Does opening the piano lid change the touch?

Posted by: Beethoven747-400

Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/30/12 09:59 AM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/30/12 10:28 AM

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.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/30/12 10:49 AM

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".
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/30/12 02:15 PM

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.
Posted by: arpan70

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/30/12 03:21 PM

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
Posted by: Beethoven747-400

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 02:26 AM

Thanks for clearing that up guys! I guess the volume makes me think the touch is different.

ahha thanks @arapan
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 02:50 AM

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.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 03:08 AM

Smound? A mixture of smoke and sound, sort of like smog? Interesting concept, worthy of Hollywood!
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 08:10 AM

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!
Posted by: keystring

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 09:49 AM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 10:45 AM

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?
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 10:52 AM

At my home, lid down always.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 11:21 AM

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,
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 06:39 PM

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.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Does opening the piano lid change the touch? - 12/31/12 07:02 PM

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.