Preface to the WWW-edition

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The interest for this little book on the acoustics of the piano has by far exceeded all expectations. The second printing sold out long ago. Using electronic media not available at the time of publication, we are now happy to be able to diffuse the content to all people with an interest in the piano and piano sounds.

Since the release of this book in 1990 major advancements have been made in piano synthesis. It seems likely that the presently dominating technique for commercial digital pianos, which is based on playback of sampled real piano tones, will be soon replaced by so-called "physical modeling." In this approach, the sound generating processes in the piano, including the blow of the hammer on the string, the transmission of vibrations from the strings to the soundboard, and the final radiation of the sound, are described by the appropriate physical laws and each note is computed from scratch. This technique has the potential of bringing piano synthesis to a high degree of naturalness. The development of the synthesis methods has, however, by no means made the content of this book obsolete. The five lectures describe the underlying physics upon which all detailed modeling of piano tones must be based.

The transfer of the book to the WWW has been made by Östen Häggmark, The Swedish Piano Tuners and Technicians Guild. His extensive work, made on a voluntary basis, is greatly acknowledged.

Stockholm in September, 2000
Anders Askenfelt, editor

Scientific articles on piano acoustics describing more recent findings can be found in the international acoustic journals. In particular, see

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Acustica - acta acustica


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

© 1990 Royal Swedish Academy of Music