Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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V. §56.]               ACTION OF PEDALS.                       113
of a key of suitable construction. This allows the string to be accurately tuned, since by tightening or loosening the wire we raise or lower its pitch at pleasure. In small instruments two, in larger ones three, wires in unison with each other usually correspond to each note of the key-board. While the pianoforte is not in action a series of small pieces of wood covered with list, called 'dampers,' rest upon the wires. These are connected with the key-board in such a manner that, when a note is pressed down, the corresponding damper rises from its place, and the wires it previously covered remain free until the note is allowed to spring up again, when the damper immediately sinks back into its original position. Each note is connected with an elastic hammer, which deals a blow to its own set of wires and then springs back from them. The wires thus set in motion continue to vibrate until either the sound gradually dies away, or is abruptly extin­guished by the descent of the damper. The action of the two pedals is as follows : the soft pedal shifts the key-board and associated hammers in such a way that each hammer only acts on one, or on two, of the wires corresponding to it, instead of on its complete set of two or three wires. The sound produced by striking a note is therefore proportionally weakened. The loud pedal lifts all the dampers off the wires at once. t,                                                                 8
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