How Does a Piano Work?

inside pianoJust as we can switch on an electric light without being aware of the intricacies of electricity, so we can play the piano without knowing how it actually works. But knowing will enhance our playing and expand our appreciation for the capabilities of the modern piano. A terrific explanation is given in this video: Secrets of Piano Action

Here’s a further comment from my engineer father regarding variations among piano makers due to patents: “All pianos use basically the same mechanism – a mechanical advantage between the key movement and the hammer movement of approximately five to one so that when the hammer strikes the string it (the hammer) has accelerated to the speed at which it creates a substantial impact and the resulting sound.  The exact arrangement of this mechanism varies from one manufacturer to the next, because of patents, but they are all using the same principle.” (Victor D. Ellison, patented aircraft instrumentation)

How far today’s piano has come from the days of harpsichord and then pianoforte! But that’s a story for another day.

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