfunctions including emergencies; and WANT TO BUY. Steinway duo-art player
other related duties as may be assigned. grand. Will pay finders fee. Especially REWARD. $1000.00Reward offered for
Irregular hours may be required because want carved (fancy) case. Call collect, Jim information leading to recovery of one
of the scheduling of events and emergency Brady, (317) 2594307,2725 E. 56th St., Yamaha UlA upright piano, ebony polish,
situations. Requirements are: Graduation Indianapolis, IN 46220. serial #4041146.Confidentiality assured.
from Grade 12; two year piano technician Please phone (212) 206-8794.
course at a recognized technical institute UP TO $1000.00 Finders’ Fee will be paid
or university; two years related experience; for successful purchase of a Mason and WANTED!!! PIANO TUNER/TECHNI-
an equivalent combination of education, Hamlin Ex-Player. I have mechanism to CIAN for New York market. In need of
training and experience may be consid- install. Please call collect (317) 2594307 or experienced and well qualified piano tech-
ered. Salary: $2,248-$2,613 per month. evenings (317) 849-1469. Jim Brady, 4609 nician. Hamburg Steinway factory training
Submit resumes by November 30,1989 to Cranbrook Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46250. a real blessing!!! Well attired, good
J. Griffiths, Conservatory of Music, personality. Willing to work and work and
College Building 9118, University of GREAT OPPORTUNITY for self-moti- work and work. Pro Piano, (212) 206-8794/
Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S OA2. vated person to learn professional remanu- (800) 367-0777.
Preference will be given to Canadians. facturing of pianos. Having expanded and
moved into our new factory and distribu-
STEINWAY B OR C; 88 keys; spade-toe tion center, we now need to train more
leg; pre 1910 or pre #14O,OOO(or later, if people to become craftsmen capable of
old-style case); walnut or mahogany. meeting our high standards of workman-
Geneva Dewitt (818) 790-0287 or 1155 ship. Send resume to: Webb Phillips. 1836
Oak Grove, San Marino, CA 91108. S&t Dr., 116, Ivyland, PA 18974. 1 .
Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. .................... IF
C. Be&stein ..............................................
California StateConvention ................... .37
DamppChaser Electronics.................... .11
DecalsUnlimited/Schroeder’s Classic
Fleisher Piano Cabinetry ........................ .25
The’ Stradivarius 11
Bill Garlick .................................................
Grayson County College ..........................
Houston Community College.................. .9
of Keyboard Instruments 27
Inventronics, Inc. ......................................
A. IsaacPianos ..........................................
Handcrafted Excellence LeeMusic Mfg. Co.................................... 37
Patented Renner Action Lunsford-Alden Co. .................................. .9
Marathon Data Systems............................ .9
Cabinetry of Exquisite Rare Woods North BennetSt.School.......................... .27
Ivory Keys On&i Custom Tools ............................... .37
Uncompromised Quality I .8
Pacific Piano Supply.. ................................
Perkinsschool of Piano Technology .....18
Not yielding to mass production in its 11
130-year history, Bechstein is the Ultimate .37
Pro Piano ...................................................
Instrument. Randy Potter School.................................. .3
SchaffPiano Supply ................................... 1
l ShenandoahCollege................................ .23
A Full Complement of Parts and Service
Shuler Co. ................................................... 11
Bill Spurlock ............................................... .9
!!I! Superior Instruction Tapes..................... .23
Tuners Supply, Inc.....................................
vestal Press................................................
AMERICA CORPORATION Yamaha Music Corp. .............................. BC
425 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 255-0284 FAX (415) 626-4139 Young Chang America .......................... ,4-5


Piano Technicians GuiLd Business Aids & Merchandise
Business Aids Quantity Total
Billing Pads* - a-part with logo, 50 per pad: l/$4.00, 3/$10.00 ................................................
Piano Service Appointment Forms* - Green, 6-part: 100/$22.50 .............................................
Service Stickers* - red and blue with logo: lOO/$S.OO,200/$900, 500/$20.00.. ........................
Personalized with your name & address 500/$50.00, 1,000/$90.00.. ................................
Pamphlets* - 100/$12.50,500/$55.00 (must be ordered in lots of 1001
A-440 and Your Piano .........................................................................................................
Care of Your Piano ..............................................................................................................
Piano Pointers .....................................................................................................................
How Often Should My Piano Be Tuned? ............................................................................
The Tuner To Turn To .........................................................................................................
The Unseen Artist ...............................................................................................................
Should I Have My Piano Tuned In Summer? ....................................................................
Reminder Cards ...................................................................................................................
“Piano Parts and Their Functions” by Merle Mason (hardcover, revised edition)
Member price: $10.50 ..........................................................................................................
Non-member price: $15.50 ..................................................................................................
“Classified Index Supplement” compiled by Merle Mason (covers 1979-1983)
Member price: $12.50 ..........................................................................................................
Non-member price: $15.00 ..................................................................................................
Journal Binders: Brown, holds one year’s issues l/$6.50, 2/$12 ................................................
“The Unseen Artist” video - VHS: $29.95 ..................................................................................
Membership Pins* - lapel-type, gold, with blue and white RT’T logo: $5.00.. ..........................
Tie Bar* - as above, with gold clip: $5.50 ..................................................................................
Coffee Mug - “The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.” in blue on white ceramic
l/$4.00,4/$13.00, S/$18.00 ..................................................................................................
Pedestal Mug - 10 oz. clear glass, with “The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.”
in blue: l/$5.00,4/$16.00, S/$22.00 .....................................................................................
“Skill, Integrity, Service” Poster - 16”~ 20”, color: $l/$9.95.. ....................................................
PTG Neckties - $25.00 ................................................................................................................
PTG Automobile Sunshade (while quantities last) - $2.00.. .....................................................
Subtotal ........................................................................................................................................
Shipping & Handling (See table below) .......................................................................................
Missouri residents only add 6.125% state sales tax ....................................................................
Total enclosed ................................................................................................................................
Please charge to my -Visa _ Mastercard Card # Expiration Date:
Name: Are you an RTT? Member #
Address: Phone:
City, State, Zip: Chapter:
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Yamaha Piano Service

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Copyright 1989 Yamaha Corporation of America* Piano Department, Keyboard Division l PO. Box 66OOeBuena Park, CA 90622