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Hemiola in piano design
#3020017 08/31/20 11:53 PM
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In music, hemiola (also hemiolia) is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.

In piano design, a bad attempt at a hemiola can sometimes be found in the bass section of upright pianos. According to a prominent technician “This is done intentionally to keep the tuner awake.. You have to be a good chess player to keep-up with that design..”.

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Last edited by TimM_980; 09/01/20 12:00 AM.
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Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020020 08/31/20 11:59 PM
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Could you explain in a diagram ? Not sure what I'm looking at.

Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020023 09/01/20 12:04 AM
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Pins are grouped in threes, while the strings are grouped in twos.

Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020094 09/01/20 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TimM_980
Pins are grouped in threes, while the strings are grouped in twos.

Oh, I see it, hahaha, is there an advantage to this ? more compact ?

Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020112 09/01/20 07:17 AM
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Makes for a narrower pinblock with less material which may fall apart faster.

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Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020130 09/01/20 07:54 AM
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Some pretty severe angles across the bearing point, too. Looks like a great place for strings to break, eventually.


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Re: Hemiola in piano design
terminaldegree #3020146 09/01/20 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Some pretty severe angles across the bearing point, too. Looks like a great place for strings to break, eventually.

I had been meaning to ask, what do you guys lubricate these bearing points with. is there a need to add something over time as there's eventually going to be some oxidation buildup/ dust/ grime.

Re: Hemiola in piano design
jeffcat #3020170 09/01/20 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Some pretty severe angles across the bearing point, too. Looks like a great place for strings to break, eventually.

I had been meaning to ask, what do you guys lubricate these bearing points with. is there a need to add something over time as there's eventually going to be some oxidation buildup/ dust/ grime.

I put the smallest drop of protek CLP at the bearing point sometimes if I’m wary of string breakage. This piano was only 15 cents flat so I wasn’t too worried. I didn’t lubricate it. Strings rendered fine during tuning.

Last edited by TimM_980; 09/01/20 10:26 AM.
Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020177 09/01/20 10:39 AM
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Well your post made me laugh! That's the kind of stuff that drives me nuts.


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Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020188 09/01/20 11:03 AM
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I have always felt that the side bearing of the standard vertical piano was too much. Plus the fact the round rib that the pins are installed into usually causes the string to be above the rib very slightly in the speaking length. I suspect that with hard playing the string gets "slammed" against the rib very slightly leading to deformation of the wire.


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Re: Hemiola in piano design
jeffcat #3020199 09/01/20 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
I had been meaning to ask, what do you guys lubricate these bearing points with.

Nothing.
I’ve seen other techs use CLP, but worry about liquids migrating where they don’t belong...and the stuff’s expensive...and it’s really rare that I break a string when tuning. (roughly 1 per 100, with the pianos I service)


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Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020232 09/01/20 01:46 PM
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Paraffin lamp oil on the bearing edge. It evaporates without residue In about 45 minutes and doesn’t travel far.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Hemiola in piano design
terminaldegree #3020239 09/01/20 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by jeffcat
I had been meaning to ask, what do you guys lubricate these bearing points with.

Nothing.
I’ve seen other techs use CLP, but worry about liquids migrating where they don’t belong...and the stuff’s expensive...and it’s really rare that I break a string when tuning. (roughly 1 per 100, with the pianos I service)

So that's Moree than two strings per piano! 😀

Re: Hemiola in piano design
johnstaf #3020254 09/01/20 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by jeffcat
I had been meaning to ask, what do you guys lubricate these bearing points with.

Nothing.
I’ve seen other techs use CLP, but worry about liquids migrating where they don’t belong...and the stuff’s expensive...and it’s really rare that I break a string when tuning. (roughly 1 per 100, with the pianos I service)

So that's Moree than two strings per piano! 😀

He’s probably referring to 1 in 100 pianos. So it’s probably 1 in 24,000 strings.

Re: Hemiola in piano design
TimM_980 #3020401 09/01/20 11:19 PM
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At approximately what String count does a piano tuner finally go-insane.

Last edited by jeffcat; 09/01/20 11:19 PM.
Re: Hemiola in piano design
jeffcat #3020402 09/01/20 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
At approximately what String count does a piano tuner finally go-insane.

They start out insane, it’s a basic qualifier 😄


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Hemiola in piano design
WBLynch #3020494 09/02/20 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
Originally Posted by jeffcat
At approximately what String count does a piano tuner finally go-insane.

They start out insane, it’s a basic qualifier 😄

Is it a benjamin button scenario where the sanity is kept in check or reversed by piano tuning ?


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