Shawn's Piano - West Hartford, CT - 860-953-8885

Music Glossary

Action

The action consists of thousands of moving parts, from the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. 

Case

The outer wooden cabinet is referred to as the case.  On a grand piano, the case is often referred to as the rim, which is also an important structural component of the instrument.

Casting

The casting or plate is responsible for supporting the approximately 40,000 lbs. of string tension.  Much of the piano is built around the casting.

Dampers

The dampers are small felted blocks that drop onto the strings to stop their vibration.  They are controlled by the pedals, or by pressing and releasing the keys.

Hammer

The hammer, comprised of a specially shaped and compressed wool, strikes the strings when keys are depressed. 

Lyre

The lyre is the framework supporting the foot pedals underneath a piano.

Pinblock

The pinblock sits underneath the casting, and holds the tuning pins securely in place.  The strings are wrapped around the tuning pins.

Regulation

The adjustment of all the thousands of moving parts in the action to optimize the feel and performance of the instrument.

Soundboard

The soundboard is a large, thin piece of spruce that is glued to the rim of the piano.  It is responsible for transforming the vibrations of the strings to the tone that we hear.

Tuning

Tuning is the adjustment of the string tension in order to obtain the proper pitch.