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Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? #2521199
03/15/16 02:56 AM
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Coyotewoods Offline OP
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Tonight I was watching this video and noticed that the piano's lid was kept open while Simone was playing:

http://www.npr.org/event/music/317015727/simone-dinnerstein-tiny-desk-concert

I've never seen this before on an upright, only on a grand, and it got me thinking: Is the lid hinged so it can be easily opened to help increase the sound?

The hinge is convenient for when someone needs to access the innards for tuning or repairs. But it seems it would be even more convenient to just remove it and set it down on the floor when work needs to be done.

Do pianists often keep the lid open while playing? Could that be one reason there are hinges, so the board can just lean against a wall while the piano is played, instead of having to remove it?



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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521206
03/15/16 03:39 AM
03/15/16 03:39 AM
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Yes. that way you get more sound. I always play my Kawai upright with the lid up as that is where I clip my reading lamp.

In fact, come to think of it, I always play my pianos with the lid up. I prefer it that way.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521222
03/15/16 05:03 AM
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Opening the lid helps letting the box out.


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1. Reviewing basics/ear training/analysis in interesting exercises.
Opus 599. Now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521230
03/15/16 05:37 AM
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Thank you MN for that video. I love Simone Dinnerstein and this is absolutely delightful to start my morning out with.

Yes, virtually all uprights have a hinge that allows the lid to lift. Many can also be "put up" with a little lid prop as well. This will direct the tone out to the player a bit.


Rich Galassini
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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521246
03/15/16 07:08 AM
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On some pianos the music rack folds up and hinges into the top. I think that that tends to be a feature of older pianos.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521290
03/15/16 10:43 AM
03/15/16 10:43 AM
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My upright's lid has hinges at the left side and a prop on the right like a long skinny grand piano lid. I very rarely put it up. The piano also has a "sound port" behind the "grand style" music rack so putting the lid up isn't as big a difference as it might be on a piano with a solid front panel.



Kurt


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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521325
03/15/16 12:39 PM
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So this really is something people do, then? I honestly I had no idea.

Why don't uprights come with a chain or something similar to prevent the lid from opening too far? If it leans against a wall, it can mark the wall or, worse, the piano.

I think the piano Simone is playing in the video is hinged across the middle of the lid, so that one section folds back. Does just folding back one section produce a more controlled sound, versus folding back the entire thing?

Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521341
03/15/16 01:24 PM
03/15/16 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MooseNotes
[...]Why don't uprights come with a chain or something similar to prevent the lid from opening too far? If it leans against a wall, it can mark the wall or, worse, the piano.

I think the piano Simone is playing in the video is hinged across the middle of the lid, so that one section folds back. Does just folding back one section produce a more controlled sound, versus folding back the entire thing?


(Almost) All upright lids are hinged in the middle. When the lid is folded back it rests on the back half of the lid. Folding back the lid on an upright has no more risk to the finish of a piano than folding back the front lid of a grand. Sure, if you slam it down incessantly, you might mar the finish, but who does that?

It would be extremely difficult to access the innards of an upright if the only access was through the top lid. To access the action and to tune an upright, the front panel is removed.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521344
03/15/16 01:33 PM
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On my older console, the lid is hinged at the back and opens as one piece. It has to rest against the wall when it's open.

It seems newer pianos may have the double hinge and hence a double fold. Mine does not.

Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521376
03/15/16 02:20 PM
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Upright pianos have always been made several ways. School pianos have often been made so it is difficult to lift the lid, to prevent damage. Everett lids were held in place with Allen screws, and Hamiltons would lift the front board and top as a unit. Some home pianos have hinges on the side. They can be difficult for tuners, who are the only people who have a real reason to open the top.


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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: BruceD] #2521415
03/15/16 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
It would be extremely difficult to access the innards of an upright if the only access was through the top lid. To access the action and to tune an upright, the front panel is removed.


In many cases, you also have to fold back the top lid in order to get the tuning hammer onto the pins. An extension on the hammer to clear the top lid wouldn't work because you'd bend or "flagpole" the pins that way.



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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521515
03/15/16 09:41 PM
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My current Kawai K48A upright piano has a top lid that is hinged in the center (long ways) of the lid. You can lift up the front part of the lid and there is a little prop, similar to what a grand piano might have, but much shorter, to keep the lid raised a bit. More sound can come out of the piano this way.

The Baldwin 243 studio upright piano I had for a while had the lid attached to the front panel and hinged at the back. You could raise the entire front panel, and there was a prop to keep it propped up. I actually liked that design, but if it ever fell on your hand, it would be like a grand piano lid falling on your hand. (ouch!)

You can see the Baldwin 243 with the lid/front panel raised in this video. But don't pay any attention to my playing... I'm just showing how the front panel/lid assembly could be raised. smile

You can look at the piano and just mute the sound. If you do listen to the song, the tempo is way too fast... I have two tempos; fast and faster. smile

Lid/front panel assembly up on Baldwin 243 studio upright piano

Rick


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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521598
03/16/16 07:27 AM
03/16/16 07:27 AM
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In Casablanca, the top is hinged so that it can be opened from the back so that you can hide letters of transit under it...


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: BDB] #2521623
03/16/16 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Some home pianos have hinges on the side. They can be difficult for tuners, who are the only people who have a real reason to open the top.


On my Y.C. Pramberger the side mounted hinges have pins that pull out like a standard door making it easy to lift the whole lid off and put it aside as easily as the front and bottom panels. Maybe others don't have the pins? I'm curious about the "real reason" quip. Is it not enough reason to want to hear the fuller sound? Are you saying that uprights should be played or are designed to be played closed? I'd leave my open endlessly except it's ALWAYS got music and a couple of my models that I have no other room for on the top.

Kurt


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Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521664
03/16/16 12:21 PM
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I should have mentioned, the three hinges on the back of the lid have pins for easy removal. There isn't a prop or chain to keep the lid from falling backwards or from suddenly crashing closed, which surprises me.

Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521710
03/16/16 03:03 PM
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One of the more curious lids that I have ever seen was in the shape of an inverted 'V' I was told that these were made to go into bars and that the shape was intended to stop anybody from putting beer there. Sadly I can't remember the maker's name.

Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521795
03/16/16 07:03 PM
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MN, you shouldn't have an upright so close to the wall anyway.

JC, I think it could be the NAAFI piano you are thinking of. They were made to go into British forces canteens so the keys are proof against cigarette burns and the lid is shaped so beer glasses won't stand on them. I think I posted a link some time ago.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521815
03/16/16 08:13 PM
03/16/16 08:13 PM
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Found it:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2264029/Re:_NAAFI_pianos.html

which refers to:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/naafi-piano/query/piano

It is 2 years since that post. There is a reply from Marty, whom I still miss.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: PhilipInChina] #2521816
03/16/16 08:14 PM
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My piano is 1.75" from the wall. Are you saying it's better for the sound quality to have it out more? I'm probably not likely to notice a difference, considering the uncarpeted wood floors and the condition of my piano, but this is good to know.

Re: Why is the lid on an upright piano hinged? [Re: Coyotewoods] #2521894
03/17/16 01:59 AM
03/17/16 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MooseNotes
My piano is 1.75" from the wall. Are you saying it's better for the sound quality to have it out more? I'm probably not likely to notice a difference, considering the uncarpeted wood floors and the condition of my piano, but this is good to know.


I think you would notice - I moved my upright from one wall of a corner, same flooring, same type of wall, and the difference was huge. The bass response improved. I was intrigued, so experimented a bit. I moved it away from the wall, and it became clearer, brighter. I ended up at a slight, almost imperceptible angle - 3" on end and 1½" the other.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
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