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Are mellowness and softness connected? #2934149 01/15/20 09:37 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 26,497
pianoloverus Online Content OP
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At my recent tuning visit last week I told my tech I was having trouble playing p and pp. He said he felt my piano had brightened up, and a check of his tuning records showed he hadn't done anything except maybe minor touch up voicing in around the last year.

He did some needling that I didn't observe which took only around a half hour, and the control for playing p and pp is incredibly better. Before his voicing I had to struggle not always successfully to play pp without any ghost or barely sounding sounding notes. Now it's a piece of cake to play very softly but still with a full tone. I think the tone is probably also more mellow although I am not as positive about that as I am about the much greater ease for playing very softly.

All this leads up to my question:

If voicing is done to make the piano less bright does that automatically make the piano play softer(greater control for p and pp)? If the piano is voiced more softly does it automatically make the piano sound more mellow? What is the connection, if any, between softness and mellowness?

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Re: Are mellowness and softness connected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2934157 01/15/20 09:52 AM
Joined: May 2007
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David Boyce Offline
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Depends on your definition of Mellow (and, for that matter, Soft), but, broadly, yes, softening the texture of hammer felt will make the sound more 'mellow'. (Collins English Dictionary gives the meaning of "soft or rich" for mellow as pertaining to sound).

Worth quoting Ed Sutton's excellent comment in another thread:

To understand voicing, you need to experience it with your own hands and ears. Voicing is about the relationship between effort and intention of the player and the tonal response of the piano. A well-voiced piano inspires expression.

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