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New Book - Pianos Inside Out
#2065033 04/15/13 02:56 PM
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Have many of you had the chance to see the new book, "Pianos Inside Out" by Mario Igrec. It was recently released and I just got mine in the mail today. It is by far the most complete book that I believe has ever been written on piano technology. The Reblitz book up to this point has been an old standard as a manual on piano tuning and repair. It seems clear that this book will now be the new standard. It covers most of what is in Reblitz and much more and provides much more up to date information. I just wondered if anyone else had gotten a chance to read the book yet. The book is available on Mario's website. We also now carry the book in our online store.


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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065150 04/15/13 07:52 PM
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When Arthur Reblitz's book was published in the 1970s it was a "quantum leap" forward in piano technical books, and deservedly became a standard text. It represented a new standard of presentation, and explored many technical matters in depth in a way that had not previously been done in any book. And it was copisuly illustarted with clear photographs.

I believe that "Pianos Inside Out" represents a similar leap forward, for the 21st Century, incorporating all the latest thinking, techniques and materials.


Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065227 04/15/13 11:08 PM
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I have seen the excerpts on his website, and it looks to be very thorough. One of these days, I will probably add it to my collection.

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065263 04/16/13 12:09 AM
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Just ordered it from PianoTech


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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065441 04/16/13 10:26 AM
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At first I wanted to write that I'm glad to see, at least as far as the excerpts are concerned, that the text uses SI (metric) units, not imperial with metric approximations in brackets. But then I saw that this only applied to a part of the regulation and touch/geometry sections. In fact, I wonder if these were written by (or adapted from) someone else?

A bit sad, this being the 21st century.

Other concepts are also still pretty much Americanised by the look of things, e.g. tool names (Channellock pliers vs. tongue & groove, linesman pliers vs. combination pliers) or pictures (e.g. an upright's hammer rail resting on a felt on the action bracket, rather than the rail being fixed and having a hinged, movable insert - my understanding is that this is found mostly on American uprights, but I'd gladly stand corrected. I've not seen it once on German pianos, but I'm not a pro...)

Edit: I'm not for one moment trying to put this book down. To the contrary, I'll probably buy it at some stage. I just find the inconsistent handling of Imperial vs. metric units a bit strange. (At least Reblitz was consistent in this regard, and I could understand his approach, him being a child of his time and his country.)

Last edited by Mark R.; 04/16/13 10:42 AM. Reason: Given in post.

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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065452 04/16/13 10:49 AM
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I've been waiting patiently for this book for a while now and will be putting in an order. Not too concerned about metric/imperial metrology issues, although it is a statement about who the book is intended for considering that imperial measurement is only used by the countries in red below...
[Linked Image]

Hopefully we will get some more postings here in regards to some more in depth reviews on this book, maybe pointing out gaps that have been filled in comparison to Reblitz's book.


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Niagara Region
Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065478 04/16/13 11:25 AM
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In two days I'll be getting together with the author Mario Igrec. I have been consulting with him about his book for about two years. I am looking forward to seeing the final product.


JG
Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Supply #2065560 04/16/13 01:13 PM
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I will buy it for sure. Mario is also from Croatia smile

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Emmery #2065592 04/16/13 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Emmery
Hopefully we will get some more postings here in regards to some more in depth reviews on this book, maybe pointing out gaps that have been filled in comparison to Reblitz's book.


Reblitz was one of the first attempts at a piano technology 101 textbook. It came out of a generation that had very little access to the engineering involved in piano design, piano building and maintenance. So most of the advice is to record what was there and put it back with out messing around with the design "wisdom". There was no attempt at understanding why anything was as it was. No options are presented other than observe current designs and rebuilding is simply a copy of the original design (even if the design or factory implementation was faulty).

Mario's book, a version of which I proofed a couple of years ago, is way way more comprehensive than its ancestor. One of my favorite parts of the book's premise is that while he covers current practices, he does that by thoroughly examining different schools of thought on the practice in question. Reasoning for the different approaches are presented, giving the reader enough info to both follow their own design biases and also to challenge their own biases.

There is enough in there for the student of piano technology, as well as references that an experienced would find interesting and informative.

One of the things that really impressed me about Mario and his approach to the work, was that when he received feedback on the proofs of the original version of the book, he took the feedback, thought about it, questioned the reviewers regarding their feedback, and then completely revised the scope and content of the book. The re-write took I think another 3 yrs or so, and went though several scope permutations. That means the resulting book is very well thought out...much more comprehensive and cohesive than a first or even 2nd draft could ever be.

Jim Ialeggio



Jim Ialeggio
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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065604 04/16/13 03:13 PM
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That is impressive, does it incluede the old and more recent scaling choices ?

I am beginning to translate for myself the K.Fenner_J.Grossbach reference book on, mostly design. That one is worth the effort to "read" and is clearly written.
Bases of design, older recipes, their value and evolving...

Exactly what I was looking for..

Greetings.


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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Mark R. #2065710 04/16/13 08:32 PM
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Hi Mark R.

See the relevant page from the Introduction that explains the use of units of measurements in the book. In a few cases I used only one unit, mostly in sentences that compare values in relative terms (e.g., "Each gram of hammer weight affects touchweight by 5-6 g") and when there is a lot of math. Chapter 9, Touch, Geometry, and Playability, is exclusively in SI units. I just couldn't bring myself to calculate in ounces, US or British. Sorry.

Personally, I'd prefer to have used the SI system throughout, but decided to use American measurements as primary because that's my main market. SI units follow in square brackets in almost all cases.

There is another intentional "inconsistency" to mention: I used fractional vs. decimal inches based on how they are typically used in the States. For example, hammer blow may be expressed as 1 7/8", but key dip as 0.400".

So far as the terminology used in the UK, the names of parts and their US equivalents are listed in the Glossary thanks to the generous involvement by Allen Wright, RPT, who is stationed in London; and John Ross, former National Manager of Technical Services at Steinway & Sons London. I also consulted various web sites of which the most useful proved to be the one by Fletcher & Newman's (click “Piano Parts Catalogue,” then “Visual Product Identifier”), and Herbert Shead's The Anatomy of the Piano. I am sure I missed a lot of terms in common use in the UK, such as "combination pliers."

I hope you understand that I couldn't possibly cover or show all design variations, such as the hammer rest rails in verticals (in fact, there are photos that show the type of rail you mention--one is of a Petrof upright on p. 197--though not in the context of adjusting the blow distance). I think the book is sufficiently exhaustive with 761 named figures, some of which contain multiple images.

Mario Igrec, author of Pianos Inside Out

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Emmery #2065713 04/16/13 08:37 PM
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Hi Emmery,

I just wanted to clarify that the inch/pound/ounce units I used in the book are American, not Imperial.

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065830 04/17/13 02:49 AM
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Hi the book seem like a nice recollection of interesting informations and reflexions, it seem to be really clean and easy to read

sources are given, there are good reflexions.

It seem to be a "state of art" certainly with some leaning toward US based procedures, but not only.

Congratulations

I would buy a pdf version if it existed (Not to say I do not prefer real books wink


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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Mario Igrec #2065838 04/17/13 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mario Igrec
Hi Emmery,

I just wanted to clarify that the inch/pound/ounce units I used in the book are American, not Imperial.


I have seen the exerpts on lead in keys. Is not there a mass parameter that imply that the more massive key will create a more springy push on the capstan when the key will bottom (better inertia to send the impact)?

That may be the main effect of the lead, to me; and effect on tone "more" than on touch.

If we push the catapult comparaison to the max the flex of the key must be taken in consideration.

The lead itself is of a lesser importance than it seem :

As stated and demonstrated by Poletti there :

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6GjQDkF_AMQQVI5Z3NhS3F4cGc/edit?usp=sharing

Not to say it is not perceived, but I had once a piano wher neighbours keys did have no lead, then 2 leads (and assist springs). Even knowing it, the main difference was not so apparent. The tone was different, stronger with the lead.



Last edited by Olek; 04/17/13 03:13 AM.

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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065843 04/17/13 03:36 AM
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Dear Mario,

Many thanks for your detailed response, and for pointing me to the glossary (which I hadn't looked at yet).

Regarding your answer to Emmery concerning units, I was under the impression that inch, pound and ounce are the same in the US customary and the Imperial systems anyway - respectively 25.4 mm, 0.453592 kg and 28.349523 g. If they aren't, my confusion is now complete.

Anyhow, not wanting to distract from the thread any further... and best wishes for sales of the book.


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Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065931 04/17/13 09:48 AM
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Nice thoughts, Jim. I am very much looking forward to seeing the completed work. Reblitz's book in its time represented a big leap forward from anything that had gone before. I am sure that Mario's book represents an even bigger leap, and of course much further forward.

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Olek #2065949 04/17/13 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Olek


Poletti writes:
" Putting lead in the front portion of the key only makes the action heavier under the finger at
most playing speeds as well as more sluggish on return.*
*When we release a key, it is the force of gravity pulling the unbalanced mass within the system
downwards which returns the key. Putting weight in the front of the key slows return in two ways:
(1) It reduces the imbalance, and thereby reduces the force applied by gravity to the entire system
(2) It increases the total mass which must be accelerated."



Greetings,

When we release a key, usually the first force on it is the repetition spring pushing the key back up.
The effect of slowing due to weight isn't much of a factor, since the modern piano action will play faster than
humans can move. If it were excessive, ( greater than say, 40 grams at A1 or 35 grams at C4), the action will slow down.

We can do without the lead, if we can live with little hammers. However, fortepianos don't fill halls, or produce the sustain with their small hammers, light wood cases, and low tension. If we want the power to do what concert pianos do today, we have to have hammers larger than can be played without lead.
Regards,

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065950 04/17/13 10:26 AM
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In the UK we have a peculiarly split measurement system.

I grew up on imperial measures. But we learned metric too of course. And then in 1971 our currency went decimal. And later there was a move to go metric. Shops had to convert all their weights and measures. The poor old butcher would get flung in jail and left to rot, if he sold you a pound of steak instead on something under half a Kilo.

But the wholesale rush towards metrication was halted, it seems, by a sudden governmental realisation of the huge amount of trade that the UK does with the USA. THe USA has not the slightest interest in metric measures.

So the wholesale rush to metrication stopped in the UK. This has left us with a strange split system. Fuel for the car is priced and sold in Litres (liters) BUT, all the motoring magazines express fuel consumption in MPG (miles per gallon), and all motorway signs are in Miles!

I once saw a sign at a beauty spot that gives the length of a loch (lake) in miles and the width in metres!

When I was teaching traditional darkroom photography I found that students often had little clear idea of weights and measures in either system. I would ask "Do you use metric or imperial" and they would reply "Oh metric", and then I'd ask "What height are you then?" and they'd say "Five foot ten"! And if I asked them to guess the width of the darkroom, they couldn't.

Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
showard #2065969 04/17/13 11:04 AM
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Mario, congratulations on your photographs.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: New Book - Pianos Inside Out
Mark R. #2065970 04/17/13 11:15 AM
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Hi Mark,

I looked this up a while back. The distance measurements may be the same, but those for volume are not. You can't use US cup and spoon/teaspoon measures for recipes in British cookbooks or vice versa. For example, an Imperial Gallon, as I understand, is approx. 4.5 liters, and the US Gallon is 3.78. There is even a different number of tablespoons or fluid ounces that go into a pint, or a quart, or... Something like 3 per in one system and 4 per in the other. Having grown up in a metric system, all of this is very archaic to me, but I simply want the readers in the two largest markets--US and the rest of the world--to be equally at home.

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