The Deconstruction of Mr. Piano

13 April, 2006

Above: Mel Septon, noted restorer of automatic musical instruments, harvests various organs from Mr. Piano's nether regions. Restoration of Mr. Piano made sense neither aesthetically nor economically. But the curator and the Queen wanted parts that might have a future use in a higher-quality instrument salvaged.

Right: Removal of the pump and motor.

Left: The Duo-Art vacuum pump. The vacuum created by this pump is essential for the operation all the moving parts of the Duo-Art system.

Right: The Duo-Art expression box and accordion pneumatics. These components, responding to coding in the piano roll, give the Duo-Art piano its dynamic range.

Left: Portions of the Duo-Art wind motor. This is the mechanism (vacuum powered) that pulls the piano roll over the tracker bar (see below) and rewinds it after the roll has been played.

Right: The Duo-Art stack. It contains the components that actually strike the keys of the piano (at the proper dynamic range).

Left: A rear view of the tracker bar assembly. As a Duo-Art roll is drawn over it, the tracker bar determines which notes are to be played and their relative loudness or softness.

Click here to meet Mr. Piano's replacement.

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