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Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273208
05/09/14 09:54 AM
05/09/14 09:54 AM
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iLaw Offline
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Originally Posted by BrianDX

I agree, but I could ask the opposite question as well. Do folks who keep the lid closed while playing to avoid possible lid damage/wear also compromise the full capabilities of their instrument?


Hah. It's a fair question, and I'm sure people will have reasonable answers, but it made me smile nonetheless.

I hear the full capabilities of a piano being compromised every day, and I don't think I have ever once thought that it was because of the lid position. I'm more inclined to first look between the ears of the player.

Larry.

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Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: iLaw] #2273209
05/09/14 10:02 AM
05/09/14 10:02 AM
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First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline OP
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Great answer! smirk

I think because of our cat situation, dust in the house, etc, I'm inclined to keep the lid down for most of the time. However, maybe a few times a month especially when my wife and I have mastered our latest 6-12 pieces for our lessons, we will treat ourselves to a private in-house concert performance and open up the lid. I may even dress up for the occasion smile

Once in a while I want to be able to hear what this instrument is fully capable of, albeit our limited playing abilities.

Thanks again for everyone's comments. I do appreciate them.




Last edited by BrianDX; 05/09/14 10:09 AM.

Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273212
05/09/14 10:12 AM
05/09/14 10:12 AM
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The act of opening-and-closing a lid will NOT cause enough wear as to be noticeable/measurable. Concert pianos are opened-and-closed multiple times throughout the day; even after many years of use, I've never observed any discernible ware on the involved parts.

Keeping the lid down will compromise the full capabilities of the piano, in terms of not being able to hear the decay portion of the sound envelope (i.e., the after-sound is hard to hear).

HOWEVER, most professional pianists-in-training, especially in the USA, are listening to the attack portion of the sound (i.e., learning how to project) and are also seeking to push out more sound in the melodic section of the piano--this is an area that suffers (i.e., becomes more muffled) when the lid is down. This creates an ideal 'worst case scenario' practice situation = 'if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere.' There are other reasons, but in the end: most professional pianists practice with the lid down when not in a hall.


Masters degree in piano technology, +factory(s) training, etc., blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...[uncensored break-out in song]..."it don't mean a thing, if you aint got that swing."
--Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens--
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273217
05/09/14 10:18 AM
05/09/14 10:18 AM
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oh...but I do have a cat question. I am not a cat kind of person, so I don't know their behaviour. Do cats like boxes and other confined spaces? I had a cat jump out of a piano at me once when I was lifting the lid to work on a piano. Is there any way that a closed lid might be more intriguing to a cat than an open one? Again, I don't know cats...I just know they freak me out when the come jumping out of pianos at me!


Masters degree in piano technology, +factory(s) training, etc., blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...[uncensored break-out in song]..."it don't mean a thing, if you aint got that swing."
--Klavierbaukuenstler des Erwachens--
Email: klavierbaukuenstler@gmail.com
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273226
05/09/14 10:55 AM
05/09/14 10:55 AM
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England
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How about uprights? How many play their uprights with the lid open? Usually whenever you see one played the lid is down.


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Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273236
05/09/14 11:23 AM
05/09/14 11:23 AM
Joined: May 2012
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Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted by BrianDX
I may even dress up for the occasion smile

Now, that's a great idea!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2273240
05/09/14 11:38 AM
05/09/14 11:38 AM
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First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline OP
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As far at cats are concerned, there are probably a dozen different answers as to what they could do. In our case, both cats have climbed up on top of the lid nightly, but they have not entered in interior of the piano that is exposed by the fallboard. Due to the strings and other mechanisms they seem to be not interested.

If one of our cats did choose to go inside the piano they could very well be injured. In that case, we would have to totally close the top off, and put the music stand on top of the fully closed lid. In our house our cats are animal family members, not just pets smile



Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273308
05/09/14 02:23 PM
05/09/14 02:23 PM
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Reseda, California
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Cats have individual personalities, and they vary quite a bit. Some are shy and like to hide in small dark places, others are eager to greet new people. Our cat pays no attention at all to the piano, though it would be very easy for him to walk on top of it. I keep it closed almost all the time.



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Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273331
05/09/14 03:26 PM
05/09/14 03:26 PM
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Posts: 375
San Antonio, Texas
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I wouldn't worry at all about lid positions and keeping it opened or closed at all...it's designed to be however you choose to use it. I would worry about the cats urinating onto the sound board, strings and plate...very common with cats. Dogs use grand piano legs to hike up a leg and let go!!


Theodore
Alamo Music Center
San Antonio,Texas
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: Theodore] #2273406
05/09/14 06:24 PM
05/09/14 06:24 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by Theodore
I wouldn't worry at all about lid positions and keeping it opened or closed at all...it's designed to be however you choose to use it. I would worry about the cats urinating onto the sound board, strings and plate...very common with cats. Dogs use grand piano legs to hike up a leg and let go!!


A halfway trained dog would never do that inside. My dog has never been to the toilet inside since he was a puppy. No dog I've ever had has.

Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273429
05/09/14 06:50 PM
05/09/14 06:50 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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OK - back to the question.

Piano lids seem to be designed, at least to me, to be opened and closed. I think that's why they have hinges. The designers have even devised a method of opening the lid to various positions. Seems to be rather proven technology to me.

When I am in purely practice mode, the front lid is open and the music rack is up. That is it's usual status. I have built a pinblock cover, out of felt, which only covers the front of the frame/pins and extends to just past the opening of the front lid. It is not a full string cover, but it does keep dust, pencils, and the occasional paperclip from falling between the tuning pegs.

Preparing for performance, I open the piano up and remove the music desk. Then I can work on the subtleties of balance and tonal color.

When the piano is not in use, those few hours per day, it is closed and is always closed at night.

When company is expected, the piano is fully open, music desk in place, and preset with the score to something truly gorgeous on display. I remain on guard, with a Taser, to keep guests away from the piano when they are equipped with potables.

Prior to the passing of my dog, she always snoozed under the piano when I practiced.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2273459
05/09/14 08:12 PM
05/09/14 08:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
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First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline OP
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Boy Marty your parties sure sound like more fun than mine frown

Seriously though, I think your points are very valid. Right now our plan is to keep the front lid open most of the time (Unless the cats do something really nasty), close it completely when we are not at home overnight or longer, and open it up once in a while for fun or when guests are over.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273542
05/10/14 03:53 AM
05/10/14 03:53 AM
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Similar to Marty here. But I practice with lid closed, and only when in final stage I open the lid. As said above, it does change the sound a lot. But it also gets a lot louder which is for me the main reason to keep it mostly closed.


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Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2273571
05/10/14 06:54 AM
05/10/14 06:54 AM
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Have to say that "in the best of all possible worlds," Marty's schedule of openings and closings represent an ideal to which I would ascribe. I esp. like that bit about a partial cover over the tuning pins.

However, most practising, performing musicians/pianists of my acquaintance keep their pianos fully closed with the music desk placed out on top, often cushioned by some kind-of felt. Yes, the tone is quieter. But who can stand all that volume on a daily basis ?

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273578
05/10/14 07:30 AM
05/10/14 07:30 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
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It's interesting that so few manufacturers have implemented the system that Hailun uses, which makes the lid very easy to open and close and much safer. It's got some sort of hydraulic piston in it and you can lift it up and down with a couple of fingers. I think more people would close their lid if the lid was not so difficult to operate.

Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273580
05/10/14 07:51 AM
05/10/14 07:51 AM
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Rochester MN
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Hi Ando,

Like the slow-close fallboard, I would bet that we'll be seeing more and more pianos with the lid assist feature hitting the market. It's a great invention.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273588
05/10/14 08:25 AM
05/10/14 08:25 AM
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England
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Neither would any dog I've ever had!


If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
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My Piano Group
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273624
05/10/14 10:46 AM
05/10/14 10:46 AM
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I don't find it a problem to open the piano to play and to close it when I'm done, and I'm becoming rather a little old lady with weak skinny arms.

I also remove and replace a cover every time, which ends up covered with cat hair since one of my long haired boys views the piano as his lounge and lookout.

Although the discussion of the hinges wearing out brings to mind the possibility that the floor might wear out from excessive vacuuming. I may use this in future to explain my relaxed housekeeping.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273641
05/10/14 11:42 AM
05/10/14 11:42 AM
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Rochester MN
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I never walk on my floors 'cause I don't want to wear 'em out.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Question about Grand Piano lid positions [Re: BrianDX] #2273664
05/10/14 12:32 PM
05/10/14 12:32 PM
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Hey BrianDX,

my tech is here now. as i mentioned before, he's worked(s) for major piano companies. He categorized this as an "old wive's tale". He stated in the old days the wood may not have had the benefit of cross-lamination (which I mentioned in my first post) but also voids in the gluing process could leave pockets of air and cause warpage and yes, he's seen warped lids in old pianos, only.

That's not to say it can't happen. Wood is a living product and is always on the move, to some degree. I would think humidity more than stress points would be the main issue concerning warpage.

Someone else mentioned the Hailun lid lift. I tried one of those out. Man, it's slicker than snot on a doorknob. I'm sure the patent is keeping other pain companies from copying at the moment but I suspect this lift will catch on. It's very well constructed from what I could see.

Hope this helped.....blob


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