Volume 118, Issue 2, August 2005
Index of content:
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
118(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1944648View Description Hide Description
This study investigated the temporal behavior of grand piano actions from different manufacturers under different touch conditions and dynamic levels. An experimental setup consisting of accelerometers and a calibrated microphone was used to capture key and hammer movements, as well as the sound signal. Five selected keys were played by pianists with two types of touch (“pressed touch” versus “struck touch”) over the entire dynamic range. Discrete measurements were extracted from the accelerometer data for each of the over 2300 recorded tones (e.g., finger-key, hammer-string, and key bottom contact times, maximum hammer velocity). Travel times of the hammer (from finger-key to hammer-string) as a function of maximum hammer velocity varied clearly between the two types of touch, but only slightly between pianos. A travel time approximation used in earlier work [Goebl W., (2001). J. Acoust. Soc. Am.110, 563–572] derived from a computer-controlled piano was verified. Constant temporal behavior over type of touch and low compression properties of the parts of the action (reflected in key bottom contact times) were hypothesized to be indicators for instrumental quality.