P-ART JOURNAL

53

 

CURVED KEYS

Recently I was astonished to encounter my ergonomic dream: the remarkable curver keyboard from the upright piano constructed 1882 by Walter NEUHAUS SOEHNE conceived in order to avoid the shifting of the centre of the player's body when playing the outer extremes of the keyboard. I didn't realize that more than a century back someone conquered the extreme technical complexity of the construction of a curved keyboard to facilitate piano players' needs.

During your city-trip to Brussels, don't forget to visit the remarkable piano collection of the new located Musical Instruments Museum (M.I.M.). On the +1 and +2 floor you explore the large collection of piano instruments from Belgium, England, Germany, Denmark, France, Austria and the United States. One of the oldest square piano's of the collection, built in 1780 by J.F.Hoffman (Cleves), is furnished with two hammers a key. One hammer is covered with felt (producing the normal piano sound), the other is made of bare wood with a sound resembling to that of a harpsichord. Instrumental builders were constantly experimenting in order to improve the timbre and the dynamic possibilities of the piano.

 

Beside the eastern, the folk and other MIM-collections, there is the "Instrument Creation Workshop" of the hitech SOUND LAB SPACE on the -1 floor "Musicus Mechanicus" where you obtain a graphical representation of sound spectrums (harmonics) from acoustic instruments on screen, and where you can even create new timbres for a virtual instrument  by yourself.

Further information available at http://www.mim.fgov.be (< click and go).

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