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

Adaywayne at aol.com Adaywayne at aol.com
Fri Dec 5 10:34:49 PST 2003

Many thanks, Bud, for that excellent explanation.
In a message dated 12/4/03 11:38:51 PM Eastern Standard Time, Bud Tuba writes:
If you open the keyboard section of a piano you will see that the spacing of 
the key levers is equally-spaced and that only the tips of the beams create 
the staggered appearance we associate with the piano.  Therefore, if the whole 
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 and 
down over the beams, they could be placed at any location.  This means though 
that not all 88 keys can be used since the tips would run off the beams at one 
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 piano 
maker might have been clever by providing some camming action associated with 
turning a knob, etc.  

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