Pianos: Things that go 'clunk' in the night

When I asked for a 'short black' this was not what I had in mind.

This Marshall & Rose piano has an interesting bass bridge with extenders to transfer the strings' vibration to a more active part of the soundboard (i.e. away from the edge).

Notice the 'blocks' under the bridge which effectively form a 'step' between the bridge itself and the point at which it joins the soundboard. I think this is called an apron, which may mean it was formerly a napron.

Speaking of naprons, this can't quite be called 'women's work' but get on with it, Garçon. Or (more politely) 'thank you'. You have to worry when you arrive to find that the cabinet parts are kept permanently off the piano (even though it is buried under other myriad items like giant heavy speakers that I was not keen to lift). In restaurants and clubs a visible piano action mechanisms usually makes folk as playful as kittens. Get your bloody paws off. Or (more politely) 'look with your eyes, not your fingers'. 

Apart from pitch-raising this dire little Beale up from a metaphorical Tasmania, I spied (but did nothing about) some bush-week damper substitutes. It really seemed that these two bichord damper felt replacements had been fabricated out of feminine hygiene products. Perhaps I'll wait until next month to deal with it.

An earlier and more regal Beale Vader steel wrest-plank piano. It has a beautiful cabinet. Yes, I'd be delighted to bicycle around your 'drawing room'. How quaint. 

I am the kitten whisperer. What a delight. Seriously cute.

This is why British pianos (and not exclusively British pianos) have a bad name. If they don't, they should. Silly little cloth flaps covering basic screw capstans. Accurate consistent adjustment is impossible.

You cannot operate the screws without removing the action (or each key). If you remove each key to adjust the screw, invariably the flap somehow gets crumpled upon reinsertion no matter how carefully you lift the wippen above it. Often the other ends of these little loin cloths lift up (invariably the glue is failing and they might be sitting there stuck on with rust rather than glue). They are the bald man's comb-over - always being swept the wrong way by a prevailing stiff breeze. 

A peculiar apostrophe. Piano factories have machines which repeatedly and consistently play every note to accelerate the 'running in' of the piano. Felts (in particular) throughout the action compress a great deal initially.

Is this a Pepsi in a fridge of Cokes, or the other way around? A freshly-installed alternative part (note the still-wet glue collar) will be in part another subversive experiment.

Nothing makes me angrier.

That's not true, there is a lot that makes me angrier. Rather, these replacement bridle tapes installed in such a hospital-like manner amused. It's functional, no complaints. Has the swelling gone down? When should the patient next change the dressings? Sponsor the Bandaged Piano today.

This grand has may also have a personal hygiene issue. Or a cold. Cotton wool has been used to replace missing or too-worn damper guide rail cloth bushings. As with almost anything (that does not actively damage) it's reasonable for someone to do what they can to get by until they can plan to resolve the problem properly. This piano's damper guide rail holes were subsequently re-bushed.

Shh, or something. I once adjusted a similar lever (set permanently on 'loud') to be set permanently on 'soft'. The lever was not connected to anything functional, but because it was stuck on 'loud' the clients were convinced the piano was too loud.

My treatment  did the trick.

I've noticed how many instructional videos on YouTube describing how to use piano tuning tools are made by folk who do not know how to insert a Papps wedge. If you see it inserted over the hammer line rather than between the hammer shanks (except in ridiculously small pianos) be suspicious. Also be suspicious of ridiculously small pianos. 

 'Let yourself into the house' and let yourself into the piano.

When it comes to 'tubular metallic action'...

...I cultivate a certain air of authority.

So now cyclists and skateboarders can't hurtle towards each other in games of Chicken? This joint is way too ruly.*

This joint is way too stooly.

It's Book Week. I travel to Canberra for a pied-piping gig. Our merry trio of players spirits class after class (from kindergarten through to Year 6) to a central point. The costumes (kids' and teachers') were a delight. Every class had a Where's Wally. I'd point frantically and shout, 'There he is, there he is!' to make each Wally feel special. In reality I'm yet to tire of this joke, despite the surfeit of Wallies I've spied running in the City to Surf (again, from my music-making vantage point).

Later at Canberra's Drill Hall Gallery I viewed Sydney Nolan's largest opus. Somehow I felt like I was still playing 'Where's Wally?' Where's Ned?

He's in every panel... or is he? Perhaps I'm just not looking hard enough. Where's Ned?

There he is!

There he is!

Oooh, there he is!

 * I love the word 'ruly' and will not be told when I can and cannot use it.