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The Baldwin Piano. .

You can see why it sounds better 4

We firmly believe that hammer making is one of the most critical of all piano
building processes. That’s why we spend significant extra dollars in materials
and time in the manufacture of all of our own hammers for both vertical and
grand pianos.
Our special concern starts with materials. We pay a
premium price for 100% virgin wool felt made to our
standards for weight, thickness, taper, size and hard-
ness. To guarantee that all hammer felt meets our
standards, we subject every sheet we receive to strin-
gent testing before accepting it for production.

The same extra concern continues in our exclusive

construction procedures. First felt is treated in our
moisture-conditioning chamber until it reaches a pre-
scribed moisture content. Then the felt is placed in a
special hammer press, designed and built by our
engineers. This press has preset closing pressure and
automatic cycling for consistency. We use a special
thermosetting glue to secure the felt to the moldings.
And we check throughout the process to insure that
the proper felt hardness is retained.

The object of all this extra care in design and construc-

tion of hammers is tone quality.. .and tone quality
that is consistent from note to note.

Fifth in a series of informative ads on piano tone published by Baldwin Piano &
Organ Company exclusively for the benefit of piano technicians.

For more information contact Kent Webb, Technical Service Manager; for parts contact Linda Gann,
Baldwin Piano & Organ Company, Highway 63 South,Trumann, AR 72472 - Phone:(501) 483-6116

Has expanded their services to

include a full line of


Culminating many years of discussions with the Yamaha Corporation,
an exclusive agreement now exists whereby Schaff can sell and distri-
bute any Yamaha piano part, tool or supply item that is not being replaced
under warranty.
Such items as grand and upright piano action parts, felts, hardware,
keytops, as well as adjustable chairs, tools and polishes are now in stock.
Other items can be specially ordered.
Please call or write requesting our latest brochure with prices.


Tourna 1

1990 - VOLUME 33, NUMBER9
4 10 25 34
PTG Committees, Technical classes Grand kammers part I, Workers’ compensation,
By Nolan P. Zeringue, RTT By Susan Graham, R7T By Bill Spurlock, RlT By Janet Leary, RTT

6 15 29
One week in Dallas, Tuning classes, Leverage,
By Larry Goldsmith By Rick Balahsin, RTT By Alan Vincent, RTT
Membership ......................... 38

8 20 31 Coming Events ................... .39

Auxiliary Exchange ............ .40
OVER VIEW EXAMINATIONS Classified Advertising ........ .42
PTG’s TEXAS Display Ad Index ................ .44
An open letter to PTG members. Learning to pass t& PTG
ROUNDUP By Harold Smith tuning exam; part 20,
Coverage of the 2990 convention By Michael Travis, RTT

By Rick Baldassin, RTT

Piano Technicians Guild Board Of Directors

0 1990 The Piano Technicians Guild,
NOLAN P. ZERINGUE, R-IT DONALD S. VALLEY, R’IT Inc. Articlespublished in the pfano
FERN L. HENRY, RTT Technicians ]oumd represent only the
President SoutheastRegional Vice President Western Regional Vice President opinions of the author and not those
619 Barbier Avenue 8861 Greenville Highway 3574 Cantelow Road of the Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.
Thibodaux, LA 7MOl Spartanburg, SC 29301 All rights reserved. No part of this
VacaviIIe, CA 95688 publication may be copied or
(504) 446-6812 (803) 574-6165 (707) 448-4792 reproduced inany form without
permission from the publisher, The
BRUCE G. DORNFELD, RTT DANNY L. BOONE, R’IT Piano TechniciansGuild, Inc. The
STEPHEN H. BRADY, RTT words “The Piano TechniciansCuiId,
Vice President South Central Regional Vice Pacific NW Regional Vice Presiah t Inc.,” and the Registered Tuner-
2134 Walters Avenue President 1402 3rd Avenue West Technician emblem are registered
with the US. Patent and Trademark
Northbrook, IL 60062 9707 Timberview Seattle, WA 98119 Office-Unauthorized use is strictly
(708) 498-0379 Waco, TX 76712 (206) 281-8292 (H) prohibited.
(817) 772-0546 (H) (206) 685-9371 (W)
‘flu Piano Technicians Jovd (ESN
SHARLA KISTLER, RTT (817) 755-1723 (W) 0031 9562) is the offical publication of
Secretary-Treasurer RONALD L. BERRY, R-IT The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.,
R.D. #8, Box 461 RICHARD BITTNER, RTT Immediate Past President 4510 Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City,
MO 64111. The Iovmnl is published
Allentown, PA 18104 Central East Regional Vice President 6520 Parker Lane monthly. Second class postage paid at
(215) 395-2348 519 Melody Court Indianapolis, IN 46220 Kansas City, MO., US ISSN 1X31 9562
Royal Oak, MI 48073 foreign and domestic. POSTMASTER
(317) 255-8213 please send address changes to: R&o
JAMES S. BIRCH, RTT (313) 398-3876 Technicium5 Jounwl, 4510 BeUeview,
Northeast Regional Vice President Suite 100, KansasCity, MO 64111.
56 Nashville Road MICHAEL A. DROST, R-I-T
Annual subscription price: $85 (US)
Bethel, CT 06801 Central West Regional Vice President for one year; $155 (US) for two years;
(2U3) 7444842 1052 South Fork Drive $750 (US) per single copy. Piano
Technicians Guild members receive
River Falls, WI 54022
the pirmo Technicians [ovrnnl for $45
(715) 425-2068 (H) per year as part of their membership
(715) 425-3940 (W) due..


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(801) 374-2887 Tuner-Technician classification.
LAROY EDWARDS, R-IT In fact, at any given time, 10% of the Associate Members are taking
]oumal On Tape Render our courses as a Continuing Education Program.
We offer video tape tuning, an Apprentice Training Manual and
4510 Belle&w, Suite 100 Repair Labor Guide. We also have $1500 worth of technical video
Kansas City, MO 6411 I tapes in our Video and Audio Lending Library.
(816) 753-7747 Our home study course is licensed by the Department of Education
LARRY GOLDSMITH and is the only one used by residence schools.
Editor/Executive Director
CYNDI DAVISON So if you orsomeoneyou know isjust beginning
Bookkeeper to learn piano tuning, or working toward the
SANDY ESSARY Craftsman level, give us a call. - (503) 3824411
Subscriptions Or wriie:
LISA GRAY ~ Randy Potter, RlT,
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Of Piano Technology
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PTG Committees
D o you know how many active com-
mittees we have in PTG? Have you ever
tee, contact the chairman of that commit-
tee and ask to be considered.
served on a committee? Have you ever Regional Vice Presidents are
thought about serving on a committee? asked to submit names of members who
Did you ever wonder how these people they think would like to serve on commit-
who make up the committees are chosen? tees. Contact your Regional Vice Presi-
Have you ever told anyone that you’d like dent and ask to be considered. You can
to serve on a PTG committee? also call me, the vice president, or the
All members, franchised and non- secretary-treasurer, and we will certainly
franchised may serve on committees, but be glad to keep your name on file for the
only franchised members may be the time prior to convention when we are
chairman of a committee. considering committees for the coming
Nolan P. Zeringue, RTT
There have been times in the past year.
when members have been put on commit- President
Much activity which comes be-
tees without being asked if they had inter- fore the Board originates in committees.
est in the committee or wished to serve on a particular Much activity which comes before Council originates in
committee. committees. Items brought up for discussion before the
I would like to have our committees made up of Council often are sent to committees for refinement before
members who have a desire to be serving on a particular being returned to the Council or Board for action.
committee. Most, if not all, of those members serving this Committees could be likened to the arms and legs of
year were contacted before the Board meeting in Dallas, PTG, which are important to what keeps our international
and asked if they would like to serve on a particular body moving forward.
committee. Won’t you loin with us where you have an interest
Many of the committee chairmen are helpful in find- and work with PIG? If you want to do committee work, we
ing good people to serve. If you are interested in a commit- will have a place for you. S


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a ximng,Chang
0 0
investsm ther fume.
Some of the most “prestigious” instruments make carefully crafted instruments available at
in the world are also the most expensive.At reasonable cost to anyone who sharesthis love.
Young Chang, we don’t believe a piano’s value We believe the instrument that’s most appre-
is limited to the number on its price tag or its ciated is the instrument that’s most played. And
place in history. asone of the most popular imported pianos, the
History isn’t restricted to what has happened value of Young Chang pianos appreciates like
on the stagesof the most famous concert halls few other instruments.
in the world. Because history is being made For technical information, call or write Alan
right now in the homes and studios of the Vincent atYoung Chang America, 13336Alondra
people you see everyday. It’s the discovery Blvd., Cerritos, CA 90701, (213)926-3200.
of the joy of music that inspires us to create
instruments of extraordinary beauty and
remarkable performance. And it’s a deep love
and commitment to music that requires us to The best the world has to offer:”

One Week In Dallas

Larry Goldsmith
Executive Director

W hen a week includes as much activity as the one we

recently spent in Dallas, the mind refuses to consider it as
The National Piano Foundation is actively working
to promote the piano in all segments of American society.
an orderly progression of events. It breaks down into a The National Association of Music Merchants has an-
series of vignettes - mental snapshots of a face here, a nounced a petition drive that will dramatize the impor-
gesture there,a meal with old friends, maybe, or an instruc- tance of music education in all our lives. Other projects,
tor explaining a complex procedure. undertaken on an individual or ad hoc basis, are no less
We ran into the same problem in putting together the important - be sure to read Harold Smith’s letter in this
coverage of the convention activities you’ll see on the issue.
following pages. There was simply too much going on to All these industry activities come together at gather-
include everything in thelimited amount of spacewe have ings like our convention. It is at such events that we
here. I hope these words and pictures stir good memories develop the will to make things happen, and the alliances
in the minds of those who were there, and a certain amount that make them possible. From a central point, the energy
of envy in those who were not-enough envy to consider radiates back into each hometown.
attending next summef s convention in Philadelphia, at Just as we go to convention to become better techni-
least. cians, to associate with our peersand to do our profession’s
One very important thing we tried to do at this business, we also seek out information and inspiration not
convention was to give those who attended a better sense available at home. When we take it back with us, we
of our industry. Because we feel that goal is particularly energize our own communities.
important, we’ve devoted space to it in this issue and will Ask any dozen of the more than 850 people who were
continue to do so in the future. The music and piano in Dallas. You’ll get a dozen different versions of what
industries are becoming more active - and just in time. went on, what was valuable, what was enjoyableand, yes,
Our support is needed, and it’s certainly in our own best even what they didn’t like. On one point, however, I hope
interests to contribute. they all would agree: it was important to have beenthere.Z


Steinway & Sons Names Schuyler Chapin of the Metropolitan Opera Association, Mr. Chapin was vice
Vice President, Concert And Artists president and director of the Masterworks Division of Co-
Bruce A. Stevens, president of Steinway & Sons, has lumbia Records, vice president of Lincoln Center for the
announced the appointment of Schuyler G. Chapin as vice Performing Arts; and executive producer of Leonard Bern-
president, Concert and Artists, effective August 9,19!20.Mr. stein’s company, Amberson Enterprises, Inc.
Chapin is Dean emeritus of Columbia University’s Faculty of As part of his involvement in public service, Schuyler
the Arts and a former general manager of the Metropolitan Chapin is a vice chairman and co-chairman of the Select
Opera Association. Committee on Artistic Affairs of the American Symphony
In this new position, Mr. Chapin will oversee world- Orchestra League (he was chairman of the organization in the
wide operations of the Concert and Artists program, working 1980’s). He is also chairman of the Artistic Affairs Committee
closely with the program’s three regional directors in New and an executive member of the board of the Lincoln Center
York, London and Hamburg. Steihway’s Concert and Artists Theater, a member of the Artistic Committee and chairman of
program services performing artists and organizations. the Archive Committee and board member of the Carnegie
In addition to being Dean Emeritus of Columbia Hall Society and is chairman of the Executive Committee of
University’s Faculty of the Arts and former general manager the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.


NationalPianoFoundationVideoWins “People yearn to actively participate in Correction
National Industry Honor music making, and playing the piano is In coverage of the National Asso-
The Possible Dream: MakeIt Come one of the avenues that satisfies that ciation of Music Merchants Expo in the
True was named “Best Music Promotion yearning. The PossibleDream videos were March 1990 issue of the Journal, it was
Video” during the fourth annual Na- conceived in the spirit that we are not erroneously noted that recording artist
tional Association of Music Merchants old until we replace our dreams with Brian Wilson had purchased a Kawai
Awards Banquet, held June 17 in Chi- regrets.” grand piano. In fact, Wilson purchased
cago. The NAMM Awardsare presented The Possible Dream: Make It Come a piano from another manufacturer. We
in eleven categories to recognize excel- True was produced and directed for the regret any misunderstandings this may
lence and leadership in the music prod- National Piano Foundation by Quin have caused. C
ucts industry. MathewsofQuinMathewsProductions,
The 12-minute film encourages Dallas, TX, and coordinated by NPF
adults that it’s never too late to begin advisors Madeline Crouch, Brenda Dil-
musicstudy,andfeaturesbeginningstu- lon, Lynda Garcia and Fred Kern.
dents from all walks of life - stockbro- For more information or to ob-
ker, airline pilot, nurse, teacher, retired tain a copy of The Possible Dream: Make It
homemaker - describing in their own Come True, contact Madeline Crouch,
words what learning to play the piano
has meant to them.
National Piano Foundation,
McEwen, Suite 105, Dallas, TX 75244
In accepting the award, NPF
project administrator Brenda Dillon said,
(214) 233-9107.
Learn from
Single and double shoulder types
Guaranteed accurate to +/- .OOl ’ Department of Piano
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Dallas Convention Draws More Than 850

For Week Of Work and Fun
W ith more than 340 hours of technical classes, Council
meetings, regional meetings, two banquets, half a dozen
receptions, an exhibit hall crammed to bursting with every
kind of piano-related product imaginable, and a full
schedule of activities, it’s no wonder that several people
were caught catching a catnap in a quiet comer of the hotel
It was definitely an activity-filled week for the more
than 850 who attended the Guild’s 33rd Annual Conven-
tion and Technical Institute in the Hyatt Regency Dallas.
The hotel, named for the adjacent Reunion Arena and the
restaurant-topped tower that rises above the Dallas skyline,
was an appropriate site for our gathering. The convention
was truly a reunion of old and new friends, although one Golden Hammer: McKlveen
saddened by news of the loss of one of our greatest friends, (with Bill Smith). Hall of
George Defebaugh, immediately before the convention Fame: Stilwell, Ginny
Russell (with President
Berry). Member of Note:
Members of the Dallas Chapter seemed to be every- Smit, Collier, Matley (with
where - a corral sprouted in the lobby, complete with Awards Chair LaRoy
action models of all descriptions. Directions, encourage- Edwards), Crabb. Presiden-
tial Citations: Beauchamp,
ment and help of every sort could be found at their booth Bessette, Bittinger, Huether.
in the hotel lobby. And that doesn’t count the months of
behind-the scenes work and planning that went into
making their part of the convention a success.
As we gather each year, we take the opportunity to
honor those who have made truly outstanding contribu-
tions. This year was no exception. Ralph Stilwell and the

Don Dillon, right, representing the National

Piano Found&m, discussed NPF’s activities in
support of the industry. Center right, Dallas
Chapter President Mike El10 and Host Chairman
Thorn Tomko headed the chapter’s many
activities. Voting tellers, below, were aJI business
during the Council meeting, but sometimes,
when the pace got too hectic, there was time for a
quiet nap in a corner of the hotel lobby.

Staff Photos
by Lisa Gray

after the Awards

Banquet. Baldwin
presented Auxiliary
Scholarship winners

and James Lent, right,

in the Opening A skit by Owen Jorgensen, left, and Dean Shank
Assembly. kicked of the Dallas Chapter -Young Chang night.


late Bob Russell were inducted into - -
the Guild’s Hall of Fame. Ben ------j Far left, during the
./IGIl4 %?~I) j Conwntion closing
McKlveen received the Golden
Hammer. Colette Collier, Larry Crabb,
Wayne Matley and Bob Smit received
Member of Note Awards. Ron Berry
presented Presidential Citations to this
year’s Institute Director, Dick Bittin-
ger, and to Charlie Huether, Roland
Bcssette and Jean-Mark Beauchamp.
Don Dillon, from the National
Piano Foundation, showed us an
industry on the move, and Larry
Linkin and Karl Bruhn of the National
Association of Music Merchants
showed us how we could join in the
A full schedule of activities
greeted Auxiliary members, with a
tour, classes, a tea, luncheon and ,$;j’ Perennial entertainers, larry Crabb’s Barbershop Chorus performed at the
closing luncheon. At left, Ron Berry ums honored for his service as President.
more, all coordinated by President
Agnes Huether. They also worked
with Baldwin to sponsor Eric Th-
Spouses kept busy with a full schedule of
ompson and James Lent, two future
actioities of their own. Past and present board
stars of the keyboard who entertained members shown at the Auxiliary luncheon were,
us during the Opening Assembly. from left, Ivagene Dege, 1990-91 Recording
Receptions abounded: besides Secretary; Phyllis Tremper, 199@91 Vice
President; Agnes Huether, 1989-90 President;
Baldwin’s Saturday night fete, Young Arlene Paetow, 1990-91 President; Judy White,
Chang brought us chapter night, 1989-W Recording Secretary; and Barbara
Steinway brought us Peter Nero, and Fandrich, Treasurer.
Yamaha’s traditional last-night-of-the-
convention reception brought the
social whirl to a fitting close.
At the heart of the convention,
however, were the Institute classes. In Barbara Boone, abo~, and Randy Potter, top
this issue of the Journal, you’ll read right, entertained spouses with their
respectioe instnments. Newley elected
reviews of several, but like this President Arlene Paetow honored 1989-90
convention review, our writers can President Agnes Huether with a gift.
barely scratch the surface.

Institute Classes






Grauagne Garrett




Dallas Institute Classes

Susan Graham, R’IT
Technical Editor

A s has become traditional, the Tech-

nical Forum for this month features
connection to the piano. A laminated
birch lid provides better strength and
on a cheap spinet. Bosendorfer uses
Renner action parts and hammers.
reviews of classes given at the recent resistance to splitting with less weight Hammers are tested using a cleaver
convention. I can’t say enough in thanks than the old, solid core construction. shank that holds the unbored hammer.
to my four “volunteers”: Jeannie Grassi, The action has also received con- Thus, hammers can be screened for
Doug Wood, Paul Rice and Mitch Keil. siderable attention in this new seven- acceptable tone before boring and if
They all came through in stellar fashion foot model. Touchweight is now four found tobeunacceptablecanberetumed
to a very last-minute plea from a some- grams lighter than the old specs, rang- to Renner unharmed for replacement.
what harried editor. Class reviews ing now from 51 grams at note number The Model 213 is certainly a piano
impart both valuable technical informa- one to 44 grams at note 88. Relocation of that livesup to the Bosendorfer motto to
tion and a feeling of what the conven- capstansand a changein the wippen rail give theartistsand music loversof theworld
tion was all about, and I hope they make action helped to make this possible. Front an instrument that fulfills their highest ex-
for informative and enjoyable reading. rail punchings are a bit firmer for better pectations. It would be a perfect choice
keydip stability and a more positive end for the discriminating pianist for whom
New 1990 Biisendmfer to the key travel. Backcheck wires are price is no object.
Biisendorfer used this year’s PTG stiffer for better stability of regulation. Paul Rice
convention as an opportunity to intro- Aftera brief experiment withcloth, keys
duce the new Model 213 grand piano to are again being bushed with leather for Ketops, Sharps, and Repairs
technicians. Denny Burger, head techni- greater bushing life. Strips of bushing Instructor Howard Jackson, RTT,
cian for Bosendorfer U.S.A., explained leather are available from Bijsendorfer of Monroe, LA, presented a no-nonsense
the many new features including some for rebushing if it ever becomes neces- approach to keytop replacement. Using
major departures from Biisendorfer’s sary (or for rebushing non-Biisendorfer a few simple jigs and fixtures, a drill
traditionalmethodsanddesigns.Insome keys). press mounted rotary planer, and a
ways this model is more conventional Features for which Bijsendorfers router table, Howard comes up with a
than other Biisendorfers. It has, for ex- are famous are still in abundance in- professional quality job with minimal
ample, a drilled plate web instead of the cluding an inner and outer rim con- timeandeffort.Thecostof thenecessary
traditional open-faced pinblock. It also structed entirely of soundboard spruce. tools and supplies is also minimal. Your
has, for the first time in a Bijsendorfer, a All strings have individual hitch pins first job should cover theone-time setup
duplex scale treble section for added which means a broken string never re- costs.
tonal vibrancy. Gone are the genuine sults in a single string trichord. Tuning Before removing the keys from the
ivory naturals in favor of state-of-the- pin holes are tapered so a light tap on a piano make sure they are legibly num-
art plastic. Real ebony sharps remain, loose pin quickly and permanently bered. Don’t rely on factory numbering
however. improves pin torque. The Model 213 near the keytop tails. These will almost
Most of the changes are truly also has extra bass notes as in the larger certainly be obliterated during the re-
improvements and not just concessions models so that low A is not the lowest surfacing process. Assess the extent of
to conventional wisdom or manufactur- note. The result is a very musical low the work needed (sharps, fronts, key
ing expediency. There are now three lid end and improved harmonic color bushings, buttons, etc.) before blurting
props, the shortest of which replaces the throughout the scale. out a price. The customer may have
hymnal or two by four scrap commonly After a thorough discussion of asked only for new naturals but may be
used for the barely open position. The features a hands-on demonstration of disappointed when the new keytops
trap springs have been stiffened for voicing techniques ensued. Denny highlight the defects of the marginally
better feel and quicker, more predict- pointed out that the better the piano the acceptable sharps. Poor bushings may
able return of pedals. The solid brass more noticeable even the smallest tonal make it impossible to do an adequate
hardware is protected from tarnish by a differences become. Getting the ham- leveling job, thus denying the customer
more durable sealer. Leg plates have mer to the strings is crucial to obtaining full cosmetic benefit of the keytop work.
been completely redesigned usinglami- optimum results when voicing a large Give thecustomerall the factsso he/she
nated steel for a stronger, more secure grand while it might be a waste of time can make an informed decision.
Old keytops can often be removed Two router bits are used in conjunction filing down one jaw of tweezers or
with nothing more than a knife blade. If with simple fixtures and a router table. hemostats to facilitate paper punching
not, apply dry heat with an iron and try First, a flush cutting bit with a ball bear- manipulation, filing down the business
again. A damp rag in conjunction with ing pilot is used to remove material end of a standard spoon bender to ease
an iron works well on ivory and pre- overhanging the sides of the keystick. insertion between action parts, and fil-
vents scorching so old ivories can be Then,a3/8”straightbit isused tosquare ing the ubiquitous umbrella stave to a
saved for repair work. The same tech- the sharp notches. A couple of judicious point small enough to do its intended
niques also apply for removal of fronts. swipes with a mill bastard file will then job of easing damper guide rail bush-
Sharps can usually be popped off with a remove the few remaining rough edges. ings.
knife alone. It was suggested by a class Final cleanup includes removing Tools that look and feel nice are
member that slapping the side of a glue residue using contact cement thin- more enjoyable to use. In addition to
keystick on a bench top will usually pop ner or mineral spirits and cleaning the small, customized handles, Joeuses gun
off sharps without damage. However, sides of keysticks using steel wool and blue to enhance the appearance of plain
when this technique was tried with one Formula 409 or ammonia. Keys are then steel tools and to retard rust. Attractive
of Howard’s demonstration keys it re- buffed on a flannel wheel with the ap- and efficient tool cases are important,
sulted in unacceptable damage to the propriate grit compound to remove too. Joeusesacas-within-acasesystem.
keystick. sharp edges and surface scratches. His basic tuning and diagnostic tools
Before removing the old keytops, When reinstalling keys Howard are housed in a lightweight, Cordura
select a few keys that are still in reasona- recommends proceeding in this order: satchel which fits into his large, palleted
bly good condition and measure their ease,remove lost motion, square, level, attache case.Both casesare from Jensen
thickness with a caliper. This is very space. Install naturals and complete all Tools of Phoenix, AZ.
important because the new keytop these steps before installing the sharps. Joe does a lot of early instrument
material will likely be thicker than the In concluding his fine class Howard restoration including a fair amount of
original and some wood must be re- offers one final tip - replace the fall- ivory repair. He recommends using one-
moved from the keystick to allow for board felt if it is missing, moth-eaten, or piece ivory clamping plates rather than
thisdifferential. A Wagner rotary planer discolored. The customer will probably the two-piece system currently avail-
chucked in a drill press is used for this notice this detail more than the even- able through suppliers. A single plate
milling process. Don’t use a table saw ness of the sharp notches. eliminates the chance of height discrep-
for thisoperationbecausekeysarerarely Paul Rice ancies where the tail and head meet.
square to their sides and a key squar- Sobo glue with titanium dioxide added
ing/leveling nightmare will be the re- Tools And Modification Of Tools as a whitener makes a good ivory glue.
sult. Feed keys on the right side of the Instructor Joseph Garrett, RTT, of Sometimes it is necessary to create
planer for the cleanest cut, and position Portland,OR,loves toolsbut findsmany a tool from scratch if an existing tool is
a stop block at the rear of the drill press of our standard piano tools hard to love. unavailable for modification. Joe’s tool
table to limit the length of the cut. Sharp Most are either too bulky, too awkward, casescontained many such creations. A
keysticks are prepared for new sharps or too ugly to please a true tool nut. true craftsman never uses the inade-
by simply gang-sanding a few at a time Joe reduces bulk by shortening quacy of his tools as an excuse for his
to remove old glue. many of his shafted tools. Unnecessarily inability to do a job properly and effi-
New keytops are applied with large handles are replaced with smaller, ciently. Joseph Garrett is a true crafts-
solvent-based contact cement. Two coats ergonomically designed ones. Old eb- man and a fine instructor.
are usually needed for the wood be- ony sharps make beautiful small tool Paul Rice
cause of absorption. Howard uses handles. Some integral handles are
keytops with front attached unless old removed and the resulting bare shank Renting Pianos For Fun And Profit
fronts are being retained. If fronts are modified to fit intoacombination handle. David Rostkoski, R’IT,of Spokane,
not being replaced, a jig is used to estab- Additionaluselessmasscanberemoved WA, presented an interesting approach
lish the overhang. After all keytops are by the judicious use of a file or grinder. to piano rentals. David’s rental business
on, each key is squeezed in a bench vise Reducing mass is often a bypro- is a sideline to his teaching and tuning
to ensure a good glue bond. Don’t use duct of improving tool efficiency. One work and requires a minimal amount of
metal jaws or you will scratch the example is Joe’s drop screw regulator. time and effort. Start-up costs were sig-
keytops! Howard uses a John Ford trick Flats are ground on the business end to nificant, however. David and his part-
for gluing sharps. Apply Titebond glue allow easy access to jack regulating ner each put up $10,000and their fledg-
to the recess of the plastic sharp, posi- screws located behind dowel-type let- ling company then borrowed another
tion sharp on keystick, set aside to dry off buttons. The tip is countersunk $lO,OOOforatotalinitialcapitalizationof
overnight. No clamping necessary! slightly to ease registration with the $3O,ooo.
Trimming away excess keytop screw head. Finally,a bevel isground on Only new, direct blow consoles
material can be time consuming if done the trailing edges of the tip to allow and studio uprights are used and all are
with a file, or damaging to the keystick easier retraction from between those purchased outright from a wholesale
if done with a power sander. Howard’s same pesky let-off dowels. Other ex- distributor. Using new pianos provides
method avoids all chance of damage amples of improving efficiency while a significant depreciation write-off.
and requires only minimal hand filing. simultaneously reducing mass include Thus, the company can show a paper
loss for tax purposes while enjoying a Gluing Grand Hammers - see consistent results.
positive cash flow. Easeof maintenance A Factory Method Borrowing from Priscilla’s hand-
andliquidationof fully depreciated units When one of the Rappaports out, the following is a description of the
are additional factors favoring the use of teaches a class it’s guaranteed you will procedure: 1. Hammer is in left hand,
new instruments. go home with a new slant on the subject held with four fingers and thumb. Glue
In two years Prodigy Pianos, as the and a healthy eagerness to try out their stick is in right hand. With rotations of
business is known, has increased its suggestions. Priscilla Rappaport’s fac- the wrist, apply glue into the hole from
rental business to 30 units with another tory method of hanging grand hammers both sides. 2. Hold the shank and ham-
six pianos scheduled to be added soon was not a disappointment in this re- mer in your left hand. With the right
for the busy fall season. Business has spect. As with other classes taught by hand, dip stick into glue pot and apply
increased steadily through referrals. the Rappaports, she drew from her six fresh hot glue to the end of the shank.
Major advertising efforts have been years of factory experience in Germany. The amount of glue that you apply will
unnecessary. Most business is transacted She was aided by her husband, Joel, and dictate the size of the glue collar. 3.
over the phone and no formal storefront their shop assistant, Robin Hoyt. A While still holding the shank with the
is maintained. special thanks is extended to the Renner fingers of the left hand, transfer the
Monthly rental charges are lim- Company for generously supplying hammer to the right hand. 4. Put ham-
ited by what your market will bear. grand action models and small sets of mer on end of shank. Twirl two to three
Check out your competition before new hammers foreach student. A hands- times, forming the glue collar, while
jumping in with both feet. If there are on class is greatly enhanced with the pushing the hammer onto the shank. 5.
other rentals available in your area/for “laying o-n-ofhands” and these models Push hammer onto shank, at first put-
less than you believe you need to charge _ $ow&that to happen. Each student ting the tail in line with the other tails in
to make a decent profit, forget it! Fiano also had other necessary tools and sup the section, using a straight edge held in
renters tend to be very price sensitive plies furnished, including pre-heated your left hand. With your right hold the
and will simply take their business else- glue pots, with fresh glue ready to be top and tail of the hammer with the
whereor do without if they believe your Used. thumb and third finger. 6. With the
price is too high. No elaborate hammer hanging jig straight edge, align the tails, backs of
The minimum rental period is two is necessary. In fact, the success of this hammers and fronts of hammers. 7.
months and the customer must pay particular technique has to do with al- Spacehammerwithitsneighbors.Check
round-trip moving expenses up front. lowing the hammer on its shank to move the hammer for correct movement be-
The customer is also required to prove freely through itsarc of travel. Any trav- tween its neighbors. Glue the entire set
the piano is covered on a homeowner’s eling problemscan easily be corrected at in one session. With practice, it should
or renter’s insurance policy. All mainte- this point in the process, perhaps saving take about two hours.
nance, including up to two tunings per some additional time later on. (No more Some rules are important in eye-
year, is included in the rental fee. Cus- than five minutes should be spent rough- balling the spacing of hammers: If the
tomers are given the option of buying traveling the shanks ahead of time.) hammer moves to the right, twist it to
the piano at any time and up to six As in other hammer hanging sys- the right so that the ‘bodies of air” on
months rent can be applied toward the tems, there are some basic principles each side of the hammer remain con-
purchase price. Sales are not encour- which always need to be considered: stant. If the hammer moves to the left do
aged, however. selection of appropriate replacement the same steps the opposite way. Al-
Appearances are important in es- hammers, proper preparation of the ways check the previously glued ham-
tablishing credibility with your clien- hammers prior to gluing, establishing mer and make the above adjustments.
tele. Quality pianos, good interpersonal the correct hammer line, etc. These were This class was so well prepared
skills and professional looking docu- all covered in the class, in detail. What ahead of time that in a one and a half
mentation form a vital image triad for was stressed as being unique to this hour session she described and demon-
rental business success. A good rental method was getting accustomed to the strated the procedure, showed slides as
agreement is essential and David pro- hand positions and establishing the further illustration, and still left enough
vided copies of his to class attendees. rhythm. time for each class member to hang one
The piano rental business is not “The procedureand hand position small section of hammers and get indi-
without risk, but its fairly tangible risks dictate the speedand quality of the job vidual help with all questions answered
may prove more tolerable than the seem- done.” The true secret to this method - a true demonstration in economy of
ingly arbitrary gyrations of the stock lies in reducing wasted movements of time and good work discipline.
market to technicians with money to hands and tools, thereby improving ]emnie Grassi
invest. This is not a get-rich-quick one’s speed and efficiency. Repetitive
scheme, but as one T-shirt seen by this motions breed consistency in work and Grand Voicing
writer aptly proclaims, “Happiness is economy of motion saves time and al- The two-period class wasover-full
Positive Cash How.” lows a rhythm to develop which con- quite early. But that was no surprise
Paul Rice tributes to the overall expediency of the with Chris Robinson holding forth on
method. The first few attempts are voicing. Always entertaining, Chris is a
awkward, but after only a few minutes master technician willing to share his
it becomes easy to form a rhythm and to best.
The class began with a discussion essential to careful voicing work, in- close to the plucked sound - without
of piano sound as it might be viewed by cluding hammer traveling and spacing, lacquer.
an engineer. Power or energy over time and establishing proper strike point. Before the classtime was over Chris
and frequency creating theattack, dwell Hammer shape was the next considera- discussed themore familiar three-needle
(or sustain) and decay (release) of the tion. Minimizing what is effectively dead voicing in the shoulders. He has found
tone. Voicing the piano is a matter of weight in the shoulders, and filing the that needling in the back of the hammer
maximizing efficiency for greatest hammer to present the proper shape to is most helpful in reducing loud, harsh
power, and then manipulating the shape the strings made perhaps the most sounds. Needling in the front shoulder
of the tone to put what little energy there audible difference of all the techniques lengthens the tone. Both of these were
is into the right places at the right time. presented.Thisjobiscompletedbyelimi- demonstrated in the piano.
(With a maximum output of less than nating “open strings.” First the strings Throughout the class, emphasis
0.5 watts even in the finest concert grand, are leveled. The hammer crowns are was on getting to know the hammers
it is a wonder that we have as much carefully filed so that all strings for that that we work with. Hammers from dif-
control as we do!) Chris pointed out that note are damped equally when the ferent sources, while responding gener-
we generally want to maximize the total hammer is blocked up to the strings. The ally in the same way to similar tech-
power output of the piano, though hammers are sometimes ironed at this niques, requiredifferent mixes. Thebest
sometimes we sacrifice length of the point, to increase attack. All this done, way to learn voicing is to experiment,
tone for greater attack, or vice versa. we could still hear more power with the carefully - improve the worst note or
In practical terms, we often think guitar pick, so we moved on to needle two on each piano in good enough con-
of voicing the piano with needles or voicing. dition to respond. Chris knows a lot of
chemicals.Chrisdemonstratedearlyand Deep needling in the shoulders techniques, some of which might out-
often that these are the last techniques to can produce a tone charge that ranges rage purists, but he has been in the
use. Before using any action or tone from minimal to dramatic, depending business long enough to emphasize
regulating, it is always best to check the on the particular set of hammers. Chris caution and respect for these wonderful
potential of the piano belly: sustain, experiments with a hammer or two in instrumentsthat it isourgood fortune to
crown, bearing, bridge caps, strings, etc. the “killer octave”: C52 to G71. He has service.
It makes little sense to put a lot of effort found that what works well on the Doug Wood
into a piano that is only capable of a hammers there usually works wonder-
meager tone anyway. The piano avail- fully through the rest of the piano. His Hammer Replacement
able for demonstration obviously deep needling is done very carefully When I was four years old, I was
needed a lot more help than it would get with a single number four glover’s sent away from my home in suburban
in two periods. By plucking the strings needle with nearly 20mm out of the tool. Connecticut to spend the summer at the
loudly with a guitar pick, however, we It is driven in starting at about three to oceanside village of Saybrook with my
could hear there was quite a lot more eight millimeters off the strike point, saintly grandmother, where I played
tone available than we could produce depending on the hammer size. The happily building sand castles and chas-
with the action. needle tip ends up running parallel to ing waves. Unbeknownst to me, an
We had a brief discussion of lac- andveryneartheunderfeltasitisdriven adolescent Wally Brooks was only a few
quer for hardening; and a hot, barely full depth. Softening the back of the miles away, learning the piano business
soapy water solution for radical soften- hammer usually makes the tone louder. from his father.
ing (be prepared for a radical change Thesofterthefront, themoreit singsfup Nowadays waves chase me and
and to file the hammers again). Some- to a point!). Three stitches spaced evenly my castle has a 30-year mortgage, but
times these chemicals are necessary to across the back of the hammer usually Wally is still in Saybrook fixing pianos.
get the tonerequired,but theyaremeans produce the biggest tonal difference. I will go to any class of Wallys at any
of last resort, to follow all the other Some hammers need another three. convention,becausehealwaystalkswith
techniques Chris planned to show. None need more than six, and some a tool in his hand. He knows that results
Chris demonstrated a range of need none at all. The same goes for the are what count, and that this is neither
techniques for increasing power, start- front of the hammer, though the front is brain surgery nor theoretical physics.
ing with string voicing. Tapping down needled after the back is done, and not This year Wally taught hammer replace-
the strings at all the contact points made necessarily the sameamount. Enough is ment. A slide show of hammer boring
a significant improvement in tone on when the hammer produces the same and his own shop techniques was fasci-
several notes. The lever tool with a ny- volume as the guitar pick, or when no nating, including the explanation of his
lon roller that Chris developed is par- change is produced (or volume de- prehung hammer service. (Unfortu-
ticularly effective in “lifting” strings at creases), or when there are already six nately, time constraints prevented him
the cape bar and agraffes. This has the deep stitches in that side of the hammer. from talking about verticals.) He ex-
additional benefit of rapidly stabilizing Carefully is the operative word: the plained the difference between rake
new strings. This was followed by re- glovef s needle can do “as much dam- (angle of hammer/shank to string at
turning the sample notes solidly. age as a chainsaw.” However, the tonal moment of strike) and pitch (angle of
After establishing the best tone results were as remarkable as they were hammer to shank). He advised us to
potential of the piano belly, we moved desirable. The volume in each case in- take hot hide glue from the side of the
on to the action. Proper regulation is creased noticeably and ended up very glue pot because that’s where it’s hot-
test. The class then proceeded to ream, curnstances should the ratio exceed five
fit and glue three hammers on mock-up percent.) Urea, the better known slow-
grand actionsat our work stations. Wally ing agent, is commonly available only in
teased, modestly admonished beginners, NJ-pound bagsat the farm supply stores,
and went to each workbench to check which is a big pile of, ...well you know.
everyone’s progress. We left encouraged Bob also advocates dry fitting dummy
and enlightened. shanks in mounted butts to travel the
Mitch Kid butts. He showed us a useful jig for
premounting hammers square to their
Tuning - Do Your Own Thing shanks that is nothing more than pins on
In ‘Tuning - Do Your Own plywood. Bob recommends using an
Thing,” Kevin Leary gave us some in- action cradle and tilting the vertical
sights on health and aging. Despite his action toward you so you are mounting
boyish demeanor, Kevin has 20 years in hammers almost like a grand. Whether
the tuningbusiness, and hasgained quite that implies that upright hammerscould
a lot of insight. The body has finite abili- be bored all the way through is a ques-
ties, and small problems add up, he tion I forgot to ask.
says. Kevin prefers to avoid destroying Mitch Kiel
his elbow, and never have carpal tunnel ness. She was asked questions about
syndrome appear. He therefore advo- advertising, computers, group dis- Dallas
cates an impact hammer for verticals counts, and attitude. Her answers were, What did we take home from the
and a Steve Fairchild-modified metal- in the same order; minimize, use one DallasConvention? Answersvary.Some
handled hammer for grands, as well as and make backups, doesn’t and very, of us left with a suitcase full of new tools
standing/sitting sideways facing the very important. She also asked her own from the supply houses’ booths. Most
bass. He would rather prevent prob- pointed questions. Are you avoiding carried away notebooks crammed with
lems today than go under the surgeon’s pain or pursuing pleasure? Are you tips and techniques. Quite a few left
whetted knife tomorrow. being a complete professional by edu- with awe at how exquisite the brand-
And when he tests his tunings, cating your customers about why and new Mason & Hamlin grand sounded
Keyin listens to triads and arpeggios when pianos need to be tuned? Are you (it had been completed less than a week
with roots, fifths, and ninths in various offering your valuable services or sell- before). Many found new friends. Eve-
octaves in his treble. This is important ing used cars to r&es? Chewy queries ryone had lighter wallets.
advice for tuners who only hear beat by a good cook. I flew home withexhaustion. Most
rates and have forgotten to listen like Mitch Kiel piano technicians toil in solitude;a week
musicians. of crowded hallways and dinners for
Mitch Kiel Vertical Hammer Installation 800 results in face overload. I have now
BobMarinelli froml’ianotek taught scientifically proven that two-zone jet
Troubleshooting The Piano Service a class on vertical hammer installation, lag and closing down the hotel bar re-
Business and had some very venerable tips. Most quires a four-day weekend and three
Kevin’s efficient and wise wife astounding was that hot hide glue can naps to cure.
Janet Leary does the phone work and be slowed down by adding ordinary Skill and will are why I go to PTG
scheduling, and she offered a class on table salt, up to three percent by weight, conventions. Skill is the how to, when
troubleshooting the piano service busi- with no loss of strength. (Under no cir- to, how much isnot enough. Most classes
at the convention were hands-on work-
shops for hands-on skills. But will is the
more valuable virtue. It was observable
if you read between the linesof what the
~COMPLIYJ!E GRAND MXYSIC DESKS \ instructors were saying. Who are these
REPRODUCTIONS OF PERIOD STEINWAY’S, KNABES, successful people, and how do they get
OLDER MODEL YAMAHAS that way? The answer is happily conta-
Built to your specifications gious, and comes from appetite, disci-
pline, inspiration, and fascination. It is
why the learned and the learning spent
a week of their lives and a thousand
dollarsin the humid Texas summer, and
why we already look forward to more of
the same at next year’s 1991 convention
in Philadelphia.
, P.O. Box 618 Santa Monica, California 90406 (213) 399-1227 f



Convention Tuning Classes

Rick Baldassin, RTT
Tuning Editor

following are reviews of some of
classes held at the Piano
as ‘listening to the ghost tones.” Next,
as C2 was held down silently, G3 was
third partial at A4, is also good if you
want to listen to slower beats. Which-
Technicians Guild’s 33rd Annual Con- given a hard short blow, and the third ever test note one uses, it and the note
ventionand Technical Institute, held July partials of C2 could be heard beating a A4 mustbeat at the same speed as it and
7-l&1990, in Dallas, Texas. little faster. The fourth partials were the tuning fork. A word of caution was
excited by playing C4, the fifth partials given not to get sucked into listening at
Hearing What You Are Tuning were excited by E4, the sixth partials the pitch of A5 when it sometimes is
Since JimColemanwasmerely sub were excited by G4, the seventh partials more prominent.
stituting for George Defebaugh in this were weakly excited by A#4, the eighth The Defebaugh F-to-F tempera-
class, he felt he should bring an update by C5, the ninth by D5, the tenth by E5, ment was aurally demonstrated. The
on Mr. Defebaugh. George had suffered the eleventh weakly by F#5, and the notes on this procedure have been pre-
fromcancerfor fiveyearsand thecancer twelfth partials wereexcited byG5. Each viously published, and so will not be
had progressed rapidly in the past two of these sets of partials were beating given here in detail. It was shown in
months, resulting in his death on the progressively faster than their neigh- each step where to listen for coinciding
Wednesday prior to the convention. A boring partials below. Now when C2 partials, and help was given in how to
moment of silence was observed in wasplayed loudly,all of thesebeat rates count or estimate the proper beat rates.
memory of George and in behalf of his could be heard at the same time, which At the bottom of the handout notes was
family who was with him to the end. is what is very confusing to the begin- a list of metronome settings whichcould
It was pointed out in this class that ner. It was suggested that one listen to be used to accurately gauge the beat
there is more to tuning a unison than just the highest beating partials that were rates of seven, eight, nine, and 10 BPS.
listeningtoonebeatandslowingitdown obvious and then tune that beat out. Coleman showed what he called the
to zero. Each note on the piano has a The Coleman Beat Locator charts “poor man’s metronome.” It was a
series of partials, each of which has its were used to indicate where coincident pendulum which was 3.25 inches from
own beat rate when the unison is not in partials are located on the keyboard. It the swing contact point to the center of
tune. All of these partials beat at differ- was next shown that when tuning the the key lead weight. This swings at 104
ing speeds. An example was given A4 with the tuning fork, one can get full swings per minute. When one says
where, if the first partials of A3 were close, or at least “in the ball park” by “wa-wa-wa-wa”f oreach full swing, this
beating at 0.1 BPS, then the second par- holding the vibrating tuning fork on the will make 6.93 BPS, which is the trial
tials would beat at 0.2 BPS, the fourth keyslip while playing and tuning the beat rate for the F3-A3 third when listcn-
partials would beat at 0.4 BPS, and the note. However, when a fork is placed on ing to the fifth partial of F3 and the
eighth partial would beat at 0.8 BPS, so the piano, causing the piano case to fourth partial of A3. The class practiced
that what seemed to be a good unison vibrate, it produces true harmonics saying the “wa-wa’s” in rhythm to the
(one beat in ten seconds) was actually which willbe out of tune with theinhar- swinging pendulum. Incidentally, four
almost onebeat per second at the eighth manic partials which the piano string complete swings of the pendulum will
partial, and even 1.6 beats at the 16th produces. This is the main cause of demonstrate the practical beat speed for
partial. In order to hear the higher par- confusion in setting the first note of the the F3-C4 fifth, with partials located at
tials, it is necessary to pound the keys a temperament, and is the cause for some C5. A wristwatch was used to gauge the
little harder, which has the additional people scoring low on their pitch score speed of eight BBS by saying two sets of
advantage of stabilizing the strings bet- when taking the PTG Tuning Exam. The “wa-wa-wa-wa’s” for each second. For
ter. way to clarify the situation is to use those who couldn’t say wa-wa that fast,
The C2 unison was tuned slightly some note on the piano which has a it was suggested that “doodledoodlc-
out of tune. Next, the key for C2 was partial at A4 and play it in conjunction doodle-doodle” would be easier.
held down silently while C3 was given a with the fork held near the ear. This way One deviation which Coleman
hard short blow. Thiscaused the second the fork does not produce harmonics took from the Defcbaugh temperament
partials of C2 to ring out, and the very which add to the confusion. A good was to tune the F4 immediately after the
slow beat could be heard. This tech- example is to use F2 which has a fifth F3, so that when he got to the C#4, he
nique is what George Defebaugh coined partial at A4. Using D3, which has a would have a foolproof (read bullct-
proof) temperament. He showed how that sound. In the piano, there must be a ing and expect the strings to stay where
the contiguous thirds F3-A3, A3-C#4, firm but flexible hammer, attached to a you leave them.
C#4-F4, and F4-A4 were each related to shank to swing for power, swinging from Fourth, learn the tolerance ranges
their neighbors in a four to five ratio. a firm support, and every part moving of the exam so you can spend your time
The class practiced counting four to a freely. Physically, there must be a firm where it will pay off. You must get your
beat and then five to a beat. This helped but flexible finger, operating as an ex- A4 set correctly, or lose the ball game in
to determine when the four contiguous tension of the arm to swing for power, the first inning. Also, remember that the
thirds were in the proper relationship. swinging from a firm, but not tensebody notes of your temperament will be
Various suggestions were made support, and every moving part (shoul- graded very severely. The 24 midrange
for keeping the treble tuning even, and der, elbow, wrist, and finger) moving notes (C3-B4) are next in difficulty, and
then a brief discussion of bass tuning freely without tension. It is easy to es- in all of the above sections, a perfect
was given at the end of the class. tablish a naturally firm but flexible fin- score requires all errors to be less than
ger against a hard surface such as a table one cent. Greater cents errors are al-
Carpal Tunnel And Tuning top or key bottom, but difficult as the lowed in the treble (C5B61, bass (Cl-
The purpose of this class, taught keyisbeingdepressed. Thisrequires the B2), and high treble (C7-B7). However,
by Virgil Smith, was to discuss and de- use of arm weight in the stroke. Any whether these sections are easier for you
monstrate how to strike the note when tension at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or to pass will depend upon your skill
tuning so as to avoid Carpal Tunnel finger can block the energy and arm levels, as well as the tolerances.
Syndrome, tendonitis, and other physi- weight from effectively reaching the The class next focused on how to
cal problems; but strike the note strong finger. Using two or more fingers, as take the exam. First, set pitch to an A
enough to establish tuning stability, yet long as they remain loose, can be effec- fork, and use the 17th only as your test
free from distortion, but soundinga pure tive in tuning unisons. interval (F2-A4 beats the same as F2-A
tone where the beats are easily heard. Moving the hammer by tiny jerks fork). This sets the fundamental of note
There are three main reasons why puts less strain on the arm than steady A4 to 440 Hz, which is what is checked.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tendoni- pulling, but the situation will dictate Any other test or fork pitch sets a note or
tis are so prevalent today: which method is best to use. Jerks or partial to a frequency which will not be
l pianists and piano tuners are trying to small pulls work better for the second checked. This results in extra steps in-
project a tone that neither they or the tuning when the pitch is changed very volved in transferring that pitch to 440,
piano are capable of producing little. Using larger muscles (the whole with corresponding errors that will add
. pianos with hard actions due to poor arm) with relaxation and firm body up. If you have to tune with a C fork, be
regulation, poor rebuilding, or some support is the key. sure to check the pitch of your A4 di-
other reason rectly against the A fork whenever you
l incorrect playing technique Preparing For The PTG Tuning Exam come to A4 in your sequence.
It was also suggested that tuners Al Sanderson began by covering Second, tune your octaves from
could help their situation by adding things to do before the exam. First, check pure to a little bit wide, but never nar-
more variety to their work by offering and tune your fork carefully at room row. For example, most tuning commit-
completepianoserviceratherthandoing temperature. If you tune with a C fork, tees will leave the temperament octave
only tuning all day. get an A fork and tune with them both. third-10th test about l/4 to l/2 beat
Physical problemscan result when You will be judged on the accuracy with wide. To be more explicit, on a com-
joints are subject to continuous impact which you can set A4 to 440 Hz. Alumi- pletely tuned piano, the 10th will beat
over an extended period of time. When num is very temperature sensitive, so about as fast as the third a semitone
tuning, this can be avoided by striking you will be better off with steel forks. above the test third (C#3-F4 about equal
the note so the energy matches the point Second, if possible, practice tun- to D3-F#3).
of hammer contact to the string rather ing a one-string piano detuned alter- Third, going up into the treble (C5-
than when the key reaches bottom. This nately flat and sharp by one or two l36), probably the most reliable test is the
results in a more efficient stroke with beats. This is the way the exam piano is third-lOth-17th. It tests two single oc-
more tone and with less effort. Since the detuned, and it is different from your taves and the double octave at the same
hammer strikes the string before the key normal experience. Find out how long it time. For example, C4-E4, followed by
hits the bottom, there is time and space takes to tune 84 strings once, and try to C4-E5,and C4-E6 tests the E4-E5 and E5-
to stop the downward thrust, even with get this time down to 20 minutes for a E6 octaves, as well as the E4-E6 double
a hard blow, so the finger gently settles quick rough tuning. Othenviseyou may octave. At the lower end of the treble
to the key bottom. Not only does this have difficulty finishing the exam. range, you can get them close to equal
avoid joint impact, but it also avoids the Third, plan how you will use your beating. As you tune towards C6, the
noise caused by the key hitting bottom, time for tuning. Plan to do a quick rough tenth normally becomes slower than the
which can distort the tone and make tuning of every note first, to restore the third, and you can tune the 17th to beat
beats difficult to hear. piano to some semblance of a tuning. somewhere in between the third and
There is a great similarity in the Then startoveragain, set thepitchagain, 10th. Matching the third beat rate gives
requirements for the piano action to and do another &note tuning. These you a perfect double octave, and match-
produce a strong, beautiful sound, and two passes will get the piano close ing the 1Othbeatrategivesyou a perfect
the physical requirements to produce enough so you can start your final tun- single octave, so tuning in between is a
good way to compromise. intervals themselves should be nearly And if you lose one note in your
Fourth, the high treble (C7-B7) pure). midrangescorebutsaveyourpitchscore,
must be tuned according to the exam Sixth, now that you have tuned the you’ll probably be quite happy to settle
committee’s instructions. Be sure you entire piano starting from setting the for that.
know how to tune good single octaves pitch at least two, preferably three times The class concluded by discussing
up there. The test is equal beating IOth- over, do you have any time left? Please some items to consider after the exam.
17ths, but usually it cannot be heard all budget your time so that you can go First, if you passed the exam, congratu-
the way to B7. Use it as high as it works, back to the midrange for a final once- lations. The scoreswill show your strong
however, then switch to some other over. This is where small errors count and weak areas compared to the aver-
method. Some like to simply play the themost. Remember that tuningthebass age of the PTG Craftsman membership.
single octave repeatedly while tuning and treble actually affects the midrange All eight sections of the exam are set to
until a beat can be located, and then tuning slightly, so it is wise to do the be of roughly equal difficulty to that
reduced to zero, or nearly so. The toler- midrange last. Also, you want to do average PTG Craftsman member.
ance in this octave corresponds to a beat your best work and have it measured by Second, if you passed all sections
rate of seven to 14 beats, so if you can the committee immediately, so you with scores of 90% or better, you are
locate the beat and get it down to a few won’t have to say, “that’s not the way I eligible to start training for our PTG
beats, you should be within tolerance. left it!” Tuning Examiner pool. This is excellent
Another way is to play only the note Seventh, polishing the tuning of training and will sharpen your tuning
being tuned, and listen for the power the midrange is not the same as tuning i t abilities even more. Many tuners have
peak that occurs when the note is excit- from scratch. Do not start over again said that participating in the master
ing the second partial of the octave be- with setting a temperament as you are tuning of the exam piano and giving the
low by sympathetic resonance. When likely to repeat any pattern errors you exam has given them a new perspective
the notes in this octave are tuned as make in your temperament that way. on their own tuning.
single octaves, they will actually sound Instead, check it the way the committee Finally,if you didn’t pass theexam
flat when tested witharpeggios. Be fore- is likely to check it, with contiguous the first time, welcome to theclub. About
warned, if they sound right with an interval tests. Pick C3 for instance, and half our examinees do not pass the first
arpeggio, you are probably going to lose play up and down a fourth from it (G2- time. You should now know exactly
a lot of points for being too sharp. C3 and C3-F3 are contiguous fourths). what to practice in order to pass the next
Fifth, tuning the bass range (Cl- They should balance, neither one should time. We hope the experience has been
B2) does not involve compromises on be significantly faster than the other. beneficial to you, and that you have
the typeof pianos used to give the exam. Also, play contiguous thirds (G#2-C3 learned some tuning tips that will help
You should be able to get all of your and C3-E3) and listen for beat rates that you become a better and more efficient
intervals to behave.all the way down to are in the ratio of 4 to 5. This is the time tuner. E
Cl. Tuning only by octaves can lead to to pound on these notes and check the
an accumulation of errors, and cost you settingof the pins. Theseare the24 notes
points in the deep bass. Watch your that thecommitteewill pound and check
wide intervals such as the octave fifth, for stability. When C3 passesthe test, go
the double octave, and the double oc- on to C#3 and test it the same way.
tave fifth, which will be nearly beatless Continue all the way up to B4, making
if correctly tuned. A very useful tech- small tuning changes where necessary, Piano Keys
nique in the deep bass is to hold down and checking stability. Play ascending
the notes of a test interval and strike a fifths over the midrange, and where you Recovered With
sharp blow on the note of thecoincident find a bad one, test both ends of it with
partials. For instance, to tune Cl-C2 as a
6:3 octave, use the coincident partial
contiguous thirds and fourths. If time
permits,repeat thecontiguoustestsfrom
that lies at G3 (sixth partial of Cl, third
partial of C2). The test for a 6:3 octave is
c3 to B4.
Finally, be sure to leave enough
the minor third-major sixth test, and we time to reset the pitch of A4 to the fork. (Pyralin)
want to hold down in turn each of these This is the first thing the committee will
intervals silently, and strike G3. First, check, and it is very critical, so it should Over 60 years of continuous service
holding down D#l-C2 silently, listen to be the last thing you check. Many, many to dealers and tuners
the beats on striking G3. Now hold Cl- tuners have had their pitch drift out of
D#l down, strike G3, and tune Cl to the acceptable limits during the hour and a WRITE FOR COMPLETE
samebeat rate. If all is well, thisbeat rate half of the test, never rechecked it, and PRICE LIST
holds for the 10th (D#l-G2) and 17th failed the exam. You might wonder OR CALL-(606)885-4330
(D#l-G3) up from the test note, as well. whether moving A4 will spoil your
These are tests for the octave fifth (m3- midrange score. Well, if you have tuned SHULER CO., INC.
MlO),anddoubleoctavefifth(m3-M17), the piano two or three times, resetting 3007 Park Central Ave. #4
which should be nearly pure. (These the pitch each time, then you won’t have Nicholasville, KY 40356
tests should be equal beating, while the to move A4 very far to make it perfect.
NAMM Representatives Unveil Plan To Support Music Education
Larry Linkin l National Commission on Music
With todays em- Music Makes The Zliffkrence... Education - Leaders in education,
government, businessand thearts will
phasis on math and
science, the statusof During the Dallas Convention participate in the campaign and serve
music education in Opening Assembly,Larry Linkin, Er- on a commission to prepare a final re-
our nation’s schools ecufive Vice President of the National port, similar to Nation at Risk, which
Association of Music Merchants, and will synthesize the forum findingsand
isa serious problem.
This prob- Karl Bruhn, NAMM Director of Market other research on the value of music
Development,briefedattendeeson an and the other arts in the school cur-
lem results from the dangerous omis-
industry-7uide effort to support music riculum. The report will be presented
sion of music and the other arts in
education in the United States. Here’s a to Congress and the Administration
brief summary of their remarks. as part of the national symposium.
lack of understanding by parents as
To obtain a petition kit, write to: Copies will receive wide distribution
well as decision makers and school
NAMM, 5240 Avenida Encinas, to other decision makers in business,
administrators asto the vital rolemusic
plays in the enhancement of a child’s Carlsbad,CA 92008-4391. government and education.
Petition Campaign - A petition is
general education and well-being.
beingcirculated tostimulateanddocu-
Clearly, we need to strike a balance. Karl Bruhn ment support for the study of music
This problem has not sprung up For the first time in history, the and other arts. The credo is simple,
overnight. It has taken years to prog- music community - educators, per- “Just as there can be no music without
ress to this level. Only by joining to- formers,retailers,manufacturers,tech- learning, no education is complete
gether can the music community hope nicians and publishers-have formed without music. Music makes the dif-
to reach large numbers of people and a coalition to balance the current na- ference.” The petition, which is truly
educate them on what is happening to tional emphasis on math and science, “a project for the music community,”
music programs in our country. Our and to demonstrate that children need
children are the ones who are being calls on all who care about education
music and the other arts in order to to destroy, once and for all, the myth
affected. develop their full human potential.
No single organization has the that education in music and the other
A year-long national campaign artsis mere “curricular icing.” Because
resources for solving the types of will deliver the message to the Ameri-
problems we’re addressing. Only by of their work with individual piano
can people and decision-makers in owners in their own communities, it is
joing together do we stand a chance of government, education and business
accomplishing our goals. There is in this area that PIG members may
that music and the other arts are valu- make the greatest contribution. A tre-
strength in numbers. Numbers give able components of a well-rounded mendous tremendous number of peti-
us added credibility, support, power education. Beginning in June of 1990, tion signatures can be gained through
and voice. a series of interrelated events will lead the combined efforts of PIG’s 3,600
All of the elements and compo- up to a national symposium to be held
nents of the “Project for the Music members.
during march 1991 in Washington, Grass Roots Campaign.- Follow-
Communiv are aimed at informing D.C.
the general public, along with policy ing the national symposium in Wash-
l National Symposium- As the core ington, D.C. next March, a number of
and decision-makers at all levels, ‘of event of the year-long campaign, this
the importance of music study at an campaigns will be carried on in local
symposium will examine the impact communities with materials prepared
early age. Without public awareness, of music and other arts on three major
understanding and support, music for and during the national campaign,
challenges in education today: chil- including a videotape, a petition, and
education will continue to be unders- dren-at-risk,culturaldiversity,and the
erved in our nation’s schools and com- a manual on how to strengthen music
future workforce. Policy makers in and the other arts in the school cur-
munities. government, education and business
The music community, working riculum.
will participate in the symposium. Campaign Coordinators -Joining
together, can help shape the lives of PublicForums-Precedingthesym-
tomorrow’s adults and help our na-
l for the first time to develop and coor-
posium this fall, public forums are dinate this campaign are the Music
tion to become a better and more suc- planned in three major cities: Los An-
cessful entity. That’s a worthwhile Educators National Conference
geles, Chicago and Nashville, to pro- (MENC), the National Academy of
cause. I urge each of you to do every- vide the opportunity for an exchange
thing you can to help. Recording Artsand Sciences(NARAS),
of local and national information and and the National Association of Music
Our credo is simple: just as there public opinion. They will examine the
can be no music without learning, no Merchants (NAMM). The coalition is
influence of music and the other arts being supported by other related or-
education is complete without music. on child development and give voice
Music makes the difference. ganizationsincluding, of course, PIG,
to the grass roots concern about the as well as the Music Teachers National
dangerous omission of the arts in na- Association (MTNA) and a number of
tional education priorities. state and local organizations.






An Open Letter To Piano Technicians Guild Members

To Help Promote The Benefits Of Piano Lessons
Harold S. Smith
President, Baldwin Piano
& Organ Co.

W e need your help. Today, there is a

nationwide concern of parents, educa-
tal concentration. As a side benefit,
appreciation for the fine arts is stimu-
easier it is for these skills to become a
permanent part of their education and
tors and business professionals for the lated as is knowledge of math, in the future.
improvement of the education levels of study of tempo, time and dynamics. Enrolling children in piano lessons
our children. We, as concerned citizens, What I am expounding in this let- at an early age is an investment in their
have a great opportunity to make a dif- ter is nothing more than good old fash- future. All of us in the music industry
ference in the educational system in this ioned logic. You see, children take to need to take the lead and convince young
country. music naturally. A baby is introduced to parents that even a few years of piano
One way that you, as prominent music through his mother’s voice as she lessonscan help ready children for school
membersof thePianoTechniciansGuild, sings lullabies to soothe and bring him a and the challenges they face ahead. Set-
can help, is by joining us in the music feelingof security. During theearlyyears ting up piano lessons in day care centers
community in promoting the benefits of of development, a child’s strong desire would go a great way in improving
piano lessons as a fundamental way to to please also encourages him to engage learning ability in a child’s life. We need
simulate a child’s concentration, disci- in many activities. This makes it the to rally behind ideas like this and take
pline and academic performance. ideal time for a child to begin an ac- our messageto parents, educators, busi-
Educators have recognized the fact quaintance with the piano. ness and government agencies.
that piano lessons help develop a child’s Many years ago, the Greek phi- Learning music skills not only
ability to concentrate, to coordinate his losopherrlato said, “Musical training is enhances a child’s education, it also
body and mind and to attain a degree of a more powerful instrument than any enhances his or her chance of success.A
self confidence that can make the differ- other,becauserhythmandharmonyfind r:lews report noted that 700,000children
ence between successand failure in life. their way into the inward places of the dropped out of school in 1988.Just think
We, in our business, have an obligation soul.” This observation is true today. how many of these young people might
to educate parents about these wonder- Performing at the piano gives a child havecompleted their education had they
ful “non musical” benefits that their many “hidden”benefitsanda feelingof been given a reasonable amount of
children will obtain from the study of inner worth that carries over into many preparation and self confidence that both
piano. life situations. a piano and piano teacher instill. All it
Interestingly, the Japanese have Henry Woodfin Grady, a great takes isone little successful encounter to
recognized the value of piano lessons as Southern editor, prophesied, “The best inspire a child to move on, to succeed
a way to prepare their current genera- school is when you havea teacher at one again and again.
tion of children to concentrate better end of a log and a student at the other.” It is no exaggeration that our na-
and develop discipline. A recent article When a child begins piano lessons, he tion’s future depends on our ability to
in USA Today stated that 40 years ago immediately has this one-to-one rela- motivate those uniformed young par-
Japanesechildren had the lowest IQ. in tionship with his teacher. It’s a perfect ents who hold the “keys” to their chil-
the world. Then the Japanese started way to bring another positive influence dren’s development. You, as distin-
putting pianos in all their schools. To- into a child’s life to help him reach his guished members of the Guild have a
day their I.Q.‘s are the highest. A coinci- highest potential. wonderful opportunity to be of service
dence? Hardly, once you know what Our objective is to open upa whole in aiding the growth of our children. I
educators know - that piano lessons new “market” and reach the 85% of am convinced (and I know you are) that
foster significant development of the young parents who have not considered the piano is an instrument that can pro-
“three C’s” - concentration, coordina- buying a piano. These parents don’t mote keener minds, contribu te to sharper
tion and confidence. realize that the goal is not to have their learning skills and give our children a
In practicing piano a child learns child play a song to perfection or to healthy dose of the “three C’s” - con-
toread twolinesof music,usebotheyes, develop into a concert virtuoso; the goal centration,coordinationandconfidence.
ears, arms, feet and legs and all ten is to develop well-rounded human We need your expertise and guid-
fingers, with the brain giving each or- beings capable of accomplishing tasks ance. By working together we can shift
gan a different assignment to perform and feeling good about their achieve- our focus from being executives and
simultaneously - all paramount to to- ments. And the earlier a child starts, the technicians to that of “educators” with
the power to influence a new generation
of adults - to insure their children and
ours a better education and a brighter
Here are four ways you can be-
come fully involved and really make a - The Accu-Timer II Can!
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2. Once you receive your materials, share 6’ develop and store your own tunings, including
them with others in your chapter and d special celeste or non-standard-pitch tunings,
the community to help spread the word It’s pitch range, nine full octaves from Cl through
about the “hidden benefits” program, B9, easily accomodates every pipe on even the
largest pipe organ. And for quick temperature
especially to those not now in the mar- compensation, pitch can be easily offset to match
ket for a piano. that of a principal A or C.
3. Join forces with piano dealers in tak- Now, with stored tunings, you can tune any pipe
ing a pro-active approach in meeting organ or piano quickly and accurately. And you
won’t have to remember how great your last tun-
with PTA’s, piano teachers and other ing was, you simply recreate it.
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Rick Baldassin, RTT
Tuning Editor

T he unison is by far the most impor-

tant musical interval as far as piano
Because the unison has so many
present. To use the example from the
review of Jim Coleman’s class which
tuning is concerned. It does not matter coincident partials, it also has the great- appears in this issue, even if you only
how good the temperament and octaves est potential for the number of different have 0.1 BPSat the fundamental (or one
are, if the unisons are not in tune, the beats that can be present, as each of the beat in 10 seconds), you will have 1.6
piano sounds awful. Unisons are where coincident partials has the potential for beats at the 16th partial, not to mention
any signs of out-of-tuneness first show a beat if the unison is at all out of tune. the 1.5 beats at the 15th partial, and so
up. Even though the unisons are most This is why the unison is at the same on. As you can see, the unison is tuned
important, because of their simplicity, time so simple and yet so complex. It is beatless out of necessity!
we rarely talk about them. But just how the easiest to tune, yet the hardest to As mentioned above, the strings
simple are they, really? make sound in tune. With thirds and of the piano are inharmonic. This means
You may recall from our previous fourths we need deal with only one or the only way the unison can be tuned
discussions, that when a piano string two beats, while with the unison there beatless is if each of the strings of the
vibrates, it not only vibrates as a whole mayeasilybe 16different beats present, unison has the same inharmonicity.
in its entire length (L) but also in two all at differing speeds. From a practical standpoint, this means
parts of length 1/2L, and in three parts I have read in certain publications each of the strings of a unison must be
of length 1/3L, and so on. This means that we piano tuners deliberately de- the same length, and the same wire
that this same string with frequency (F) tune unisons because it makes the tone diameter. In this case, when the strings
also has frequencies 2F, 3F, and so on sound longer and better. It is true that a are at the same tension (pitch), the inhar-
present at the same time. Musically, this slight de-tuning does make the tone monicity of each of the strings will be the
creates what we know as the overtone sustain longer, but this longer sustain- same. If for some reason the strings of
series.Sincepianostringsareinharmonic, ing sound is in no way better. It just the unison are not the same length, as
these frequencies are referred to as in- sounds bad for a longer period of time. was the case for some of the Steinway
hamzonic partids, or partils for short, Every good tuner I know strives to have concert grands built in the 192Os,or if
and the overtone series is sometimes re- unisons that are as beatless as possible. the wire diameters are not the same, as
ferred to as the partial series. You may Let us examine a few reasons why. is the case whenever a piano which was
also recall that an interval comprises two First, if you think about it, the strung with metric wire has a string
notes, each of which has its own partial unison is the only interval on the piano replaced with inch wire, the unison
series, and that at some point these two that is capable of being tuned beatless. cannot be tuned beatless. This phenom-
series coincide with each other, creating Every other interval will have a certain ena is easily observed in the case of
whatweknowascoincidentpartials.Some amount of beats present. Even the oc- mismatched bass strings, such as when
intervals have only one set of coincident tave, which we often say we tune one string of a two-stringed unison is
partials which can readily be heard. The beatless, has beats present. Because of replaced with a so-called “universal”
fourth (4:3), major third (5:4), and major the inharmonicity of the piano, only one bass string. Since the universal string
sixth (5:3) would be examples of such of the pairs of coincident partials can be has a hexagonal core wire, this core wire
intervals. Other intervals have two sets in tune at a time. While we may tune the has a higher inharmonicity than a round
of coincident partials which can be read- octavebeatlessat the6:3level, it will still wire of the same diameter, because the
ily heard. The fifth (3:2 and 6:4), and be beating on the wide side at the 2:l and “corners” on the hexagonal wire make i t
minor third (6:5 and 76) would be ex- 4:2 levels, and on the narrow side at the stiffer, by about 25%. In addition, uni-
amples of such intervals. Some intervals 8:4, 10:5, and 12:6 levels. When the oc- versal strings generally have a larger
have multiple sets of coincident par- tave is as smooth as possible, it is still core wire for the same outside diameter
tials. The octave (2:1,4:2,6:3, 8:4, 10:5, beating. The other intervals are all beat- than do regular bass strings. For this
12:6, etc.) is a good example of such an ing because of equal temperament. The reason, the universal string has a much
interval. The unison, however, has the unison is the only interval with any higher inharmonicity than its neighbor,
most sets of coincident partials (1:1,2:2, hope of actually being tuned beatless. and in addition to sounding different
3:3, .... 12:12, etc.), and in this respect is Second, if the unison is out of tune at all, than its partner, it cannot be tuned with
themostcomplicatedoftheintervalswe you immediately have multiple beats it either. Other reasons for problems in
tuning bass strings include bass bridges against the left string the center and third has the ratio of 5:4, if we test with
whicharenotnotchedmakingonestring right can be tested. I always mute each a note a major third below the note we
longer than the other, and unwrapped outside string before I change anything. are checking, we will isolate the fourth
portions at the end of the strings which The reason is that until you have heard partial of this note. For example, if we
are of unequal lengths. Thesecases,while both combinations, you can’t know for want to check noteC3, we would simply
not as dramatic as the caseof the univer- certain what needs to be moved. Say, for play all three strings of note C3 along
sal stringneverthelessmake thesenotes example, the right string is muted, and a with one string of noteG#2. If the fourth
impossible to tune beatless. beat is heard between left and center. At partials of note C3 are in tune with each
It is fortunate for us that the tonal this point, we do not know if the left other, then one distinct beat will be heard
spectrum of the piano is such that in the string or the center string is out of tune. in the major third. If more than one beat
treble, where minute differences in string If we then mute out the left string and rate is heard, or the beats sound kind of
length would make the most difference no beat is heard between center and “mushy” then the fourth partials of C3
in the inharmonicity, the higher partials right, then we know the left string is out are not in tune with each other. Listen to
are not heard. of tune with the other two. If, with the C3 alone again, and make adjustments
Knowing that we must tune the left string muted, we do hear a beat, it is asnecessary,then testagain until a single,
unisons beatless, how do we set about possible that two of the three strings are distinct beat rate is heard whenall three
doing it? You may recall from our dis- out of tune, or that in fact none of the strings of note C3 are played with one
cussion of temperament tuning that it is three strings is in tune. But it is also stringof noteG#2. Continue testing with
more accurate to take the big interval possible that with beats between left one string of the note a major third be-
(the octave) and divide it up into smaller and center, and beats between center low throughout octave three.
intervals (thirds, fourths, and fifths) than and right, only one of the three strings is Since octave four is tested on the
to add up a bunch of small intervals to out of tune. If the beat rate between left second partial, an interval which em-
make an octave. In the same light, if we and center is the same as the beat speed ploys the second partial is needed. The
tune the unisons by listening to a high between center and right, then there isa ratio for the major 10th is 5:2, so if a test
beat and zero it out, we will be much good chance the center string is out of note a major 10th below the note being
more accurate than listening to the fun- tune. If, however, there is a different checkedisused,thesecondpartialofthe
damental and zeroing it out. As men- beat rate between the outside strings note will be isolated. For example, if we
tioned above, if we are off by only 0.1 and the center string, you will want to want to check note C4, we would play
BPS at the fundamental, there can be test to see which of the three strings is all three strings of note C4 along with
nearly a beat present at the eighth par- correct before moving the others. Use one string of note G#2. If the second
tial. If, on the other hand, we listen to the the same tests you used when the note partials of note C4 are in tune, then one
eighth partial and are off by 0.1 beats at was tuned initially to determine this. distinct beat will be heard in the major
this level, we will have only l/8 this In the PTG test, the combinations 10th. If more than one beat is heard, or
amount at the fundamental. Unison of left and center, center and right, and again, if the beat rate is mushy, then the
tuning requires “wide band” listening, left and right are all compared, and the second partials of C4 are not in tune
asopposed to the “narrow band” listen- points can really add up if you are not with each other. Listen to note C4 alone
ing that we do when we tune thirds and careful. If you test the unisons as above, and make any adjustments necessary,
fourths. This is why it is difficult to tune isolating left and center, and center and then test again until a single, distinct
unisons with an electronic aid, except in right, making sure there are no beats in beat is heard between all three strings of
the very high treble. Since the aid can either case, you can rest assured there note C4 and one string of note G#2.
only listen to one pitch level at a time, it will be no problem between left and Continue testing with one string of the
is difficult to insure that the unison right, which is hard to test, as it is diffi- note a major 10th below throughout
sounds its best since only one pitch level cult to mute just the center string. Re- octave four.
is tested while many pitch levels are member, if the note sounds good, the Since it is possible to have a spe-
present, except in the high treble where examining committee probably won’t cific partial of all three strings perfectly
virtually only one pitch level is heard. evenmeasureit,as theyareinstructed to in tune, and still have the unison sound
When I tune the unisons, the sec- measure only those unisons which don’t bad, I am not sure I would recommend
ond string is tuned to the reference, and sound good. this practice for general use. better to
the third string, if present, is then tuned Another helpful hint is knowing have the unison sound as good as pos-
to the other two. This is merely for con- how to test the unisons by ear in the sible. In the case of the exam, however,
venience and saving time because of same way the committee will measure even if the unison sounds bad, it will
less manipulation of the mutes. When I them during the test. Since the fourth measure OK, if the above procedure is
test the unisons, I first listen to each note partials are measured in octave three, followed.
carefully to see if I detect any “phase and the second partials are measured in In the tuning exam, unisons and
shifr or very slow beating. If not, I octave four, isolating these partials au- stability are measured separately, but in
move on to the next note. If so, I then rally will help insure that these specific the real world, unison stability is what
need to determine which string(s) need partials are “most zeroed.” A simple really counts. You need to be able to
adjustment. By inserting a mute against way to isolate the fourth partial is to tune the unisons perfectly, and such
the right string, the left and center can be play a test interval which employs the that they stay tuned perfectly during
tested. Next, by inserting the mute fourth partial of the note. Since the major playing. The trick to this is making sure
the final movements made are very strings at the same time. I remember In some cases,even after you have
small. You may want to go back and tuning a piano some time ago which done everything, the note will still not
read the material from last month on seemed impossible to tune clean uni- clean up. Something in the structure of
stability, as much of it applies to uni- sons. I struggled and tuned themas well the piano is causing this problem, and
sons. Taking the time to go over each as I could. During the voicing process, I you will have to strive for thebest sound
unisoncarefullyaftersettlingeverything fit the hammers to the strings, and after possible under thecircumstances. Some-
by loud playing with the damper pedal doing so, the unisons sounded perfectly times tuning each of the outside strings
depressed, can make the difference be- clean. Remember, all I did was fit the individually to the center string pro-
tween your tuning being exceptional hammers to the strings, I did not alter duces the best result. Other times, tun-
and just average. This settling will ex- the tuning at all. The reason for this is ing from left to right, or right to left is
pose any unisons that would have gone that if the hammer does not strike the best. Other times I have found that tun-
out of tune after a short amount of play- strings at the same time, the strings will ing each string individually to the tun-
ing, and careful listening to each unison be out of phase with each other. This ing aid produces a better result than any
will insure that the beat rates which out-of-phase sound is very similar to the combination by ear. You will just have
were so carefully set in the tempera- out-of-phase sound that is the result of to experiment until you have found the
ment and octaves will be just as clean the strings not being in tune with each best result. Experience will tell you when
and clear with all three strings together other. If a unison still will not clean up, the note is as good as possible, and to
as with just one string initially. check to seeif one of the strings has been move on. The danger here is to keep
False beats eliminate the possibil- replaced. If so, check to seeif the wire is fiddling with the note until it sounds
ity of good-sounding unisons. Usually, the proper size. Even if the size is off by good, which then leaves the note in an
false beats are the result of poor string a quarter-size (roughly the difference unstable state. My advice is to pound on
termination. Make sure the strings have between metric and inch wire) the uni- notes such as this with extra measure, to
been lifted and leveled, and the strings son may be difficult to clean up. Differ- insure that your best found compromise
have been seated on the bridge. Also, ence of a half-size will make a big differ- will stay that way. These bad apples
makesure thehammerishittingall three ence. seem to have the ability to sound extra
bad when they go out of tune.
Inconclusion,because thereareso
many coincident partials present, uni-
sons must be tuned beatless. Listening
to a higher beat and zeroing it out is far
more accurate than zeroing out a lower
beat. It isimportant in the final checking
of unisons to compare left to center, and
beatless, thus assuring there is no prob-
lem between left and right. In the real
world, it is unison stability that counts,
and taking a little extra time to settle the
unisons and recheck them can make
your tuning a cut above the rest. False
beats are the enemy of good sounding
unisons. After all precautions have been
taken, any false beats remaining must
be dealt with in the best manner pos-
sible. Experience and experimentation
are the key here. When the unisons are
TUNING % REBUILDtNG finally tuned, the beat rates so carefully
By AIUHUR A REBLITZ, WTl- set with one string of each note sound-
“Iha Technician’s Blbls’
Now in Paperback for cd)’ $19.95 ing, should sound as clean and clear
+ $2 mail or $3 LPS with all three strings sounding.
Box 97l Vesta! 62 NY 13851 Until next month, please enjoy
f0’Re.x. add 7% sali; Iax Michael Travis’ article on tuning uni-
sons, as well as the reviews of some of
the tuning classes from the Dallas con-
ven tion. Pleasesend your questions and
comments to:
Rick Baldassin
Tuning Editor
2684 W. 220 North
Provo, UT 84601


Grand Hammers Part 1; Selection And Boring

Bill Spurlock, RTT
Sacramento Valley Chapter

T he hammer has a greater effect on the

tone and touch of a piano than does any
learn more about the effect of hammers
upon touch and tone than if I left more of
comfortable bringing soft hammers up
or voicing harder hammers down?). To
other action part, and we are fortunate the decision making to someone else. repeat myself,experience with different
that today we have many brandsof high Secondly, having the ability to do my hammers is essential; using soft ham-
quality hammers to choose from when own hammer shaping and boring al- mers will teach you how to get tone out
selecting replacements. However, un- lows me to custom-select the best ham- of them, and vice versa. When someone
like most other replacement parts, mers for a given job. I can first bore andsays that Brand X hammers are too soft
hammers require extensive preparation shape sample hammers only from an (or hard), they may be expressing more
if they are to produce their best results. unbored set, test them on a piano for about their voicing preferences than
Anewhammerhasacertainpotentialfor appropriate weight, size and tone, and about the hammers.
producing tone; to reach that potential it put them back on the shelf if they are not My own preference is for ham-
must be properly shaped, correctly in- right for the job at hand. (If supplier- mers that are close to the desired tone
stalled, and custom-voiced for a given bored hammers turn out to be the wrong right out of the box, and that respond
piano. This is challenging work but can choice for a job, you might be able to quickly to iight filing and moderate
be very rewarding because of the return them to the supplier once, but amounts of needling. I feel that such
enormous improvements new hammers don’t make a habit of it or you may find hammers will usually be more stable in
can make in a piano. your supplier’s stock of good will run- tone over their life span than those re-
This is the first of three articles in ning low.) Next, boring and shaping quiring very extensive voicing treat-
which I will discuss selecting, prepar- capability allows me to stock unbored ments, such as a great deal of needling
ing,and installing grand hammers. Skip sets of hammers for use on rush jobs. or many repeated applications of hard-
ping sheep raising and shearing, I’11start Finally, I enjoy doing this work myself. ener. Also, as a practical matter, I much
off this month with tips for choosing the With some common shop tools and a prefer hammers that let me regulateand
right replacement hammers and discus- voice in one or two visits, leaving the
few simple jigs, it is possible to do nice,
sion of some shop techniques that I use uniform, neater-than-factory hammer customer with a finished piano and
to do my own hammer shaping and shaping in a reasonable amount of time. instant gratification. Hammers requir-
boring. Next month I’ll continue with ing repeated voicing treatments, such as
tail shaping and weight removal, and in Selecting Replacement Hammers successive applications of hardener,
the last article I’ll conclude with ham- Replacement hammers are avail- require multiple callbacks; this creates
mer installation. able in a wide range of felt-types, sizes scheduling problems and extra expense
First of all we might ask why and molding types. Choosing the right for both the customer and the techni-
anyone would want to do their own hammer is the first step in doing a suc- cian.
hammer tail shaping, boring, etc. when cessful replacement job; listed below are Number Of Bass Hammers: Replace-
most suppliers can provide hammers some factors to consider when shop ments must have an adequate number
ready to install. Cost is usually not a ping the catalogs. of (longer) bass moldings; many brands
factor, since hammer suppliers charge Tone: Probably the first feature we come with plenty of extras, and some
very little for this work. I prefer to pre- would look for in a hammer is its ability tenor moldings can always be length-
pare hammers myself for several rea- to produce the type of tone we think a ened if necessary.
sons: First, having to bore and shape given job requires. Experience working Tail Length: Overall hammer length
tails on my own hammers means that I with a variety of hammers is essential must allow for adequate tail length, as
will have to think seriously about how here, asisadvice fromothers who install explained further on.
to do this work. I will have to decide a lot of hammers. Probably the most Width: Hammers must be the proper
how much weight to remove from the often asked question among technicians width to allow clearance in the angled
hammers and how this will affect is, ‘What kind of hammers are you us- bass and tenor sections. If the originals
touchweight, how to arc the tails for best ing these days?” The answer to this were too wide to clear adequately, your
checking, what bore distance and tail question must be weighed against the replacements will have to be more nar-
length to use and the resulting effects on needs of the job at hand and with our row, less angled, or more tapered on
regulation, etc. Therefore I am likely to own voicing preferences (are you more their sides. Some replacement sets are
identically shaped, because of different
Tighten bolts at each end, clamp center of fixture in vise.
molding wood. (The species of mahog-
- any used in these older hammers was

Figure 1: Hammer Pre-Filing fixture

./f-+x moveable
much lighter than that used currently,
and saved about 3/4 gram per hammer
over birch or maple.) Proper choice of
replacements, together with proper
shaping, can usually duplicate original
weights. Ignoring the weight factor can
result in a poor-playing action and be-
trays the original manufacturer’s de-
Speaking of betraying the manu-
facturer, it is sometimes argued that we
should use only the original manufac-
these two turer’s hammers on their pianos. In this
way the originality of the instrument is
preserved, and, it is argued, “it will only
sound like an Acme if Acme parts are
used.” In my mind this argument loses
some validity in cases where we find
that the maker’s current replacement
available with the bass hammers cut The “pound rating’ of replacement hammers are very different from the
more narrow than the rest of the set. hammers (16 lb., 18 lb., etc.) has little if older originals or when they vary con-
Size: Some grands have very little room any relationship to the weight of the siderably from set to set. My personal
between the belly rail and the cape bar individual hammers. “18 lb. hammers” feeling is that we should choose the
in the top treble section, requiring a just means that a sheet of felt weighing replacements that most readily fulfill
small treble hammer to clear the belly 18 lbs. was cut up to make approxi- the potential of the maker’s original
and still strike the string in the correct mately 15 sets of hammers. The actual piano design.
location. Pianos with ag-raffesin the top weight of the individual hammers de-
section are especially prone to this clear- pends upon how much of the felt sheet Preparing Hammers For Installation
ance problem. In the bass, overly large was left over as scraps, how much un- Pre-filing and needling: Most sets of
hammers can sometimes interfere with derfelt was used, how wide the ham- unbored hammers will come unfiled and
the damper wires as well. mers were cut, what size and type of will have cup-shaped edges due to the
Weight: The touchweight of an action molding wood was used, etc. felt springing up where the individual
results from thecombined effects of fric- This is not an article about hammers have been cut apart. To get a
tion, action leverages, and the weight of touchweight; however, suffice it to say smooth surface we need to do an initial
the various action parts -hammers in that adding lead to the keys to compen- filing. This is most easily done before the
particular. To see how drastically ham- sate for heavier-than-original hammers hammers are hung by clamping them
mer weight affects touchweight, meas- is treating the symptom rather than the together one section at a time; figure 1
ure the downweight and upweight on problem in most cases.Such an approach shows a simple wooden fixture that
one note of a grand action or model. gets your touchweight measurements clamps in a vise to hold 30 hammers so
Then, with your one-gram weight sit- back to normal, but at the expense of they can be filed as one unit. Through
ting on top of the hammer, make the increased inertia (resistance to move- experience with some firmer hammers
measurement again. You will find an ment) in the action. we may know that some initial shoulder
increase of five to seven grams in Some judgement is needed when needling will be needed, even before we
downweight and upweight due to the estimating the weight of original ham- have installed and listened to them. If
one gram increase in hammer weight. mers, since they are usually worn and this is the case,this initial rough ‘bench
Replacement hammers that are not therefore lighter than when new. The voicing” should be done before any fil-
shaped to match the molding and felt main factors to look for are estimated ing, because some of the cupping will
size of the originals can easily be three or original felt size, hammer width, degree disappear with the swelling of the felt
more grams heavier than the originals, of tapering and arcing of the tails, and after needling. Both needling and filing
causing an unacceptable change in type of molding wood. Most original can be done more easily, faster and with
touchweight. Even if shaped to match hammers on older quality grands were no damage to the hammershank centers
the originals, replacements can be one lighter in weight than many of today’s when the hammers are mounted in a
or more grams heavier due to differ- replacements, due to very trimmed- fixture. The danger, however, is that
encesin felt density and type of molding down tails and, in many cases,mahog- you can go too far; be conservative un-
wood. Therefore hammer weight needs any moldings. Thus a piano manufac- less you are sure of what the hammers
tobeconsidered whenchoosingreplace- turer’s current replacement hammers will need.
ments. can be heavier than the originals, even if Boring: For those interested in boring
Figure 2.
Figure 3. regulate properly. In such cases
a longer bore distance must be
used so the shanks don’t come
up so high; the hammers are
then installed slightly raked,
rather than at 90” to the shanks,
so they still attack the strings at
90”. Again, always install
samples and test to make sure
the action will regulate prop
erly before boring a whole set.
2. Rake - See figure 2. As
Bore angle
k&bed keybed stated, 90° is normal, but some
to to
string centerpin actions were designed with less
I, than a right angle here. So far
we have assumed the strings
are parallel to the keybed.
\/ \I However, they seldom are, es-
pecially in the high treble. They
may run either downhill or
their own hammers, I recommend Wally Usually the string height will vary uphill toward the bridges. Thereforeif it
Brooks’ hammer boring jig. It is easy to within each section somewhat; for in- really is important that the hammers
use and does a fast, consistent job on stance it is common for strings in the low attack the strings at 90”, we need to rake
both upright and grand hammers. bass to be at least l/V lower than those the hammers accordingly. To check, rest
The critical thing about hammer in the upper bass. In such casesyou can a small square on the strings, with one
boring is not so much drilling the holes, use the average string height of each leg hanging down between hammers.
but figuring out whereto drill them. The section to compute a bore distance that Lift a sample hammer up until it con-
following is a brief description of how to will be an average for that section. In tacts the strings, and see whether the
determine each measurement needed most casesthis will work fine. However, square lines up with a centerline on the
for boring. However, it is important to if string heights vary considerably and a side of the hammer. Check every octave
bore and install samples first to confirm single figure for bore distance is used, or so and note the required rake figure
that your bore distance, angles, etc. are action geometry will vary across each on your worksheet to use when boring.
correct beforeboring theentire set.These section as string height varies. This is Before you get too carried away, though,
samples can be any extra hammers; they because, with all hammers adjusted to realize that very few pianos really have
do not have to be from the set you will be the same blow distance, those with their hammers striking the strings at
using as long as they are the same over- higher strings will sit higher, and vice exactly 90”. It is also interesting that
all length. I should also point out that versa. This means some capstans, wip- many old Steinway uprights had ham-
thedeterminationsandchecksdescribed pens, and shanks will be operating mers that were raked severely down-
below apply equally when orderingpre- through different arcs than others. To ward for apparently intentional over-
bored hammers. You, and not the ham- avoid this, and enable the action to be centering, and they sound quite good!
mer supplier, are the one with accessto regulated as uniformly as possible, the ,3..Bore angle - See figure 3. Theoreti-
the piano. Therefore you will get the bore distance can be varied with string cally, the bore angle should match the
best-fitting hammers if you analyze the height. As a rule of thumb, if I find string string angle, so the hammer strikes all
action and give specifications to the height within a section varying more strings of a unison at the same point
supplier, rather than having them copy than l/&3”, I will divide that section into along their length. However this is not
the originals or supply a generic set for two or three parts with different bore always possible in practice because
a given model piano. distances for each part. In this way, all angling the hammers reduces the clear-
1. Bore distance - Most pianos are shanks will be level when at rest and ance between them, and a compromise
designed so the shank will be parallel to level at string contact. must be made to allow adequate clear-
the keybed and strings when the ham- It is important to compare your ance. Notice whether the original ham-
mer contacts the strings. Typically the calculated bore distance to the original; mers had a clearance problem. If so, and
hammer is mounted at 90” to the shank, if the original bore distance is much your replacements are as wide as the
so the hammer will therefore contact the different, there may be a good reason. originals, you will have to use less angle
strings at 90” (see figure 2). Thus to Actions are full of compromises and or else do more tapering of the sides.
calculate your bore distance, just sub- practice must sometimes depart from In most casesyou will beduplicat-
tract thecenterpin height from the string theory for things to work. In some cases ing the original bore angles. One easy
height in each section as shown. You boring the hammers so the shanks rise way to do this is to adjust your boring jig
may wish to add l/16” or so to this all the way to level will not work be- directly off the original hammer/shank
figure to allow for future wear and fil- cause the drop and/or let-off screws assemblies. With the Brooks jig this can
ing. cannot be turned upward far enough to be done by placing an original hammer
Figure 4: Determining Backcheck Height and Tail Length When evaluat- portant variable here is the curve of the
ing tail length re- hammer tail, which will be discussed
quirements prior to next month). In other words, increased
With sample note regulated & action at rest, a straight line fitting new hammers, backcheck height can only compensate
along top of shank determines minimum backcheck height: Ifirst determineproper for too-short hammer tails within cer-
backcheckheight asfol- tain limits. Sometimes pianos are seen
lows: Install a new with the backchecks so high the shoul-
sample hammer and ders of the large bass and tenor ham-
regulate that sample mers bump into the backcheck tops as
note. With the action the hammers fall to rest.
at rest, extend an Longer-than-ideal tails will not
imaginary line along cause a problem, as long as the tails do
the top of the sample not contact the wippen flanges at rest.
shank and out be- Excessive length can be removed using
yond the hammer. a disc sander as will be described next
This line defines the month.
approximate mini- With all of the above parameters
mum backcheck determined, you are ready to bore the
height. (I usually set hammers. The Brooks jig comes with
my backchecks about instructions which I will not repeat here.
Then, with key fully depressed, l/8” above this line.) It is most easily used when mounted in
hammer not in check. top of backcneck This backcheckheight a machinist’s cross-vise as described in
determlnes minunum tall length. then determines tail the March 1990 Journal, p. 23.
length as follows: The You will find it handy to have a
sample key is de- variety of drill sizes so you can get the fit
pressed slowly and you want. A standard 7/32” t.219”) drill
completely, so the will work for most shanks; however, the
hammer goes type of drill point, sharpness of the drill,
through let-off, drop, spindle speed and type of molding wood
and the slight rise will also affect the fit somewhat. Also
l/i"' of contact between tall and after drop. (The ham- useful are number drills #2 (.221”) and
backcheck when hammer checks j/8" mer will be approxi- #3 (.213”).
from string. mately l/V below I prefer a hole such that when test-
the string height at ing for dry fit the hammers will slide
and shank in the jig and adjusting until this point). An imaginary horizontal line easily onto the shanks but will not quite
the shank is parallel to the drill bit. extended across the top of the back- flop over when tilted. Later, after all tail
Masking tape can be stuck over the check then defines the minimum tail shaping is done, I will reamas necessary
degree marker of the jig and settings for length. to give a fit that allows easy installation
various sections of the piano marked as As shown in figure4, this relation- and alignment when both hammer hole
necessary. ship between backcheck height and tail and shank are coated with glue.
Often the original tenor hammers length places the working parts of the Next month I’ll continue with an
changed angle abruptly in spots, rather hammer tail and backcheck in full con- assortment of jigs for arcing hammers
than gradually straightening out with tact with each other when the hammer tails, tapering sides, and removing ex-
the strings. If so you can improve upon checks S/S” from the strings. Setting the cess from tails. Z
the original job by adjusting the bore backcheck slightly higher than the mini-
angle slightly every three or four ham- mum and leaving the tail length slightly
mers, so the hammers fan out evenly. longer than minimum will ensure plenty
Besides looking nice, this eliminates of contact area for checking closer than
clearanceand spacing problems that can 5/S”.
occur where angles change suddenly. If your replacement hammers have
4. Tail length - Adequate tail tails that are shorter than you would
‘length is necessary for proper checking. like, you can sometimes compensate by
For an excellent discussion of hammer raising the backchecks. However, there
checking, see the Chris Robinson article is an optimumrelationshipof backcheck
in the December 1984 Journal. In that height to tail length that allows the
article, Chris discusses the relationship hammers to check close to the strings
between tail length, backcheck height without the tail dragging on the back-
and backcheck bevel; I have reproduced check on its way up; the farther you get
the principles in drawing form in figure from this optimum the lower the ham-
4. mers will have to check. (Another im-


Alan Vincent, RTT
Young Chang America
Los Angeles Chapter

A ccording to the “Technical Refer-

ence Handbook” by E.P. Rasis, a lever is
action lever with W being the lead weight
installed in the lever and F the amount
action perform as intended and that the
technician does not “build in”
defined as “a rigid body that pivots on a of force or weight encountered by the touchweightproblems. Workofthistype
fixed body (fulcrum).” Leverage is de- end of the key when lifting the lever. is time-consuming and expensive. If the
fined as the location of weights or forces The third-class lever (seedrawing pianist perceives the action perform-
acting on that lever relative to its ful- 3) is of the same configuration as the anceas less than expected, then the tech-
crum. The greater the distance of a force grand action hammer shank. F would be nician will be forced to deal with a diffi-
from the fulcrum, the more effect that the amount of force exerted at the cult situation and, at best, a loss of prof-
force will have on the second force act- knuckle upon the jack when W was the its.
ing on the lever on the opposite side of weightofthehammer.Thefulcrumpoint In order to understand piano ac-
the fulcrum. A lever is classified as a in this case would be the shank flange tion leverage, one must have a working
simple machine along with the pulley, center with b being the distance from knowledgeof ratiosand how they relate
drum and inclined plane. Simple ma- that center to the center line of the to weight. If a child’s see-saw is 20 feet
chines transfer force from one point of knuckle and a the center pin to hammer long and hasa central pivot (two IO-foot
application to another. These mechani- molding center line distance. lever arms), the ratio of this leverage ar-
caldevicesareused toreducetheamount In each of the three lever classes, rangement would be 1:l (read “one-to-
of work required to accomplish a given the solution to F, with a given W, a and one”) another way of writing l/l, one
task. b, can be determined by using the for- divided by one, or in this case,just one.
Levers are grouped into three mula F = Wxa/ b. Using this formula, we This leverage ratio tells us that each of
classes and all three are found in the can trace the effect of a weight through the two lever arms are the same length.
grand action. The first-class lever (see the levers of each action part and also because of the central pivot and
drawing 1) would represent the piano see how this weight is transferred from therefore the equal length of the lever
key and wippen (in the wippen, one one action part to the next. arms, the see-saw could achieve a state
lever arm is folded over at the pivot and Leverage problems within the of balance with one person on each end
back on top of the opposite lever arm. grand action can cause poor perform- and each weighing 100 lbs. If the ratio
This V-shaped lever within the wippen ance if they are not corrected. As we was4:l (i.e.onearmwas40feetlongand
is not a physical lever but instead con- have discussed, it is important that we the other was 10 feet long), the seesaw
sists of lines from the wippen center to do not attempt to correct a leverage could achieve balance with the 100 lb.
the capstan/wippen contact point and problem by applying a weight or fric- person on the IO-foot arm and a 25 lb.
from the action center to the jack/ tion based solution. Technicians most person on the longer, 40-foot arm. The
knuckle contact point. This is the lever often encounter leverage problems in mechanical advantage of the increased
which is primarily responsible for the the form of the following: compressed leverage of the longer arm would allow
lift of the hammer to the string and only action spread; improper strike line the lighter weight to do the work neces-
exists from the resting position until the (hammers too far out on shank or too far sary to balance the 100 lb. weight on the
contact of the jack tender to the let-off toward the action center); poor knuckle shorter lever. The above examples are
button and the repetition lever to the construction and placement; uneven based on a theoretical absenceof friction
drop screw). The first class lever can be capstan placement. atthepivot.Thelowerthefrictionwithin
used either to change the direction of a Several of the above listed condi- the pivot mechanism, thecloser wecould
force (as in the key) or to change the tions can present themselves during the come to actually attaining the balance
point of application of a force but main- course of a hammer and shank replace- situations mentioned above. In fact, the
taining the same direction (as in the ment and action rebuilding job. Unless given presence of friction would distort
wippen). leverage problems are addressed, the the ideal leverage ratios and result in
The second-class lever (see draw- performance of the action could be balance weights different than those
ing 2) has the pivot at the end with the impeded to the point of causing cus- which we might expect from calcula-
weight W acting on the lever at a point tomer dissatisfaction. When perform- tion. The presence of excess friction at
between the fulcrum and force F. This ingextensive action work for a customer, the pivot would aid the lighter weight in
would be similar to the grand damper it is of the utmost importance that the the counterbalancing of the heavier
weight. In the4:l leverage system the case of a grand action) by
and with excess friction at the drawing 1 means of depressing the front of
pivot, a condition of balance could the key.
be achieved with an even lighter f--tx-+--b-=j The keys of most grand pianos
weight than the 25 Ibs. If enough are arranged with a 2:l ratio.
friction were present at the pivot, I i The front lever is the distance
a lever with a given weight acting from the front of the key to the
on one lever arm could be bal- balance rail pin and the rear from
anced with little or no weight on the balance rail pin to the cap
the opposite lever arm. drawing 2 Stan.A length of 20 inches would
The leverage ratio can also be representative of the average
be used to determine the amount
of vertical lift, or straight line
movement, which the lever would
achieve at the end (or some other
b--~-y t F
length of a grand key and the 2:l
ratio would mean that the front
lever arm would be about 10
inches and the rear about five
point) opposite the force acting inches.
upon it. In our 1:l see-saw, if one I If the front of the key is
end moves up and down two feet, moved .350”, then the back of
then the other end must move the key would also move that
this same amount. This is deter- drawing 3 sameamount.If wemultiplythe
mined by multiplying the lever- input (.350”) by the ratio (in the
age ratio by the movement of the case of levers within the piano
first end of the lever (the input). action, place the output lever
One (1:l equals one) multiplied length in the front of the ratio;
by the two-foot movement (or hence 1:2, which is .5), we can
input) would result in the two- see that the vertical lift at the
foot movement (or output) of the capstan screw is .175”, or half of
opposite end of the lever. the input. Simple leverage ratio
In the 4:l lever, one unit of move- from the following formula: situations should allow common sense
ment on the shorter lever would result C = Pi x Diameter x Angular Change to provide the correct answer as to the
in four times that amount of movement 1360” total vertical lift. However, if the lever-
at the longer end. Froma position paral- Where C is the length of the arc, Pi age arrangement is more complicated,
lel to the ground or base, if the shorter is 3.14 and the amount of the angular the following formula can be used to de-
lever moved two feetbefore it contacted change in degrees is divided by 360”. termine the vertical lift: Input x Ratio =
the ground, the end of the longer arm The length of the travel arcs can be Output
would thenbeeightfeetfromtheground. helpfulinanalyzingtheinterconnecting Input (the distance the input lever
Since we are dealing with a rota- circles within the grand action and is moved) multiplied by the ratio (di-
tional movement of the lever, it is appar- thereby the frictional components pres- vide theoutputleverlengthby theinput
ent that the ends (or any point) of the ent. The amount of vertical lift achieved lever length to determine the ratio)
lever will be moving in a circular atti- by the levers of the action will be our equals the output (the distance the out-
tude. The length of the arc of travel main point of consideration at this time, put lever moves).
(which is longer than the straight line or however, as our intention is to lift the In a mechanical system consisting
vertical movement) can be determined piano hammer up toward the strings (in of several interconnecting levers, the
overall output divided by the initial
input will give you the overall leverage
n Custom Replacement Piano Keys and Frames ratio or, in other terms, the mechanical
n Our Work Features Accurate Scale Layouts advantage of the leverage system. The
action of a grand piano is a 1:s ratio. One
and a Superior Finish unit of movement at the key will result
in f&e times that movement at the
hammer (with approximately 3/S” key
travel the hammer will move 1 7/S”).
Next month, look for more infor-
mation on the 5:l leverage ratio within
the grand action.
We will trace a certain key move-
THE PIANO WORKS ment through each of the action parts,
5269 Stllwell Road, Trumanshurg, New York 14886 determine their leverage ratios and our
607-387-9345 total hammer movement. i



Learning To Pass The PTG Tuning Exam;

Part 10: Unisons
Michael Travis, RTT
Washington, D.C., Chapter

A unison is the simplest of intervals, efficiency and practicing in advance. better you can have no more than 10
penalty points total in unisons, which is
and one might suppose it’s therefore the
easiest to tune. Not necessarily! For the Unisons in the Exam a fairly liberal allowance.
novice, it can be the most difficult to get This is the last section of the exam Often, a unison will have a notice-
right, because it involves not only hear- if you’re tuning aurally only. At this able wave or roll in it, but may still pass,
ing very slow beats and mentally sub- point we have just finished administer- perhaps just inside the tolerance. Very
tracting any noise that might be present ing the stability test, and now we’re occasionally, a unison will sound objec-
in the sound, but also making very small ready to have you tune the outside tionable but still be within the tolerance
adjustments that stay put. Skill in uni- strings to the previously tuned (and now whenwemeasureit.Thisusuallymeans
son tuning (including as it does good more stabilized) middle strings of the 24 that either all three strings are not the
hammer technique and string stabiliz- midrange notes, C3-B4. There is a 1/2- same wire size, or that there is a termina-
ing skill, as well as a discerning ear) is hour time limit for unison tuning and tion problem, and such conditions
essential to fine piano tuning.You should you must tuneyourunisonsaurallyonly; somehow escaped attention in the ini-
practice and get it right before going on examiners are required to remove all tial inspection of the piano. In such a
to learn any temperament system. visual display tuningaids (VDTAs) from case you would normally be given the
Poor unison tuning can be pain- the room for the duration. benefit of the doubt and not penalized.
fully obvious. When an electrician in- An examiner will first check If you run across one of these untunable
stalls a light switch and you turn it on midrange unisons to make sure they are notes, please do call it to the attention of
and it works, you’re ready to pay the bill all slightly out of tune for you, if this your examiners and avoid spending an
(shocking though it may be). However, hasn’t been done already during the excessive amount of time on it.
if you flip the switch and the light doesn’t initial detuning. When your time is up
comes on, there’s obviously a problem. the examiners will reenter, set up the Make a Practice Run
Unisons are something like that; musi- measuringinstrument,andlistenclosely You can test a sampling of your
cally, they work or they don’t. The most to your unisons, playing fairly lightly own unisons before exam day or have
finely crafted temperament won’t re- and evenly up through the midrange. them tested by a cooperative colleague,
deem even a few strategically located Any that sound “suspicious” (out of and make sure they are all within toler-
wavy unisons. And if you ever had the tolerance) get a mark on the test record ances. There are at least two ways to do
experience of sitting out in the audience for measurement. Once we’ve located this. First, and perhaps best, tune a pi-
listening to your own tuning, you’d the “suspects” aurally, we go back and ano for an RTT, and get a critical evalu-
make real sureafter that todoublecheck measure and record each of their indi- ationfhint #l).Try tomakesuretheRTT
those unisons. One lousy string on A4 vidual strings, using the standard test listens very slowly, closely and care-
can ruin your day, believe me. partials: fourth partials in octave three, fully to your unisons without playing
I’ve heard that piano tuning is on and second partials in octave four. hard, and points out ones that may need
some list as a low-stress job, and com- As we progress, we compute cents improvement. In addition, you may
pared to some other occupations such differences between each of the three want to subsequently give all the notes
as, for example, tightrope walking, I two-string combinations per unison and several test blows and then recheck the
guess it’s true. If you can master the art assign whole-number points according unisons for stability. Though we don’t
of consistently tuning rock-solid, pure to the tolerance of one point per 1.0cent. test the stability of unisons in the exam,
unisons, your stresslevel should beeven Differences of 0.9 cents or less are 0 you should be able to tune them that
lower, since minor defects elsewhere in points, those of 1.0 - 1.9 cents are one way as a matter of course.
your tuning are not so easily perceived. point, etc. When we’ve measured all the The second, perhaps more objec-
Not that you shouldn’t worry about suspect unisons and figured the points, tive evaluation is one I described earlier,
them, however! we transfer the sum to the score form, as hint #7: if possible, practice unisons
Let’s review how we test unisons where multiplying by two and subtract- before the exam by measuring each of
in the exam, and consider a few sugges- ing the product from 100 gives the final the three strings in a goodly number of
tions for improving your unison tuning score for unisons. To pass at 80% or your aurally-tuned unisons (whether
they sound good or not) to be sure you’re octave. And a lack of stability is most there’s anyone around, this test could
well within test tolerances. This is a often perceived as a unison that goes out get them excited, so use some discre-
valuable reality-check if you have ac- of tune when stressed by loud playing, tion. One time when I was doing a final
cess to an accurate VDTA. Shoot for which we don’t do. unison-stability check on a Steinway B
unisons whose strings are all within Since we only test midrange uni- at Montgomery College in Rockville,
about 0.3 cent of each other. sons, and we do not test them for stabil- MD, one of the piano professors heard
We will allow you to use the avail- ity, I must caution you about interpret- the commotion in the recital hall and
able mutes any way you like for unison ing a good score in unisons. In the real poked his head in to find out who was
tuning, so you might want to insert a world, as you know, unisons and stabil- getting such a fine strong sound out of
strip mute between every other unison ity are often “measured” simultane- the piano. He complimented me on my
ahead of time. This allows you to work ously, and defects in one are often as- technique, said he thought I sounded
more efficiently since you don’t have to cribed to the other. You may be able to like a concert pianist practicing some
move mutes as much. For example, tune unisons that meet our exam re- modem music, and for a moment there
assume that you insert the felt between quirements, but that only shows you wondered who the composer was!
C3 and C#3 strings, but not between can hear what you’re doing. The stabil-
C#3 and D3, then again between D3 and ityportionoftheexamshows thedegree
Conclusion And Postscript
D#3, and so on. With this alternate to which you can tune solidly, irrespec- I’m not sure if I’ve done this sub
muting pattern, you can rapidly unison tive of whether the temperament or ject justice, since one cannot overem-
tune the left string of C3, the right string unisons are acceptable. The beauty of phasize the importance of good, solid
of C#3, the left string of D3, the right unisons to a good sounding piano.
this exam is that it does isolate unisons
string of D#3 and so on up through B4. from stability and temperament, yet toUnison tuning is the foundation of pi-
Then you step on the sustain pedal (to interpret results in one area without ano tuning; one way or another, we
avoid tearing the trichord damper felt) consideringtheothersdoesnotgiveyou always come back to that. Unisons are
and pull out the strip all at once, and an accurate picture of your skill -that’s
one of the first things we notice about a
start up the scale again from C3, tuning why we require a passing score in allpiano, and one of the last things we
thestringspreviouslystripmuted.Once areas rather than just an average. We should check before leaving it. Even
you’ve done this a few times in practice assume that if you can pass unisons inoctaves and other consonant intervals
runs, you’ll learn the simple zig-zag themidrange,youhaveatleastan”entty may be considered as kinds of unisons,
pattern of tuning pins to follow, the 1evel”abilityto tuneunisonsbeyond thein this case among one or more of the
front tuning pin on one note, followed midrange. If you pass on stability as coincident pairs of partials. Passing the
by the rear tuning pin of the next note. well, we assume you have the ability to
unison part of the exam requires only
This is one way to save time tuning tune stable unisons, even though we that you tune clean-sounding unisons
unisons, which might be important, if don’t check this directly. over the 24 notes of the exam midrange.
like me, you’re a member of the “society Hint #24: Warning- just because Makesureyoucanatleastdothatbefore
of slow tuners”. In any case,don’t forget we do not “stress test” unisons for the
taking your test.
the following advice, which to readers exam, do not make the mistake of as- If you tuned aurally only, theexam
of these articles should now sound fa- suming that you can safely get away is finished upon completion of unison
miliar: with merely “springing” the pins to tune
scoring, save for the formalities of pa-
Hint #23: When tuning unisons, perwork. Be sure to get your reclassifi-
unisons. The best advice is to tune uni-
be sure to finish all the required unisons sons as you normally would for one ofcation form signed by the CTE in charge
at least once, since substantial penalties your more discriminating clients. if you passed. If you used a VDTA dur-
result from untuned strings. It may be ing any of the preceding sections, the
advantageous to tune the unisons com- The Unseen Artist in Recital piano will again be detuned and you
pletely once in 10 minutes, and then In your everyday work, the last now will have to repeat your tuning of
spend the remaining 20 minutes nitpick- thing you should do before packing octaves threeand four aurally only, with
ing them. Don’t get stuck on one unison away your tuning tools is to make sure a time limit of 45 minutes. Be sure you
or one string for any length of time; keep
your tuning is stable. This is just a final have an aural pitch source with you to
moving through the midrange unisons overall check, since stability is best perform this part. Since my advice for
until you either can’t find any to im- achieved as you tune. Nevertheless, you passing the exam in pitch, temperament
prove or you run out of time. might want to try this: press the sustain and midrange appeared in earlier ar-
pedal and either play loud octaves up ticles of this series and would be the
What Does It Mean? and down the scale, or use Norman same, 1.will not be writing a separate
A good score on the unison sec- Neblett’s technique of non-musically article on the aural repeat section.
tion of the FTG Tuning Exam does not slapping up and down the keyboard, However, because nearly a year
necessarily correlate to skill in unison but whatever you do, get those strings has gone by since this seriesbegan,I will
tuning throughout the piano, nor does it shaking and the soundboard quaking. be preparing a summary and review
necessarily mean that your unisons are Then release the pedal, and listen to article, which I hope to have ready the
stable. The midrange is typically the unisons again, correcting any problems month after next, taking it one more
easiest to tune unisons in, presenting that may have arisen. time from letter A, so to speak. I regret to
less of a challenge than, say, the top I must say at this point that if say that that will be my last Journal ar-
title for the time being, since other obli-
gations are demanding my attention.
I will always be grateful to Rick
Baldassin for giving me this opportu-
nity to write, and also for having himself
provided so much of the recent source
material I relied upon. We are all in-
debted to this man of many talents, and The Hammer Duplication Specialists
should support his continued work as Ronsen Hammers
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Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Janet Leary, R’IT
Cleveland, OH, Chapter

T o the best of your ability, you must

provide for yourself or your employees
mum benefit is 200% of the statewide
average weekly wage with no ceiling.
employer has failed to obtain coverage.
In a situation where their employer does
an environment free from accidental Mississippi, in comparison offers the not participate in a plan, the employer
injury or occupational diseases in the surviving spouse and children a maxi- may lose their common law defense in a
workplace. In the late 19th and early mum benefit of $140 a week. lawsuit, may have to pay back premi-
20th centuries, due to changes in the If you are a civilian employee of ums, may beliable for 100% of the work-
workplace environment (brought on by the U.S. government, you will be cov- ers’ rightful claims, and then be subject
theIndustrialRevolution)traditionaltort ered by a Federal workers’ compensa- to various penalties (including the pos-
and contract law did not adequately tion program. As self-employed busi- sibility of criminal penal ties) depending
charge industry with the economic costs ness people we will either enroll in a on the particular state laws.
of the human injury it caused. The private plan developed in compliance Moststatesprovidecompensation
workers’ compensation system was with our individual states’ workers’ and benefits for scheduled losses due to:
developed over time tobalance out these compensation laws, or in the limited 1. temporary total disability; 2. tempo-
inequities. number of states where private plans rary partial disability; 3. permanent dis-
Workers’ compensation is a label are not permitted wemust participate in ability; 4. permanent total disability.
given to many systems throughout the a state fund. In many of the states which
United States by which workers who do not allow private insurance plans, Accident/Injury Claims
sustain injury due to their jobs are large employers are permitted upon The most common worker’s com-
compensatedfortheirdisabilitiesfto the approval to self-insure. pensation claim is the accident or injury
extent that the disability adversely af- Laws enacted by individual states claim. In the past, accidents had to be
fects the individual’s ability to earn a governing workers’ compensation plans sudden, unexpected, or out-of-the-ordi-
living), medical costs, or cost of rehabili- vary from state to state. Some jurisdic- nary occurrences. These requirements
tation. They may also receive scheduled tions demand that the cause of an injury were intended to eliminate coverage for
benefits for loss of limbs, eyes, etc., and be accidental to be compensable while intentional injury and disabilities due to
their survivors may be compensated for other jurisdictions demand that the #- occupational diseases. Presently many
loss of financial support and should be feet be accidental, or that both cause and plansareeliminating these strictrequire-
paid for burial and miscellaneous death effect be accidental. ments, thus eliminating the distinction
expenses if the worker is killed in a In states (excluding South Caro- between injury and occupational dis-
work-related incident. lina and Texas), workers’ compensation eases. This broader scope is leading to
Most of the types of compensation coverage is required for any employer compensability granted simply on the
available in workers’ compensation with a minimum number of employees. grounds that the injury or disease was
systems are for loss of earnings or earn- Some states’ workers’ compensation caused by employment. The operative
ing capacity and are usually paid or plans cover only employees-not inde- terminology here is, “in the course of and
accrued on a weekly basis. Disability pendent contractors, casual or domestic arising out of mploymenf.”
compensation is calculated generally at workers earning less than a specific cal- besides the obvious, what other
66-2/3% of the claimant’s weekly wage endar wage. In many states (such as situations maybe covered “in the course
at the time of injury. Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico and New of and arising out of employment?” 1.
Death benefits available to a sur- York) private workers’ compensation Sfrezeleckiv.]ohns-ManvilleProducfsCorp.
viving spouse usually end when the plans are elective as to partners, sole The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in
spouse remarries. Surviving childrens’ proprietors, or self-employeds. While favor of the defendant in allowing a
benefits end when the child is no longer New Jersey chooses to allow workers’ death claim when an employee was
considered a minor, or when they be- compensation as elective to all private killed in an auto accident on his way to
come a full-time student beyond high employees, and compulsory to all pub- study for university classes that his
school. lic employees. employer paid for, and that were in fur-
The variance ofbenefits from state In many jurisdictions workers are therance of his career. In our profession,
to state are considerable. Alaska’s maxi- covered by operation of law even if an we may substitute PTG conventions for
the university setting depicted in this drive a motor vehicle, may set the sce-
example. nario for a denied claim depending on OSHA’s Noise Exposure Limits2
The above mentioned court ruling the rulings in your jurisdiction. If the
only standard applied is that the injury These are occupational exposure
and other examples I will refer to may
limits for workers with unprotected
not stand up in your jurisdiction. Why? is “work-related” you’re home free.
Generally, the more heavy industrial As far as the topic of intoxication is Noise tdB) Permissible Exposure
states have the most comprehensive concerned, in the absence of a statutory (hours 6 minutes)
plans affording workers the greatest provision, some jurisdictions may de- 85 16h
coverage, and since every state has its termine that the intoxication was such 87 12h 6m
own garden variety of workers’ com- that it removed the worker from the 90 8h
pensation statutes, a claim in one state course of employment because it was an 93 5h 18m
may be ruled entirely different if tested intervening cause for the injury, thus 96 3h 30m
in another state. denying the claim. 99 2h 18m
2. Another gray area in reference 102 lh 3Om
to compensability is when there is no Pre-Existing Conditions 105 lh
If you choose to enroll in a work- 108 40m
fixedsiteofemployment (continually trav-
111 26m
eling between jobs), or when the claim- ers’ compensation program, you may
ant works out of their home. The confu- wonder if preexisting conditions will
sion is in determining when employ- be covered. Generally if you suffer from while many states such as Wisconsin do
ment begins and when it ends. Until you an injury that aggravates or exacerbates not compensate for temporary total or
reach your work place (which may be an already existing medical condition temporary partial occupational deaf-
your first appointment, depending on the injury is fully compensable. The ness. Ohio honors claims only for total
how you structure your business) your underlying principal is that the employerloss of hearing in one ear.
auto mileage expenses for tax purposes hires its workers as it finds them - The ailments that are classified as
and workers’ compensation coverage medically “as is.” an occupational disease vary from state
may not be covered. This topic is pertinent to those to state. Each jurisdiction can include or
In our profession, even though the technicians who suffer from carpal tun- exclude any occupational disease it so
site of work varies, it is important to nel syndrome, rotator cuff problems chooses. Some states provide schedules
declare your home (if you do not have a (often mimicking carpal tunnel symp- and lists of the diseases they cover while
separateshoparrangement)as”the fixed toms), or hearing impairment and ring- others do not. Examples of typical occu-
siteof employment” from whichall your ing ears from tuning pianos at dB read- pational diseases:pneumoconioses (dust
jobs originate, and from which you re- exposure); hearing loss, silicosis (silica
ings of 90 to 105dB for too many years. In
trieve your tools and business auto at the absence of any special statutory exposure); radiation illness; asbestosis;
the beginning of your work day, and provision, workers’ compensation cov- allergies; mental stress-caused illness.
drop themoff at theend of the workday. ers these conditions at varying levels In our profession, some examples of
This work site is the place from which withspecialrestrictionsapplied to hear-
occupational exposure may result from
your appointment schedule is retrieved ing impairment. refinishing pianos, hernias from piano
in the morning and where all receiv- Themost widespread occupational moving (classified as injury or occupa-
ables and records of the day’s activities hazard facing American workersisnoise. tional disease depending on the juris-
are submitted. The EPA maximum standard of sound diction), or dust exposure from wood-
What about injuries that are the intensity that anadult canbeexposed to working without dust masks.
result of safety rule violations, or intoxi- for eight hours a day throughout a 40- The states of Montana, North
cation? If you recklessly and willfully year career without experiencing any Carolina, Ohio and Utah provide that
disregard safety guidelines, some juris- hearing loss is 75dB. OSI-IA estimates those who suffer from occupational
dictions may not compensate the injury that about seven million production disease may receive “change of occupa-
or accident. In Mills v. Virginia Electric workers are exposed to levels of 8OdBor tion” awards. To qualify it must be
Co. the Virginia Supreme Court disal- higher, and 5.1 million work in an envi- medically recommended that the claim-
lowed a claim for an injury because the ronment exceeding 90dB. If you have ant change their occupation, and actu-
court felt the claimant deliberately dis- the availability of a dB meter, check theally make the change. Awards and/or
regarded a safety rule that was meant to levels on your home piano to see what weekly benefits and restrictions vary
prevent the type of injury that resulted. you’re subjecting yourself to while tun- from state to state.
If you intend to make a workers’ ing? The amount of medical coverage
compensation claim in a small shop available under workers’ compensation
setting, obvious disregard for safety Occupational Disease for an occupational disease is unlimited
precautions such as using power tools Hearing loss is considered an oc- in every jurisdiction of the United States.
while intoxicated, refinishing a piano cupational disease in some states, while
without proper ventilation while light- Pennsylvania treats it as an injury on a How Much?
ing a pipe, or driving your vehicle to “repeated trauma” basis. New York has All this information is interesting
appointments under the influence of separatestatutoryprovisionsalongwith but you’re probably wondering how
prescription drugs that warn you not to a myriad of restrictions and guidelines, much it costs for coverage. Since I live in
creased 60% since 1987 and a proposed
Total Disability Benefits 26% hike is pending!
The following are some typical benefits for the listed states. Percentage Nationwide - Nationwide estimates of
of wages is the maximum you may be eligible to receive. No disability pro- costs as a percentage of payroll are ex-
gram matches your present wages 100%since it would eliminate the incentive pected to double within the next five
to return to work. years. The National Council on Com-
pensation Insurance, which represents
State % of Wages Max Wkly Pmt Min Wkly Pmt workers’ compensation insurers in set-
California 66-2/3 $224.00* $112.00 ting rates in most states, proposed rate
Connecticut 66-2/3 693.00** 79.40 increases in 1989 in excessof 20% for 14
Florida 66-2/3 362.00+* 20.00 states and increases of over 10% in 16
Georgia 66-2/3 175.w 25.00 states.5
Iowa 80% of 684.00** 105.00 One of the major factors affecting
spendable earnings skyrocketing workers’ compensation
Kentucky 66-2/3 343.02** 63.31 ratesacrossthecountryaremedicalcosts
New Jersey 70 342.00** 76.00 which are 40% of benefit costs - up
from 33% in 1980. A workers’ compen-
*Nations BusinessMarch 1990, other stats as of January 1,1986. sation client is like a “free lunch” to
**Monthly Labor Review January 1990, increases during 1989. physicians and occupational therapists
since there hasn’t been adequate over-
Income Benefits For Scheduled Injuries* sight to control medical costs. As long as
State Hand Zst Finger Hearing One Ear medical costs keep increasing, so will
Arkansas $23,100 $5390 $6,160 your workers’ compensation premiums.
Colorado 8,736 2,184 2,940 The average cost of a claim in rela-
Connecticut 100,044 21,438 20,644 tion to lost time at work is also increas-
Washington D.C. 105,335 19,858 22,448 ing. In 1980 it was !$6,000,in 1989it was
Michigan 80,625 14,250 Based on loss of earnings up to $10,000.6
Ohio 31,938 6,388 4,563 If you become totally disabled you
Utah 36,120 9,030 3,583 are still expected in Ohio to pay into
workers’ compensation, even though
*Statistics as of January 7,2986 you have no payroll and are receiving
disability benefits. The minimum you
must declare is a payroll of $2,6OO/six
months in order to retain coverage.
Assessment Chart Since workers’ compensation is so
1. Basic Rate .059387 X $4o,ooo = $2,375.48 costly, my next question was, “Can I
2. Disabled Workers .OOl X 40,000 = 40.00 take a business deduction for workers’
Relief Fund compensation payments on my Federal
3. Administration .0022 x 40,000 = 88.00 tax return?” The IRS agent on duty re-
Total cost $2503.48 ferred me to Publication 334, page 59,
which he said excludes workers’ com-
pensation expenses as a business de-
Ohio, I will use my state as an example. payroll example, and there are three duction for sole proprietors or partners
I found the number for the workers’ areas of assessment shown. in a partnership. You can deduct the
compensation bureau in the state gov- As you can see,workers’ compen- expenses on employees. The agent saw
emmentpagesof thephonebook.Ichose sationisquitecostly.Youcanbringdown no exclusion listed for a Subchapter S
the auditing and underwriting depart- the rate if you show limited claims, but corporation principals.
ment and gave them a call. in Ohio the rate remains the same for Why would an employer want to
In Ohio, partnerships and sole five years after which your business is participate in a workers’ compensation
proprietors must enroll in Plan 116which up for review with the possibility of program? Paying workers’ compensa-
separates us from corporate plans. Since decreasingyourratedependingonyour tion premiums generally allows the
there are not specific classifications and claim history. employer immunity from lawsuit for an
information on piano technicians, we Over time, however, the rates con- injury. Exceptions are injuries not cov-
are grouped together in the “wooden tinually increase instead of decrease: eredbytheprogram(dependingonyour
musical instrument repair and manu- Florida - The state of Florida, for in- jurisdiction), intentional acts of negli-
facturing” classification. I was told that stance, approved as of January 1,1990, a gence on the part of the employer, or
our rate is one of the more desirable 36.7% rate hike for workers’ compensa- when an employer takes punitive action
rates - comparatively speaking. We tion which is following a 25.8% average in retaliation for an employees filing a
are assessedper $100 of payroll. In the increase just a year earlier.3 workers’ compensation claim such as a
Assessment Chart above, $40,000 is a Maine - Maine’s average rates have in- demotion or discharge.
Since piano technicians are gener- dollar for dollar with a disability plan. 3. Nations Business, March 1990,p. 20
ally owner/operators of one or two- Since medical expenses are still an issue, 4. Ibid, p. 23
person businesses, the IRS most likely you should then review your hospitali- 5. Ibid, p. 20
looks at workers’ compensation as sim- zation plan. Many good business hospi- 6. Ibid, p. 21
ply a disability plan because we would talization plans have “24-hour cover-
not bring suit against ourselves nullify- age” on principals if they are not re- Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Department of
ing the advantage of immunity from quired to have coverage under workers’ Labor and Bureau of Statistics, January 1990,
suit. compensation in their state and do not p. 57
In the interest of making best use have such coverage. i “Workers’ Compensation” by Jeffrey V.
of your money, a wise business person Nackley, copyright 1987; Library of Con-
should call their worker’s compensa- Footnotes gress Catalogue Publication
tion bureau, find out what it would cost 1. Science News, Volume 121, May 22‘1982, p. ScienceNews, Volume 121, May 22,1982,
to participate, ask for a detailed sum- 347 p. 347
mary of benefits, and compare the plan 2. Ibid, P. 348 Nations Business, March 1990,p. 20-26

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Sept. 15,199O Rhode Island One Day Seminar
Narragansett Christian Brothers Center
Contact: Kirk Russell; 37 Liberty Street; Wakefield, RI 02879 (401) 783-1966
Sept. 28-30,199O Florida State Seminar
Hilton Hotel, Pensacola, FL
Contact: Danny Lyons; 1224 E. Cervantes Street; Pensacola, FL 32501 (904) 438-8969
Oct. 4-7,199o Ohio State Conference
Days Hotel, North Randall (Cleveland, OH)
Contact: Bob Russell, 1414 Lander Road, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 (216) 449-5212
Oct. 15,199o Washington D.C. One Day Seminar
Smithsonian Institute
Contact: Colette Collier; 12113Somersworth Drive; Silver Spring, MD 20902 (301) 649-7330
Oct. 18-21,199O New York State Conference
Holiday Inn, Binghamton, NY
Contact: Donald R. McKechnie; 1660 Slaterville Road; Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 277-7112
Oct. 19-21,199o Wisconsin Days
Yahara Center, Madison, WI
Contact: Norman Sheppard; 5715 Cedar Mace, Madison, WI 53705 (608) 233-3844
Oct. 27,199O Kansas City One Day Seminar
Meyer Music, 1512 Highway 40, Blue Springs, MO
Contact: Lucy Urlacher; 4215 Terrace; Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 561-2465
Nov. l-4,1990 Texas State Association
El Paso Airport Hilton, El Paso
Contact: Guy Nichols; 901 S. Main; Las Cruces, NM 88005 (505) 5241465
Nov. 9-lo,1990 North Carolina State Seminar
Brownstone Hotel, Raleigh, NC
Contact: Tom Karl; 20 Mayo Street, Apt. F-6; Raleigh, NC 27603 (919) 832-3149
Jan. 4-5,199l Arizona State Seminar
Tempe, AZ
Contact: Gary Miles; 3722 W. Port Royale Lane; phoenix, AZ 85023 (602) 942-2588
Feb. 22-24,199l California State Convention
Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, CA
Contact: Patrick C. Poulson; 15474 Airport Road; Nevada City, CA 95959 (916) 265-6739
July 13-17,199l 34th Annual PTG Convention & Technical Institute
Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, PA
Contact: PTG; 4510 Belleview, Suite 100; Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 753-7747


President’s Message to carry on as Auxiliary Exchange Editor to replace Agnes
If every FTGA member could have been present at Huether, who has done such a splendid job for so many
the 1990 convention in Dallas to hear the two young men seasons. Julie, a former Auxiliary Exchange Editor, will
who were recipients of the Auxiliary Scholarship this year, continue for us until someone with editorial know-how
you would have been as pleased and thrilled as we who volunteers for the job. Sue Speir, one of our Dallas ladies,
attended both the Opening Assembly and the Auxiliary will edit the newsletter. Ginger Bryant will continue doing
Tea were. her ‘Bravo” job as scholarship chairman as well as work on
Eric Thompson and Jimmy Lent demonstrated so the bylaws committee with Helen Desens and Bert Sierota.
well by their musical skill and style at the piano just how Ruby Discon will do the decorations for the Philadelphia
important all the financial contributions and fundraising Convention, and didn’t she do a smashing job of the pretty
support for our Scholarship Fund are. Not only do we silk flower table decorations for the Auxiliary Installation
honor and further the careers of these talented young at Dallas?
people, but we are promoting and supporting the work of Randy Potter will provide accordion entertainment
our spouses bY showcasing some of the upcoming concert for the Installation Luncheon at the 1991 convention in
artists of the future. Philadelphia. And didn’t we all go wild over his accordion
You can be proud, too, of your PTGA Board and your music at the Dallas Luncheon? We haven’t forgotten our
fellow members who are working so hard to continue to special Ginny Russell who continues to do so many won-
promote and further friendship, ducath and good will de&l things for US. Ginny will continue as our archivist,
in the world of music. Phyllis Tremper is performing going over and assimilating the tons of material to do with
“good deeds” as our new vice president and membership our past history - scrapbooks, photos, articles, etc. Does
chairman, while Ivagene Dege has already sent ou t her first anyone have any more items of interest for her? I will
copies of minutes to theExecutive Board of PTGA. Barbara update you as I add new appointees or fill in any I may
Fandrichcontinues her fine workas FTGA treasurer. Hold h ave forgotten. If I have done so, please forgive and let me
Marge Moonan, corresponding secretary, in your good know.
thoughts. Among all her other duties Marge keeps in touch What I am writing about, between the lines, I sup
with our Honorary Life Members and chairs the Sunshine pose, is cooperation. With every member and officer of the
Committee. We would be lost without our best supporter Auxiliary, the help, contributions, and best wishes of all,
and the good words, advice and input of our immediate this organization works well and will continue to grow.
Past President! Agnes Huether. We can all be proud of our Send us your ideas, even constructive criticism is helpful.
M’GA Executive Board. Perhaps it is most helpful of all.
You should also be aware of recent appointments Arlene M. Paetow
which have been made. Julie Berry has graciously agreed

From Our Senior H.L.M. from the University of Houston, and we told them we would
Dear Friends and Fellow Travelers, give them the trip to the far North for a graduation gift. We
I hope that all of you have read Julie Berry’s article in the would go to the convention in Chicago and then on to Michi-
June 1990 Piano Technicians Journal. It is an article full of meat gan where Allan had some cousins.
and substance. Them’s my feelings exactly! If you do not keep Allan attended the convention while the rest of us “saw
moving, you’re dead! Chicago.” That was 1946. If only I had had my crystal ball!
From the first of the piano technicians’ conventions, it Allan told me the women were trying to have a meeting, but
was seen that the convention was to be a combination of I never had been in Chicago. Probably, never would see it
convention and vacation for the family. If Dad went to the again. That was a “fur piece” from Texas.
convention, Mama and the kids “saw the town.” If there were That was the year they organized the Auxiliary. I could
no kids, Mama sat in the lobby of the hotel and wished for the have been a charter member. I am told there were five women
whole thing to “get over with.” In the meantime, she tried to present: Elsa Brasch, Margaret Kingsbury, Ople Oaks, and
get her husband to go to a movie with her (something she Milicent Stein. I am not sure about the fifth. Milicent Stein
would do by herself if she were home, but was afraid to go out never would take an office. She said Charlie worked for Pratt-
in the big city.) Read, and her opinion might be biased. During the meeting,
As a consequence, the convention planners began urg- Ople Oaks was called from the room, and the other women
ing the women to get organized and keep those unhappy conspired to declare her president. She was elected by the
women too busy to complain. That was in the American time she got back!
Society of Piano Technicians days. That’s where I came in. Well, we missed the next convention which was in
Our children, George and Dorothy, were graduating Minneapolis. Harry and Katherine Hughes (Houston) did go.
Katherine’s high point for the conven- At the conventions we held craft When he was in the hotel he enjoyed the
tion was to be the trip to theBetty Cracker classes, style shows, and lectures on waterfall and the atrium lobby as seen
kitchens. Two family cars were going, various subjects. Few women held from above, and he was fascinated by
and there was one too many women “regular” jobs outside the home. Friend the lights which delineated and deco-
wanting to go. All of the women were husband could teach us all we needed to rated the Dallas skyline at night.
paid up members of the Auxiliary ex- know about putting on butt felts and Ivagene and Ernest Dege brought
ceptKatherine.Shewasleftout!Kather- bridle straps. We wanted to get away their 12-year-old granddaughter, Cath-
ine came home and got our Houston from that. erine Smith. Catherine also enjoyed our
Chapter of the Auxiliary organized. She Today, the picture is very differ- beautiful headquarters hotel. At the
was not going to be left out again! That ent. Either or both spouses maybe tech- closing luncheon she told her grandpar-
would have been 1947. nicians. Many spouses hold positions entsshe wouldgoagainnextyearifthey
I realize that this is ancient history entirely unrelated to piano service. It would invite her. The Deges are pros at
and does not immediately concern us seems to me that puts it on a family taking grandchildren to conventions.
today. It does concern us in that it is part basis. Are you interested in how your Each of Catherine’s two sisters had a
of our history. When the National Asso- spouse spent the day? Some piano tun- trip with theirgrandparents to previous
ciation of Piano Tuners and The Ameri- ers’ experiences are hilarious; some are PTG conventions, and a grandson may
canSocietyof Piano Technicians merged, tragic. Good family conversation. I could be coming with them to Philadelphia.
Allan Pollard was executive secretary write a book! Several new grandchildren have
(now known as executive director) for In the first place, a piano techni- been born into the PTG/I’TGA family
the ASPT, and he just slid over and cian is an independent thinker. No nine- recently. Fern and Don Morton, and
assumed the job for the new organiza- to-five job intrigues or satisfies him/ Dorothea and Fred Odenheimer both
tion. I was elected president of the her. He wants to figure things out for welcomed new grand additions recently.
Auxiliary (NAPT had no auxiliary) and himself, not just do what the boss tells Leon and Sue Speir took time out to help
we worked together for the good of the him. He is a “different breed of cats.” We welcomea grandchild to the world right
new organization. can thank the Lord there are still a few at thebeginningof theconvention. We’ll
By the time of the merger, our left and we found them! be looking for these kids to start attend-
Auxiliary was quite well organized with Ruth V. Pollard ing our conventions with their grand-
around 200 members, requiring a bus parents around the year 2002!
instead of family cars for our tours. We Traveling With Grandkids
heard little complaint about nothing to In a recent magazine article Scholarship Recipients Liked PTG
do while the men were in classes. I can (Newsweek,July 30, 19901,Helena Koe- Exhibits
truthfully say “men” and “women” for nig, founder of Grandtravel, spoke of Ginger Bryant, chairman of the
technicians and Auxiliary because there traveling with grandchildren as “an PTGA scholarship committee, relates
were no women technicians. Hannah opportunity for young people to see that Jimmy and Eric, the two gentlemen
Grover was the first woman technician thatgettingoldisn’tsobad-Grandma’s who received last year’s PTGA scholar-
and the only one for many years. having a great time.” Koenig’s agency ships, were absolutely, positively fasci-
By way of parenthesis, did you specializes in planning trips for grand- nated and enthralled with the Exhibit
know that, at one time, the piano serv- parents and their grandchildren. Some Hall at the Dallas Convention. When
icemen wore top hats and frock coats to families in the Auxiliary have already they came to perform at our convention
work? They were a mysterious, highly discovered the value of traveling with they got a closer view of piano technol-
respected group. grandchildren to PTG conventions. ogy and piano service.
Ginger and Jim Bryant brought Ginger is already making plans
their 13year-old grandson, Bobby Bran- for the scholarships which will be
deland, to Dallas with them but they awarded during the 1990-91year to two
didn’t see much of him once they ar- recipients in Pennsylvania. In addition
rived. Bobby spent lots of time with an to the Texas awards, PTGA scholarships
older cousin who lives there. He loved have previously been given to students
Dallas and is saving for a return trip. in Missouri and Oregon.
As always, if you or someone you
know would like to make a donation
PTG Auxiliary Executive Board (large or small) to the PTGA Scholarship
President Recording Secretary Treasurer Fund, you may send a check (payable to
Arlene Paetow (William) Ivagene Dege (Ernest) Barbara Fandrich (Delwin) PTGA Scholarship Fund) to the Piano
Rt. 1, Box 473 2056 Milan Avenue 10131 SE. Talbert
High Falls, NY 12440 S. Pasadena, CA 91030 Clackamas, OR 97015
Technicians Guild Foundation; 4510
(914) 687~a364 (213) 682-2064 (503) 653-7576 Belleview, Suite 100; Kansas City, MO
Vice President Corresponding Seaetary Immediate Past President 64111.
Phyllis Tremper (Fred) Marge Moonan (William) Agnes Huether (Charles)
413 Skaggs Road 811 Amherst Drive 34 Jacklin Court
Morehead, KY 40351 Rome, NY 13440 Clifton, NJ 07012
(606) 783-1717 (315) 337-4193 (201) 473-1341


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FOR SALE San Francisco School of FABRICations; 902 185th Street Court;
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calibration & modifications. Fast, reliable 6507; San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 543-
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85375 (602) 854-4116 BUMPER STICKER. “Piano Tuners Still featured in August ‘88 Journal. Recision
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your supply house. $35.00 (503) 271-3236 For brochure, call or write Bill Spurlock;
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84057. of Piano Tuning; 657 Mission Street; and advanced tuning aid available. Tuning
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AUBREY WILLIS SCHOOL -Our home 543-9833 “Our 9th Year.“ Consignment sale of used Accu-Tuners
study course in piano tuning, repair and and Sight-O-Tuners or new Accu-Tuner
regulating has been used by hundreds to RESTORATION OF CARVED WORK, customers. Call for details. Rick Baldassin;
learn the basics. Accredited member turnings, inlays, and marquetry, including 2684 W. 220 North; Provo, UT 84601. (801)
National Home Study Council. No cost repair of existing work and reproduction 3742887
information. Aubrey Willis School; 1212 of missing pieces. Edwin Teale; 19125
West Camelback Road; Phoenix, AZ S.W. Kinnaman Road; Aloha, OR 97007 PIANO KEYS RECOVERED - 52 whites
85013. (503)642-4287 with .075 tops with fronts=$65.00; 36
sharps - $35.00. Re-paid or on open
THE GUIDE $10. The Piano Technicians “LET’S TUNE UP” $20.00 per copy. Last account -your choice. Average three
Guide. A job-time study and work guide. few hardbacks will soon be gone. No working days turn-around time. Money-
Revised and printed to fit a pocket. immediate plans for another printing. back guarantee. Send Ups or Parcel Post.
Newton J. Hunt, Piano Tuner-Technician; Paperbacks still available at $17.50. Make We return UPS. Five years experience.
74 Tunison Road; New Brunswick, NJ checks payable to John W. Travis; 8012 Kreger Piano Service; Rt. 1, Box 693-T;
08901. (201) 9326686 Carroll Avenue; Takoma Park, MD 20912. Ottertail, MN 56571 (218) 367-2169.


$60.00; .060-$70.00; .075 with fronts- Piano tuning, regulating and repairing ping, buffing, and NICKEL plating, with
$85.00. New sharps-S35.00. Keys re- learned easily at home through time tested hinges up to 60” lengths $125-$225/set,
bushed, felt-$75.00; leather - $95. Return method proven over 90 years of continu- depending on quantity of parts included.
freight paid with prepaid order. Charles ous service. ELECTRONIC ORGAN Enclose packing list indicating number of
Wilson; 1841 Kit Carson; Dyersburg, SERVICING also covered. World’s only screws with description and quantity of
TENN 38024 (901) 285-2516 home study course covers all makes and items. REFERENCES AVAILABLE. COD
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“COMPONENT DOWNBEARING schematics. Write or call: NILES BRYANT out the U.S.A.! We will serve you with
GAUGES (bubble type) give readings in SCHOOL; Dept. G; P.O. Box 19700; quality & reliability. CRAFIECH
degrees (string angle) and thousandths of Sacramento, CA 95819. (916) 4544748 (24 ELECTROPLATING; X46R Endicott
an inch (dimension). Available at supply hrs.) Street; Norwood, MA 02062. (617) 769-
houses. Box 3247; Ashland, OR 97520.” 0071 days, (617) 469-9143 evenings.
DON’T LEAVE HOME without your
FOR SALE SOUTHEAST NH PIANO bottle of Pearson’s Super Glue ($3.25) or ANTIOUE PARTS SERVICE Manufactur-
SERVICE BUSINESS - 15-year estab- your tungsten carbide sanding file ($7.00). ing of jacks, wippens, flanges - one or set.
lished clientele, already pre-booked six Rapidly becoming an essential part of Send sample or blueprint. Starr Tavlor,
months in advance, also repair, rebuilding. every technician’s bag-of-tricks (Postage 313 S. Howard Avenue #7; TamDa. FL
Must be fine technician and have good extra). Steve Pearson Piano Service; 831 33606 (813) 251-1650
“people skills.” Also, two-bedroom home Bennett Avenue; Long Beach, CA 90804.
situated on lake, with separate 500 sq. ft. (213) 433-7873 FOR SALE - “A Guide To Restringing”
shop and garage. Nice location - 20 Paperbacks $16.50 plus $1.50 for postage
minutes to ocean, one hour from Boston, NEW SOUNDBOARDS MADE FOR and handling. Hardbacks $21.50 plus $2.00
White mountains to north. Reason for YOU. Ship old board. New board comes to for postage and handling. Order today.
sale: Cannot continue running two you ready for installation. Send for Sorry, no COWS. Make check or money
businesses at the same time. Key Bushing instruction on: Victor Video Tapes; $94.75. order payable to: JOHN TRAVIS; 8012
Supply Co. has now grown to the point Victor A. Benvenuto; 6825 Germantown Carroll Avenue; Takoma Park, MD 29912.
where we must expand, so we have Avenue; Philadelphia, PA 19119. (215)
decided to relocate and devote full time to 438-7038 Wanted
it. (Get ready for some exciting new WANTED: STEINWAY AND MASON
products shortly!) For more information, VICTOR A. BENVENUTO VIDEO HAMLIN GRANDS. All sizes and cabinet
call Peter Grey, RTT toll free at l-80&388- TAPES, PIANO TUNING AURAL/ styles. Ask for Karen Bean at (415) 676
BUSH. ELECTRONIC - $175. The most accurate 3355. Piano Finders; P.O. Box 23814;
approach to fine tuning. KEY MAKING, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.
STRUMENT REPAIR OR PIANO tapes), $225.75. Preparation, pinblock “ATTENTION: EASY WORK! Excellent
TUNING AND REPAIR Western Iowa replacement, damper installation, restring- pay! Assemble products at home. Details
Tech Community College can develop ing. GRAND REGULATING, $175.75. (1) 6028388885. Ext. W-15669,6am-llpm,
skills from tuning to rebuilding pianos, or SOUNDBOARD REPLACEMENT, $94.75. 7 days.”
overhauling and repairing brass and Ship old board - new board comes to you
woodwind instruments. Specially- ready for installation. Please specify VHS WANT TO BUY. Steinway duo-art player
designed facilities include individual work or Beta. All prices include shipping. THE grand. Will pay finders fee. Especially
stations and up-to-date equipment. In- PIANO SHOPPE; INC.; 6825 GERMAN- want carved (fancy) case. Call Collect, Jim
state tuition $325.00 per term; out-of-state TOWN AVENUE; PHILADELPHIA, PA Brady; (317) 2594307; 2725 E. 56th Street;
tuition $650.00 per term. Most students 19119 (215) 438-7038 Indianapolis, IN 46220.
qualify for in-state tuition by the second
term. Employers: contact our placement OWNER RETIRING FROM PIANO UP TO $1090.00 FINDERS FEE will be
office about availability of graduates. For RENTAL BUSINESS in growing Sunbelt paid for successful purchase of a Mason
more information or a free loan video, City of 550,000. Established 1964, ideal for and Hamlin Ex-Player. I have mechanism
contact: Admissions Office; P.O. Box 265; tuner-spouse combination. Asking $45,000 to install. Please call collect (317) 2594307
Sioux City, IA 511024265 or call (7l2) 274- down, bank reference or equal, and or evenings (317) 849-1469. Jim Brady;
6400 collect. description of collateral security for 4609 Cranbrook Drive; Indianapolis, IN
balance. Possession April 1,199O prox. 46250.
PIANO TECHNOLOGY - Home Study P.O. Box 75384; Albuquerque, NM 87l20- INSTRUCTOR WANTED; RlT needed to
programs for beginning students, associate 4725 Principals only. teach piano repair. Saturday only -
members studying to upgrade to Regis- flexible -good pay. SF School of Piano
tered Tuner-Technician, and R’lTs wanting KORG AT12 AUTOCROMATIC TUNER Tuning - 657 Mission Street; Suite W507;
to continue their education. Tuning, Shows note, octave, pitch: seven octaves San Francisco, CA 94105 - (415) 543-9833.
repairing regulating, voicing, apprentice (some pianos, five octaves). Calibrate
training, business practices. Top instruc- A=430450 Hz. Batteries, adaptor, ear- WANTED!! DEAD OR ALIVE: “Steinway
tors and materials. Call or write for phone, case, warranty, one lb. ($155 Uprights.” Call collect, Ben Knauer (818)
information: RANDY POTTER; R’IT; postpaid) ($225 list). Song of the Sea; 47 343-7744.
61592 ORION DRIVE; BEND, OR 97782. West Street; Bar Harbor, ME 04609. (207)
(503) 382-5411 See our ad on page 3. 288-5653


“WANTED: For Mason and Hamlin
Grand, patented August 1888 and May
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contact: Leonard B. Berdan, South Main
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Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. .......................................................................... IF
Cory Keyboard Products ............................................................................... 44
DarnppChaser Electronics .......................................................................... .33
Decals Unlimited/Schroeder’s Classic Carraige ......................................... 7
Dryburgh Piano Services .............................................................................. .33
Fleisher Piano Cabinetry ............................................................................... 14
GRK Manufacturing Co. ............................................................................... .21
Bill Garlick ...................................................................................................... .37
Grayson County College ............................................................................... 24
Houston Community College ......................................................................... 7
Inventronics, Inc. ........................................................................................... .21
A. Isaac Pianos .......................................................................................... .38-39
Lee Music Mfg. Co.. ........................................................................................ 33
Lunsford-Alden Co. ...................................................................................... .28
North Bennet Street School ........................................................................... 44
Pacific Piano Supply.. ....................................................................................... 4
Perkins School of Piano Technology ........................................................... 24
Piano Works Key Shop .................................................................................. 30
Pianotek........................................................................................................... .33
Webb Phillips & Assoc.. ................................................................................. 37
Randy Potter School ......................................................................................... 3
Ro Piano ......................................................................................................... .24
Schaff Piano Supply ......................................................................................... 1
Shenandoah College.. .................................................................................... .37
ShuIer Co. ......................................................................................................... 17
Bill Spurlock ..................................................................................................... .7
Superior Instruction Tapes ........................................................................... .44
Tuners Supply, Inc. ......................................................................................... .3
Vestal Press ...................................................................................................... 24
Yamaha ........................................................................................................... BC
Young Chang America ................................................................................... .5


Just as therecan be no music without learning, no education is complete
without music.Music makesthe difference.

I want to makemusiceducationa driving force in America’sschools.If our children are to succeedin the workforce and
world of the future, they mustbe provided with a well-rounded educationalcurriculum incorporatingmusicand the other arts.

IMPORTANT:We can acceptsignaturesfrom adults of legal voting age only. Pleasebe sure to sign your nameto verify the
authenticity of the signatures.

This petition sheetvoucher authenticity verified by NAME:


Pleasereturn to: The National Commissionon Music Education

Reston,Virginia 22091-1597
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement

Yamaha Piano Service September, 1990

Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps... key heights, since the front of the keys
are lower than they should be. De-
Preparation is Key pending on the type of action, this
problem can also occur because the
SECOND IN A SERIES: GRAND hammer rest rail is too high, and the
ACTlON REGULATION sole supporting member. This will correction can be made there.
Many of the steps in grand action reg- complicate getting a proper hammer The position of the knuckle (or
ulation have profound influence over line and keep the jack from returning roller) is also related to the hammer-
other steps. Getting the proper results to rest position. to-string distance. When the distance
can demand that you retrace certain Adjust the tension as required; see is right, the edge of the jack nearest
steps. It’s like tuning; you want the upcoming articles for full details on the hammer will be in the same plane
piano in fairly good tune before you this procedure. as a line extending downward from
start the really fine work. the core wood of the roller. Improper
2. HAMMER-TO-STRING DlSTANCE distance causes a dog-leg bend which
In grand action regulation, three
The average movement of the hammer makes it difficult to align the jack
points need to be checked before
is 5 times that of the key. It’s impor- position with the core wood strip.
starting on the first of the 37 steps.
tant that this ratio be set early in the So check and adjust hammer-to-
All three will need to be rechecked
process in order to properly adjust the string distance, make required adjust-
in sequence, but it’s critical that each
levers that are between the key and ments to the capstan, or correct the
be in proper position at the start.
hammer. Also, it is necessary for the hammer rest rail height to get a good
1. REPETlTlON LEVER SPRING weight of the hammer assembly to be hammer line.
TENSION resting fully on the whippen, and in
First check the tension of the repeti- turn on the capstan screw, in order to 3. DROP ADJUSTMENT
tion lever spring. If it’s too weak it depress the back of the key into the Finally, check the drop adjustment.
won’t support the weight of the ham- back rail cloth. Failure to insure this The grand action is designed to have
mer assembly, leaving the jack as the results in the appearance of improper the repetition lever stop its upward
travel by contacting the drop screw
just before the jack fully escapes from
under the roller. If the drop screw
adjustment is too high, the repetition
lever continues its upward travel, car-
rying the roller with it and pushing
the hammer against the string. This
makes it difficult to achieve correct
Having made preliminary adjust-
ments in these three areas, we will,
in the next and subsequent issues,
cover the 37 steps of grand action

Yamaha will
participate in
The 5 day seminar was sponsored October 9-12
Tech Tour by the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Culture, November 6-9
and included lectures, videos and December 4-7
YAMAHA PRESENTS TECHNICAL technical demonstrations by Yamaha
Recently, a score of Soviet piano tech- In addition to the Music Academy September 17-21
nicians attended a comprehensive of Moscow, Yamaha pianos are present PTG SEMINARS
piano technical seminar held at the and prominent at the Central Con- October 17-20 New York State
Music Academy of Moscow. servatory and Bolshoi Hall. November 2-4 Texas State

Copyright 1990YamahaCorporationofAmerica*Piano Department, KeyboardDivision*PO. E%ox6600*BuenaPark, CA90622
Published Monthly For Members Of The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.

New PTG Board members, shown in the atrium lobby of the Hyatt RegencyDallas, are,from lt$: Nolan P. Zeringue, RTT, Thibodaux, LA,
Presiaht;James Birch, RTT, Bethel, (3, Northeast RVP; Ronald Berry, RTT, lndianapolis, IN, Immediate Past President;Bruce Domfeld, RTT,
No&brook, IL, Vice President;StephenB&y, RTT, Seattle,WA, PacificNortbe-st RVP; Danny L. Boone,R77’, Waco,TX, South Central RVP;
Shah Kistler, RTT, Allentown, PA, Secretary-Treasurer; Michael Lhst, RTT, RizwrFalls, WI, Central WestRVP; Fem Henry, RlT, Vncrzoilk,
CA, Western RVP, Richard Bittw, R7T, Royal Oak, h4l, Central East RVP; and Donald Valley, RTl’, Spartanburg, SC, Southeastern RVP.

Resumes Of Board And Council Actions

Board council
Meeting in Dallas, the Guild’s Board of Direc- Editor’s note: PTG3 Bylaws provide for a
tors discussed the organization’s marketing needs, Minutes Approval Committee to examine and ap-
publications, conventions, and several membership prove the finat draft of att Council meeting minutes.
related issues. The 1989-90 Board members were: As this is written, that committee has not yet had an
Ronald L. Berry, R’IT, President; Nolan P. Zeringue, opportunity to complete its charges. Accordingty,
RTl’, Vice President; Robert Smit, R’IT, Secretary- what follows is only an unoffSat resume of Council
Treasurer; Norman Heischober, R’IT, Northeast actions. Q#Zat minutes of the meeting wilt be
RVP; Donald Valley, Rll’, Southeast RVP; Danny L. included in a Journal supplement next month, which
Boone, R’JT, South Central RVP; Bruce Dornfeld, also wilt include updated Bylaws, committee mem-
R’IT, Central East RVP; Michael Drost, RTT, Cen- bers and their charges.
tral West RVP; Fern Henry, R’IT, Western RVP; and
Stephen Brady, R’IT, Pacific Northwest RVP. Discussion of membership categories and
Following the Council meeting, the newly related concerns occupied delegates to PTG’s July
elected 1990-91 Board met. New Board members are: 1990 Council meeting in Dallas.
Nolan P. Zeringue, R’IT, President; Bruce Domfeld, A proposal to add a new non-franchised “ffili-
RTI’, Vice President; Sharla Kistler, R’IT, Secretary- ate” category for retailers, movers, and other non-
Treasurer; Ronald L. Berry, R’IT, Immediate Past technician personnel was referred to a committee
President; James Birch, R’IT, Northeast RVP; charged with studying the Guild’s membership
Donald Valley, RTT, Southeast RVP; Danny Boone, structure. Also referred to the committee was a
RlT, South Central RVP; Richard Bittner, R’IT, proposal to require Associate members to pass the
Central East RVP; Michael Drost, RTT, Central Guild’s RTT examinations within five years. The
West RVP; Fern Henry, RTT, Western RVP, and committee will report the results of its findings to
Stephen Brady, RlT, Pacific Northwest RVP. the 199 1 Council.
During their meetings, Board members: In other business, the Council:
l Formed a Marketing Development and Adver- l Acted on a Board proposal as an emergency
continued on next page continued on next page

September 1990 - 22JUl

Board And Council Resume ‘S...

Board council
tising Committee to develop a marketing plan measure to add four alternate members to the
for the organization and conduct a search for a Members Rights Committee. Although commit-
suitable marketing firm. tee membership is limited to three, the alter-
l Moved to ask LaRoy Edwards to serve as nates will be available to serve in case of any
“Journal on Tape” reader, replacing the late vacancies.
George Defebaugh. l Amended to Bylaws to raise the annual mini-
l Approved Knoxville, TN, as the site for the mum contribution to the Emergency Reserve
1994 Convention and Technical Institute. Fund from one percent of gross revenues to two
l Directed the Home CfFice to investigate west- percent.
em sites for the 1995 convention, including but l Designated the 1990 edition of “Robert’s Rules
not limited to Calgary, Seattle, Vancouver, Salt of Order Newly Revised” as the Guild’s official
Lake City and Albuquerque. parliamentary authority.
l Appointed Gary Neie to the Guild Institute l Defeated a motion to terminate the Guild’s
Committee, and named a committee composed $1,000 membership life insurance benefit
of Bruce Domfeld and Danny Boone to review program, and directed the Board to continue
Institute policies. investigating more cost-effective alternatives to
l Approved the Southeastern Pennsylvania it.
Chapter as host chapter for the 1991 conven- l Approved revisions to the Guild’s Disciplinary
tion in Philadelphia and Ruth Brown as Host Code, effective at the end of the 1990 Council
Committee Chair. session. The revised code will be published in
l Accepted Lewis Mel1 of Connecticut as a Chap- the October JournaZ supplement.
ter Sustaining member. l Elected new officers: Nolan P. Zeringue, Presi-
l Approved Russell Brown, Karl Roeder, Roland dent; Bruce Domfeld, Vice President; Sharla
Bessette, Mary Smith, and Aiko Porter as Cer- Ristler, Secretary-Treasurer; James Birch,
tified Tuning Examiners. Brown, Roeder and Northeast RVP; and Richard Bittner, Central
Bessette had previously been approved by mail’ East RVP. Ronald Berry will remain on the
ballot. Board as Immediate Past President.
l Approved a motion which would require Certi- l Elected the 1990-91 Members Rights Commit-
fied Tuning Examiners to make certain that a tee: Liz Ward, Chair; Jim Bryant, and Jim
prospective examinee has a current member- Ellis, with Mike Carraher, Francis
ship card prior to administering exams. Hollingsworth, Chuck White and Joe Garrett as
l Ratified 1990-91 committees and their charges alternates.
and directed the Home C&e to publish that l Elected the 1990-91 Nominating Committee:
information, as well as updated Bylaws, Regu- Marshall Hawkins, Chair; Vivian Brooks,
lations and Codes in a Journcd supplement as Gracie Wagoner, Roger Weisensteiner, and Don
soon as practical. Mannino, with Jack Sprinkle and Bob Russell
. Directed the Journal editor to expand the scope as alternates.
of articles in the magazine by including inter- l Approved the proposed 1991 budget.
views with key figures in the piano industry.
l Discussed the issue of member life insurance,
and voted, with Council’s approval, to continue
investigating the matter.
l Passed a resolution thanking Carl Bell of
Baylor University for his help in compiling the
PTG survey results.
l Voted to sponsor an official PTG tour to coin-
cide with the IAPBT meeting in Seoul, South
Korea in June 1991. The tour is to be organized
by the International Relations Committee.
l Directed the Code of Ethics Committee to
publish a series of ethics-related articles in the
Ruth Brown, representing the newly-chartered Southeastern
Pennsylvania Chapter, is congratulated by Northeast RVP
Norman Heischober, left. and President Ronald Berry.

22N2 - September 1990

CMAC Awards Honor Chapters Council Resume...
Twenty-One Guild chapters Texas, Bantam; Oklahoma, l Directed the Home Office to
were honored for outstanding Small; Richmond, VA, Medium; continue publication of an
achievements during the Dallas Cleveland, OH, Intermediate; annual report in future
convention. Second, third and and Connecticut, Large. Other years.
fourth-place winners in the winning chapters were: l Referred a proposal by the
annual Chapter Management Bantam Category South Central Continuing Education
and Achievement Awards Com- Pennsylvania, Second; Hutchin- Committee back, requesting
petition were honored during son, KS, Third, and Alaska and that the committee present
regional meetings, and winning Knoxville, tied for Fourth. a detailed implementation
chapters in the CMAC Bantam, Small Category: Monterey Bay, program to 1991 Council.
Small, Medium, Intermediate CA, Second; Montana, Third; and The Council moved into
and Large Chapter categories Research Triangle, NC, Fourth. executive session to hear an
were presented with plaques Medium Category: Rhode Island, appeal of the Cincinnati Chap-
during the convention awards Second; Buffalo, NY, Third; and ter’s trial of Jack and Sally
banquet. Central Illinois, Fourth. Krefting. Returning from execu-
Also honored during the Zntermediate Categoy: Capitol tive session, delegates voted to
awards banquet were winners in Area, NY, Second; Southwest overturn the chapter’s verdict of
the CMAC Committee’s video Florida, Third; and Kansas City, expulsion, returning full rights of
contest. Honored for best video of MO, Fourth. membership to the Kreftings.
a model chapter meeting were L4rge Category: Twin Cities, MN, However, two charges against
Connecticut, Golden Gate, and Second; Houston, TX, Third; and Sally Krefting and one charge
Dallas. First-place plaque win- Toronto, ON, Fourth. against Jack Krefiing were
ners of CMAC awards were: East upheld and a reprimand was
issued by President Berry on
instructions from the Council.

Achievements In Member Recruitment Recognized

Outstanding achievements cruited 12 new members, members were Michael MacKin-
in member recruitment were rec- Christine Lovgren and Dan ney, Chicago, and Eolf von
ognized during the convention Skelley, with six, and Larry Walthausen, Cincinnati.
awards banquet. Recipients of Crabb and Gary Miles, with four. Booster Club members, who
President’s Club pins for recruit- Receiving special recogni- each recruited one or more new
ing more than four new members tion for sponsoring restored members were:
were: Bandy Potter, who re-
Richard Bittna 3 Robert Perkins 2 Ken Bryant 1 Ed Guerra 1 Janet Leary 1 Ed Sambell 1
Peg Browne 3 David Sand-on 2 Richard Capp 1 Jeme-s Gulino 1 Michael MacKinney 1 John Schmoll 1
William Clayton, II 3 Lewie spivey 2 Hairy Cazdwdl 1 Hugh Gulledge 1 Dan Malloy 1 Tom Seay 1
Richard V. Dante 3 Virgil Smith 2 Bruce Carter 1 H.L. Gust&on 1 Frank McKowen 1 Paul Simkin 1
Richard Flegle 3 Leon Speir 2 John Cavanaugh 1 Ward Guthrie 1 Francis Mehaffey 1 Jamem Sims 1
Jim Geiger 3 Jack St&bins 2 Ed Cetrone 1 David Ha&erg 1 Robert Mishkin 1 Arthur Nick Smith 1
John Grutzmacher 3 Robat Stephenson 2 Vina Chambers 1 Ed Hilbert 1 David Morgan 1 Daniel Sponenberg 1
Norm Heiechober 3 Lou Taaciotti 2 Ken Churchill 1 Jim Hill 1 Robert Morrie 1 Sid Stone 1
Tom McNeil 3 Don Valley 2 Tom Cobble 1 Robert Hofstetter 1 Jim Mceier 1 Fred sturm 1
David Patterson 3 Rolf van Walthawen 2 Alastair Collie 1 Steve Hombeck 1 Vincent Mrykalo 1 Michael Sweeney 1
BNC~ Winn 3 Arthur Williams 2 Diane Cottrell I Jim Hudson 1 Douglas Neal 1 Dave Tabachnick 1
Tim Anderson 2 Dcmn Young 2 George crawfd 1 Merrill Jacknon 1 Gay Omellas 1 Thorn Ton&o 1
Yvonne Aehmore 2 David Abdalian 1 Neil Davis 1 Steve Jackson 1 bren Pelkey 1 Lawrence Vagt 1
Dennis Berryhill 2 Eugene Allen 1 Allen Day 1 Dennis Johneon 1 Alan Phillips 1 Sandra west 1
Danny Boone 2 Mark E. Anderson 1 Gary Dunn 1 Christian Johnston 1 Teri Powell 1 Ed Whitting 1
Steve Brady 2 Richard Anderson 1 Daniel Eumurian 1 Joel Jones 1 Ernie Preuitt 1 Lany Wickaell 1
Joe Buacio 2 Mitauo Azuma 1 Timothy Farley 1 Otto Key933 1 Carlos Ralon 1 Dana Wiegand 1
Vie Dollahite 2 Charles Ball 1 Bud Fisher 1 Michael Kimbell 1 Bamon Ramirez 1 Art Wilkinson 1
BNC~ Domfeld 2 William Barclay 1 J. Richard Gann 1 Georgefing 1 Dean Reybum 1 Margie William 1
Dale Erwin 2 Don Bennett 1 Don Gilberg 1 Sharla Kistler 1 Fred Rice, Jr. 1 Richard Des Wilson 1
Fern Henry 2 Roland Beswtte 1 David Graham 1 Paul Klitzke 1 Fred Rice, sr. 1 Paul Wdf 1
Lee Hintz 2 Dick Bittinger 1 Charles Granger 1 Ralph Kratzer 1 Chris Robinson 1 Denis Yancho 1
Terald Howard 2 Ed Bordeleau 1 Tom Graves 1 Joeeph Lafuze 1 Lisa Roselinslry 1 Sylvester ZsbmcLi 1
Danny Lyone 2 Greg Boya 1 Gerald Gruot 1 David Lamoreaux 1 David Rues 1
Paul Olsen 2 Rueeell Brown 1

September 1990-22N3
ing feeling to us that he received discovered an interesting rela-
it. Thanks again. tionship between his tricycle and
Ginny Russell and family my toolcase. The mother had as
much control as a referee at a tag
To The Soundboard: team wrestling match. I was
This letter goes out to all of reluctant to complain because of
To The Soundboard: you who attended our recent the futility in doing so. About
For me to go to Dallas this International Convention. After this time, a toy was activated
year and receive the Golden my wife, Crystal, and I spent a which simulated nuclear destruc-
Hammer was an astonishing day packing for ourselves and our tion. Then, loud noises ensued
surprise and pleasure. There are one-year-old, Emily, it was a from the kitchen, ranging from
so many people to whom I am relief to get on the plane heading the silverware drawer hitting the
grateful - the people who for Dallas. floor (documented) to moving the
nominated me, the committee There is always a special refrigerator (subjective opinion).
who chose me as this year’s excitement upon arriving at the I found myself reciting the PTG
recipient, and the people at the convention center, with great Code of Ethics like a litany. Fi-
banquet who so graciously anticipation towards Council, nally, the fourth member of the
applauded that choice. To all of classes, meetings and all the crew, a little, wet poodle, jumped
you, thank you! My special social events. To see so many old into my lap. Unless attended to,
thanks, also, to Bill Smith, who friends and to make new ac- it barked incessantly.
designed and crafted the beauti- quaintances is one of the intan- I really don’t remember
ful piano case that carries the gible benefits of our unique finishing that tuning, but I
Golden Hammer. It is a work of association. We take the hotel by believe that I put a little extra
art that I will treasure always. storm, with a flurry of technical “stretch” into it. It was with relief
My tenure with tuning and organizational discussions that I tumbled into my car and
organizations goes all the way that can last way into the night. drove off. Yes, it’s good to be
back to 1953 and one of the We brave the hot sun, to sample back!
parent organizations of PTG, the what Dallas has to offer. Getting Keith Bowman
American Society of Piano sleep seems of secondary impor- South Central
Technicians. My service with tance. Pennsylvania Chapter
them, and later with the Piano Managing with our little
Technicians Guild is something Emily, however, did eventually To The Soundboard:
that I have never documented. As wear us down. It was again with Thank you for your Award
one of my dear friends often says, relief that we tumbled back onto Committee submissions the past
“The treasure is in the map.” I the plane that brought us home. I two years. You should know that
have enjoyed my activities with was actually looking forward to each year is a fresh start, no
PTG as they have unfolded, year the next day with it’s light sched- nominations are carried forward
by year, and the friendships that ule of tunings. to the following year.
I have formed are incomparable. Morning greeted us with a So get your nomination in
To these friends, I say that I am rocky start. Jet lag, and then, my early, and please have a short
grateful for their support, their wife’s car wouldn’t start. No biographical sketch along with
kindness, and the receipt of this problem, I was determined to your nomination.
great honor. enjoy this day. Upon arriving at I’m certain that there are
Ben McKlveen my first appointment, I was worthy recipients out there who
Cleveland Chapter greeted by a rather worn mother are low profile and known only to
and her three boys, all under five their own chapters. The commit-
To The Soundboard: years. At first, as can happen tee would like to know about
In Appreciation.,. The chil- with a visitor in the house, there these folks, and remember, if you
dren and I would like to take this was a general confusion and don’t tell us, we won’t know.
opportunity to thank everyone distraction as I prepared the Bob Morris
involved for the “Hall of Fame” piano for tuning. However, Awards Committee Chair
award presented to Bob Russell. instead of backing off to a man-
It is a good feeling to know ageable level, it became worse.
that Bob will be remembered in One child, outfitted in the
the organization that meant so latest assault gear, began stab-
much to him during his lifetime. bing the case with a Rambo-like
Even though Bob never worked fervor. Morse Code emanated
for personal glory, it is a comfort- from the pedals. Another boy

22RJ4 - September 1990

Preliminary Results Of PTG Survey In; Analysis Begins
Carl mot 1. I have been doing piano - important now as a source
Economic Affairs service work for - years. a. t?customers. a. very: 731207;
Committee Chairman 1-B: 173133; b. 6-11: 1331185; c. b&i+ 134 1356; c. slightly: 133 /
12-19: 104/408; d.!M-as: 351204; 320;d.not: 112/177;eh 614
This is a preliminary report on 13. Referrals from dealers are
e.!Mb 171242; n/r: 11119
- important now as a source of
the results of the PTG survey. 2. I have been an RTI’ for -
years. a. 0 (I am an Associate):
customers. a. very: 73 I1 79; bfairly:
Board members will receive it 76/204; c. slightly: 1041298; d. not
before their July meeting; most 47310; b. l-9:0/374; c. lo-lQzO/
: 1921360; e/r: 8122
other members will be reading 445; d. 20-29: O/161; e. SO+: O/83;
14. I work primarily in a -. a.
n/r: 0 128
this in the Journal. large city:140/352; b. suburb:1 111
3. My participation in PTG could
You will notice two numbers be described as -. a. inactive:
207; c. small city: 97/306; d. small
following the possible responses town: 53 / 106; e. rural environ-
28170; b. slightly active: 144 1250;
to each question. The first is re- ment : 62187; n/r: 10133
c. fairly active: 1791342; d. quite
sponses from Associates, the 15. Total business mileage on my
active: 1151405; n/r: 5120
second is RTTs. e/r is “error 4. Iam -years vehicle last year was-. a. l-
old. a. 20-29:
8k:195/216; b. S-lBkQ11/410; c. 17-
response,” n/r is “no response.” 34118; b.3039: 1701308; c. 40-49:
24k. 831281; d. 2534k: 331100; e.
I divided R’ITs and Associates 1131276: d. 50-59: 791177; e. 6O+z
35%+: 20/28; n/r: 31 I56
because the comparison may be 711295; n/r: S/l7
16. I schedule meet appointments
useful for discussion of the RT 5. Advertising was - important
for home service -, the time
proposal (beyond the responses to as a source of customers during the
of the previous appointment: 34 /
first five years of my piano service
question 98). Deciding which 81; b. using reminder cards: 86/
career. a. very: 1lOf 190; b. fairly:
other questions apply is part of 85/247; c. slightly: 96/299; d. not :
171; c. making reminder calls:
the debate. 1481300; d. waiting for the phone
16ll317; n/r: 15123; e/r: 6115
The data in this report is to ring: 1231412; e. (using a
6. Inherited or purchased clientele
intended to be used as the source different method): 50188; n/r: 321
from another technician was -
of more questions. The following 39
important as a source of customers
17. I estimate that about - 8 of
should help clarify how this can during the first five years of my
my home tunings are on pianos
be done: How many members piano service career. a. very: 39 175;
tuned once a year. a. l-24~161225;
marked letters e) in question 4) b. fairly: 37184; c. slightly: 461123;
b. 2544: 921261; c. 45-54: 80/219;
as well either letter a), b), or c) d.not:321l752;n/r:6/17;e/r:11~
d. 55-74: 591213; e. 75+: 801131; nf
for question l)? This will tell you 23
rz 46142
7. Individual
referrals from other
how many technicians over 60 piano technicians were - impor-
18. I estimate that about - 46of
have been doing piano service my home tunings are on pianos
tant as a source of customers during
work for 19 years or less. the first five years. a. very: 45185; serviced three or more times per
A number of members who year. a. l-4:308/670; b. 5-19:75/
b. fairly: 64 I1 70; c. slightly: 112 I
responded to this survey were 253; c. 20-39: 24164; d. 40-59: 101
377; d. not: 2271418; e/r: 5113
23; e. 50+: 7118; n/r: 49163
confused by the option of five 8. Referrals from piano teachers
were - important as a source of 19. Roughly - 56of my home
non-zero choices for many of the tunings are first-time customers. a.
questions. They were reluctant to customers during the first five years.
l-4:29/93; b. 5-9: 381167; c. 10-19:
leave a question blank if they a. very: 691210; b. fairly: 1041304;
1021313; d. 20-39: 1151354; e. 40+:
were not explicitly told to do so. c. slightly: 1421355; d. not : 1331
184; e/r: 716 1441121; n/r: 45143
This means that many people 20. I average about-hours/
9. Weferrals” from dealers were
indicated, for example, that they - important as a source of
week driving to and from business
had installed one to five sound- app0intments.a. 1-3: 150/191; b. 4-6:
customers during the first five years.
boards when, in fact, they had 1111312; c. 7-9: 71/249; d. 10-12:
a. very: 1081393; b.hirly: 661247;
not installed any. My failure to c. slightly: 821202; d. not: 1911212;
651198; e. 13+:36/85; n/r: 40156
anticipate this means that we e/r: 718 21. I average about-hours/
week doing office work. a. l-2:231 I
will not be able to distinguish 10. Advertising is - important
473; b. 3-4: 1221295; c. 5-6: 461146;
between “none” and “a few” for now as a source of customers. a.
d. 7-6~16176; e. I%+:22150; n/r: 361
several questions. very: 771116; bfairly: 951187; c.
slightly: 1281325; d. not: 151/414;
The number of members who 22. I average - hours/week
responded, and their forthright- e/r: 5120
11. Individual referrals from other
servicing pianos in the field (include
ness (as indicated in question technicians is - important now as homes, store, university, etc.) (do not
100) and other data in general, is a source of customers. a. very: 44 / include driving time from question
encouraging. We wanted to 72; b-fairly: 72 I1 65; c. slightly:
#20) a. l-6:138/106; b. 7.12:91/148;
collect data that would give us a c. 13.18:71/180; d. M-24:55/211; e.
1491424; d. not : 1841383; e/r: 7/ 19
more clear picture of the make- 25~ 801396; n/r: 38150
12. Referrals from piano teachers
up of PTG. I think we have it. 23. I average -hours/week

September 1990 - 225J5

Survey... 34 of the pianos I service are Pleasemark either #I44or #MS..
old uin=ts. a. none or almost not both!
working in a shop (store, university, none: 55,299; b. a few: 205,572; c. 44. My fee for this “typical”
garage, etc.) doing repairs, rebuild- about a quarter: 232/241; d. service is $-. a. 20-29: 918; b. 30-
ing, etc. a. I-&262/611; b. S-16:66/ about hall: 46/42; e. most (or all): 39: 53157; c. 40-49: 179,317; d; SO-
196; c. 17-24~34,104; d. 25-39: 38, 15111 n/r:20/2? 69: 1211401; e. 60-69: 51,199; n/r:
69; e.40+: 34140; n/r: 39171 35. - of the pianos I service are 601109
24. I average - hours/week players. a. none or almost none: *OR*
doing other income producing work. 3241711; b. a few: 1121324;c. 45. a. 70-79: 18160; b. 80-89: 6,
(include both non-music and music about a quarter: 8/24; d. about 21; c. 90-99~19110; d. lOO-1195l21;
related work)=. l-&202 /655; b. S- ball: 2/4; e. most (or all): 6/?; n/r: e. 120~ 17121; n/r: 4081109
l&52,96; c. 17-24:31,43; d. 25-39: 21 I31 46. I - give discounts to piano
42140; e. Ml+: 87143; n/r: 601214 36. - of the pianos I service are teachers. a. always: 52 184; b.
25. I distribute -. (receipt) a. antiques and/or harpsichords. a. usually: 75,245; c. sometimes: 8?/
the official PTG itemized receipt: none or almost none: 362l824; b. 216; d. rarely: 881296; e. never:
lll212; b. my own itemized a few: 77,233; c. about a quarter: 132,306; n/r: 40144
receipt: 148,346; c. a generic 518; d. about ha& 212; e. most (or 47. I - give discounts to long-
service form: 17Oll92; d. my own alI): 2 12; n/r: 25132 time customers. a. always: 13125; b.
stationary: 73,214; e. other: 391 37. - of the pianos I service are usually: 3?/44; c. sometimes: 98,
73; n/r: 32154 played primarily by children taking 202; d. rarely: 126,370; e. never:
26. I distribute -. (pamphlet) a. lessons. a. none or almost none: 160,408; n/r: 39142
official PIG pamphlet(s): 24,256; 28/29; b. a few: 94 / 144; c. about a 48. I give discounts to stores.
b. NPF pamphlet “Your Piano quarter: 226/340; d. about halE a. always: 99,240; b. usually: 93 /
And Its Proper Care”: ?1/94; c. 244/#0; e. most (or all): 62 /IO?; 276; c. sometimes: 47,133; d.
my own pamphlet(s): 140/159; d. n/r: 19131 rarely: 521139; e. never: 1291250;
a and c: 6/34; e. all of the above: 38. - of the pianos I service are n/r: 53l53
21/??;n/r:211/4?1 played primarily by serious amateur 49. I - give discounts to several
27. I tune most pianos adults. a. none or almost none: pianos in one location. a. always:
entirely by ear: 22?/?1 I; 43 130; b. a few: 209 1490; c. about 84,201; b. usually: 1311303;c.
an electronic aid: 283/300; c. with a quarter: 23?/433; d. about halE sometimes: 90,255; d. rarely: 581
an electronic aid (temperament 44179; 8. most (or all): 17119; n/r: 165; e. never: 68,129; n/r: 42138
only):28/3?;n/r:33/3?;e/~2/6 23140 50. I - give discounts for
28. I tuned - pianos last year. 39 . - of the pianos I service are pianos serviced three or more times
a. I-249:266/283; b. 2SO-499: 90/ played primarily by not so serious per year. a. always: 54184; b.
266; c. 500-749: 49/268; d. 760-999: amateur adults. a. none or almost usually: 711174; c. sometimes: 81,
161146; e. lOOO+z 12181; n/r: 40147 none: 37146; b. a few: 1821483; c. 213; d. rarely: 791213; e. never:
29 of the pianos I service are about a quarter: 1591413; d. 1331363; n/r: 55144
small’g&ds. a. none or almost about half: 53/8?; e. most (or all): 51. I - bill for failed
none: 1621140;b. several: 192/526; 20118; n/r: 22144 appointments. a. always: 26136; b.
c. about a quarter: 61 l257; d. 40. - of the pianos I service are usually: 2?/80; c. sometimes: 51/
about half: 19/95; 8. most (or all): played primarily by teachers. a. 130; d. rarely: 88,308; e. never:
19142; n/r: 20131 none or almost none: 206l94; b. a 2491491; n/r: 42146
30. - of the pianos I service are few: 294,753; c. about a quarter: 52. My charge to condemn a piano
large grands. a. none or almost 41,168; d. about hall: 6/29; e. is $-. a. 0: 131,231; b. l-29: 150,
none: 59126; b. a few:216/398; c. most (or all): 2111; n/r: 24136 367; c. 30-49: 81,298; d. 50-59~ 281
about a quarter: 148,529; d. 41. - of the pianos I service are ?5;e.70+: 11,16;n/r:?2/104
about hall: 23/95; 8. most (or all): played primarily by performing 53. The number of piano buyers
8/ 10; n/r: 19133 artists. a. none or almost none: who buy new pianos each year on the
31. - of the pianos I service are 251,334; b. a few: 169l581; c. basis of my recommendations is
studio uprights. a. none or almost about a quarter: 26l86; d. about approximately -. a. 0: 113193; b.
none: 30134; b. a few: 1591429; c. half: ?/26; e. most (or all): ?/26; n/ l-3: 186,395; c. 48: 73,271; d. 7-U:
about a quarter: 2?8/4?9; d. I: 23138 341128; e. 12+:32/13?; n/r: 35167
about half: 60/202; 8. most (or 42 of the pianos I service are For questions #54-57, include
all): 24113; n/r: 22134 playedmardly anyone! a. none or spouse,subcontractors, salaried and
32. - of the pianos I service are almost none: 143l343; b. a few: non-salaried apprentices where
consoles. a. none or almost none: 241,606; c. about a quarter: 461 applicable. EXCLUDE YOURSELF.
25149; b. a few: 1041223; c. about 77; d. about halfz 9 / 25; e. most (or If you have no employees,leave these
a quarter: 214/564; d. about half: all): 13110; n/r: 21 I40 questions blank.
841190; e. most (or alI): 23130; n/r: 43. It takes me about - 54. My employees work -
23135 minutes to service the typical home hours/week doing field service. a. l-8:
33. - of the pianos I service are piano. (Typical, not average.Do not 44,116;b. 9-16:11/49,-c. 17-40:9/
spinets. a. none or almost none: include the time it takes to do “extra” 38; d. 41-79: ?/8; e. 80+: l/10; n/r:
491123; b. a few: 1571453; c. about work unless you do it most of the 401/8?0
a quarter: 294l408; d. about half~ time.) a. 46-59~ 37l206; b. 60-74: 55. My employees work -
46164; e. most (or all): 419; nk 112,335; c. 75-89: 911253; d. 90-119: hours/week doing shop work. a. I-8:
23134 122,224; e. 120+:80/45; n/r: 31/28 37ll21; b. S-16:9/35; c. 17-40: 191

22RJ6 - September 1990

Survey... only if you did both shop work and
field service.) a. much more: 54171;
50-74: 581202; d. 75-89: 35/1&i; 8.
9&1OW33/290; nfrz 37172
44;d.41-79z4/11;e.&0+:5/15;n/r: b. somewhat more: 26158; c. 76. Number of dependents
3991865 about the same: 561230; d. some- declared on 1040 form -. a. 1:
56. My employees work - what lees: 691213; e. much less: 150/306; b. 2: 1191341; c. 3: 59/134;
hours/week doing office work. a. l-8. 157/455;nk Ill/l64 d.4: 18/116;e.~26/69;nfr:71/
581169; b. 9-l&4/47; c. 17-40:10/ 68. The amount of rebuilding 125
35; d, 41-79~214; e. 99~ l/5; n/rz work I have done during each of the 77. My gross income for 1989 from
3981831 last three years has been - than field service (tuning only) for private
57. My employees work __ during previous years. (Answer only clientele was -. a. l-Skz2551298;
hours/week doing sales-related work. if you did some rebuilding work prior b. lo-191r:82/298; c. 20-99k: 351
a. I-8:50/137; b. S-16:5/21; c. 17- to 1987.) a. quite a bit more: 50/ 196; d. SO-99k: 8198; e. 4Ok+: 121
40: 8117; d. 41-79: l/3; e. 00s l/2; 96; b. somewhat more: 73 / 183; c. 73; dr: 81 I128
n/r: 4081911 about the same: 88/250; d. some- 78. My gross income for 1989 from
58. The format which most what less: 22/121; e. quite a bit field service (non-tuning) and minor
resembles my business name is lessz 391192; n/r: 201 I249 shop work for private clientele was
(If you uss any name> and a -* 69. I have held a job (paid or -. a. 14k:267/505; b. 5-Sk: 561
business name, mark business unpaid, part-time or full-time) where 229; c. lo-lSkd8/115; d. 20-29k: 2/
name.) a. <my name>: b. <my my work was directly supervised by 20; e. 9Ok+: 5113; n/r: 1151209
name> piano service: c. <my another technician for the following 79. My gross income for 1989 from
name> piano shop, piano co., etc.: length of time: -hours. (one year, contract rebuilding for general public
d. <other name> piano service: e. full-time=40 hour/week for 50 was -. a. l-Sk: 175/425; b. lo-
<other name> piano shop, piano weeks=2000 hours) a. 100-499: 208/ 19k: 34 196; c. 20.99%: 14 139; d. 40-
co., etc.: ; n/r: 277; b. 500-999: 32/52; c. 1000-1999: 99k:4/19;e. lOOk+:2/7;n/r:244/
59. I have installed - new 29J51; d. 2000-4999: 33176; e. 505
pinblocks in the last three years. a. MOO+: 24162; n/r: 2471673 80. My gross income for 1989 from
I-5:200/455; b. 6-19:27/ 125; c. 20- 70. The kind of work I did under subcontract rebuilding for other
39: 15125; d. 40-59: 4 / 7; e. 60+: 1 / supervision was -. (Answer only technicians was -. a. l-Sk: 1351
10; n/r: 2261469 one, as with all questions.) a. mostly 301; b. lo-lSk:9/21; c. 90-39k: 715;
60. I have installed - new tuning: 45173; b. mostly reguh+ d. 4099%: 3/S; e. lOOk+: O/O; n/r:
soundboards in the last three years. tion and minor repair= 27141; c. 3191758
a. 16: 151/326; b. 6-19:3/11; c. 20- equal amounts of tuning, regula- 81. My gross income for 1989 from
39: 4/4; d. 40-69: O/3; e. 90+: 0 / 6; tion, repairs: 79/ 140; d. mostly sales of rebuilt pianos was -. a. l-
nk315/741 rebuilding: 54 / 74; e. everything Sk: 1561326; b. lo-29k: 19/48; c. 30-
61. I have installed - treble equally: 371103; n/r: 2311660 99%: 5/ 15; d. 100.199k:0/4; e.
bridges (or caps) in the last three 71. I have completed/am complet- 2OOk+: l/2; n/r: 2921696
years. a. l-6: 1781403; b. 6-19: 111 ing a - in piano technology. a. 82. My gross income for 1989 from
41; c. 20-39: 3/ 12; d. 40-59: 214; e. college curriculum; 2-4 year full- sales of new pianos was -. a. l-
60+: 1/7;n/r:278/624 time: 49 /94; b. individual college 99%: 115/233; b. lOO-249%:5/7; c.
62. I have installed -setsof courses: 61/ 116; c. correspon- 150-499k:2/8; d. 500999%: 214; e.
new hammers in the last three years. dence course: 82/ 250; d. factory 1M:l/l;ntr:348/838
a. l-6:232/441; b. 6-19.621338; c. sponsored class: 43/153; e. (no 83. My income for 1989 from sales
20-39: 25185; d. 40-M): 8/ 19; e. 60+: courses, but I’ve read at least commissions was -. a. l-249%:
7114; n/r: 1391194 three piano technology text 1051224; b. 260-499%: 14137; c. BOO-
63. I have rebushed - sets of books): 137i213; n/r: 101 J365 999%: 4 /24; d. lOOO-1999%:8/ 19; e.
keys in the last three years. a. l-6: 72. I play the piano (or other 2000+: lOl45; n/r: 3321224
2321435; b. 6-l&59/297; c. 20-39: keyboard instrument) -. a. very 84. My income for 1989 from
21188; d. 40-59: 7120; e. 90+: 12115; well: 95/ 183; b. fairly well: I93/ subcontracting work out to other
n/r: 1421236 450; c. poorly: 1201293: d. not at technicians was -. a. l-249k:
64. I have replaced - sets of all: 541118; n/r: 8138; e/r: 319 1051224; b. 2SO-499k: 14137; c. SOO-
plastic elbows in the last three years. 73. I play an instrument other 999k: 4124; d. lOOO-1999k:8/ 19; e.
a. l-&256/ 620; b. 6-19 74/262; c. than piano -. a. very well: 1201 ZOOO+:20/45; n/r: 332/ 742
20-39: 11/40; d. 40-69: I/ 7; e. 60+: 277; b. fairly well: 173 1405; c. 85. My income for 1989 from
O/2; n/r: 131 I160 poorly: 631149; d. not at all: 941 salary, contract, etc. with schools,
65. I have recovered -setsof 188;nJr: 11/59;ek 12113 university, or other institutions was
keys in the last three years. a. l-6: 74. My net piano income for 1989 -. a. 14%: 1811414; b. &Sk: 341
1951385; b. 6-19:92/289; c. 20-39: was $-. a. 1-llk2231243; b.12. 138; c. lo-19k:l3/67; d. 20-29k: 8/
36190; d. 40-59: 11 J19; e. 60+: 9121; 23k: 107i319; c. 2496k: 54/264; d. 35; e. 3Ok+: 4133; n/r: 2331404
n/r: 1301287 36-47k: 151114; e. 48k+: 16174; n/r: 86. My income for 1989 from
66. I have refinished - pianos 58177 salary, subcontract, etc. with
in the last three years. a. 16:203/ 75. My net piano income is about dealer(s) was -. (include in-store
401; b. 6-ltk44/113; c. 20.39: 15139; - % of Yotal familf income. / and field service work) a. 1-4k: 1561
d. 40-69: 3 IS; e. 90+: 3 / 12; n/r: 2051 (‘total family” may include spouse’s 386; b. 5-Sk: 34/96; c. lo-lSk:l8/
518 income, your other job, interest 43; d. 20.99kz 6114; e. 3Ok+: l/16;
67. My net profit from shop work income, social security, pension, etc.) n/r: 2581536
is -than field service. (Answer a. l-24: 1871175; b. 2549: 721188; c. 87. I consider work environment

September 1990 - 22KJ7

n/r: 16138
Survey... 97. I would - attend a conven-
99. I think the current RlT
technical exam -. a. should
to he one of the positive aspects of tion in Hawaii. a. definitely: 28176; cover a broader range of skiUs;
piano work. - a. strongly agree: b. probably: 411108; c. probably, testing procedure ok: 26/203; b.
192/493; b. agree: 2071439; c. but only if the cost of attending should cover fewer skille; testing
neutral: 49 I1 08; d. disagree: 8/ 10; was not much more than other 1 procedure ok: 4/5; c. should
e. strongly disagree: 1 / 1; n/r: 161 national conventions: 99/256; d. cover a broader range of skills;
40 probably not: 282/375; e. defi- testing procedure should be
88.1 consider personal contact to nitely not: 1061238; n/r: 17138 changed: 16120; d. should cover
be one of the positive aspects of piano 98. I believe the that the following fewer skills; testing procedure
work. - a. strongly agree: 205/ P’IC membership structure would should be changed: 22114; e. is
522; b. agree: 294 /432; c. neutral: best serve the interests of the piano fine the way it is: 1441524; n/r:
48188; d. disagree: 518; e. strongly service industry and the people who 271 I385
disagree: 415; ntrz 17136 use their services: (Don’t get too Please take this question seriously:
89. I consider client appreciation hung up on membership titles... yet..) 100. The statement that reflects
to he one of the positive aspects of a. Only RTTs are members of my attitude toward this question-
piano work. - a. strongly agree: PTG: 2 /86; b. Entry-level, and naire is: -. a. I was able to give
2381598; b. agree: 1911398; c. non-tuning professionals are reasonably accurate and honest
neutral: 31150; d. disagree: O/6; e. Associates; those who pass all answers to all applicable
strongly disagree: O/4; n/r: 13135 tests become R’lTs. R’lTs vote: questions 286/ 645; b. I had to
90. I consider prestige to be one of 116/296; c. Members join as make some rough guesses, but I
the positive aspects of piano work. Applicants, become Allied got through all the questions:
- a. strongly agree: 78/228; b. Tradesmen if they pass the 1321307; c. Some questions were
agree: 1691374; c. neutral: 1581 technical exam, and RlTs if they just too hard to deal with, so I
343; d. disagree: 43190; e. strongly also pass tuning exam. R’lTs decided not to answer them: 331
disagree: 9120; n/r: 16136 vote 671239; d. Members join as 69; d. I bent the truth a little bit
91. I consider income to be one Of Applicants, become RTTs if they on some of the answers: 5/ 21; e.
the positive aspects of piano work. pass a new, more advanced tech- This is an invasion of my pri-
-a. strongly agree: 68/182; b. nical exam, or RTl’s if they pass vacy. I bent the truth consie-
agree: 1921483; c. neutral: 1331 the R’lT exam. RTs and R’lTs tently throughout this
274; d. disagree: 511100; e. vote: 741232; e. All members have questionnaire: 2 / 12; n/r: 15147
strongly disagree: 11122; n/r: 181 a vote regardless of statue: 1691
‘30 133; n/r: 451105 Editor’s Note: Future articles will
92. I consider job security to be Zf you are unfamiliar with the preeent a mre detailed analysis of
one of the positive aspects of piano current PTG technical exnm, please survey ?Wults.
work . - a. strongly agree: 53 / leave the next question blank.
222; b. agree: 1541445; c. neutral:
1631244; d. disagree: 671113; e.
strongly disagree: 19 128; n/r: 171
93. I consider tangible results of ~ Input Needed I Directory
work to be one of the positive aspects
of piano work. - a. strongly
For Next Survey Corrections
agree: 2041491; b. agree: 2161476; With one membership
c. neutral: 35/ 63; d. disagree: 2 /9; In last April’s membership
e. strongly disagree: O/ 1; n/r: 171 survey recently completed and directory, the names of three
51 the results now being analyzed, schools of piano technology were
94. I consider challenging work to work has already begun on the inadvertently omitted from the
he one of the positive aspects of piano next one, according to Roy list of industry contacts. They
work. - a. strongly agree: 192/ Hebert, chairman of a committee are:
412; b. agree: 2181520; c. neutral: charged with that responsibility.
42197; d. disagree: 3120; e. Niles Bryant School of Piano
Hebert requests that comments
strongly disagree: l/3; n/r: 17139 Tuning; Dept. G, PO Box 19700
95. I consider flexibility of work and suggestions regarding the Sacramento, CA 95819
schedule to be one of the positive first survey be addressed to him (9 16) 454-4748
aspects ofpiano work. - at 14772 Brightview Court,
strongly agree: 2811616; i:agree: Baton Rouge, LA 70819, or call The Emil Pries Piano Hospital t
2511369; c. neutral: 21156; d. (504) 273-1449. Training Center
disagree: 4 I 14; 8. strongly 2501 E. Evergreen Blvd.
disagree: 21 I; nh 14135 Vancouver, WA 9866 1
96. I have attended national P’IG (206) 693-1511
conventions -. a. every year: 481
170; b. every other year: 581209; Aubrey Willis School of Piano
c. every five years: 53&?64; d. Tuning; 1212 W. Camelback
rarely 831258; e. (I have never Road; Phoenix, AZ 85013
attended a convention): 215/ 252; (602) 266-1640

22AJ8 - September 1990