Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
81 registered (AndrewJCW, Anticlock, AprilE, Bassano, Albert Brighten, 15 invisible), 1099 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#919897 - 10/08/05 09:29 AM Study finds small hands praise smaller keyboards
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5835
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
October 07, 2005

For centuries, pianists have known that not all hands are created equal.

A pilot study published last week by two University of Nebraska-Lincoln professors has provided scientific data to back up small-handed pianists’ perceptions of ease and efficiency when playing a specially designed, smaller piano.

Brenda Wristen, assistant professor of piano pedagogy, and Susan Hallbeck, associate professor of industrial and management system engineering, led the study.

While Wristen is the musical expert, Hallbeck is a certified industrial engineer who specializes as a hand ergonomist.

Their research examined whether it is physically easier for a small-handed pianist to use a keyboard seven-eighths the size of a conventional one.

Wristen and Hallbeck defined a small-handed pianist as having a hand span of less than eight inches.

Because of this limited span, small-handed pianists are restricted in the pieces of music they can play. And although it hasn’t been scientifically proven, it is generally accepted that small-handed pianists are more susceptible to injuries, such as tendonitis.

“Keyboardists in particular are injured at an alarming rate,” Wristen said.

Although many small-handed pianists have experienced these difficulties, they lacked the scientific evidence to quantify the problem.

Wristen first came across the "7/8 keyboard," which is about seven inches shorter than a conventional piano, in spring 2004.

UNL owns two such pianos, one in Westbrook Hall and another in Kimball Recital Hall.

In the pilot study, funded by a grant from the UNL Research Council, two piano players recruited from the School of Music played excerpts of music on both keyboards.

To determine stress levels, the researchers attached sensors on the pianists, measuring muscle activity in their arms, shoulders, wrists and jaws.

Results showed small-handed pianists do have higher stress levels when playing on a conventional keyboard.

Hallbeck said this research is unique because of the two different fields it unites: engineering and music.

Wristen and Hallbeck hope that their research will help the 7/8 piano gain more acceptance in musical institutions, which can be resistant to change. They wish to see a dual standard in the piano world, with institutions having a conventional piano as well as a 7/8-sized piano for small-handed pianists.

In the long run, the researchers hope to discover the most efficient piano techniques and then apply that knowledge to help musicians build a healthy technique, Wristen said.

“This study is merely a single step within that larger research agenda,” she said.

The Daily Nebraskan News
- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
Find Us On:
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
My Keyboards:
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ, Harpsichord (kit), Clavichord (kit), Bilhorn Telescope Organ c 1880
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
Invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield let's get together!

#919898 - 06/13/06 01:03 AM Re: Study finds small hands praise smaller keyboards
bgranat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 34
Loc: Massachusetts
Does anyone know where a piano like the one described can be purchased?

I've found out a company that can retrofit a grand and that sells uprights outfitted with a smaller keyboard.

Are there any digitals out there that are 7/8th the size of a standard keyboard?

My span is 10.5 inches, which is severely limiting.

Thanks for any information.

#919899 - 06/13/06 01:12 AM Re: Study finds small hands praise smaller keyboards
bgranat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 34
Loc: Massachusetts
I have to chuckle at the mistake I just made. If my hand span were 10.5 inches, I'd be in Heaven. No, it's 7.0 inches. Barely an octave.

I want a 7/8th size keyboard!


the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Yamaha CP4 or CP40 Free Bag
Buy a CP4 or CP40 Get a Free Bag
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai MP11 powered speakers choose what?
by Lakeside
11/27/15 11:34 PM
I left from teacher and what new teacher to look for
by kristinazx
11/27/15 11:32 PM
Specific techniques/tips for staying relaxed?
by cathryn999
11/27/15 11:03 PM
Need Advice: Yamaha U3 too mellow
by woody4tarheels
11/27/15 10:18 PM
What Mozart is this?
by JoelW
11/27/15 09:50 PM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
81,564 Registered Members
44 Forums
168,618 Topics
2,470,279 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission