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#2624770 - 03/18/17 09:54 AM Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 2487
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
After five years of playing my piano, I just noticed that I can see the reflections of my hands on the fallboard. (What can I say? I must not be the self-reflective type.)

Since almost all grands at any price point make the fallboard reflective, I assume this is for a reason. Part of it, nae doot, is to allow audience members a better view of the pianist's hands.

But for the pianist, is there anything to be learned from looking at reflections of the hands from time to time?

Would be interested in your observations.
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-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2624775 - 03/18/17 10:14 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
Polyphonist Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 9110
Loc: New York City
It generally merely serves as a distraction to me, unless I am improvising or playing something memorized, so that paying attention to a score is not necessary. In such circumstances, it can be entertaining to watch the reflection for brief periods of time, especially if the music itself is not providing adequate interest. grin
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#2624788 - 03/18/17 10:43 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
Stubbie Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 1396
Loc: Midwest USA
Nah, I don't look at the reflection of my hands when I'm playing, though dust on the fallboard might catch my attention. smile I do use the reflection to get a better view of the pianist's hands when I attend concerts.
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#2624789 - 03/18/17 10:44 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
JoBert Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 645
Loc: Germany
I'm pretty sure that the reflectiveness is for aesthetic reasons only. There are no pianistic reasons. A majority of people simply want their grand in a polished/glossy black. The nonetheless not negligible number of grands with different colors/woods, and the fact that most uprights have a backwards slanted fallboard (when opened) that cannot reflect the keys and hands, tells me that there is no pianistic reason. Otherwise all fallboards would be reflective and angled for perfect use by the pianist.
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#2624820 - 03/18/17 12:06 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
outo Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2894
Loc: Finland
Well, my black upright shows a reflection of my head and I guess that can be useful in preventing the stupid looking head movements I am prone to grin

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#2624838 - 03/18/17 12:40 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 2487
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
One reason I began thinking about this is that Grotrian makes a "student" or "conservatory" line of grands that are less expensive and have a matte finish (their normal consumer grands have polished finishes), but even on the matte finish pianos, the fallboard is polished.
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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2625007 - 03/18/17 09:37 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
XenondiFluoride Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/16
Posts: 169
Loc: East Coast, USA
If anything I would say it is a distraction. you would have to flip the image in your head instantly to get real time use out of it. It sure looks great though.
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#2625488 - 03/20/17 06:01 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22172
Loc: New York City
The finish on the fallboard is just whatever the rest of the piano's finish is(except in rare cases as mentioned above). The finish is not meant to be used to watch one's hands. If the finish is satin, one will not be able to see the reflection of one's hands.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/20/17 06:01 PM)

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#2625512 - 03/20/17 07:55 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
JohnSprung Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 3986
Loc: Reseda, California

I must admit that my fallboard has been in the garage since I got the piano. It came with a loose hinge because the wood of the fallboard was broken out and a piece missing. I haven't got around to fixing it.

That being said, Knabe back in those days had the waterfall fallboard that's angled back fairly far, probably to reduce fingernail scratches.
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#2625573 - 03/21/17 03:07 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1511
Loc: Italy
My piano has a satin finish laugh
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#2625717 - 03/21/17 03:23 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
SonatainfSharp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/05
Posts: 406
Loc: Minneapolis
Originally Posted By ClsscLib
But for the pianist, is there anything to be learned from looking at reflections of the hands from time to time?

After looking at the fallboard of my new piano (satin ebony finish), I didn't realize how much my fingers actually touch the fallboard! There are already thousands of vertical marks above the keys! I don't notice this when I watch recordings of myself, so I think it's from when I stop playing and reach up for my pencil on the music desk, not from actually touching the fallboard when I play.
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#2625816 - 03/21/17 10:44 PM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 2487
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
The topic sounds like a Debussy piece, though.
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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2625845 - 03/22/17 03:06 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
RaggedKeyPresser Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/14
Posts: 847
Loc: Orig. land of Svear&Götar
The reflections on the fall board serves as a reference to what your hands looked like before it came crashing down.
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Hoping to graduate well within two years of study. Now at #72 of Opus 599 and behind schedule.

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#2625870 - 03/22/17 08:39 AM Re: Looking at Reflection of Your Hands on Fallboard [Re: ClsscLib]
cathryn999 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 521
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By ClsscLib
The topic sounds like a Debussy piece, though.


+1 ! Haha :-)
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