[Dixielandjazz] Irving Berlin's piano>>Clever Mechanical DevilsThey Were

Richard Broadie rbroadie at dc.rr.com
Thu Dec 4 21:59:41 PST 2003

Now days, electronic pianos have built in automatic transpose functions.
Boring and dull - but handy for jamming with all those guys who like to
perform in F#!

 This electronic technology has ruined my chances for my almost patented
piano capo!  (Guitar players, explain this little joke to the rest of the
list!  Thanks!)

Dick (now 2,2249 unread messages behind) Broadie

(Did I miss anything?)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <BudTuba at aol.com>
To: <Adaywayne at aol.com>; <paul.edgerton at eds.com>;
<dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Irving Berlin's piano>>Clever Mechanical
DevilsThey Were

> In a message dated 12/4/03 8:32:41 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Adaywayne at aol.com writes:
> > As far as physically moving the keyboard up (or down) by half a tone
> > example), would that really mean that the output would be totally
correct in
> > the
> > "new" key? That is simply a genuine question from a non-piano-playing
> >
> > who is looking at a piano keyboard and scratching his head as he moves
> > one
> > major chord to the next and tries to picture the spacial placement of
> > strings and their hammers..
> >
> If you open the keyboard section of a piano you will see that the spacing
> the key levers is equally-spaced and that only the tips of the beams
> the staggered appearance we associate with the piano.  Therefore, if the
> set of tips of the beams (that which you actually engage with your
fingers) is
> made seperate from the beams and this set of tips is allowed to shift up
> down over the beams, they could be placed at any location.  This means
> that not all 88 keys can be used since the tips would run off the beams at
> end of the piano or the other, so I expect the set of tips was limited to
> about 75 (88 minus 13).  This would have been done, by physically lifting
the set
> of tips and shifting it up or down over the underlying beams.  Berlin's
> maker might have been clever by providing some camming action associated
> turning a knob, etc.
> Moving the keyboard tips in this fashion would be musically true at any
> position.  This mechanical "tranposing" is the same as musically
transposing a song
> from one key to another.  Some player pianos had this transposing feature
> shifting the holes bar under the paper roll to make a song easier to sing
> matching its range with the singer's vocal range.
> Bud Taylor
> Smugtown Stompers
> Rochester, NY
> Traditional Jazz since 1958
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list