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This volume contains five lectures given at a public seminar at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, May 27, 1988. The lectures are based on accumulated experience in piano design as well as recent experimental and theoretical studies -all presented in a popular style.

The seminar day was preceded by two days of discussions between the lecturers and invited representatives from piano manufacturers. Two representatives from Steinway & Sons, Daniel T. Koenig, Vice President of Manufacturing, and William Y. Strong, Director of Research and Development, joined the speakers in a closing panel session at the seminar, answering questions from the audience and pondering future improvements in piano design.

The seminar day was closed by a remarkable concert -"From harpsichord to concert grand" -in which the development of the piano was illustrated. The stage featured six instruments representing piano design from 1813 to 1980, and a harpsichord as a reference to the keyboard instruments before the piano epoch. Three pianists performed on the instruments playing music contemporary to each instrument. Excerpts from this concert are included on two gramophone records accompanying this book. The concert was recorded by The Swedish Radio Company and later broadcasted.

The seminar was initially proposed by the Music Acoustics Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Later a Keyboard Committee of the same academy was founded, which ran the seminar and additional events in cooperation with the Department of Speech Communication and Music Acoustics at The Royal Institute of Technology and the Swedish Radio Company.

The editing of this volume was considerably facilitated by the continuous and thoughtful support of my colleague Erik Jansson. Due thanks are given to Si Felicetti, Gudrun Weiner-Rispe and Åsa Wallner for patient assistance in the processing of the manuscripts and figures.

Stockholm in January, 1990
Anders Askenfelt, editor


This page is a part of Five lectures on the Acoustics of the piano

1990 Royal Swedish Academy of Music