Weighted Piano Keys
You may have noticed that some pianos are easier to play while others require more effort. Some appear more uniform and smooth in the note-to-note relationship, and in others, the feeling is that each key requires special treatment to produce a uniform sound. The reasons for this are manifold, including softer or harder hammers, heavier or lighter mechanism parts. Fixation of elements with more or less force, newer or older components.
All of these elements result in what we can call the “weight” of a piano’s keys.
Key Weight Importance
If the keys on a piano are too light, sensitive to any touch. The musician will not strengthen his or her fingers. Or work on transmitting the weight of the trunk to them. Which will make later playback on other pianos that may have more rigid actions difficult.
If the keys are too heavy, this can lead to fatigue, make the practice less rewarding and cause serious muscle injuries, as happens to many pianists.
In addition, a mechanism that has inconsistent pitch weight from note to note will make it difficult to learn nuances and dynamics or to play. And will also make it difficult to play on other pianos.
Basically, the “weight” of the keys corresponds to the amount of pressure required to press them. To measure someone can place how much on the end of a key until it lows.
Keys In Grams
Today, we measure the piano’s playing weight in grams, and most manufacturers adopt about 50 grams per key, with variations, but there is no absolute standard for this.
The weight will be a few grams higher in the bass section and will gradually become lighter to the top, reaching 46 grams in the treble.
It is not only the keys what we must consider, but an entire gear that moves it. When you press a key on a piano, you are lifting a hammer and all the parts of the mechanism associated with it. We design the part of the key to go down about 10 millimeters.
The hammer, however, moves almost 50 millimeters. In this way, the hammer travels a distance five times greater than the end of the key. So it multiplies any additional weight in its formation at least five times on the key where the finger presses it.
And this definition of touch weight mentions nothing about sound production, but only the minimum pressure needed to bring the key down. That’s called a static touch weight. The dynamic playing weight, or the actual pressure required under varying playing conditions. This is more difficult to measure because it considers several additional factors. That complicate the equation such as the dynamics of how the piano is being played and the velocity of notes, among others.
Besides These Complications
There is human perception. Two similar pianos may have the same static touch weight. For example, but one can give more sound than the other for a certain button press. Because of different densities of hammer felt or a series of other reasons. The instrument that gives less volume will be more difficult to play, or requiring more effort. Because the pianist perceives less result by what he produces of movement.
If a piano’s playing weight is not what it should be, or what the musician wants, we can make adjustments. The goal is for the musician to have the same sensation playing the entire length of the keyboard, from the highest to the lowest note, and for this to happen. Weighed and balance keys are necessary. So we can compensate the differences in weight between the hammers.
Before Making Weight Changes
However, make sure they have adjusted the piano (that is, they have adjusted each note on the piano to the factory settings). And that there are no problems with the mechanism, such as parts rubbing against each other.
If these measures do not bring the weight of the keys into line with the pianist’s taste. There is still the possibility of replacing the existing lead counterweights on the keys with lighter or heavier ones. Which will require another adjustment throughout the mechanism to adapt it to this change.
The duty a tuner-technician is a primary factor in checking for any abnormality in the mechanism. So that the piano can reproduce the intentions of the pianist.Could you imagine that there would be importance even in the weight of the keys?