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Where do your dampers end?


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#1 polkadot

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 23:21

Perhaps belatedly, but I've just discovered where the dampers on my piano end.  I don't normally play at the higher octaves of the keyboard so I've never had cause to notice before.  My dampers end on the E, two octaves higher than the E above middle C.  So now I'm curious to know where the dampers on other pianos end!  Do they all end on the same key?

And what happens on a digital piano?


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#2 chris13

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:31

I have a Kemble Classic piano which only has 85 keys and fitted with a Langer (previously known as Herrburger Brooks) action. The last damper is on the C sharp below E mentioned in post 1.

 

I would expect digital pianos to behave in the same way as the acoustic grands from which the sound has been sampled.


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#3 JimD

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 07:32

My 1930s Kemble also has its last damper on the C# above the stave.

 

Without checking it, I would guess that digitals just sample the attack and sustained sound and the decay will be electronically generated and graduated from bass to treble to simulate what happens in a real piano. I could be wrong though.


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#4 maggiemay

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 21:58

The dampers on my Grotrian-Steinweg end on G two and a half octaves above middle C.
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#5 linda.ff

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 13:21

My Morley upright has its last damper on the D 2 octaves-and-a-bit above middle C.

 

The difference in the sound either side of this discontinuity is sometimes quite upsetting. Should it really be that noticeable? I can play a light staccato passage at that pitch and suddenly just one note sticks out.


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#6 chris13

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 15:00

My Morley upright has its last damper on the D 2 octaves-and-a-bit above middle C.

 

The difference in the sound either side of this discontinuity is sometimes quite upsetting. Should it really be that noticeable? I can play a light staccato passage at that pitch and suddenly just one note sticks out.

My belief is that it shouldn't be noticeable and would advise asking for a diagnosis from a tuner/technician. Do you know if the discontinuity in sound coincides with  part of the piano frame which perhaps separates the strings of two notes ?


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#7 stork

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:16

My last one is on the F.

 

So far, we have C#, D, E, F and G, so plenty of variation between instruments.


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#8 linda.ff

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 15:53

 

My Morley upright has its last damper on the D 2 octaves-and-a-bit above middle C.

 

The difference in the sound either side of this discontinuity is sometimes quite upsetting. Should it really be that noticeable? I can play a light staccato passage at that pitch and suddenly just one note sticks out.

My belief is that it shouldn't be noticeable and would advise asking for a diagnosis from a tuner/technician. Do you know if the discontinuity in sound coincides with  part of the piano frame which perhaps separates the strings of two notes ?

 

Tuner came yesterday and said there was nothing unusual about it and that almost all grand pianos finish in the same place. And he said any composer worth their salt would just not write a passage which was spoilt by the sound of the discontinuity at that point - they would avoid it.

 

I learn something new from our tuner every single time he comes :wub: . This time I learnt that una corda does not mean that on a grand piano the action moves so that the hammer hits just one string - that apparently would be too far and ,wouldn't work well mechanically: it hits two strings, so una corda is either incorrect or probably it means "miss one string".

 

He was also impressed that not only did we stay in the room while he made what he admits is a horrible noise (well, my husband didn't think so, he was fascinated by the process) but that the dog stayed there too. Normally he says they will run for the hills as soon as he starts.


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#9 chris13

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 16:44

I had to change my tuner about five years ago because he had persistently failed to replace the celeste felt after numerous times of asking. The new tuner changed the felt and asked me if I knew that the piano wasn't set to equal temperament. I should have suspected this because the first tuner had admitted that he didn't listen for beats between various notes. I now have lots of interesting conversations at the start or end of her tuning sessions and the piano is set superbly in tune and stays that way until the next visit in 12 months.


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#10 LoneM

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 16:50

Given that the dampers end on different notes in different pianos, and that composers in different eras were writing for pianos of different sizes, I'm impressed that they were able to compensate for the 'break' in sound. Incidentally the last damper (F) on my large upright is shaped so that it damps only two of the three strings, reducing the contrast between damped and undamped.

 

The original fortepianos only had two strings per note (except sometimes at the very top). So 'una corda' really did mean one string.  It is a beautiful sound - the single struck string has a thinner sound but with a lovely ethereal glow from the sympathetic resonance of the other one.  Alas, as your tuner says, it's not possible on modern pianos.

 

Edit - this is replying to Linda.


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#11 maggiemay

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 18:32

Interesting - I used to have a little bi-chord piano and I really liked it. Bought reconditioned in the early 1970s.
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#12 chris13

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:01

 

He was also impressed that not only did we stay in the room while he made what he admits is a horrible noise (well, my husband didn't think so, he was fascinated by the process) but that the dog stayed there too. Normally he says they will run for the hills as soon as he starts.

 

Totally off the original topic but I wonder how many tuners need to hit the keys really hard. My first tuner did but the present one does not and when the door to the room is closed you can hardly hear her. I have heard it said that giving the strings a good wallop sets them in position so they hold their tune. As I said in a previous post my current tuner sets the piano up so that it lasts 12 months and then the tuning only needs tidying up.


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#13 polkadot

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 20:05

I've had a further thought about this.  In an exam situation, will the examiner be aware of where the dampers end on the exam piano?  One of the exam pieces that I'm learning is Staccato Beans, quite a lot of which is played at the far end of the keyboard where a clean staccato can't be achieved because the notes are higher than my dampers.  Will the examiner know that it's the piano's "fault" and not mine that the staccato doesn't sound crisp?


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