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Press Release: Announcing Publication of Pianos Inside Out

For Immediate Release

In Tune Press LLC


7038 Edgewater Dr
Mandeville, LA 70471
Tel: 985-231-1248
E-mail: info@intunepress.com
Website: http://www.pianosinsideout.com

Pianos Inside Out


8.5 x 11", 560 pages, black & white
Sew-wrap-bound paperback
761 illustrations, 84 equations, 15 tables
ISBN-13: 978-0-9827563-0-0
U.S. retail price: $80
Available: March 31, 2013 from www.pianosinsideout.com,
through piano part suppliers, and at Amazon.com

In Tune Press, LLC, a publisher focused on music education and technology, is pleased to
announce Pianos Inside Out, a new book by Mario Igrec, an award-winning pianist, piano
technician, and rebuilder. Igrec takes an in-depth look at the history, design, and
maintenance of the piano, and provides practical guidance to anyone who wants to
learn how to tune, repair, regulate, voice, rebuild, or improve the action performance of
pianos. The reader will discover how to evaluate the piano, assess what is needed, and
develop a rebuilding plan. He or she will learn how to restore a keyboard and action,
select and install new hammers, rebuild dampers, restring the piano, replace its
pinblock, repair the soundboard, regild the plate, and refinish the case.

Covering a wide range of concepts, from introductory to advanced, Pianos Inside Out
puts between two covers all the advancements and understanding gained by the piano
industry over the last 30 years. It provides a coherent, in-depth view of that much-
needed information, including such topics as:

- Wave impedance and soundboard performance


- Coincident partial tuning
- Interval inharmonicity
- Touchweight analysis
- String leveling
- Modern lubricants
Pianos Inside Out is written for hobbyists, students, and piano technicians, but it will also
help pianists and owners of pianos to better understand their instruments and to
communicate more effectively with their technicians. The book is full of clear, concise,
step-by-step instructions, and more than 700 illustrations and diagrams. Featuring
Myth/Truth boxes, and enhanced by multiple sidebars, tables, worksheets, and
troubleshooters, the book is very articulate, yet has a casual readability and isnt off-
puttingly wordy or overly complicated or presumptuously definitive (Allen Wright, RPT,
consulting technician and restorer for Steinway & Sons London, John Broadwood & Sons,
and Period Piano Company).

Many books in this genre present a simplistic view of piano work, encouraging a casual
and sometimes careless do-it-yourself attitude. Pianos Inside Out presents more
accurate descriptions ofand warnings aboutthe complexities and pitfalls one is likely
to encounter in this work, providing an introduction to the profession and the scope of
work involved that might encourage some people to become techs and others to forget
about it (Laurence Libin, Editor-in-Chief, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments).

Pianos Inside Out isnt merely a book of recipes that regurgitates instructions from
service manualsrather, it shows how to create ones own recipes. In addition to
suggesting methods and specifications, Igrec discusses the reasons for and the
dependencies among various aspects of design, regulation, tuning, and voicing, thus
enabling the reader to draw his or her own conclusions while gaining a deep
understanding of this complex subject.

The accompanying website, www.pianosinsideout.com, offers full-text search and a


complete Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, and Bibliography, as well as lists of trade
resources, technicians organizations, and measurement conversions. The site also offers
bonus materials and a clickable, up-to-date list of the URLs that appear throughout the
book. Intended to be a reference resource for years to come, Pianos Inside Out provides
insight into the profession of piano tuning, repairing, and rebuilding to a breadth and
depth unmatched by any other publication.

About the Author

Mario Igrec, a native of Croatia, taught piano technology and served as piano technician
during his eight-year tenure at Louisiana State University. As an independent concert
technician and master rebuilder, he has serviced and rebuilt many pianos in southern
Louisiana, and has worked for Richard Goode, Jon Kimura Parker, Garrick Ohlsson, and
other renowned pianists. Himself an award-winning pianist, with a Master of Music
degree from SUNY Stony Brook, Igrec brings to the field a unique perspective that
bridges piano technology and pianism. For more, see
http://pianosinsideout.com/author.html.
Advance Praise for Pianos Inside Out

Fantastic job. Very well thought out. The book will be of great help.
Franz Mohr, former Chief Concert Technician, Steinway & Sons

Pianos Inside Out, in its scope, breadth, and depth, is truly astonishing. I know of no
other single book in our field that covers so much of piano technology in such detail. If I
could have only one book in my piano-technology library, this would have to be it. I
know firsthand how much time and work go into the writing and production of a book,
and its hard for me to imagine how many hours you must have invested in this book
really more like an encyclopediathus far.
Stephen Brady, RPT, author, Under the Lid; Head Piano Technician, Aspen Music
Festival & School

Very comprehensive and full of valuable information. Pianists should read it! Just the
observation on humidity alone would help to improve the quality of our instruments.
Paul Badura-Skoda

I can appreciate the vast amount of thought and effort that went into making the text
so detailed and comprehensive. It is especially good coming from an experienced pianist
who understands the players needs. . . . It is good that you mention so many different
manufacturers designs, because many people think that all pianos are alike. Your
appendices and index are most helpful. Thank you again for teaching me so much about
the piano.
Laurence Libin, Editor-in-Chief, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments; Research
Curator Emeritus of Musical Instruments, Musical Instrument Collection, Metropolitan
Museum of Art

Your undertaking fills a crying need, bringing together some of the advances in the past
three decades as part of a comprehensive treatment of the profession, and trying to
make things accessible to non-technicians. You have gathered a really impressive array
of material. [The book] provides a considerable service.
Fred Sturm, RPT, pianist and piano technician, University of New Mexico

Youve taken an excellent stab at dealing with the geometry/touchweight issue in


grands. It is a more complete discussion for a beginner than can be had in any volume I
know of.
Jim Ialeggio, RPT, piano rebuilder, Grand Piano Solutions

This looks terrific. Very modern information. I am especially thrilled about the
inharmonicity discussion; I think it is the most clear and accurate [account] that has ever
been published for the lay-person crowd.
Dave Carpenter, RPT, designer of Verituner
An impressive piece of work, a very comprehensive body of information. Its sheer
volume of information is a credit to your due diligence. Very well done. It is obvious that
you are attempting to do a fair assessment of many parts, techniques, and protocols. I
think you have succeeded.
Dale Erwin, RPT, concert technician, piano rebuilder, Erwins Piano Restoration Inc.

What a piece of work! I can appreciate the energy you have put into it. I think youve
done a very fine job.
David Stanwood, RPT, inventor of Precision TouchDesign and Stanwood Adjustable
Leverage Action, Stanwood Piano Innovations

Very, very nice work . . . A lot of information and details.


Christian Bolduc, Factory Manager, Pianos Bolduc

[The book is] wonderfully comprehensive. The illustrations and layout are fantastic. . . .
The information . . . is uniformly balanced, and excellent. . . . It looks like a sort of
encyclopedia of pianos and piano construction and service.
Im reading the chapter on touch and geometry closely, and its excellent; the great
service your book will provide is to make these ideas understandable as a whole. Thanks
for your explanation of why reps with assist springs can cause slower repetitions.
Our field is so full of unexamined myths! Your book should help in that regard.
One problem with learning things in bits and pieces over the years, through various
individual articles, classes, etc.and often receiving contradictory opinions and
informationis that its not necessarily conducive to a holistic understanding of the
action as a system. Which is one thing I think your book could help to overcome for
many readers.
Allen Wright, RPT, consulting technician and restorer for Steinway & Sons London,
John Broadwood & Sons, and Period Piano Company

This is quite a comprehensive piece and a testament to not only a lot of hard work, but
your love of the subject matter.
Anthony Gilroy, Director of Marketing & Communications, Steinway & Sons

I cant imagine a more thorough and definitive book on the subject than this. Its a must
for every pianists and piano technicians library. I see this book as also being written
from a pianists perspective. Mario Igrec always conveys a sense of what we pianists
want from an instrument and the kind of sound we want to make.
Marioara Trifan, pianist, conductor, Hochschule fr Musik und Theater, Munich,
Germany

Quite an ambitious undertaking. All in all, there is a huge amount of info in this book,
congratulations.
Edward Foote, RPT, piano technician, historical tuning specialist, Vanderbilt
University Blair School of Music
Very in-depth and thorough . . . it is by far the most informative and instructive
publication out there.
Mike Morvan, keyboard maker and restorer, Blackstone Valley Piano

Quite a book. You did a great job!


Greg Frank, Piano Service Specialist, Yamaha Corporation of America, Bsendorfer
USA

This is the most complete book on piano technology that I have ever read. What a great
accomplishment! Thank you for making such an amazing contribution to piano
technology.
Poppy Miles, RPT, independent piano technician, New Orleans, Louisiana

Im surprised by how many interesting things there are in [this book] for everybody,
from beginners to advanced technicians. Its great that you wrote all of this down and
collected it in one book. . . . I think it will give everybody a very good idea of our
profession, and a lot of instructions.
Alexander Abel, piano technician (Klavierbauer), graduate of Oscar Walcker Schule,
technical college for music-instrument building, Ludwigsburg, Germany

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

About the Author xiii

Introduction xv
How to Use This Book xvi
Online Resources xvi
Patent Search xvi
Precautions xvi
Materials and Products xvii
Terminology xvii
Conventions xviii

Chapter 1: History 1
The Early Piano 1
Rising Popularity 17601800 8
Advances in Technology 18001850 11
Almost Modern 18501900 13
Steinway since 1880 16
Market Trends 16
Chapter 2: Construction and Design 19
Overview of Construction 19
Structure 24
Generating Sound 33
Strings 33
Bridges 36
Soundboard 43
Plate 50
The Piano Mechanism 57
Keyboard 58
Piano Action 63
Piano Hammers 70
Dampers, Backaction, and Pedals 74
How the Piano Mechanism Works 76

Chapter 3: Maintenance 83
Environment 83
Preventing Damage by Insects and Rodents 88
Preventing Corrosion 89
Periodic Maintenance 89
Institutional Maintenance 90

Chapter 4: Tuning 93
Theory 94
Inharmonicity 101
Stretch 103
Tuning Technique 107
Choosing a Tuning Hammer 109
Learning to Tune 111
Electronic Tuning 124
Special Tuning Techniques 128
Factors that Affect Tuning 129

Chapter 5: Regulating 135


Protection 135
Gaining Access 136
Cleaning the Interior of the Piano 141
Work in the Piano or on the Bench? 141
Guide Notes 142
Friction 142
Grand Action and Keyboard: Evaluating and Preparing for Regulation 148
Regulating Keyboard (Grands and Verticals) 158
Regulating Action 166
Regulating Grand Action 166
Regulating Pedals in Grands 179
Regulating Grand Damper System 180
Regulating Vertical Action, Pedals, and Dampers 189

Chapter 6: Voicing 199


Sanding Hammers 200
Strings: Seating and Leveling 202
Mating Hammers to Strings 207
Functioning of the Piano Hammer 208
Preparing for Voicing 208
Voicing Down Dense Hammers 209
Voicing Up the Hammers 216

Chapter 7: Repairs 221


Tool Kit 221
Broken String 223
Removing a Piece of Broken Metal 233
Repairing Keys 234
Repairing Action 240
Repairing Dampers 248
Repairing Grand Pedals and Lyre 249
Repairing Vertical Pedals 252
Repairing Cracked Plate 253
Repairing Pinblock 254
Repairing Bridges 256
Repairing Rattling Soundboard 261
Extracting a Broken Agraffe 262
Touching up and Repairing Finish 263

Chapter 8: Moving a Grand Piano 267


Music Rack, Fallboard, Key Slip 267
Grand Lids 268
Putting Piano on Skid Board 268
Reassembling the Piano 270
Grand Lyre 271

Chapter 9: Touch, Geometry, Playability 273


How to Proceed 274
Force or Weight? 274
Interrelated Aspects of Action and Keyboard 275
Static Touchweight (TW) 276
Action Leverage 279
Hammer Weight 283
Other Weights and Weight Ratios 287
Leads: Measuring and Calculating 295
Inertia 298
Backaction 300
Keeping It All in Perspective 301
Diagnosing Playability Problems 303
Improving Playability 306

Chapter 10: Rebuilding 317


Evaluating a Piano 321
Developing a Plan 323
Shop Requirements 327
Equipment and Tools 329
Materials 334
Replacing Felts and Leathers 340
Rebuilding the Keyboard 342
Restoring Key Frame 344
Replacing Key Bushings 347
Replacing Key End Felts 353
Replacing White Key Tops 354
Replacing Sharps 365
Rebuilding Grand Backchecks 368
Rebuilding Grand Action 373
Replacing Wippens and Let off Buttons in Grands 379
Replacing Grand Hammer Shanks 380
Replacing Hammers in Grand Pianos 383
Rough-Regulating a Grand Action 394
Adjusting Touchweight 396
Rebuilding Grand Damper System 400
Rebuilding Vertical Action 408
Measuring String Downbearing 416
Restringing 418
Restringing a Grand Piano 423
Restringing a Vertical Piano 430
Removing the Plate 433
Agraffes: Reconditioning and Replacing 436
Regilding the Plate 439
Replacing Grand Pinblock 440
Rebuilding the Soundboard 457
Rebuilding Bridges 472
Introduction to Refinishing 479

Appendix A: Troubleshooting 489


Buzzes and Rattles 489
Echo 490
Action Noises 490
Pedal Noises in Grands 492
Pedal Noises in Verticals 493
Missing Notes 494

Appendix B: Glossary 495

Appendix C: Selected Bibliography 509


Books, Articles, Videos, Online Resources 509
Journals 516
Online Groups and Forums 516

Appendix D: Resources 517

Appendix E: Technicians Organizations 523

Appendix F: Measurement Conversions 525

Index 527