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#2006458 - 12/30/12 09:59 AM Does opening the piano lid change the touch?
Beethoven747-400 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 126
Loc: Perth, Australia
This may seem really odd, but for some reason, when I open the lid to any piano, grand or not, for me, I feel the touch changes to something a lot lighter. I don't know if it's psychological, but it physically feels lighter to play. Just wondering if any others have had similar experiences.


Edited by Beethoven747-400 (12/30/12 10:01 AM)
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#2006477 - 12/30/12 10:28 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19267
Loc: New York City
The volume is greater with the lid open so that it takes less effort to produce a given volume. So the touch seems lighter. This would be almost universal.

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#2006491 - 12/30/12 10:49 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1043
No, it's not psychological -- by opening the lid, you're physically allowing the sounds to enter the atmosphere with less "damping" -- and therefore you really MUST change the touch to get sounds of equivalent intensity. Of course there is in addition a psychological shift as well because of the change in perspective, but it really is physically based. I have an upright, but will on occasion open the lid, just to get "the edge" on producing appropriate volume with less effort; i.e., a lighter "feel".

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#2006575 - 12/30/12 02:15 PM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17927
Loc: Victoria, BC
Changes your "touch" to get the same tone and volume from the piano as when it is closed, but doesn't change the "touch" (i.e. action) of the piano.
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#2006601 - 12/30/12 03:21 PM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
arpan70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 99
Loc: Mumbai, India
Think of it this way. You will always be cruising at Mach .85. But if there is a strong headwind, you'd be travelling slower because of more drag. But if there is a strong tailwind, you'd be travelling faster because of less drag. The amount of power you put in and your airspeed would be the same, but your ground speed would be different.

Just though the analogy is appropriate given your username grin
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Grieg: Cello Sonata, Op.36

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#2006853 - 12/31/12 02:26 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
Beethoven747-400 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 126
Loc: Perth, Australia
Thanks for clearing that up guys! I guess the volume makes me think the touch is different.

ahha thanks @arapan
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#2006856 - 12/31/12 02:50 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Actually, it is quite funny that in the store and in the ads in the magazines they pianos all beautiful, but in television or in the movies, they all in pieces to let the smound out.

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#2006859 - 12/31/12 03:08 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21398
Loc: Oakland
Smound? A mixture of smoke and sound, sort of like smog? Interesting concept, worthy of Hollywood!
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#2006918 - 12/31/12 08:10 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2630
Loc: Netherlands
it's not only the volume that changes, rather the clarity and depth of the sound, so many people, mostly non-pianists regard the lid as a volume-regulator, wich it isn't, it just makes, when open, the sound of the instrument what it should be. Always play with the lid open!
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#2006956 - 12/31/12 09:49 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11648
Loc: Canada
Psychological. We respond physically to feedback. If it's not loud enough then we increase effort. Playing happens between the ear, physical sensations in the hands, intent, all working together. We can't always isolate the sensations, but we can trust when it is going right that something is working as it should.

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#2006992 - 12/31/12 10:45 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: dolce sfogato]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19267
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
it's not only the volume that changes, rather the clarity and depth of the sound, so many people, mostly non-pianists regard the lid as a volume-regulator, wich it isn't, it just makes, when open, the sound of the instrument what it should be. Always play with the lid open!
Not really something many/most can do because the piano will be too loud. My guess is that the majority of people play with the lid down and lid hinge folded back. At least that's how I play. Larry Fine makes the good point in his Piano Buyer that one should test pianos at dealers the way one thinks they will be playing them at home, and for many that means without the lid fully raised. I think I've read that in Europe many play with the lid completely closed and the music desk resting on top of the lid but I'm not really sure.

So how do all you PW members usually play if you have a grand?

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#2006998 - 12/31/12 10:52 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
At my home, lid down always.

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#2007012 - 12/31/12 11:21 AM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: pianoloverus]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17927
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[...]
So how do all you PW members usually play if you have a grand?


Often with the lid closed, but folded back for access to the music stand and quite frequently with the lid on half-stick. Only for recitals will I open the lid fully.

Regards,
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Estonia 190

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#2007174 - 12/31/12 06:39 PM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 635
Loc: NY and NC
I play with the lid down and music desk on most of the time, but once in a while I open it up and let 'er rip! Big sound! The tone is different when playing up or down and like someone else said, it changes the way you play because things sound different. Fun to play both ways. Half-stick is interesting, too.
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#2007180 - 12/31/12 07:02 PM Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? [Re: Beethoven747-400]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
There a picture of Martha Argerich playing piano in her home (I think) and the entire lid is down with a piano cover over it, but she removed the sheet rack and placed it on top. I wonder why she did this.

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