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Perceptions of the Stuart & Sons Piano Sound:
Realising a creative, active vision

 
 

Kevin Hunt

 
 

img_13102016_175515

Balls Head, a quiet place that stands tall and still in the centre of Sydney’s Harbour metropolis,
has inspired and directed this research with its powerful natural statements of place.

 
 

Thesis and creative work submitted in fulfilment
of requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

 
 
 

University of Sydney
2016

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Abstract

This research examines the position of the Stuart & Sons piano in the three hundred year evolution of piano design. It demonstrates how the Stuart piano design is indicative of the technology of its period, the music of its period, and the place of its development.This thesis argues that the Stuart & Sons piano design implementations of the bridge agraffe and the expansion of its frequency ranges demonstrate that the new Australian instrument is of its time and place. Its use of 21st century technological advancements in steel wire drawing and its production of a distinctively new sound aesthetic which appeals to Australian contemporary music composition are indicative of a piano design of this period. The experimental ideas of the 19th century piano designers Henri Pape, John Broadwood and Sebastian Erard have been taken up by Stuart to expand the piano’s frequency range to the widest in the history of the piano, from 16Hz to 5587.65 Hz with a proposed extension of 6 higher notes to 7901.72 Hz. This proposed extension achieves a 108 note keyboard compass and eight full octaves for each pitch of the chromatic scale.

The thesis examines Wayne Stuart’s claims that today’s modern piano design, standardized in the late 19th century, represents a pause in the evolution of piano design that has not adapted to the changes in musical style and technology of the 20th century, whereas the Stuart design supports the vertical emphasis in sound production implemented by the impressionist, contemporary &electronic music composers of the 20th century. This research compares the sound of the modern piano with the Stuart piano sound to demonstrate the differences of the Stuart’s vertically enhanced harmonic characteristics and its increased capacity to project a comprehensive tonal spectrum over a longer distance.

How audiences decipher the differences found by this research, in the sounds of the Stuart and modern pianos is tested in a series of audience-survey concerts. Verbal attributes used to describe piano sound quality are complied into glossaries and used in survey questions.

Australian aspects of the Stuart piano are described and associated with the oblique connection that exits between contemporary Australian music composition and Australian Aboriginal art forms.
Compositions for the Stuart piano are devised from perceptions of the Stuart piano sound established by this research. The researcher artistically fuses his perceptions of the Stuart piano sound with the musical influences and traditions of his Aboriginal colleagues to produce a series of compositions that illustrate a creative and cultural outcome of the research.The compositions reflect social aspects of Australian society and enable a musical activity and response to the urgent need for intercultural collaborations in the arts-education sector between Indigenous and non-Indigenous systems of education.

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Acknowledgements

I feel very fortunate to have had the experience of working with many talented and experienced professional people throughout the course of this research project. It has been wonderful to be free to produce intuitive and creative research about the sound of the Stuart & Sons piano, in conjunction with the expertise provided by these professional people. The whole journey has added to my total sense of what it means to be a creative working musician.

Thank you to the Albert family for making this research possible by providing the Stuart Scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Thank you to Wayne Stuart OAM. The thrill and excitement of meeting regularly with Wayne on the premises of the Stuart & Sons factory was always a privileged experience. To work with Wayne in recording sessions, on the making of the Byal-la DVD, and in setting up the Menindee ‘Painted Piano’ project culminated in life changing experiences for me. Thanks also to Katie Stuartfor her continued assistance.

My academic supervisors Professor Anna Reid and Dr Keith Howard have managed to allow the creative process to continue throughout the entire period of this research. I greatly appreciate their guidance, experience, advice, patience and encouragement. Thank you also to Dr Helen Mitchell for her preparatory and ethical assistance.

Thank you to the audio technicians involved in this project, Yao Wang, John Bassett, Phil Sawyers, and Jonathan Palmer. Each technician has engineered recordings and produced videos that illustrate the processes and outcomes of this research. I am also grateful for the assistance I have received from several piano technicians, Ron Overs, Vahe Sarmazian, Owen Geary, David Kinney, and Geoffrey Pollard. Special thanks also to the French piano and strings maker Stephen Paulello and technician historian Paul Corbin for their continued assistance, their contributions to the research and communications over the long distance.Thank you to Peter McMurray for his production of the Byall –la DVD and the high quality footage of the collaborative ‘Painted Piano’ project filmed on location in Menindee NSW.

Thank you to Ass. Professor Rod Cross from the school of Physics, Sydney University for enabling us to observe the vibrations of the piano soundboards as the piano sounds were being recorded.
Special thanks to Associate Professor of Statistics Peter Petocz for his tireless contributions to this paper by producing statistical patterns of evidence associated with the 384 piano sounds examined in this study.

Special thanks to electronics engineer and reproducing piano expert Peter Phillips, for constructing the electronic striker and for conducting the string vibrations tests in chapter two.

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Thank you also to Professor Bob Anderssen at the CSIRO, for contributing his expertise on the behaviour of transient soundwave envelopes.

My special thanks go to acoustic scientist Dr John Bassett for introducing me to the analytical techniques and theories of sound wave analysis. John spent many hours supervising my analytical processes and trialling experimental methods for the testing of piano sound quality. Dr Bassett devised the 180° microphone array for the tests conducted in chapter four and he engineered each recording session.

Thank you to my Aboriginal music colleagues in Sydney and Menindee for introducing me so generously to the stories and cultural business of our land. Especially, Richard Green, Matthew Doyle, Clarence Slockee, Marlene Cummins, Karen Smith, all the Kirk family, Peter McKenzie, Charlie Trindall, Graeme Merritt, Brenda Gifford, Clint Bracknell,Vic Simms, Jodie Edwards, Michael Birk and Kayleen Kirwin. Thank you to the students and staff at Eora TAFE Chippendale and the students and staff of Menindee Central School for their highly valued participation in the various musical and visual art projects for this research.

Thank you to Graham Jones and Jepke Goudsmit the at the Kinetic Jazz Festivals. At these festivals from 2010 to 2015, many of Sydney’s jazz pianists played the Stuart & Sons piano for the first time. The discussions and performances at these festivals contributed significantly to my comprehension of how jazz pianists and jazz audiences perceive the sound of the Stuart piano.

Special thanks to Ms Julia Torpey-Hurst, Dr Chris Sainsbury, Helen Bub-Connor and Rick Ball for their guidance and care taken inadvising meof the intricate sensibilities associated with Australian Indigenous cultures.

Thank you to the Sydney historian Keith Vincent Smith for his thorough work and support of this project. Keith has walked me through the various sacred Aboriginal sites around Sydney Harbour and shared his deep knowledge of the Indigenous history of Sydney. Keith also discovered the 1793 transcription of the Sydney Aboriginal chant, Barrabul-la, which significantly contributed to this research.

Thank you to the Sydney Conservatorium staff, Guy McEwan, Jarrad Salmon, Jonathan Palmer, Jacqui Smith, Julie Simonds, and Chris Prasad.The collaborative OUR MUSIC events could never eventuate without your combined assistance and professional craft. Thank you to the Conservatorium music students who collaborated with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues the OUR MUSIC festivals in 2012 and 2014.

Thank you to Ms Deborah Cheetham AO, Toni Lalich and the Short Black Opera Company for their creative input for OUR MUSIC 2014.

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Special thanks to Jazz musicians Lawrie Thompson, Karl Dunnicliff, Gary Holgate, Dave Goodman and Phil Stack for their assistance, wonderful musicianship and friendship.

A special thank you in appreciation of his great wisdom, experience and patience, to my dear musical collaborator and colleague in all styles of music performance, pianist Simon Tedeschi.

Thank you to Warwick Ross and the Elizabethan Theatre Trust, firstly for introducing me to the Stuart & Sons piano sound.Secondly for the use of the excellently maintained Stuart & Sons pianos which resided,during the period of this research, at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

Thank you to my sister and musician Marianne Goodyer for her tireless encouragement for this research project to achieve its completion. Her assistance and interest in compiling the audience survey results really contributed to the energy of the project.Thank you also, to friends and family for your constant encouragement, support and understanding during these past years of the all-consuming research.

Finally and most importantly thank you to my dear wife Maria Lopes for assisting me constantly and lovingly, and for providing the nurturing home life to work within. None of this work would have been possible without Maria’s assistance in so many ways.

This thesis is dedicated to the loving memory of my parents, Margaret and Ellis Hunt.

 
 
 
 

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Presentation Guide

This ebook thesis of six chapters contains embedded audio .wav files, visual .mov files.
The Audio and Visual resources are accessed by clicking on the blue print in the sound tables:
For example: The sound C5v54 STU MWmxd array.wav will be heard when clicked on.

C5 v54 STU MW mxd array.wav
Soundtable 3.1

The note C5, is ‘C’ an octave above ‘middle C’, 523.25 Hz. The sound in the above sound table 3.1, is recorded by all the microphones in the room, the ‘mixed array’ of microphones.

Note Names:

The coding of the note names and their registers used in this research, spans a range of 8 octaves, for example for the note ‘C’ is denoted as C0 to C8. The octave numeral coding of each note is also notated in subscript font, for exampleC0 to C8. The numeral is not indicative of the harmonic relationship of the note to a key centre. In the illustration below, the numeral indicates the number of groups of 12 semitones above the note C0. ThereforeC8 indicates the note that iseight groups of 12 semitones (octaves) above C0.

Keyboard compass chromatic spans of 11 semitones.

When describing the ambitus or compass of the piano keyboard ranges which extend above the standardised 88 keys of the modern piano, the term ‘chromatic span’ is used in this research. Chromatic spans denote the groups of 11 semitones above the given note, omitting a repeat of the given note. For example, the 102 key compass of the Stuart piano launched in 20101, has a compass range from C0 to F8. An11 semitone chromatic span which repeats 8 times, occurs above the notes C , C#, D, D# , E and F. The compass is therefore described having 8 chromatic spans for these 6 notes.

Scores- Appendix 8.

The Compositions and Collaborations are illustrated as music scores and presented in Appendix 8.

1See page 35

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Table of Contents -Part I

8

9

10

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Compositions & Musical Collaborations

Music Scores Appendix 8 in this ebook, also see Score Book 1

Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya Series

Ancient & New     p. 344

Timelines     p. 399

Barrabul-la Voices prt.1     p. 402

Music Scores – Appendix 8 in this ebook, also see Score Book 2

Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya Series

Barrabul-la Voices prt.2     p. 413

Guyanaylung Bayui     p. 422

Byalla     p. 430

OUR MUSIC 2012

Menindee Bop     p. 438

The Painted Piano Suite

i. Swirls    p. 443

ii.Thanks giving    p. 447

iii. First Steps    p. 455

iv. Lines    p. 457

OUR MUSIC 2014

Dali Mana, Gamarada1    p. 468

Wirritjirribin    p. 484

Ngaya Wagul    p. 489

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Table of Figures

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Introduction

This research is essentially a record of my investigations and perceptions of the Stuart & Sons piano sound. Since the launch of Stuart piano No.1 in 1995, this new Australian piano design has keenly interested pianists, composers and listeners from all over the world because of its new sound. My evaluations of its tonal qualities and my compositional settings of its sound are collectively presented in this paper as a journey of practical investigation and research.

The overarching aim of this research is to demonstrate how my artistic musical objectives are informed by my research objective. More succinctly, how my engagement with the Stuart piano sound in composition and performance, is informed by my objective to describe distinctive qualities of its sound.

By recording the piano sounds and implementing processes of tonal analysis, I have detected four distinctive characteristics in the Stuart & Sons piano sound that combine to produce its unique tonal colour:

  1. A slower rate of decay in the fundamental partial frequency
  2. An earlier transition into the after-sound states of string oscillation.
  3. A wider harmonic spectrum in the onset state of the sound.
  4. A more comprehensive projection of sound to 6 metres.
  5. The detailed processes and theories used to measure and illustrate these characteristics are presented in chapters three and four of this paper.

    As my perceptions of the Stuart piano’s sound developed, my awareness of its tonal intricacies made it possible to arrange and notation the piano sounds in fine detail. I found I was interacting with the elements of the sound itself, being led by the sound to produce musical statements. Defining the distinctions of the sound quality in an active creative way prompted me to interpret this piano sound as being an embodiment of many Australian characteristics. The fine attention I was giving to the elements of the sound produced for me an environment of sound to compose within. The vibrating Tasmanian King William pine of the Stuart soundboard, the Huon Pine wood of the Stuart panels, the pictorially abstract sounds enhanced by the expanded Stuart keyboard compass, and the aurally significant sustain in the Stuart sound throughout its frequency range, all established to me that this piano presented a clear Australian departure from the traditional standardised European and American piano sounds we are accustomed to today.

    The Stuart piano sound itself engendered for me the promise that an exploration of its characteristics would produce composition that could connect me musically with Australian Aboriginality. So I invited several Aboriginal musicians who were connected culturally in the Sydney region to collaborate

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with me in creating compositions using the Stuart piano sound. The music we composed has enhanced my awareness of ‘place’, the place of this piano’s creation, this place, my place. The experiences of studying and describing the qualities of this instrumental sound have inturn inspired me to use the sound in composition and improvisation that informs me about the place of its making. The sound has moved me to act in this particular artistic and cultural manner.My artistic creativity, the outcome of my investigations, is therefore discussed as being a consequence of the Stuart piano design and sound.

Throughout the six chapters of this thesis, I write about the science of sound, historic piano design, social opinion of the Stuart sound, my perceptions of the Stuart piano tone, and its sonic capacities to enable my collaborations in Australian Aboriginal music practices. How the Stuart & Sons piano has been utilised in the contemporary music scene by various artists in Australia since 1995 is also examined.

I describe the Stuart piano as a piano of this time and place. The design implementation of the bridge agraffe in combination with the most recent developments in hybrid steel drawing of piano wire and the elimination of the traditional piano string down-bearing, are indicative of very recent, even controversial developments in piano design. There is a general sense that this is a modern Australian piano that presents a new soundscape of projection and tone. My application of the Stuart piano sound with Aboriginal music practice is also indicative of a contemporary approach. Each of the inter-cultural collaborative compositions produced by this research are indicative of the cultural developments in the Australian Arts where Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists producers, writers, composers and funding corporations work together to produce symphonies, popular songs, rock bands, schools of modern art, arts festivals, novels, plays and film.

In a sense this research asks, does instrumental design influence musical composition, or is it the reverse? Both questions are answered here in the affirmative. The sound of the Stuart piano sound has influenced, even instigated the compositions, and later in this introduction, Wayne Stuart the maker of the Stuart piano, describes his motivation to create the new piano design as being directly related to specific musical styles of the 19th Century.2 So we have music being created because of an instrumental sound and the impetus for the design being born out of the maker’s reaction to specific musical style.

The very concept of the first piano in the early 1700s, a keyboard instrument with a more responsive keyboard action and than the harpsichord, is reportedly associated with the characteristics of the musical style of that period which emphasised the performer’s individual musical expression.3 To support the notion that piano design and musical style are creatively and historically linked, I have listed and illustrated piano designs in the ‘Early Piano Design Associated With New Musical Style’ section of this introduction, emphasising the expanding range of the piano keyboard compass and its deployment by the influential composers, pianists and musical styles of the day.

2See ‘Vertical Colour and Sound’ section of this introduction, where Stuart says it was dervived from the incapacity of the standardised modern piano, in his view, to produce the clarity of complex sound quality instigated by the Impressionists composers of the early 19th Century and Electronic music composition later that same century.
3Athur Loesser. Men, Women and Piano : A Social History(Dover Publications,1954), 24.

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section of this introduction, emphasising the expanding range of the piano keyboard compass and its deployment by the influential composers, pianists and musical styles of the day.

To establish a compendium for my understanding of piano sound and design, in the first three chapters of this paper I describe the dimensions of the piano, its nature of sound production, the physics of piano string oscillation and the harmonic nature of sound. These fundamental aspects are examined in order to understand how aspects of the Stuart piano design influence the tonal colour of the Stuart piano sound.

In chapter four I have identified and compared the mysteries and miracles 4 of piano tone by evaluating and comparing sounds of the Stuart & Sons piano with the sounds of the modern piano. In this process I observed the science of its sound under the tutelage of acoustic scientist Dr John Bassett 5 while consulting a wide range of published research and methodology. During this time I aurally started recognising particular characteristics of the new soundscape and began to document my perceptions of its sound into musical notation thus creating a palette of ‘Stuart’ colours. These, my perceptions of the Stuart piano sound, are documented as music manuscripts and audio extracts in chapter six as a creative conclusion to this research.

The Stuart & Sons piano is presented as a different instrument to the ‘modern piano’ in this research for the comparative study of the two soundscapes. The physical design differences of the both pianos are presented in detail in chapter one. The ‘modern piano’ is a widely used descriptive title that encompasses most pianos made since the 1880s. The piano is a highly complex instrumental design.Since 1700, for approximately 180 years,the development of piano design advanced with the technological development of its materials, particularly in steel. It is also generally accepted that before the late 19th century, piano design was more closely associated with new developments in musical style, than it is today. Subsequently, today’s modern piano design has not been subject to such a progressive development since approximately 1880 6, when the design was standardised, with the adoption by the majority of piano manufacturers, of a specific dimensional assembly. The modern piano is often epitomised by the Steinway piano of 1867 7 which emerged after Henry Steinway’s patent in 1859 of the cross strung grand piano 8, which by the 1880s was considered to be the blue print of the standardised piano design.

4A wonderful choice of words by Gabriel Weinrich to describe the after-sound period of the sound of a piano tone.
Gabriel Weinreich. “Vertical and Horizontal Motion” in The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings. (J Acoust Soc.Am1977, Vol. 62, No.6 (1977) also in Five Lectures on the Acoustics of the piano (Royal Swedish Academy Of Music, 1990)
http://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/weinreic/motion.html (accessed June, 2010).
5Dr John Bassett, Tai Poutini Polytechnic,4 November, 2015, N.Z
http://tpp.ac.nz/about-tpp/our-people/tutors/music-and-audio-mainz/dr-john-bassett
6Stephen Paulello“Concepts page,” Stephen Paulello Piano Technologies,http://www.stephenpaulello.com/en/concept.
19 June, 2013. (see also Paulello quotation p.18)
7Edwin Good, Giraffes, Black Dragons and other Pianos, 2nd Edition. Stanford, California: (Stanford University Press 2001), 210-11.
8     2Good,212. See also Arthur Loesser, Men, Women and Piano A Social history: (New York: Dover,1954),564.

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Pianos made before the Steinway revolution are of interest today primarily to music historians, antiquarians and collectors of furniture.
Those made since have adopted the Steinway’s main features or earned a rapid obsolescence.9

The Stuart piano and the modern piano share many similar characteristics of design. The fundamental difference is how the piano strings are attached (coupled) to the bridge and soundboard. This research has established evidence that finds the manner in which the strings are coupled to the bridge influences the string vibration and subsequently the quality of the sound, the tonal colour. This evidence of the Stuart piano’s unique string vibration is illustrated and discussed in chapter two. Comprehensive evidence of the unique Stuart piano soundscape is analytically illustrated throughout chapter four. The contrasting transient tonal qualities of the Stuart & Sons and the modern piano are clearly demonstrated both visually and aurally.

In the chapter five, the research discussion is opened up for interaction with public audiences. Audience responses to survey questions about the differences in the Stuart and Steinway piano sounds are collected from a series of six audience survey concerts which presented performances on both the Stuart and Steinway pianos.Audience members were encouraged to answer survey questions about the sounds they are experiencing. The pianos used in the concerts are the same pianos tested in chapter four. The derivation of the verbal attribute terminology used in the survey questions was compiled into glossaries and presented throughout chapter five.

My perceptions of the Stuart piano sound are detailed throughout chapter six. Here I suggest how my musical background has influenced how I interpret the qualities of the sound. A glossary of sounds created on the Stuart piano is presented to illustrate how the characteristics I have identified as being distinctive of the Stuart sound are integral in creative sounds. Following this, the Indigenous influences on my concepts of composition are discussed and the collaborative compositions are presented in audio and manuscript extracts.

When I first heard the Stuart & Sons piano I aurally envisaged new Australian piano composition. Following the long gestation time of this research, I felt buoyed with the knowledge and experience of the new Australian piano sound to compose with it collaboratively. The knowledge and experience provided the impetus I needed, emboldening me to enquire how I could collaborate musically with the first peoples’ of this nation in their music practices. I subsequently used Stuart piano sounds as ‘my sound’ to collaborate musically with a collective of Australian Aboriginal musicians. The collaborations introduced me to the contemporary vibrancy and artistic depth of Aboriginal culture here in this busy cosmopolitan city of Sydney. As an outcome of these collaborations and with the assistance of Gadigal descendent and researcher, Julia Torpey Hurst, and Darug composer and educator Dr Chris Sainsbury, I instigated an educational model for Indigenous and non- Indigenous music students. Entitled OUR MUSIC, performing place, listening to Sydney, we devised the model to encourage and facilitate the creation of intercultural music collaborations. In 2012 and 2014, I produced two OUR MUSIC events at which Indigenous and non- Indigenous music students performed with the Stuart & Sons piano. Manuscripts and links to the recordings of these events are also presented in chapter six.

9CyrilEhrlich,The Piano A History(New York:Oxford University Press Revised Edition, 1990),47.

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produced two OUR MUSIC events at which Indigenous and non- Indigenous music students performed with the Stuart & Sons piano. Manuscripts and links to the recordings of these events are also presented in chapter six.

The Modern Piano

The modern piano design is defined by the culmination of technological design advancements since its inception in 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori. The principles of Cristofori’s responsive piano key action10 are still applied in the modern piano today.11 Essentially the modern piano has an 88 key compass, is cross –strung with high tensioned steel strings, and importantly to this research the strings are coupled to the bridge and soundboard by pinning the strings in a horizontal plane, with an applied down-bearing force through the bridge to the crowned soundboard.The modern piano design has been universally deployed in most piano design throughout the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Since approximately the 1880s, this standardized piano design is generally referred to as the modern piano in piano literature.

In the sixty or so years before the modern piano design was standardised, the fundamental changes from ‘wood based’ to ‘iron based’ pianoswere led by the technological advancements in steel wire manufacture.Piano strings made of finely drawn high tensile steel wire, stretched to high tensions in heavy iron frames were found to produce a superior piano tone. William Brockendon’s 12 invention for drawing wire through holes in diamonds and rubies, in 1819,13 eventually established an efficient process for the production of hard drawn steel wire. Many of the innovative piano design developments in the 1800s were made possible by the advancements in steel wire manufacturing. Some examples of these are Alpheus Babcock’s one piece iron frame patented in 1825, Henri Pape’s expansion of the keyboard compass to 97 notes in 1842, and the successes of American piano manufacturers, Chickering and Steinway at the International world trade exhibitions of the 1850s with their iron framed grand pianos. It is widely recognised that the eventual standardisation of the modern piano sound was influenced by the desirable tonal improvements of the higher tensioned steel wire.The piano wire manufacturer Moritz Poehlmann of Nuremberg is accredited for improving steel tensile strength and wire hardness in the 1850s.

…all the leading piano manufacturers of Europe and
America adopted the Poehlmann make for their pianos.14

Between 1867 and 1893, music wire tensile strength increased by 44%. 15

10I was privilegedto play a remake of Cristofori’s piano in Rome in January 2015, at the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti
Musicali di Roma è
11     3 Good, 37-38.
12the 19th-century painter & inventor
13Samuel Wolfenden, A Treatise on the Art of Pianofarte Construction,(Old Unwin Brothers Limited ,1975), 6. also:4 Good,184.
14AlfredDolge, Pianos And Their Makers,(Dover, 1911), 124; see also
Joel & Priscilla Rappaport, “Strings/Stringing” inEncyclopedia of the Piano, ed.RobertPalmieri,383-385.(New York:
Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, Volume 1131, 1996) , 384.
15     2Wolfenden, Art of Pianofarte Construction, 7

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The modern piano sound is produced for this research by a Steinway Concert D piano made in Hamburg Germany in 2005, No 574500 and is identified throughout the paper with the acronym (STE).
The Stuart sound is produced by the 2.9m Stuart concert piano No19, made in Newcastle, Australia in 2002, and is given the acronym (M19,STU) throughout this paper. At the time of this writing (2015), there had been 58 Stuart pianos built since 1995. The ‘M’ in the Stuart acronym is the grade of Paulello strings used for the notes examined on this particular instrument.

Wayne Stuart’s Ethos.

Throughout this research period I met regularly with Wayne Stuart at his Stuart & Sons factory in Newcastle, north of Sydney, to discuss his general design ethos. The conversations were almost always about the Stuart & Sons design and sound, in comparison to the traditional standardised modern pianos’ design and sound.Being initially inexperienced with the Stuart piano concepts of design the comparative discussions were probably for my benefit. It therefore seemed logical that my study should take a similar path to the discussions and present a detailed comparison of both piano designs. At these meetings I would often play one of the Stuart pianos and occasionally under Wayne Stuart’s supervision, I would record a composition written specifically for his piano design.Of special interest to the maker, was in how his extended frequency range of the 102 key pianos was utilised in the compositions.

The discussions with Wayne Stuart showed me how valuable his words are to this study, so with ethical clearance from Sydney University and granted permission from Stuart,his wordsare featured throughout this paper. I stored and compiled Stuart’s words by recording the conversations and reiterating finer points with him in follow up emails.16 I also obtained the ethical clearance to interview four piano technicians,and one other local piano maker, Ron Overs.These other interviews were valuable to the study as they represented a secondary enquiry into the same design topics I had already discussed with Wayne Stuart. Interviewing others about the same issues helped me realise the main points of difference in the contrasting piano design philosophies. The main topics of discussion were, string coupling to the soundboard, down bearing, thickness and mass of the soundboard, projection of sound, string scaling tensions, string length, types of piano wire, the Stuart 4th pedal, and the extended frequency ranges of the Stuart keyboard compass.

The Stuart piano’s string coupling application to the bridge and soundboard presents its most significant change to the modern piano design. The Stuart design employs a bridge agraffe for the coupling of the piano strings at the bridge, maintaining the strings’ straight line which is fundamentally different to the standardized ‘pinned’ string attachment of the modern piano.The Stuart piano uses the 21st century technological advancements in steel wire manufacture of Stephen Paulello, enabling the expansion of

16See Appendix 7 to view the ethical clearance approval letters from Sydney University to interview Piano Technicians about the Stuart Piano design and sound.

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the keyboard compass to 102 keys. It is claimed that Paulello strings produce a wider spectrum and enhance a more stable harmonic balance within the sound of each note.17

Wayne Stuart, the maker of Stuart & Sons pianos, claims the bridge agraffe produces a more vertically controlled string vibration than the modern piano. He states that the bridge agraffe eliminates the the need for the traditional down-bearing force of the string onto the bridge and soundboard, and influences the string to vibrate with improved clarity and sustain.He also claims that the Stuart string vibration generates a different vibration in the lighter, thinner soundboard, radiating a new omni directional18 soundscape from the piano.19

Vertical string coupling is at the core of the Stuart & Sons design concept.
A special device (agraffe) is used to couple the strings to the bridge and soundboard structure. The agraffe defines the string’s speaking length
(frequency) and contains the reaction forces produced by bending the strings as they pass through it. This negates the need for string down bearing that is required in the traditional pinned bridge system. The soundboard can thus be designed on a speaker cone principle and not as a load bearing structure as is the case in the standard piano. This scientifically designed device encourages the strings to vibrate in a more controlled manner improving the dynamic range, increasing sustain and significantly improving tonal clarity sympathetic to the entire piano repertoire.20

The first Stuart & Sons concert grand pianos were made in 1995. Since then, the Stuart piano has been a frequent subject of inquiry and fascination in the Australian and international arts community and media. Wayne Stuart was a piano technician of international experience before he started designing pianos. In 1975, he won a scholarship to study with Yamaha in Japan, the largest maker of pianos in the world. He then went on to observe the more traditional techniques of five European piano makers.

“I realised that nothing was happening anywhere, it was just reproductions, all the piano makers were dead and I felt very strongly that if the piano wasn’t rethought, it would die too,” he says.21

Stuart’s comment ‘all the piano makers were dead’suggests to me his frustration at the complacent viewthat ‘all pianos were alike because the instrument has reached its final form and is a perfectly finished product’.22 Stuart’s comment also reveals his determination to reinstate the by-gone eraphenomenon of the hand crafted piano.In his book Men Women and Pianos,Arthur Loesser describes the beginning-of-the-end of the handcrafted piano-making era in the mid 1800s,as a time when the legendary piano makers Henri Steinway and Jonas Chickering, whilst still continuing their craft of piano building,were operating as executive heads of their large companies. An episode involving the the young English pianist Richard Hoffman is recounted in the book, where having just

17Arno Patin, “ArnoPianos.”http://www.arnopianos.com/#!piano-wire–rescaling/cfm1accessed August 2014.
18Opus Dissonus, “Artur Cimirro-The Documentary.”YouTube video, 1:25:33. 2013, (1:06:43-1:07:34) www.arturcimirro.com.br&www.opusdissonus.com.br
19Wayne Stuart,“Innovations”Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos,http://www.stuartandsons.com/innovations.html 14th May 2015,http://www.stuartandsons.com/innovations.html
20     2Wayne Stuart “Innovations.”
21“Sunday”.Beethoven, Stuart & Gerard Willems Making History. Channel Nine, (Sydney, NSW: TCN 9, November 15, 1998).
22     2Paulello, “concept page” websiteaccessed 19 June 2013.

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arrived from England, the young pianist was greeted at the front door of the Chickering factory by Jonas Chickering in his work apron and tools in his hand. The reluctance of these craftsmen to adapt to the standardisation of piano parts manufacturing by specialized factories is described here by Loesser-

As executives these men brought with them the craftmen’s devotion to
workmanship, his happiness in knowing that he has used his own hands to
do a fine job to which he is proud to affix his own name for all to read’23

It was necessary to put a brake on the exuberant inventiveness of the XIXth century craftsmen and move on to rational, industrial production. Piano makers conformed progressively to the technologies of the most enterprising and well-established manufacturers of the era. Inevitably, the sonority of pianos lost its diversity to a common esthetic. Since then, the trend of standardization has been validated by the explosion of production in Asia, where the base model is
conscientiously reproduced.24

Wayne Stuart and the French string manufacturer Stephen Paulello have continued developing their craft in the pre-standardised spirit of ‘exuberant inventiveness’. Paulello and Stuart do not plan to produce the ultimate finished product of piano design. They are both ‘taking up the experimental challenge of piano making,from the point where it came to a halt’25.

The industrialization of piano manufacturing during the 20th century abdicated the critical aesthetic choices to mechanical engineers and non piano building related disciplines. This has produced so called piano makers unable to realise a workable, individual design. Thus, copying of derivative designs and adherence to past ideologies in an attempt to hold onto the so called core essence of what many believe the acoustic piano to be, underpins a crisis in potency and direction.26

After Stuart’s experience of the international piano manufacturing industry, he returned to Australia to direct the piano technology department at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music 27, and the North Melbourne Institute of Technical and Further Education,also known as Preston TAFE. Stuart initiated his experiments in expanding the dynamic and frequency range of the piano during his tenure at the Melbourne institution.28

23Athur Loesser. Men, Women and Piano : A Social History(Dover Publications,1954), 525.
24     33Paulello, “concept page.”
25     4Paulello, “concept page.”
26Wayne Stuart, “Stuart & Sons – A Bright Light in a Stagnant Pond”Piano InFoRoom(blog).February 2013, http://pianoinforoom.blogspot.de/2013/02/stuart-sons-pianos-bright-light-in.html
27now the Sydney Conservatorium of Music
28Brendan Ward. The Beethoven Obsession.(Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2013),chpt 7.

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Vertical Sound and Colour

Stuart claims his piano design is a response to the harmonically layered settings of new music practices heralded in the 19th Century by the impressionist composers.The Impressionists’ changed the traditionally linear composition style by placing more emphasis on the colour of sound, a characteristic Stuart says, that relates to the actual behaviour of sound itself, the physics of sound. This compositional interpretation of musical sound continued to be developed in the styles of minimalism and atonal music composers in the 1940- 1960s.The vertical emphasis enabled a departure from the traditions of linear melodic-harmonic progression of the music. The following passage found in an analysis of the minimalist composition Etymalongby Australian composer Ross Edwards, describes the emphasis of experiencing the inner charcteristics and nature of a sound, an inner look at sound itself, separate to its overall compositional context-

……. the overall structure is less important than a contemplative
appreciation of the individual events29 … with attention focused on each
detail as it occurs instead of projecting the mind back and forth in search
of structural associations. 30

A vertical interpretation of sound thus supported the view that composition was made up of explorations of qualities of sound, as we hear in the music of Claude Debussy.

…..discarding conventional methods of modulation, allowing relationships of a sudden, exquisite intimacy between only distantly related keys31

…… the composer[Debussy] was exquisitely sensitive to tone color;
a piece like La Mer employs a broad, subtle timbral palette that is,
in many ways, much more spatial/environmental than structural. 32

Stuart states that it is this continued development of vertical concepts in atonal composition through the 1940s and in the electronic music that emerged in the 1960sthat has influenced his work in expanding the capacity of acoustic piano sound to sustain and decay in a more stable, steady manner.In electronic music the attributes of the sound envelope, the attack, sustain and decay transients are electronically manipulated to produce the tone colour of the sound. Stuart says this fundamental aspect of today’s music production has influenced his ethos in producing a vertically enhanced acoustic piano sound to expand the capacity of the piano soundscape to sustain.

The development of minimalist concepts and atonal music during the
20th century was making a lot of the old wooden instruments incapable
I thought, of actually communicating it effectively. The Standard piano
just was not communicating it effectively because the music needed great
clarity throughout the frequency range, extraordinary sustain , and an ability

29Michael Hannan, “Etymalong for Piano.”School of Arts and Social Sciences (blog),Southern Cross University, 1989,
http://epubs.scu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1192&context=sass_pubs
30Jonathan Mills, “Shadow D-Zone,” (program notes, blog). See also Eric Tamm reference in Appendix 1a.3, p.276.
http://www.hindson.com.au/ross/prognotes%202/ShadowDZoneNotes.html.
31Alfred Cortot,“The Music of Claude Debussy”,French Piano Music (London: Oxford University Press,1932),chpt 1.
32Mark Samples, Zach Wallmark. “Debussy and Japan”from The Taruskin Challenge, (blog) 6th January 2011,
http://taruskinchallenge.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/debussy-and-japan

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to have a very quick attack,and be able to speak in extreme frequency ranges
at the same time and not have masking or muddying of the soundscape. 33

The nature of coupling in the standard piano of the two pin system produces muddiness because of complex counter phasing issues at the point of annunciation of the sound. 34

Vertical Concepts.

Vertical definition of sound is the Physics of sound, how sound behaves. Traditional western music has relied on lineal notation and a lineal concept of sound to covey its aesthetics and ethos…but the Impressionists decided that wasn’t working and what they wanted to explore was the colour of sound, how sound behaves. Most music, unless its regressive, that has been composed through the 20th Century and to our current time has sort to explore the vertical soundscape, in other words the colour and the way sound behaves. This has become a very important aspect for post 1945 music, particularly with electronic musical instruments, because we now have an energy source that is capable of sustaining and exploring that vertical soundscape, whereas in the tradition acoustic instruments, particularly in the percussive ones, you have a diminishing energy resource once the string is struck, you’re losing energy.35

Both Wayne Stuart and Stephen Paulello suggest 36 that early in the 20th Century, piano makers were prevented from responding to changes in music composition aesthetics as they had traditionally done, because of the newly industrialised mechanization of piano manufacturing that was associated with the standardisation of piano design and sound. The Stuart piano agraffe is claimed (above) to be a design response to contemporary trends in 20th Centruy music composition.

The detailed comparative data of piano sound quality presented in chapter 4, demonstrates four tonal characteristics that were found to be unique to the Stuart piano sound. These findings support Wayne Stuart’s claims to have achieved a piano sound with an expanded dynamic range and an enhanced clarity and sustain. 37The Stuart piano design is therefore presented in this research as a piano design that has adapted to changes in how music is produced and generally listened to in the 21st century.

Wayne Stuart and Stephen Paulello suggest 38 the reason the piano ‘lost its footing’ as the central instrument of contemporary art music in the late 19th century was because it had discontinued its association with contemporary composition and was more focussed on the efficiency of production, accepting its musical evolution was complete. 39

It is well documented that the first piano, Cristofori’s invention of the piano in the early 1700s,was a response to the contemporary musical forms of its time. The harpsichord had limitations for timbre

33Wayne Stuart speaking on : “Innovations In Piano”,Know Your Music,3MBS FM Victoria Public Radio (Melbourne, VIC: 3MBS FM, 2010).
34     2Stuart speaking on, Know Your Music,
35     3Stuart speaking on, Know Your Music,
36     2Paulello“Concepts page” ‘By then standardized the 88 keyed, cross strung, iron framed, pinned bridged pianos was promoted as the being ‘perfect’- also see, 2Stuart, A Bright Light in a Stagnant Pond.
37Wayne Stuart’s claims: see p.17 & p.53
38     3Paulello“Concepts page,” and 3 Stuart, A Bright Light in a Stagnant Pond.
39Piano historians Good , Ehrlich, Loesser, Schonberg and Gardner, all discuss this change of emphasis in piano design, due to mechanization and standardization.

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change and crescendo and diminuendo whilst in the flow of a musical phrase. 40 There was great interest at this time in the dynamic and interpretive expression of Italian Opera music, the violin, and the music of the Pantalon, a dulcimer style instrument which influenced a new style of expressive, interpretive keyboard music performance41 . Cristofori’s response presented the world with a keyboard instrument that expanded the harpsichord player’s capability to play dynamically and with greater expression.
Later in the 18thcentury the interaction between the piano designers and the pianist-composers CPE Bach, Mozart, Clementi and Beethoven brought many changes to the design of the piano.

Throughout musical history the catalyst for instrumental design change has varied. Sometimes the instrument designers responded to new musical style, alternatively composers adapted their musical style to suit new instruments.Wayne Stuart says his design is a response to the changes in the musical composition styles that occurred early in the 20th century, where the traditional linear ethos of compositional form changed to a vertical emphasis of the colour of sound.This research demonstrates how the sound of the Stuart piano has influenced my performance and compositional practices. In chapter six I demonstrate how the characteristics of the Stuart piano soundscape influences my composition and pianistic styles,in providing me with unique piano sounds for collaborations with Australian Aboriginal musicians.

40     5Good, 32-33.
41     2Loesser,24.

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The First Stuart & Sons Pianos.

From 1995 to 2001, the Stuart &Sons concert grand pianos Nos.1 to 11 were built by Wayne Stuart in partnership with the engineering and research facilities of Newcastle University,New South Wales,under the deanship of Robert Constable. 42 Robert Constable has kept a detailed archive 43 documenting his processes and discussions with Wayne Stuart as they worked to produce of the first Stuart pianos. If published, this archive could be of great value in its demonstration of how the support of research departments in the tertiary education system can contribute significantly to the creation and promotion of creative and homegrown initiatives. In 2001, a new partnership between Albert Investments Pty Ltd and Stuart and Sons Terra Australis Pty. Ltd. was created for the continued development and production of Stuart pianos. The Alberts group is a vibrant publishing, recording and philanthropic organisation, with a long history of support for artistic initiatives in the Australian music industry. These unique partnerships have enabled Wayne Stuart to continue his creative developments of modern piano design and to produce the largest number of pianos ever handcrafted by an individual Australian maker.44

Stuart Piano Recording 1996-2015

Since 1996to the date of this writing in 2015, there have been over fifty recordings commercially released featuring the Stuart & Sons piano 45. In many of these recordings the Stuart piano sound portrays the sounds of Australian contemporary composition and improvisation, music that is fundamentally influenced by vertical musical concepts of the 20th century previously outlined.The comment below by Australia’s leading contemporary music pianist Zubin Kanga importantly supports Wayne Stuart’s impetus to produce a piano sound of enhanced clarity which enables a clearer audible representation of the complex harmonic and dynamic layering requirements of modern music.

The ability to layer different sounds, both in different registers and different
colours in the same register is one of the most distinctive features of the Stuart [piano}.
I find this feature is particularly useful in contemporary music, where definition
of layers and maintenance of different layers of colour are vital to the works. 46
– Zubin Kanga, Australian Pianist

In the first five yearsof recording between 1996 and 2001,eight of the thirteen Stuart & Sons piano CD releases, were produced by Belinda Webster on her Tall Poppies recording label.

The Stuart piano is one of the best things that has happened to Australian music
for many years!It sounds great, looks great, and it is such a proud moment for
Australia that an instrument which may change the face of piano sound, world wide,
has originated from this country.As a recording instrument, the piano is to die for.
It has such a magnificent range of colours and dynamics. A stunning sound! It is an
instrument perfectly suited to the pianist who is open-minded, willing to believe that

42     3Ward, The Beethoven Obsession, 62.
43Robert Constable email emendation (July2016), of interview with author April 2015.
44     33Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos, accessed 18th Feb 2013.
45See Appendix 1, for the list of Stuart & Sons recordings, composers and pianists.
46Zubin Kanga, email interview with author, 21stAugust, 2012.

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the impossible is possible, and who has the flexibility to learn from an instrument in order to extend his/her technique.47

– Belinda Webster OAM. Tall Poppies Recordings.

Tall Poppies – Australia’s premier independent Record Label specialising in new and classical music by Australian composers and performers.48

Tall Poppies Symbol Fig.0.1

The new sound of the Stuart piano was initially made accessible to the public through the Tall Poppies recordings. The new recordings were highly interesting for pianists as the piano itself was not easy to access. At the time the first CD was launched only two Stuart pianos had been made.49 Production of handcrafted pianos is never fast and Stuart pianos have had some difficulty in being a‘piano of choice’ for major concert venues in Sydney, 50but for two exceptions. The Albert family’s first commissioned Stuart piano,christened ‘The Albert’, 51 was the resident piano in the Clancy auditorium in Kensington, Sydney for many years. And the Independent Theatre in North Sydney housed three Stuart pianos from the late 1990s until very recently.

From 1996 to 2007, a large proportion of the music recorded on the Stuart piano was composed by the most highly regarded Australian contemporary composers.The Mere Bagatelles(1996) CD a solo piano recording, presented bagatelles from a large cast of contemporary Australian composers including the pianist/composer Ian Munro. In this recording, many of Munro’s performances exhibited the new qualities of the Stuart sound. For example, the enhanced qualities of sustain in the middle and treble registers is clearly exhibited in first section of Carl Vine’s Five Bagatelles III.

Mere Bagatelles. 52CD Cover Fig.0.2

47Belinda Webster, University of Newcastle, Source: Robert Constable archive ,1997. Stuart piano advertising material, accessed 8th Sept 2015.
48Tall Poppies, http://www.tallpoppies.net/au/florey/researcher/working/main-content.html , accessed 8th Nov. 2016.
49     2Ward, 227.
50     2Ward, 7-9.
51     3Ward, 227.
52Mere Bagatelles. Ian Munro pianist. Recorded 1996. Tall Poppies TP080, 1996, Compact disc.

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The recording A Garden Of Earthly Delights(1997) featured the piano concerto 53 by Australia’s eminent composer Peter Sculthorpe,played on the Stuart piano also by Ian Munro.

Australian Compositional Subjects: Indigenous and Environmental.

Two compositions Earth-Flowering –Time(1987)by Colin Bright and Etym along (1984)by Ross Edwards are played on the Stuart pianoin the recordings Mere Bagatelles (1996) and Alternating Currents (2010). Both compositions exemplify the oblique connection between Australian contemporary music and Australian Aboriginal culture.These compositions reflect the growing swell of interest in Aboriginal culture experienced in the 1980s across non-Indigenous sectors of Australian society, especially in the Arts. The compositions by Peter Sculthorpe with Australian Indigenous imagery, Djilile, Kakadu,Earth Cry,Jabiru Dreaming and the Irk and a series were composed in the 1980s. The landmark decision in 1992 to establish Native Title, could be said to be a consequence of constant portrayals of Indigenous Australian issues in the mainstream media throughout the 1980s.

Native title is a property right which reflects a relationship to land which is the very foundation of Indigenous religion, culture and well-being. The non-discriminatory protection of native title is a recognised human right. 54

Both Earth-Flowering –Time and Etym along depict colours and sounds of natural Australian environments. The abstract characteristics of the music enable the listener to focus on the aspects of sound suggesting elements of land and place. The tonal spectra of the Stuart piano soundscape is on show in both these pieces.The bright attack tone and clarity of tone, the tonal balance within dissonant harmonic layers, and the steady sustain in the higher registers are qualities heard in both the recordings.

Earth-Flowering –Time(1987)track 31 on the Mere Bagatelles CD is composer Colin Bright’s adaptation of his musical ideas to the Australian Aboriginal word Tya, which means ‘earth’ and/or ‘flowering time’. 55Bright’s composed sounds depict the intricate patterns created by small Australian wild flowers as they grow out of an aged earth.

The picture these words paint seemed to suit the ideas in this piece. 

It is one of what I think of as ‘1-2-3’ pieces, that is, the minimal musical materials (harmonic, melodic, rhythmic and tessitural) are derived from relationships between these numbers. The essence, consequently, is STASIS. 
The piece belongs to the ‘psyche of place’ bag . That is, where we live and how it affects the way that we think. Even if you live on the more densely populated east coast of Australia, you are nevertheless still aware of the vast distances involved in travelling towards the centre (center), the north and west. 56

53Peter Sculthorpe, “Piano Concerto” A Garden Of Earthly Delights Ian Munro pianist, Diego Masson conductor, Australian Youth Orchestra,recorded 1997,Tall Poppies TP113, 1983, Compact disc.
54 “ Native Title,” Australian Human Rights Commission, 9th November, 2015,
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-social-justice/projects/native-title
55     2Mere Bagatelles
56Colin Bright, Earth FloweringTime For Piano – notes, 9thNovember,2015,
http://members.dodo.com.au/~colinbright/eftime.html

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Earth Flowering Time – audio excerpt
Sound table 0.1

Earth-Flowering –Time Colin Bright , Reed Music 57 openning three bars. Fig. 0.3

Bright’s music has an improvised feel about it.As a jazz pianist I interpret the repetitive rhythmic motif in the left hand as a ‘riff’, over which a jazz pianist would create improvised variations with the right hand. Bright describes the technique of his piece as STASIS, by which I understand he is referring to the stationary or static repetition of the low motif, and its conversation with the right hand motifs, which depict the colourful patterns and growth of the small desert wildflowers flowers, coming up out of an aged and dark earth. The dark elements of the Phrygian mode are repeatedly apparent in the low motif, and the bright harmonic element of the mode are portrayed in the right hand gestures. This mode was used by European musicians in the late 18th century in their transcriptions of two Aboriginal chants of the Sydney region, see Barrabul-la in chapter six. I use the Sydney chants as a primary source for my collaborative music projects with Aboriginal musicians and the soundscape of the Stuart piano.

Etym along (1984) by Ross Edwards is track 4 on the Alternating Currents CDrecording by Bernadette Harvey.Eminent Australian composer Ross Edwards described his piece in an address to the Conference On Belonging58 , recounting the musical transformation he experienced at Etymalong. This was a time for collecting his new musical language. He thanks the sounds of the nature-scape of the place, –

….these ancient voices, whose near-symmetries and inconsistently varied
repetitions often seem close to our inherited musical syntax. I don’t doubt
that, over the millenia, such voices have generated much of the world’s
music and it’s not hard to detect their presence in various surviving folk and
religious traditions. 59

Etym along is an Aboriginal word meaning watering place and is at the
same tie the name given to the mountain overlooking the village of Pearl
Beach, NSW. In this once sacred place I lived with my family …
and composed, amongst other music, a series of static, evanescent works
much influenced by the sounds of the natural environment.60

57Colin Bright, “Earth Flowering Time For Piano” In Three Piano Solos (Fitzroy VIC: Reed Music, 2010)
http://www.reedmusic.com/composer/b-composers/bright-colin/
58Ross Edwards, “Address To The Conference On Belonging,” Ross Edwards. 2015.
http://www.rossedwards.com/publicity/address-to-the-conference-on-belonging/
59     2Ross Edwards 2015.
60     2Hannan, Etymalong for Piano,

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The enhanced stability of sustain in the Stuart sound is apparent in the sonorous after –sound 61 of the dissonant bird call gestures in Etym along. The first three composed gestures of Etym along are notated in the table 0.1 below. Gesture 1 is repeated intermittently.The attack of the sound is abrupt and dissonant, followed by sonorous after-sound sustain. Eventually the motive moves to include gesture 3, which stretches over the wide spectra of the Stuart soundscape. Each gesture is interpreted and listened to vertically, statically and minimally, each as a complete entity, gesture, or colour.

Etmalong audioexcerpt
Sound table 0.2

In Etym along and Earth-Flowering-Time each composer has musically depicted visual and sonic details that portray closeness with the natural Australian environment. The Stuart piano soundscape portrays these images very clearly.In the titles, the composers’ words and in the abstract openness of the music, there is also an oblique acknowledgement of Australian Aboriginal cultures.From the perspective of this research, these recordings set the beginning of an artistic association between the sound of the Stuart piano and the initiatives of non-Indigenous Australian artists to interact with Australian Indigenous artists and art forms. In chapter six I describe my use of the Stuart piano sound as my sound to collaborate musically with Aboriginal musicians in their music practises.

In the latter half of the 1990s, the local media frequently described the Stuart & Sons piano as ‘Australia’s new piano’. The back sleeve of the first CD release of the Stuart piano soundMere Bagatelles, featuring the pianist-composer Ian Munro, revealed to the pubic the first detailed written description about its design:

61A technical term used to describe the sound of the piano note that lingers, or sustains, after the initial attack of the note . see , 2We in reich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
62     3Hannan.

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The cabinet is veneered in rare birds eye Huon pine and the legs covered in gold plated brass. The veneer was cut from an ancient Huon pine log salvaged from a creek bed in South West Tasmania. The Surface emulated the oxidised golden appearance this timber adopts when exposed to the air.
These materials were chosen for the first Stuart & Sons piano to portray an image of light and time. Stuart & Sons pianos are designed and individually hand crafted in Australia. They incorporate innovative design principles that enhance dynamic range and sustaining qualities. A unique string coupling system produces exceptional clarity of tone, opening new horizons in piano making and performance technique. Stuart believes that the current limited choice of differing aesthetic qualities in modern musical instruments disadvantages musicians and ultimately leads to a decline in performance standards.The great tradition of western musical instrument making requires constant change to remain vital and relevant. 63

The visually appealing appearance of the Stuart piano and the localised fascination of an Australian piano, made of Australian woods with extra notes and a new sound, created the subject of many arts media stories soon following the launch of the Stuart piano. This public interest in an Australian piano is well founded on the historic successes of Octavius Beale’s piano manufacturing operations, sourcing his timber from the forests of Dorrigo in NSW, early in the twentieth century 64. The Beale and Wertheim names hold a special place in Australian social history, having manufactured many thousands of Australian made pianos for households and schools in the years of the piano popularity boom, early in the twentieth century.

Unlike the Beale and Wertheim instruments made early last century, and indeed most pianos manufactured today, the Stuart & Sons piano is not manufactured by mechanised machines to an economy of scale. Its use of the finest contemporary materials and technologies, and its handcrafting at high expense means that an average of three pianos are made a year. Without a large market demand, the Stuart piano is produced without the requirement to standardize its manufacturing process, enabling the experimental and developmental piano building process to continue. The ongoing developments in

63Ian Munro, CD cover notes Mere Bagatelles,Recorded 1995,Tall Poppies, 1996 compact disc.
64Coffs Harbour Council,“Timber Hydro Mill,” Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage Report on the Timber
Hydro Mill in Tiimmsvale N.S.W. SHI number 1360215, 9th Dec.2014. Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage. http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/places-for-living/land use/HeritageSheets/ScheduleListedItems/Timberhydromill(former).pdf

34

steel tensile by Stephen Paulello for instance, can be instantly adopted in the next instrument Wayne Stuart.

This research examines how the new developments in the Stuart piano design interact and perhaps catalyse, the production of new and improvised music. Although Mere Bagatelles featured relatively new music by contemporary classical Australian composers, the works were not specifically composed for the Stuart piano. It is interesting that since this recording, the Stuart piano is commonly regarded as an instrument that is suited to contemporary classical music and less suited to the classical and romantic piano repertoire. Associations can be formed quickly when a new instrument arrives on the music scene.

Public Acclaim: Beethoven, Willems and the Stuart & Sons Piano.

In 2000 a series of recordings of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas and concertos, played exclusively on the Stuart & Sons piano, was initiated by producer Brendan Ward and pianist Gerard Willems, achieving a high level of promotion and social recognition.

Two years before the release of these recordings, a sense of anticipation was portrayed successfully in reporting the progress of this recording project, featuring the new Australian piano.

Already the recordings have been acclaimed not least for the fact that they’re played on a revolutionary new Australian-made piano, known as “the Stuart”….. “The secret of his piano lies in a unique string coupling system that ensures greater tonal clarity. It also has 97 keys instead of the traditional 88. The timbers used in the Stuart include rare Tasmanian Huon pine, King William pine and Queensland Hoop instead of traditional maple, spruce or mahogany. This unique CD project has been described as climbing music’s Mt Everest – on your own”.65

The series of Beethoven recordings featuring the Willems and the Stuart piano was expanded several times.In 2013a box set of 15 discs entitled the Beethoven-Willems Collection, was commercially released containing Beethoven’s complete sonatas, concertos and variations for keyboard.

65“Beethoven, Stuart & Gerard Willems making history” Sunday.TCN Nine,Television, (Sydney: November 15, 1998). http://sgp1.paddington.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/art_profiles/article_616.asp?s=1

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Brendan Ward’s book ‘The Beethoven Obsession’ also launched in 2013, is a narrative that dramatically depicts the enterprising undertakings and achievements of Willems, Ward and Wayne Stuart, in producing this exhaustive body of recorded work. Interestingly, Ward clearly documents Wayne Stuart’s dual episodic engagements with both the commercial world of the necessary financial support, and the artistic piano design world, describing the reality and tensions of making decisions that have influenced the evolution of Stuart & Sons piano from the 1990s in Melbourne, through to 2012 in Newcastle.


Ward’s narrative positions Beethoven’s music as the central object, and Willems and the Stuart & Sons piano as the actors, interacting and producing an outcome of new perspectives on Beethoven’s monumental music, challenging established views on one of the corner stones of classical music repertoire for the past 200 years.Ward’s prose attaches plenty of colloquial ‘under dog’ national cultural characteristics of an Australian made contemporary instrument ‘taking on’ the traditional European-American clandestine Steinway concert piano traditions, at the Sydney Opera House, at the time when Sydney was host of the Olympic Games.It is the interactions of a nationally unrecognised musical identity of low socio-economic European refugee background, with an unknown Australian piano claiming to be the contemporary alternative to the 120 year convention of European and American modern piano design, manifesting a new interpretation of the musical language of Beethoven that creates the story. At the outset, these disparate ‘actors’ seemed unlikely characters to achieve a successful new interpretation, yet their unison and separate interactions with the music culminate in unique, award winning recordings that enhanced the pianist’s career and initiated a positive public perception of Australia’s new piano. Ward’s literal ‘snapshot’ reveals the interactive collective energies that generated a positive community awareness of the new piano, and with it a unique perspective and sound of Beethoven’s music.

This multi-layered model of activity relates closely to the structure of this research program, which examines the interaction of the Stuart & Sons piano with the ‘actors’ of my piano music style, the re-composition of historic Aboriginal music and the traditional modern piano.

36

Since the Willems recording projects began, interest both publicly and artistically in the Stuart & Sons piano has gradually increased, as more pianos are produced at an average of three each year. It is a traditional characteristic of new design, especially one that involves changing an established form such as the modern piano, that it takes a long gradual period of time for the changes to be accepted. It took over thirty years for the traditional piano makers Erard and Broadwood, to completely accept the use of iron frames in their pianos.66

There are significant challenges in changing traditional musical instruments because the ear is the organ of fear…and any difference in a previously learned preconditioning of that organ will be met with suspicion, and the only way to overcome differences is through education,familiarization, and a gradual re-programing of how the mind relates to and interprets the new sound experience. It could be said that new acoustic experiences are initially, simply not recognised beyond the obvious difference.67

Discovering Instrumental Tonal Colour Through Improvisation.

The first exploration, experimentation and composition of music primarily influenced by the Stuart piano soundscape was produced by the improvisations of jazz pianists.

This is an effective jazz instrument. Classical music has certain presets
It’s effective for jazz style because of all the surprises of colour. Jazz instantly composes, controlling them versus being led by them.68
– Mark Isaacs, Australian jazz & classical pianist.

Jazz pianists are involved in a music practice of adaptability. The improvising pianist can adapt to and explore a new instrumental soundscape as soon as they begin to play, because they are free to make sounds with the sound, in the moments it is heard. Jazz keyboard style is also intrinsically linked to contemporary technological developments of new instrumental soundscapes. This was especially evident in the 1960s, with the emergence of electronically enhanced keyboard instruments. Jazz keyboard players created playing techniques and styles of jazz for the new tonal soundscapes of the
Hammond B3 Organ of the1950s, the Moog synthesizer of 1964, the Hohner Clavinet 1968, the Fender Rhodes of 1969, and the Arp synthesizer of 1969. Jazz keyboardist today are creating new styles of improvisation with the use of 21st Century sampling and virtual instrument computer technology.

The exploratory Stuart& Sons jazz piano improvisations were recorded at the Stuart& Sons piano studio ‘the White Room’, in Newcastle. These sessions were informative to the piano maker, the pianists and the audio engineers. In 2007, Stuart & Sons released the first of their CDs, A New Voice.The improvisations on this recording are arguably the first compositions specifically created for the 97 keys Stuart piano. In over 115 years of stylistic development, Jazz piano style had not experienced a fundamental change in the acoustic soundscape of the piano, until now.

66     1212 Good, chpt.6.
67Wayne Stuart , in4“Innovations in Piano,” Know Your Music.
68Mark Isaacs, interview with author, 27thJanuary, 2011.

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In 2010 a second CD entitled A New Voice II was released by Stuart & Sons to coincide with the launch of its expanded keyboard compass of 102 notes. The expanded frequency range of C0 16Hz to F85587.65 Hz made this the largest piano ever to be made in the 300 year history of the piano. Five lower notes were added to the bass register. The lowest note of the 97 note compass is F0 21.82 Hz, and the lowest note of the 102 compass is C016Hz. The highest note F85587.65 Hz is the same in both the 97 a 102 compasses.

Pianist Bill Risby produced improvisations in these Stuart & Sons sessions that profoundly influenced my approaches to playing the Stuart piano.His improvisations reveal a superb understanding of the Stuart sound. He produced a distinct tone and played with intricate attention to the complex inner harmonic balances as the sounds sustain. In the audio excerpt link below, Risby creates a sound effect with the extreme bass registers, producing a deep abstract sound that is created by the palm of his left hand, gently striking the bass strings. These particular bass strings are being sustained by the selective sustain of the sostenu to pedal. The deep low sound maintains its harmonic and dynamic quality whilst the treble sounds are activated by the hammer strikes, played by the right hand. In this sound, several contrasting harmonic layers sustain simultaneously.As stated previously by Zubin Kanga, these layers are clearly defined in the Stuart piano soundscape.

Bill Risby -Native Sky excerpt.wav USB Audio 1: trk 3
Native Sky excerpt. Sound table 0.3
Native Sky audioexcerpt
Sound table 0.3

I have found an extraordinary amount of sustain in the sound of Wayne Stuart’s piano,
which has opened up a whole palette of sounds- when I studied Debussy, the score instructed you to hold down a bass note, without sounding it, and let the harmonics of the held note sound sympathetically with the played notes in the treble,… doing this on a Stuart piano is a completely different sound.- not only can all the harmony be heard completely clearly in that single held note, but they sustain for a very long time… and you can use that sustained effect to play with… selecting its sustain with the sostenuto pedal and continue playing to then reharmonise the sound that you’ve sustained.69

The Stuart piano was the featured instrument of the Kinetic Jazz Festivals in Sydney, in 2010 & 2011. At these festivals over twenty Australian jazz pianists improvised on the extended frequency ranges of 97 keys, higher and lower than the standard 88 keys of the traditional modern piano. The performances

69Bill Risby speaking on 2 “Innovations In Piano” Know Your Music,3MBS FM Victoria Public Radio (Melbourne, VIC: 3MBS FM, 2010).

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at the Kinetic Jazz Festivals were recorded and are available as commercial CD releases.70 On the 2011 Kinetic Jazz CD release, pianist Roger Dean comprehensively explores the Stuart piano soundscape in his performance improvisation of ‘Cloudspotting’. His performance begins with a portrayal of the very low frequencies of the Stuart range.

Roger Dean – Cloudspotting excerpt.wav USB Audio 1: trk 4
Cloudspotting excerpt Roger Dean 71 Sound table 0.4
Cloudspotting audioexcerpt
Sound table 0.4

In Cloudspotting, Dean combines the Stuart sound with the sound of a sampled and treated piano sound. The sustain transient in the sampled sound has been extended beyond the capability of an acoustic piano, nevertheless the Stuart sound has tonal qualities that are compatible with the enhanced electronic sound. The sustained quality of sound of the sampled piano is not dissimilar to the Stuart sound.

We are at the point monumental scientific, technological and intellectual changes.
The post Mechanical Age presents particular challenges for historically focused cultural pursuits deeply rooted in the mechano-crafts of antiquity. Electricity is central to most contemporary technological operations and the vast majority of music realated experiences uses electricity as its energy source.71

I sense that Wayne Stuart envisages an acoustic piano sound that could be regarded in the 21st century as contemporary as the digital sampler, or computer.

Wayne Stuart maintains a position that his piano design is a reaction to significant changes in Western artistic aesthetics that date back to the Impressionist movement from around the mid 1860s. By increasing the importance of the harmonic and dynamic aspects of the sound envelope (vertical) to the time and ethos focused tradition (horizontal), enabled an explosion in radical new ways of expression. The old narrow European tradition expanded to embrace a ‘world music’ that reflects not one particular idea of sound but has potential to integrate with many traditions where vertical or ‘colour’ based sound has been the cultural preference. Stuart’s vision is for a multi dimensional orchestral approach to piano tone building where both the vertical and horizontal elements of the attack and decay transients of the sound envelope are integrated and explored. The clarity of sound attainable in his designs is due to low levels of in harmonicity. Non masking and harmonic integration with other musical instruments and sound types is an important outcome of this approach. This achievement sets Stuart’s work apart in the modern music forum. The sound fashion adopted for the acoustic piano of the 20th century is fundamentally an American ideology and aesthetic. It is not culturally nor universally representative but rather, reigns as a consequence of political and economic dominance. This last statement is clearly stated on the Steinway web site with President Bush congratulating them for spreading the American way around the world! sup>72

70Kinetic Jazz Festival 2011,info@kineticjazz.com, Sydney: 2011, compact disc.
71Roger Dean,“Cloudspotting”Kinetic Jazz 2011. With Roger Dean, Recorded January and April 2011, info@kineticjazz.com, 2011. Compact disc.
72Wayne Stuart, speaking on3“Innovations In Piano” Know Your Music.
73Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, Monday, 18 April ,2011.

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Early Piano Design Associated with a Musical Style.

A piano is a machine of interactive systems connected by three main mechanisms, i) vibrating strings, ii) hammer action, iii) resonating soundboard. The hammer action that strikes the strings is activated by the pianist’s touch on the keys. The resonating soundboard is forced by the strings’ vibrations to vibrate by energy transmitted through the wooden bridges. The soundboard subsequently amplifies the piano sound via the vibrations of its larger mass. 73

The modification of the Italian harpsichord into a gravicembalocol piano e forte74 in 1700, by the Italian harpsichord builder Bartolomeo Cristofori, signified the invention of the piano. Cristofori’s invention of the hammer struck action, occurred at a time in history when a major shift was occurring in the perceptions of art music. The exclusive Baroque, church and aristocratic influence on the arts was experiencing a transition influenced by social trends towards a more centralised business-connected artistic community for both professional and amateur musicians. This shift in social practice subsequently coincided with more frequent staging of public concerts, and the establishment of associations between event entrepreneurs, publishing companies, instrument makers, agents of instrument makers, composers, professional and amateur performers and the general public. Political revolutions and wars were influencing the emergence of egalitarian influences on governments and the aristocracy. The migrations to London of many leading musicians and instrument builders escaping the wars and revolutions of Europe transformed London into the commercial and artistic capital of the world. The empire building colonisations, revolutions and wars of this time influenced the growth of world industry and trade. The colonisation of Australia is well connected in this archetype of empire expansion, trade and science.75

Chronology of Piano Design and Keyboard Compass Expansion.

The text of the following pages is accompanied withan illustrated chronologyof the expansion of the pianokeyboard compassover 313 years, from 1700 to 2013. Associated composers, pianists and technological developmentsare included with several of the illustrations. This illustration is important to this study as it displays how musical compositional style has traditionally been associated with instrumental design. A complete uninterrupted presentation of the piano compass development can be viewed in Appendix 1a.7

The keyboard notes in the illustrations are numbered in the ‘scientific’ system which accommodates a clearer presentation of the compass expansion from 1700 – 2014. The lowest note being C016Hz ; middle C =C4261.63 Hz; to the highest note F8 =5587.65 Hz . Both upper & lower casing is used to identify the same note for example: C0 and C0arethe same note.

74     13Good, 2.
75‘harpsichord with soft and loud’14 Good,41-42.Source: Scipione MaffeiGiornale de’Letterati d’Italia5 (1711):144-59
76Alan Atkinson, The Europeans in Australia, (Melbourne: Oxford Universty Press,1997).

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Resonating wood, vibrating wrought iron strings and a dynamically enabled keyboard action were the primary working mechanisms in early pianos between 1700 and the 1820s. The desire for a more musically expressive touch and sound for keyboard instruments was the impetus for modifying the harpsichord keyboard action mechanism. The popular styles of music in 1700 were the expressive forms of Italian opera and string music, signifying the beginning of a shift from the systemic Baroque, into a more individual sense of music making.76 It was the Florentine, harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori’s modification of the harpsichord’s keyboard action that initially enabled the keyboard player to implement dynamics, sustain and expression, that was previously not attainable on the harpsichord and clavichord.

The First Piano

On a visit to the Medici Court of Prince Ferdinando where Cristofori was employed as an instrument builder, Veronese intellectual Marquis Scipione Maffei, realised the importance of Cristofori’s invention and published detailed diagrams of the new instrument in a Venetian quarterly magazine Giornale de’ Letteratti d’Italia 77 in 1711. Transcripts of the article are found in Loesser’s Men Women and Pianos, and E. Good’s Giraffes, Black Dragons and Other Pianos. Cristofori’s dynamic keyboard action with escapement set the piano building industry on its subsequent journey of design development. Escapement is a term that describes the bouncing of the hammer freely from its impact on the string, enabling a free vibration of the string, whilst the key is still depressed. 78 This wasn’t a capability of the harpsichord or the clavichord. Cristofori’s hammer and string motion delivered to the music world a dynamic keyboard action and keyboard sound, that would respond to the desired dynamics and texture of the pianist or composer, without the need for tradition tone modifying hand stops. Dynamics and tone colour were previously controlled by stops on the harpsichord. Dynamics enabled through the keyboard itself meant the pianist could implement a change in dynamics, without stopping the music, ie with both hands still playing on the keys. George Handel and Domenico Scarlatti were in Florence at the Medici Court at this time, and it is assumed both composers played the new instrument at the place and time it was made.79 News of Cristofori’s invention would have spread quickly through Europe via Maffei’s article.

77     4Loesser, Men,Women and Pianos;14Good, Giraffes, Black Dragons. and HaroldSchonberg,The Great Pianists, (New York: Simon & Schuster , 2006).
78ibid.15 Good,36.
79Donatella Degiampietro , Giuliana Montanaria, “ESCAPEMENT,” in 5 Palmieri, 127.
80Ron Surace “CRISTOFORI, BARTOLOMEO” in 6 Palmieri, 102.

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Hammer struck keyboard actions were being developed elsewhere throughout Europe, without prior knowledge of Cristofori’s invention. At approximately the same time the Saxon designer and musician, Gottlieb Schroter 80 was developing a similar idea, to implement dynamics via the keyboard. Schroter’s design was different to Cristofori’s. Schroter’s model was not the harpsichord, but the lighter simpler action of the clavichord. Schroter’s design eventually became known as the ‘Viennese action’ and was development by piano builders Andreas Stein and Anton Walter.

German organ builder, Gottfried Silbermann developed Cristofori’s design further with some guidance from J.S. Bach and his son C.P.E Bach. Silbermann was the first to give the new instrument the title forte piano in 1733.81 CPE Bach was an influential authority on how to play the new keyboard instrument, providing a manual of techniques and a tutor on musical style advising harpsichord players how to adapt musically to the new forte piano. 82 The Versuch uber die wahre Art, das Clavier zu speilen, (Essay on the True Manner Of Playing Keyboard Instruments 1753), makes comments on accompanying, the undamped nature of the piano particularly in the higher registers, its colourful resonance, and details on improvisation, an essential ingredient of music practice in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The art of improvisation, or extemporisation, has virtually vanished among serious musicians (in the twentieth century it popped up in jazz).83

80     5Loesser. Men, Women and Pianos, 28.
81Eva Badura-Skoda, “SILBERMANN, GOTTFRIED,” in 7Palmieri, 352.
82Geoffery Lancaster in 5“Innovations in Piano”. Know Your Music.
83     2Schonberg,42.

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C.P.E. Bach was involved in the new musical style that focussed on the performer’s interpretation, taste and expression with a homogeneous melodic style, the stylegallant. The new musical expression had a sense of simplification, and attracted more amateur musicians to music performance than previously in the Baroque. As the piano progressively replaced the harpsichord as the preferred keyboard performance instrument, pianistic techniques, methods and ‘schools’ of playing began to be clearly illustrated by the leaders of the style in instructional volumes. The descriptions of piano tone, and articulations in these publications serve as an indication of which make of piano design was being favoured.

For nearly two centuries, piano designs changed as technical processes of steel drawing changed and the craft of pianist-composers in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries evolved.

The fact that instrument makers experimented so widely is evidence of new musical requirements which grew more insistent as the style of musical composition became increasingly homophonic, rather than contrapuntal.86

The pianist-composers, J.S Bach,CPE Bach, JC Bach, Haydn, Mozart , Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt, Rachmaninov, Debussy and Ravel were in frequent contact with piano builders, and the virtuoso pianists such as Hummel, Clementi, Cramer, Moscheles, Thalberg, Hans von Bulow, Rubenstein, and Paderewski, had business and artistic involvement with the design developments and experiments of the piano makers such as Silberman, Stein, Broadwood, Graf, Pape, Collard, Erard, Peyel, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Bluthner and Steinway.

85     5Good,. 58.
86 Arthur Ord-Hume, “Zumpe, Johann Christoph,” In 2Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano, 451.
87     2Ehrlich,The Piano A History, 12.

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Viennese and Anglo/German piano design.

Historically, the influence of keyboard design and instrumental soundon music compositional style is demonstrated by the difference between the Viennese and Anglo/German piano designs in the later half of the eighteenth century. Both distinctly different piano sounds corresponded distinctively in the piano music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Muzio Clementi. Mozart was clearly the master of clarity, precision and improvisation. Living most of his life in Vienna, his pianos were designed in the Viennese style, characterised by silvery tone and feather light smooth flowing action. 87

Music historian, pianist Robert Levin discusses the characteristics of Mozart’s Viennese piano in his program ‘The Instrument Of Choice’92 . Levin describes and demonstrates the associations of the Viennese instrument’s light and fast action, a rapid decay of the tone, and a very clear tonal spectrum, in parallel with the style of Mozart’s piano music. Clementi on the other hand lived in London, playing pianos derived from Silbermann’s model, larger in size, louder, longer sustain, heavier keyboard action, more strings per note and pedals. Schonberg tells us that Clementi is the first composer toexploit the dynamic extremes of the instrument. 93

87Mary L. Boehm, ‘STEIN FAMILY,” in 6Palmieri, 372.
88Heather Clarke, “Australian Colonial Dance” The History of Music and Dance in Australia 1788-1840.(blog) , 12 June 2013.http://www.colonialdance.com.au/piano-of-the-first-fleet-29.html#comment-8161
89Geoffrey Lancaster, ‘The first fleet piano: a musician’s view. Vol.1 ’ (A.C.T. : ANU Press, 2015),91.
90     2 Clarke.
91 ibid
92Robert Levin , “The Instrument Of Choice,” YouTube video ,7.48, September 14, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-DEhpPgtSY&feature=relmfu
93     3Schonberg,60.

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The two different instrument designs produced two pianistic approaches to legato; pedalling; melodic, harmonic and dynamic density.94 A clearly illustrated difference and development in pianism is revealed in the music of C.P.E Bach, Muzio Clementi and in the letters of Wolfgang Mozart. All three were innovators of performance style and composition.

94     4 Schonberg,49.
95 David Grover, A History of the Piano from 1709 to 1980https://www.piano-tuners.org/history/d_grover.html (accessed 14th May 2015).
96     6Good, 111
97     7 Good,211
98     8 Good, 200

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97 Keys, 1847.

The important French piano builder Henri Pape (1789-1875) is regarded as an experimenter – designer. Pape pioneered the expansion of the piano’s frequency and dynamic ranges. Henri Pape had a profound influence on piano builders of his time and contributed greatly to the evolution of piano design.
His most important innovations are the use of felt for hammers, made out of rabbits hair and lamb’s wool patented in 1826, cross stringing of his pianinos patented in 1828, the use of piano wire made of tempered steel patented in 1845.The expanded compass of eight chromatic spans, patented in 1842,101 was exhibited at the Paris Exposition in 1844. The Stuart & Sons piano compass of 97 notes was pioneered by Henri Pape’s patent of 1842, a design of 8 chromatic spans, F0 – F8.

Iron & Steel Developments.

Since the early 1700s, piano design has experienced both rapid and slow periods of development. Perhaps a most important development that defines the modern piano, occurred in the first half of the 19th Century, as the technological, acoustical and mechanised advancements in metallurgy made possible the production of iron frames and piano wire with high tensile capacity. These advancements were initially adopted by theAmerican, Chickering (1823) and Steinway (1853) and the German, Bechstein (1853) and Bluthner(1853) piano makers. This industrial standard ‘change of the guard’, from wood to iron in the 1860s brought about changes in manufacturing methods of pianos that

99The term ‘chromatic span’ is interpreted in this instance as being a group of 11 semi-tones, 7 whote-tones. Therefore the full 8 chromatic spans consist of 8 repeats of each of the 11 semi-tones.
100 Peggy Flanagan-Baird, “KEYBOARDS,” in 3 Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano, 203.
101     2Peggy Flanagan-Baird , 259. Also see, 3Loesser. Men,Women and Pianos.407-409; and6Good, 176-177.
102Courtesy of Stephen Paulello email (19th June 2013) and Paul Corbin. Also see – Alexander Prince, “The Record of patent inventions, a monthly abstract of all specifications of patents of invention,” (U.K.: Oxford University 1842), 238- 241.

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achieved efficient mechanised production through economies of scale meeting the increasing demand for pianos at a lower retail cost. The piano companies promoted themselves as being both traditional and modern, producing a fashionable piano for everyone, with the latest unique advancements in technology and appearance whilst honouring the timeless traditions of piano building. 103

Popularity of the Piano.

The piano’s popularity increased greatly in the nineteenth century, as an increasingly affluent urban middle class developed a hitherto unattainable preoccupation with artistic experiences and leisure time. In previous generations it was generally accepted that the pursuit of developing artistic skills and talent was the exclusive domain of the noble and aristocratic classes. A commercial industry rapidly grew, influenced by the popular Romantic piano compositions of Schuman, Chopin, and Liszt.Interest in the celebrity of concert performers such as Thalberg, Paderewski and Rubenstein influenced a widespread interest in music tuition, and the building of spectacular concert halls, all contributed to the popularity of the piano. The success of the piano manufacturing industry since Johann Zumpe started making square pianos in London in 1766 is due historically, to sales of pianos for domestic, home and amateur use, and not sales of concert grand pianos to concert halls, professional venues and studios. The first major business success of Steinway in 1856 was their development of the American upright piano, 106 as the replacement for the American square piano, which had become expensive, larger and more ornate than the European squares, and cumbersome to manufacture on mass. Though many of the technological advances in piano design have largely been developed in vogue with the contemporary performance and composition of concert piano music, it is the domestic piano market which has financially supported the science.

103     3Ehrlich, 49.
104     4Ehrlich, 15-26, 52-58.
105     2Arthur Ord-Hume, in Encyclopedia of the Piano,451.
106     6Ehrlich, The Piano A History, 50.
107Edwin M. Ripin, et al. “Pianoforte.” Sc. 8. North AmericaTo 1860 Adams-Hoover,C. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21631.(accessed November 1, 2015).
108     9Good, 184,205.
109     10Good,212.
110     11Good,220.

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The Modern Australian Piano

From the 1890s, for approximately forty years, the Australian piano industry grew to become one of the largest in the world. In 1925 the Australian piano manufacturer Octavius Bealeclaimed to be the largest manufacturer of pianos in the British Empire.112 The Australian piano manufacturers Wertheim(1908) and Beale(1893) began their businesses as importers of German pianos into Australia in the 1880s.The German piano makers, Ronisch (1845)113 and Lipp (1831)114 exported pianos to Australia in large numbers, offering an affordable alternative to the English makes of Broadwood and Collard. Both Ronisch and Lipp won medals in the Sydney and Melbourne international trade Exhibitions of 1879 and 1882. 115 Australia enjoyed the advances in the worldwide piano industry initially as the colonised province of the United Kingdom, and then as the largest manufacturer of pianos in the southern hemisphere, between 1893 and 1930. Beale manufactured 95,000 pianos, and Wertheim 18,000 pianos. 116

There are two piano makers of handcrafted Australian pianos operating in the 21st Century. Wayne Stuart is the more prolific producer of pianos numbering 58 at the time of this writing. The other, Ron Overs operates more in the proposed design and technology, having produced 6 pianos. Both makers have very different philosophies of piano sound production and therefore their pianos contrast greatly in tone colour. In each of their disparate practices, the traditional dimensions and materials of soundboards are changed, and each maker implements contrasting string scaling though for similar objectives of tonal consistency, tuning stability and increased durability. Ron Overs continues to implement the traditional modern piano pinning and down-bearing of the strings to the bridge and soundboard. Stuart has replaced the traditional piano string pinning with the bridge agraffe which fundamentally changes how the string vibrates. With this change in traditional piano design, Stuart has radically changed the dynamic and tonal range of the sound. This research analyses the Stuart piano

111Edmund M. Fredrick, “ERARD, SEBASTIEN,” 4Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano,126.
112Keith T. Johns “AUSTRALIA, PIANO INDUSTRY, ” in 5 Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano, 28-31.
113Carl Ronisch, Pianoforte manufaktur GmbH “About Ronisch” Ronisch since 1845, 2014, http://www.roenisch-pianos.de/en/about-roenisch.html
114“LIPP & SOHN PIANOS.” The Register (Adelaide, SA:1901-1929), 26 Jun 1903: 3. Web. 4 Feb 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55430960.
115     5 Ehrlich, , 82-85.
116     6 Ehrlich, , 82-85. also see: “Beale –The art of timeless performance.” http://www.bealepianos.com.au/history.php .Jan 2016.

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sound and illustrates how the sound has inspired Australian composition and creative social & cultural interactions. Both makers have designed new faster key actions with reduced frictional resistance in the mechanism. Overs plans to produce pianos with an expanded frequency range, though not to the expanded range of the 97 and 102 key Stuart pianos. The 108 key Stuart piano is currently in development. For many years, Wayne Stuart has worked arduously with the French piano string manufacturer- piano maker Stephen Paulello, to develop a steel wire with the required tensile strength and tonal characteristics to enable the expansion of the keyboard compass to 108 notes.

….given the advanced wire of Stephen Paulello, a French piano maker, it was inconceivable to limit these new generation pianos to 88 keys but rather, to aim for the ultimate goal of 9 octaves for the chromatic scale.121

1177901 Hz is my calculation, and may be under. W Stuart states it’s over 8,400Hz in the documentary2Opus Dissonus, “Artur Cimirro-The Documentary.”
118     4 Paulello ,“ Pianos & Strings”www.stephenpaulello.com
119     5Paulello., “Pianos & Strings”http://www.stephenpaulello.com/sites/default/files/paulello/intros-de-pages/stephenpaulelloconcertgrandpianos.pdf
120Paul Corbin,“Why Extend the Range of the Piano,”Master Piano Technicians Journal. No.37, 5th Digital Edition USA (Spring 2014): 11-19.
121     2 “Innovations”.Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos.

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108 Keys,Omega 6 and Stuart & Sons.

In 2014 with direction from Wayne Stuart, the French piano technician &researcher Paul Corbin constructed a devicethat demonstrates the recent advancements by Stephen Paulello in steel wire drawing.Paulello’s new wire ‘XM” grade122 will support the extension of the piano compass to B8, 7902Hz. Corbin gave his demonstration device the title ‘Omega 6’ –

Omega (Ω) is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, in contrast with Alpha. It is notably used to indicate an end or limits. Number 6 stands for the six remaining notes (F#, G, G#, A, A#, B).123

In his journal article Why extend the range of the piano124 Paul Corbin outlines a history of the piano keyboard compass (ambitus).He denotes the expansion of the keyboard compass in the first half of the 19th Century as responses to the rapid advancements in steel technology from the 1820s.(The historic metallurgy advancements are noted in Appendix 1a.2).Corbin also offers his insights in playing the extended ranges of 97 & 102 keyed pianos. He makes the observation that the Stuart tone of the low range C0- toG#0, is more full and more bassy, not as ‘brassy’as the Bosendorfer Imperial piano sound .This observation is linked toa combination of Stuart piano design elements, the improvements in tonal quality of the lower frequencies of the Paulello strings and the harmonic transient controls implemented by the Stuart bridge agraffe. The vibrational changes imposed by the Stuart bridge agraffe are discussed in detail and tested in chapter 2 of this research. Corbin observes in his article, that the very low frequencies in the Stuart piano soundscape providea harmonic support to the soundscape particularly when played withpianissimo. At this softer dynamic, less upper partials are resonated and the fundamental is ‘sensed’ in the sound more clearly than if the very low note was played a forte. Wayne Stuart has directed me to this dynamic technique also. For me, the effect is like the gentle hit of the orchestral bass drum, subtly opening up the sound to a wider frequency range, without interfering in the internal tonal balance of the sound. Corbin also observes that the extended frequencies in the 102

122     6Paulello, “Five Types Of Wires,”http://www.stephenpaulello.com/en/les-5-types-daciers
123     2 Corbin,11-19.
124Corbin,11-19.

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key compass contribute to the tone of the whole compass sympathetically. He compares this application to the great organ high frequency stops of 12,000Hz. In chapter six of this paper, I have composed music where the pitches of highest notes of the 102 key compass are heard clearly in arpeggiated sequences.

Since the Omega 6 has been produced the Brazilian pianist- composer Artur Cimirro125 has composed music for 108 keys in anticipation that the Omega 6 will be implemented into a Stuart piano design soon. Cimirro had composed piano music for a higher and lower frequency range than the standardised 88 keys before he knew about the Stuart & Sons piano. Before the 102 keyed Stuart piano was designed, in 2006 his compositions included the contra C already established by the Bosendorfer Imperial, and the higher Eb8, three notes above the 88 key range to C8..In the music extract below from Artur Cimirro’s Eccentric Preludes Op.20 I126, (2012) , the highest note on the manuscript is B87901 Hz.127

Stuart Piano Design, Sound and Composition

The Stuart & Sons piano produces a different sound to the standardised modern piano. The difference is due to the design changes particularly in how the piano strings vibrate.The effect this difference in sound has on my performance and composition are demonstrated in the music composed and presented in chapter six. In brief, the new piano sound has inspired me to focus on Australian elements, defining the sound as an Australian sound, and proceeding to use its characteristics in collaboration with Aboriginal musicians, playing re-composed Aboriginal chants of the local Sydney region.

Wayne Stuart’s philosophy of piano design is focused on an artistic interaction between the musician and the designer that supports a process of developmental change within the art of contemporary music making. Stuart is interested in emphasising an artistic challenge to the pianist and composer through his instrument design, to create new contemporary sound vocabularies, combining the traditions and

125     3 Opus Dissonus, “Artur Cimirro-The Documentary.”
126Artur Cimirro, Preludios ExcentricosOPUS DISSONUS EDIÇÕES MUSICAIS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FOR ALL COUNTRIES BY ARTUR CIMIRRO http://www.arturcimirro.com.br/ (2012)
1277901 Hzis my calculation, and may be under. W Stuart states it’s over 8,400Hz in the documentary: 4Opus Dissonus, “Artur Cimirro-The Documentary.”

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complexities of design with the implementation of new technology and an impetus to present a malleable palate of sound colour for the contemporary musician. Stuart’s interest in design practice evolving with contemporary music performance and composition presents a philosophical contrast to the historic industrial events of the late eighteenth century, where a growing market place for pianos, implementation of mechanical manufacturing technology, and competitive international trade markets, led to an industrial standardization of piano design. The perception that piano design had evolved to its perfection occurred at this time.128 The notion of a standardised design and the subsequent fallout of product obsolescence 129 is a world away from the bespoke artistry of Stuart’s contemporary piano designs.

For over three hundred years, piano designers and pianist-composers have interacted to affect change in design, composition and performance style. How the arrival of the Stuart & Sons piano, in 1995, fits into this historic design paradigm described in the preceding pages, will be the focus of this research, examining whether the Stuart piano design influences composition and pianistic style.

128     7Paulello,“Concepts page.”
129     15Good, 207.

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1. Pianos In Comparison: Design Dimensions and String Scale

The processes involved in investigating the distinctive characteristics of the Stuart piano sound are demonstrated and illustrated in the following three chapters. To thoroughly examine the Stuart sound, I have compared its tonal qualities to the tonal qualities of the modern piano. It was more beneficial for me to conduct the research as a comparison because of my extensive experience in playing and listening to modern pianos. So the new Stuart sound was compared to the familiar ‘control’ sound of the modern piano.

It is stated in the introduction that this research regards the Stuart piano as a different instrument to the modern piano. The research subjects below indicate the points of difference the Stuart piano has to the modern piano –

  1. The tonal qualities of the sound
  2. String coupling at the bridge and vertical string vibration
  3. Movement of the thinner soundboard.
  4. Australian wood used for the soundboard
  5. Extended keyboard compass of 97 and 102 keys
  6. Extended length and thickness of the bass strings
  7. The implementation of 21st Century advancements in steel wire drawing.
  8. Australian made
  9. The soundscape of choice for composition and improvisation for a growing number of Australian musicians.

The modern piano sound is produced in this research by a Steinway Concert D piano made in Hamburg Germany in 2005, No 574500 and is identified throughout the paper by the acronym (STE). The Stuart sound is produced throughout this research by the 2.9m Stuart concert piano No19, made in Newcastle Australia in 2002, and given the acronym (M19,STU) throughout this paper. The ‘M’ in the Stuart acronym is the grade of Paulello strings used for the notes examined on this particular instrument.

The technical dimensions of both pianos are displayed in the following pages.

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Compass; Frame; Structure:

  Stuart& Sons 2002, No 19
Red Cedar veneer -Toona australis
Steinway& Sons D2005, No 574500
Black Ebony veneer
Keyboard
Compass-Frequency range
97 keys
F0 21.82Hz- F8 5587.651Hz.
88 keys
A0 27.5 Hz – C8 4186.01
Length 2.9m 2.74m
Frame High quality Australian SG iron Steinway has their own foundry to supply iron frames.
Rim Multi laminations of Hoop Pine and Hard Maple. Thickness: 110mm Hard Rock Maple- 17 laminations.
Maple and Mahogany for German production. Thickness: 82.6mm
Pin Block Selected sawn hard maple hexagonal laminated pin block. Steinway hard maple Hexigrip tuning pin block
Back Posts 3 solid spruce/hoop pine in parallel and angular configuration 5 solid spruce in fan configuration
Compass, Frame, Structure Dimensions Table 1.1

Bridge; Soundboard:

  Stuart No. 19, (2002) Steinway No. 574500,(2005)
Bridge Laminated maple with hard wood cap. Separated bass and treble bridges.
Long bridge depth: 24 mm
+ 8mm agraffe
Short (bass) bridge depth: 52mm
+ 8mm agraffe
Vertically-laminated continuous ring bridge hard maple with hard wood cap.
Long bridge depth: 34 mm
Short (bass) bridge depth: 60mm
Bass bridge to rim 16 cm 25.5 cm
Soundboard King William Pine5mm in the centre, with minimal tapering out to the edges.
Compression crowned.
Close-grained, quarter-sawn Sitka spruce.
9 mm thick in the center and tapered to 6 mm as specified as the diaphragmatic design since 1936. Compression crowned
approximate Soundboard sizes 160cm wide keyboard end
288 cm length
150 cm wide kybd end
269 cm length
Soundboard Ribs 19 ribs
22mmx 22mm
17 ribs
25mmx 25mm
Bridge, Soundboard Dimensions Table 1.2

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Action; Pedals; Hammers:

  Stuart No. 19, (2002) Steinway No. 574500,(2005)
Action Stuart & Sons action Tokiwa made with addition of rare earth magnets between hammer shank and repetition lever. Stuart & Sons balance rail bushings and pin system. Steinway & Sons action and tubular metallic action frame. Traditionally Steinway manufacture for US models and Renner for German models. Now Renner made for all models
Pedals 4 Pedals :
Dolce, Una Corda, Sostenuto & Damper
Dolce: reduction of lever motion/dynamics. See pg. chapter 6 for an illustration of the 4 pedals.
3 pedals :
Una Corda, Sostenuto & Damper
Hammer shanks Abel, 5 configurations of stiffness, 2 hexagonal wound strings; 3 oval pure wire
C2 5.25mm; C3 5.1mm;
C4 4.5mm; C5 4mm,
Renner, 2 configurations of stiffness hexagonal wound strings and oval pure wire.
C2 6mm; C3 4.7 mm;
C4 4.7mm; C5 4.7mm;
Hammer Felts Abel to specific design Renner
Hammer strike angle strike angle strike
Actions, Pedals, Hammers Table 1.3

The most significant difference in string scale was observed in the lowest frequency, C2 65.406Hz.

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The audibly different sound of the Steinway and Stuart of the note C2 65.406 Hz can be understood initially by looking at the strings of both instruments. The Stuart piano uses 2 wound strings, a bichord, wound in stainless steel nickel-plated130 , and the Steinway uses 3 wound strings, a trichord, wound in copper. The Steinway piano uses Roslau piano wire, made in Hamburg, which are wound in non-tinned copper131 . Roslau piano wire is the music wire of choice of many piano manufacturers of concert grand pianos. The Stuart strings are manufactured in France, by Stephen Paulello, who implements slower drawing methods of steel string production, and new composite alloy mixtures in the steel, to achieve steel of a higher tensile strength. Paulello’s innovations have enabled Wayne Stuart to extend the frequency range of the piano compass.

Samuel Wolfenden writes about the excess weight of the copper wound string,

Naturally, such excess [of copper winding weight] whether partial or total, tends to aggravate the characteristic defect of bass piano tone, viz., the preponderance of the first over-tone, often so pronounced as to eclipse the pitch of the fundamental, particularly when the strings are very short. 132

In response to this problem, Wayne Stuart implemented changes to the standard piano design:

  1. Extended the piano scale of the long bridge, lower by two notes,
  2. Bichord of Paulello ‘M’ steel wire, stainless steel wound of greater thickness ,length, and tensile strength with increased applied tension.

Pianos have to be designed around these limitations and most of the issues in traditional designs stem from music wire limitations. The 7 trichord bass string groupings of the model D Steinway is a classic example of music wire limitations.133

The problem with thin wound strings is that they are unstable and often sound rather poor. In this region[tenor strings]the very thin core and covering combinations are also weak in sound and Steinway uses three instead of two. Wound strings are harmonically incompatible , ….. two are bearable, but three are often noisy and unbearable… a very poor compromise.134

The contrasting dimensions of the Paullelo and Roslau piano wires are illustrated in table 4.24a in the 4.2a appendix. The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker than the Steinway/Roslau wire, the Paulello/Stuart cover wire is .47mm thicker and of Stainless Steel, whereas the Steinway/Roslau strings are wrapped in copper. Stainless steel is 1.9g per cubic cm lighter than copper in specific gravity135 . The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher than the Steinway/Roslau. The Paulello/Stuart strings are 235mm longer, and are set at 65.3kg higher

130     8 Paulello, (accessed 21st February 2014).
131http://www.fortepiano.com/wire/RoslauPiano/roslaupiano.htm (accessed 21st February 2014).
132     2Wolfenden, Art of Pianofarte Construction,209.
133Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 23 Nov 2012
134Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 5th March 2014
135Specific Gravity Of Metals Table , (blog) CSGnetwork, http://www.csgnetwork.com/specificgravmettable.html (accessed July 2014).

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tension. The higher tension imposed on the Paulello string is possible because its mass and length are greater, and Paulello’s tensile strength is significantly greater than the Roslau, illustrated by the breaking point figures.The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau. The composite of materials used, and the proportion of the amount of tension to the breaking point of the string are a matter of tone and the taste/choice of the piano maker.

The Stuart strings are significantly longer, a factor which is known to reduce in harmonicity of wound strings136. A reduction of in harmonicity means reduced prominence of the in harmonic frequencies of the string, resulting in a more pure sonorous sound. A wire with a higher capacity of yield produces a more satisfactory sound.137

C265.406 Hz Stuart M19,STU C265.406 Hz Steinway STE
PAULELLO / M
nickel-plated surface.
  ROSLAU
high-tensile Swedish steel
 
M bichord (2 strings)   Trichord (3 strings)  
Length: 1836 mm Length: 1601mm
Cor dia: 1.075mm Cor dia: .950 mm
Cover dia:
Stainless Steel wrap
2.175mm Cover dia:
Copper Wrap
1.702mm
Wrapping weight 7g per cubic cm Wrapping weight 8.9 g per cubic cm
Tension 134.099kg
1387.9 N
Tension 68.7272kg
673.9N
Nominal breaking load 2097N/mm² Nominal breaking load 1616 N/mm²
Yield 88.25% Yield 42.8%
C2 String Scale Table 1.5

C3String Scaling

The scaling of the strings for C3 130.81Hz, of the Steinway and Stuart, present a different scenario to C2. The strings for C3, are set in trichords of steel music wire, Stuart using Paulello ‘M’ wire, and Steinway using Roslau wire, both of similar thickness 1.125mm. The Steinway strings are longer by 41.5mm, and the composite materials of the steel wires are different, with differing drawing methods producing contrasting yield and breaking points. The tensile strength and stress % of the yield point is greater in the Paulello string by 140 Newtons per square millimetre (N/mm2). The different rates of tension illustrated in table 1.5 above are part of the equation due to differing string lengths and string material stiffness. The contrasting ‘hardness-stiffness’ of the music wire is illustrated by the contrasting breaking point, the higher the breaking point potential, and the harder or stiffer the wire.

…..the string , considered in its length, diameter, tension and point of agitation, is the most important factor in the production of tone.138

136Neville Fletcher, and Rossing,T.The Physics of Musical Instruments(Springer, 1998) ,388.
137     2 Fletcher& Rossing ,362.
138     3Wolfenden, Art of Pianofarte Construction,15.

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C3130.81HzStuart M19,STU C3130.81Hz Steinway STE
PAULELLO / M   ROSLAU  
M trichord   Trichord  
Length: 1246.0 mm Length: 1287.5 mm
Cor dia: 1.125 mm Cor dia: 1.125 mm
Tension 84.4266 kg
827.9 N
Tension 90.1442kg
884 N
Nominal breaking load 2287.5 N/mm² Theoretical breaking point 2147 N/mm²
Yield 48.39% Yield 40.1%
C3 String Scale Table 1.6

The combinations of string length and string wire ‘hardness’ affect the amount of movement generated in the bridge and soundboard by the string vibration. This influences tonal colour.The piano maker therefore adjusts combinations of length and hardness in the string to achieve the required tonal colour.

Tonal balance and sustain are the main differences between Röslau wire and Paulello wire. 139

This comparison of Roslau and Paulello music wires, at C3 130.81 Hz, is centred on the tonal differences, which are influenced by the hardness and tensile strength of the two wires, the ‘M’ Paulello string having the higher tensile strength.

C4 String Scaling

The Paulello/Stuart string is 1.5mm longer the Roslau/Steinway, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker than the Roslau/Steinway wire. The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher.

C4261.63HzStuart M19,STU C4261.63Hz Steinway STE
PAULELLO / M   ROSLAU  
M trichord   Trichord  
Length: 659.0 mm Length: 660.5 mm
Cor dia: 1.050 mm Cor dia: 1.025 mm
Tension 82.2901kg
812.42 N
Tension 78.7756kg
772.5N
Nominal breaking load 2009 N/mm² Nominal breaking load 1832 N/mm²
Yield 52.92 Yield 56.52%
C4 String Scale Table 1.7

139Stephen Paulello, email interview with author ,14th April, 2014.

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C5 String Scaling

For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is 35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher . The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

C5523.25HzStuart M19,STU C5523.25HzSteinway STE
PAULELLO / M   ROSLAU  
M trichord   Trichord  
Length: 347.0 mm Length: 343.5 mm
Cor dia: .985 mm Cor dia: .950 mm
Tension 80.3137 kg
787.6N
Tension 73.208 kg
717.9N
Nominal breaking load 1754 N/mm² Theoretical breaking point 1616 N/mm²
Yield 60% Yield 58.82%
C5 String Scale Table 1.8

The Significance of Design On Sound.

The physical parameters and design attributes of the Stuart No.19and the Steinway No.574500 pianos’ presented above have been found by this research to significantly affect the qualities of sound produced by each instrument. In chapter four I present a detailed analysis of the various qualities of tonal colour produced by each piano. Each piano sound is described and illustrated in the analysis with its associated string scale dimensions, and the amplitudes of its specific string and soundboard vibrations.Through this analytical process, I established the four tonal characteristics140 that define the uniquetonal characteristics of the Stuart & Sons piano sound. In the following chapter,the Stuart Bridge Agraffe is tested, and found to affect a more vertical string vibration, which fundamentally contributes to the production of the distinctive tonal qualities in the Stuart piano sound. These findings have provided me with a platform of knowledge that describes the tonal qualities of the Stuart piano sound. I have used this knowledge base to enquire how audiences perceive the tonal qualities of the Stuart piano sound in survey questions, presented in chapter five.I have also used this knowledge base for the creation of compositions using the qualities of the Stuart piano sound, presented in chapter six.

141See page 14.

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2. String Vibration, Corresponding to String Coupling.

The vibrations of the Stuart piano string and its effects on tonal colour are investigated in this chapter. Wayne Stuart claims the Stuart piano sound has an improved dynamic range and clarity of tone because the string vibrates in a more pronounced vertical plane than the modern piano string vibrations. 141 These claims are discussed and tested in the following pages.

The strike of the hammer activates the vibrations in the piano string that produces the basic ingredients of piano sound. A musical sound is produced by the exact repetition of vibrations known as their frequency. Musical pitch is defined by the frequency at which the vibrational period repeats. Galileo’s measurements of frequencies with periodic motion, 142 set the science world on an investigation of the relationships of time and frequency. In the 1960s the Systeme Internationale standardized the measure for pitch as a hertz, named after Heinrich Hertz, the 19th century German physicist who discovered how to generate radio waves. 143

Something which makes 1 complete vibration every second has a frequency of 1 hertz, (or 1 Hz)144

The frequencies and the qualities of tone of the Stuart & Sons piano sound are investigated in this study by understanding the behaviour of vibrations. The string vibrations of the modern piano, represented in this research by the Steinway piano are compared to the vibrations of the Stuart piano strings.

The quality of tone depends on the form of vibration….., every different quality of tone requires a different form of vibration. 145

The Stuart & Sons piano design differs significantly from the modern piano design with the implementation of the bridge agraffe146 . Wayne Stuart makes the claim:

The innovation at the core of the Stuart & Sons design concept is the principle of vertical string coupling, by using a special device (agraffe) to anchor the strings to the bridge. The agraffe defines the strings’ speaking length (frequency) and contains the reaction forces produced by bending the strings as they pass through the agraffe. This allows the soundboard to be designed on a speaker cone principle and not as a load bearing structure as found in the standard piano. This liberates the dynamic range; increases sustain and creates great clarity of tone throughout the entire frequency range.147

141     4Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos. (accessed 14th May 2015).
142Ian Johnston, Measured Tones,The Interplay of Physics and Music.(Bristol & Philedelphia: Institute of Physics,1994),31-35.
143     2Johnston,35.
144     3Johnston,35.
145Hermann Helmholtz, On the Sensations of Tone, (New York: Dover ,1954) ,21.
146Robert (Bob) Anderssen, “The Challenge For the Piano Maker”,The Mathematical Scientist,Isuue 32.2 , Applied Probability Trust,(December 2007): 73.
See also – Richard Dain, “The Engineering of Concert Grand Pianos”Ingenia12, (2002) :15-22
147     5Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos.FAQs qu.2(accessed 8th March 2014).

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The Bridge Agraffe.

Anagraffe is a metal device originally designed by Sebastian Erard in 1807, to keep the strings equally spaced and held firmly in position so to counter the blow of the hammer strike. The agraffe string retaining concept has been adapted and substantially modified to retain strings in a number of different configurations since the original Erard design. John Broadwood & Son applied a bridge agraffe to their pianos during the early part of the 20th century. Although the principle was similar to the Stuart design, the application differed in that the knife edges were placed in the opposite configuration. The Broadwood application used a standard load bearing soundboard design concept. There are no records of the sound of this particular Broadwood design. In the Stuart piano the bridge agraffe has been adapted to form a three point coupling device through which the strings pass.

Wayne Stuart writes,

My bridge agraffe application is not an adaptation to resolve the limitations of the pinned bridge but rather, to wilfully enhance the tonal and dynamic parameters of the acoustic piano. I make no claim to uphold the traditional piano as an aesthetic norm but rather, to offer a solution to how the instrument’s sound might be enhanced and further developed along new trajectories. I am of the opinion that earlier attempts to utilise vertical agraffe string coupling devices fell foul of prevailing and often entrenched sound fashions. Combinations were often technically inadequate and/or limited mostly posing as solutions to split pinned bridges. 148

At the heart of the Stuart piano’s sound production is a device designed by Wayne Stuart that couples149 the piano strings to the bridge and soundboard in a different way to all other pianos. The device is the bridge agraffe.

Vertical string coupling is at the core of the Stuart & Sons design concept. A special device (agraffe) is used to couple the strings to the bridge and soundboard structure. The agraffe defines the string’s speaking length (frequency) and contains the reaction forces produced by bending the strings as they pass through it. This negates the need for string down bearing that is required in the traditional pinned bridge system. The soundboard can thus be designed on a speaker cone principle and not as a load bearing structure as is the case in the standard [modern] piano. This scientifically designed device encourages the strings to vibrate in a more controlled manner improving the dynamic range, increasing sustain and significantly improving tonal clarity sympathetic to the entire piano repertoire. 150

Piano strings of all pianos are coupled to the bridge to enable the transmission of the relatively quiet tonal vibrations of the strings into the soundboard, which by the subsequent movement of its greater surface area, the soundboard amplifies and projects the sound.The Stuart bridge agraffe transfers the string vibration modes to the bridge and soundboard without a down-bearing force.

148Wayne Stuart, email interview with author,4th April, 2012.
1149 Term for attach, ‘couple’.
150 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author,4th April, 2012.

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The Stuart agraffe couples the strings in a unique vertical application that maintains its straight line, without twisting its directional plane. The agraffe also enables the elimination of the traditional down-bearing force. The diagrams and photos below illustrate the coupling of the string onto the bridge of both the Stuart piano (left) and the modern piano, (right) .

The photos above show the top-down view of the horizontal zig-zag pinning of the modern piano (right) which twists the line of the string, and the bridge agraffe (left) which maintains the line of the string.

The ‘off set’ is the direction in which the stretched music wire is bent and anchored to the bridge/soundboard to determine the speaking length of a note.151

151 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 1st February 2012.

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The ‘off set’is indicated by the yellow arrows in the photos below.

The string of the modern piano is pinned to the bridge in a two pinned horizontal ‘zig zag’ ‘off set’ plane, and the Stuart piano string is attached to the bridge in a vertical ‘zig zag’ ‘off set’ plane by the Stuart bridge agraffe .The horizontally pinned string is twisted in two zig-zag directions enforced by the two pins. The Stuart piano string is bent vertically in an up-down direction by the bridge agraffe.

The coupling of the string to the bridge is the fundamental connection between the string and the soundboard. The Stuart bridge agraffe couples the strings to the bridge maintaining the straight longitudinal line of the string by implementing a vertical twist termination replacing the traditional horizontal twist string termination coupling of the pinned bridge. The Stuart bridge agraffe has a three point coupling device through which the strings pass. The strings are bent at approximately 12 degrees to define the speaking length of each frequency unit. The Stuart agraffe is secured to the surface of the bridge. The three knife edges of the agraffe bends the wire whilst retaining the reaction forces produced by the string tension within the agraffe’s mass. This effectively neutralises the transfer of twisting and bucking forces to the soundboard.

The numerous vibrational modes of the oscillating string are transmitted into the bridge and soundboard via the agraffe on the Stuart piano, or via pinning on the modern piano. Some vibrations are transferred directly off the vibrating string to the soundboard and other panels on the piano, though these more longitudinal vibrations are less prominent in the onset sound, which carries the large portion of harmonic characteristics that influence the tonal colour of the sound. In 1977 Gabriel We in rich,the innovative researcher of piano string vibration and honoured doctor of physics and acoustics, defined piano string vibration as two separate vibrations, the initial vertical or onset

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vibration, and the subsequent more stable after-sound vibration. He describes the initial vibration as the ‘prompt sound, vertical polarisation’ and the second ‘after sound horizontal polarisation’.

……the vertical polarization is the primary one excited by the hammer, and so begins its life at a much higher amplitude than the horizontal one. However, since the bridge, which is attached to the soundboard, “gives” much more easily in the vertical than in the horizontal direction, the decay of the vertical mode is also much more rapid. As a result, the relatively slight amount of horizontal vibration becomes, after a while, dominant.152

All piano strings vibrate in the vertical plane immediately after being struck by the hammer, and rapidly move into an elliptical circular pattern of vibration for the majority of a long note’s duration.

The drop in level [of the initial decay of a piano string] would appear as a straight line if the decay of the sound were of a type called exponential, which is what a physicist would expect from a linear system such as the string and the soundboard. Instead, it is clear that the curve breaks into two portions of quite different decay rates. The initial portion, called “prompt sound,” drops (in this case) at a rate of about 8 dB/sec; the final one, called “aftersound,” at less than one- quarter that rate. As we shall see, the prompt sound is simply related to the theoretical decay rate determined by the string’s coupling to the soundboard; whereas the after sound , which gives the piano its perceived sustaining power, represents the “miracle.”153

Agreeing with Weinrich’s definition of two vibration polarities, professor Robert Anderssen of the CSIRO produced mathematical evidence of the prominent vertical string vibration caused by the Stuart bridge agraffe. In his The Challenge For the Piano Maker154 Anderssen bases his research on the findings of Gabriel We inreich155

, Richard Dain156 , and Fletcher and Rossing157 , stating it is the non- linear component of piano string vibration which provides the evidence. Anderssen made the observation that immediately after the string is struck by the hammer, the transition of the string from its vertically coupled rest point of the Stuart agraffe into its vertical oscillation is more efficient with less energy loss than and the transition from the horizontal pinned coupling of the modern piano string to its vertical oscillation.

Since the horizontal zig –zag clamp induces an energy exchange into a polarization orthogonal to the original polarization of the initial disturbance, as well as back into the vertical polarization, we would anticipate that the sustain would be different from that of the vertical zig-zag clamping on the Stuart & Sons pianos. In fact, as is clear from the [non-linear string equation], this complex energy exchange will affect the spacing between the eigen frequencies, but in different ways, depending on the nature of the clamping. This prediction is consistent with the perceived stronger sustain of the notes on the Stuart & Sons piano as compared with traditional grand pianos [the modern piano].158

152     2Weinreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
153     3Weinreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
154     2Anderssen, The Challenge For the Piano Maker,73.
155     4Weinreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
156     2Dain, 22.
157     3 Fletcher & Rossing
158     3Anderssen, The Challenge For the Piano Maker,73.

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The eigen frquencies Professor Anderssen refers to are the composite resonant frequencies within a sound, that in combination, make up the tonal quality of the sound. Eigen frquencies are simple tones, or harmonics, described as partial frequencies of piano sound, because of their in harmonic nature.

A vibrating piano string simultaneously oscillates multiple modes of vibration, known as partials or overtones, which combine to produce the composite tonal sound of one note. The result is a superposition of sound waves, blended together into one complex wave. The frequency of the 1st harmonic, known as the fundamental, represents the repetition rate of the resulting complex vibration.159

Prof. Anderssen reports here that the behaviour of the Stuart string vibration is different to that of the modern piano string vibration, and this also tells us that the tonal colour of the two will be different, because the characteristics of the partial frequencies in each of the string vibrations sounds will be different.

The current sound trajectory for the acoustic piano was laid down in that latter half of the 19th century with standardisation, and is based on variable string vibration modes produced by the pinned bridge.

Stuart writes,

Stuart’s observations of string vibration behaviour and music composition over the past 150 years reveals that the vertical mode of vibration in sound behaviour has developed as the dominant factor in current sound behaviour aesthetics.The old pinned bridge favours an elliptical vibration mode whereas the Stuart agraffe favours the vertical mode. 160

Changes in the direction of string vibration mode produces damping and variable tuning characteristics. This affects sustain, clarity, harmonic strength and development. The initial strike of the hammer produces a vertical ‘up and down’ motion which then changes to a more horizontal circular motion in the horizontal pinned bridge model. The Stuart agraffe maintains the initial strike in the vertical mode. As mode change and distortion is minimal the vibration is held in the same plane in which it is struck. It is claimed that the attack, sustain and harmonic transients of the Stuart piano tone are different because of this more controlled, vertical vibration mode. 161

Combining the information discussed above with what we actually hear in the sounds of the Stuart and the modern pianos, had illustrated to me that in all probability the Stuart string does actually vibrate in a different manner to the modern piano, and that analysing the vibration would be a thorough way of illustrating the tonal qualities of the Stuart piano sound. The difference in the string coupling is clearly visible inside the pianos, and the sounds of the instruments are audibly different. My enquiry into understanding the vertical nature of the Stuart piano string vibration continued by interviewing piano technicians who had experience in tuning and maintaining Stuart pianos. Interestingly, when the above information about the probability of an enhanced vertical vibration in the Stuart string was discussed, a sense of frustration in a few of the technicians’ responses was noticeable, in that they didn’t actually believe the vibration of the Stuart string could be more vertical than that of the modern piano string vibrations, and thought that this information was possibly a publicity beat up! Each of the technicians

159 Juan Roederer,The Physics and Psychophysics of Music. 4thEdition (New York: Springer-Verlag 2008),126.
160 Wayne Stuart, Email interview with author, 4th April, 2012.
161Wayne Stuart, 6 “Innovations In Piano”.

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admired the highly refined craftsmanship of Wayne Stuart observed in the materials, design and appearance of his pianos, though it was noticeable that the technicians who didn’t agree that the string vibration could be more vertical also expressed a personal dislike for the tonal qualities of the Stuart sound. Each technician agreed that if we could visualize the vibrations of both the Stuart and the modern piano strings, then that would help inform their understanding of the nature of the Stuart string vibrations.

Filming the String Vibrations

I then proceeded to film the string vibrations using the Stuart & Sons (M19 STU) and Steinway (STE) pianos (STE), described in chapter one. The bass piano string of the note C2 65.406 Hz was chosen to be the compared string vibration, because at 65 Hz, the vibrations are almost visible by the naked eye, and the timbre of the two pianos seemed closely matched in that register. A white mark was placed at an identical position on both strings and at a good visible angle for the video camera. A strobe light was deployed at a frequency that visually slowed the activity of the string vibration into a clearly visible contour, with the room darkened. This first attempt of filming the string vibrations became a useful exercise for realizing several additional conditions needed to be set up for the comparison to be clearly demonstrated.

  1. the hammer needed to strike each piano string with exactly the same force
  2. the string needed to be visually filmed out of the piano, because the visual angle inside the piano was not clear enough for the camera to capture details of the string vibration,
  3. the camera needed to have the capability of slowing down the footage.

Fortunately, a team of specialists combined to produce the needed equipment:-

  1. Electronic engineer Peter Phillips constructed an electronic striker that could be precisely calibrated to various velocity key strikes.

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  1. Wayne Stuart constructed a frame apparatus that housed both string types, Roslau and Paulello, each with their respective agraffe and pinned coupling, at the precise height to be stuck from underneath in the upward direction by a moveable piano hammer action, activated by a piano key. The apparatus also enabled clear sight lines of the string vibrations for detailed filming. Wayne Stuart supplied the moveable key-hammer action.
  2. Hideki Isoda, head of the audio and visual technological department at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music filmed the strings on a Sony PMW EX1R XDCAM EX Full HD Memory Camcoder, with the capability of slowing the footage down.

The movie clip below was shot by the Sony PMW EX1R XDCAM EX Full HD Memory Camcoder camera, and slowed down in the replay. Aswe had only one striker, this video is cleverly edited to show both string reactions simultaneously. The footage illustrates the behaviour of the Roslau- Steinway, copper wound string on the left side, the Paulello-Stuartstainless steel wound string on the right side, as they are struck with the same force, at midi calibration 81 ff .

To watch the String Vibration Test movie clip double click on:String Vibration test .mov,

String Vibration Test .mov excerpt
A.V. table 2.1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Visual Observations of the String Motion:

The Stuart-Paulello string moves in a more controlled manner than the Roslau-Ste in way string. At the initial strike, or onset, the Stuart string does appear to move further and more frequently in the up-down direction though it is not completely clear. After 12 seconds, the movements of the strings are distinctly different. The Stuart-Paulello string exhibits a more controlled movement with less variation of direction than the Roslau-Steinway string. The filming exercise was a great success in illustrating the contrasting string vibrations, and confirmed that the coupling affected the vibration. The Stuart agraffe does appear to be controlling the string vibration.

The precise behaviour of the string oscillation when struck by various levels of force was tested and measured by Peter Phillips. Using the same string apparatus and electronic striker, Phillips assembled electrical sensors and positioned the sensors very close to the strings to record the exact vertical and horizontal vibrational movement of both strings, as they oscillated after being struck by various levels of force, by the electric striker.

This research is influenced by Gabriel We inriech’s study Coupled Piano Strings, which established evidence for the actuality of two polarizations in the piano string motion, vertical and horizontal, with respective decay rates. We inriech constructed a vibration probe for piano strings which recorded the two independent projections of the string’s motion. 162

162     5We inreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.

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Peter Phillip’s sensor contacts, pictured above, are positioned so that they contact the string when the string reaches a certain distance in both vertical and horizontal directions. The sensors are connected to an oscilloscope, which is set to the periodic time frame of the fundamental 65.406 Hz. Vertical lines are spaced at the period of the fundamental wave form on the oscilloscope, so when each the string vibration is recorded, the measurement of the vibration contour and the cyclic temporal segment of the waveform are lined up in the oscilloscope’s recording of the string movement. 163

Four String Vibration Tests.

Four tests were conducted to precisely measure the horizontal and vertical vibrations of both strings. As observed in the string vibration video on the previous page, the string oscillates in a predominantly vertical, up-down direction immediately after the hammer strike, the onset.

……the vertical polarization is the primary one excited by the hammer, and so begins its life at a much higher amplitude than the horizontal one.164

Phillip’s sensors recorded the magnitudes of the vertical and horizontal excursions of the string oscillations in four tests using varied velocity ranges of the electronic striker.

Test 1. The magnitude of the vertical oscillation in each string-
Result: the Stuart/Paulello string vertical excursions in the oscillation were 2mm larger.

Test 2. The duration of the vertical oscillation in each string-
Result : the duration period of the Stuart/Paulello vertical excursions was longer. Approximately 160ms longer.

Test 3. The magnitude of the horizontal oscillation in each string-
Result: the horizontal excursion in the oscillation of the Steinway/Roslau string was larger.

163 See Appendix 2, for detailed illustrations of the oscilloscope illustrations of the string vibrations.
164     6 We inreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.

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Test 4. The duration of the vertical oscillation from the onset, to the beginning of the
predominantly horizontal oscillation.
With no horizontal oscillation.
Result: The vertical oscillation of the Stuart/Paulello string extended for 400ms longer than the Steinway/Roslau oscillation, before the occurrence of the predominantly horizontal oscillation ensued. The horizontal vibration began earlier in the Steinway string oscillations.

Summary of the String Vibration tests

The Stuart string has a greater tendency to oscillate vertically, and a lesser tendency to oscillate horizontally compared to the Steinway string. Its oscillations resolve into a narrow elliptical pattern, where the Steinway string resolves into a much wider elliptical pattern. Furthermore the Steinway string begins horizontal motion much sooner in the cycle than the Stuart string. 165

Peter Phillip’s tests findings confirmed that the Stuart and Steinway bridge coupling each influenced distinctive string vibrations. In the initial stages of the oscillation, the onset period immediately after the hammer strikes the string, the Stuart-Paulello string was found to vibrate for a longer period in the vertical plane and with larger amplitudes than the Steinway-Roslau string.The Steinway-Roslau string was found to establish its elliptical vibration sooner than the Stuart string. In the after-sound oscillation period following the onset , the Stuart string did not oscillate in the horizontal elliptical direction as broadly as the Steinway string. Peter Phillip’s findings support the visual illustration of the slow motion video, where the Stuart string appears to maintain a tighter, more consistent vibration than the Steinway. The fourth test found that the Stuart-Paulello string produced a predominantly vertical oscillation for 400ms longer duration than the Stein way-Roslau string.

The research has found that the string vibration of the Stuart piano sound is significantly different to the modern piano. The overall research objective of understanding the tonal characteristics of the Stuart & Sons piano sound has been well served by these preliminary conclusions about the influenced of the Stuart bridge agraffe has on the oscillation of the string. In response to Wayne Stuart’s comments about the string vibration tests above166 , the characteristics of the attack, sustain and decay transients within the Stuart piano sound will be investigated in the following chapters 3 & 4, with the expectation to visually and aurally illustrate the effects of the longer more pronounced vertical vibration and reduced damping of the Stuart piano string vibration, with an audibly more stable inner tonal balance.

165Vibration Test – see Appendix 2.Peter Phillips details and procedures of the above tests are illustrated in Appendix 2
166Appendix 2.- Wayne Stuart’s comments on the String Vibration tests.

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3. Measuring Piano Tone: Vibrations and Partial Tones.

Vibrations and Partial Tones

The distinctive and dynamic characteristics of the Stuart piano sound are identified in the following chapters by visualising and listening to the harmonic makeup its soundscape. The musical shapes and colours of piano sound are explored by examining the wave forms and vibrations that combine to create the sound. The elements of piano tone description, amplitude, attack, sustain and decay are described in terms of their transient levels over time, as piano sound is in a constant state of transition. The hammer strike excites the string into its full spectra of sound after which the string’s oscillation and sound spectra gradually diminishes.

No stationary state is created for the piano sound, since there is no uniform continuous excitation. Nevertheless, quasi-stationary conditions can be assumed as an approximation at least for short durations. As a result, spectra of partials can certainly be used for the tonal description of the sound during its initial phases, however the time structure, and above all the decay behavior play a much more important role than in string and wind instruments.167

In this chapter I explore definitions of tone quality and explain how I have identified tonal characteristics of the Stuart sound.

Throughout this research I compare the sounds of the Stuart concert piano (M19,STU) to the sounds of the Steinway concert D (STE)168 as a method for identifying the new and distinctive sounds of the Stuart soundscape. The Steinway D provides a ‘control’ of the tonal qualities produced by the modern piano.169 When the sounds of both pianos are heard in the same room, it is audibly clear that fundamental attributes of the Stuart soundscape are different to those produced by the Steinway. The audio samples below demonstrate the sounds of both pianos, of the note C5 523.23Hz.

Stuart 2.9m 2002 No 19 Steinway D 2005 No 574500
C5 v54 STU MW mxd array.wav C5 v54 STE MW mxd array.wav
C5v54 MW mixed array. Soundtable 3.1

The sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos were obtained for evaluation by recording the pianos in a controlled acoustic sound field. From a thorough examination of approximately 96 recorded tones, I identified four distinctive characteristics in the sound of the Stuart piano that differ to the sound of the modern piano:

  1. A slower rate of decay in the fundamental partial frequency
  2. An earlier transition into the after-sound states of string oscillation.

167JürgenMeyer, Acoustics and the Performance of Music. Frankfurt: Springer 2009) ,116.
168 The Pianos in Comparison – see chapter 1.
169 see“Modern Piano,’ p.17.

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  1.  
  2.  
  3. A wider harmonic spectrum in the onset state of the sound,
  4. A more comprehensive projection of sound to 6 metres.

Detailed descriptions of the four characteristics are presented and illustrated in chapter four, Qualities of the Stuart Piano Sound. The terminology, processes and methods used to identify the characteristics are discussed in this chapter.

Comparative data sets of Stuart and Steinway sounds were compiled and analysed to test Wayne Stuart’s claim that the Stuart sound has a greater clarity, sustain, and an expanded dynamic range. 170
The evaluations of piano tone began by examining each sound in two entities, partial tones and composite tones.

Partial Tones

Partial tones are also described as partial frequencies, simple tones, pure tones, partials, upper partials, sinusoidal, egen frequenices, harmonics, overtones and modes of vibration.171 These tones are of a single frequency, not of strong individual audible sound, they combine to make up the harmonic structure and subsequent tonal colour of the composite tone, heard as the piano note sound. They are numbered as Fundamental, 2nd partial, 3rd partial , 4th partial…etc. Sounds that are different in tonal colour are found to have different amplitudes of partial tones.

Tone quality, or timbre, is indicated by the spectrum of simple tones, harmonics or overtones, contained within one complex musical tone. Timbre [also] depends strongly on envelope: on how the sound varies over time.172

The fundamental’s frequency determines the frequency of the complex tone. For this reason partial frequencies are proportionally related to their fundamental frequency.

………. for the largest portion of the piano sounds, the fundamentals of the partial spectra dominate. Only in the two lowest octaves of the tonal range, the intensity maximum is shifted to overtones in the frequency range of about 100–250 Hz.173

The relative proportion with which each overtone intervenes in the resulting vibration determines to a great extent the particular character, quality or timbre of the generated tone. The pitch of the string’s complex tone is determined by the fundamental frequency.174

Aside from the fact that tone color naturally changes over the tonal range of an instrument, as determined by the location of the fundamental, it can be said in general, that a tonal impression is brighter, and possibly

170 See Wayne Stuart’s claims : pages 17 & 51.
171Murray Campbell, Greated, C. The Musicians Guide to Acoustics, (New York:Schirmer,1987),142.
172 Joe Wolfe, “Timbre and envelope,” Pyshclips. School of Physics – UNSW,10 April 2015, http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/jw/timbre-envelope.htm.
173     2Meyer,116.
1752 Roederer,118.

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sharper, as richness in overtones increases (in view of the frequency range and the intensity of the upper frequency components) (von Bismarck, 1974)175 . For low tones, rich in overtones, the dense partial sequence in the upper frequency region leads to a rough character. This effect can occur for tones from the 3rd octave upward. While, for example, for G3, overtones above 2,000 Hz effect a roughness, the corresponding limit for G1 already lies at about 500 Hz (Terhardt, 1974)176 . In contrast, overtone- poor sounds have a tendency for dark or soft timbre.177

The harmonic series178 orders the particular series of partial frequencies of a composite tone. They are numbered similarly to the harmonic series though a composite tone does not necessarily contain each partial of a harmonic series. An illustration of the harmonic series starting at a fundamental frequency is therefore a useful model when analysing the interactions of particular upper partials (prt.) above the pitch of fundamental frequency (Fnd.) within a composite tone.The intervallic description, i.e. P5- perfect 5th, M3 – major 3rd denote the distance of pitch above the fundamental pitch. These intervallic descriptions are useful for identifying a particular partial tone aurally.

The partial frequencies in piano notes are not as perfectly harmonic as in figure 3.1, that is, not an exact whole- number frequency relationship to the fundamental frequency. Due to adjustments of temperament, the stiffness of high tension steel wire, the movement between horizontal and vertical vibrational plane of piano strings, and the impedance qualities of the wooden bridge, the in harmonicity of partial tones is an accepted ingredient of the piano tonal spectra. This was proven by Fletcher and Blackham in their well documented experiment conducted at Brigham University in the 1960s.179 The harmonic partial frequencies for each of the notes examined in this research are presented in table in Appendix 3.Table 3a.1.

175 Bismarck, G.von, Timbre of Steady Sounds: A Factorial Investigation of Its Verbal Attributes, Acusticaunited with Acustica Vol.30, (March, 1974) :146-159,http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/dav/aaua/1974/00000030/00000003/art00005
176Enrst Terhardt, On the Perception of Periodic Sound fluctuations (Roughness), Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 30(4), (April, 1974) ; 201-213.
177     3Meyer,30.
178Reginald Bain, The Harmonic Series,University of South Carolina, 1st April, 2003 http://in.music.sc.edu/fs/bain/atmi02/hs/index-audio.html (accessed July 2012)
179 Fletcher,H. & Blackham,D.E. & Stratton R. “Quality Of Piano Tones” The Physics Of Music, readings fromScientific American, New York: W.H. Freedman and Company, 27, 1963.

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The evidences of tonal difference which defined the characteristics of the Stuart piano sound were established in this research by evaluating the transient qualities found in the partial tones of each piano tone.

Composite Tones

Composite tones also described as complex tones, are the superposition of the partial tones related by the resonance and frequency of the fundamental tone. A composite tone is perceived as an instrumental tone, shaped in its composite complexity by the dimensions of the vibrating system or instrument.

A vibrating piano string simultaneously oscillates multiple modes of vibration, known as partials or overtones, which combine to produce the composite tonal sound of one note. The result is a superposition of sound waves, blended together into one complex wave. The frequency of the 1st harmonic, known as the fundamental, represents the repetition rate of the resulting complex vibration.180

In his treatise, On The Sensations of Tone , acoustic physicist Herman Helmholtz described a musical tone as a complex periodic vibration which consists of a series of partial tones he names as ‘upper partials’, all governed by the same periodic vibration, that of the fundamental partial tone, or the prime. He surmises musical tones as being dependent on three elements, force, pitch and quality.

………. we found that difference in the quality of musical tones must depend on the vibration of the air. The reasons for the assertion were only negative. We had seen that force depended on amplitude, and pitch on rapidity of vibration: nothing else was left to distinguish quality but vibrationalform. We then preceded to show that the existence and force of upper partials tones which accompanied the prime depend also on the vibrational form, and hence we could not but conclude that musical tones of the same quality [timbre] would also exhibit the same combination of partials, seeing that the peculiar vibrational form which excites in the ear the sensation of a certain quality of tone, must always evoke the sensation of its corresponding upper partials.181

Helmholtz also suggests that it is not only the compound musical note we are hearing, but collectively with it the sympathetic resonant oscillations within the instrument which combine to produce the qualities of the sound. This is a relevant observation for piano sound, as many sections of the resonating system of the piano vibrate in sympathy. The sustain pedal is ‘on’ for the piano sounds tested in this study, so the sound is representative of the whole resonating system. This includes the vibrations of strings that are not struck by the hammer. These unstruck strings are said to vibrate in sympathy, in a syntonic vibration.

When one resonant object is caused to vibrate, any other resonant object in its vicinity which has the same natural frequency will also vibrate; two bodies need not be touching, since vibration is passed on through such media as air. For example, if a tuning fork is sounding in air and a second tuning fork of identical frequency is placed close to it; then the second fork will begin to vibrate ‘in sympathy’.182

180     2Roederer,126.
181     2 Hellmholtz ,65.
182Foulcher, T. L. Fundamental Notes For Piano Technicians. (Sydney: School Of Piano Technology, State Conservatorium of Music, N.S.W 1981), 47.

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Timbre,sound quality, tonal colour

The perception of tonal quality, or timbre of piano sound is a central focus of this research.The sonic elements that determine tone have been identified as partial tones in the previous pages. J. Meyer has deduced generally that a brighter tone will consist of prominent upper partials, and a darker tone will consist of less upper partials. A description of sound quality is also influenced by the subjective contexts and experiences of the describer. This research uses a comparison of two piano sounds to ‘control’ the boundaries of tonal description, for example, one piano sound could be described as sounding ‘brighter’ in tone than the other. In chapter five the discussion about the tonal characteristics of these two instruments is opened up to the perceptions of over 300 audience members.

I define timbre as a temporal collective sensation of sound that is formed by specific combinations of frequency, loudness and harmonic content.

Our ear has the inbuilt capacity to decipher the details of super positions of simple tones that combine to produce the complex tone.The basilar membrane in the human ear has a designated “resonance region” for each pure tone of a given frequency. 183

Since a complex tone vibration is entirely equivalent to the summation of pure tones of harmonically related frequencies, then, depending on which overtones are present, more than one part of the basilar membrane will respond at the same time. The cochlea therefore performs a kind of harmonic analysis…. The message it sends to the brain consists of a number of electrical signals along different fibres of the auditory nerve, one for each overtone. 184

The following definitions of the timbre, were influential in the tonal evaluations I have made in this research:

Sound “quality” or “timbre” describes those characteristics of sound which allow the ear to distinguish sounds which have the same pitch and loudness. Timbre is mainly determined by the harmonic content of a sound and the dynamic characteristics of the sound such as vibrato and the attack-decay envelope of the sound.185

The relative proportion with which each overtone intervenes in the resulting vibration determines to a great extent the particular character, quality or timbre of the generated tone.186

Timbre depends strongly on envelope: on how the sound varies over time. 187

The temporal envelope of an instrumental sound, including attack, decay and modulation of the steady-state portion [sustain], influences the perceived timbre to such an extent that changes on any of them can make the sound of an instrument unrecognizable.188

183     3Roederer,31.
184     4Johnston, Measured Tones,244.
185 Rod Nave,“Timbre,”Hyper Physics, 2012. Georgia State University (HyperPhysics ©C.R. Nave, 2012) http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hph.html(accessed April, 2013).
186     4Roederer, 118.
187     2Joe Wolfe, “Timbre and envelope,” (accessed October 2015).
188 Berger,K.W.“Some factors in the recognition of timbre.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,36.(1964):1888- 1891. Source: A.J.M Houstma,“Pitch and Timbre: Definition, meaning and use.”Journal of New Nusic Research 26:2 (1997):108.

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Visualising Modes of Vibration

In the early years of the 19th century, the French mathematician Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier presented a realization about the composite nature of the partial tones, or modes of vibration in a composite sound.

Any periodic vibration however complicated can be represented as the superimposition of pure harmonic vibrations, whose fundamental frequency is given by the repetition rate of the periodic vibration.189

Fourier came to the conclusion that the vibrations of sound and their subsequent harmonics and overtones are mathematically related by the fundamental vibration or prime tone.190

Fourier discovered that individual sinusoidal191 waves illustrated the qualities of each partial tone within the whole composite tone.This discovery established that it is the interaction between the fundamental tone and its upper harmonic partial tones that produces the quality and tonal colour of sound. The Fourier Theory of harmonic analysis has subsequently established a method for the analysis of how partial tones interact within a sound. ‘Fast Fourier Transform’ (FFT) is a computerized application of the Fourier Theory, which presents a visual illustration of the qualities of each partial frequency. The rates of decay are visually plotted in both loudness (dB) and duration (ms), dB/ms. This visualised graphic array illustrates the transient elements of the harmonic spectrum of the sound over time in spectrograms and decay curves. 190 To visually display and examine the differences in the sound qualities of the Stuart and Steinway pianos, I have used the computer software ‘Fuzz measure Pro 3’which implements F.F.T. to produce illustrations of the piano sounds

The spectrograms below, Spectrogram 3.1 of the note C2 65.406 Hz is produced by Fuzz measure Pro 3.2.The Stuart piano sound (left) and the Steinway piano sound (right) are illustrated by the amplitudes, frequencies and decay rates of their partial frequencies. The notes C2 were struck at velocity 81, ff by the calibrated key striker. 193

189 ibid p.127
190     5Roederer,127.
191 sinusoidal =sine wave depictions of simple tone, harmonic, partial tone, overtone, Fourier components.
192     2Campbell& Greated, 19.
193 For details about the electronic key striker see Chapter 2.

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The dynamic transients of loudness (dB), are measured by the vertical axis, and the frequency (Hz) by the horizontal axis. The 3rd axis is a measure of time, milli seconds (ms). This 3rd axis provides a view of the transient nature of the sound as it decays from the rear of the graph to the front. Spectrogram 3.1 plots the sound for a duration of 58s or 58,000 ms. , and shows that the Stuart sound decayed at a slower rate than the Steinway in the fundamental frequency (Fnd.), and the 3rd,, 4th&5thpartial frequencies (prt.).

The decay rate dB/ms of thecomposite tone of the both piano sounds is analysed in decay graphs throughout this research. Decay Graph 3.1 below exhibits three plotted states of decay for each of the sounds. i) onset ; ii) unsettled after-sound; iii) settled after-sound. This decay graph shows that the Stuart sound (red) has decayed at a slightly faster rate than Steinway(blue) in the onset state of .5s, and at a slower rate than Steinway in both the after-sound states. The significant difference in the sounds occurs in the 3s unsettled after-sound state between 2.2s- 5.2s. The Stuart sound appears to have arrived into its settled after-sound oscillation earlier than Steinway.

The earlier establishment of the settled oscillation state in the Stuart sound in the sound above, is a characteristic observed in many of the Stuart sounds, and is one of the four characteristics listed on page one of this chapter.

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Throughout chapter four the illustrated piano sounds are accompanied with audio .wav files, listed in the audio tables. The audio of these sounds is accessed from the accompanying USB drive.The sound table below presents the specific sounds of C2v81 mic2, of the Stuart piano (STU) and the Steinway piano (STE) showing the sounds are found in the USB Audio folder : 4.1, tracks No 15 &16.

Stuart
C2v81 STU MW mic 2.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic 2.wav
Sound table 3.2

Attack, Sustain and Decay – transient attributes of Piano Sound.

The attack, sustain and decay transients are transitional measures of the attributes of sound.These attributes combine to form particular envelopes of sound which are described in terms of their transient level at particular time plots of the sound’s duration. The transient value, as opposed to the steady state of a sound, simply indicates that the value is not a fixed value, due to the continuing decay of the piano sound.

The typical order of events in the sound envelope sequence attack- sustain-decay is appropriated to piano sound description, though the plotted transient value of sustain is not explored in detail in this study. A sound that is described as having ‘more sustain’, in this study is a description of a sound with a slower rate of decay.

Attack

The hammer strike excitation makes the string vibrate in a vertical plane, creating a vertical vibrational force that is transmitted at its maximum amplitude through the bridge of the soundboard.

As the string is stuck, or excited by the hammer, the string vibration does not immediately oscillate at its maximum amplitude. The time it takes to reach the full oscillation, or the build-up is known as the onset transient or the attack transient, measured in milliseconds(ms). In most of the sounds examined in this study, the attack transient is audibly faster than in the Steinway sound.

The full spectrum of the piano sound is heard before any partial tones begin to decay.194 In many of the piano sounds examined, the full spectrum of the Stuart sound consistently arrived earlier than the full spectrum of the Steinway sound. This often seemed to produce a more percussive and bright sounding onset.

The onset of a tone is a most important attribute for timbre and tone identification.During this transient period, the processing mechanism in our brains seems able to lock in on certain characteristic feature’s of each instrument’s vibration pattern and to keep track of these features even if they are garbled and blurred by the signal from the other instrument. 195

194     3 Campbell& Greated ,14 .
195     6Roederer,168-169.

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The piano sounds examined in this study have revealed a faster arrival to the maximum amplitude in the Stuart sound than the Steinway sound. In spectrograms 3.2 & 3.3, (below) the 2nd partial of the Stuart sound sounded at its maximum amplitude (dB) earlier in the time plot (3rd axis) than the 2nd prt. of the Steinway sound. The fundamental of C3v20 STE mic3 also peaked at its maximum amplitude (dB)later than the Fnd. in the Stuart piano sound.

Stuart Steinway
C3v20 STU MW mic3 C3v20 STU MW mic3
Sound table 3.3

A brighter tone colour is heard in the attack of the Stuart sound of C3v20STU MW mic3.There is also a deeper stable presence of the lower frequencies.

Stuart Steinway
C4v81 STU MW mic1 C4v81 STE MW mic1
Sound table 3.4

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In the sound of C4v81 mic1 illustrated above in Spectrogram 3.3, the 2nd prt. is audibly clearer in the Stuart piano sound in the first 3s of the audio sample. Generally the sound of the Stuart is brighter in the onset-attack period.

We can say that the attack transient is faster in the Stuart sounds than the Steinway sounds in both the sounds illustrated above, and that it is the onset transient of the 2ndpartial that is the distinctive quality of the Stuart tone. The attack transient is significantly distinctive in the Stuart piano sound. As previously mentioned, it is in the onset time period of the sound where the most distinctive difference in the piano tones occurs. Because of the vertically positioned rest point of the Stuart string 196 the onset sound of the Stuart is very different to the Steinway onset sound, and beckons a detailed study of its attack transients.

A study of the action speed, and the hammer densities, and hammer shank densities in comparison to the modern piano would be interesting. This study has not produced clear evidence of the Stuart keyboard action speed and hammer densities. Hopefully this will be completed in the near future. As Benade’s description below makes clear, the attack of a sound is extremely complex, containing frequencies that do not belong to the periodic musical category of sound.

When one starts to drive a system of springs and masses at any frequency, there is an initial transient which is enormously complicated, since it is made up of the already complex transient motions belonging to each separate mode of oscillation. We therefore have present in the vibrational recipe not only the driving frequency but also the (decaying) complete collection of characteristic frequencies, exactly as in the case of impulsive excitation. Once the [attack] transient has died out, all parts of the system will settle down into a steady oscillation at exactly the driving frequency. 197

Wayne Stuart suggests the correct measure of sustain in piano sound is the measure of duration from the first maximum amplitude peak to the last maximum amplitude peak, before the decay of the sound begins. My efforts in obtaining this value using Pro Tools software did not produce clear results.

The sustain portion of the sound, is the steady state [rate] to which the sound decays after a time determined by the decay parameters.198

A period during which the loudness varies little, called the sustain. 199

A sound that is described as having ‘more sustain’ in this study is a description of a sound that is decaying at a significantly slower rate than the sound it is being compared to. An example of a piano sound with ‘more sustain’ was observed in the sound C5v54 mic1.

196see chapter2.
197 Arthur Benade,Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics, (New York: Dover Publications INC.,1976) ,165.
198 William Sethares, Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale. (Heidelberg, New YorkSpringer-Verlag,1998), 30.
199     3 Wolfe, J. “Timbre and envelope,”(Accessed 10 April 2015)

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Stuart
C5v54 STU MW Mic1.wav
Steinway
C5v54 STE MW mic1.wav
Soundtable 3.5

The spectrogram of this sound is graphically illustrated in chapter 4, Spectrogram 4.9, C5v54 MW mic1.The partial frequencies in the Stuart sound of the note C5v54 appear to have decayed at a slower rate than the Steinway sound. The 2nd partial of the Stuart sound has a greater amplitude than the 2nd prt. of the Steinway sound.

It is audibly clear when listening to the comparison of the tones,that the Stuart sound is sustained more than the Steinway particularly at 5s, when the Steinway sound is decaying at a faster rate. The Stuart sound is observed here to be in a comparatively steady state in the after-sound.

Decay

Decay is the rate of decrease in the amplitude or size of the vibration. Decay of a piano string is a compound decay of two distinct transient measures. The onset decay is the initial and a faster decay which occurs within the first second of the sound as a reaction to the hammer strike. When the hammer strikes, the string vibrates in a vertical plane, creating a vertical vibrational force that is transmitted at its maximum amplitude through the bridge of the soundboard. This onset oscillation decays at a rapid rate till the oscillation settles into its elliptical oscillation, usually within the first second of time, which establishes the second considerably slower rate of decay that Gabriel We inreich describes as ‘after-sound.’ 200 Multiple strings vibrating in-phase are characteristic of the onset decay and strings vibrating out-of-phase are associated with the slower after-sound decay. 201 The low impedance of the bridge wood is associated with the fast travel of the onset decay, and the high impedance of the soundboard is associated with the slower travel of the after sound decay. 202

The findings of this enquiry presented in chapter four, establish four distinguishing characteristics of the Stuart sound.Each of these characteristics are found in the onset and after-sound states of oscillation of the piano string vibration.The after-sound is the state of the sound that follows or continues from the initial attack or onset of the sound. Piano sound physicians, Gabriel We inreich203, A.Benade 204 and Greated & Campbell,205 agree that piano sound is characterised by two distinct rates of decay that coincide with two states of string oscillation. The first oscillation state the onset, is characterised by the initial faster decay of the attack transient, which is a measure of three elements combined, the frequency of the driving force, the frequency of the oscillation and the abrupt disturbance of the hammer strike. The second state of oscillation, the after-sound, has a slower rate of decay and reduced amplitudes of partials.In the after-sound state, the string oscillates in a more settled steady vibration, a steady state.

200     7We inreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
201     4Fletcher& Rossing, 119-124.
202     8We inreich, G. Coupled piano strings. Source: 2J. Meyer,107-108.
203     9We inreich. The Coupled Motion Of Piano Strings.
204     2Benade,165.
205     4Campbell, The Musicians Guide to Acoustics.

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This study found that in many sounds, there appeared to be other transitional states of decay between the onset attack and the steady settled after-sound, which defined significant differences in the Stuart and Steinway rates of decay. This state has been named, ‘after-sound unsettled’, as it occurs after the onset attack, though shows a higher rate of decay than its steady oscillation which follows.So three transitional states of oscillation and rates of decay are identified throughout the findings in chapter 4:
i) Initial Onset; ii) After-sound unsettled; iii) After-sound settled. The three states of oscillation are indicated by three rates of decay illustrated in the decay curve 3.2 below.

The volume of the Steinway in this sound is 3 dB louder than the Stuart sound. Often the partial frequencies with larger amplitudes in the onset state will decay faster in that period, as the Steinway does here. The Stuart sound arrives at its settled after-sound oscillation (iii) earlier than Steinway (iii).

Other terminologies used to describe these rates of decay are, ‘Initial Transient’ and ‘Steady Oscillation’ 206 and dual decay rates- ‘Initial rapid, and decreased’ 207 and ‘prompt’ and ‘after-sound.’ 208

Damped Oscillation

The vibrating piano string oscillates in damped oscillation. 209 How the piano is designed establishes the elements of damping. String coupling and the impedance ratios of the strings to soundboard are elements of damping which restrict or control the amplitude and tonal colour of the periodic vibrations over time. Almost immediately after the initial disturbance or excitation of the hammer strike, within .5s, the maximum oscillation amplitude is reached.Subsequently a rapid decrease in amplitude follows, which is associated with the impetus of the vibrating string and soundboard to return back to their rest positions. The rates of decay of each partial tone in both the wood of the bridge, the soundboard and the steel wire of the piano string collectively influences the tonal colour of piano sound. 210

206     8We inreich.,
207     5Campbell& Greated.
208     9We inreich.
209     7Roederer,79.
210     8Roederer, 118.

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Although the hammer is meant to impart only vertical motion in the string of a grand piano, eventually horizontal motion also occurs. Horizontal motion is less damped over time because its motion is less coupled to the piano bridge and ergo, soundboard. 211

The coupling of the Stuart piano string by the bridge agraffe fastens the string in an up-down vertical plane. When the hammer strikes the string in the vertical up direction, the Stuart string oscillates reduced levels of damping in comparison to the Steinway string. This is because the Steinway string is pinned to the bridge in a horizontal plane, and will not enter into its vertical oscillation as easily as the Stuart string.

A vibrating system whose amplitude decreases in this way is said to be damped, and the rate of decrease is the damping constant. 212
If the oscillator is heavily damped, the transient motion decays rapidly, and the oscillator quickly settles into its steady-state motion. If the damping is small, however, the transient behaviour may continue for many cycles of oscillation.213

Onset – reduced damping

In the tests conducted in chapter two on the influences of coupling on vibration, the initial vertical oscillation of the Stuart string was found to be significantly larger than the Steinway’s. In this instance we established proof that the Stuart string was vibrating in a mode of reduced damping. The decay curves and spectrograms illustrated in chapter four, reveal that the majority of Stuart oscillations examined lose more energy than the Steinway oscillations in the initial .5s onset state, shown by steeper decay and amplitude curves. The majority of Stuart sounds produced higher amplitudes in this onset period. Given that each sound is struck with the same calibrated force, this also provides evidence of reduced damping in the Stuart coupling set up, the bridge agraffe.

After-sound – reduced damping

The decay curves and spectrograms illustrated in chapter four show the majority of Stuart sounds arrive at the settled after-sound period of oscillation earlier than Steinway. The string vibration tests in chapter 2, confirmed that the Stuart string maintained less of a horizontal vibration in its after-sound oscillation than Steinway. This shows the Stuart string vibration experienced less change in its overall vibration contour than Steinway. At the change of vibration mode from the vertical oscillation to its less-horizontal 214 elliptical oscillation, it was found that the Stuart string lost less energy than the Steinway string. Subsequently the rate of decay of the Stuart sound in its after-sound state, is observed to be slower and the audible perception is one of a sound with more sustain.

211Dean Livelybrooks, “ The Piano” Physics of Sound,Essentials of Physics- PHYS 152Lecture 16 The Piano (blog). http://hendrix2.uoregon.edu/~dlivelyb/phys152/l16.html,2007, accessed May, 2015.
212Thomas Rossing, Moore, R. Wheeler, P. The Science of Sound, 3rd Ed. (USA: Addison-Wesley, 2001),25.
213     5Fletcher& Rossing , 21.
214‘less horizontal’ in comparison to the Steinway string oscillation

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The complimentary objectives and outcomes produced by the unconnected tests in chapter two and chapter four supports the following statement by Wayne Stuart regarding the reduced amount of energy loss, or damping in the Stuart string vibration.

No change can contribute to a greater motion and quicker loss [as you indicate but] the lack of subsequent changes in mode ultimately reduces the overall loss in comparison to the ever changing back and forth motions of the pinned bridge scenario. 215

Recording Stuart and Steinway Piano Tones

The amplitudes or maximum value of oscillatory disturbance216 of the vibrations of piano tone were measured in three locations of sound activity:

  1. the room, as radiated sound via a microphone array,
  2. the instrument as the power source: a sound level meter (SLM) microphone positioned 10cm above the hammer strike of the string.
  3. the soundboard – the oscillating muscle, via four piezo electric disk probes, positioned on the soundboard.

The design differences of the Stuart and Steinway pianos, which are associated with these tests:

  1. Piano string attachment coupling to the soundboard, which affects the string vibration contour,
  2. String mass, length and tension.
  3. Sound board stiffness, mass and thickness.

Qualities of tone linked with elements of design.

The components of piano design that were observed to have influenced the qualities of tone were:
soundboard stiffness;
string material;
string tension;
string length;
down bearing;
horizontal pinned string coupling at the bridge ;
vertical agraffe coupling at the bridge.

See chapter 1 for the detailed dimensions of the specific Stuart and Steinway pianos examined by this research.

215 Wayne Stuart, “Decay and Damping” email interview with author , 22nd June ,2014 .
216     3Benade,174

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Measuring Sound Pressure Radiation: Microphone Arrays

The Stuart and Steinway pianos described in chapter 1 were recorded in a controlled sound field created by an array of eight microphones.

Describing a sound field by specifying sound pressure levels for a number of points in a room represents a view point oriented toward the listeners, or recording devices at those points.217

The microphone positions in a 180° array defined the sound field, see fig 3.2 below. It was found that the direction in which the sound radiated from the pianos affected the qualities of its tone and it loudness. For example, the tonal quality and sound pressure level of a piano note recorded at microphone 6 (mic6) could be found to be different to the same recorded note at microphone 2 (mic2). The evaluation of the amplitude levels and the direction of its strongest (loudest) and weakest (softest) radiated qualities was also made possible in the 180° microphone array. The direction and projection of the radiated sounds of each piano was found to be noticeably different and therefore was considered to be a consequence of piano design.

217     4Meyer,3.

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The sounds of four notes struck at 3 velocity strikes, was produced by the calibrated electronic striker used in the string vibration tests in chapter 2.The table below illustrates how each sound is coded, denoting the durations in seconds (s). The notes were sounded un-damped till the sound died out, so their durations (s) were measured by the longest sounding of the note. The faster the velocity strike (v), results in a louder and longer note and notes with a lower frequency (Hz), will have a longer duration. Start times of the each sound were equalised using Pro Tools 10, for an equal measure of rates of decay and attack. 20 Hz and below was filtered out by a high pass filter in Pro Tools 10, to help eliminate extra low frequency room noise. The key numbers are different because the STU pianos have 97 keys and the STE piano has 88 keys.

Note name Abr. Piano Name Key No Hz frequency 3 velocity strikes Note label example
C2 C2 STE 16 65.406 Hz v20;v54;v81 C2 STE v81 58s
  C2 M19 (STU) 20 65.406 Hz v20;v54;v81 C2 M19 (STU) v54 58s
C3 C3 STE 28 130.81 Hz v20;v54;v81 C3 STE v2032s
  C3 M19 (STU) 32 130.81 Hz v20;v54;v81 C3 M19 (STU) v8146s
C4 C4 STE 40 261.63 Hz v20;v54;v81 C4 STE v5428s
  C4 M19 (STU) 44 261.63 Hz v20;v54;v81 C4 M19 (STU) v20 35s
C5 C5 STE 52 523.25 Hz v20;v54;v81 C5 STE v81 40s
  C5 M19 (STU) 56 523.25 Hz v20;v54;v81 C5 M19 (STU)
Note Coding Table 3.2

DPA 406 omni microphones, each calibrated at 94dB, were positioned around the pianos at equal angles and distance of 3 or 6 metres from a designated point on each piano frame and cabinet, to create the sound fields.The microphone arrays were used to pinpoint the directivity of the piano sound. The direction of the radiated sound from the piano was noticeably different in the two pianos and therefore was considered to be a consequence of design differences, such as string coupling, soundboard thickness and rib shape, soundboard wood type, length, mass and tension of the strings. A sound level metre, Virtual Sound Level Meter (VSLM) 218 was used to measure the peak amplitude sound level (volume) at the beginning of the note, and an averaged amplitude sound level over the complete duration of the note. Software using FFT technology, Fuzz measure 3 Pro,219 was used to filter the whole note duration into smaller duration periods, to examined the attack and decay transients of the sound.

The recording equipment and the audio engineer were the same for the recording of each piano sound.A Focuscrite preamp was calibrated at -10 Omni pre amp calibration and a Fire Face UFX interface was used with recording software Pro Tools 10, designating one microphone to one channel, i.e. track 1 corresponding to microphone 1. Each microphone (mic) was positioned at a height of 1.5metres. A sound level meter (SLM)microphone was positioned in the piano to record the sound level of the hammer strike 10cm above the striking point of the string.

218 Virtual Sound Level Meter: MATLAB Based Software, 2016, Sourgeforge, http://sourceforge.net/projects/vslm
219 FuzzMeasure software: http://supermegaultragroovy.com/products/fuzzmeasure/

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Sound Level Meter microphone, positioned 10cm above the hammer strike, next to mic 7.
Four notes, C2, C3, C4, C5, were sounded by the electronic striker at three velocities, v20 p, v54 mf , v81 f. The calibrated velocities of the electronic striker ensured a consistent strike velocity for each of the piano sounds,

Sound level metre & Electronic striker Fig 3.3

The directivity of sound projection is the direction in which the sound is radiated out from the instrument. The directional passage of travelling sound waves influences how the sound is humanly perceived.

When we hear music, the perceived tonal impression is caused by sound carried to our ears by the air. Relevant in this context are the minute pressure variations which are superimposed on the stationary pressure of the air surrounding us. The pressure variations propagate as waves in space. These more or less periodic deviations from the stationary mean value, comprise the so called sound pressure variations, for which in practice the shorter term ‘‘sound pressure’’ is used. 220

Sound pressure is measured by decibels, (dB) which is an algorithmic scale that measures sound pressure with the vast and intricate range of human hearing, 16Hz- 20,000Hz. Sound pressures converted to the decibel scale are called sound pressure levels, abbreviated Lp.

The levels of loudness recorded by microphones in the arrays were calculated by the VSLM in two categories-

  1. Lp : the measure which describes the peak pressure levels in dB, to register how the sound power of the source is radiated within the array.
  2. leqA – Equivalent Continuous A-weighted sound pressure , which gives a reasonable approximation of the human perception of loudness, averaged periodically over the designated duration of the note, measured in dBAA.

Inside the piano, a sound level microphone is positioned to record the sound pressure level of the instrument in Leq, equivalent continuous sound pressure level [dB] a calculation performed on time domain data, to provide a level of the instrument’s volume.

220Meyer,1.

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Naturally the measured sound level depends on the strength of the sound source. It is therefore also of interest to determine a characterization of the sound source, which describes its strength independently of spatial considerations and the distance from the listener. This relates exclusively to the sound source itself. Such a quantity represents the sound energy radiated by a source in all directions during a unit of time. This quantity is designated as the sound power of the source. 221

A comparison of the amplitude output and directivity of both pianos is thoroughly illustrated in the data below, which illustrate the sound pressure levels that reached each microphone of the same sound. This data illustrates the Stuart piano’s highest signal of leqA was recorded by the microphone No 6, ata level of 66 dBA, and the Steinway’s highest leqA was recorded by microphone No 2 establishing distinctive radiation directivities, in opposite directions!The sound level volume of the instruments is recorded by mic7, and we see here that the Steinway is 4dB louder in Lp peak, and an average of 4dBA louder than the Stuart piano, averaged over the 50s duration of the note. The general sound pressure that was radiated into the space is higher in the Stuart piano sound.

MWMicrophone Array C2 v81 13m180°
(behind pianist)
23m 45° 33m 90° 43m 120° 53m 150° 63m 180°
(behind bass bridge )
7 SLM10cm over hammer 8 6m90° cardioid
STE 58s
Steinway Piano
               
Lp 88(.3) 86 88(.2) 83.8 84 84(.3) 85 86.9 87 95.9 96 71.6 72
LeqA 64.965 62 64.665 61.9 62 62 63 64(.3) 63 69.5 70 50.5 51
M19 (STU)
Stuart Piano
               
Lp 87(.2) 86 88(.4) 86(.3) 85.9 86 88 91.992 94 92.0 79(.4)
LeqA 61.9 62 64 62.8 63 63.6 64 63 65(.4 )66 65.7 66 56.7 57
Sound pressure level C2v81 Table 3.3

Stuart mix 90° mic 3 & 8 Steinway mix 90° mic 3 & 8
C2v81 M19 (STU) mic 3 & 8 C2v81 STE mic 3 & 8
Sound table 3.6

The Lp and LeqA data collected for each of the 4 notes C2, C3, C4, & C5, is illustrated in Appendix 4.The characteristics of the sound of each note has been analysed at three velocities, v20,v54 ,v81, and at 8 various positions(mics 1-8), within the specific 3m and 6m sound field of the Music Workshop (MW) the atre space, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

221 Meyer, 3.

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Sound Board Vibration

The rate of decay is an important measure, as it depicts how fast energy is being ‘spent’, or lost. If energy is released more slowly then it is contained within the mass, which in turn produces a slower rate of decay, or a higher perception of sustain. The amplitude is usually lower when the lost of energy is slow, and higher when the loss of energy is faster. Piano designers are interested in how the mass of the soundboard affects amplitude and decay. The impedance, or resistance to flow of energy through the wood is associated with the capacity of energy to be stored or contained in the vibrating wood of the soundboard, which affects the amount or amplitude of movement, and how much movement occurs over a time which affects perceived sustain.

Soundboard Amplitude:

To maximize loudness, we need to maximize the amplitude of the vibrational response of the soundboard for a given force, a quantity that is described by the frequency response function. 222

That [Stuart] sound board is about 5mm in the centre and tapering out thinner at the edges. Steinway is around 8mm in the centre tapering out to 5mm at the edges in some places. Generally, a tapered board is better and all makers employ variations on this concept. Steinway ribs are massive compared to Stuart so the actual board thickness is only a small part of the soundboard design… Overall mass reduction with high elasticity can increase the dynamic range. Increased stiffness can reduce dynamic range and increase metallic sound. 223

Stuart Soundboard- King William Pine

This species is widely used by Australian luthiers for the construction of sounding boards in musical instruments, for example pianos and violins. King William pine transmits sound at 5,500 metres per second the same as spruce which is renowned as producing the best soundboards for pianos and violins. 224

  Wood type Thickness Length Width kydb Width Bass Bridge to rim
Steinway Spruce 9-6 mm 2.69m 1.52m 950cm 25.5 cm
Stuart King William Pine 7-5 mm 2.88m 1.63m 960cm 16 cm
Soundboard Dimensions Table 3.4

222 Barlow C. Y. 1997. “Materials selection for musical instruments.” Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics 19: 69-78.1997.
Source: Ulrike G.K. Wegst, “Wood For Sound”American Journal Of BotanyAm. J. Bot93:1369-1378
http://www.amjbot.org/content/93/10/1439.full.pdf ,accessed October 1, 2006.
223 Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 4th April, 2012.
224 Australian Timbers and Musical Instruments,
http://fennerschool-associated.anu.edu.au/fpt/nwfp/musicaltimbers/musicaltimbers1.html,
Australian National University,1998. (accessed 27.11.13).

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How and in which direction the piano sound is projected or radiated from the instrument is an indication of how the soundboard is responding to the vibrations from the string and bridge.

The soundboard transforms the mechanical vibrations into radiated sound. As a first approximation, the soundboard acts like a large diaphragm clamped around its edge. Like all diaphragms, the soundboard exhibits a series of resonances, the individual intensities being determined by the point of excitation.225

Many instruments have an additional resonator whose function is to convert more efficiently the oscillation of the primary vibrating element into sound vibrations of the surrounding air and to giver the tone its final timbre. 226

The resonating system of a piano transforms the energy of the vibrating string into a composite sound wave that radiates the qualities of tone into the atmosphere. The treble and bass bridges transmit the initial string vibrations to the plate and the ribs disperse the vibrational energy throughout the broader area which radiates the sound out of the instrument. The impedance of the wood in the bridges, plate and ribs influences the efficiency and quality of the transmission of vibrational energy.

The soundboard is formed in such a way that the grain follows the general direction of the treble bridge. Sound travels about twice as fast with the grain as against it, and the modulus of elasticity of spruce is twenty times greater with the grain than against it. This results in the sound not being delivered uniformly to the entire soundboard and to compensate for the even delivery ribs of the same material are attached at fixed intervals to the underside of the soundboard.227

The sound radiation pattern of a piano is largely determined by the shape of the soundboard and the modal shapes of the various modes in which it vibrates. 228

String vibration and the soundboard.

….. the initial impact on the string occurs in a direction perpendicular to the sound board; in this direction the sound board is in a position to extract energy from the string in relatively strong measure…..
In addition, string vibrations parallel to the sound board are formed, though muchweaker. Since the sound board presents a much higher impedance for transmitting such vibrations, this energy transmission process is much slower. The radiated sound field includes a superposition of these two different forms of vibration.
229

We have only to think of each tiny moving patch of the soundboard as a small pump to realise that the complete board acts as a vast multitude of simple sources that run not necessarily in step and have many different amplitudes. 230

This research investigated the vibrational characteristics of the soundboards of each piano playing the same sound (frequency) at precisely the same dynamic (volume).

225 Klaus Wogram, “Five Lectures on The Acoustics Of The Piano”, The Strings and Soundboard Chapter 5 (Royal Swedish Academy of Music, 1990), 2.
226     6Roederer,The Physics and Psychophysics of Music (2008) p.2
227     2Foulcher, T. Fundamental Notes for Piano Technicians (1981) pp.24-25
228     6Fletcher, The Physics Of Musical Instruments2nd Ed.(1999)p.392
229     9Weinreich, G. Coupled piano strings. source: 7Meyer Chpt 3:”Tonal Characteristics of Musical Instruments: The Piano: Time Structure”in Acoustics and the Performance of Music,107-108.
230     4Benade,Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics, (1990) p.347

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Measuring Soundboard Vibrations

Modal Analysis 231 is implemented to produce amplitude spectrums of the soundboard modes of vibration. Associate professor of physics at the University of Sydney, Rod Cross attached four piezoelectric disks, 20 mm diameter and 0.3 mm thick, to each soundboard. The disks were connected, via a 10 MegOhm voltage probe, to an ADC-212 analogue to digital convertor. The signal was monitored by PicoScope software that effectively turned the PC into a digital storage oscilloscope. The data was also analysed by Kaleida graph software in order to plot graphs and to perform an FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) to obtain the frequency spectrum.

Modal Analysis may be described as the process of describing the dynamic properties of an elastic structure in terms of its normal modes of vibration. In experimental modal testing, one excites the structure at one or more points, and determines the response at one or more points. From these sets of data, the natural frequencies (eigen frequencies) , mode shapes (eigen functions)and damping parameters are determined often by the use of multidimensional curve-fitting routines on a digital computer. 232

The piezo electric disks were positioned in four areas of the soundboard. Four soundboard positions were monitored for each sound. Two positions remained fixed, P1 & P2, and two positions were varied for each note, A & B. The probe positions were specific to each of the soundboards.

See Appendix 3, Part II of thesis, for complete soundboard spectras for each note.

231     7Fletcher & Rossing Modal analysis may be defined as the process of describing the dynamic properties of an elastic structure interms of its normal modes of vibration. Fletcher & Rossing
232     8Fletcher& Rossing,128-129.

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Placement of Soundboard Probes.

The positions of probes P1 and P2 were different for each piano, and the same for each note (frequency). Probes A & B varied positions for each frequency on each piano. Probes A & B were moved to the sections of most movement on each soundboard, for each note.So probes P1 & P2 compared the effect of the vibration at a particular position for different notes, and probes A& B measured the most soundboard movement per note. It was expected that each soundboard would vibrate differently because of the difference in string material, string coupling, and because each soundboard is different in width, length, thickness and wood type, see table 3.4, above.

Soundboard Frequency Maps

Central positions were decided on after plotting frequency maps for C3, C4, and C5, by touching lightly the boards from under the pianos whilst the note was sounded.

Similar to the vibrations in a piano string, the vibrations in the soundboard are classified by their modes of vibration, which are identified by the frequency at which they vibrate (Hz). As with the vibrations in a stretched string, the lower frequency produces a slower, larger vibration, and as the frequency rises the vibration is smaller and faster. The diagrams below (fig 3.5, 3.6) taken from two research investigations, illustrate the vibrational modes of several modern 9ft grand pianos, with an approximate soundboard thickness of 9-10mm, tapering off to the edges. Both diagrams illustrate the size of the vibrations relative to their frequency mode, and shows that as the frequency Hz rises, vibrations reduce in size and occur in many areas of the soundboard.

StuartP1 & P2 positions of the soundboard frequency map of vibrations, for C3, C4, C5:

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P1 STU piezo probe 1 : positioned 10cm towards the curved side from the treble bridge, between ribs 5 & 6, 84 cm from the rear, 196 cm from the keyboard.57cm from the front curved side.

P2 STUpiezo probe 2:positioned directly over the treble bridge, between ribs 7 & 8, 135 cm from the rear, 165cm from the keyboard, 53cm from the back side, 55cm from the front curved side, 8cm towards to the straight rear side from the treble bridge.

Steinway piano soundboard frequency map of vibrations, for C3, C4, C5:

P1 STE piezo probe 1 : positioned directly over the treble bridge between ribs 5&6, 96cm from the rear, 173cms from the keyboard, 46cm from the straight rear side, 556cm from the curved side.0

P2 STEpiezo probe 2: positioned 21.5cm towards the straight side from the treble bridge,between ribs 7 &8, 131 cm from rear, 136 cm from the keyboard, 42 cm from the straight rear side, 66 cm from the front curved side

Two soundboard probe points ‘A’ & ‘B’ were changed for each frequency. ‘A’ was positioned close to or on the position of where the string is coupled to the bridge. ‘B’ was positioned close to the bridge, though in a position of strong movement in the board.

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STU C2 65.406 Hz STE C2 65.406 Hz
STU length: 290cm. 19ribs
A STU for C2:positioned where the C2 bichord wound strings are coupled to the bass bridge, 64.5 cm from the rear, 36 cm from the curved front side, 68.5cm from the straight rear side,
B STU for C2: 86cm from the straight rear side. 23cm from the front curved side, 123cm from the rear end.
STE length: 273cm. 17 ribs
A STE for C2: positioned where the C2 trichord wound strings are coupled to the bass bridge, 63cm from the straight rear side, 72cm from the rear end.
B STE for C2: 84cm from the rear end, 80cm from the straight rear side, 23cm from the curved side.
C2 A & B Probe Positions Stuart and Steinway Soundboard Fig 3.7
STU C3 130.81 Hz STE C2 65.406 Hz
STU length: 290cm. 19ribs
A STUfor C3: positioned where the C3 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 117 cm from the rear, 57 cm from the curved front side, 53cm from the straight rear side,
B STUfor C3: 18cm from the straight
rear side and 126cm from the rear end.
STElength: 273cm. 17 ribs
A STEfor C3: positioned where the C3 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 42cm from the straight rear side, 57 from the curved front side, 83cm from the rear end.
B STEfor C3: 72cm from the rear
end, 37cm from thestraight rear side, 63cm from the curved side.
C3 A & B Probe Positions Stuart and Steinway Soundboard Fig 3.8

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STU C4 262.63 Hz STE C4 262.63 Hz
STU length: 290cm. 19ribs
A STUfor C4: positioned where the C4 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 164 cm from the rear, 45 cm from the curved front side, 74.5cm from the straight rear side,
B STUfor C4: 38cm from the straight rear side. 170cm from the rear end.
STElength: 273cm. 17 ribs
A STEfor C2: positioned where the C4 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 70cm from the straight rear side, 153cm from the rear end.
B STEfor C2: 80cm from thestraight rear side, 25cm from the curved side,110cm from the keyboard.
C4 A & B Probe Positions Stuart and Steinway Soundboard Fig 3.9
STU C5 523.25 Hz STE C5 523.25 Hz
STU length: 290cm. 19ribs
Not done
A STUfor C5: positioned where the C5 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 89cm from the keyboard, 58 cm from the curved front side, 95.5cm from the straight rear side,
B STUfor C5: 59cm from the straight rear side. 124.5 form keyboard.
STE length: 273cm. 17 ribs
A STEfor C5 positioned where the C5 trichord strings are coupled to the treble bridge, 85 cm from the keyboard, 59 cm from the curved front side, 88cm from the straight rear side,
B STEfor C5: 104cm from the straight rear side. 40cm from the front curved side, between ribs 11-12.
C5 A & B Probe Positions Stuart and Steinway Soundboard Fig 3.10

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When the note C2 was struck at v20, p, the following soundboard vibrations were monitored in each of the four positions:

Stuart
C2v20 M19 (STU) mixed array
Steinway
C2v20 STE mixed array
Sound table 3.7

See Appendix 3 for the actual amplitude spectra graphs for C2v20, and all other soundboard vibration results. The probe positions provide information on the size or amplitude of the soundboard vibrations. Although four positions cannot reveal all of the soundboard’s vibrational characteristics, the size of the vibration is indicated, remembering that the soundboard vibrates as one whole unit as well as in it’s segregated modes of vibration. The four probes collectively established a 58% difference in the amplitude of the vibrations in the Stuart and Steinway soundboards.

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Summary of Measuring Techniques

For a summary of chapter three, and an introduction to chapter four, the following pages briefly illustrate how the sound of note C2v81 is analysed,

Venue Array Pianos
MW 6 mics 3metres mics 1-6
1 mic 10 cm above mic7
1 mic 6metres mic8
STU & STE

Music Workshop (MW) Array :

MW Array  
Mics 2,3,4,5.6 are DPA 406 omni microphones, 3m measured from the same point on the piano frame. Mic 8 DPA O Type 4011-TL cardiod, was positioned at 6metres to record projection levels. Mic7 is a Bruel & Kjaer type 2239 sound level microphone, recording the leq level of the sound power of the source.
Mic 1,6 are DPA 406 omni microphones, 3m measured from the ends of the soundboards.
MW Array microphone description Fig3.11

The table and graph below illustrate the amplitudes of lp and leqA of pianos STE and STU, captured in the 8 microphone array in the Music Workshop (MW), of note C2 65.406 Hz, struck at velocity 81 (v81).

Sound Pressure Levels for the note C2v81:

Sound Pressure Summary C2v81:

MWMicrophone Array C2 v81 13m180°
(behind pianist)
23m 45° 33m 90° 43m 120° 53m 150° 63m 180°
(behind bass bridge )
7 SLM10cm over hammer 8 6m90°
cardioid
STE 58s                
Lp 88(.3) 86 88(.2) 83.8 84 84(.3) 85 86.9 87 95.9 96 71.6 72
LeqA 64.965 62 64.665 61.9 62 62 63 64(.3) 63 69.5 70 50.5 51
STU                
Lp 87(.2) 86 88(.4) 86(.3) 85.9 86 88 91.992 94 92.0 79(.4)
LeqA 61.9 62 64 62.8 63 63.6 64 63 65(.4 )66 65.7 66 56.7 57
Sound Pressure Level C2v81 8 microphones. Table 3.7

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A comparison of the amplitude output and directivity of both pianos is thoroughly illustrated in the data above. This data shows for example, that the Stuart piano’s highest signal of leqA was recorded by the microphone No 6, ata level of 66 dBA, and the Steinway’s highest leqA was recorded by microphone No 2 establishing distinctive radiation directivities, in opposite directions! The sound level volume of the instruments is recorded by mic7, and we see here that the Steinway is 4dB louder in Lp peak, and an average of 4dBA louder than the Stuart piano, averaged over the 50s duration of the note.

C2 v81 MW mic8 Decay curve,50s duration.

The decay curve for mic 8 positioned at 90° and 6 metres from the pianos, shows an interesting area of difference in the rates of decay starting at5s.

The decay curves below, show the Stuart (i) to be decaying faster in the onset, and to be settling into its after-sound oscillation (ii) , approximately 5s earlier than Steinway (ii).

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4. Qualities of the Stuart & Sons Piano Sound

Introduction.

The characteristics of tone colour found in the sounds of the Stuart & Sons piano No 19 in the Music Workshop performance venue are identified, examined and defined in this chapter. The tonal descriptions of the Stuart piano sound were realised by comparing its sound with the sound of the Hamburg Steinway concert D piano, No574500, in the controlled acoustic environment of an eight microphone array set in a curve of 180°, 3meters and 6 metres from the same measuring point of each piano.

The descriptions of tone colour are based on the understanding that the tonal colour or timbre, is determined by how proportions of the partial frequencies intervene within the whole tonal composite vibration of the sound,233 at specific time periods of the sound’s duration.234 Piano sound is in a state of transient decay, therefore the measured state of the sound at a given durational plot over the time period of the note’s sound duration, provides significant information that contributes to understanding the overall characteristics of the tonal colour of the sound. Piano sounds in the lower registers with long wound steel wire strings can sound for 60 seconds duration, whilst shorter durations occur for the higher tones of shorter thinner steel wire strings. Tonal colour therefore needs to be described in terms of the manner in which the transient qualities change over the time of the sound’s duration. The individual partial frequencies and the composite collective of partial frequencies are described in terms of their volume SPL235 dB, amplitude, and the rate or speed at which they decay, as both dimensions influence tonal colour.

The sounds of both the Steinway and Stuart pianos were activated by a calibrated electronic key striker, which eliminated the variable of ‘human’ pianistic touch. Leaving pianistic expression out of this examination of tone colour, narrows the enquiry to one of tone production of the actual instruments and how their sounds interact within the acoustic of the specific performance hall.

A reference point of standard traditional piano tone was provided by the sound created by the Hamburg Steinway concert D piano, in the same acoustic space. The recorded samples were all created on the same recording date with each piano in identical positions in the space, using the same data microphone positions, as discussed in chapter three, ‘Vibrations and Tone’. The aim of creating the descriptions of the Stuart piano tone, is to establish knowledge on how and why the Stuart sound is different to that of the traditional modern piano, in this case the Steinway D. Realising these tonal characteristics informs musical choices for composition and performance.

233     7Roederer,118.
234     4 Wolfe, Pyshclips. University of NSW, School of Physics.Retrieved 10 April 2015
235 Sound Pressure Level

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Analysis of the sounds recorded in the MW performance space, on the 9th December, 2013, of four notes, C2 65.406Hz, C3 130.81Hz, C4 261.63Hz, and C5 523.25Hz, established four descriptive factors of piano tone which distinguished the sound of the Stuart piano M19 (STU) piano from the sound of the Steinway piano (STE).

  1. A slower rate of decay of the fundamental partial frequency.
  2. Earlier transition into the after-sound (a-s) oscillation state.
  3. Wider harmonic spectrum at the onset of the sound.
  4. A more comprehensive tonal projection to 6 metres.

A slowly decaying fundamental frequency, greater amplitudes of the 2nd or 3rd partial, and the transfer to the after-sound oscillation phase within 1s, describes the qualities in piano sound that distinguish the M19(STU) piano from the Steinway STE 574500 piano.

The direction of radiation of each piano sound within the 180° array, was realised by monitoring the SPL levels of each microphone in the array. For each sound, the radiated harmonic characteristics were tested to see if they correspond to the harmonic vibrations produced by the soundboard. In many instances, the Stuart piano was found to produce larger harmonic sound board vibrations, which corresponded to a fuller harmonic spectrum being radiated over a longer distance.

The sound qualities of the Stuart and Steinway are visually presented in spectrograms, which display the SPL levels of the onset attack, and the amplitudes and rates of decay of the individual partial frequencies. The decay curves display and the rate of decay of the composite note. Tonal qualities were consistently observed in the Stuart piano sounds that contained, a larger fundamental, a larger 2nd or 3rd partial , a faster onset rate of decay usually within .5s, and a slower after-sound decay, often in the 2nd phase of oscillation, immediately after the onset period.

The audible characteristics that distinguished the Stuart sound from the Steinway sound, as heard in the recorded sounds were:

  1. A more stable sound, with less movement or change of harmonic balance within the sound.
  2. A more balanced sustain established in the first .5s of the sound
  3. More bass fullness, or sustain of lower frequencies in the lower notes, C2 and C3
  4. A more immediate sounding of the SPL peak in the onset, with a more percussive attack.

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Familiarity of the sound

This research assumes that the Steinway sound is ingrained in the consciousness of many musicians and listeners as the sound of the modern piano. There is a familiarity associated with the ‘sound’ of the Steinway most probably because since the 1880scountless of performances and recordings have used the Steinway piano. As well as this, most other piano designers have implemented the elements of its standardised design for over 100 years. The 88 key compass, down-bearing pressure of the strings onto the soundboard, the zig-zag pinned string terminations on the bridge, and copper wound bass strings. A simple indication of this familiarity was observed in the audience surveys, when a higher number of the participants answered the question, “how do you describe the sound of the Steinway piano”with ‘just as I’d expect a piano to sound’.

Wayne Stuart doesn’t agree that the standardised pinned bridge traditional piano in particular the Steinway, should be presented as the ‘standard’, but rather a piano design of-

‘ ……a specific era and ethnic origin. Whereas, contemporary music has a non-specific ethnicity and therefore, must embrace not only different music scales but different harmonic and aesthetic parameters. 236

Throughout my career as a pianist, my experience in assessing piano sound quality has been only in regards to the modern piano. So conducting a comparison of the sounds of the modern piano in this case the Steinway, with the sounds of the Stuart piano provided me with a practical method for acquiring a sense of the qualities of both piano sounds. To understand what is different about the Stuart sound, the ‘familiar’ modern piano sound was compared with the ‘unfamiliar’ Stuart piano sound. Conscious listening, graphical analysis and memory were employed throughout the analysis process where the ‘familiar’ is also scrutinised.

I immersed myself in the specific palette of tonal colours of one particular Stuart piano, No 19, to enable my performances and compositions of music that demonstrated an understanding of its sound qualities. The palette of Stuart sound qualities illustrated in the following pages is intended to be used for reference points of tonal descriptions, as well as to establish evidence of how the Stuart piano sound is different to that of the modern piano sound.

This enquiry is centred on the sound of one instrument, the Stuart & Sons piano identified throughout this research as M19(STU). This piano was made in 2002, it is Stuart No 19, 2.9m long, with a keyboard compass of 97 keys, F0 22.2337Hz to F8 5587.6518 Hz. The tones of the M19(STU) piano were consistently compared to the tones of one Hamburg Steinway concert D grand piano, (STE) No 574500, made in 2005, with a keyboard compass of 88 keys, A0227.50 Hz to C84186.0091Hz . The Steinway is affectionately named the ‘Olley’ in honour of the Australian artist and benefactor, Margaret Olley. See chapter one for the detailed descriptions of both instruments. The methods and processes of

236Wayne Stuart – email interview with author, 20thMay, 2010.

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recording, microphone placements and sound analysis, are described in detail in chapter three, ‘Vibrations and Tone’. The sounds of both these specific pianos were used to produce all the comparative data in this chapter and for the following chapters on jazz trio tone comparison and audience surveys. Compositions based on Aboriginal music collaborations were created using the particular sounds of the M19(STU) Stuart piano, as described in Chapter 6.

The intricate analysis of sound quality in this chapter is introduced by a summary of eight sounds of the M19(STU) and STE pianos, presented in brief one page analyses, displaying the qualities found to distinguish the Stuart sound from the Steinway sound. To keep the overall analysis to one page, the text is in a condensed font. It is necessary to read the decay graphs in colour. If colour isn’t provided in this text,the graphs can be viewed in the PDF files of this text, provided on the accompanying USB drive.

Following the summary of eight sounds, the tonal distinctions of the Stuart and Steinway piano sounds are analysed in detail by five aspects of piano sound quality: i) Rate of Decay; ii) Time of Transition to the Steady Modes of Oscillation; iii) Range of Harmonic Spectrum; iv) Directivity of the Sound; v) Projection of the Sound.

Because the loudness and amplitude of the Fundamental, 2nd and 3rd partial frequencies of a sound are indicators of tonal colour, this study identifies the transient presence, balance and activity of the partial simple tones within the composite complex tone sound of a piano note, its harmonics.

The relative proportion with which each overtone intervenes in the resulting vibration determines to a great extent the particular character, quality, or timbre of the generated tone. 237

The coupling apparatus on the Stuart piano bridge, the bridge agraffe, was shown to change the vibrational modes of the string, in chapter 2. The vibration modes in the string oscillation are harmonic, and therefore these modes influence tone colour.

Directivity and Timbre.

The contrasts in perspectives and perceptions of what an audience ‘hears’, and what the pianist ‘hears’ are assessed by examining the radiations of piano sound to different positions and distances within the performance space. The tones are ‘captured’ by the microphone array of 180°, at distances of 3 metres and 6 metres, from the pianos

Sound is not radiated uniformly in all directions by an instrument; the pattern of directionality is likely to be different for different harmonics 238

237     8 Roederer, 118.
238     8 Meyer,Acoustics and the Performance of Music. (1978).source : 6 Campbell& Greated,145.

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The sound files in sound table 4.1 below, illustrate the range of tonal colour of one sound defined by its various directivity.The variation in timbre belongs to the single sound of C2v20, captured by eight microphones as it radiated within the 180° MW sound field. Each row of eight sounds is from the Stuart M19(STU) and Steinway STE pianos.The velocity strike of the key is of the slowest (softest) force , v20.

C2v20 47s MW Mic1 180° (3m) Mic2 60° (3m) Mic3 90° (3m) Mic4 120° (3m) Mic5 150° (3m) Mic6 180° (3m) Mic7 hammer strike (10cm) Mic8 90° (6m)
STE USB Audio 4 1. C2v20 STE MW mic1.wav 3. C2v20 STE MW mic2.wav 5. C2v20 STE MW mic3.wav 7. C2v20 STE MW mic4.wav 9. C2v20 STE MW mic5.wav 11.C2v20 STE MW mic6.wav 13.C2v20 STE MW mic7.wav 15.C2v20 STE MW mic8.wav
M19 (STU) USB Audio 4 2. C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic1.wav 4. C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic2.wav 6. C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic3.wav 8. C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic4.wav 10.C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic5.wav 12.C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic6.wav 14.C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic7.wav 16.C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mic8.wav
Individual microphone sounds, C2v20 MW Sound table 4.1 USB Audio 4.0 : Trks 1-16

The collective array sound of the above note, C2v20:

Stuart
C2v20 M19 (STU)MW mxd array .wav
Steinway
C2v20 STE MW mxd array .wav
C2 v20 MW Mixed Array Sound table 4.2

The Stuart sound of the note C2 65.406 Hz was found to have a more extensive harmonic and dynamic spectrum across all the partial frequencies. The string scale dimensions and harmonic vibrations in the soundboard correspond to the radiated sound to 3 metres and 6 metres. The dimensions of string density and the soundboard vibrations, combine to form the resonating system of the piano.

The string cannot radiate a sound wave itself, its motion has to be transferred to a much larger object which can serve as a much more efficient radiator of sound. 239

In the bass section of the piano compass, where C2 is situated, the Stuart piano has significantly longer strings of higher yield capacity and lower inharmonicity, set at significantly higher tension. The Stuart soundboard was found to vibrate harmonic frequencies of C2, at 57% higher amplitude than the Steinway soundboard. Of the four notes tested, the sounds of the Stuart piano note C2, at each velocity strike, produced the most extreme tonal comparisons to Steinway.

The volume level of piano sound radiated to each microphone is described as Sound Pressure Level, (SPL). The information for the description of STE and M19(STU) piano tone quality was derived from the recordings conducted in the MW performance space, in a 180° array of 6 microphones at 3metres, mics 1-6, one microphone at 6metres, mic8 , and a close microphone positioned 10cm above the hammer strike of the string, mic7.

239Anders Askenfelt, “Introduction: Basics Of Piano Acoustics: Sound radiation and impedance mismatch” FIve lectures on the Acoustics of The Piano, WWW-edition. https://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/introd/introd.html (2000). Retrieved 8th April, 2015

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The MW array:

Overall Sound Pressure Level of Each Piano

The SPLs of all four notes, of both the Steinway and Stuart pianos in the MW space, across 8 microphones, and three velocity strikes, were found to be surprisingly similar when processed by the General Linear Model (GLM)240 .The boxgraphs below, show the (GLM) reading of the SPL (dB) of all 96 piano sounds recorded, per piano, in the MW. Marginal differences show the Steinway to be louder and softer in the extreme ranges of loudness, r1 and r4. The Stuartismarginally louder in the lower three ranges of loudness,r1-3. The smaller range of the Stuart reveals a higher consistency of volume was produced by the fixed and calibrated velocity key strikes.

Total SPL: MW lp & leqA v20, v54, v81 boxgraph :

240Generalized Linear ModelsFaá Di Bruno’s Formula to Graduation, Whittaker–Henderson J. A. Nelder, R. J. BakerPublished Online: 15 AUG 2006 DOI: 10.1002/0471667196.ess0866.pub2 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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C2 MW box graph example.

The SPL values of one note C2, struck at three velocities, recorded in the MW space by 8 microphones, comprised a total of 24 recorded values of SPL for each piano. To summarise the range of these values, the 24 values are categorised into four SPL range groups of 6 notes each, from the quietest notes, range (r1) to the loudest notes, range (r4). Characteristics of each piano’s SPL are informed by comparing both the ranges of each 25% segment (r1-r4) and the total SPL range.

C2MW Boxgraph

A higher proportion of the Stuart notes were sounded in higher dB ranges than Steinway, revealing that the Stuart produced more louder notes than the Steinway. The Steinway sounded a wider range by 13dB, with the loudest and the softest notes of C2. This could also mean that the Stuart was outputting more consistently accurate volumes per calibrated velocity strike. The fact that the r1 range of the Stuart is significantly louder than the r1 range of the Steinway suggests that the Stuart is capable of producing softer sounds than the Steinway. To test this,the striker could be set to strike the key at the slower velocities ofv10, and v5.

The piano sounds recorded in the MW space are initially presented in the following pages as an introductory summary of the range of tonal characteristics found in the four notes, struck at 3 velocities. In Chapter 4 sounds are presented in categorised groupings of tonal characteristic:

  1. Fundamental partial – slower decay
  2. Earlier transition into the after-sound oscillation phase.
  3. Wider harmonic spectrum
  4. Directivity of the maximum SPL radiations
  5. Projections to 6 metres, mic 8

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The compiled data that supports the analysis of each sound presented in Chapter 4, is presented in the appendices in part II:

Appendix 1: String Scales;
Appendix 3:Soundboard Vibrations;
Appendix 4: SPL (loudness);Rate of DecayCalculations; Audio Sounds Index.

Stuart Design Concepts – relating to tonal colour outcomes

  • The faster rate of decay in the onset of the Stuart string vibration was found to occur because of less resistance to the vertical plane of the hammer strike, due to its vertical coupling. The larger amplitudes of the Stuart Fnd., 2nd and 3rd partials, subsequently causes a faster inverse decay reaction in the onset of the sound.
  • The Stuart’s earlier change into the slower decay rate (after-sound) is due to a proportionally smaller change in the vibrational mode from vertical to elliptical, ie less damping, which is heard in the stability of the tonal balance of the after-sound.

Changes in [vibration] mode = damping. No change [in vibrational mode] can contribute to a greater motion and quicker loss as your figures indicate but the lack of subsequent changes in mode ultimately reduces the overall [energy] loss in comparison to the ever changing back and forth motions of the pinned bridge scenario.241

  • Thehigher degree of stress on the horizontally pinned string of the Steinway, when forced into the vertical plane by the hammer strike, causes a higher amount of damping, resulting in a longer inverse decay rate at the onset, of smaller gradations , subsequently losing more energy over a longer period, before settling into its after-sound.

241Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 22nd June, 2015.

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Stuart Piano – Tonal Distinctions

Eight Introductory Sounds of Stuart Piano Tone Distinction.

1. C5v54 MW mic3Onset Tonal Stability.; Slower Fnd a-s; Earlier a-s transition.

The Stuart sound is brighter, with more sustain of the onset tonal balance. The Steinway decays immediately and has a rounder tone. The Stuart’s larger Fundamental, 2nd and 3rd partials, contribute to the brighter tone colour.

Stuart
C5v54 M19 (STU) MW mic 3.wav
Steinway
C5v54 STE MW mic3.wav
C5v54 mic3 Sound table 4.3

MW array sound:

Stuart
C5v54M19 (STU) MW mxd.wav
Steinway
C5 v54 STE MW mxd .wav
Sound table 4.4 C5v54 mixed array

The brightness of the Stuart tone at mic3 is enhanced in the room sound of the 8 microphones.

Decay:

The Stuart sound decayed more rapidly in the onset state (i) for a shorter duration, losing less energy in the onset, with its earlier transition into the 1st phase of the slower settled oscillation (ii), a phase of decay observed as being less significant in the Steinway sound, in this instance.

Both pianos radiated waves of similar SPL to mic M19 (STU) lp 83 leqA 62 ; STE lp 82 leqA At velocity 54, Stuart radiated waves of its maximum SPL to mic2, and Steinway radiated waves of its maximum SPL to mics 1 & 6.
The Stuart sound radiated marginally higher SPL of C5 to mics 2,3,5,7 and significantly higher SPL to mic 8.Soundboard: The magnitude of the movement of the Steinway soundboard was found to be 46% higher than the Stuart soundboard for C5v54.
C5523.25Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.1

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2. C4v20 MW mic2.Slower Fnd, a-s; 2nd prt. ; Earlier a-s transition.

Stuart USB
C4v20 M19(STU)MW mic2.wav
Steinway
C4v20 STE MW mic2.wav
Soundtable 4.5 C4v20 MW mic2

The brightness of the Stuart tone, and the roundness of the Steinway tone is illustrated at mic2, and in the mixed array sound. The 2nd partial is featured more prominently in the Stuart sound. The Steinway sound decays quickly within the first second of the sound, the later appearance of STE the 3rd partial is distinctive. The 3rd partial dominates the Steinway sound more than the Stuart sound. The Stuart sound sustains a consistent level till 7s, whereas the Steinway has sharp decays at 1s and 4s.

MW array sound:

Stuart
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mxd.wav
Steinway
C4v20 STE mxd MW.wav
Soundtable 4.6 C4v20 MW mxd array

Decay:The Stuart moves into the 2nd phase of oscillation earlier, than Steinway by approximately .5s, losing less energy and maintaining a higher SPL and sustain.

The Stuart sound of C4v20, is louder than Steinway at mic2. Steinway radiated waves of its maximum SPL to mics 1, & 4, the Stuart radiated waves of its maximum SPL to mics 2, & 5. C4v20 MW mic2 SPL:M19(STU) lp 81 leqA 59 STE lp 77 leqA 53 At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 75% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C4v20 The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart. C4261. Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.2

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3. C3v81MW mic5Slower after-sound Fnd., 2nd& 3rd prt. STE bass ‘swell’
Earlier transition to the after-sound oscillation.

Stuart
C3v81 M19(STU) MW mic5.wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mic5.wav
Soundtable 4.7 C3v81 MW mic5

The Steinway sound produces a bass ‘boom’ at approximately .5s.We can see in the spectrogram that the Steinway Fnd. 2nd& 3rd prts are decaying at a slower rate than Stuart at .5s.Here we can hear the advantage of a faster decay in the onset, the Stuart has no bass ’swell’.
MW array sound:

Stuart
C3v81 M19 (STU) MW mxd .wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mxd.wav
Soundtable 4.8 C3 v81 MW mxd array

Decay: The Stuart moves into the 2nd phase of oscillation earlier, than Steinway by approximately .5s, losing less energy and maintaining a more sustain and higher SPL.

Both Stuart and Steinway radiated waves of maximum SPL to mics5 and 1. Both piano sounds produced similar levels of SPL lp, and STE had higher leqA by 3dB.
C3v81 MW mic5 SPL:M19(STU) lp 90 leqA 64 // STE lp 90 leqA67
Soundboard: At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 19% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C3v81.
For the note C3, the diameter of both wires is identical at 1.125mm. The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 140.5 N/mm² higher, the Roslau/Steinway is 41mm longer, and is set at 6.7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 8% higher than Roslau/Steinway.
C3 121. Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.3

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A wider spectrum.
4. C2v54 MW mic 6

Stuart
C2v54 M19(STU) MW mic6.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic6.wav
Sound table 4.9 C2v54 MW mic6

The Stuart sound consists of partials with larger amplitudes, a more varied spectrum array and with slower rates of decay than in the Steinway sound. The fundamental, 5th and 6th partials are more clearly identified in the Stuart sound. The general tone of the Stuart note is more harmonious, emphasising the 6th partial, whereas the Steinway tone is more dissonant emphasising the 7th partial. The 6th partial was more resonant in the Stuart soundboard than in the Steinway soundboard.

MW array sound:

There is more bass frequency in the Steinway array sound than solely at mic6.

The bass frequency of the Stuart sound in the array is quite large. The Stuart bichord sound is clearer, than the ‘whizz’ sound of the Steinway trichord.

Decay: The Stuart decays faster than Steinway in its onset (i) and the 1st settled phase (ii).Slower than Steinway 3-4s.

Stuart
C2v54 M19(STU) MW mxd.wav
Steinway
C2v54 STE MW mxd.wav
Soundtable 4.10 C2v54 mxd array

Stuart radiated waves of maximum SPL to mic6, and Steinway radiated waves of maximum SPL to mic 2. At mic 6, Stuart was 8dB louder than Steinway. C2v54 MW mic6 SPL:M19(STU) lp 90 leqA 62 // STE lp 82 leqA56. Soundboard: At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 44% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C2v54. The STE S.board vibrated a larger fundamental than M19(STU).
For the note C2, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau.
C2 65. Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.4

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5. C5v81 MW mic8- Projection to 6 metres.
Slower Fundamental decay, Wider spectrum, Earlier a-s transition.

Stuart
C5v81 M19 (STU) MW mic8 .wav
Steinway
C5v81 STE MW mic8 .wav
Soundtable 4.11 C5v81 MW mic8

Radiating a distance of 6 metres both piano sounds are brighter in tone colour. The Stuart sound is brighter and louder. The partial movement in both sounds is fast and erratic.

The Stuart was 7dB louder than Steinway at mic 8, at the velocity strike of v81.The attack sound is more present in the Stuart sound. After 1s the Steinway sound is heard to diminish in volume, far more rapidly than the Stuart sound.

MW array sound:

Stuart
C5v81 STU MW mxd array.wav
Steinway
C5v81 STE MW mxd array.wav
Soundtable 4.12 C5v81 MW mxd arry

The onset of the Stuart sound (i) decayed slightly faster than Steinway in the onset of C5v81,
The Steinway (ii) transfers earlier than Stuart into its slower after-sound oscillation. The Stuart’s initial period of the after sound oscillation (ii) decays at ta slower rate than Steinway. The Steinway settles into its 2nd phase of after sound (iii) oscillation 1s earlier than Stuart.

Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard vibrated larger magnitudes of the fundamenta, 3rd, 4th , 5th& 6th partial frequencies than Stuart. The Stuart soundboard vibrated a larger 2nd partial frequency. The magnitude of the total movement of the Steinway soundboard was found to be 44% higher than the Stuart soundboard for C5v81

strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher . The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

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6. C4v20 MW mic4Slower Fnd. after-sound; Earlier a-s transition

Stuart
C4v20 M19(STU) MW mic4.wav
Steinway
C4v20 STE MW mic4.wav
Soundtable 4.13 C4v20 MW mic4

The Stuart sound has a faster attack, a louder fundamental. The Steinway sound diminishes momentarily in the first second.

Array sound :

Stuart USB Audio 4.0 trk.41
C4v20 STU MW mxd(2).wav
Steinway USB Audio 4.0 trk.42
C4v20 STE mxd MW (2).wav
Soundtable 4.14 C4v20 MW mxd arry

Decay:

The Steinway note is louder at the onset, it peaks later then STU in the onset, and holds it’s peak for longer, to .3s. (i) it then decays more rapidly than Stuart in the 1st phase of after-sound (ii) , The Stuart transfers to the 2nd phase of after-sound oscillation (iii) earlier, after losing less energy, hence the sense of a more stable sustain.

Soundboard: C4v20 At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 75% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C4v20

String Scale: The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

A faster after-sound decay decrescendo is audible in the Steinway sound, from approximately 1s, immediately after the bass frequency ‘swell’ crescendo. The bass tone of the Stuart Fnd. is more evenly balanced throughout the duration, with longer sustain, i.e. slower decay. The 3rd partial (sounding a P12th) is more audible in the Stuart sound. The attack onset tone of the Stuart is more immediate. The Stuart sound begins with peak SPL of Fnd. 2nd& 3rd partials.

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7. C3v20 MW mic1

Stuart
C3v20 STU MW mic1.wav
Steinway
C3v20 STE MW mic1. wav
Soundtable 4.15 C3v20 MW mic1

The bass ‘swell’ is enhanced through the added microphones. The attack tone of the Stuart is more immediate, with the higher amplitudes of Fnd. 2nd& 3rd partials.

Array sound:

Stuart
C3v20 STU MW mxd array .wav
Steinway
C3v20 STE MW mxd array .wav
Soundtable 4.16 C3v20 MW mxd arry

Decay:

The Stuart sound decayed .5 dB/s slower than Steinway in the onset oscillation (i). The Steinway’s transition to its 3rdphase settled oscillation (iii) is approximately 1.5s earlier than Stuart.

For C3v20, the Stuart was louder than Steinway at mics 1,2,5,6,7,& 8

Soundboard: At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 31% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C3v20.
For the note C3, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher , the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C3v20 130.80 Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.7

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8. C2v54 MW mic7 – Slower Fnd. decay, Earlier transition; Wider Spectrum

Stuart
C2v54 STU MW mic7.wav
Steinway
C2v54 STE MW mic7.wav
Soundtable 4.17 C2v54 MW mic7

The Steinway is 1 dB louder than Stuart at mic7 The Stuart sound contains a larger amount of bass frequency, i.e. more fundamental, and its more varied spectrum is ‘present’ from the beginning of the sound, whereas portions of the Steinway spectrum enter more gradually. The Steinway fundamental is decaying in a more fluctuating manner than the Stuart fundamental.

The Stuart is significantly louder than Steinway at each microphone of the 3 and 6 metre array.
In the 1st second of the array sound, the Steinway sound diminishes, as it did at mic7.

Array Sound:

Stuart USB Audio 4.0 trk.49
C2v54 M19(STU) MWmxd.wav
Steinway USB Audio 4.0 trk.50
C2v54 STE MW mxd.wav
Soundtable 4.18 C2v54 MW mxd array

Decay:

Steinway’s shorter trichord of thinner strings loses more energy faster, than the Stuart bichord of longer thicker strings, of significantly greater tensile.

For C2v54, the Stuart was louder than Steinway at mics 1,2,5,6,& 8
Soundboard: At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 44% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C2v54. STE S.board vibrated a larger fundamental than STU
For the note C2, the diameter of the bichord Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker than the trichord Roslau/Steinway wire, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Paulello/Stuart.
C2 65. Hz Scaling, Soundboard table 4.8

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Tonal Distinction 1

A Slower Rate of Decay of the Stuart Fundamental Frequency.

Introduction:

A more stable harmonic balance was audibly present in the sound of the Stuart piano, when the decay rate of its fundamental frequency was found to be slower than Steinway’s after .5s. Sustained sound qualities were found to be enhanced in the Stuart sound at the same time period as the slower fundamental frequency decay.

Sustained sound in piano tone, is closely related to that rate (dB/s) at which it decays, because a vibrating coupled steel piano string is in a constant state of decay, restoring back to it’s rest position after the forced disturbance of the hammer strike. Therefore the size, or amplitude of the composite sound is constantly reducing, becoming quieter. When the rate of the reduction in amplitude is steady and slow, it can be referred to as sustain.

The sustain portion of the sound, is the steady state to which the sound decays after a time determined by the decay parameters.242

A period during which the loudness varies little, called the sustain243

The fundamental frequency is the composite note’s primary pure tone, which vibrates periodically at a frequency rate by which the note is named, and by which multiple frequencies of superimposed upper partial frequencies vibrate. The fundamental is therefore the vibrational frequency that combines the upper partials into their composite group, and in that sense is a primary ‘driver’ of the composite tonal and decay characteristics of the sound.

In the following pages, the transient qualities of the Stuart fundamental frequency has been found to affect the nature of the sound of the upper partials and visa versa, in qualities which were not present in the Steinway fundamental frequency and partial tones.

Notes about Fundamental + Upper Partial Frequencies.

The partial tones are separated by multiples of the frequency of the fundamental frequency. 261.63Hz is the fundamental frequency of middle C or C4. The 2nd partial of C4will therefore be vibrate at double the 261.63Hz frequency, which is an octave above at 523.2 Hz. The next partial frequency will vibrate at 3x the 261.63Hz fundamental frequency, at 784.8Hz, which sounds the 12th interval above the fundamental. Each frequency harmonically lines up with the harmonic series, so for the first 7 partials, nearly three octave of pitch range is covered, within one sound.

The spectrograms in the following pages illustrate the amplitudes of the fundamental and upper partials at their graphically spaced frequencies, measured in decibels dB on the ‘y’ axis. The combined dB of the partials make up the volume of the composite dB level of the note, the composite note volume, or

242     2Sethares,30.
243     5Wolfe, “Pyshclips.” (Retrieved 10 April 2015).

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dB of the partials make up the volume of the composite dB level of the note, the composite note volume, or sound pressure level, (SPL). Importantly for piano sound, the waterfall spectrogram also plots time, in milli seconds (ms), to illustrate the exponential decay of the amplitude of each partial frequency, over the time period of the sound’s duration.

The stiffness, the set tension and the stretched expansion of the coupled piano wire (string) creates periodic changes in the strings length, when excited by the force of the hammer, and produces in harmonicity.This causes the partial tones to vibrate at exponentially sharper frequencies than the multiples of the fundamental frequency. As the strings are shortened and set at progressively higher tensions, as the pitch rises, the ratios of in harmonicity increase.

The following sounds recorded in the MW space, exhibited a slower rate of decay in the fundamental frequency of the M19 (STU) Stuart piano, and produced a sound with distinctly higher levels of sustain than the Steinway D (Olley)concert piano, STE No 574500.

C5v54 MW mic1

Soundboard Vibrations : The Steinway soundboard resonated a larger fundamental, and larger 4th& 5th partials than Stuart, ,and the Stuart s-board vibrated with a larger 2nd partial frequency. Both these findings correspond with the peak dB comparisons of the fundamental and 2nd partial, illustrated in the spectrogram. Overall, the Steinway soundboard vibrated in amplitudes 46% larger than Stuart for C5v54.

Instrument Volume Mic 7: STU 90 dB, STE 89 dB

String Scale: For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is .35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher. The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

C4v54 MW mic2

Soundboard Vibrations:

The Stuart soundboard resonated larger amplitudes of the fundamental and 2nd partial frequencies. Overall, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 71% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C4v54

Instrument Volume Mic 7: STU 89 dB, STE 86 dB

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C4v54 mic2 (cont)

String Scale: The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C3v81 MW mic3

Soundboard vibrations:

The Stuart soundboard vibrated larger amplitudes of the Fnd.. 2nd, 6th and 9th harmonic partials, and the Steinway soundboard vibrated larger amplitudes of the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 12th partials. Overall the Stuart soundboard resonated at 19% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C3v81.

Instrument Volume Mic 7: STU 98 dB, STE 97 dB

String Scale: For the note C3, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C2v20 MW mic7

Soundboard vibrations: Both Stuart and Steinway resonated vibrations of the same magnitude of the fundamental frequency. The Stuart soundboard vibrated larger amplitudes of the 2nd;3r;4th;5th;6th& 7th partial frequencies. Overall, the Stuart soundboard vibrations were 52% larger in amplitude than Steinway’s.

Instrument Volume Mic 7: STU 81 dB, STE 82 dB

String Scale: For the note C2, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than the Steinway/Roslau wire.

Other Stuart piano sounds – with slower fundamental frequency decay, previously presented in this chapter:

C5v81 M19 (STU) MW mic6 ; C3v81 M19 (STU) MW mic5: 4.0, 8 sounds intro
C5v54 M19 (STU) MW mic3 : 4.0, 8 sounds intro C3v20 M19 (STU) MW mic5: STU distinction No 2
C5v20 M19 (STU) MW mic2: STU distinction No 2 C3v20 M19 (STU) MW mic1: 4.0, 8 sounds intro
C4v54 M19 (STU) MW mic4: STU distinction No 2 C2v81 M19 (STU) MW mic2: STU distinction No 2
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mic2: 4.0, 8 sounds intro C2v54 M19 (STU) MW mic6: 4.0, 8 sounds intro
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mic4: 4.0, 8 sounds intro  
C2v54 M19 (STU) MW mic7: 4.0, 8 sounds intro  

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1. C5v54 MW mic1.

The Stuart fundamental frequency of the note C5523.25Hz was observed to decay at a slower rate than Steinway, at mic 1, at the velocity strike of v54 mf

Stuart
C5v54 STU MW Mic1.wav
Steinway
C5v54 STE MW mic1.wav
Sound table 4.19 C5v54 MW mic 1

The Steinway sound is plotted by VSLM, to be 6dB lp louder than M19(STU),though audibly, the dB volume difference is not clear. The immediate brightness of the Stuart and the faster decay of the Steinway sound ii, is audibly distinctive, and illustrated in the energy curve and spectrogram below. Soon after the hammer strike, the SPL of the Steinway is heard to reduce, whereas the Stuart sound maintains more of a sustained tonal balance, with a slower steady-state reduction of SPL between .2 – .8s

The fundamental frequency of the Steinway is illustrated in the spectrogram below to be decaying at a faster rate than Stuart, between .2-.8s, after the initial or attack onset phase. The 2nd partial of the Stuart sound is significantly more present in the Stuart sound, influencing the brightness of the tone.244

244     9Meyer,30.

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2. C3v81 MW mic3.Slower fundamental after–sound,Stuart tonal distinction 1.

Stuart
C3v81 STU MW mic3.wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mic3.wav
Sound table 4.20 C3v81 MW mic3

The Stuart piano produces a fuller bass frequency for a longer duration. The fundamental, 2nd& 3rd partials decay at a slower rate, after 4s. Both the 2nd and 3rd partials are also decaying at slower rates than Steinway. At mic3, the Steinway was 3dB louder than Stuart.

The Stuart’s faster decay rate in the onset (i) ,and slower decay in the after-sound, from .8s, (ii), illustrates the earlier establishment of steady-state decay (sustain) in the sound.

120

3. C4v54 MW mic2.Slower fundamental after–sound,Stuart tonal distinction 1.

Stuart USB Audio 4.1: trk.5
C4v54 STU MW mic2.wav
Steinway USB Audio 4.1: trk.6
C4v54 STU MW mic2.wav
Sound table 4.21 C4v54 MW mic 2

A clearer brighter spectrum is heard in the Stuart sound. At approximately .5s, the sound of the Steinway diminishes in fullness suddenly, whereas there is no change to the fullness or balance of the Stuart sound at .5s. The Stuart and Steinway radiated identical lp dB to mic2, and STU radiated 3dBA higher leqA than STE.

The Steinway sound continues to decay rapidly in the onset oscillation (i) for a longer period than Stuart.

121

Slower fundamental after–sound

4. C2v20 MW mic7Slower Onset Decay –

Fundamental,Stuart tonal distinction 1.

Stuart USB Audio 4.1: trk.7
C2v20 STU MW mic7.wav
Steinway USB Audio 4.1: trk.8
C2v20 STE MW mic7.wav
Sound table 4.22 C2v20 MW mic7

The SPL of both pianos for C2v20 mic7 were close to identical, 1 dB lp higher for Steinway, 82dB. The fundamental and the overall bass frequency was audibly more complete in the Stuart sound, from the onset, and sustained more prominently, than in the Steinway sound. The Stuart fundamental (FND) in the spectrogram below, is observed to decay at a more even steady – state rate then all the other partials of both sounds.

The composite note of the Stuart, is decaying at a slower rate than Steinway from .3s.
The sudden increase in the Steinway’s decay rate at 2s, is also visualised in the above spectrogram.

122

Tonal Distinction 2

Earlier Transition to Slower Steady Modes of Oscillation.

The initial onset oscillation of the Stuart piano sound was found to transfer earlier to the after-sound oscillation than Steinway, especially when the Stuart fundamental frequency was of a larger amplitude. As a result of this transient characteristic, a heightened level of sustain was audibly and graphically presented in the Stuart sound.

The extended period of the vertical onset vibration of the Stuart piano string, tested in the chapter two of this research, enables a quicker release of the non- resonant frequencies, for a shorter period than Steinway, and is usually accompanied by a faster rapid decay. A smoother, quicker transition into the after-sound oscillation phase occurs, which establishes a heightened level of sustain in the sound. The Stuart piano design minimizes the production of non- resonant frequencies in its sound, with the implementation of Paulello wire materials, the reduced damping of the bridge agraffe coupling, the thinner more actively resonant soundboard, more detailed grading of hammer shanks thickness, and rare earth magnets in the keyboard action.

A piano string oscillates in the vertical plane at the onset, as a consequence of the vertical hammer strike. As the vertical oscillation is of a large amplitude, it has a more transferrable impedance to the narrow wooden bridge and the energy of the onset sound is transferred from the string to the soundboard at a faster rate, which causes the sound to decay at faster rate, the onset rate of decay. The onset vibrations contain non- resonant frequencies, which are expended quickly. As energy is reflected off the large plane of the soundboard of higher impedance, waves are returned to the oscillating string, and because certain amounts of resonant and non-resonant energy has been released, the string vibration transfers to a more settled, elliptical oscillation, with slower rates of decay, the after-sound (a-s) decay. The string vibrations test by Peter Phillips in chapter 2 found that the string coupling mechanism, the Stuart bridge agraffe, extended the time period of the vertical onset string oscillation. The extended period of the vertical vibration enables the faster transition to the after-sound oscillation.

The following pages will discuss four Stuart piano sounds, which illustrate the earlier transition to the after-sound oscillation:

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C5v20 MW mic2

Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard vibrated 35% more actively than Stuart, for the note C5v20 . The fundamental frequency vibration was of larger amplitude in the Steinway soundboard, and the Stuart soundboard vibrated a larger amplitude of the 2nd partial frequency. Both these findings correspond with the radiated sounds to mic2, illustrated in the spectrogram.

Instrument Volume Mic7: M19 (STU) 83dB , STE 82dB

String Scale: For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is .35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher. The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

C4v54 MW mic4

Soundboard: The Stuart soundboard was 71% significantly more actively vibrating than the Steinway soundboard for the note C4v54. Both the fundamental and 2nd partial frequency vibrations were of greater magnitude than Steinway. In contrast to this, the Steinway radiated a larger 2nd partial than Sturt, to mic 4.

Instrument Volume Mic7: M19 (STU) 89 dB , STE 86 dB

String Scale: The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C3v20 MW mic5

Soundboard: The Stuart soundboard vibrated larger amplitudes of the Fnd. , 2nd & 3rd partial frequencies. Overall, the Stuart s-board harmonic vibrations were 31% larger in amplitude than Steinway’s. The Steinway s-board produced larger amplitudes of upper partials 4,5,6 & 7.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 86 dB , STE 85 dB

String Scale: For the note C3, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher , the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

124

C2v81 MW mic2
Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard resonated a larger fundamental frequency than Stuart.
The Stuart soundboard vibrations were larger in amplitude for all the upper partials 2nd -11th . Overall, the Stuart soundboard vibrations were 32% larger than Steinway’s.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 92 dB , STE 96 dB

String Scale: For the note C2, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau.

Other Sounds where the Stuart transitioned earlier to the after-sound oscillations.

C5v54 M19 (STU) MW mic3 intro 4.0 8 sounds
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mic2 intro 4.0 8 sounds
C3v81 M19 (STU) MW mic5 intro 4.0 8 sounds
C5v81 M19 (STU) MW mic8 intro 4.0 8 sounds
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mic4 intro 4.0 8 sounds
C5v54 M19 (STU) MW mic1 STU distinction No1
C4v54 M19 (STU) MW mic2 STU distinction No1
C3v81 M19 (STU) MW mic3 STU distinction No1
C5v81 M19 (STU) MW mic1 STU distinction No3
C4v20 M19 (STU) MW mic2 STU distinction No 3
C3 v20 M19 (STU) MW mic3 STU distinction No 3

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Earlier Transition to slower Oscillation,

Stuart Tonal Distinction 2.

Stuart
C5v20 STU MW mic 2 .wav
Steinway
C5v20 STE v20 MW mic 2.wav
Sound table 4.23

1. C5v20 MW mic2

The Stuart sound is marginally louder than Steinway at mic2 by 3dB, and audibly the Stuart sustains its brighter tonal quality for a longer period than Steinway. The longer sustain is illustrated in the spectrogram. The higher amplitude of the 2nd partial frequency in the Stuart sound, influences the brighter sounding tone. At approximately 5s, the Stuart sound is audibly more present than Steinway.

The rapid onset decay in the Steinway sound (i) continues for .45s longer than Stuart.
The transition from the onset oscillation to the more steady after-sound oscillation occurs sooner in the Stuart sound, than in the Steinway sound. The larger amplitude of the Stuart fundamental (Fnd.) initially decays more rapidly to .2s, when t the transition to the slower oscillation and slower decay occurs, approximately .2s before the transition occurs in the Steinway sound.

126

Earlier Transition to slower Oscillation,Stuart tonal distinction 2.

2. C4v54 MW mic4

Stuart
C4v54 M19(STU)MW mic 4.wav
Steinway
C4v54 STE MW mic4.wav
Sound table 4.24

Steinway radiated higher levels of SPL to mic 4 than Stuart by a significant 6dB. The tone of the Steinway is brighter than Stuart, as the STE 2nd partial (523 Hz), is larger in amplitude, with longer sustain, influencing the envelope of the Steinway sound. The Stuart transfers to the settled oscillation .7s earlier, than Steinway.

The peak volume of the Stuart fundamental is louder than Steinway’s, and decaying faster than Steinway in the onset. The larger 2nd partial of the Steinway sound influences the composite note, with the higher SPL and the longer, slower steady decay.

127

Earlier Transition to slower Oscillation Stuart tonal distinction 2.

3. C3v20 MWmic5

Stuart
C3v20 STU MW mic5.wav
Steinway
C3v20 STE MW mic5.wav
Sound table 4.25

The Stuart piano radiated its sound at 3dB louder than Steinway to mic5, at velocity 20(v20). The Stuart is louder at the onset, than Steinway. The Steinway bass frequency swells after 1s, and then decays rapidly after 4s. The Stuart sound is more constant from the onset. The 3rd prt. is more prominent in the Stuart after-sound. The 2nd prt. is more prominent in the after sound of the Steinway. The onset oscillation of the Stuart sound (i) , decays at 8.6dB/s, almost twice the speed of Steinway. The Stuart oscillation transfers into the first stage of the after-sound oscillation (ii) after .5s, approximately 2s before the Steinway’s transition. In the first phase of the settled after-sound oscillation (ii), the Stuart sound decays at a slower rate than Steinway after .3s,

Energy loss-The rapid loss of energy at the onset of the Stuart sound could be due to several factors. The thinner soundboard of the Stuart, vibrated with larger harmonic magnitudes, 31% more than the Steinway soundboard, and therefore is expending 31% more energy, and the vertical coupling is enabling a larger movement of the string at the onset, producing a larger louder string vibration and wider spectra, which decays at a faster rate than a quieter vibration with a narrower spectra.245 The Stuart sound’s rapid restoration back to a settled oscillation at .5s, is the factor which establishes a more stable sense of sustain in the sound.

Spectrogram 4ii).7 below, illustrates distinctive qualities of the Stuart’s sound. The fundamental and 2nd partial frequencies are larger in amplitude than Steinway, with faster onset decay and slower after-sound rates of decay. Steinway 3rd partial is larger in amplitude, a higher SPL, and faster after-sound decay.

245     9Roederer,.122.

128

4. C2v81 MW mic2

The Stuart onset tone is fuller with a greater production of bass frequencies than Steinway. Steinway is brighter from the onset. At velocity strike v81, the Stuart transferred to its after-sound settled oscillation approximately 2.5s earlier than Steinway.

Stuart
C2v81 STU MW mic2.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic2.wav
Sound table 4.26

A slower rate of decay of Fnd , 3rd , 4th, 5th and 6th partial frequencies in the Stuart sound is illustrated in the spectrogram 4i).3 below. The 24th partial, is also distinctive, sounding a sharpened P5th, 4 octaves above the Fnd. frequency.

The Frequency Response graph below, shows the Steinway’s 2nd, 3rd, 10th
and 13th partials had higher SPL than Stuart at v81.The Steinway line (blue) rises above the Stuart red line, in an interesting way between 600 Hz and 1k.These higher peaks of dB of the higher partials, 9-10-11-12 -13-14, influence the brighter, brassier tone of the Steinway.

129

Tonal Distinction 3: Wider Harmonic Spectrum.

Wider spectrums of upper partials were observed in the Stuart sound when either the fundamental, 2nd or 3rd partials decayed at a slower rate than the Steinway sound. The higher of upper partials was observed in the onset, and/or the after-sound periods of the Stuart sound. At each of the higher notes, C3, C4 & C5, the Stuart sounds with the wider partial spectra were also observed to transfer to the more settled after-sound oscillation earlier than Steinway.

As discussed in chapter 3, tone quality is determined by the intervening characteristics of the upper partials within the composite sound, at particular duration periods of the sounds’ decay. The Stuart piano sounds discussed in this section were observed to be influenced by the interventions of their upper partials, more so than Steinway.

C5v81 MW mic1

Soundboard:   The sounds of C5v81, radiating 3metres to mic1, corresponded with the harmonic vibrations in each soundboard. STE: Fnd / STU: 2nd prt./STE: 3rd & 4th & 5th & 6th prts.

Overall at v81, the Steinway soundboard vibrations were 44% greater amplitude than Stuart for the note C5.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 96dB , STE 97dB

String Scale: For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is .35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher. The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

 

C4v81 MW mic1

Soundboard: The Stuart soundboard vibrated higher amplitudes of the Fnd. and 2nd partial frequencies. Overall the Stuart soundboard vibrations for C4v81 were 67% larger than Steinway.

String Scale: The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 96dB , STE 92dB

Soundboard: Stuart soundboard vibrated 67% larger amplitudes. STU: Fnd.& 2nd

130

C3 v20 MW mic3

Soundboard: The Stuart Fnd and 2nd prt. were resonated strongly in the Stuart soundboard. Steinway soundboard vibrated a wider spectrum of upper partials than Stuart. STU: Fnd.; 2nd ; 3rd; STE: 4th ,5th ,6th 7th Overall, at v20, the Stuart soundboard vibrations were 31% larger in amplitude than Steinway, for the note C3.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 86dB , STE 85dB

String Scale: For the note C3, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C2v20 MW mic 6

Soundboard: The wider spectrum radiated in the Stuart sound to mic2, corresponded to the spectrum which vibrated in the Stuart soundboard. Fnd: STU=STE/ STU: 2nd ;3rd;4th ;5th ;6th 7th. Overall, at v20, the Stuart soundboard vibrations were 52% larger in amplitude than Steinway, for the note C2.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 81dB , STE 82dB

String Scale: For the note C2, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau.

Other Stuart piano sounds previously discussed- with a wider spectrum than Steinway:

Other sounds with wider spectras: C2v20, v81 MW mic7 ; C3v54 mic7.

131

Wider Harmonic Spectrum, Stuart tonal distinction 3.

Stuart
C5v81 M19 (STU)MW mic1.wav
Steinway
C5v81 STE MW mic1.wav
Sound table 4.27

1. C5v81 MW mic1.

The Stuart and Steinway radiated the sound of C5v81 at identical SPL of 86dB, to mic 1.

The Stuart tone is brighter, possibly due to the slower decay of the fundamental, enabling the wider spectra of the 2nd and 3rd partials, to be heard more openly, for a longer period. There is therefore a greater even sustain in the tonal balance in the onset and after-sound of the Stuart sound. In the 1st second of the Steinway sound, rapidly diminishing SPL output is heard, due to the more rapid decay of its fundamental frequency. This change in tonal and volume level is not heard in the Stuart sound. The 3rd partial is heard more prominently in the first 3 seconds of the Steinway sound, though is audibly more present for a longer period in the Stuart sound.

The sustained tonal balance in the Stuart sound is supported by the stability of the slowly decay rate of its fundamental frequency.

After a rapid decay and briefer onset oscillation period (i), the Stuart sound loses less energy , transferring to its 1st phase of settled steady-state oscillation (ii) , .5s earlier than Steinway.

132

2. C3v20 mic3.

Stuart
C3v20 M19(STU) MW mic3.wav
Steinway
C3v20 STE MW mic 3.wav
Sound table 4.28

Both Stuart and Steinway sound radiated C3v20 at 74dB to mic3. The larger dynamic range of the Stuart is evident at the onset, with a percussive impact of sound, and a faster rise to its full sound. The Stuart Fnd , 2nd , 4th & 6th prt. are larger at the onset, as viewed in the spectrogram below. The Steinway spectrum evolves more gradually at the onset, whereas the wider and brighter Stuart spectra is clearly more immediately at the onset.

The rapid decay in the Steinway’s 2nd partial at 2s, influences a sudden softening of the composite SPL. The Stuart sound decayed at marginally slower rate than Steinway, after 4s.

 

The faster onset decay of the composite Stuart sound (i), transfers to the after-sound settled oscillation (ii) 2s earlier than the Steinway (ii) . The onset and after-sound amplitudes of each 2nd partial directly influences the loss of energy observed in the decay curve.

 

133

3. C2v20 MW mic6.

Stuart
C2v20 M19 (STU) MW mic 6.wav
Steinway
C2v20 STE MW mic 6.wav
Sound table 4.29

The Stuart piano strings and soundboard have produced a wider, louder spectrum. The Stuart sound is 9dB lp and 8 dBA louderthan Steinway at mic 6.The Stuart has a more full- bodied round sound, with greater bass frequency tone, and more prominence of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th 5th & 6th partials. With longer and thicker bi-chord strings, wrapped in stainless steel, higher higher yield capacity set at significantly higher tension, and with the soundboard vibrating 52% larger amplitudes of significantly the 2nd prt. The Steinway has a brighter thinner tone.

The Stuart piano sound, decayed at a faster rate than Steinway, in an exponential decay of amplitude246, from a significantly louder onset. At 3s, the Stuart rate of decay slowed momentarily for 1s, similar to the Stuart decay curve at mic2.

246Roederer, The Physics and Psychophysics of Music (2008) p.122

134

4.C4v81 MW mic1.

Stuart
C4v81 STU MW mic1.wav
Steinway
C4v81 STE MW mic1.wav
Sound table 4.30

The Stuart 90dB, and Steinway 91dB, both radiated similar strong SPL levels of C4v81, to mic1. The Stuart sounds brighter. The number of upper partials illustrated in the .5s spectrogram below, are also similar for each sound, except the Stuart partials are more clearly defined, and the 8th prt of the Stuart and the 7th of the Steinway are more prominent. The high b7 in the Steinway is prominent in the sound, as is the high P5th in the Stuart sound. Generally the Stuart sound is more harmonically balanced, and harmonious. The Steinway tonal spectra, changes more frequently than Stuart’s. The Stuart at 90dB, and Steinway 91dB, both radiated strong SPL levels of C4v81, to mic1. The Stuart sounds brighter. The number of upper partials illustrated in the .5s spectrogram below, are also similar for each sound, except the Stuart partials are more clearly defined, and the 8th prt. of the Stuart and the 7th of the Steinway are more prominent. The high b7 in the Steinway is prominent in the sound, as is the high P5th in the Stuart sound. Generally the Stuart sound is more harmonically balanced, and harmonious. The Steinway tonal spectra changed more frequently than Stuart’s.

The main difference in the spectrums is the slower decay rates in the after-sound of the Fnd. and 2nd prt. Both the Fnd. and 2nd partials of the Stuart piano sound decayed at a slower rate than Steinway, between .5 and 2s.

135

The composite Steinway sound is heard to diminish in volume at .5s, which creates more of an unbalanced movement within the sound of the note, as the 2nd prt. and Fnd. decay more rapidly.

The Steinway sound decayed faster than Stuart’s from .6 to 1.2s(i). The Stuart sound transferred to the settled after-sound oscillation .7s (ii) earlier than Steinway

136

Tonal Distinction 4 – Directivity

C2 directivity

M19 (STU) C2 to mic 6; STE C2 to mic 2

In the MW 3 metre microphone array, across the three velocities, the Stuart piano radiated it’s maximum SPL of the note C2 to mic 6, away from the pianist, in the direction of 180°, and the Steinway radiated maximum SPL of the note to mic 2, 30° off centre, on the side of the pianist.

The Stuart piano was the louder instrument across the three velocity strikes, of C2 sounds which travelled 3 metres to mics 2 & 6. The volume levels of both pianos are closer together at mic2.

The factors of string scaling, length, tension, type, yield and coupling are major factors in why the Stuart was significantly louder, as well as a significant difference in the amplitudes of soundboard vibrations. For the note C2, the diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and is stainless steel247 , the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau.
Both instrumental volumes (mic7) were louder in the Steinway sound

C2v81 MW mic6 ,

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 92dB , STE 96dB
Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard vibrated a larger Fnd., and the Stuart board vibrated larger vibrations of the rest of the spectrum, 1-10 harmonic frequencies. Overall , the Stuart soundboard vibrated 47% more actively for C2v81.

C2v54 MW mic2.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 88dB , STE 89dB
Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard vibrated the Fnd and 3rd prt. as strongly as the Stuart soundboard. Overall, the Stuart soundboard vibrated 44% more actively across the spectrum .

247Stainless steel is 1.9g per cubic cm lighter than copper in specific gravity.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/specificgravmettable.html (accessed July, 2014).

137

The sounds of the note C2 of both pianos, at their strongest directivity SPL radiations, are examined in the following pages. Both sounds C2v81 mic6 and C2v54 mic2, have not previously been discussed. For cross checking levels, C2v81 mic2 was previously discussed on p.122, in the tonal distinction No. 2, ‘Earlier Transition to After-Sound Oscillation.’

1.C2v81 mic6. STU maximum radiation , Stuart tonal distinction 4.

Stuart
C2v81 M19(STU) MW mic6.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic6.wav
Sound table 4.31

The Stuart bass frequency is more prominent than Steinway’s. A harmonious upper partial is prominently sounding, the P12th above, the Stuart Fnd. which corresponds with the 3rd partial frequency shown to be prominent in the Stuart sound. The Stuart Fnd. is shown below to have decayed at a marginally slower rate than the Steinway Fnd. at both the onset and after-sound oscillations. This slower decay in after-sound oscillation is illustrated in more detail (ii), in the decay curve table 4.26 below. The 3rd, 4th 5th and 6th partials of the Stuart also decayed at a slower rate than Steinway.

Examining the onset of the note C2 v81, in spectrogram 4.9 below, illustrates graphically what we hear in the more stable, clear, less cluttered beginning of the note, of the Stuart sound. The coloured ‘ridges’ of the partials in the spectrogram, are graphic displays of the SPL dB levels of each individual partial, decaying towards the front, from the peak of the onset on the rear axis. The ‘ridges’ of the Stuart Fnd, 2nd & 3rd partials, are more evenly displayed than the Steinway ridges of the same partials, and the higher ridge of the Stuart 3rd prt. seems to be the strongest of
all the partials, showing very little decay.

138

The Steinway sounded higher dB peaks of the 7th and 14th partials, than Stuart, both these partials produce the less than harmonious b7th interval, 1 & 2 octaves above the fundamental.
The higher dB peak and slower decay of the 24th partial of the Stuart, 1569.74Hz, (P5th pitch) is distinctive in this note C2v81mic6, below, as it was for C2v81mic2. The Stuart piano was 7dB louder than Steinway at mic6, and radiated higher SPL of Fnd., 3rd 4th, 5th, 9th and 24th partial frequencies.

The Frequency Response graph above, shows the Steinway’s 2nd, 3rd, 10th and 13th partials had higher SPL than Stuart at v81. The Steinway line (blue) rises above the Stuart (red) line, in an interesting way
between 600 Hz and 1k.These higher peaks of dB of the higher partials, 9-10-11-12 -13-14, influence the brighter, brassier tone of the Steinway.

The onset rate of decay of the composite Stuart sound, was faster than the Steinway, the exponential decay being associated with its larger amplitude.248 At 3s, the Stuart rate of decay slowed for 1s, similar to the Stuart decay curve for the note C2v54 mic2. (See next page).

248Roederer, 122.

139

The slower rate of decay in the fundamental both in the onset and after-sound, has influenced a momentary slower after-sound decay rate at 3s. (ii). A wider spectrum was observed with longer durations of the 3rd, 4th 5th and 6th partial frequencies. The wider spectrum was also observed in at the Stuart onset, with larger amplitudes of the 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th partial frequencies.

140

C2 Directivity, Stuart tonal distinction 4.

2. C2v54 MW mic 2. STE maximum SPL radiation

Stuart
C2v54 M19(STU) MW mic2.wav
Steinway
C2v54 STE MW mic2.wav
Sound table 4.32

Even though this is a maximum SPL radiation of Steinway’s C2, the Stuart sound is 3dB louder at mic2. The resonating upper partial frequencies heard in the audio, are distinctly harmonious 3rd, 5th in the Stuart sound and dissonant in the Steinway sound, 7th 14th 9th 18th. There is distinctly more partial movement in the Steinway sound after 3s, than Stuart. The partials are sustaining more in the Stuart sound. The spectrogram below illustrates the Stuart ‘s more clearly defined fundamental frequency, and longer durations of the 3rd, 4th 5th and 6th partials.

After the initial onset period, the Stuart sound decayed at a slower rate than Steinway, establishing it’s after-sound settled oscillation, earlier than Steinway.

141

Distinctions of the Stuart piano sound : C2, mics 2 & 6 MW.

The characteristics of the Stuart sound previously described in the introduction of chapter four, have been observed in the sounds C2v54 MW mic2, and C2v81 MW mic6.

i) The Stuart sounds consisted of a wider spectrum with larger amplitudes of the fundamental, 3rd,
5th , 6th and 24th partial frequencies.

ii) The Stuart sound had fuller bass frequencies, which sustained in a stable, slow steady rate of
decay with an after-sound of M3rd and P5th intervals, i.e. 5th and 3rd partials. The Steinway
sound was brighter, thinner, with a characteristic of 7th and 9th intervals in its after-sound, and
characterised by more metallic buzz noise, Wolfenden’s ‘vizz’ of the trichord.249

iii) Stuart produced a faster onset rate of decay, plotted at .5s.

iv) The onset oscillation of the Stuart sound of C2v54 MWmic2, transferred earlier than Steinway
to its settled after-sound oscillation, enhancing its transient sustain quality.

249     4Wolfenden,209.

142

C3 Directivity

C3v81 MW mic1.

The Stuart & Steinway pianos both radiated maximum SPL of the note C3 to mic 1 & 5 equally, in two opposite directions, mic1 180° to the pianist, and mic5 150° away from the pianist, indicated in by the dashed lines in the graph below. This section examines the C3 sounds radiated to mic1. C3 sounds at mic5 have been discussed in earlier sections of this chapter.

Stuart
C3v81 M19(STU) MW mic1.wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mic1.wav
Sound table 4.33

The Stuart sound was marginally louder at mic1 across the three velocity strikes. The Stuart piano was marginally louder than Steinway at mic1, by 1dB. A sudden rise ‘swelling’ in the bass frequency level of the Steinway sound occurs between .5s,- 1s. At this precise time, the Spectrogram below shows a sudden decay occurs in the STE Fnd, an the 2nd prt is continuing a stable rate of decay. The 3rd & 4th STE prts are also decaying at steady rates. The sense of unstable tonal & harmonic movement in the onset, in the Steinway sound, is therefore due to the sudden change in the fundamental level. A high 7th or 14th prt is also prominent in Steinway’s after-sound. The Stuart C3 produces a more balance sound, of increased clarity, without the changing level of the bass frequency. The spectrogram below shows the Stuart fundamental frequency sustains between .3s and 1s, producing a more stable bass frequency. The Stuart sound has a more percussive brighter tone in the onset, due to louder 2nd, 3rd & 4th partials. The 2nd prt. an octave above Fnd., is also more audible in the sound Stuart sound. The 3rd, 4th and 5th partials are more prominent in the Steinway spectrogram below.

143

String Scale: For the note C3, the diameter of both wires is identical at 1.125mm. The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 140.5 N/mm² higher, the Roslau/Steinway is 41mm longer, and is set at 6.7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 8% higher than Roslau/Steinway.

Instrument Volume Mic7: STU 98dB , STE 97dB
Soundboard: The Stuart soundboard vibrated strong amplitudes of the Fnd. , 2nd ,6th & 9th prts.The Steinway s/board produced prominent vibrations of the 3rd, 4th & 7th prts.

The Stuart sound transfers to the slower settled rate of decay sooner than Steinway , at 1s, establishing a slower rate of decay 3dB/s (ii)

Conclusion

The stability of the first 1s of sound is a distinction of the Stuart piano sounds of the note C3. The Steinway was heard to change dramatically with the swelling of the bass frequency and the sudden decay of the fundamental. The slower decay of the Stuart fundamental frequency from .3s, and the earlier transition to the slower decay rate at 1s, are tonal characteristics observed in many of the Stuart sounds examined in chapter 4.

144

C4 Directivity

The Stuart and Steinway pianos radiated waves
of maximum SPL of the note C4
in four directions within the 180° array, to mics 1,2,4, & 5. The sounds C4 v54 mic1, and C4v54 mic5 will be discussed in this section, as C4 sounds to mics 2 & 4 were examined in preceding sections, of this chapter.

The Steinway piano sound radiated maximum SPL of C3 to mic 1, and the Stuart to mic 5:

The instrumental volume was similar,
for both pianos:
C4v54 mic7 : STU 89 dB STE 86 dB

Soundboards: C4v54:
The Stuart soundboard resonated larger amplitudes of the fundamental and 2nd partial frequencies. Overall, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 71% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C4v54

C4 String scale:
The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension.

The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

145

C4v54 MW mic1.

Stuart
C4v54 M19(STU) MW mic1.wav
Steinway
C4v54 STE MW mic1.wav
Sound table 4.34

The higher octave partial frequencies, 2nd & 4th are more audible in the onset of the Stuart sound, establishing a brighter tone. The 3rd + 7th or 14th prt. are more immediately prominent in the Steinway sound. The bright tone of the Stuart is sustained for longer than in the Steinway sound. The Steinway tonal colour balance changes dramatically at approximately 1s, becoming less bright and clear.

The spectrogram below shows the Steinway fundamental and 2nd partial frequency decayed at a faster rates than Stuart after .5s

The decay curve below illustrates the earlier transition of the Stuart sound into its more settled after-sound oscillation (ii)

The Stuart sound has sustained its bright colour, in a more stable harmonic balance than Steinway.

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C4v54 MW mic5

Stuart
C4v54 M19(STU) MW mic5.wav
Steinway
C4v54 STE MW mic5.wav
Sound table 4.35

The Stuart is 4dB louder, with a larger in amplitude onset harmonic spectrum, of the Fnd. 2nd, 3rd & 4th partial frequencies.. The Steinway sound colour changes tonally and in amplitude at approximately .5s. The spectrogram below shows a moderate increase in Steinway’s 4th prt. amplitude at approximately .2s. The onset attack is marginally slower in the Stuart sound, followed by a dramatic rapid decay of the fundamental and 2nd partials between .2-.6s.

The spectrogram plot of 3s below, shows the Fnd. and 2nd prts. to be sustaining and decaying at opposite periods. At .8s, the Stuart is in rapid decay, whereas the Steinway is steadily and at 1.5s, the Stuart Fnd & 2nd partials sustain their levels at 1.5s, whilst the Steinway decays more rapidly.

The decay curve shows a typical pattern of Stuart sound, a faster onset decay 0-.5s (i) , and an earlier transition into the slower after-sound oscillation, signalled at 1.5s (ii)

147

C5 Directivity

The maximum SPL of the note C5, for each of the three velocity strikes, radiated from the Stuart piano to mic2, 45° from the pianist, and from the Steinway piano 180° away from the pianist, to mic 6.

The radiation pattern for C5 is exactly reversed from that of the note, C2, where the Steinway radiated maximum SPL to mic2, and the Stuart to mic6.

This section will discuss the qualities of the C5v81 radiations in both directions of mic2 and mic6.

The Steinway sound radiated maximum SPL to mic 6 and the Stuart to mic 2. The very marginal difference of volume of 1dB for C5v81, at mic2, was larger for the slower softer velocity strikes, the Stuart was 3dB louder at v20 , and 4dB louder for v54. Mic 6 captured a much wider contrast in SPL. The Steinway piano was 10dB louder than Stuart at mic6 for both v20 and v81, and 8dB at v54.

The instrumental volume of C5v81 was similar, for both pianos. mic7: STU 96 dB , STE 97 dB

The Steinway soundboard vibrated a significantly larger amplitude of the fundamental frequency, than Stuart for the note C5v81. The Stuart soundboard vibrated a larger 2nd partial. Steinway s/board also produced larger 3rd, 4th 5th & 6th partials. Overall the Steinway soundboard vibrated 44% more actively than the Stuart soundboard for C5v81.

For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is .35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher. The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

148

C5v81 mic2

Stuart
C5v81 M19(STU) MW mic2.wav
Steinway
C5v81 STE MW mic2.wav
Sound table 4.36

The Stuart onset is brighter in tone than the Steinway. The spectrogram below shows the Stuart fundamental, 2nd and 3rd partial frequencies each have higher peak volume levels, at the onset. The onset of the Stuart fundamental is observed to be decaying faster in the onset to .5s. and then at .5s to transfer to a significantly slower decay

The energy curve below, shows the earlier transition of the Stuart sound, from the onset oscillation (i) to the after-sound oscillation (ii) , indicated by the change in the decay rate.

The Stuart sound also arrives at its 2nd phase after-sound oscillation (iii) earlier than Steinway (iii)

The Stuart sound sustains significantly more than the Steinway sound, between 4s- 8s.

149

C5v81 MW mic6

Stuart
C5v81 M19(STU) MW mic6.wav
Steinway
C5v81 STE MW mic 6.wav
Sound table 4.37

The Steinway sound at mic6 is 10dB louder than Stuart, as shown in the spectrogram below, the fundamental of the Steinway is significantly louder and larger in amplitude. The Steinway has a fuller tone. Quite possibly, we are hearing the effect of the larger Fnd. sounded by the Steinway soundboard, and its 44% greater vibration of the harmonic spectrum. The Stuart sound is brighter in tone, at the onset. The spectrogram below shows the 2nd partial frequency of the Stuart sound was louder than the Steinway’s 2nd partial, at the onset, which also corresponds with the vibrations of the Stuart soundboard. The onset periods of Stuart Fnd., 2nd & 3rd partial frequencies are decaying are slower rates to .2s.

The decay curve below indicates that the Stuart onset oscillation is very rapid (i) , transferring to the steady after-sound oscillation at .2s(ii).The rapid decay of the Steinway onset oscillation (i) continues to .5s in a longer duration than Stuart (i). The Stuart enters its steady oscillation (ii) at .2s, .4s earlier than Steinway, (ii).

Conclusion:

The larger amplitude of the 2nd prt. in the Stuart sound of C5v81 at mics 2& 6, has influenced the brighter tone, and indicates a larger spectrum of upper partials in the onset period of the Stuart sound. The steady oscillation of the Stuart’s after-sound period, occurred earlier in the notes’ durations, at both mics2 & 6. At both microphones, the Stuart fundamental decayed at a slower rate than Steinway before 1s, generating a greater sustain in the sound, especially at mic2, after 4s.

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Tonal Distinction 5 – Projection Quality to 6 metres.

The qualities of tone radiated to microphone 8 were measured to examine the projected volume and spectra of both pianos, to a distance of 6metres, in the direction of 90°. The amplitudes of soundboard vibrations of the same sounds were also examined to see if they corresponded to the projection levels at mic 8.

Microphone 8 was positioned at 90° and 6metres from the same measuring point on both pianos, in the MW performance space. Each piano was moved to identical positions in the MW space.

It was found that the Stuart piano projected significantly larger harmonic spectra with larger amplitudes of the Fnd., 2nd, 3rd & 4th partial frequencies, of the notes C2, C3,& C5. Both pianos sounded more similar levels and spectra of note C4 261. Hz. The magnitudes of the soundboard vibrations for each of the notes, corresponded with the contrasting radiated SPL of C2, C3,& C5 as well as the similarity of SPL levels for C4.

The boxgraph illustrates the generalised contrasts in SPL radiated to microphone 8, of the four notes, across the three velocity strikes. The SPL of the sounds of 12 notes on each piano, are represented in this graph. Each range, r1-4, partitions the SPL (dB) range of 12 sounds, into 4 segments, each of 3 notes, in their order of loudness. The loudest two ranges, r3 + r4, and the softest range, r1, are larger in the Steinway sound. A larger range is telling us that the difference in the softest and loudest note of that particular range is greater.

The three loudest notes of the Stuart sound, r4, struck at v81,are closer together in SPL than the 3 loudest notes produced by the Steinway, r4. The 3 quietest notes, r1, struck at v20 velocity strike were at an average 10dB louder in the Stuart sound, than Steinway. Continuing this test, using slower velocity strikes than v20, may produce data demonstrating that a wider SPL range is radiated by the Stuart piano to 6 metres.

This contrast can be more closely examined in the box graphs of specific notes, in the flowing pages. The telling result of the box graph above, is the extent of the difference in SPL which radiated to mic 8.In every range, the Stuart sound is significantly louder than Steinway.

151

C2v81 MW mic8 Projection, Stuart tonal distinction 5.

Stuart
C2v81 M19(STU) MW mic8.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic8.wav
Sound table 4.38

C2v81, sounded 9dB louder than Steinway at 6 metres. The slower velocity strikes of C2 produced wider contrasts in SPL.12dB for v20 and 11dB for v54. The box graph shows the exact dB levels of the 6 notes.

The Stuart produced a more complete harmonic spectrum, as illustrated in the spectrogram below, with a significantly larger fundamental, 2nd, 3rd, 4th , and 5th partial frequencies.
The Stuart fundamental frequency rate of decay slowed significantly more than Steinway in its after-sound.

The decay curves below, show the Stuart (i) to be decaying faster in the onset, and to be settling into its after-sound oscillation (ii) , approximately 5s earlier than Steinway (ii).

Soundboard: The Stuart soundboard vibrated larger harmonic vibrations than Steinway by 47% , for C2v81. The Spectrum of the Stuart s-board was wider, with strong vibrations of the Fundamental to the 13th partial frequency. The Steinway didn’t vibrate higher than the 9th partial, and vibrated a larger fundamental frequency than Stuart.

String scale: The C2 string diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker, the cover wire is .47mm thicker and Stainless Steel, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 235mm longer, and is set at 65.3kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

C2 v81 exhibited the three distinctive characteristics of the Stuart sound found in previous tests, slower decay in the fundamental, a wider spectrum and earlier entry into the after-sound oscillation.

152

C5v54 MW mic 8 Projection, Stuart tonal distinction 5.

Stuart
C5v54 M19(STU) MW mic8.wav
Steinway
C5v54 STE MW mic8.wav
Sound table 4.39

The Stuart was 9 dB louder than Steinway at mic 8, at the velocity strike of v54. The attack sound is more present in the Stuart sound. After 1s of, the Steinway sound is heard to rapidly diminish in volume, and settle to a quieter level of sustain than the Stuart. The Stuart sound is not heard to diminish in volume, till approximately 3.5s. The Stuart tonal colour is brighter at the onset, and throughout the after-sound. The larger 2nd and 3rd partials with significantly slower rates of decay are influencing the brighter tone. The Stuart soundboard also resonated larger amplitudes of the 2nd & 3rd partial frequencies.
The Spectrogram below shows, the Stuart fundamental frequency is larger in amplitude, louder, and is decaying at a slower rate than Steinway, after .5s. After .5s, the Stuart sound is audibly heard to sustain more gradually and steadily, than Steinway.

The onset of the Stuart sound (i) decayed at a slightly faster rate than Steinway in the onset of C5v54. The Steinway (ii) transfers earlier than Stuart into its slower after-sound oscillation. The Stuart’s initial period of the after sound oscillation (ii) decays at ta slower rate than Steinway. The Steinway settles into its 2nd phase of after sound (iii) oscillation 1s earlier than Stuart.

Soundboard: The Steinway soundboard vibrated larger magnitudes of the fundamental, 4th , 5th & partial frequencies than Stuart. The Stuart soundboard vibrated a larger 2nd & 3rd partial frequency. The magnitude of the total movement of the Steinway soundboard was found to be 46% higher than the Stuart soundboard for C5v54

String Scale: For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is .35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher. The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

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C4v81 MW mic 8

Stuart
C4v81 M19(STU) MW mic8.wav
Steinway
C4v81 STE MW mic8.wav
Sound table 4.40

The Stuart sound has a more percussive, louder onset. The SPL levels are very marginally different,1 dB apart. The leqA filtering is more indicative of the Stuart’s brighter, louder onset. The 2nd partial is more distinctive in the Stuart sound. After 1s , the Steinway sound is heard to rapidly diminish in volume, which influences the rounder tonal colour, whereas the Stuart volume level doesn’t diminished till 2.5s, establishing a brighter tone, of a wider harmonic spectrum, for a longer period than Steinway, before any change occurs in the tonal colour. The Stuart therefore, sounds a more sustained tonal balance, with less change, from the onset.
The spectrogram below shows the Stuart fundamental and 2nd partial frequencies are larger in amplitude than the Steinway. The higher amplitudes of the 2nd, & 4th partials in the Stuart sound would influence the brightness of

After a slower onset (i) , the Stuart sound transfers to its after-sound oscillation (ii) , .7s earlier than Steinway, establishing a more prominent sustain, earlier in the duration of the sound.

Soundboard:
The Stuart soundboard vibrated larger fundamental and 2nd partial frequencies, than the Steinway soundboard. The overall vibration of the soundboard across the harmonic spectrum for C4v81, was 67% greater in the Stuart soundboard.

The string scale of C4:
The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is .25mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher, the Paulello/Stuart is 1.5mm longer, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

154

C3v81 MW mic 8

Stuart
C3v81 M19(STU) MW mic8.wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mic8.wav
Sound table 4.41

The Stuart sound of C3v81 was 10 dB louder than Steinway at mic 8. The Steinway bass frequencies ‘swell’ at 1s, illustrated in the spectrogram below, Fnd. at 1s.The Stuart spectrum is more stable, with less change. Inner harmonic balance of the two sounds is a distinguishing factor in describing the sounds.

The Stuart sound of C3v81, was 10dB louder than Steinway at mic 8. The Steinway bass frequencies ‘swell’ at 1s, illustrated in the spectrogram below, Fnd. at 1s.The Stuart spectrum is more stable, with less change. balance of the two sounds is a distinguishing factor in describing the sounds

The Stuart piano sound produced a significantly wider and louder harmonic spectrum. The 2nd & 3rd partial frequencies of the Stuart sound, are larger in amplitude and have slower rates of decay , than in the Steinway sound. The Stuart tone is brighter, and has a significantly more stable harmonic balance than the Steinway tone The Steinway sound is in a constant state of change, with a dramatic swelling of the bass frequency at 1s, another swell at 4s, and a rapid decay at 6s. The longer duration of the 2nd partial frequency of the Stuart, has produced a note with more sustain

The energy decay curve shows later transition to the slower oscillation of the Stuart sound (ii) , to be significantly slower than Steinway (ii) at 3.2s.

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Soundboard: At the 4 probe positions, the Stuart soundboard vibrated at 19% greater magnitude than the Steinway soundboard for C3v81.

The string scale of C3: The diameter of both wires is identical at 1.125mm. The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 140.5 N/mm² higher, the Roslau/Steinway is 41mm longer, and is set at 6.7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 8% higher than Roslau/Steinway.

———————————————–

Conclusion – Chapter 4.

The analysis of tonal colour of 96 piano tones of the sounds of two pianos, the Stuart No 19 (M19 STU) and the Steinway D No574500 (STE), found that three distinct transient qualities consistently combined to influence the distinctive tonal colour of the Stuart piano sound, across a frequency range C2 65.406 Hz to C5 523.25Hz, in a 180° sound field of 6 calibrated microphones, each positioned at an equal distance of 3 metres from the pianos, in the Music Workshop performance space, and struck at three calibrated velocities.

i) A slower fundamental frequency rate of decay,

ii) An earlier transition to the slower oscillation,

iii) A wider harmonic spectrum.

A calibrated microphone positioned at 6 metres distance from the pianos at 90°, provided sound data to support the finding that the Stuart sounds radiated to 6 metres were significantly louder and harmonically more balanced than Steinway, for the notes C2, C3, and C5 at each of the three calibrated velocity strikes.

156

Stuart Tonal Colour Outcomes: relating to Stuart Design Concepts

• The faster rate of decay in the onset of the Stuart string vibration was found to occur because of less resistance to the vertical plane of the hammer strike, due to its vertical coupling.

• The larger amplitudes of the Stuart Fnd. 2nd and 3rd partials, subsequently causes a faster inverse decay reaction in the onset of the sound, as well as a wider harmonic spectrum.

• The Stuart’s earlier change into the slower decay rate (after-sound) is due to a proportionally smaller change in the vibrational mode from vertical to elliptical, i.e. less damping, which is heard in the stability of the tonal balance of the after-sound.

Changes in [vibration] mode = damping. No change [in vibrational mode] can contribute to a greater motion and quicker loss as your figures indicate but the lack of subsequent changes in mode ultimately reduces the overall [energy] loss in comparison to the ever changing back and forth motions of the pinned bridge scenario.250

• The Steinway’s higher degree of stress on the horizontally pinned string which when forced into the vertical plane by the hammer strike, causes a higher amount of damping, resulting in a longer inverse decay rate at the onset, of smaller gradations , subsequently losing more energy over a longer period, before settling into its after-sound.

The comparison tests in tonal colour, conducted in chapter 4 have produced sufficient evidence which supports the claim that the Stuart piano produces a sound that is in distinct contrast to the standardised sound of the modern piano. It has been clear to many listeners that the Stuart sound was audibly different, the data presented in chapter 4 now illustrates the difference we are hearing.

The detailed examinations of the characteristics of loudness, pitch and timbre of the four notes in an identical acoustic environment, excited by an identical calibrated energy source, enabled the tonal differences of the four notes of both pianos to be described in purely technical terms. The transient components of piano sound, attack, sustain and decay have been measured in terms of their magnitude. Temporal measurements of both the composite complex sound, and its individual pure – simple sinusoidal tones or partials were also examined in a detailed investigation of tonal colour. The audio of each sound accompanied each tonal description, serving as a definite audible reference.

In order to achieve clear definitions of distinct tonal characteristic, the examinations conducted in chapter four were limited to the same four single notes, excited by the same mechanically measured velocities, with no damping of the sympathetically vibrating characteristics of the instruments. The pianos were positioned in precisely the same positions within the 180° sound field of 8 microphones. The microphones were positioned at 3 & 6 metres, identically for each piano.

250Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 22nd June,2015.

157

5. – Piano Contrasts, Audience Surveys.

Introduction

Six interactive concert events entitled ‘Piano Contrasts’ were produced at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to examine the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos in performance, and to conduct audience surveys on piano timbre identification. 331 audience members participated in the surveys.251 The series of concert-surveys presented the same pianos previously examined in chapter four, the Stuart M19 (STU) and Steinway (STE) No 574500, in concert. Repertoires of jazz, popular and classical music were performed in the concerts. Three concerts were performed by a piano duo, and three concerts by a jazz trio. The researcher Kevin Hunt, a jazz pianist, was the central performer of each concert, assisted by musical colleagues in his jazz trio and piano duo settings. The other pianist in the piano duo was Simon Tedeschi, a highly acclaimed concert pianist. The experience of performing on the Stuart piano M19 (STU) in the concert series provided the researcher with the opportunity to befriend the new instrument in performance, experimenting with the parameters of its tonal qualities and capabilities whilst familiarity grew with each performance.

The audience surveys were conducted using multiple –choice questions, printed on sheets for the audience to fill out during the performance. In each question on piano tone, the participant was prompted to select from a list of verbal attributes that describe piano tonal colour. Past experience in deciphering piano tone was not a prerequisite condition for participation in the surveys, so both experienced and inexperienced listeners participated in the surveys. It was understood that the audience members who participated in the survey were unified as a group by their interest in deciphering the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos. Each question had a written ‘comments’ option, which provided the research with a resource of unanticipated answers, whereas the multiple-choice questions by their nature of prediction, set the tonal parametres of choice, anticipating the range of response and

251See Appendix 5 Part II, p.131

158

differential characteristics, ‘bright & clear’ and ‘mellow & clear’ for example252 . In many cases it was apparent in the responses of both experienced and inexperienced listeners, that this was the first time the Stuart piano had been heard played live in a concert performance. Three questions of the survey produced results at each concert that identified trends of audience perception. General perceptions were realized by tallying numbers of response types, and sometimes, as in the case of questions 4&5, the general perceptions in the responses to the multiple-choice questions were contradicted by the perceptions written in the comments. The quantity of multiple-choice responses far outnumbered the quantity of written responses, though the participants’ use of the attributes in the written comments was significant, in that in most cases participants used the same attributes that were listed in the corresponding multiple-choice question.

The audience responses demonstrated that over 50% of the audiences identified distinctive characteristics in the sounds of both pianos that corresponded to the findings for both these instruments in chapter four. 66% of the survey participants identified the Stuart sound as sounding ‘brighter’ than the Steinway sound and 71% identified the Steinway sound as sounding more ‘mellow’ than the Stuart sound. These results concur with the findings of chapter four which showed the Stuart piano sounds consisted of a greater number of prominent upper partials with larger amplitudes than the Steinway sounds, which accounts for the perceptual identification that the Stuart sound sounded ‘brighter’ than the Steinway sound. The ‘mellow’ attribute was an alternate attribute choice to ‘bright’ in survey questions 4 & 5, which attracted responses with a large differential result of 71% in the affirmative of the Steinway sound.

Qu.4 How do you describe the sound of the Stuart Piano (Brown Piano)
A. Bright and Clear 61% responses.
B. Mellow and Clear 39% //

Qu.5. How do you describe the sound of the Steinway Piano (Black Piano)
A. Bright and Clear 29% responses
B. Mellow and Clear 71% //

Both the free comments and the multiple-choice responses were examined for patterns of similarity and compiled into majority or minority % differences. Other results showed that 60% of the participants identified the ‘clarity’ and ‘resonance’ of the Stuart piano as being more distinctive than the Steinway, and 90% of participants described the Steinway sound as ‘just as I’d expect a piano to sound’.
66% of participants responded with a preference for the Steinway sound in responses to a simplified multiple-choice in Qu.6&7, about an overall preference, Qu.6 not as good as Stuart ; Qu.7 not as good as Steinway. 63% of participants evaluated the Steinway sound as being ‘rich and full’ and 60% responded that the Steinway sound was more ‘powerful’. 58% survey participants responded that the Stuart sound was more ‘percussive’, and 61% chose the term ‘colourful’ to describe the Stuart sound. The survey findings are discussed in more detail from page 177, ‘Piano Contrasts- Audience Surveys.’

252William Brent,”Physical and Perceptual Aspects of Percussive Timbre” (PhD diss.,University of California, 2010).8.

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In the final two concerts of the series, ‘behind the screens’ tests were conducted after an interval. In these tests the pianos were positioned behind screens, out of view of the audiences to test whether a majority of the audiences could identify the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway without the aid of visual and directional stimuli. The audience responses of the ‘behind the screens’ tests were not as conclusive as the responses whilst the pianos were in view. The manner in which the qualities of tone were affected by the screens will be examined later in this chapter. The inconclusive result could support A.Galembo’s research project253 that found experienced pianists had difficulty identifying the sounds of three, out of view, different makes of pianos whilst seated in the audience. The pianists had previously played each piano, and were confident they could identify the sounds without having visual contact with the instruments. The pianists did however identify each instrument through touch in a second test, whilst playing the pianos blindfolded.

The compiled tallies of the responses of the Piano Contrasts concerts indicated that how the pianists played each piano influenced the audience evaluations. 85% of participants responded that Simon Tedeschi’s pianistic style was more suited to the Steinway sound, and 83% of participants stated Kevin Hunt’s pianistic style was more suited to the Stuart sound. Due to the known stylistic backgrounds of each pianist the perception that Kevin Hunt’s pianism was more suited to the Stuart piano sound is associated with another audience perception, that 69% of the audiences reported that the Stuart sound suited jazz style more than the Steinway sound. Psychophysical elements are therefore recognized as being influentially associated with the pianists’ playing styles, how they react to the sounds of the pianos in the acoustics of the space and their subjective interpretations of repertoire style, which in turn influence the audience evaluations of the piano sounds.

In evaluating people’s perceptions of tone quality, the sound qualities of the instruments as well the human application and interpretation of sound are examined in this chapter, as combined elements of tone quality, based on the writing of timbre analysts W.Brent254 and J.Roederer.255 The results of the audience responses of the Piano Contrasts concert-surveys follow a review of terminology used in studies and articles of sound quality identification. The temporal and spectral qualities of the Stuart and Steinway tones established in chapter four serve to provide a platform of physical evidence about the sonic qualities of both instruments as the sounds are interpreted by pianists in performances and evaluated by audiences. This chapter examines sound quality in both its physical and psychophysical dimensions.

253Alexander Galembo, “Perception of musical instrument by performer and listener (with application to the piano).” In        Proceedings of the International Workshop on Human Supervision and Control in Engineering and Music, (Germany:
University of Kassel, Human-Machine-Systems Laboratory, 2001) 257-266.   
http://nagasm.org/ASL/workshop/engineering-music/individu/galealex/gaalproc.html
254     2Brent,”Physical and Perceptual Aspects of Percussive Timbre”
255     11 Roederer, The Physics and Psychophysics of Music.

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Complex Tones and Interpretation.

The physical quantifiable tonal qualities of the Stuart and Steinway sounds presented in chapter four are based on the spectral and temporal measurements of the time varying amplitudes of each partial frequency of single notes, sounded by calibrated levels of velocity key strike. The writers Wolfe and Meyer256 (see chapter 3), describe timbre as a combination of spectral and temporal elements of specific frequency and loudness, analysed at a point in time in the duration of the sound.257 The table below, supplied by the UNSW Physics department, shows the interactive elements that combine to produce timbre, based on the purely sonic components.

The piano sounds evaluated by the audiences in the Piano Contrasts concert-surveys are heard as multiples of the single-complex notes examined previously in chapter four, because in music performance practice piano notes are heard/played in combinations, vertically in chords and clusters or linearly in melodic phrases. The harmonic qualities of sounds produced in music performance are therefore produced by simultaneously sounding and pitch shifting fundamental tones, each sounding their particular series of harmonics, combined in varying magnitudes of resonance. In addition to this, the musical performance setting brings the psychophysical participation of the individual musicians and audiences to the evaluation of the multidimensional sonic elements.

The collective qualities of the sound of groups of musical notes was first discussed by Herman Helmholtz in his On The Sensations of Tone259 , where he documented his discoveries of the derivations of instrumental tone in the resonances of combined tones. J. Roederer explains the phenomenon of Helmholtz’s discoveries –

When two complex tones of different pitch are superimposed, either of two situations may arise: The fundamental frequency of the higher tone is equal to one of the upper harmonics of the lower tone, or it is not. In the first case, the upper tone will reinforce certain upper harmonics of the lower tone, … in the second case, each of the tones produces its own multiplicity of resonances regions.260

256     10Meyer,30.
257     6Wolfe, Pyshclips,accessed 21st May, 2015.
258ibid
259     3260     12Roederer,167.

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The perceptual evaluations of piano tone made by the pianists and audiences include psychophysical influences that are not exclusively determined by the quantifiable sonic proportions and combinations of sounds. How the sounds resonate in the particular acoustic environment, the position in the space of the evaluator, how the pianists respond to the sound each piano makes in that space, how the pianists interpret the music repertoire, how the musicians accompany, and how the audience participant evaluates the sound, have an integral influence on the subjective evaluation documented as the participant’s response.

The timbre sensation is a multidimensional psychological magnitude related not to one but to a whole set of physical parametres of the original acoustic stimulus.261

The many variables which influence the audience’s subjective evaluations are listed-

i)    The pianos.

ii)   The acoustical position of each piano, differing angles of sound radiation.

iii)  Each pianistic style.

iv)   Each piece of music.

v)    The position of the seated participant, in the audience.

vi)   The preferences or bias of the audience member for piano sound

vii)  The preferences or bias of the audience member for styles and practices of piano music performance and musical style.

The music performed in the duo piano concerts was a mixture of classical and jazz styles by a team of pianists well known to audiences for their performances and recordings. For the trio concert, Kevin Hunt performed with his group, the Kevin Hunt trio, a group of musicians very familiar and experienced in jazz performance styles, a trio formed for this research project. The repertoire performed at each concert was a mixture of classical, jazz, and popular music that mixes both genres, for example West Side Story, or Rhapsody In Blue. The jazz trio played ‘jazz’ styled arrangements of classical pieces, Ravel’s 1st movement of Nobles et Sentimentales, for example.

Perceptions of Pianistic Style and Music Style, associated with piano sound.

Two survey questions were presented to participants to examine how musical style and the pianistic style influenced the evaluations of the audiences, and if a particular piano tone quality may suit a style of pianism, and a style of music. The perceptual results to these questions revealed probable psychophysical influences imposed by the contrasting pianistic approaches, as well as the survey participants’ histories and tastes of musical listening. Although an interesting differential was achieved by these questions, it is apparent that follow up surveys could identify more closely the backgrounds and musical tastes of the participants, to see if a particular type of participant is more susceptible to associating a particular piano sound to a playing style or style of music.

261     13 Roederer, 155-56.

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Qu.12 Of three concert surveys asked:

Which piano sound is more suited to jazz style

The averaged responses result revealed that 81% perceived the Stuart sound to be more suited to Jazz style than the Steinway sound

Comments written in each of the six concert-surveys about the suitability of both pianos to jazz style and classical style provided more evidence with 85% of participants commenting that the Stuart sound was more suitable for jazz style than Steinway, and 89% commenting that Steinway sound was more suitable for classical style than Stuart.

Participants’ comments revealed perceptual associations of the newness of the Stuart sound with a newness of jazz music, and the traditional Steinway sound with the traditions of classical music. The nature of the presentation by Kevin Hunt presenting the Stuart as the new alternative sound may have influenced this audience perception. Possibly less information in the spoken presentation about the research objectives, and a more succinct detailing of the participants’ musical taste and listening history would be useful for compiling the pyschophysical perceptions of instrumental sound, musical style and pianistic style.

The Steinway piano produced a powerful& clear classical sound. The Stuart produce a light, jazzy fun and dancing sound.262

Jazz is suited to innovative sounds, so the Stuart fits in better, whereas the classical traditional sphere is suited to the traditional instruments, horses for courses.263

The Stuart’s sound is very clear and uncluttered not muffled, sometimesit can sound a bit confronting because the tone is so clear. It seems to suit confronting music-jazz/modern.264

Combining the survey answers and comments to establish an overall perception finds that 86% of participants preferred the Stuart sound for jazz style, and 89% preferred the Steinway sound for classical music.

262comment response music genre /piano sound from concert No 6
263comment response music genre /piano sound from concert No 2
264 comment response music genre /piano sound from concert No 3

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Qu. 11 & 13. The question, is either pianist more suited to one of the pianos, engaged a large number of participants to respond to establish significant differentials. Kevin Hunt was heard and seen to be suited more to the Stuart piano, and Simon Tedeschi was heard and seen to be more suited to the Steinway.

The overall result shows that 85% of participants found Simon Tedeschi’s pianistic style to be more suited to the Steinway sound, and 83% of participants found Kevin Hunt’s pianistic style to be more suited to the Stuart sound. Coupled to this perception is the 85% preference for jazz to be played on the Stuart piano. The psychophysical influences involved in this perception could be many, though some obvious influences were apparent. As he played, the researcher Kevin Hunt was focused on the differences of the new sound and how it responded for the sake of the research, so his pianistic style and technique could have been influenced by the inquiry process. Simon Tedeschi, a concert pianist was more used to playing the Steinway throughout his 30 years of performing in large concert halls, mostly on Steinway pianos. An added question that perhaps needs tighter scrutiny, asked whether each pianist’s individual ‘sound’ on either piano could be deciphered. A strong response to this question revealed that the pianists’ contrasting styles were apparent to the listening audience.

Percussive’ piano sound.

The rhythmic and percussive aspect of jazz style may be coupled with the 58% majority perception that the Stuart sound is more percussive than Steinway. A listen to the sounds of both pianos at pianissimo, supports how a majority of 58% would perceive the Stuart sound to be more ‘percussive’

Stuart
C4v20 M19(STU) MW mxd.wav
Steinway
C4v20 STE MW mxd.wav
Sound table 5.1

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The physical source of the sound and multi-modal aspects of timbre identification include the psychophysical associations with which the physical sound is being activated and received. The effect of the acoustics of the space, the kinesthetic application/reactions of the pianist to the mechanism and the acoustics, and the inherited biases of the pianist’s experience, all integrate in the psychophysical. The subjective evaluations of timbre in the Piano Contrasts surveys will therefore contain all the bias, expectation and surprise of personal musical experience and opinion. The audience responses of timbre evaluations are therefore understood to illustrate a human perception of the sound as a subjective abstract concept. 265 It was anticipated that audiences would respond with both aesthetic and non-aesthetic descriptions of the sound quality associated with predicted bias and the surprise of something new. The Steinway sound provided a useful measure of the ‘familiar’ in this regard, as it did for the evaluations in chapter four.

The aesthetics of the subjective evaluations made by the performers during the performances are also influential on how the audiences interpret the sounds. A study about the cross modal interferences of sight, hearing, and touch, of pianists’ by A. Galembo found that pianists will kinesthetically adjust to the sound quality and the mechanical mechanism of the instrument as the sound reverberates within the acoustic space, in the effort to produce the desired quality of sonic expression. 266 This sensorial ability was proven to be more reliable in identifying timbre than the purely sonic evaluations. The debate on whether it is the pianist or the piano design that affects the greater influence on tonal quality is of interest here. Is the pianist able to affect the piano sound to produce an intended piano sound, or is the pianist adjusting to enhance the sound of the instrument? This research’s objective is to demonstrate the influence of a different sounding instrument, so it falls on the side of the instrument design as being the more effectual cause of difference in the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos.

265Graham Darke, Assessment of Timbre Using Verbal Attributes, Proceedings of the conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM05) Montreal, Canada. March, 2005. http://oicrm.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/DARKE_G_CIM05.pdf
266     2Galembo.

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Establishing the Survey Questions.

The objective of the audience surveys was simply to involve interested audiences in the research project by examining how people described the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos. The survey questions needed to be simple, as it was often the first time people had participated in a survey on piano tone as well as being their first ‘live’ experience of the Stuart & Sons piano sound. The survey questions were therefore presented as multiple-choice, using terms that had previously been used in literature which describes piano timbre. The descriptive terms and descriptor attributes were sourced from journals, web sites and published literature. The simplified process involved describing the instrumental tone of the pianos as a complete entity, as for example sounding ‘bright’ or ‘mellow’. Neither piano had a ‘dull’ sound, so the word wasn’t used, though occasionally ‘dull’ was used in the comments, or ‘other’ options in the multiple-choice. The sources of the actual survey adjectives used in the surveys and the results of how audiences responded is documented in detail later in this chapter, after a brief discussion on the complexities of timbre description.

The performances on both Stuart and Steinway in the series of comparison performances enabled a heuristic development of the researcher’s perceptions of the sound of each piano sound, each as a single comprehensive entity. In interpreting the sound as one entity the relational variants of tone are viewed from the perspective that they interact to produce the overall sound quality of the instrument. An example of this is illustrated as a characteristic of directivity in the introduction of chapter four267 , where variations in timbre of one sound were observed as a result of their directivity with the 180° microphone array. In this case, the acoustics of the space combined with the projective characteristics of the instrument to produce varying timbres of the same sound as they were projected simultaneously in various directions. The three findings of chapter 4, (see the table 5.5 below, column 1), which distinguish the Stuart sound from the Steinway sound, can be described as a single comprehensive entity in their difference to Steinway. Over twenty Stuart tones across a 3 octave range were identified as having combinations of the three Stuart characteristics of tone, and forty eight sounds were found to have at least one of the distinctive Stuart tonal characteristics.

The interpretation of each piano sound as a single entity enables a descriptive correspondence to occur between the purely sonic, quantifiable findings of chapter four, and the heuristic information accumulated in the pianistic techniques of the researcher, achieving a integration of both perceptual dimensions. The table below illustrates how both the purely sonic and the psychophysical perceptual qualities interrelate within the pianist’s perception. Each of the three quantifiable findings of the Stuart sound characteristics column 1, are interpreted by the pianist- researcher’s subjective description of the sound quality in column 2, and the pianistic application or response of the sonic and subjective characteristics are described in column 3.

267See ‘Directivity & Timbre, chapter 4.

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G. Sandell proposes the description of the multidimensional composite of tonal elements of one instrument can be described as its macrotimbre –

The features that listeners absorb from such varied inputthat enables them to identify what they are hearing can be referred to as an instrument’s “macrotimbre”268

The Piano Contrasts concerts provided an opportunity to evaluate how two pianists of varied musical backgrounds, two accompanying musicians, and three hundred audience participants of varied professions and backgrounds, described the qualities they heard in the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway pianos. It was of special interest to assess if the majority of listeners could identify differences in the sound quality of the two instruments, and if these descriptions correlated to the quantified descriptions of the pianos’ sound in chapter four.

My heuristic process in developing a sense of the tonal qualities of both pianos whilst in performance is associated with the perspectives of the individual’s psychophysical experiences. Later in this chapter, I provide my own commentary on a selection of the piano performances from the six concert-surveys, as a companion to the results of the participants’ perceptual results. W. Brent describes the difficulty of deciphering timbre is due to the fact that timbre is described both by the quantifiable sonic multi-dimensions of pitch, frequency, loudness, spectral and duration, described as ‘classification’ as well as being:

‘tied to the physical source of a sound, implying complexmulti-modal associations.’269

268Gregory Sandell, “Macrotimbre:Contribution of Attack and Steady State,” Journal of The Acoustical Society of America – J
ACOUST SOC AMER , vol.103, no.5, 1998. http://www.gregsandell.com/portfolio/publications/1998-0620_macrotimbre_ASA.pdf
269     2 Brent.

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Verbal Attribute Glossaries 1-17.

Timbre Identification: uses of perceptual verbal attributes.

The following pages present a review of verbal attributes used as descriptors of tone in various studies of tonal perception, music reviews, interviews with pianists and piano builders, journal articles and piano brand websites. The perceptual attributes used in the Piano Contrasts audience survey questions derived from these sources are compiled into glossaries (1-17). Attributes used by participants in their descriptive comments found in these sources are also entered into the glossaries.

Perceptual verbal attributes such as ‘bright’, ‘dark’, ‘clear’, ‘dull’ have provided the relational measure in studies of the timbre identification since the studies of Litche in 1941270 . In these studies, participants’ ability to recognize instrumental sounds were measured with respect to various alterations of the stimuli.271 A series of studies on piano tone conducted in the 1960s, at Bingham university by Harvey Fletcher and E.Blackham,272 altered the stimuli of the harmonic partials of synthetically assembled piano sounds, to demonstrate the degree of inharmonicity in piano tone, by adjusting the in harmonic frequencies of piano tone to be perfectly harmonic.

Synthetic tones that were built up of perfectly harmonic partials were described by musicians and non musicians alike as lacking ‘warmth’.273

Descriptions of hammer felt density and the iron frame in the Blackham & Fletcher studies illustrate the use of other perceptual attributes:

If the felt is too hard and produces a harsh tone, it can be pricked with a needle to loosen its fibres and will produce a mellower tone. If the tone is too mellow and lacks brilliance the felt can be filed and made harder.274

The development of the full cast iron frame gave the sound of the piano much greater brilliance and power.275

More recent studies have scaled verbal attributes to achieve finer degrees of interpretation. Many studies of timbre discernment test the attributes potential for categorizing sounds into groups of similarity. The Piano Contrast survey questions illustrated later in the chapter compare the differences of timbre within the one class of instrument, so the most successful attributes would generate responses of the widest differential within a narrow choice, due to the instruments belonging to a similar class. A wide differential response that creates a majority +50%, and a minority -50% is a good result in that it clearly demonstrates a perception of a majority of the participants. The attributes used in the Piano

270William Lichte, “Attributes of Complex Tones.” Journal of Experimental Psychology 28.6 (1941) : 455–481.
271     3 Brent,7
272     2Fletcher,H. & Blackham, & Stratton,27.
273     3Fletcher,H. & Blackham, & Stratton, 32.
274     4
275     5Fletcher,H. & Blackham, & Stratton, 29.
5Fletcher,H. & Blackham, & Stratton, 28.

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Contrasts concert-surveys were derived from literature that specifically describes musical sounds and piano tone. It is the use of attributes in the survey questions that provides the relational measure 276 to guide the listener’s discernment of the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway.

Verbal attribute-based relational studies record judgments about a set of sounds relative to a collection of words deemed appropriate for describing timbre. 277

W.Brent states, a criticism of this method of surveying is that the information provided anticipates particular aspects of timbre, chosen in advance, makes assumptions about the nature of timbre, threatening to push the research results in particular directions, and may limit the information collected from the participants, as well precluding unanticipated relevant features of timbre.278

The studies by V.Bismark and A.Houstma presented participants with verbal attributes in scales of timbre quality where pairs of opposite attributes such as ‘dark’ to ‘bright’, provide the relational measure of sound quality.

Timbres of sounds can be uniquely described if the sounds are rated on a few scales which are characterized by verbal attributes.279

In one such study, Bismark assembled a wide range of verbal attributes from which after hearing the sounds to be tested, the participants were asked to select a smaller number of attributes which they understood according to their musical experience most suited the sounds, to avoid pre-selection bias of the convener.

276John Hajda, The Effect of Dynamic Acoustical Features on Musical Timbre, (New York : Springer Link 2007).
277Brent,8.
278ibid
279     2Bismark, G.von, Timbre of Steady Sounds: (1974),159-172.

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Three of the above scales of semantic differential were found to be the most successful in describing timbre:

Wake and Asahi’s study Sound Retrieval with Intuitive Verbal Expressions,280 suggests the semantic differential scale of opposite attributes for the end points of the scales (table 5.3 previous page), confuses the understanding of the timbre picture, finding that the use of direct opposites provided a greater differentiation between individual timbres, a practice described as Verbal Attribute Magnitude Estimation (VAME), i.e. a single adjective scale.

The Piano Contrasts survey questions used verbal-attributes which consist of similarity and opposite dimensions, such as ‘clear-bright’, ‘clear-mellow’ and opposite semantic differential, ‘short note’, ‘singing note’.

Graham Darke defines three types of verbal descriptors in his study, Assessment of Timbre using Verbal Attributes. 281

i) Sound Itself : words of the actual sound as onomatopoeia, and comparison of the timbre of real instruments, ‘flute- like’, ‘bell- like’ for example.

……musicians invoke a comparison with actual instrumental sounds, flutey, stringy, reedy, brassy, organ-like etc. This is similar to the psychophysical sensations of smell- consider the descriptions of the ‘nose’ of a good wine! 282

An Oboe might be described as producing a ‘reedy sound, whereas a flute produces a ‘mellow tone. 283

It is the prominence and the decay of partials that determines tone284 Thin: Flute 2nd harmonic prominent (few harmonics) Bright :Oboe 2nd +4th harmonic prominent Rich: Violin many prominent harmonics

The sound has a double-reed edge to it: it comes out to greet you like an oboe rather than wrapping itself warmly around you like a clarinet. Those expecting Steinway mellowness may be disappointed. What one has instead is a sense of being able to take every detail of far-flung Fred Williams landscape with clarity, precision and, where necessary, with moments of subtly highlighted colour. 285

280SanaeWake, Asahi,T. “Sound Retrieval with Intuitive Verbal Expressions” ICAD(1998) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Auditory Display,(ICAD :November 1-4, 1998).
281     2 Darke.
282     14Roederer,156
283 William Drabkin,Tone (iii).Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed January, 2014 , http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/53934.
284     5Johnston,108.
285Peter McCallum,Stuart’s New Piano Rises To The Occasion, Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. 15th March 1999.

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ii) Sound Situation – describing the sound source, place and use of

iii) Sound Impression- the adjective, describing one’s subjectivity, ‘bright’, ‘mellow’ for example.

Subjective dimensions linked to physical dimensions of timbre:

A. Houstma’s study of timbre identification uses a scale of semantic differentials of opposite attributes in order to scale the subjective dimensions. These verbal attributes are linked with associated physical properties of sound.

In music related studies timbre has always been treated as a multidimensional continuum in which any point is potentially meaningful. It has been established by rating and multidimensional scaling techniques that the space can be adequately described in four subjective dimensions, dull to sharp, compact to scattered, colourful to colourless and full to empty, which are linked to physical dimensions such as spectral energy distribution, amount of high frequency energy in attack, amount of synchrony in high harmonic transients. 286

Physical Dimensions of Piano Sound – High Frequency Energy in Attack:

The dimensions and qualities at the beginning of the sound, the attack, is known to be a crucial point of identification of piano tone. 287

The onset of a tone is a most important attribute for timbre and tone identification (Ivenson and Krumhansl,1993) During this transient period, the processing mechanism in our brain seems to be able to lock in certain characteristic features of each instrument’s vibration patterns and to keep track of these features, even if they are garbled and blurred by the signal from the other instrument. 288

Loudness of Attack

We know that increases in loudness, as produced by a faster velocity strike of the key with a shorter contact period on the string produces a brighter tone.

286     2 Houstma , 104-115.
287     2Anders Askenfelt & Jansson.E,
288     15Roederer,168-69. source: Paul Iverson,P. and Krumhansl,Carol. (1993) “Isolating the dynamic attributes of musical timbre.” J.Acoust Soc. Am 94, (November, 1993).

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The effective stiffness of a given hammer depends on the impact velocity with which the hammer hits the string, with a greater effective stiffness for higher impact velocities and visa versa. As a consequence, hitting a piano key harder will not only increase the amplitude of the string oscillation(louder tone) but shorten the contact time and thus automatically increase the proportion of upper harmonics(brighter timbre)289

Spectral Distribution

We know that the in harmonic sounds at the onset of the note are important in the identification of instrumental timbre, particularly of the piano.290 We also know that more upper partials in sound, produces a ‘brighter’ ‘sharper’ tone, and that increased loudness also produces a ‘brighter’ timbre291

a tonal impression is brighter, and possibly sharper, as richness in overtones increases (in view of the frequency range and the intensity of the upper frequency components) (von Bismarck, 1974). For low tones, rich in overtones, the dense partial sequence in the upper frequency region leads to a rough character. In contrast, overtone- poor sounds have a tendency for dark or soft timbre.292

Broad denominations ranging from dull or stuffy (few upper hamrmonics), to nasal (mainly odd harmonics) to bright or sharp (many enhanced upper harmonics)293

Kendal and Carterette’s study294 found that the use of opposite differentials, i.e. ‘bright – dark’, produced inclusive evaluations, because there is more than one opposite for ‘bright’: ‘dull’ for example. The sound stimuli used in the study were the most dissimilar sounds found in the orchestral wind family, with a descriptor range of 69 adjectives. After hearing the sounds through twice, the professional musicians chose 21 adjectives that most suited the stimuli.

Single adjective scales were used in the method described as Verbal Attribute Magnitude Estimation (VAME). The results were summarised into four groups of dimensions, into which the above attribute were grouped.

289     16Roederer,124.
290     3Fletcher& Rossing ,394 .and 7Campbell& Greated,160. and Blackham & Fletcher, 27.
291     10 Meyer,30-35.
292     11Meyer,30-35.
293     17Roederer,156.
294 RogerKendall, and Carterette,Edward. “Verbal attributes of simultaneous wind instrument timbres: I. von
Bismarck’s adjectives.”Music Perception, 10(4):445–468, 1993. Source: 5 Brent ,13.

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Historic descriptions of Piano Timbre.

Johann Von Schonfeld’s description in 1796, of the sound of Anton Walter’s forte piano, compared Walter’s piano sound to the sound of the Stein piano. Walter’s piano implemented a thinner soundboard and bridge than Stein, which Edwin Good describes as being more responsive, with a ‘clearer’ tone, though softer volume. 295

Walter’s fortepianos have a full bell like tone, a clear attack, and a strong, full bass. At first the tone is somewhat dull, but if one has played for some time it becomes very clear, especially in the treble. If they are played very much, the tone soon becomes sharp and iron-like, which can be corrected by re-leathering the hammers. 296

Good writes that the thicker strings and the triple –strung treble made it possible to play on Anton Walter’s Viennesse forte piano more loudly without forcing the tone, and that the Stein soundboards and bridges were thinner than those of the other Viennese piano makers of the time, a feature that made his instruments more responsive, perhaps ‘clearer’ in tone, but also softer in volume than for example a Walter. 297

Commentaries on the significant differences in the Austrian-German (Viennese) and Anglo-German (London) piano designs of the late 18th Century, illustrate the use of tonal attributes which are still is use today, and in some ways the comparison is similar to the piano comparison of the Stuart and Steinway piano sounds. The late 18th Century was a period where national characteristics of piano design influenced national styles of piano performance and composition. The sound of the Austrian- German pianos made by Walter, Stein, Schmit and Graf for example, were made with lighter thinner, more flexible soundboards and the strings were mainly set as bichords, doubled, without wound strings in the bass, whereas the Anglo-German pianos of Stodart,298 Backers, and Broadwood, implemented a derivative of the Cristofori action, and strings set as trichords, triple stringing, with thicker soundboards. Pianists Johann Hummel and Francis Kalkbrenner described the sound of both types of piano in published critiques of the day. The music of Dussek, Cramer and Field was representative of the Anglo-German piano sound, described as having a ‘fullness of tone’, ‘harmonic sweetness’ and as ‘singing’ .The music of Haydn and Mozart was representative of the Austrian-German piano sound, described as ‘small but clear’, ‘bassoon-like’ in the bass,299 ‘round’, ‘flute-like’, as having an ‘elegant silvery tone’, and ‘feather light’. 300

Perhaps the earliest comparison of piano sounds in front of an audience occurred in 1823, at Vienna’s Kartnerthor Theatre, when pianist Ignaz Moscheles performed a piano-comparison concert on

295     16Good, 85.
296Johann Ferdinand von. Schonfeld, The Yearbook of Music of Vienna and Prague(Jahrbuch der Tonkunst von Wien und Prag 1796), 88. Register von Otto Biba Schonfeld, Johann Ferdinand von . (Muchen: Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler, 1976), and Tilman Skowroneck, Beethoven the Pianist(U.K :Cambridge University Press, 2010),78.
297     17Good, 85.
298     18 Good,69.
299     5Schonberg,23-24. original source: Johann Hummel (1827) A complete Theoretical and Practial Course of Instruction in the Art of Playing the Piano Forte,(London: T. Boosey 1828);
300     2 Boehm “ STEIN FAMILY”, 372.

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Beethoven’s Anglo Broadwood piano and a Viennese Graf piano.301 A central difference in these pianos was the contrasting actions, the Broadwood exhibiting the Anglo-German action, and the Graf the Viennese action. The report of the audience reaction favoured the local Viennese instrument, though in the review it was added that Beethoven’s Broadwood piano was in a very worn down condition, these being the years of Beethoven’s developing deafness, and subsequently he was wearing out his pianos with increasingly powerful playing in his efforts to hear them. Moscheles was a pianist of the Viennese school302 , implementing a pianism of lighter musical aesthetic in the tradition of Mozart, which suited the Viennese design. The Anglo Broadwood piano presented a greater potential for legato and sustain, with a more comprehensive dynamic range, characteristics apparent in the piano music of Beethoven.

In the 19th Century, at the onset of iron frames replaced the wooden frames, the resulting tone was described both as being ‘hard’ and ‘metallic’303 , and as sounding wonderful both in ‘power and mellowness’ 304

Another historic piano comparison concert occurred in 1856, when pianist Sigismond Thalberg performed on both the new American Chickering piano and the legendary French Erard, which he travelled with whilst touring America. America’s first influential classical music critic John Sullivan Dwight reviewed this comparison, revealing aspects of American advancements in tuning stability, as well as descriptions of tone.

To our ears there is still a purely musical quality in the Erard tone, which has not quite been reached by others. Forced to loudest effects, they sound a little antique and metallic, particularly in the middle and treble octaves: yet the quality is still musical, the altissimo tones exquisitely so, the bass magnificently rich. The Chickering tones are rounder, mellower throughout the whole compass, but they come to the ear less distinct, as if the tone were not refined to its purely musical element…. It is said the Chickering instruments stand in tune the best. 305

Arthur Loesser writes that Sigismond Thalberg also performed a comparison concert of Pleyel and Erard pianos. 306

301Seth A.Carlin, “BEETHOVEN,LUDWIG (1770-1827)” in 8Palmieri, 46.
302     6Schonberg,23-24. original source: Johann Hummel A complete Theoretical and Practial Course of Instruction in the Art of Playing the Piano Forte(London: T.Boosey,1827).
303     17Good, 150.
304     18Good, 150.
305     19Good, 224. ; source: Dwight’s Journal Of Music (Boston:1851-1881) Sydney Conservatorium of Music library P 780.5 RIP 8.6 (Indexes)
306     6Loesser, 407.

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The sounds of the famous French pianos of Pleyel and Erard were described by the legendary pianist-composers Franz Liszt and Frederick Chopin, in a practical sense, for specific circumstantial reasons.

Chopin was fond of Pleyel pianos because of their silvery and somewhat veiled sonority and their easy truth. Chopin himself once said, that when he was in a bad mood he played Erard instruments because of their ready-made sound. But when I am in good spirits and strong enough to find the sounds I want I use Pleyel pianos. 307

A number of contemporary accounts testify to the link between the Pleyel sound and Chopin’s compositions and style of playing. Chopin loved Pleyel grand pianos and played on them in 1841, 1842 and 1848 concerts. Chopin expressed his reasons for preferring Pleyel pianos, explaining that he had more control over the sound than the Erard, whose beautiful tone required less effort, making things too easy.308 Erard [pianos] preferred by Franz Liszt, were less delicate and were deemed better for large halls. Arthur Rubenstein observed in 1904 that the tone of Erards could be tinny compared to the warmer Pleyels and Bechsteins. 309

Whilst discussing the contrasts and likenesses of Ravel and Debussy, Arbie Orenste in comments on the sound of Erard and Bechstein pianos:

Ravel appreciated the rather thin, dry tone of the Erard piano, whereas Debussy preferred the Bechstein, with its thicker, deep sonority. 310

Moving to more recent descriptions of piano tone, jazz pianist composer Chick Corea describes the sound of the Mark Allen piano:

The piano, from the lowest note on the keyboard to the highest, is very clear and sonorous, as opposed to the muddy bass and mechanical, clinky top of most pianos- even the good brands. The low register, if played caressingly, sounds like an organ. The upper sounds like the bells of St Mary’s. 311

307Ates Orga, Chopin his life and times,(Midas Books, 1976), 113.
308Gerard Carter, The Authentic Chopin and Liszt piano tradition, (N.S.W. :Wensleydale Press,2008), 30.
309Charles Timbrell, “PLEYEL, ICANCE-JOSEPH,” in 9 Palmieri, 296.
310Arbie Ornstein, Ravel Man and Musician, (New York: Columbia Universtiy Press, 1975),126.
311Len Lyons, The Great Jazz Pianists, (New York: Da Capo Paperback , 1989), 267.

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Tonal Descriptions by Current Piano Makers, Dealers and Pianists

Piano makers and piano retailers descriptions of the timbre of piano sound provides another resource of descriptive terminology.

Steinway describe their tone as:

The sound of the Steinway is one of power, warmth, richness and color. 312

‘The distinctive, thunderous sound Steinways are known for.’313

Attributes used in the Steinway publication to describe problems in tone colour are

‘metallic’; ‘brittle’; ‘brassy’.314

Stuart & Sons describe their tone as:

A multi dimensional soundscape, expanded tonal range improving clarity, dynamic range and sustaining qualities due to greater control over the decay transients315

the two pinned system [standard modern piano] produces muddiness, [the vertical coupling and the vertical soundscape], leaves the sound spectrum totally clean, right through316

Wayne Stuart describes the Stuart piano sound:

People comment –

Our pianos are too clear in their sound, not suited to the 19thC repertoire. 1850-60s Brahms’s pianos were low tensioned and thin, in sound, with low resonance, low tension, and quite thin and low power. The sound that they know… a quasi ‘Steinway type’ sound, which everyone has copied for over 100 years.317

In definitions of clarity, attributes are found:

the clarity of the image: sharpness, clearness, crispness, definition. (Opposite meaning) Antonyms: blurriness. 318

Pianists describe the tone of the Stuart piano:

Bill Risby-

[The Stuart] resonates more with itself, the sum is greater than its parts. Extraordinary sustain hold down the note and the chords are heard [needs fixing]? completely clearly,…… there are a whole lot of extra sounds I can call upon in order to make music, 319 new ideas which haven’t been tried before, …….
The harmonics are clearer. 320

312 “The Steinway Soundboard” Steinway & Sons, http://www.steinwaypianos.com/kb/how-it-works/soundboard , accessed 26th May, 2015.
313James Barron, Piano –The Making Of A Steinway Concert Grand (New York: Times Books, 2006) ,176- 182.
314ibid
315     6Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos (accessed 26th May, 2015).
316     7 “Innovations In The Piano”.
317 Ibid
318 New Oxford American Dictionary
319     8 “Innovations In The Piano”.

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Michael Szumowski-

clarity in the sustain, ‘lifting the blanket off’, definition, focused sound, harmonics in the after-sound321

Mark Gasser –

more versatile , more colours, a new sound world ,expanded in every sense.322

Peter Gardner – ‘Remarkably Clear’

Reviewer Peter McCallum –

“Stuart’s new piano rises to the occasion” :323

The sound has a double-reed edge to it: it comes out to greet youlike an oboe rather than wrapping itself warmly around you like aclarinet. Those expecting Steinway mellowness may be disappointed.What one has instead is a sense of being able to take every detail offar-flung Fred Williams landscape with clarity, precision and, wherenecessary, with moments of subtly highlighted colour.324

Comparisons of tonal colour ranges of Yamaha and Kawaii pianos.

‘ mellow, mellow to bright’ 325

Kawaii vrs Yamaha survey:

‘mellow’, ‘blurry’ ,‘distinguished’ 326

Piano technician Arian Harris describes the sound of the Fazioli pianos:

The Fazioli tone is clear, pure, and profound, the midsection is rich, and every treble note up to the last is full, balanced, and sonorous. But compared to makes such as Steinway and Mason & Hamlin, the Fazioli sound is relatively lacking in tonal color.. 327

Piano technician Ed Whiting describes the sound of the Fazioli pianos:

If you combine all of the positive attributes of the New York and Hamburg Stein ways in the design of a new piano, then add an owner, head designer, and small production staff dedicated to building exactly to that design, you have the essence of a Fazioli. 328

320     7Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos “Innovations,” http://www.stuartandsons.com/videos.html and Stuart & Sons, “ Players Comment On The Stuart & Sons Piano,” YouTube video, 7:55, August 9th, 2007, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI1eKI89HRo
321 ibid
322 ibid
323     9“Innovations In The Piano”.
324Peter McCallum, “Stuart’s new piano rises to the occasion,”Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. 15th March ,1999 https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/126103995/
325Mark Goodwin, “What are the tonal differences between amongst Yamaha U3 and U1 pianos,”(blog), 26th May, 2015 http://www.markgoodwinpianos.co.uk/info/yamaha-u3-u1-bright-mellow
326“Kawaii uprights (K5)- action and tone vs Yamaha U1”(blog), 26th May, 2015 http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=46927.0
327Arlan Harris,Fazioli Acoustic and Digitial Piano Buyer, (Spring 2010 Ed.):84. http://www.showcasepianos.com/pg84.htmlaccessed 26th May 2015
328Ed Whiting, (2010) Fazioli Acoustic and Digitial Piano Buyer, (Spring 2010 Ed.):84. http://www.showcasepianos.com/pg84.html accessed 26th May 2015

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Piano technician Steve Pearson describes the sound of Feurich,Shigeru Kawai,Mason & Hamlin Pianos

Feurich

…. rather like the piano version of a Porsche: fast, positive, and responsive. The tone is very large and rather “open” compared to the more “covered” sound of a Steinway or Blüthner. The dynamic range is huge, the tonal palette rich and varied, and the sustain long and strong in the melody section. 329

Shigeru Kawai

Compared to our Hamburg Steinway, our Shigeru has a darker tone, and its sound doesn’t carry as well all the way to the back of the hall. That said, both pianos are chosen about equally, with more soloists choosing the Steinway, while the Shigeru is chosen more for chamber music and accompaniment. 330

Mason & Hamlin

The tone is uniquely American—very warm, full, and rich— with a strong bass, and good sustain and singing quality in the treble. 331

Bosendorfer332

‘beautiful singing, and thunderous piano sound ‘Paul Badura – Skoda J Zawinul a ‘fat’ sound, ‘like an orchestra’ Dianne Reeves,

Andre Oorebeek’s use of verbal attributes describe the qualities of tone produced by varied densities of the hammer felt cushion-

…. the right cushion does not sound too percussive or shrill.333

A hard hammer will make the sound too hard and shrill, with the emphasis on the higher partials sequence- the result is a thin , hard tone. A piano tone has a certain duration and also causes a short duration of tone. 334

A [good] piano sound tone sounds clear, but is not too loud and not too weak, a sound like a bell, distinct and resonant without a shrill or metallic effect .335

329Steve Pearson,Feurich Acoustic and Digitial Piano Buyer, (Spring 2010 Ed.):84. http://www.showcasepianos.com/pg84.htmlaccessed 26th May 2015
330 ibid
331 ibid
332 Robert Lowrey Piano ExpertsBosendorfer Pianos, YouTube video, 15:21 Feb, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaSgLU1O4IU
333Andre Oorebeek ,The Voice of the Piano a piano technician’s definitive guide to voicing(Canada: Crescendo Publications, 2009), 71.
334     2Oorebeek ,12.
335     3Oorebeek, 11.

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Larry Fine describes a ‘bright’ piano tone as having many loud upper partial frequencies, and a ‘mellow’ piano tone as having few loud upper partial frequencies. ‘Singing’ when a slow and lingering decay is relatively loud and long lasting, ‘dead’ or ‘short’ when the sound dies out quickly.336

Other descriptions from E. Good:

If the material [the hammer felt] is too soft the tone will be thick and fuzzy from an absence of upper partials, without the clear definition that piano tone is expected to have. If the material is too hard, upper partials will be too prominent, and the tone will be harsh and hard. 337
Up to a certain point of tension, the string’s elasticity is improved and it produces a tone rich in partials. Beyond that point, however, the increasing tension brings out stiffness, which damps out partials, and the tone goes dead.338
If the hammer should strike the string exactly in the middle, all of the even numbered partials will be damped out, because all of them have a node in the middle of the string .Such a tone would be dull and hollow. 339

The sound of the Erard piano is ‘Powerful’ and ‘Clear’ 340

Verbal Attributes used in the ‘Piano Contrasts’ Survey questions.

The glossary of verbal attributes listed below in table 5.10 are derived from the piano literature reviewed above, pp. 163-174. These terms were utilised as the descriptor attributes for the questions in the Piano Contrasts audience surveys.

Wayne Stuart’s claim of an improved tonal clarity influenced the selection of attributes for the survey questions.

……the strings vibrate in a more controlled manner improving the dynamic range, increasing sustain and significantly improving tonal clarity sympathetic to the entire piano repertoire.341

336Larry Fine, The Piano Book, 3rd Ed. (San Diego, CA: Brookside Press1994), 41-42.
337     18Good, 21.
338     19Good, 9.
339     20Good, 9.
340     2 Frederick, “ERARD SEBASTIEN”in 10 Palmieri, 126.
341     8 “Innovations,”Stuart & Sons Handcrafted Pianos, accessed 14th May, 2015.

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Piano Contrasts’ Survey Questions.

Three questions in the Piano Contrasts audience surveys produced perceptual results that indicated how the audiences generally perceived the tonal timbres of the Stuart and Steinway. Each of these questions used the verbal attributes from the above literature combined with the knowledge of the tests conducted in chapter 4.

It was expected that most people would hear more ‘brightness’ in the tone in the Stuart sound, especially in the higher notes, because of the wider spectrum and increased loudness at the onset sounding of the note, found as a characteristic in many of the Stuart sounds in chapter 4. An example of the ‘brightness’ in the Stuart sound is heard on the note C5v81STU MW mic 2, when compared to the C5v81STE MW mic2, see ‘C5 Directivity’, chapter 4. It was found that the higher level of loudness and the larger amplitudes of upper partial frequencies were the elements that contributed to the ‘brightness’ in the Stuart sound. It was also anticipated that the lower pitches of the Stuart sounds though could be interpreted as sounding ‘fuller’ than Steinway, for example the comparison between C2v20 STU MW mic6 and C2v20 STE MW mic6,342 shows the Stuart sound has more prominent bass frequencies than Steinway, producing what is described as a ‘fuller’ tonal colour. Both these findings of Stuart piano tone quality, as with many in chapter 4, were found to be particular to the directivity that the sound travelled in from the pianos into the audience area, indicating that particular seated positions of the audience would also influence evaluations of tonal colour. The mixed sounds of the notes’ radiations across all the directions of the 180° sound field illustrated throughout chapter four, reveals though, that generally the Stuart sounds did sound brighter in the higher registers, and fuller in the lower registers than the Steinway’s mixed sounds.

342See sound No.3. in ‘Wider Harmonic Spectrum, chapter 4.

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Piano Contrasts- Audience Surveys

Over 300 people participated in six ‘Piano Contrast’ audience survey concerts presented at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The audiences’ perceptions of tonal qualities in both piano sounds varied from concert to concert, as many other elements varied, though overall perceptions of tone were deduced from the responses and these perceptions did correspond generally with the distinctive characteristics identified in chapter four. Too many variables are at play, acoustically, stylistically and psycho-acoustically in this type of survey to collectively produce concise evidence of the tonal characteristics to match the findings of chapter four, though the simple objective of involving the general public in the process of evaluating the Stuart and Steinway piano sounds was met with great success.

The Stuart and Steinway pianos used in the audience surveys were the same pianos tested in chapter four. The pianos were positioned in each concert with the piano lids opened towards the audience, so the maximum range of tonal quality was intentionally directed towards the audience. The directivity of the sound radiation from the pianos however was found in the tests of chapter four, to be strongest at the 180° directions 3m from the piano, and closer to the pianist at 45°. See ‘Directivity’ chapter four.

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The physical dimensions and positions of each piano provided visual reference points to assist the audiences’ assessments of timbre. The pianos were played simultaneously and separately in the duo piano concerts

Throughout the jazz trio performances, concerts 2, 4 & 5, Kevin Hunt alternated between playing the Stuart and the Steinway pianos. The bass and drums were positioned in between the pianos. The ‘Behind the Screens’ tests required the pianos to have the lids lowered to ‘half stick’ so the audience could not see the high edges of the lids, over the screens.

In the final two concerts, the ‘behind the screens’ segment was presented after interval, as a type of blindfold test with pianos positioned out of the sights of the audience, challenging the audiences to evaluate the piano sounds without visual or directivity stimuli. The ‘behind the screens’ survey results did not produce conclusive evidence, revealing that the benefit of visual connections with the sonic

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cues related to the directivity, that is, visual and sonic cues of where the sounds are coming from are needed to thoroughly identify differences in sounds of instruments belonging to a similar class. Similarly, as previously mentioned, Galembo’s research343 found that experienced pianists had difficulty in identifying the sounds of pianos they knew very well, whilst the pianos were played by another pianist, out of view, behind screens. The effect of the screen used in the Piano Contrast concerts on the timbre of the pianos sounds will be examined with aural examples later in this chapter.

The pianists in the duo piano concerts, Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt were each of differing stylistic backgrounds, and each was well known to the audiences for their disparate stylistic genres of jazz and classical pianism. They had previously performed in many concerts as a duo, and were known for their mixture of classical and jazz styles in their performance repertoires and recordings, so there was an added intrigue as to how each pianist would play the Stuart piano. As stated earlier in this chapter, the styles and pianistic mannerisms of each pianist probably did influence the audiences to conclusively ‘say’ that the Stuart piano sounded more suited to jazz style than the Steinway, and that Hunt’s style was more suited to the Stuart piano than Tedeschi’s. Audiences favoured the Stuart sound to be more suited to jazz style and the Steinway sound to be more suited to classical style, as well as Kevin Hunt’s playing style to be more suited to the Stuart piano and Simon Tedeschi’s to be more suited to the Steinway.

Evaluating Overall Perceptions – 6 concerts.

The verbal attributes used in the survey questions as multiple-choices provided the relational measure344 to assist the survey participant’s discernment in describing the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway. The frequency at which the verbal attributes were used in the audience responses both as comments and as answers indicated the audience perception. The same set of attribute multiple-choices in each survey question was repeated for each piano sound so the use of a particular attribute in the responses could be categorized as either identifying the Stuart or Steinway sound. In compiling the survey responses, the number of responses that used an attribute to describe a piano sound was tallied against the number of times that same attribute was used to describe the other piano sound. The wider the differential of attribute use in responses, e.g. 66%STU ‘bright’ verses 40%STE’bright’, established

343     3Galembo.
344     2 Hajda.

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an overall perception of audience timbre identification. The attributes that produced useful differential responses in answers to survey questions were also tallied for their frequency of use in the written comments. A perception was established when it was found that a verbal attribute was used in over 50% of responses to describe one piano sound, that also was used in under 50% of responses to describe the other piano sound. If a participant described both piano sounds with the same attribute, the double evaluation created a 50% – 50% evaluation, equal with no difference in the percentage. Such a response was not regarded as an audience perception for the compiling purpose of this study, because in that instance, the verbal attribute isn’t attributed to one piano sound more favourably than the other.

The audience perception percentage results listed below were compiled and averaged across the audience responses of all six concerts. The percentages are all of the above 50% differential, each percentage having a corresponding below 50%, for the other piano sound. Attributes with similar associations to a type of timbre, are grouped in this summary to observe a general perceptual result of tone colour.

The averaged percentages above define the overall perceptions of all 6 concerts. The Steinway sound was generally perceived to be more ‘powerful’, ‘mellow’, ‘rich and full’, with a ‘singing tone’, and ‘just as is expected in a piano sound’, and the Stuart sound was perceived to be ‘lighter’, ‘brighter’, more ‘colourful’, with less of a ‘singing quality’, though with more ‘definition’ than the Steinway sound. These perceptions are discussed in detail in the following section, examining responses to specific questions at particular survey-concerts with audio extracts from the concerts.

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Audience Perceptions Results Table.

The verbal attributes that generated the most significant perceptual responses from the audiences are listed in the table below. These results are responses to the attributes that were presented in three multiple-choice questions and were also used by the participants in written comments.

Detailed breakdowns of the above perception results are illustrated in Appendix 5.

Interpreting Audience Perceptions

Responses to questions 4 & 5, 6 &7, and 14 &15 indicated audience perceptions that identified the tonal colours of the Stuart and Steinway piano sounds. The scales of tonal quality designated by the verbal attributes, attracted responses of clear differences indicated by the percentage differences for each piano sound. As previously mentioned, the frequency of use of a specific attribute in the survey responses established a figure of above or below 50% of the total number of participant responses for that particular question. The percentage indicated the majority perception, either a Stuart majority (+ 50%), or a Steinway majority (+50%). For example, in concerts 4 & 6, for questions 14 & 15, 80% of participants used the attribute ‘colourful’ in their responses to describe the sound of the Stuart piano sound. This is interpreted as a majority perception, because only 20% responded that the Steinway sound was more ‘colourful’ than Stuart. This % difference indicated the overall perception that the majority (80%) of the participants described the Stuart sound as being more ‘colourful’ than Steinway.

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Qu. 4 & 5 : ‘Bright’ , ‘Mellow’ , ‘Smooth’, ‘Deep’.

Qu. 4 How do you describe the sound of the Stuart piano
Qu.5 How do you describe the sound of the Steinway piano

The attributes of ‘bright’ ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’, and ‘deep’, established distinctions in the perceptual responses of participants to survey questions 4 & 5. Two attribute groups, one using ‘bright’ and the other using antithesis qualities of ‘bright’ though not ‘dark’ defined majority audience perceptions of the Stuart and Steinway sounds in the responses to questions 4 &5. ‘Bright’ was combined with adjectives establishing a choice of ‘bright’ within the multiple-choice question345 because it was anticipated that both pianos could be perceived as sounding ‘bright’ as neither piano possessed a particularly ‘dark’, or ‘dull’ sound. ‘Bright & clear’ for the Stuart sound and ‘mellow & clear’ for the Steinway sound, were the verbal attributes used most distinctively in the responses to describe the Stuart and Steinway sounds in questions 4 &5. ‘Bright’, yielded a significant response from the audiences in five concert surveys, showing consistently that a higher percentage of the audiences perceived the sound of the Stuart piano to be ‘brighter’ in tone colour than the Steinway. When ‘bright’ was presented as various VAME346 attributes, i.e. ‘bright & clear’ ‘bright & shrill’, participants responded using ‘bright’ as majority above 50% descriptor for the Stuart piano tone, and as a below 50% descriptor for Steinway piano tone, establishing a wide differential of the perception that the Stuart sound is ‘brighter’ than Steinway. ‘Shrill’ is an attribute that is not used as a complementary description of tone, derived from glossary 14, which denotes A. Oorebeeck’s description of a piano sound as being too ‘percussive’ or ‘shrill’.347 ‘Mellow & clear’ and ‘smooth & deep’ yielded majority responses as descriptors of the Steinway sound for questions 4 & 5 in concerts 1,2,3,5 & 6.

Responses to questions 4 &5 indicated that the larger venues produced wider differentiated perceptions of the Stuart sound as ‘bright’ and the Steinway sound as ‘mellow’ and ‘smooth’. 80% of the participants perceived the sound of the Stuart to be ‘brighter than Steinway and 71% of participants perceived the Steinway sound to be more ‘smooth & deep’ than Stuart in the larger venues of concerts 1 & 2. In the smaller venues, the differential was less, with 69% of participants perceiving the Stuart sound to be ‘brighter’. Overall, 76% perceived the Steinway sound to be more ‘mellow’ than Stuart in the larger venues, concerts 1,2,& 4,and 67% perceived the Steinway sound to be more ‘mellow and clear’ than Stuart in the smaller venues, concerts 3,5, & 6. An opposite perception was received at concert No5, where 100% of the written comments described the Steinway sound as having a ‘brighter’

345Verbal Attribute Magnitude Estimate,
346ibid
347     4Oorebeek ,71.

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and more powerful sound than the Stuart, whereas at the same concert, the multiple choice survey questions responses were tallied to 80% of participants describing the Stuart sound as ‘brighter’ than Steinway. These observations are examined later in this section, using audio extracts from these performances.

Written Comments: ‘bright’ ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’, ‘deep’ and ‘round’.

As a singular attribute, ‘bright’ was used in the written comments of 30 participants, with 57% describing the Stuart sound as a ‘brighter’ sound. A small differential for perceptions of ‘bright’ for both piano sounds was apparent in the comments, except for concert 3, where 83% identified the Stuart sound to be brighter than Steinway. In contrast to all the above findings, 100% perceived the Steinway to be ‘brighter’ in the trio concert No 5, as previously mentioned.

‘Mellow’, ‘smooth’, ‘deep’ and ‘round’ were used as single attributes in written comments, though not exclusively as descriptors of the Steinway sound. The majority of written responses at concerts 2,3,4 and 6, described the Stuart as sounding more ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’ ‘deep’ or ‘rounded’ than Steinway. The audio excerpts from these concerts confirm this also. At the quieter dynamic levels, the Stuart sound presents more variation and clarity, which in many instances produces a sense of a purer sound than the Steinway. The 75% & 71% majority perceptions which described the Steinway sound as more ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’, ‘deep’ and ‘round’ in the responses to multiple-choice questions 4 &5 , was not replicated in the comments.

The Stuart tone was found to sound ‘deeper’ than Steinway in the lower notes, C2 65….Hz, in chapter four:

Stuart
C2v81 M19(STU) MW mic 6.wav
Steinway
C2v81 STE MW mic 6.wav
Sound table 5.2

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Stuart: ‘bright’: a louder, wider, more stable harmonic spectrum.

A brighter tone was found to be a tonal distinction of the Stuart piano tone in chapter four. Several elements are known to cause ‘brightness’ in piano tone, as discussed in detail throughout chapters 3 & 4. In chapter four, it was found that when compared to Steinway, the ‘brightness’ in the Stuart tone was due to i) the presence of a greater number of partials of higher frequency observed in a wider harmonic spectrum, ii) a sound of greater loudness observed by vibrations of larger amplitudes, and iii) a slower rate of decay of the fundamental frequency, after .5s. establishing a more stable clarified after-sound. There are numerous examples of these three combined elements of the Stuart timbre throughout chapter four, one example, C4v20 MW mic2,348 exhibits the three elements of brightness:

i) a wider harmonic spectrum,
ii) greater loudness
iii) a slower rate of decay of the fundamental frequency, and 2nd harmonic frequency after .5s.

Stuart
C4v20 M19(STU) MW mic 2.wav
Steinway
C4v20 STE MW mic 2.wav
Sound table 5.3

Larger hall perceptions of ‘bright’, ‘mellow’, ‘round’, ‘deep’.

Over 80% of the participants identified the Stuart sound to be ‘brighter’ in tone than the Steinway sound in the larger performance spaces, at concerts 1 & 2, see concerts No 1 & 2 Appendix 5, table 5a.6. The findings of chapter four established that the Stuart sound projected a wider spectrum over a longer distance than Steinway. See ‘Projection’ chapter 4. The stronger projection of the Stuart sound over a longer distance of 6m, the 5th tonal distinction finding of chapter four, was found to be established by the sounding of a more comprehensive harmonic spectrum at an average of 8dB louder than Steinway, to a distance of 6 metres. The Stuart soundboard was found to be moving significantly more with larger amplitudes of vibrations for the notes C2, C3, and C4.

Stuart
C3v81 M19(STU) MW mic 8.wav
Steinway
C3v81 STE MW mic 8.wav
Sound table 5.4

348See sound No.2 in ‘Eight Introductory Sounds of Stuart Piano Tonal Distinction,’chapter 4.

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Concert No 1 – Video extract.

In the video extract 5.1 below, the Stuart piano (brown) is being played by Kevin Hunt and the Steinway piano (black) is being played by Simon Tedeschi. The extract from the performance of ‘Gershwin Medley’ is edited into 3 sections, each illustrating differences of both pianos’ tonal characteristics. In the first section [00m:18s], the pianos are being played similarly, albeit harmonized slightly differently, the rhythms, dynamics and articulations are similar, so the pianos are heard as a homogenous sound. The video is then edited forward about 1 minute to the 2nd section, which exhibits Simon Tedeschi playing the Steinway in a leading role [00m :18s – 1:07], and the 3rd section follows with Kevin Hunt playing the leading role on the Stuart piano [1m:08s – 2:0]

Video extract
2 pianos- Greshwin Concert 1
Sound table 5.5 (Audio Visual)

 
 

Untitled-197
Fig 5.10 Audience Survey Concert No 1

Section 1 – Gershwin video

The ensemble sound of both pianos heard in the 1st section [00m:18s], could be described as being ‘bright’ and ‘full’. Some imbalances of volume and tonal colour observed in this section, present higher. The ‘brighter’ Steinway tone dominates the blend of the 2 instruments. The sound of the upper register ‘stab’ chords, played in unison by both pianos, is dominated by the more immediate attack sound and ‘brightness’ of the Stuart sound. The repetitive left hand phrases played by both pianists in rhythmic unison are harmonized. The lower phrase in the bass register of the Steinway sounds ‘brighter’ in tonal colour than the phrase played on the Stuart, over an octave

Section 2 – Gershwin video

The differences in tone in the right hand registers above middle C, are more noticeable in the section 2 [00m :18s – 1:07], where the Steinway lead exposes a ‘fuller’, wider tone in the treble registers to that of the previous two piano ensemble sound. When the camera vision splits into two, [.36s] it is possible to see that even though Tedeschi is playing the lead with at times, quite a forced fortissimo, an effect which is applied to many right hand phrases played in this swing-be bop jazz style, the tone of the Steinway does not reach the ‘brightness’ previously heard in the homogenous 2 piano sounds played at fortissimo in the same treble registers in section 1.

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Section 3 – Gershwin video

In the following 3rd section [1m:08s – 2:03], Hunt plays the Stuart piano leading the music, with a different range of dynamics. An immediate change in the density of the lead piano texture is evident, when the melodic block chords are played at mezzo forte. The melodic chordal passage is ‘light’, very ‘clear’, less ‘percussive’, and with cantabile. A clarity of sound without the ‘fullness’ of the Steinway is heard in the Stuart lead. As the lead continues, a more extensive dynamic range of single note phrases is exhibited, ending in the extremely ‘bright’ notes played with fortissimo in the higher register.

In conclusion, the video extracts show the audience perceptual responses of ‘bright’ for the Stuart sound and ‘mellow’ ‘smooth’ ‘round’& ‘deep’ for the Steinway sound could be associated with the pitch register. In the video extract from concert No 1, the bass register of the Steinway sounded ‘brighter’, than Stuart, and the treble register of the Stuart sounded ‘brighter’ than Steinway. This general tonal description concurs with the findings of chapter 4.

Smaller hall perceptions of ‘bright’, ‘mellow’, ’round’, ‘deep’ – Solo Piano.

In concerts 3, 5 & 6, 69% of participants identified the Stuart sound to be ‘brighter’ than Steinway, and 64% of participants described the Steinway sound as more ‘mellow, round, smooth and deep’ than Stuart. Concerts 3 & 5 produced the largest percentage differences that concur with these overall perceptions. At concert No 3, 62% of participants answered qu. 4&5 describing the Stuart sound as ‘bright’ and 83% of the participants described the Stuart sound as sounding ‘brighter’ than Steinway in the written comments of qu. 4&5. At concert No 5, 76% of participants answered qu.4&5 that the Steinway sound was more ‘mellow & clear’ than Stuart.

In contrast to these perceptions, the written comments of concert No 3, saw 54% of participants commenting that the Stuart sound was more ‘mellow’, ‘round’, ‘smooth’ and ‘deep’ than Steinway in comments associated with questions other than qu. 4&5. At concert 5, 100% of the written comments described the Steinway sound as ‘brighter’ than Stuart. Similarly at concert 6, 62% of participants’ comments described the Stuart sound as more ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’, ‘round’ or ‘deep’ than Steinway. In the recording extracts below, albeit not high quality recordings, the contrasts of ‘brightness’ between the pianos sounds is lessened in the smaller venues, with Stuart sound of concerts 2, 3 & 5, sounding not as ‘bright’ as it does in the larger venues at concerts 1, 2, & 4.

The audio sound excerpts examined in the following pages are from concerts 3, 5 & 6. In some of these examples the Stuart sound could be described as sounding more ‘rounded’ in tone than the Steinway, supporting the written comments and evidences of chapter 4. The room noise on these recordings is a necessary part of the experience, because the microphones are placed within the audience area so the

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recorded sound is representative of how the pianos sounded to the audiences. Added noises are the sound of survey papers are being written on and turned over.

Classical Piano.

Visions Fugitives, No 8 Commodo, Concerts 3 & 6.

At concerts No 3 & 6, pianist Simon Tedeschi played three of Sergey Prokofiev’s Vision Fugitives, Op.22 a set of 20 pieces, on both pianos. In the audio extracts presented below of piece No 8, Commodo, a distinct difference in the piano tones is audible. The majority of audience responses to survey questions 4&5 described the Stuart sound as ‘brighter’ than Steinway, and the Steinway sound as more ‘mellow’, ‘smooth’ and ‘round’ than Stuart. The audio examples below generally agree with these perceptual descriptions, although in listening to theme 1, it is evident that the Stuart sound could be described as being more ‘mellow’ than the Steinway, concurring with the 54% audience perception in the written comments, previously mentioned. Three audio excerpts of Commodo are compared from Tedeschi’s performances in Concerts 3 & 6.

Commodo Theme 1:

Theme 1. Concert No 3
Steinway theme 1(3).wav
Stuart theme 1(3).wav
Theme 1. Concert No 6
Steinway theme 1(6).wav
Stuart theme 1 (6).wav
Commodo Sound table 5.6

Untitled-198

Theme 1: Concert 3 8th June 2011

The Steinway sound balances the treble melody and bass quavers in an overall lighter sound than the Stuart, with less pronouncement of the left hand quavers, producing an effect of lightness in the treble. The Stuart is played slightly faster and louder with the quavers in the bass sounding heavier, with more attack, played with less legato than the Steinway. This is possibly due to the generally faster attack and a louder, wider onset spectrum in the Stuart sound, qualities found in the Stuart sounds of chapter four. The Stuart is more responsive than the Steinway in this tenor register, the octave below middle C, with a louder onset or attack at the beginning of the sound, and a more comprehensive dynamic range, which requires a greater application of pianissimo from the pianist, to achieve the same pianissimo as was played on the Steinway. The Stuart treble melody does have a more ‘mellow’ and ‘round’ tone and a larger presence of sound than the Steinway’s treble theme 1.

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Theme 1: Concert 6 11th April 2012

Similar to concert No 3, the left hand quavers on the Stuart sound heavier with louder attack, than the Steinway, generally the Steinway blend is lighter than Steinway

Commodo Theme 2:

Theme 2. Concert No 3
Steinway theme 2(3).wav
Stuart theme 2(3).wav
Theme 2. Concert No 6
Steinway theme 2(6).wav
Stuart theme 2 (6).wav
Commodo Sound table 5.7

Untitled-

Theme 2: Concert 3
In the second theme, after the slight pause and a diminuendo, the brightness of the Stuart tone is enhanced expressively by the pianist’s playing of the accentuated melodic quavers ‘shorter’ on the Stuart than on the Steinway. The Steinway is played with a more cantabile interpretation, with longer accentuated quavers. The audience at this concert responded to the survey question about the ‘singing quality’ of tone, with 75% associating the Steinway sound with ‘singing quality’ and 92% of participants describing the Stuart sound as ‘short tone not singing’. On closer listening, the legato ‘e’ treble quavers on the Stuart are not short at all, it is only the accentuated quavers that are played short. The legato quavers on the Stuart are sustaining their harmonic spectrum for a longer duration than the Steinway. Sustain in this register was found to be greater in the Stuart sound in the tests of chapter four.

Theme 2: Concert 6 11th April 2012
The Stuart sound is clearer than Steinway, the notes are more distinct and the crescendo is played more dramatically on the Stuart. There is less pianistic ‘staccato’ applied to the accentuated quavers than in concert 3. Again, the melodic ‘e’ treble notes of the Stuart sound are sustaining their spectrum for a longer period than Steinway. The accentuated ‘e’ is brighter at the onset on the Steinway, and then decays quickly- changing with the effect of a change in timbre to a less bright, ‘mellow’ tone. Similar to concert No 3, 81% of participants at concert No 6 described the Stuart as ‘short tone, not singing’ and 63% described the Steinway as having more of a ‘singing quality’, a perception not heard in this example.

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Commodo Theme 3:

Theme 3. Concert No 3
Steinway theme 3(3).wav
Stuart theme 3(3).wav
Theme 3. Concert No 6
Steinway theme 3(6).wav
Stuart theme 3 (6).wav
Commodo Sound table 5.8

Theme 3: Concert 3 8th June 2011
The differences in piano tone in the third theme are clearly audible. The higher key transposition to C major of the 1st theme played with more pianissimo than theme 1, has brought out ‘brightness’ in the Stuart sound, and a more ‘round’, ‘mellow’ tone of the Steinway.

Theme 3: Concert 6 11th April 2012
In the first melodic phrase of theme 3, the Stuart is played with more legato than the Steinway. The Stuart’s ascending chromatic line is rounder in tone than Steinway. As the line crescendos the tone of the Steinway ‘brightens’ more than the Stuart. At the return to the A major key, the lower register, the left hand quavers of the Stuart are more pronounced than on the Steinway. The balance between the treble and bass is more subtly enunciated in the Steinway sound, as it was in theme 1.

Conclusion Commodo concerts 3 & 6

With the same pianist performing identical music on the Stuart and Steinway pianos, a range of timbre was exhibited which supports the range of perceptual audience responses. In Commodo both pianos produced a more mellow (less bright) tone when the left hand quavers were played more prominently. The louder attack of the Stuart notes in the tenor register, the left hand quavers of theme 1, was a distinctive difference in the piano sounds. The playing of theme 2 of Commodo in concert 3, displayed a difference in how the pianist accentuated melodic quavers, possibly in musical reaction to the difference in piano sound, with more detached shorter notes being played on the Stuart piano, and a more cantabile interpretation played on the Steinway. The playing of theme 2 at both concerts 3&6,

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illustrated the greater treble sustain of the Stuart notes, an octave above middle C, a characteristic found in the tests of chapter four.

Little Rootie Tootie – Jazz Piano, Concert 3.

At concert No 3, 62% of participants answered qu. 4&5 and 83% of participants commented describing the Stuart sound as ‘bright’ in comparison to the Steinway sound. As previously mentioned, in contrast to these perceptions, in written comments associated with other questions, 54% of participants also commented that the Stuart sound was more ‘mellow’, ‘round’, ‘smooth’ and ‘deep’ than Steinway.

At concert No 3, jazz pianist Kevin Hunt played Little Rootie Tootie by Thelonious Monk, on both the Stuart and Steinway pianos.

Little Rootie Tootie prt. 1

Steinway prt1.wav Stuart prt1.wav
Little Rootie Tootie Sound table 5.9

In the 1st section of part 1, the Stuart sounds louder, and as though it is being played more solidly than the Steinway. The pianist plays the same music differently on both pianos. This research suggests that the pianist has anticipated how stylistically to play the contrasting of piano sounds for this piece. The Steinway is played more lightly, with longer tenutos in both the melody notes and the chords in the left hand than on the Stuart. The Stuart is played at a slightly faster tempo, with more rhythmic triplet tension, a with a more ‘percussive’ detached interpretation of the melody notes and chords. The range of dynamic in the playing styles is more varied on the Steinway, whereas the Stuart dynamic is a constant forte. In this section it could be said the Steinway is being played in a more sedate ‘classical’ manner, and the Stuart is being played in a more aggressive ‘jazzy’ way.

In the 2nd section of prt 1, at 14s in both performances, the pianist’s choice of register for the right & left hand phrases is different for each piano. The pianist decides to use higher octaves in the Stuart performance. The timbres of the lightly played high triplets are contrasting, the Stuart being significantly brighter, albeit at the octave higher. The left hand melody in the tenor register melody has a ‘smooth’ tone on the Stuart, and the Steinway lower bass melody is ‘bright’, as found in chapter four, see tests on the note C2 65.406 Hz.

Little Rootie Tootie prt. 2

Steinway prt2.wav Stuart prt2.wav
Little Rootie Tootie Sound table 5.10

In the 2nd section of theme 1, the pianos sound a little more similar. In the 1st section of prt. 2, the pianist plays the pianos each in a different stylistic manner in the left hand . In the Steinway performance, the left hand chords are played again as tenuto on each beat, as a background rhythmic function. Whereas the Stuart left hand chords are used to more sparsely, simply to support the melody, harmonically.

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Little Rootie Tootie prt. 3

Steinway prt 3.wav Stuart prt 3.wav
Little Rootie Tootie Sound table 5.11

Prt. 3 returns to the similar contrasts in playing style of prt.1

Little Rootie Tootie prt.4

Steinway prt4.wav Stuart prt4.wav
Little Rootie Tootie Sound table 5.12

An improvisation on the chords of Little Rootie Tootie at a faster tempo is played as part 4. The quaver line show the Steinway sound to be ‘lighter’ than the Stuart’s. The Stuart has a heavier more percussive sound in this performance. A closer listen reveals that the left hand comping349 chords in the Stuart performance are heard to be louder in relation to the right hand quavers. Here we hear the ‘tenor’ register of the Stuart sound producing a more sensitive dynamic sound then the Steinway, possibly requiring a greater pianistic control. A similar dynamic was heard in the A major sections of themes 1 & 3 in the audio extracts of Commodo.


Conclusion Little Rootie Tootie audio excerpts.

The Stuart sounds more percussive than the Steinway in these excerpts. The melody notes are played with more tenuto on the Steinway. The Steinway sound in these excerpts could be described as sounding lighter, and brighter than the Stuart. Excerpt part four showed that the balance of sound level between the accompanying left chord and the right hand improvised quavers was differently played on each piano. The Steinway balance was more pianistic, with quieter left hand chords. The right hand chords of the Steinway sounded ‘clearer’ and ‘brighter’, possibly as a consequence of the quieter left hand chords. The Stuart sounded more ‘percussive’, and more ‘powerful’.

The pianist’s improvised interpretations of Little Rootie Tootie are very differently played on each piano. The Stuart is played in a heavier, louder manner, with more syncopation, whereas the Steinway is played slightly more gently with more tenuto.

Deep River – Jazz Piano, Concerts 5 and 6.

At concert No 5, 76% of the survey participants described the Steinway piano sound as being more ‘mellow & clear’ than the Stuart sound, and 59% described the Stuart sound as ‘bright & clear’. In the written comment responses, 100% of participants described the Steinway sound as being ‘brighter’ than the Stuart at concert No 5. Kevin Hunt performed improvisations on the spiritual Deep River on both pianos in concert No 5 as solo piano pieces.

349Term for chords that accompany the melody.

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Extracts of the concert No 5 versions of Deep River are presented below. They reveal aspects of Stuart and Steinway piano sounds that the pianist is working with and reacting to, throughout the performances.

Deep River Melody 1 prt 1.

Deep River melody 1 prt. 1
Steinway mel 1 prt 1 Deep River.wav
Stuart mel 1 prt 1 Deep River.wav
Sound table 5.13

The Stuart and the Steinway are played in different registers. The Stuart melody is played in the higher treble register, which is possibly the most unique sounding register of the Stuart piano, the octave above middle ‘c’. As previously noted, the findings of chapter four found this register of the Stuart piano sound to have an enhance quality of sustain. 350 The Steinway is played in a powerful, strong hymn style, exhibiting a ‘brighter’ tone than the Stuart’s upper register. The crescendo played on the Steinway demonstrates a perfectly balanced climax chord, with a ‘bright’ high melody note. On the Stuart, the dynamic is held at the mp, and the accented chord is played with the same dynamic and tonal ‘roundness’.

Deep River Melody 1 prt 2.

Deep River melody 1 prt. 2
Steinway mel 1 prt 2 Deep River.wav
Stuart mel 1 prt 12Deep River.wav
Sound table 5.14

The low ‘c to f’ upward glissando of the Steinway is ‘brighter’ the Stuart low ‘c’ is ‘rounder’ in tone.
A close listen to the resting note of the ascending glissando ‘f’, reveals the Stuart tone sustained its spectrum more evenly than Steinway. The Steinway low ‘f’ is heard to change in timbre in a more rapid decay after its initial sounding, as it’s being held. The Stuart timbre of this note is more consistent, more sustained, with a slower decay. These characteristic of the Stuart sound at this register were also found in the tests of chapter four, see section 4.22, C2v81 MW mic2. The final melody phrase continues to be played in the higher register on the Stuart.

350 see section 4.2

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Deep River Bridge :

Deep River bridge
Steinway bridge.wav
Stuart bridge.wav
Sound table 5.15

The bridge is played in the same register on both pianos. The ‘rounder’ tone of the Stuart is more obvious in comparison to the ‘brighter’ sounding Steinway. Several written comments were critical of the Stuart sound, using attributes, ‘muffled’ and ‘muddy’ to describe the sound. Another more complimentary comment described the Stuart sound as – ‘deep and rich like listening to vinyl’.
The two accentuated ‘F’ chords sound to be more successfully balanced and sustained on the Steinway, possibly a pianistic error of chordal balance, whilst playing the Stuart.

The upper notes of the chord are heard more clearly in the chords played on the Steinway at fortissimo. The notes in the bass registers of the Stuart chord respond more to the fortissimo than the treble notes in the chord. Here perhaps the overall brightness of the Steinway tone is enabling a clearer presentation of the chord at fortissimo. Achieving a good resonance of closely voiced chords played at fortissimo in the higher registers on the Stuart piano could possibly require a different weight pressure on the notes within the chord, than is being applied in this extract. Chapter four closely examines the resonances of single notes, whereas a test on the resonance of chords would be a useful follow up study.

A comment in response to pianist’s sound of concert 6:

Steinway is conventional and immediately recognizable. But can hear more detail with the Stuart. But I think the Steinway is more expressive. I think we are socialized to expect a more prominent melody than Stuart can deliver. While the pianist is the most important ingredient, the Stuart is the more expansive of the two. 351

This comment from concert No 6, offers a participant’s description of the Stuart sound not projecting melody notes as clearly as the Steinway. The top note, i.e. melody note, of the chordal texture of the Stuart sound in the previous extract of ‘Deep River’ was not as clearly heard as when the Steinway was played. Pianistic interpretation, style and the room acoustic cannot be ruled out as influences of this difference in tonal balance. At concert No 4, in the larger venue, the Stuart piano was heard to sound extremely clear balanced melodic and chordal textures.

Deep River Melody prt 3 and final vamp

Deep River mel prt3 +vamp.
Steinway melody+vamp.wav
Stuart melody+vamp .wav
Sound table 5.16

Played at pianissimo, the Stuart sound has a more ‘percussive’ onset. A wider dynamic range in volume and harmonic spectra is exhibited here in the Stuart sound. The sound analysis in chapter four found that more harmonics were present in the onset of the Stuart sound, which contributed to the more percussive edge to the front of the sound, and also a faster onset rate of decay. (see Chapter four).

351Survey response, written comment – qu.11 & 12 concert No 6, participant No 47.

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The sound of the Stuart is bigger, as the instrument is longer and wider than the Steinway. The softs and louds of this section are more expansive in the Stuart sound than the Steinway. On the few occasions that the Stuart is played at a fortissimo, a ‘brightness’ of tone is present.

Conclusion – interpretations of ‘Brighter.’

The extent of the influence the pianists’ interpretation of the music and their manipulations of the piano sounds has on the overall tonal colour of the sound that radiates to the audience is revealed in the audio extracts of Commodo, Deep River and Little Rootie Tootie. The audience interpretations of the attributes ‘bright and mellow, round & smooth’ are also particular to their individual experience. Generally the audio extracts reveal that in the performances of Deep River and Little Rootie Tootie, the Steinway sound was ‘brighter’ than the Stuart, agreeing with the 100% perception of the written comments of concert No 5, and the minority perceptions of 31% of responses to qu. 4&5. In Deep River the pianist played the Stuart at a softer dynamic than the Steinway, emphasizing a more ‘colourful’ interpretation, and more use was made of the treble and bass registers than in the Steinway performance. The Steinway is played in a more conventional, gospel piano style, using a narrower range of dynamics with the ‘fuller’ sound of the middle registers. In Little Rootie Tootie the pianist played the Stuart with a slightly louder, heavier style than the Steinway, again producing a sound that was not as ‘bright’ sounding as the Steinway. The known ‘brightness’ of the Stuart tone may not have been exploited to its capacity by a different pianistic weighting of the fortissimo chords.

Conclusion: perception responses, questions 4 & 5.

In answers to the survey questions 4 & 5, ‘bright’ was identified as the perceptual characteristic to describe the Stuart sound when compared to Steinway, and the Steinway sound was clearly perceived as sounding more ‘mellow, smooth and deep’, than the Stuart sound. The comment-responses however presented a less clear overall perception, with the Stuart sound being described as both ‘bright, mellow, smooth, deep and round’, by a majority of participants. The audio extracts from Concert No 5, concur with the 100% written responses that the Steinway sounded ‘brighter’ than the Stuart.

Qu. 6&7 ‘clearer more defined’

Is the sound of the Stuart/Steinway Piano?

The multiple-choice option, ‘clearer more defined than the Stuart/Steinway’ Qu.6 & Qu.7, attracted an overall perceptual response across the 6 concerts of 60% participants saying the Stuart sound was ‘clearer more defined’ than the Steinway sound. The use of the attributes, ‘clarity’, ‘resonant’ and ‘defined’ in comments were compiled as responses about a more defined sound definition. The clarity, resonance and definition of sound is described below by Wayne Stuart as a consequence in the Stuart sound of the vertical coupling implemented by the Stuart bridge agraffe, which couples the strings vertically onto the bridge and soundboard, as compared to the two pinned horizontal coupling of the Steinway and most other modern pianos’ strings.

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The real issue- when you open the pedal, because of the nature of the coupling, of the string to the soundboard of the two pinned system, produces muddiness, because of complex counter-phasing issues at the point of enunciation of the sound We don’t pursue that whole ideology, we pursue vertical coupling and the vertical soundscape, they are very different concepts. Now that completely changes the way the wire behaves on excitation, and also on the attack and decay transients- are totally different to the standard piano, it leaves the sound spectrum totally clean, right through the frequency range, so you don’t get masking and all sorts of other what they call inharmonicity effects, from the vibration of the strings , so if you can wipe all those problems away, you can create these extreme frequencies, and not have tuning problems in the extreme ranges. 352

The Stuart agraffe vertical string coupling was found to affect a more significant vertical vibration of the piano string C2 65.406 Hz than the Steinway horizontal coupling in tests conducted previously in this research, see chapter two.

Piano sounds in the Jazz Trio

In responses to survey questions about the trio sound at concerts 2, 4 &5, overall 69% of participants described the Stuart piano sound as being ‘clearer’, more ‘distinct’ and with having more ‘projection’ than the Steinway sound. And 57% of participants’ written comments at these concerts used the attributes ‘clarity’, ‘definition’ and ‘resonant’ for affirmative descriptions of the Stuart sound with the jazz ensemble.

Piano sound in the jazz trio ensemble is blended within a complexity of the frequencies and dynamics of the double bass, and drum kit. The accentuated low frequencies of the double bass, the percussive attack and wash of the cymbals, and the explosive drum accents produce a complex and constantly changing spectra of ensemble sound which sets a challenging sonic environment for piano sound to interact with. The most obvious consideration is volume, particularly when the music is played at tempos upwards from M.M=120. At the moderate to bright tempos, the cymbals are struck by the tip of wooden drum sticks producing an immediate ‘bright’ attack and frequency that can’t be matched by piano sound. The walking notes of the bass at these tempos produce a constant deep and percussive harmonic spectra, with a powerful forward motion and density that also cannot be produced by piano sound. Both of these sounds are integral to the jazz ensemble sound. When the bass is ‘walking’ and the cymbals are ‘swinging’ the sound is unmistakably a jazz sound. With its continuous dense, wash of sound, and its relatively constant dynamic range, the rhythm section sound is a stylistic component of the repetitive nature of jazz, a music genre with dance origins. When the genre of jazz was spawning a myriad of styles, between the 1920s-80s, jazz pianists, many of them leaders of their ensembles, developed individual textural pianistic sounds to project their particular style and sound with the rhythm section353 . These pianistic sounds are still clearly identifiable as particular jazz piano styles and are blended into contemporary jazz piano styles in the 21st century. Some examples of these sound/styles are, i) the tremolos of Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines ii) the combined accentuated-tenuto ‘off ’ beats

352     10“Innovations In The Piano”.
353This information is general, and can be accessed in many literary and audio collections of jazz piano history. Such as: Gunther Schuller, The Swing Era (Oxford Universtiy Press 1989); Frank Tirro, Jazz A History, (Yale University, 1993) ; Len Lyons, The Great Jazz Pianists(Da Capo, 1989).

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of The lonious Monk’s right hand single notes; iii) the block chords of George Shearing; iv) the staccato Mj6th chords in the high register of Count Basie, v) the accentuated simultaneous use of both extremities of the piano compass by Duke Ellington; vi) the metric double handed chordal polyrhythms of Erroll Garner and Dave Brubeck; vii) the simultaneous contrast of cantabile melodic tones in the right hand with rhythmic left hand accents by Bill Evans; viii) accentuated double octave unison phrases of Phineas Newborn Junior and Oscar Peterson; ix) the combined use of the sustain pedal and modal chords of parallel 4ths and 5ths at fortissimo by McCoy Tyner. Throughout this stylistic development, there seems to be no evidence of which piano- make was preferred by each of the jazz pianists for their particular styles. As with classical performers, there were many sponsorships of brands, but these business arrangements didn’t necessarily indicate a preference of instrument tone for particular styles of music.

The audience surveys do not set out to claim whether the Stuart piano or the Steinway piano is ‘better’ for jazz style, or as it has just been stated, better for a specific jazz style. Rather the exercise is simply to listen to both instruments in the jazz context, and observe how their tonal dimensions differ and how audiences evaluate the differences.

Concert-survey No 2, presented specific questions about how each piano sound interacted within the jazz ensemble sound.

Qu.9. Which piano sound produces the better ensemble sound?
Response: 64% Stuart piano

Qu.10. Which piano sound produces a clearer tone with the bass & drums?
Response: 77% Stuart piano sound.

Qu.11 Which piano sound is better at projecting its sound over the bass& drums?
Response: 83% Stuart piano sound .

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Overall, at concert No 2, in response to Qu.9-11, 75% of participants preferred the sound of the Stuart piano in the jazz trio ensemble sound. Written comments of participants at concerts 4 & 5 described the Stuart piano’s ‘clarity’ ‘projection’ and ‘resonance’ within the ensemble sound. 57% of participants responded that the Stuart was more resonant, and distinct within the trio sound.

… the cymbal swing feel matches the gritty edginess of the Stuart sound.354

The evaluation of a clearer definition of piano tone within the jazz ensemble sound must be associated with how the onset or the beginning of the sound is perceived. Tests in the identification of piano tone have shown that without hearing the very beginning of the sound, it is impossible to identify piano tone.355 In the jazz ensemble sound, the onset attack sound of the cymbal directs the rhythmic pulse of the ensemble performance, and the attack sound of the piano indicates the rhythmic intention of the piano phrase, as does the attack sound of each of the bass notes of the ‘walking’ lines. So in this regard, the attack sound of the piano is an important element of clarity in the overall ensemble sound.
The overall audience perceptions of 69% and 57% that the Stuart sound is more ‘clearly defined’ in the sound of the jazz ensemble concurs with the findings of chapter four, which have shown that the Stuart sound is louder and has a wider harmonic spectrum than the Steinway sound, at the onset of the sound.

Audio examples below present the sounds evaluated by the audience of the Stuart and Steinway pianos in the jazz trio setting at concert No 5. Both pianos were played in the one trio performance of ‘No Moon At All’. In contrast to the above mentioned perceptions, at this concert, 59% of participants responded to qu. 6&7, saying that the Steinway sound was ‘clearer, more defined’ than the Stuart sound, and 62% responded to qu. 9&10 that the Steinway sound was more ‘distinct and resonant’.

Trio – concert No 5.

Deep River mel prt3 +vamp.
Steinway prt 1 No Moon At All.wav
Stuart prt 1 No Moon At All .wav
Sound table 5.17

In the No Moon At All audio extract, the ‘brighter’ Steinway tone previously heard in the solo extracts in the audio extracts is not identifiable in the trio setting. The Steinway has a ‘rounder’ tone. At times the pianist sounds to be playing the Stuart with more fortissimo than the Steinway, which may account for some of the extra brightness. Either the harmonic spectra of the Stuart sounds are not as affected by the sounds of the accompanying instruments, or the harmonic spectra of the Steinway sound is affecting a rounder sound on the overall ensemble sound.

354Written comment- Concert No 4 Qu.16
355 Houstsma,A.J.M., Rossing, T.D.and Wagenaars,W.M. Auditory Demonstration Demonstration No 29, IPO NIU, 1987. http://www.feilding.net/sfuad/musi3012-01/demos/audio/. 7 Blackham, 88-98.

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No Moon At All prt 2. Short chords with drums.
Steinway prt 2 No Moon At All.wav
Stuart prt 2 No Moon At All .wav
Sound table 5.18

When the short chords are played in prt 2 of No Moon At All the Stuart chords sound clearer more consistently at each dynamic. The Steinway sound is less defined at the softer playing of the chords.

The jazz ballad My One and Only Love was played on both pianos in the ‘behind the screens’ test at concert 5. The pianos were positioned out of the sight of the audience, behind screens. The audience evaluations of the piano sounds did not produce an overall perception, with percentage differences tallied at 50%. The sound of the trio behind the screens is captured in the audio extracts below.

My One & Only Love

My One And Only Love bridge prt1. Trio.
Steinway prt 1 My One & Only Love.wav
Stuart prt 1 My One & Only Love.wav
Sound table 5.19

The melodies 1st section of this extract are played in both the low and high registers. The extreme high register of the Stuart is obviously brighter, though the Steinway is played more with exuberance, achieving generally a brighter mood and tone. The Stuart is played more reflectively. The overall tone of the Stuart sound could be described as being not as ‘bright’ as the Steinway.

My One And Only Love bridge prt1. Trio.
Steinway prt 2 My One & Only Love.wav
Stuart prt 2 My One & Only Love .wav
Sound table 5.20

In part 2, the melodies are played in the same registers though the Steinway is played with more energy, generating a larger ensemble sound. The Stuart is being played lightly in a generally a quieter ensemble sound. The sound of the Steinway could be described as being ‘clearer’, and ‘brighter’ than Stuart in this extract.

Qu. No 14 &15 : ‘colourful’.

Survey question No 14 &15 asked the audience which piano sound was best described as being ‘colourful’. The overall audience perception across the 6 concerts was that 61% of participants said the Stuart piano sound was more ‘colourful’. At concert No 4, in the larger venue, a significant 82% of the survey participants described the Stuart sound as being more ‘colourful’ than Steinway.

Chordal resonance

Possibly an influence on this perception was the performance of an improvised introduction to the jazz standard On A Clear Day which experimented with the Stuart piano’s chordal sonorities. The sostenuto pedal which implements a selective sustain, standard in all modern pianos, was used in prt 1 of the

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improvisation, lifting the dampers of the low C octave, below the range of the Steinway. This musical endeavour was not repeated on the Steinway, so a direct comparison was not made of this particular sound.

The key of the piece was F, and the lifted dampers of the low Cs and Fs, opened up a myriad of harmonic spectra and sympathetic vibrations throughout the whole range of the strings and soundboard, as each of the chords relating to the key of F were struck. Even though the recording quality is not of a high standard, the chordal qualities of the Stuart are clearly audible.

On A Clear Day – improvised introduction Stuart Piano prt.1
Stuart On A Clear Day prt 1.wav
Sound table 5.21

Playing in this manner, engaged the pianist to listen closely to the resonances of each chord and how the new chordal resonance can sound over the previous chordal resonance, without closing off the dampers, keeping the whole piano resonance open. 356

In prt 2, the high registers are resonated before the dampers are closed, followed by a chordal melodic passage, and finally florid arpeggios.

On A Clear Day – improvised introduction Stuart Piano prt.2
Stuart On A Clear Day prt 2.wav
Sound table 5.22

The melody of On A Clear Day is played in a florid rubato style displaying the wide spectra of colourful tonal qualities of the Stuart piano, across its expanded frequency compass.

On A Clear Day – improvised introduction Stuart Piano prt.3
Stuart On A Clear Day prt 3.wav
Sound table 5.23

356 Sydney pianist Bill Risby pioneered the sostenuto pedal explorations of the Stuart piano tonal spectrum in recording sessions at the Stuart& Sons ‘White Room’ studio, in Newcastle in 2011.

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In conclusion, Design or Pianist?

In the discussion of section 1 of the Gershwin video extract above, the attribute ‘bright’ was used to describe the sounds of the treble register of the Stuart sound and the bass register of the Steinway sound. It is well known that the register or frequency of pitch is a factor in influencing the character of timbre, 357 and in this example we hear the effects of each piano makers’ manipulations of the tonal characteristics of each register as well as their individual design implementations of the string- bridge coupling, string length, string width, string material, sound board mass and thickness.

The audio extracts revealed also that the volume, or weight applied by each pianist in the playing of a phrase, was indicative of the type of tonal colour each instrument projected to the audience. The pianistic interpretations of the music, and their relative pianistic styles therefore influenced the tonal quality of each instrument.

Earlier in this chapter we saw how the varied pianistic styles of both pianists playing in concerts No 1, 3,& 6, has influenced the perceptions of the audience regarding the associations of piano sound with genres of music and pianistic style. The Stuart piano sound was perceived by a majority of participants to suit the playing of Kevin Hunt and to suit Jazz music more than the Steinway. And the Steinway was perceived to suit both Classical music and Simon Tedeschi’s pianism, more so than Stuart. The difference in the qualities of timbre of each piano sound played by pianists of contrasting stylistic backgrounds and techniques illustrated in the audio-visual Gershwin excerpts, warrants the question, does the pianist or the piano have a greater influence on the tonal colour of the instrument?
The evaluations made of the sounds of the Stuart and Steinway at performances, at the hands of the pianists, brings into question how much the pianist is affecting the tone colour. So the audience perception is not only about the instrumental sounds, but how the pianists play the instruments.

The extent to which the pianist is able to influence the tonal colour of piano sound by particular touch has long been a point of conjecture between pianists and physicists. The argument is based on whether it is types of touch, or only the speed of key contact, velocity, which influences piano tone quality.358 Pianists naturally believe that the timbre of piano sound is affected by many types of contact the fingers have with the keys, and the physicists say because there is no connection with the pianist’s key-touch whilst the hammer is in flight, the only measure of influence of the pianist is velocity, or the speed of the hammer flight. We know that as the velocity of the hammer contact with the string is increased, not only the loudness increases, but the ‘brightness’ of tone increases, because the contact time of the hammer on the string is reduced by a compression of the hammer felt density on contact, which in turn excites more high partials in the string to oscillate, a process Roederer describes as loudness-timbre coupling.359 Roederer lists other ways the pianist can affect tone psycho acoustically:

357     11Meyer,30.
358     3 Askenfelt,A. Jansson,E. “From Touch To String Vibration,”Five Lectures on the Acoustics of the Piano, Royal Swedish Academy of Music
359     18 Roederer,124.

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Subtle tone duration control; small variations of loudness from tone to tone; lifting the melody above the accompaniment; loudness and timing differences of the notes of a chord; the percussive component given by the ‘thump’ sound of the keys as they hit the stop rail.360

Supporting the pianists’ argument, A.Askenfelt’s tests have found a connection between types of pianistic touch and hammer movement361 and A. Galembo’s studies have found that pianists more accurately identify a ‘make’ of piano kinesthetically, through the touch and the tactile senses of pianos’ key and action mechanism, than by listening to the sound of the piano out of sight, in a performance space, from the audience area.362

Affirmative responses to the survey questions No 9 & 10, which asked audiences about their perceptions of the individual pianists’ ‘sound’, may suggest that the audiences perceived that each pianist sounded as themselves, regardless of which piano they were playing!

Q.9.3 Do you think Simon Tedeschi produces his own similar sound on both instruments?
Q.10. Do you think Kevin Hunt produces his own similar sound on both instruments?

At concerts 1,3 and 6, 88% ,78% & 63% of participants, respectively, responded that Simon Tedeschi produced his ‘sound’ on both instruments, and 90% , 70% & 70% participants respectively, responded that Kevin Hunt produced his ‘sound’ on both pianos.

The same pianist played the same pieces of music on both the Stuart and Steinway pianos in concerts No 3, 5 & 6. This process was initially presented to aid the audiences’ assessments of the instrumental sounds by narrowing the variables, listening to the same musical subject, and the same pianist, on each piano. This process, also revealed how the pianists reacted or manipulated particular characteristics of each piano sound, for instance the ‘fullness’ of the Steinway sound, and the onset ‘brightness’ of the Stuart.

360     19 Roederer,124. source : 4Askenfelt & Jansson “String contact duration and dynamic level,”Five lectures on the Acoustics of the piano.
361     20Roederer,124.
362     4Galembo.

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6. Collaborations – A piano of this time and place.

A Piano of This Time.

Stuart & Sons pianos are instruments of this time. Each piano Wayne Stuart makes is a progressive step in implementing fundamental changes to the traditional piano design that enable its more comprehensive interaction with modern music practices. Changes in compositional style and in the way music is produced and listened to in today’s electronic age created the impetus for Stuart to produce his acoustic soundscape. Wayne Stuart listens to how the players of modern music produce sounds on his instruments. After listening to Zubin Kanga’s playing of Diabolic Machines by composer Anthony Moles363 and Kanga’s most recent CD release, Wayne comments-

This is an important and incredible modern sound scape. It highlights the validity of the Stuart piano as a new sound aesthetic and the modern context of the repertoire elevates its importance to a new performance paradigm. These works would sound nothing like this if a [traditional modern piano] were used! .364

As a consequence of listening to the Stuart soundscape over many hours I now listen differently to piano sound. I interact differently with piano sound in a more comprehensive way. I can perceive now if a pianist is working well with the sound of the piano or not, in other words if the pianist is listening to the sound.

There are significant challenges in changing traditional musical instruments because the ear is the organ of fear…and any difference in a previously learned preconditioning of that organ will be met with suspicion, and the only way to overcome differences is through education, familiarization, and a gradual re-programing of how the mind relates to and interprets the new sound experience. It could be said that new acoustic experiences are initially, simply not recognised beyond the obvious difference.365

My perceptions of the stable tonal balance in the Stuart sound could well be influenced by my past musical experiences as a player and composer of electronic jazz music. Composing electronic music requires close listening to the inner balance of partial frequencies that make up the sound quality. Tone colour is created in electronic music by manipulating the attack, sustain, decay transients of sine and saw tooth waves generated by synthesizers and computers. Soundscapes or sound envelopes are created in electronic music to emulate the sounds of other instruments and to create new sounds. These modifications of sound quality are evaluated by how they transmit from the electronically controlled hi- fi speakers from which the sound is amplified. Instead of a soundboard, there is a speaker cone. Since the second half of the 20th century a large proportion of music listening happens through electronically enhanced devices, either through radio speakers, hi fi speakers or headphone speakers.

363Anthony Moles, Diabolic Machineshttps://soundcloud.com/zubin-kanga/diabolic-machines-by-anthony ,accessed 8th Nov. 2015.
364 Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 8th November, 2015.
365     11 Wayne Stuart speaks in “Innovations In The Piano,” (edited by W. Stuart, 1/2/2016).

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We are at the point monumental scientific, technological and intellectual changes. The post Mechancial Age presents particular challenges for historically focused cultural pursuits deeply rooted in the mechano-crafts of antiquity. Electricity is central to most contemporary technological operations and the vast majority of music related experiences uses electricity as its energy source.366

Unique pianistic techniques and musical concepts of jazz keyboard playing and composition have emerged as a result of the extensive use of electronics.

Any sound I hear in my head I can reproduce with a synthesizer, and this is the greatest blessing, I hear a sound and work with that sound. Not from the aspect of virtuosity , not how fast or slow, but what sort of music you can create from that sound. It’s like a dream world.367

Stuart Piano Sound Influenced by Electronic Sound.

In my jazz improvisations on the Stuart piano I have frequently experienced elements in the Stuart sound that exhibit the stability of electronic enhancement. In the sound excerpt below I play the Stuart piano in an improvised passage of Black368 by Duke Ellington. Ellington composed this music to depict the musical changes of African-American people as their world transformed from slavery and work song to emancipation and the subsequent creation of the contemporary art form, jazz369 . Black was composed in 1943 in the height of the big band swing era for the Ellington Orchestra’s big band sound. Its original swing metre in 4 has been modified for a more contemporary 21st century ‘world music’ metre of 6.

366Wayne Stuart speaks in 12 “Innovations In The Piano,” 2010. (edited by W. Stuart, 1/2/2016).
367 Brian Glasser, In A Silent Way : A Portrait Of Joe Zawinul, (U.K: Sanctuary Publishing ,2001), 241.
368Duke Ellington Black Brown and Biege Iving Mills,New York, 1943.
369‘Jazz’ is frequently described as America’s classical music, a description which emphasizes its blending of African and European musical forms. Billy Taylor, “Jazz: America’s Classical Music,”Black Music PerspectivesVol. 14, No.1, Special Issue: Black American Music Symposium 1985 (Winter, 1986) : 21-25.

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Black excerpt .wav
Sound table 6.1

The left hand plays a repeated pattern of rhythm and harmony. In the 2nd bar of the transcript above, the two triads Ab 6 and Eb sound consistently the same with an even tonal balanced and clarity. I perceive the sounds of the accentuated chords to have more tonal evenness, consistent tonal balance, and a sense of a very even inner sustain. If I were to play the same musical passage on a modern piano the individual tones of the chords wouldn’t be as clearly defined in the sound. I played this passage of music for Wayne Stuart on his new 102 key piano, and he agreed the transients of the piano tone sounded more controlled than in the modern piano sound, and influenced by the ethos of electronically produced music.

These points about the design and sound of the Stuart & Sons piano are revisited from the discussions in chapter one, to demonstrate that significant impetus of the Stuart piano design has involved adaptations to the changes in how music is composed and listened to in the 21st Century, and therefore can be described as a piano sound of its time, a contemporary instrument. In chapter one I discussed the chronological changes that have occurred in piano design illustrating the associations of piano design with the technological and compositional advancements of each period.

A Piano of This Place

Regional, natural, social and technical aspects combine in the making of a Stuart piano. The crafting of Australian woods and the ingenuity of the Stuart bridge agraffe display a union of natural and technological aspects of Australian society. I have attempted to list these interconnected aspects in the table below.

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• Birth place of its maker, Tasmanian forestry, regional wood-working traditions
• Wayne Stuart’s desire to build an Australian piano with a new soundscape
• The Stuart bridge agraffe and 20th Century vertical spectral emphasis of sound production is applied to the sound of the acoustic piano370 ,
• The expanded range tonal colour and 4th pedal.
• The expanded keyboard compass range,
• The crafted Australian woods used in each instrument,
• The lengths and thickness of the bass strings,
• The difference in piano sound quality consequence of alternative design,
• State government educational institutional technological research input,
• National government investment in small business design initiatives in the Newcastle region due to a change in the overall business environment, i.e a down sizing of the Steel industry infrastructure.
• over fifty recordings by Australian pianists since 1995.371
• Investment of the Alberts music business, the legendary Australian publishing company and philanthropic supporter of Australian innovation in the music scene.

Wayne Stuart originates from the traditional wood working region of the Leven Valley in Tasmania, where in his youth, he routinely topped his design & technology class with his creations of eye-catching cabinets and drawers.372 Author Brendan Ward word-paints a romantic picture of Wayne Stuart’s aspirations, which also paints a picture of national creativity-

The younger Stuart had a dream for the Great Hall [of the new National Parliament House to be opened in 1988.] He envisioned a hand made monument to the best in Australian innovation and music: a very grand piano- one that he would make, with a clear glass lid and legs dipped in gold, its sleek sensuous body veneered in the most ancient and precious timber we have, timber from a tree that had stood tall long before James Cook or Abel Tasman were born; Huon pine, bird’s eye Huon pine.373,/p>

370More control of the transients of piano sound, focusing on vertical spectral quality. See Introduction:‘Vertical Concepts’, Part I, p.22-23 and Appendix 1, Part II p.84
371 See Appendix 1for Stuart Piano recordings.
372     5 Ward, 11.
373     6 Ward, 11.

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In 2003, Wayne Stuart was awarded the Medal of The Order Of Australia (OAM) for service to the designing and building of an Australian concert grand piano. The Australian recording producer, Belinda Webster describes the Stuart piano as an important instrument of the contemporary Australian music scene, and ventures to proclaim the artistic challenges it presents will resonate for pianists with open minds.

The Stuart piano is one of the best things that has happened to Australian music for many years!375

374     8Stuart &Sons Handcrafted Pianos, “On Location” , accessed 11 Aug 2015. http://www.stuartandsons.com/on-location.html
375 Belinda Webster, (1997) Stuart piano advertising material, University of Newcastle, Source: Robert Constable archive. 8th Sept 2015. (full quote see p.22)

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I perceive the sound of the Stuart & Sons piano to be nationally significant. I am careful not to state out too loud, ‘THIS IS AN AUSTRALIAN PIANO SOUND’, because to succinctly answer the annoying quantifiable question, ‘what makes it sound Australian and why’, is difficult, even though I feel that it is an Australian sound and I can describe what its characteristics of tone are. It is made in Australia, devised and crafted by an Australian, it comprises of Australian woods and steel. The fact that this is an Australian piano that presents at the ‘cutting edge’ of world piano design makes this a modern Australian piano of its time and place.

In the following section, a vocabulary of Stuart piano sounds illustrates my creative perceptions of its sound qualities. These sounds are particularly useful to me for ‘honing in’ aspects of my perceptual pianistic approach to playing the Stuart piano.

Playing The Sound

A vocabulary of Stuart piano sounds is compiled in the following section to illustrate several unique tonal characteristics I have observed whilst playing the instrument. For three years I had regular playing sessions on a smaller 2.2m Stuart piano at the Sydney Conservatorium, made more recently than M19,STU and with an innovative lattice ribbing of carbon fibre on the soundboard. The room was smaller than the MW where the M19, STU 2.9m Stuart piano is situated.

These notations are in the form of musical phrases that were realised in my regular sessions of improvisation. Each sound was found to enhance the resonances of Stuart soundscape. The sounds combine the sonic-vibrational tonal elements found in chapter four with applied pianistic techniques, especially with regards to touch dynamics on the keyboard and the use of the pedals. The notations and audio excerpts are important to the formulation of my perceptions of the Stuart piano sound. The piano sound is new and full of surprises. These sounds initiate the beginning of an anticipated extensive vocabulary of Stuart sounds. Evaluating these sounds separately from musical or compositional contexts enhances my perception of their tonal qualities. Once the sounds are documented, they become familiar, ready to be expanded upon and also ready to be used either as the primary resource or a starting point for composition.

It was stated in the introduction of this paper that improvisation was the process by which the comprehensive tonal spectra of the 97 key and the 102 key Stuart pianos soundscapes was first explored musically, as recorded by Bill Risby, myself and several other Jazz pianists on the A New Voice I & II CD recordings.376 Artur Cimirro also has stated that his discovery of piano sounds377 for his Eccentric Preludes compositions was initially through his improvisations. Cimirro is the first composer to notate piano music for 102 and 108 keys, specifically for the Stuart & Sons piano.

376See New Voice I & II CDs releases see Introduction.
377 Opus Dissonus, “Artur Cimirro -The Documentary.” YouTube video, 1:25:33 Brazil: Opus Dissonus, 2013.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6YJ_w6Qfbc,www.arturcimirro.com.br&www.opusdissonus.com.br
Accessed October , 2015.

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Identifying sounds by their elements, without aesthetic or subjective context, is associated with the 20th century musical emphasis on the colour of sound, where the vertical and gestural portrayal of sound established the inner look at sound itself, ‘the Physics of sound, how sound behaves’378
Composed gestural phrases by Australian contemporary composers Colin Bright and Ross Edwards were used to demonstrate this. The evidences of Stuart tonal characteristics in chapter four could also be described elemental sound, purely identified by their actual sonic vibrations. The legendary electronic music composer Peter Zinovieff describes a similar process, where after realizing the properties of sounds, the sounds are recreated in musical ways.

To be able to analyse a sound, put it into sensible musical form on a computer, [or manuscript] to be able to manipulate that form and recreate it in a musical way,379

The following vocabulary of Stuart piano sounds combine pianistic techniques and instrumental tonal qualities.

Combinations of four distinctive Stuart elements of sound and design are manipulated in the vocabulary of sounds:
i) Wide tonal spectrum;
ii) Expanded frequency range;
iii) Tonal stability and sustain ;
iv) Pedal combinations: dolce (dolce), sostenuto (sost), una corda (U.C.) damper (Ped).

Stuart Piano Pedals

The Stuart piano has four pedals. The dolce pedal is the fourth pedal, positioned furthest to the left. This pedal is similar to the soft pedal in an upright piano design, which positions all the hammers closer to the strings, therefore reducing the distance of the hammer travel to the string, which has the effect of reducing the dynamic range of loudness. The overall volume of the sound is reduced without changing the tonal range of the instrument’s soundscape. The dolce pedal lowers the keys to reduce the

378 Wayne Stuart speaks in 13 “Innovations In The Piano,”
379Peter Zinovieff spaking in :Porthmeor Productions. “What the Future Sounded Like,” YouTube Video 26:54 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkW8Ul7Q1I Porthmeor Productions,Adelaide: 2006.
http://www.whatthefuturesoundedlike.com/; http://www.ems-synthi.demon.co.uk/‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

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key depth travel distance range of the pianist’s touch. So the dolce repositions both the hammers and the keys in order to limit the dynamic range of the soundscape.

The notion that a piano should have x number of pedals is curious. Historically makers have incorporated numerous pedals with various functions. Simply, the two left pedals in Stuart & Sons pianos modify the dynamic and textural aspects of the sound by:
1. [Dolce pedal ] reducing the travel distance of the key and hammer
2. [Una Corda pedal] reducing the number of strings struck.
These pedals can be taken independently or simultaneously. Neither of the dynamic
control pedals require full depression but should be applied and operated as the ear
and taste of the performer dictates.380

The sostenuto pedal is standard on all modern pianos.381 It provides a selective sustain of all of the notes with dampers across the key compass. The sostenuto pedal lifts the dampers of the keys which are prepared by the pianist by depressing the key without sounding the note before the passage of music is played. In other words, the sostenuto effect is prepared prior to playing the sound. As the sound is played, the pitches sustained by the sostenuto resonate sympathetically382 or syntonically with pitches that have similar frequency proponents across the frequency range. The unstruck strings vibrate in a sympathetic vibration, adding to the resonance of the sound.

When one resonant object is caused to vibrate, any other resonant object in its vicinity which has the same natural frequency will also vibrate….[‘in sympathy’] … two bodies need not be touching, since vibration is passed on through such media as air. [or wood re. a soundboard. ]383

The Una Corda pedal also enables sympathetic resonances to occur on the string that isn’t struck by the hammer, and remains undampered, free to resonate in sympathy. Sympathetic resonance is interesting for the Stuart sound as it is heard with the similar harmonic stability observed previously in the struck notes of the Stuart sound. Therefore a slower rate of decay is often experienced aurally in the Stuart sympathetic resonance. This is because the Stuart bridge agraffe is still controlling the string vibration.

380     9Stuart &Sons Handcrafted Pianos, accessed 27th Aug, 2016.
381The Sostenuto pedal is positioned between the damper sustain pedal on the right, and the una corda pedal on the left. The Stuart piano has an extra pedal to the left of the una corda, the dolce pedal.
382     2Foulcher, 47.
383     3Foulcher, 47.

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Stuart Piano Sounds – a generic sound vocabulary.

1. Spectra glissando:

Played at fortissimo, a two handed scale-like ascending phrase opens up the wide spectra of the Stuart soundscape. Half and full pedaling of the damper pedal enables a combination of articulation for the beginning of each ascending line, as well as the full sustain of the bass note, and the overall array of sound. A subsequently large portion of the piano’s frequency range is sustained in the final chord with the addition of the lowest note F0 The array of colour and stable clarity within the sound of the Stuart piano tonal is displayed with this pianistic application. 384

Spectral Glissando .wav
Spectral glissando Sound table 6.2

This spectral glissando exhibits the enhanced tonal balance and clarity observed in the Stuart piano sounds in chapter four, over a frequency range of seven octaves, from F0 to F7. The cluster chordal pause points of the spectral glissando above notated with tenuto and accent markings, produce a clearly sustained, stable and transparent clarity, which doesn’t change when the melodic treble layer of the semi-quavers in the 2nd & 3rd bars of prt. 2, are added.

The spectral glissando sound was realized on the expanded compass of the102 keyed Stuart piano, from the lowest C0 16Hz and the highest F8, 5587.65 Hz. The lowest note, F0 in the 1st bar of prt. 2, is 4 notes below the bass range of the 88 key modern piano. This is the widest compass of any piano today.

384 The Australian pianistBill Risby played a similar sound on his recent totally improvised CD ‘One’, see appendix 6a.3

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I implemented the Stuart spectral glissando in a composition entitled Walking On Harbour Shores. The audio extract below depicts the elemental reflections of sunlight on the harbor water surface. This recording was done on M19 (STU), 97 keys.

Spectral Glissando 2 .wav
Spectral glissando 2 Sound table 6.3

Pianist Bill Risby played a spectral glissando in his improvised recording ‘One’. An audio excerpt of Risby’s spectral glissando is presented in Appendix 6a.2.

2. Abstract – High & Low registers:

Abstract intro effect .wav
Sound table 6.4

The idea of a strumming by the left hand, of the low strings, selectively sustained by the sostenuto pedal came from a palm hitting technique implemented by pianist Bill Risby. abstract application activated by the pianist’s left hand, of the low frequencies sound was initially played by Sydney pianist Bill Risby, in his improvised piece ‘Native Sky’on the Stuart & Sons CD A New Voice II. Pianists Zubin Kanga and Jeff Neve have also used this sound in recordings of the Stuart & Sons soundscape. See audio these extracts Appendix 6a.3

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Sympathetic Resonance& Extreme Pitch and Dynamic Ranges.

The extreme ranges of the 102 key Stuart piano and all four pedals are engaged in this sound. The highest pitches are harmonically audible in the repetitive triadic sequence which ascends to the piano’s 3rd highest note, Eb8, The triads are labelled (Ab) (Gb) in the final three bars , see score below in fig 6. A cluster of the lowest 5 notes, F0, F#0, G0, G#0, A0 are selectively sustained by the sostenuto pedal (sost) throughout the phrase, enabling a sympathetic resonance to occur as the triads ascend in the treble. The dolce pedal has the effect of containment, enabling more pianist control controlling of the dynamic range. The timbre combination of the fully engaged dolce and una corda pedals produces the instrument’s extreme in ‘round’ sound timbre, facilitating a cantabile, and least percussive impact at the onset of each note. The dolce and una corda pedals assist the pianist to produce sounds with a full harmonic spectrum, with a round and singing tone at a very soft and contained dynamic. Naturally without the pedals, the Stuart sound can be easily played with a bright and percussive sense. The una crda and dolce pedals enhance the pianist’s access to play sounds of soft and round textures.

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Sound table 6.5

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4. Damper sustain + highest notes Treble chord sustain:

Treble chord sustain.wav
Sound table 6.6

As the pitches of the phrase ascends the sympathetic resonance audibly expands aided by the combination of the una corda and sostenuto pedals, as well as the ½ pedalling of the damper pedal. The repeated notes played by the left hand seem to add to the resonance as an agitating agent. A harmonic arpeggiated line from the mid to very high registers, sympathetically contributes to the resonances of a sustained chord in the mid-treble register. The damper pedal is engaged for the whole phrase.

5. Dolce & U.C. Pedals:

The dolce and una corda pedals are used simultaneously in this sound to create the g timbre of the final chord. The una corda pedal is engaged fully on the penultimate chord, before combining with the dolce pedal.

U.C.& dolce combination.wav
Sound table 6.7

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Timbre Pedals Sequence:

Timbre peds seq pedals.wav
Sound table 6.8

A repeated phrase illustrates the different tonal colours implemented by the dolce and una corda (U.C.) ‘timbre pedals’.
1st : – no timbre pedals are engaged , only the damper pedal;
2nd : – dolce pedal creates a more contained overall sound and in this application a brighter tone;
3rd : – U.C. & dolce p – a dramatic change in timbre, a rounder tone with less high frequencies,
4th : – U.C. & dolce f- played at fortissimo.

On the fourth repeat, played at fortissimo with the dolce and una corda fully engaged, a significant sustain occurs in the sound of the paused treble melody notes, ‘a’ and ‘d’.

7. Spectrum swell with damper pedal :

The harmonic spectrum of a sustaining note is controlled by engaging the damper pedal The prepared selective sustain of the lowest and lower notes are harmonically in sympathy with the affected higher note.

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Sound table 6.9

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8. Percussive bass/ Rhythmic / lowest note F0:

The lowest note, F0 is used here as a percussive accentuation.

Lowest notes blues riff.wav
Sound table 6.10

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9. Bass Melodic Clarity:

Low melodic clarity.wav
Sound table 6.11

In this example, a chordal melodic phrase is clearly heard in the low register.
The lowest 4 notes: F0, F#0, G0, G#0 (97 keys) and the added low C0 (102 keys) are selectively sustained by the sostenuto pedal. A legato chordal phrase in Gb major is layered over a bass pedal note (F) demonstrates the a tonal balance of dissonant harmonic layering and clarity capability of the Stuart bass registers. The una corda pedal (U.C.) enhances the change in timbre of the final three notes.

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10. High Note Sustain:

The enhanced sustain and clarity of single notes in the higher registers of the Stuart piano sound was observed in chapter four in the sounds of the note C5 525.23 Hz. The enhanced sustain is portrayed in this sound, particularly of the note E5 .

High note sustain finale.wav
Sound table 6.12

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11. Lowest Notes:

The non-harmonic tones in the low notes F0 and C0 , suggest atmospheric and abstract compositional settings. The partial tones (harmonics) within the sound of the sustained ‘F0’ note are audibly very clear and stable. F0 is the lowest note of the 97 key Stuart pianos, and C0 is the lowest note of the 102 key Stuart pianos.

Lowest notes C0 F0.wav
Sound table 6.13

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12. F1 octave damper pedal release, timbre change:

F1 + damper.wav
Sound table 6.14

The slow release of the damper pedal, while the sostenuto pedal selectively sustains the lowest F triad including the lowest C0, creates a harmonic change in timbre of the F1 & F2 octave.

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13. Low register chord clarity:

The note E1 in the low register is played in a low dissonant chord, balanced against F2 above. Selectively sympathetic lowest register resonance of F major and a mid treble E triad sound is sustained subtly in pianissimo. The dissonance of the low ‘E’ is stable and clearly sustained.

Low register clarity.wav
Sound table 6.15

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14. Rhythmic low notes :

The notes Eb1 and Eb0 are played with a subtle percussive accentuation. Eb0 is below the range of both the standard 88 key and the 97 key Stuart compasses. The timbre of Eb0 establishes an abstract, percussive non harmonic effect.

Rhythmic lowest notes.wav
Sound table 6.16

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Composition and Intercultural Music.

Identifying the elemental aspects of the Stuart piano sound has encouraged me to develop an elemental approach to music composition. The comprehensive beauty of this Australian piano has also encouraged me to look more deeply into what interests me most about our society. I came to ask myself how may I musically interact with Australian social and cultural sensibilities. As a consequence of these thoughts I have composed music that explores elements of what I perceive to be my Australian environment, how I see it. Ancient & New was a working title of the project until I realised these words could be interpreted as being separate even alien of the other. A portrayal of the Aboriginal music as being old, or something of the past, does not encompass the current day Indigenous culture in all its modern vibrancy. The ethos of this work was that the interactions of the ‘old’ with the ‘new’ would transform into a collaborative form of music. One piece however, in the series is still entitled Ancient & New because it does depict musically the differences in the Indigenous and European cultures, and the awkwardness of first encounters. There are sections in Ancient & New that musically depict the European singers having difficulty with pronunciation of Australian Indigenous words, whilst being completely at home with the Latin dictums of the 18th century Christian music.

The expanded frequency range, and the dynamic and tonal characteristics of the Stuart soundscape demonstrated in the vocabulary of sounds and in the detailed tonal analysis of chapter four, were expected to inject a 21st century sound sensibility to traditional and non traditional forms of Indigenous music. It was anticipated that an intercultural form of Australian music could be the result of this exploration. Similar to the flourishing Indigenous schools of visual art that exploded after Geoffery Bardon’s Papunya art revolution in the 1970s,385 or the music of Neil Murray and Yolgu man George Rrurrambu epitomized by their song Blackfella/Whitefella, and Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly’s song From Little Things Big Things Grow’. These intercultural forms connect the traditional functional repository of cultural story and information 386 with globally used western forms and are indicative of the comprehensive cross-culture that occurs through all generations and styles of the performing and visual arts in Australia. 387

The new ‘form’ in this research is the instrumental object and sound of the Stuart & Sons piano. It is handcrafted using Australian woods, and it implements an audacious vibrational technology onto its traditional predecessor388 , causing a change in piano sound that has been thoroughly explored by this research. The newly formed piano will sonically interact within a musical form that traditionally functions to describe place and cultural business. 389 I think this is a powerful integration, especially regarding notions of music describing ‘place’ and story. The piano is made in the same national place as the Indigenous music. Both the instrumental physical form and the musical form describe elements of that place, and elements of its story. New musical interpretations of place and stories are expected to

385 Ian MacLean, How Aborigines invented the idea of contemporary art,(IMA Publications ,2011)
386 Catherine Ellis, (1985). Aboriginal Music -Education for living. (Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 1985),16-18.
387 Peter Dunbar-Hall, Deadly sounds, deadly places – (Sydney: UNSW press, 2004), Introduction.
388 the traditional modern piano, depicted in this research by the Concert Steinway D.
389     2Ellis, 16-18.

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evolve musically through my creative practice when both the instrumental and cultural forms interact in composition. Each Aboriginal performer is also free to develop an individual musical interpretation through improvisation. I do not claim that the new music that came out of these collaborations are definitively new forms of Australian music, attached to the but simply that these pieces are the result of new instrumental and creative and collaborative

The generic vocabulary of 15 Stuart piano sounds illustrated in the preceding section, illustrate my perceptions of the Stuart sound and they exhibit the extent of the clarity and balance in the sound, especially in dissonant harmonic layering and in its ‘speaking’ of extended frequencies. My first sense of connection between the piano sounds and Indigenous music was that these more abstract elemental tones of the Stuart soundscape could resonate contextually with images of land and environment. The musical form which is ‘inextricably linked’390 with the elemental aspects of its natural environment could in a way resonate with the vibrational instrumental sound of its place, and possibly confirm it by mythically ‘singing it into being’.391

My enquiry began by playing Aboriginal chants of historic significance to the Sydney region, on the Stuart piano with a collective of Sydney’s Indigenous singers. I was fortunate in gaining access to these chants, thanks to the assistance of historian Keith Vincent Smith, and singer Clarence Slockee a Bungalong man and an Indigenous culture educator.

These musical collaborations took place in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, which is located in a historic location, Farm Cove and the Botanic Gardens, in the busy city centre of Sydney. This is the region of the first regular and considered interactions between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. The location is also located very close to Aboriginal ceremonial grounds . These characteristics of place were considered to be significant to all Indigenous and non- Indigenous artists involved in this intercultural research.

…[in Australian Indigenous music] situating music in the places where it is created , performed and received,… land ownership, language and music are linked as a complex through which individual and group identity are constructed, expressed and maintained.393

So a fresh look at our history sees our beginnings not in 1788 but many millennia before that and including the vast majority of Australians who have been part of our story. From a static point of view the long peaceful occupation of this land by Aborigines might be seen as a kind of primitive paradise now lost and replaced forever. From another, more dynamically, it can be viewed as the beginnings of a slow formation of an Australia still in the future: the Aboriginal stock was to grow so atuned to this land as to become one with it, so that, their time of testing over, they might show latter-day

390PaulGrabowsky,(2010)presentation “The complete musician”lecture, Australian National University, 2010.
http://developer.jazztuition.com.au/the-complete-musician-paul-grabowsky/ ; also- A.N.U. “The complete musician”YouTube video 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTTQpCxukBw
391     2 Grabowsky.
392 David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales: orAppendix VI . (The Strand, London: Customs and Manners T.Caldwell and W. Davis, 1804), 365.
393     2Dunbar-Hall.

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boat people how to know this land as their mother too. 394

The new piano soundscape was in this research, perceived as a modern Australian sound of the 21st century. Using this piano sound to play the historic chant manuscripts brings the old stories and descriptions of place into the present. The aspect of ‘place’, the land the Conservatorium was situated on, as well as my cultural relationships to that place were expressed in this music very easily. This ease, a natural connection, supported my aspirations for using the Stuart piano sound to collaborate with the Aboriginal music practices of Sydney.

What we know about this place.

• Aboriginal people have lived in the Sydney region for over 47,000years, an age established by archeological discoveries.395
• ii) Over 4340 archaeological sites have been recorded and registered with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Sydney region.396
• iii) The accounts of Lt David Collins, Captain Watkin Tench ,Captain John Hunter, and paintings by Thomas Botting, and Joseph Lycette and engravings by James Neagle document evidence of ceremonial corroborees occurring in the same location that this research is being conducted in.397

Ritual played a significant part in their lives; Woccanmagully (Farm Cove) was an initiation site while corroborees took place at Walla Mulla (Woolloomooloo).

The decision to build on the eastern side of the Cove allowed [Gov] Phillip to determine that the entire area east of the Tank Stream, across to the stream that ran into Woolloomooloo Bay, would be reserved for the Governor’s use. This was not always taken with good grace, but it did prevent early commercial development.
It did not stop destruction of the native trees that had covered the Domain, nor did it prevent Aborigines being displaced from their ceremonial grounds of the ‘Kangaroo and Dog Dance’ on the tidal flat of Farm Cove, or Woccanmagully as it was known. 398

• The spoken language vocabularies spoken by the Sydney Aboriginal people were notated by William Dawes and many others in the early years of white settlement and are compiled into several language directories.399

394 Eugene Stockton, The aboriginal gift, Spitrituality For A Nation. (Alexandria NSW: Millenium books Australia 1995), 21-22.
395Nanson,G.C,Young,RW& Stockton,E.D (1987) Chronology and palaeoenvironment of Cranebook Terrace (near Sydney), containing artefacts more than 40,000 years old. Archaeology in Oceania (1987) 22 (2) 72-78
396 Val Attenbrow, Sydney’s Aboriginal Past, (Sydney:University of New South Wales Press Ltd, 2002)
397     2 Collins, 365.; ii) Watkin Tench, 1788 Book 2 Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson :Transactions of the colony in April and May 1789 : Source Tim Flannery, Two Classic tales of Australian Exploration, (Melbourne: Text Publishing 1996); iii) John Hunter, An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island (London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1793).
398 History of the Domain The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust (accessed 15 Nov 2015).
http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/welcome/royal_botanic_garden/history/discovering_the_domain/History,
399 Language notebooks and responses to language contact in early colonial NSW”. Australian Journal of Linguistics, vol. 12, (1992): 145-170. ; Green, R. Dharug Dalanghttp://www.dharug.dalang.com.au, accessed Aug.’15 Centre for Technology
Information and Technoloy and Solutions, NSW Government.; Steele, J. ( 2005) A Partial Reconstruction of the Indigenous

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• Sung musical chants of the first peoples of Sydney were transcribed phonetically400 and notated as music notation401 in the late 18th century.

As Peter Dunbar Hall has stated above, Indigenous music is inextricably linked ‘to place’. It is widely known and experienced that the indigenous song cycle maps a place, and stores information about the place, its seasons, its landmarks, its people, its animals, etc. Jazz musician Paul Grabowsky collaborates in cross-cultural music projects with the Waligah Singers in Australia’s Northern Territory, where he experiences first hand their connection to land in their song cycles. The cultural information in their songs has been continually handed down through family lines for many generations, in the Ngukurr area of South Eastern Arhnem Land. The grand father of the Waligah , Djambo Burra Burra walked out of his Indigenous bush land life style, his family’s homelands, into township community as recently as the 1960s.402 In collaborating with the Waligah Singers, Grabowsky has developed a special musical and cultural connection with them. He describes the profound expressions he has found in the Waligah music-

‘ the sense that creation is ever present,…..
images are sung into existence, …….
that the infinite past is implicit in the present,403

The composer Dr Christopher Sainsbury a Sydney Darug man, describes his practice of composition as being informed by his Aboriginality and his life experiences in his region. He describes his music as being regionalist, pertaining to how the region he lives influences his music language and serves to create imagery in his imagination, sometimes the occurrence of events in the region long ago. Environmental aspects, specific bird calls, bush sounds, language of the area, and specific water flows are only a portion of his regionalist material for composition. He too describes a concept of time that whilst engaged in the composing or performing the music, the past comes to the present.

…..upon hearing my music one journeys to my region and shares in the re-enacting of the stories of my region. In so doing, according to a widely acknowledged Aboriginal worldview, and something I hold to, via performance these stories transpire as current events, as ‘in the present.404

language of Sydney based on the notebooks of William Dawes of 1790-91, Macquarie University, Sydney
400 William Dawes, (1791), ‘Vocabulary of the language of N.S. Wales in the neighbourhood of Sydney.’ Native and English, by — Dawes’, Notebook B, MS 4165 (b) (London: Marsden Collection, SOAS 1791) ;3 Collins.
401 EdwardJones, (1811), Musical Curiosities (London: Printed for the Author in Lord Steward’s Courtyard, 1811), 15. Found in the British Library, London.
Edward Jones, a Welsh harpist and bard to the Prince of Wales (later George IV); ii)
Pierre Bernier,Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes : historique, atlas par,(Paris: MM. Lesueur et Petit, seconde edition, Paris:1824)
; iii) Barron Field, Journal of excursion across the Blue Mountains, 1822, Barron Field.Published in the London Magazine, vol. 8 (November ,1823), 461.
402 http://www.personally-selected-aboriginal-art.com/Sambo-Burra-Burra.html
Renaissance on the Roper (blog),April 30 2009 http://www.news.com.au/national/renaissance-on-the-roper/story-e6frfkp9-1225705191868; http://www.aao.com.au AAO Crossing Roper Bar performer profiles.
403     3 Grabowsky.
404Christopher Sainsbury, C. (2012). “Working as a Regionalist Composer—The Music of Christopher Sainsbury” (PhD diss., University of Sydney, 2012): 36 note: Sainsbury is the first Indigenous PhD of the Sydney ium of Music.

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Barrabul-la and the Stuart Piano

On receiving the manuscript of the Barrabul-la chant I immediately arranged piano music of it, setting the chant melody tones to the uniquely sounding open-bold tones of the Stuart piano’s tenor range. This was to be played in the left hand whilst the right hand played improvised expressions of bi-tonal harmony. The Stuart soundscape was found to create a unique resonance of bi-tonal dissonance, with extended sustain quality, especially in the treble registers. The written bi-tonal triads are to be played and embellished by both hands when the melody is sung. In my interpretation, the Stuart piano soundscape brings the Burrabul-la chant into the present day.

Listen to the Stuart piano sound of the Barrabul-la chant.

Barrabul-la Stuart piano.wav
Sound table 6.17

sc

The Barrabul-la chant provides us with an audible glimpse into the past. We can imagine the chant sound in the atmosphere of pre-white settlement around, Wuganmagul, Farm Cove. Audibly, the Stuart piano tone paints a different sound to the standard modern piano. The new piano soundscape has brought subjects of the region’s past into the present as we sense we are listening to new Australian music.

The Aboriginal singers who initially sang the Sydney chants at the Conservatorium in 2012.

The creative work produced in this research project has come out of the artistic associations I have developed with several Australian Aboriginal performers, each of disparate Australian Indigenous origins. I value these collaborations very highly. Each of these Indigenous musicians are actively involved in the local contemporary music scene and participate in professional and semi-professional music performances of various styles of western contemporary music, in a very similar manner to myself. The contemporary nature of our improvised collaborations and the cultural diversity of each of these performers enhanced the contemporary nature of our collaborative engagements.

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The collaborative compositions we produced did not involve any engagement with cultural lore, or sensitive Aboriginal traditions of country. The compositions created by this research illustrate the musical associations that were informed by the sound of the Stuart & Sons piano playing Australian Aboriginal music, articulated by the mixture of contemporary Aboriginal singers of various Australian Indigenous cultural origins.

Richard Green, descendant of Buruberongal Sydney people of the north west regions, is a scholar of the languages and dialects of the Sydney region, an actor featured in TV dramas such as ‘Redfern Now’, and the language consultant for many regional artistic projects such as, Kate Glanville’s ‘The Secret River’. Richard continues to assist myself and interested others at the Conservatorium with his skill and expertise in translating the lyrics of well known songs, into the Sydney Aboriginal language.

Matthew Doyle descendant of the Muruwari people of N.S.W. , grew up on Dharawal land south- western regions of Sydney, an educator and teacher of Indigenous songs.

Clarence Slockee descendant of the Mindjingbalj people in the Tweed Valley of N.S.W. and at the time of this research was the Education Officer of the Sydney Botanic Gardens, promoting Aboriginal culture and bush tucker.

Karen Smith is a Sydney Darug woman of the Buruberongal clan of the Derrubbin area western Sydney. Karen works for the Aboriginal Heritage Office in Northbridge, Sydney, working as an education officer.

Bremda Gifford, a descendent of the Yuin nation, south coast of N.S.W. Gifford’s grandfather told her stories in the Dhurga language, and she is actively composing music using the words her grandfather used.

Both Matt Doyle and Clarence Slockee are graduates of the Indigenous performing Arts college, NAISDA405 , and Richard studied music composition under Dr Chris Sainsbury at Eora TAFE, Chippendale.

405NAISDA is a rich place of learning and cultural connection… and continues to create tremendous young artists and I’m proud to say many are an integral part of today’s Bangarra. – STEPHEN PAGE Artistic Director, Bangarra Dance Theatre.http://www.naisda.com.au/ accessed 28th Aug,2015

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Sydney’s Indigenous Chants.

Our musical collaborations began by playing and recording the three historic chants. I sought permission from two Aboriginal custodial associations in Sydney for the reproduction, performance, recording and re-composing of these chants.406

Barrabul-la, A Song of the Natives of New South Wales.407

The transcription below was rediscovered by Keith Vincent Smith in the British Library, London in September 2009. This evidence of Sydney’s Aboriginal music culture was documented in London by musician Edward Jones (1752-1824) as the most revered Aboriginal identity, Woollarawarre Bennelong (1764-1813) and his young kinsman Yemmerawanne (1774-1794) of Sydney’s Wangal clan sang in Mayfair, London in 1793.408

Singers: Matt Doyle and Clarence Slockee.

Barrabul-la Clan Song.m4a
Sound table 6.18

This song makes Bannelong (after whom the site of the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong’s Point- reportedly as such in the Sydney press in 1803-was named) the joint creator of the earliest actual artifact from colonial Australia.[Captain John] Hunter also recorded that Bannelong sings when asked, but in general his songs arein a mournful strain, and he keeps time by swinging his arms’409

406See Appendix 6a.4Custodial permissions.
407 See Appendix 6a.5 for Burrabul-la information
408 Keith V. Smith,Mari Nawi Aboriginal Odysseys (Sydney:Rosenberg Publishing, 2010).
409 Graeme Skinner, G. (2011)”Toward a General History of Australian Musical Composition- First National Music 1788-1860.” (PhD diss.,The University Of Sydney, 2011). see-[news],The Sydney Gazette (22 May 1803), 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article 625581 ; see 2Hunter.

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410A Song of the Natives of New South Wales From Edward Jones, Musical Curiosities .(London: 1811):15, British Library, London.

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Chant

Transcribed and collected during the French Baudin and Péron scientific expedition (1799-1803) to Australia in Sydney during 1802 and set to music by the French astronomer Pierre-Francis Bernier. Musique des naturels (Music of the natives) including the chant of cou-he (coo-ee ‘come’ or ‘come here’), published in the second edition of the Atlas in François Péron’s Voyage (Paris 1824).
Singer: Karen Smith

Chant (Women’s chant)
Sound table 6.19

b

Coo-ee.

n

Voyage of discovery to the southern lands: an historical record atlas / by MM. Lesueur and Petit, 2nd ed. Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes : historique, atlas par MM. Lesueur et Petit, seconde edition, Paris, 1824

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Harry’s (Corrangie’s) Song / Chant

The Mitchell Library Sydney collection: ‘Journal of excursion across the Blue Mountains 1822, Barron Field. Published in the London Magazine Vol 8 November 1823 pg 461.
Singers: Clarence Slockee and Matthew Doyle.

Chant & Coo-ees, Harry’s Chant
Sound table 6.20

Harry’s Song Chant is illustrated here in Wiradguri language. Bennelong’s brother in–law Harry, sang this chant to Barron Field.411 Sydney Aboriginal song man and language scholar, Richard Nambrimbrii Green interprets this chant as a question asks by a visitor, asking the chief of Richmond, Gumberey, if he can sit under the tree on his country.

Isaac Nathan’s Coo-ees

In 1840, Australia’s first official composer Englishman Isaac Nathan (1790-1864) transcribed ‘Coo-ees’ of the Maneroo people, south of Sydney in the Goulburn region. Nathan’s transcriptions are found in his The Southern Euphrosyne and Australian Miscellany412 , containing oriental moral tales, original anecdote, poetry and music … / by the editor and sole proprietor I. Nathan. The Sydney Conservatorium library has a copy of this rare book.

Isaac Nathan manuscript:

The reproductions of these transcriptions are printed with permission from the British Library, London U.K and the Mitchell Library of Sydney, Australia.

411     2Field, 461 .
412 Isaac Nathan, The southern euphrosyne and Australian miscellany : containing oriental moral tales, original anecdote, poetry and music . (London: Whittaker & Co., 1849).

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Playing Music of Place

These chants are important to Sydney Aboriginal culture. Mostly, the singers had not previously heard or sung these chants, though it was common knowledge to each of them that the chant manuscripts existed. Matt Doyle had dreamt a version of the Barrabul-la chant a few years earlier. As we played the chants over a period of several months each of the singers connected their musical and cultural associations into their musical interpretations of the chants. The singers interpreted the notations in different ways. Both Matt Doyle and Clarence Slockee were interested in singing the pitches and language as notated in the transcribed manuscripts. Richard Green and Karen Smith viewed the manuscripts purely as European documented moments of colonial history, and interpreted the notated pitch, language, rhythm and subject intuitively in improvisations.

As Richard Green improvised the chant in Sydney language I realized we were making contemporary music, not examining as historians, the music of the past. The energy of this music was being experience ‘in the now’ as we interacted musically together, today, Yaguna413 . Accompanying and interacting with each of the singers as they each musically interpreted the chants differently, was a great musical experience for me. I developed an intuitive realisation of the importance this music has for all of us, today. As we played the chants together in the Stuart piano room 2107 at the Conservatorium, I listened to the sound of the Stuart piano for the first time in a seemingly isolated musical practice, one that to my knowledge, had never previously been work-shopped or even demonstrated at the Conservatorium in my 34years here. This was a very different practice of music to anything I had ever experienced, yet this was fundamental music of this region, the place I had lived in as an active musician for most of all my life of 54 years. In a multi-layered way, both musically and socially, I was experiencing the wide Australian ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous culture now entrenched throughout our society.414

Peter Sculthorpe’s Idea

In his Sun Music autobiography, composer Peter Sculthorpe offers a historic solution albeit in hindsight, to the historic Australian social lack of cultural interaction between the first peoples and the majority of emigrant peoples.

If, following white settlement, imported Celtic music might’ve been fused with Aboriginal chant, today our music would possess a powerful voice …. Perhaps the home sick ballad might have been replaced by vigorous dance music. It could have changed our whole national character…. Such a fusion of musics just might have helped create an identity for us… it might have helped sever ties with the mother country , instead of proclaiming a Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 we might have been proclaiming the Republic of Australia.415

413Sydney word for ‘now’: Richard Green,“Dharug Dalang”August 2015. http://www.dharug.dalang.com.auCentre for Technology Information and Technoloy and Solutions, NSW Government.
414 William E.H. Stanner, (1991) After the dreaming: (Sydney : ABC Enterprises for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1991), 2nd section of the Boyer lecture, After The Dreaming,delivered in the wake of the 1967 referendum which passed with a 90 per cent majority vote that the constitution be amended to permit Aborigines to be counted in the census.
415 Peter Sculthorpe,Sun Music, (Sydney: ABC Books), 200.

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Peter Sculthorpe follows the above statement with a qualification that by a ‘fusion of musics’ he is not talking about imposing European music systems of harmony to create arrangements of Aboriginal chants. I understand Sculthorpe is talking about real exchange, conversation and adaptation. Allowing change and intuition to occur within the parametres of both the Indigenous music and the emigrant musical forms. Sculthorpe’s statement describes and directs the intercultural musical investigation of this research that puts into action the idea of ‘fusing’ collaboratively the music practices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The musical creations of this research have been realised through interaction and by actively engaging, by agreeing and disagreeing and finding out what works! In
the cross-cultural collaborations of this research, the ‘Australian’ sound of the Stuart piano is used as the bridge or pathway where the disparate music practices meet. The compositions created by this research illustrate the musical collaborations that are informed by the sound of the Stuart piano and the sounds of Australian Aboriginal music articulated by a mixture of contemporary Aboriginal singers each of differing cultural origins and traditions.

I continued playing the chants with the Indigenous singers, for a period of months. We performed the chants in several concerts always with Stuart & Sons pianos at the Conservatorium of Music, the Power House Museum in Sydney, the Independent Theatre North Sydney and the State Library of New South Wales. The two voices and clapping sticks recording of Barrabul-la created by this research is part of the permanent collection at the State Library of New South Wales.

Over a period of several months I implemented the characteristics of the Stuart soundscape into the accompaniments of the chant melodies. The new perspectives of clarity and the extended frequency ranges416 in the treble and bass of the Stuart piano soundscape were used to establish abstract, non-harmonic characteristics.

Abstract Non- Harmonic Stuart Piano Sounds.

Playing abstract non-harmonic sounds on the Stuart piano helped me move out of my traditional pianistic language, and more into a pure elemental interaction with ‘sound’. These new sounds engendered ideas and expanded my perspectives as a pianist and composer. My perception of the Stuart piano sound as a sound of regional significance was tested and confirmed at each collaborative session. I subsequently developed ‘regional’ associations with the accompanying piano sounds. The culture of singing the chant melodies and the playing of clap sticks yabbun417 was old, and the improvised abstract sounds were contemporary. The total feeling of this music making was about the musicians, collaborating in this place, now, yaguna.418

416 97 and 102 key compass, see in ‘Introduction’ table 0.4
417     2Troy, Panther Publishing and Printing, Canberra. [source Lt. a list in the King’s journal for which he gave Collins, Phillip, Hunter (King: 1968 p.270-274) King, Philip Gidley 1968, Lieutenant King’s journal. In 3Hunter,196-298. http://www.williamdawes.org/docs/troy_sydney_language_publication.pdf accessed August 2015.
418 Richard Green,“Dharug Dalang”August 2015. http://www.dharug.dalang.com.auCentre for Technology Information and Technoloy and Solutions, NSW Government.

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I used non-harmonic, abstract sounds in several compositions to ‘announce’ sonically a serious cultural atmosphere, for example a set of words in Sydney language, or a particular piano sound that comprises a special bi-tonal sonority. The abstract sounds set an atmosphere of sound that is different to the European tempered system. For me, these sounds depict the age and size of Australia’s natural environments and also the deep unlocking of emotions experienced in many non- Indigenous Australians when a meaningful cultural exchange occurs between themselves and the first peoples, with an awe-inspiring simplicity and generosity. The Stuart piano sound is able to produce sustained abstract non-harmonic sounds whilst phrases are simultaneously played in higher registers with a clearer outcome of tonal balance than the modern piano. The tests in chapter four, found that the rates of decay of the Stuart partials within the harmonic spectrum decayed uniformly slower after .5s, across the spectrum than in the sound of the modern piano, which produced a more stable definable sound.

Four abstract Stuart piano sounds are illustrated here in the contexts of music composed for this research. Pemulwuy is composed by Marlene Cummins. Wirritjirribin is composed by Matthew Doyle.

Abstract Sound 1:
Guyanaya Bayui, old people, future.

Gyanaya Bayui
Sound table 6.21

In the introduction of ‘Guyanaylung Bayui’ the sustain of the low non-descript pitches is aided by the selected sustain of the sostenuto pedal. Before the sound is heard, the select keys are gently depressed on the keyboard, without the hammers striking the strings, and the sostenuto pedal opens the dampers for these selected notes. The sound is generated by the strike of the soft palm of the pianist’s left hand onto the strings of the selected group or cluster of low notes, the sostenuto pedal lifts the dampers of the selected notes, marked sost on the score, so only the sounds of these frequencies are heard in the low sustained sound, whilst the higher notes are not sustained. The high tremolo and the magpie call played in the higher register are clearly heard whilst the lower frequencies are sustained. The sostento pedal is standard on all modern pianos.419 The effect of the contrast of a selective sustain of low frequencies with the simultaneous sound of notes of the higher frequencies being sustained by the damper pedal, is particularly clear in the Stuart piano sound because of its more stable vertical tonal balance, ie the partials in the sound are decaying at slower rates, and subsequently are sonically more defined. Details of these characteristics of the Stuart sound are presented throughout chapter four.

The particular piano sounds for the compositions Guyanaylung Bayui and Byal-la were developed on the 102 keyed Stuart piano using the extremities of the expanded compass, from the lowest C 16Hz and the highest F, 5587.65 Hz.

419 The Sostenuto pedal is positioned between the damper sustain pedal on the right, and the una corda pedal on the left. The Stuart piano has an extra pedal to the left of the una corda, the dolce pedal.

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w

The deep sounds represent age, deep earth, a majestic spirit of the land, and the high sounds represent the cleansing sounds of shells, river stones and rustling leaves. The high sounds also represent new life, and youth. In Guyanaylung, descendant of the first people of Sydney, Buruberongal song man Richard Green calls to the magpie, Wilbung –magpie, Ngninyah- coming down and buruwan –up, Yenmala – let’s walk Bangun- making something.

e

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Sound 2 : Byal-la, to speak.

Byalla excerpt
Sound table 6.22

The music for ‘Byal-la’ was composed to the words of Woollarawarre Bennelong420 , dictated to the letter scribe in Government House Sydney in 1796.

The publication of Bennelong’s letter makes him the first Aboriginal author to appear in print and is the first example of a text in English by an indigenous Australian. His words express a very personal and authentic Aboriginal “voice”, so elusive in the official record.421

I performed ‘Byal-la’ with Richard Green at the Message Sticks Festival, Sydney Opera House , in 2013, to commemorate Wollarawarre Bennelong’s 200th anniversary of his death, 1813. The song begins with the selectively sustained notes, described in Guyanaylung, though here these notes are strummed by the pianist’s left hand, at fortissimo across the bass strings. Richard Green’s non-pitched vibrating vocal sound is a traditional cleansing sound that deepens the ceremonial effect of the introduction, and has secret business significance. The highest note of the Stuart is sounded in rapid repetition, depicting sounds of ceremonial shells.

The descending phrase in the treble at mm.3,423 is derived from the occurrence in Aboriginal traditional vocal melodies of descending stepwise sequences of notes. in

The music begins with a high note, and gradually sinks to the octave,424
This they begin at the top of their voices, and continue as long as they

420Keith Vincent Smith, Woollarawarre Bennelong, Dictionary of Sydney, 2013, http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/woollarawarre_bennelong, viewed 09 February 2015.
421Keith Vincent Smith,“Bennelong’s letter expresses authentic Aboriginal voice,”The Australian newspaper, Dec. 29th, 2012, Arts Review. 2ndry Source: Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal literature.(Anthology of Australian Aboriginal literature) edited by Anita Heiss and Peter Minter ; general editor, Nicholas Jose.Montréal : McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.
422Message Sticks Festival 2013: http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/About/13EventMediaRelease_MessageSticks2013.aspx Jill Stubington, “North Australian Aboriginal Music”, in: Australian Aboriginal Music, Aboriginal Artisits Agency Ltd. Australia. Isaacs, J. (ed) , 1979. http://www.manikay.com/library/north_australia_music.shtml
423 mm. is acronym for bar No. mm.3 =‘measure No. 3’, see key p.45
424     3Field, 433- 434.

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can in one breath, sinking to the lowest note,425
‘Terraced melody’ of 3 sections of a small song: The first section identifies the upper main notes; the second section if relevant, contains the main melodic descent; and the third section identifies the final note.426

Margaret Clunies Ross associates breathing cycles with the descending pitch sequences in Aboriginal traditional music. 427 The timbre of this descending phrase on the Stuart piano is enhanced by the simultaneous engagement of both the una corda and dolce pedals, by the pianist’s left foot. An increase of clarity and sustain in mm.6 is enhanced by the singularly engaged una corda pedal.

Sound 3 : Pemulwuy

Pemulwuy excerpt
Sound table 6.23

Composed and performed by Marlene Cummins428 . Marlene is a descendant of the Guguyelandji and Woppaburra 429 peoples in far Nrth Queensland. She has been settled in the Sydney region for several decades and is an identity of Sydney. Marlene has contributed as an Aboriginal elder to the OUR MUSIC festivals and workshops for this research program. Her tune, ‘Pemulwuy’ is an eight bar blues, introduced as ‘with this I impart to you the blues of my country’ 430

sd

The extreme registers of the 97 key Stuart piano are used to create abstract sounds of both soft ethereal and loud violent, depicting the battles and anguish of Pemulwuy’s431 resistance to the colonisation of the 1790s. The lowest note F0 21.85 Hz and the highest note F8 5587.65 Hz are featured in these sounds. The pianist strikes selectively sustained 432 bass strings of the lowest Stuart piano notes with their knuckle and palm.

425     4Collins, 394.
426     3Ellis, 90.
427 Margaret Clunies Ross, Songs Of Aboriginal Australia (NSW: University of Sydney,1987) ,127 ; 4Collins, volume 2: online text, 166:http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/colacc2.pdfSource: 2Skinner, 63-64 ; 3. 2 Stubington.
428Thomas, S. “Black Panther woman Marlene Cummins breaks silence on fight for freedom”Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, 7th June,2014. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/black-panther-woman-marlene-cummins- breaks-silence-on-fight-for-freedom-20140606-39okl.html#ixzz3kM9DEKtn accessed 7th June 2014.
429Marlene Cummins, “Introduction To Woopaburra History” video, Australian Museum, http://australianmuseum.net.au/movie/introduction-woppaburra-historyaccessed 31st August, 2015.
430 Marlene Cummins, performed her song ‘Pemulwy’ at the OUR MUSIC festival concerts and workshops, 26th& 30th June 2012, at the Sydney Conservatoium of Music www.deepeninghistories.anu.edu.au/sites/music-day accessed 31st Aug 2015. OUR MUSIC-http://music.sydney.edu.au/our-music/
431James L. Kohen, ‘Pemulwuy (1750–1802)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pemulwuy-13147/text23797, published first in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 27th August 2015.
432Sostenuto pedal see p.15

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Sound 4. Wirritjirribin,

creation story of the lyrebird

Wirrijirribin excerpt
Sound table 6.24

Aboriginal performer Matthew Doyle was raised in the south western Dharawal region of Sydney, and has been given custodial permissions to sing the cultural Dharawal story Wirritjirribin , the creation story of the Lyrebird. The ambient atmospheric introduction is played with extra space, and rubato.

Stuart piano sets the atmosphere of the ‘d’ tonality with the very low A0 and D1 notes. The selective abstract sustain sounds frequencies two octaves below the yidaki pitch. The highest note of the Stuart piano, f8 is heard in the high ‘shell’ rattling sounds.

Yabun Yaguna, music today.

Yabun Yaguna is a set of compositions that portray my perceptions of the Stuart piano sound, and how I have interacted these musically with the Indigenous culture of our modern society. Each piece of music is composed for the collaborations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians. The uniquely Australian sound of the Stuart piano has encouraged me to look more deeply into what my notions of contemporary Australian music are. With the use of its modern soundscape, I have built myself a musical world in which I can improvise collaboratively with Indigenous musicians. In doing so, I have experienced the beauty of our cross-cultural society.

Over fifty Indigenous musicians have collaborated in the music of Yabun Yaguna. As part of this experience, I have produced two Indigenous music festivals entitled OUR MUSIC- performing place, listening to Sydney at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. For these performances, a Stuart piano was ceremonially painted by the Paakantjy and Ngiyampaa students of Menindee Central School.

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Aboriginal chants and the legendary letter of 1796 by Woollarawarree Bennelong were used the primary music sources of Yabun Yaguna. Three chants are derived from the Sydney region and one from the Paakantjy Menindee region. The preparations and performances of the historic Aboriginal music were conducted with respectful acknowledgement of Indigenous elders past and present. All people of the Aboriginal Clans and Communities in Sydney and New South Wales were invited to attend the performances and OUR MUSIC workshops. Thank you to Kayleen Kirwin , Margaret Gummow433 and A.I.A.T.S.I.S434. for granting me access to the Paakantji Cooroborre melody, for the piece Menindee Bop .Thank you also to Sandra Lee, Vic Simms, Chicka Madden, Richard Green, Deborah Cheetham AO and Donna Ingram, for their welcomes and acknowledgements of Country at the performances.

The Yabun Yaguna music presented in this paper is compiled into four sections of composition:-

i) Yabun Yaguna Wuganmaguly series of pieces which are derived from Sydney chants and
ii) OUR MUSIC- performing place, listening to Sydney. –Indigenous music festivals
iii) The Painted Piano Suite – Menindee Central School
iv) Wirritjirribin- a Dharawal lyrebird creation story

433 Margaret Gummow, Aboriginal Music of NSWGUMMOW_M02(Australia: AIATSIS Mura Collections Catalogue. 1984).
434 Australian Institue Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

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Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya

Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya was created to embody the chants within a setting of contemporary composition and improvisation.

music yabun, now yaguna, at Farm Cove – Wuganmagulya. (woggan-ma-gule)

The Sydney language words used in these compositions have been sourced from the compilations by Jakelin Troy’s ‘The Sydney Language’435 Richard Green & UNSW Dharug Dalang436 and Jeremy Steele437 The original sources for the words are found in: William Dawes438 , David Collins439 , Watkin Tench440 , John Hunter441 , and RH Mathews442 .

Jakelin Troy uses John Hunter’s illustration of ‘Wa-ra-ta’ as a symbol of hope, for the resurrection of the Indigenous languages of Sydney443 .

The title Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya emphasises the contemporary nature of these collaborations ‘in this moment of time’, yaguna. The interesting historical chants are presented in Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya as modern music of this time, emphasising that the Aboriginal culture is not only found in history, but rather is thriving in the present. The collaborating musicians are active performing artists in the contemporary Sydney music scene and they express their contemporary visions in their performances of Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya. The Stuart piano is a product of a modern highly

435     3Jackelin Troy, Australian Journal of Linguistics, vol. 12, 145-170.
436     2Richard Green,
437 Jeremy Steele,“A Partial Reconstruction of the Indigenous language of Sydney based on the notebooks of William Dawes of 1790-91”( PhD diss.Macquarie University, Sydney, 2005).
4382Dawes.
439     5 Collins.
440     2 Tench.1979 [1789, 1793].
441     2Hunter.
442 Mathews, R.H.1903, “The Dharruk language”. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 35, 155-160.
443     4Troy, 4
444 Hunter, John, 1737-1821. Birds & flowers of New South Wales drawn on the spot in 1788, ’89 & ’90.Rex Nan Kivell Collection ; NK2039/62. Permission for reproduction from National Library of Ausralia.CD-7263389

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technical society, made with a vision to ‘sound’ new contemporary music. The place where this research and collaborations occurred, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is a modern music school, situated on the western ridge of Farm Cove, a place of Sydney where traditional Aboriginal corroborees took place. The rediscovery, re-composition and performance of the chants, is also presented within a contemporary music practice, as new music. It is a contemporary characteristic of today’s society that the recognition and enquiry into the Aboriginal way of life that existed before white settlement in Sydney, is important to the general national cultural awareness. Other contemporary issues of national identity, the ecology of the environment, and the diversity of cultures cohabitating in Australia each are associated with the need to recognise and collaborate with the first peoples. It is new in the Australian mainstream perception to recognise the Indigenous notion of being ‘in country’. In a recent radio interview, the popular Indigenous presenter-writer Stan Grant whilst musing on the recent book by Tim Winton ‘Island Home’445 stated that he believes we all have the potential to become Indigenous, if we are formed [informed] by the land, to feel we are ‘in county’ not in a country. He mentions white Australians who love the land in his opinion do become ‘Indigenous’

‘they become Indigenous…. the land has informed their lives’446

The musical settings of the historic chants in the Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya series have enabled my collaboration with Aboriginal musicians to be both cultural and musical. Even though the manuscripts were transcribed by Europeans and their authenticity is regularly questioned, the experience of working with these materials collaboratively was culturally beneficial to each of us.

These pieces have provided a musical environment for me to present the chants in an improvisatory manner, which suits the way I make music. The pieces signify my entry into collaborative performance and composition of Indigenous music with Indigenous musicians. The compositional ideas were established by improvising the chant melodies on Stuart & Sons pianos, with Indigenous performers Clarence Slockee, Richard Green, Matthew Doyle, Marlene Cummins and Brenda Gifford, in so-called rehearsal sessions. These sessions were really times of collaboration and learning. Musical sketches were jotted down when resonant connections occurred in the improvisations. The Indigenous musical vocabulary of Stuart piano sounds was developed to depict Indigenous contexts for the chant accompaniments. These sounds were developed into the complete compositions of Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya:
Ancient & New
Timelines
Barrabul-la Voices
Guyanalung Bayui , old people, future
Byal-la, to speak

The uniquely expanded ranges of tone, register and dynamics of the Stuart piano sound are deployed throughout Yabun Yaguna Wuganmagulya.

445Stan Grant,speaking on ‘Mornings’ Linda MottromABCRadio 702, 13th October, 2015.
446 Stan Grant,speaking on ‘Mornings’ Linda MottromABCRadio 702, 13th October, 2015.

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The first three pieces – Ancient & New, Timelines and Barrabul-la Voices are scored in detail and performed exactly as scored. The chants are sung by Indigenous singers Clarence Slockee and Matthew Doyle as notated in the score. Indigenous saxophonist Brenda Gifford plays the Barrabull-la chant as per the original transcription in Barrabul-la Voices. The chants and accompaniments are improvised in the fourth piece, Guyanalung Bayui .The score of Guyanalung Bayui is therefore a set of musical cues from which the durations of actual playing and singing are improvised by myself and Richard Green. As previously noted, in the preparatory sessions, Richard Green would always improvise the rhythm and pitch of the chants, whereas Clarence, Matthew and Brenda were more interested in musically interpreting the actual transcriptions.

These compositions portray my current musical approach to both performance and composition that focuses on both the sounds of the Stuart piano and the aesthetics of knowing and performing Aboriginal music with Aboriginal performers. Essentially I am a jazz musician, having experienced my musical life through jazz performance and composition. My practice of improvisation, developed in jazz style, has enabled me to adapt to many other styles of music performance. So here, I have adapted my musical language to two new paradigms, the Stuart piano sounds, and Aboriginal music. Music that serves a cultural function, as Aboriginal music traditionally does,447 has interested me over many years of playing church music, music in hospitals, prisons, that is, the functions of music for assisting in medical healing, mental diversion, education and worship. Viewing music from the perspective of its social function places less emphasis on individual performance and more emphasis on what the community role music making has in the community.

I have investigated the functional or elemental sound of the Stuart piano and creatively developed musical associations with its qualities of sound and my national musical identity. I therefore interpret the Stuart & Sons piano as a significant ‘Australian’ instrument in these works, which informs me of Australian qualities of sound. In a similar sense, traditional Aboriginal music is often described as having a function of a repository of cultural knowledge used to store, inform and confirm cultural identity.448

447     4Ellis, 16-18.
448     5Ellis, 16-18.

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Audio / Visual / Score resources.

Audio, Video and Music Scores of compositions are presented in a variety of mediums.
Video footage (perf.) ; Studio recording audio (std.rec) ; Score (p.) (mm.)
The detailed descriptions of the music will reference to the particular duration ( _ _m : _ _s ) of the Video footage (perf.) ; Studio recording audio (std.rec) and bar number (mm.) of the Score.
The scores of music manuscript are filed in a separate folio Yabun Yaguna Scores.

‘Yabun Yaguna Scores key’ .

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Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya series.

Ancient & New (No. 1)

Ancient & New is presented and discussed here in two forms, a studio recording and live performance Ancient & New is the first composition of the Yabun Yaguna series , it musically depicts my feelings of enthused anticipation in planning the initial collaborations with Aboriginal performers. In anticipation of associating with and experiencing something of the Aboriginal sensibilities of Sydney through the historic chants, I included two cultural spiritual themes that are part of my spiritual culture – ‘Love Our Light’ and ‘O Sacrum Convivium’. My spiritual culture is Roman Catholic, and therefore is connected with the Christian ritual the mass. The juxtaposition of the Aboriginal chants with my Catholic themes creates an interesting tension, evident in the studio recording. Ancient & New portrays sounds of initial efforts by people of European heritage to learn Aboriginal language in an attempt to understand more about the first peoples’ cultures. We naturally imagine this image is associated with the first contact in 1788 at Farm Cove, the first fleet journal writers, W. Dawes, D. Collins and W. Tench, and those that followed. The music settings are effective if the subjects of reference are the people of European heritage in today’s yaguna Sydney community. Scored for both Aboriginal voices and European voices, the piece was planned to exhibit a successful union between the cultures. The Aboriginal voices and clapping sticks are not present in the studio recording which adds to a vulnerability in the sound of the European voices, as they adapt awkwardly to new (old) Aboriginal words, especially coo-ee. The atmosphere of the piece is altogether different in the live performance which includes the Aboriginal lead voice, clapping sticks and dance of Clarence Slockee, depicting an active fusion of cultures.

Music which depicts European spiritual ritual, flowing Sydney water, wind and storms and Aboriginal chants are interwoven throughout Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya No.1, Ancient & New. The music for vibraphone and Stuart piano is written to exhibit the tonal contrasts and similarities of both instruments. The metallic characteristics of the vibraphone sound blends with the stable sustain of the Stuart sound. Both the vibraphone and piano music is improvised in sections. Daryl Praat and myself are experienced improvisers. Darryl also adds the percussive sounds of the thunder sheet and rain stick.

Ancient & New Yabun Yaguna, Wuanmagulya No1.
Score: Appendix 8 p.34 Ancient & New Score
Audio Recording: Ancient & New.wav
Performance footage: Ancient & New performance video
Audio visual table 6.1

Score: mm.1-52. Studio rec: 00 – 3:57 ; Live performance footage: 00 – 04:01
The elements water, wind, storms are depicted in the music of the introduction, portraying commonplace routine interaction of the natural environment before colonization. A European Christian spiritual theme Love Our Light is improvised on the piano and vibraphone, against a background of elemental sounds. The metre of the theme transitions from rubato free metre to 5/8 (mm.9; perf.2:00; std.rec 1:59).

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The 5/8 metre is returned to later in the piece when the ‘Love Our Light’ theme is restated. The Stuart piano and vibraphone also improvise on elemental – environmental subjects. Sonorous bi-tonal triadic clusters are improvised over the distinctive indigenous communicative phrase adopted by the Europeans ‘coo-ee’. The Coo-ees are sung by the European singers.

Re-composed Barrabul-la chant

Score: mm. 53-64; Studio rec: 4:39 ; Live performance footage: 04:42

Piano & Vibraphone improvisation
Score: mm. 65 Studio rec: 05:57 Live performance footage: 05:48
The improvisation of the piano and vibraphone is agitated, and leads to a dissonant bi-tonal triadic cluster chord , of two disparate keys, Eb and E major. This pre-empts the sounding of Bennelong’s Barrabul-la chant transcription of (1793). The sound of the Stuart piano sustaining the Eb major triad over an E major triad combines with the vibraphone, and holds a suspended stable sustain of the dissonance. The Eb & E cluster is used to accompany the original chant Barrabul-la.

Barrabul-la chant transcription.
Score: mm. 69 Studio rec: 06:27 Live performance footage: 06:17
The Edward Jones’s transcription of the Barrabul-la chant as sung by Woollarawarre Bennelong and his young kinsman Yemmerawanne in 1793 is sung in the studio recording of Ancient & New by the male European singers starting at mm.5 of the Collins transcript. The piano accompaniment of the chant melody consists of four sustained double triad chords. The dissonance of the accompaniment chords is compounded further when the female European singers join in. (mm.77; std.rec 6:56; perf 6:43)

Traditional chant Chant Score: mm.98 Studio rec: 06:27 Live performance footage: 07:43
Pierre-Francis Bernier’s transcription of Chant in Sydney harbour in 1802, is sung by the female European singers. The notated Chant is set chorally more harmoniously than Barrabul-la in Ancient & New, and followed by a tranquil improvisation on the Stuart piano, at mm.106; 09:18 rec, and 08:56 in the live performance.

‘Love Our Light’ Score: mm.109 Studio rec: 06:27 Live performance footage: 10:07
T metre of 5/8 introduces a European spiritual aspect of ‘light’, sung by supernatural beings. As this theme develops, clapping sticks are added to the theme at mm.163.

Harry’s (Coorangie) Chant mm.166 Std.rec: 09:32 perf 11:52
Harry’s chant transcribed by Barron Field in Sydney and published in 1822, is blended with the Love Our Light Christian theme. The chant melody is played in the left hand, whilst the right hand plays the main melodic riff of the Love Our Light theme. Harry’s Chant is played as a solo piano piece in the studio recording and sung by Clarence Slockee in the live performance.

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Olivier Messiaen’s Christian motet O Sacrum Convivium.
Score: mm.192- 247 Studio recording: 12:58 (rec.) Live performance footage: 12:40 (lv ft.)
The motet is improvised by the vibraphone and piano in a lively informal manner until Messiaen’s Alleluia is played at mm.207, 13:25 lv ft. and 13:41 rec. The Alleluia leads to the original setting of Messiaen’s choral motet with improvised interjections of improvised piano, clapping sticks, vibraphone, and bells. The piece ends with a blend of ceremonial sounds –the Indigenous clapping sticks, accompanying the European bell peal.

Timelines (No.2)

Timelines Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya No.2
Score: Timelines Score Appendix 8 p.399
Audio Recording: Timelines std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Timelines performance video
Audio visual table 6.2

Score: mm.1- 131. Studio rec: 11:11; Live performance footage: 09:12
The studio recording of Timelines for single voice and piano begins with the Love Our Light theme featured in Ancient & New. The sounds of the notated score music begins at 1:00. in the Timelines studio recording.

The Timelines score opens with a sequenced arpeggiated triadic phrase that spans the entire compass of the Stuart piano range. The unique tonal and frequency ranges of the Stuart piano sound are heard in this sequenced phrase of two major triads ascending, and three chromatic triads descending.

D, C, Ab major triads ascending, G, Gb, F major triads descending
Score mm. 1- 11; std.rec 1:00 – 2:12; perf 00- 1:12

F , Eb ,B major triads ascending, Bb, A, Ab major triads descending
Score mm. 19-26; std.rec 2:40 – 3:40; perf 1:35 – 2:01

The F& Eb major ascending phrase reaches the highest F8 note of the
102 Stuart compass, mm.22

A seven bar interlude between the phrases, mm.12-18, features the timbre change of the una corda (U.C.) pedal. This phrase is voiced by chords comprising of the same major triads used in the arpeggiated triadic phrase. Each chord comprises of two triads, of two key centres either a whole tone or a semi-tone apart. The dissonance and consonance that occurs in the resonances of these chords exhibit the characteristic resonances of the Stuart sound, with the slower more stable sustain observed consistently in the tests of chapter four

In the live performance the chant metre transitions dramatically from the 5/8 to 4/4 (7:23), and is set in the phrygian mode. The phrygian mode is also the mode of Edward Collin’s Barrabul-la transcription. The chant in 4/4 builds dramatically to a ‘coo-ee’ finish. The studio recording maintains the 5/8 pulse of Harry’s Chant to the end.

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Score mm. 12-18; std.rec 2:12- 2:40 ; perf 1:11 – 1:34.

In each of the versions of Timelines, Clarence Slockee and Matthew Doyle improvise in Sydney language, over the seven bar interlude:

Na lu yan ya gul ‘let’s go, walk together,
Garrabarra yiribana Barray bagu ‘we sing and dance today for tomorrow

A rhythmic vamp over a bass pedal ‘F’ follows (mm.27; std.rec 3:40; perf. 2:02) and provides a rhythmic release from the ‘repository’ of music subjects. This passage just lets music flow for its own sake. This passage is a creative space for the jazz pianist to evoke the stylistic-blend of blues, folk and gospel innovated in of the 1970s by pianist Keith Jarrett.449

A softer reflective passage also over a pedal features the timbre change of the una corda pedal. (mm.41-47; std.rec 3:40; perf. 2:47) The left hand, bass register is improvised. The Indigenous singer talks in Sydney language, about everyday things, today yagunia, yiaburra …., we’ll fish magari….,.long time tarinmi…. dudyibalng Gadigal Eora ……… acknowledge the people…. eh….did-yerre -goor ……. no more, Burramatta ……… im Gadigal……….. Biir Birra gal – clan names.
In the live performance (perf. 2:47-3:24), at 3:24 the distinctive sound of the lowest G0 of the Stuart piano is sounded in the improvisation.

Barrabul-la Chant : Score mm. 49-69; std.rec 5:24- 7:05 ; perf 3:43 -4:43
Edward Jones’s transcription of the Barrabul-la chant sung by Woollarawarre Bennelong and his young kinsman Yemmerawanne in 1793 is sung by Clarence Slockee in the live performance (perf.3:40) and Matthew Doyle in the studio recording (std.rec 5:24), starting at mm.5 of the Collins transcription.

Chant mm.70 std.rec7:06 perf.4:45-5:36
Pierre-Francis Bernier’s transcription of Chant, is played on the Stuart piano with the combination of the dolce and una corda pedals, for a very soft, legato sound-
Love Our Light + Harry’s Chant. mm.77; std.rec 8:40; perf. 5:37;
The ‘Love Our Light’ theme heard in Ancient & New is set here in F# major with for the Jazz Trio in 5/8 metre. The piano music is improvised joyously, embarking on an anticpated cross-cultural interaction, the cohabitation of European music with Sydney’s Aboriginal music in the form of Harry’s Chant. The clapping sticks evoke the union in the studio recording. (std.rec 8:40) The bass and drums of the jazz trio evoke the union in the live performance, (perf. 5:44). Harry’s Chant is sung by Clarence Slockee in the live performance, (perf. 6:15), and by Matthew Doyle in the studio recording (std.rec 9:30). The bright sonorous key of F# major is adopted from the key of Messiaen’s motet used in Ancient & New.

449 Keith Jarrett, Bremen/ Lausanne, Recorded 1973 ECM 1035/1036/1037, 1973, Compact disc.

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Barrabul-la Voices (No.3)

Barrabul-la Voices Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya No.3
Score prt.1: Barrabul-la Voices score prt1 Appendix 8 p.402
Score prt.2: Barrabul-la Voices score prt2 Appendix 8 p.413
Audio Recording: prt.1 Barrabul-la Voices prt1 std.rec.wav
Audio Recording: prt.2 Barrabul-la Voices prt2 std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Barrabul-la Voices performance video
Audio visual table 6.3

Score: prt1. mm.1- 62. Studio rec prt.1 : 3:37; Live performance prt.1 : 3:36
Score: prt.2 mm.1- 67. Studio rec prt. 2 : 4:05

Barrabul-la Voices uses the distinctive quality of the Stuart piano tone. The sound of the onset of the Stuart note was found to be more percussive than that of the modern piano in comparative tests of chapter four. A wider harmonic array of the spectrum of harmonics sounded consistently at the beginning of the Stuart piano sound. In Barrabul-la Voices we hear this aspect of tone production influencing the distinctive clarity in the sound of the melodic piano phrases.

In Barrabul-la Voices a parallel melodic line was composed for the Stuart piano to sound ‘in duet’ with E. Collins’s 1793 transcription of the Barrabul-la chant melody. In part 1, the chant is sung by Clarence Slockee and Matthew Doyle. In part 2 the chant melody is played by tenor saxophonist Brenda Gifford, and sung by Matthew Doyle. The ‘European’ singers of Ancient & New provide a choral four part ambience in part 1. The clapping sticks are featured throughout parts 1 & 2. Part 2 was not performed live.

Barrabul-la Voices part 1. Score: mm.1- 62. Studio rec: 3:37; Live performance footage: 3:36
The first stanza of the Barrabul-la chant melody is sung 3 times by Clarence Slockee before the whole chant is heard. The repeated sounding of the first stanza enables the piano line, the choral ambience and the irregular clapping stick phrases to establish as equal parts in the collective ensemble sound, before the complete chant is sung. The composed ensemble sound is ritualistic, with minimal dynamic changes throughout. The piano line is played in the manner of an improvised vocal line. The occasional chordal rest points in the piano line, feature the colourful chords of D phrygian.

A re-composition of the chant melody occurs at mm.27 (2:10 std.rec; 2:24 perf. 2:10) with a descending line spanning the range of the complete seven note D phrygian mode from D to Eb . The line begins using mm.18 of E.Collins’s original transcription450 , the octave leap high point of the chant line, and descends through the D phygian in the similar stepwise motion of the transcription. The high point of Collin’s transcription is then repeated, as a call, before the complete descending line is sounded a second time.

450see Barraabul-la extract p.221.

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Barrabul-la Voices part 2. Score: mm.1- 67. Studio rec: 4:05;

Brenda Gifford plays the Barrabul-la chant melody in a similar mood and tempo to the vocal interpretation in prt.1. Brenda, an Indigenous Yuin nation woman, describes her saxophone as a ‘women’s didge’. In the second section of part two (mm.40- 62) the saxophone accentuates sounds didgeridoo-like tones in low registers.

The Barrabul-la chant is re-composed into a 6/4 metre (mm.38; std.rec 1:53) In the metre of 6, the text has natural syllabic rhythm:

The descending chant melody is re-composed into the lydian mode (mm.52; std rec. 3:07). The Barrabul-la chant sounds relaxed, calm even romantic in the lydian mode.

Guyanaylung Bayui (No.4)

Score: mm.1- 44; Studio rec: 7:26 ; Live performance: 6:27

Guyanaylung Bayui Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya No.4
Score: Guyanaylung impro score Appendix 8 p. 422
Audio Recording: Guyanaylung std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Guyanaylung performance video
Audio visual table 6.4

Guyanaylung Bayui is an improvisation on the composed musical statements in the previous pieces of the Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya series. The three Sydney chants are not sung from the transcriptions, but rather are improvised by singer Richard Green. Richard has given this piece its title, Guyanaylung Bayui, which means ‘the old people and our future’. His spoken words in each performance generally describe natural elements of the environment and the change when the large canoes mari nawi of the first fleet started arriving in Sydney Harbour in 1788.

The score for Guyanaylung Bayui consists of musical cues for each improvised section, notated in the order they appear in the performance. The cued sections are the musical themes previously heard in songs 1-3. The tempos and harmony are set in the score, though variations in the harmony occur in each performance. The durations, pitch and text of each section changes with each performance of Guyanaylung Bayui .The musical imagery in Guyanaylung Bayui is similar to pieces 1-3 in Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya series.

Cue 1: mm. 1- 6 The environmental imagery of song No 1 Ancient & New is repeated in Guyanaylung Bayui with the extreme ranges of the Stuart piano create the natural, abstract ambience. The setting up

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of the sostenuto selective sustain in the lowest notes is occurring 00:15-:21 on the footage of the live performance. At approximately 00:22 I reach into the strings to strike the low string cluster with the palm of my hand, whilst rattling the highest strings. I then play the magpie call with the left hand whilst continuing the ‘shells’ rattle on the highest notes,F8.

Wilbung –magpie Ngninyah- coming down and buruwan – up Yenmala – let’s walk Bangun- making something

Cue 2 & 3: mm.8- 10 The arpeggiated triadic phrase originally heard in Timelines is improvised and understated. The titled words are sung ‘Guya nay lun’ (Std.rec 00:56; perf. 00:54)

Cue 4: mm. 11 A striking difference in the Stuart piano timbre occurs at 1:08 after a short abrupt fortissimo bluesy phrase, both the dolce and una corda pedals are engaged fully for the soft double triad chords. This is a clear indication of the wide dynamic range of the Stuart soundscape.

Guwuwi ngalawayu naa… wawa… nin birrung-wa gili-bu
Come here sit look… at… the stars on shining451
‘Naala ni nin’ – look see
‘Guwuwi ngalawayu’- come here sit, look

Cue 5 &6: mm.12-14 . The Timelines arpeggiated triadic phrase is repeated in F major, and the title is sung again.

Cue 7: The ‘gospel’ piano vamp- improvisation and clapping sticks. The improvising in the live performance (2:14). The lowest notes C0 of the Stuart 102 keys, are struck aggressively producing a percussive non-traditional piano sound.

Cue 8: soft reflective arpeggiated sound – using both the dolce and una corda pedals.

Naala ni nin mari nawi garragarang-wa, Garrawuy wumara waru nin mari nawi, wumara dane nin guyanayulyung nura-wa.
Look see the big canoe on the sea, white cockatoo flying in and around the big canoe, flying for ol’ people on country452

Cue 9+10: mm.19 The Barrabul-la chant is improvised on the piano, referencing closely phrases from the E. Collins transcription of Bennelong and Yemmerawanne’s performance in 1793. Richard Green improvises Barrabul-la in a ‘proclamation’ style in both the std.rec 3:20 and perf. 3:03.Green’s vocal line on Barrabul-la marks an interesting contrast to the E. Collins transcription. His interpretation brings the chant into the present day… with a sense of urgent importance.In the studio recording, the piano mixes the magpie call with the double triad chords to accompany Barrabul-la .

451     3 Richard Green, Dharug Dalang,19th October 2015.
452Ibid.

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Cue 11. mm. 10 – The Bernier transcription of Chant (mm. 30 ;std.rec 3:57; perf. 3:34) is played at a faster pace in the live performance than previously in pieces 1-3. Richard Green is evoking the women singing on the harbour, ‘singing up the fish’.
Cue 12. Piano improvisation in the lower registers, in 5/8 metre.
Cue 13. Harry’s Chant 4/4 – lower registers of the Stuart piano used percussively,
Cue 14. mm.41 Gymea! flower, Mulla! man, Mallabu! two men, Gumang! – grandfather

Byal-la , to speak (No.5)

The bass frequency sustain of the Stuart piano is clearly evident and distinctive in the final chord of the studio recording.

Byalla is a word derived from the Sydney word, biyal453 and byala 454, meaning to speak.
Byalla is the final piece of the Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya series. Byalla is a song of Wollarawarre Bennelong’s words, written in 1796. after his return from England , to Lord Sydney. In the letter Bennelong describes two events in his life that the song features in musical repetition of the words-

‘I have not my wife’ …. ‘his name is Carraway….’ ,
‘you nurse me madame…. ’ ‘we have had murray doings here’…. .

Bannalong’s Letter 1796 Fig 6.6
Wollarawarre Bennelong’s dictated these words to the Governor’s letter writing scribe in the mail room of Government House Sydney Cove.

453     5Troy, 145-170.
454     4 Richard Green,
455     Letter [manuscript] : Sydney Cove, New South Wales, to Mr Phillips 1796 Aug. 29
Source: National Library of Australia, Manuscript reference no. : NLA MS 4005

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The Sydney Aboriginal man named in the letter, Carraway456 (5th line of the handwriting below), is a young Cadigal man Caruey (White Cockatoo). The historian Keith Vincent Smith gives dramatic account, in his book Bennelong457 of Bennelong’s disputes with Caruey. Accounts of Bennelong’s simultaneous relations with two wives Kururbarabulu from the Gweagal clan in Botany Bay and Barrangaroo of the tribe of Cam-mer-ray’ centred at Kayeemy (Manly Cove)458 – Cammeragal. Bennelong was of the Wangal clan459 . Kurubarabulu (Two Firesticks) had taken up with Caruey whilst Bennelong was away in London,460 The ‘murray doings’ in the letter is reportedly about the violent process Caruey and Bennelong carried out to settle their dispute about Kurubarabulu.

Barangaroo’s name is added to the song to combine with Bennelong’s martial report, … ‘I Have Not my wife’ Barangaroo reportedly Bennelong’s second wife, had died in 1791, before the letter was scribed461 . Her name recently became well known to Sydney siders, as it is the name given to a new cultural and business district that stretches along the outer Darling Harbour waterway to the harbour edge, in the busy CDB of Sydney. This site geographically accompanies the well known Bennelong point, Tubowgulle462 the site of the Sydney Opera House, where Bennelong’s hut once stood.

In the letter Bennelong thanks Mrs Phillips for nursing him in England. Keith Vincent Smith accounts from the historic records that both Bennelong and Yemmerrawarnne had fallen ill in London, and were nursed by Governor Phillip’s wife, in Eltham, where Yemmerrawarnne eventually died in 1794.

Another facet of Bennelong’s family that is relevant to this research and many Darug people today, is that Bennelong and his last wife Boorong of the Richmond clan, had a son Dicky463 , who married a young Aboriginal girl, Maria Lock in 1822. Maria was the daughter of Yarramundi the chief of Richmond. Many Darug Sydney Aboriginal people today claim Maria Lock and Yaramundi464 as matriarchal and patriarchal figures of their lineage.

The historian Keith V. Smith, and the Darug musicians Richard Green and Christopher Sainsbury have provided me with invaluable support for this research. Their relaying of this family history has enabled me to transform it into a vibrancy of musical creativity, assisted by the unique qualities of the Stuart piano sound.

456     2 Smith Mari Nawi ,37.
457 Keith V. Smith, Bennelong (Sydney: Kangaroo Press, 2001). chpt 11.
458     2 Smith, Bennelong, chpt 11.
459     2Attenbrow. .Attenbrow’s bookSydney’s Aboriginal Pastclearly illustrates the clan names, ceremonial sites and language repositories of Sydney in the 1790s.
460     3Smith, Mawi Nawi,37.
461     4 Smith, Mawi Nawi,90.
462     3 Attenbrow, 9.source: 3 William Dawes Vocabulary of language N.S Wales,361.
463 Smith,K.V (2009) Bennelong among his people Aboriginal History 33 Australian National University ed. Peter Read.
464 Naomi Parry, ‘Lock, Maria (1805-1878)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Nationa Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lock-maria-1350/text23599 ,published first in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 23rd October, 2015.

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Byalla Yabun Yaguna, Wuganmagulya No.5
Score: Byalla score Appendix 8 p. 430
Audio Recording: Byalla std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Byalla performance video
Audio visual table 6.5

The song is composed specifically for Buruberogal song man Richard Green’s interpretation and the characteristic sounds of the Stuart piano. Richard Green introduced a traditional word to the song, wigaru465 used in the abstract interlude meaning ‘memories’. Film maker Peter McMurray466 shot and edited the Dvd.
Byalla score: mm.1-51 ; Studio rec: 6:09; Live performance dvd:6:46

Byalla is composed for piano and voice, in the style of a rock ballad, a style that suits Richard Green’s singing style. Four descending stepwise melodic lines make up the melodic structures of Byalla in a song form of Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Verse/Chorus/Interlude/Verse/Chorus-coda.

Final Chorus –Coda mm.45-46 repeated. std rec 4:37 perf. 5:03- 6:00

The song begins with the sustained low sound described earlier in this chapter as ‘Abstract Sound No1’ in the composition Guyanaylung Bayui. The sound is created by the pianist’s left hand strumming the strings at fortissimo. Richard Green’s non-pitched vibrating vocal sound is a traditional cleansing sound which adds a traditional ceremonial effect to the introduction. The highest note of the Stuart is sounded in rapid repetition, compositionally depicting sounds of ceremonial shells. The expanded ranges of pitch, tone and dynamics of the Stuart piano are implemented throughout Byalla. The abstract non harmonic sounds of the extended pitch ranges, the soft round sounds of the introduction and verses (mm.1-17) to the full fortissimo in the choruses, interlude and Coda display the wide variations of tonal colour and the dynamic sphere of the Stuart& Sons piano sound. The clarity of piano tone is distinctive to the Stuart sound in the forte dynamic, especially noticeable in the 2nd section of the Interlude- mm. 37-44; std.rec ii3:18- 3:54 ; perf. 3:45-4.22

The final verse of Byalla is sung by Richard Green in the Sydney language.

465     5RichardGreen, Dharug Dalang
466 Lumina Visual www.luminavisual.com

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OUR MUSIC – performing place listening to Sydney.

After a performance of the Yabun Yaguna pieces at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2011, Ms Julia Torpey–Hurst an Indigenous researcher in local history and place, asked me if I had plans to play the Sydney Aboriginal chants more frequently. She expressed with some urgency that young Aboriginal people needed to hear these Sydney chants. She asked me if the Conservatorium had plans to make the music more accessible to young Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people. Ms Torpey’s research was centred on gathering people’s stories who were linked in some way to the Darug and Gundungurra lands.467 , As we talked we developed the concept of OUR MUSIC- performing place, listening to Sydney. This would be a continuing event for playing and listening to local Indigenous music, and we hoped to use the Conservatorium of Music as the meeting place, seeing it was the place of research, and its significant cultural location of Sydney’s Indigenous history.468

The founding idea of OUR MUSIC was for Indigenous musicians of the Sydney region to meet, listen and play together at the Conservatorium in preparation for the OUR MUSIC day. I was therefore presented with the exciting prospect of meeting many Indigenous musicians, and introducing them to the sounds of the Stuart piano. My research plan was to develop my playing of the Stuart sound as an Australian sound. So connecting musically with Indigenous musicians and the Stuart piano was ideal for my research. We arranged a meeting of Indigenous performers at the Conservatorium and planned the first OUR MUSIC day as each person expressed an interest in attending and performing at the music day. The musicians who attended were experienced semi-professional or fully professional singer, songwriters. Subsequently the inaugural OUR MUSIC day was held on the 30th June 2012, in the Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Also attended the meeting was Dr Chris Sainsbury, head of music at Eora TAFE in Redfern Sydney. Eora TAFE specializes in music courses for Indigenous music students. Sainsbury was confident that OUR MUSIC would provide a good platform for his music students. Three Eora TAFE students studying composition with Dr Sainsbury contributed new and diverse works for the OUR MUSIC day. On the day Dr Sainsbury gave a presentation about his Regionalist 469 style of composition, demonstrating his award winning orchestral piece First Light. In 2012, Dr Chris Sainsbury became the first Indigenous PhD of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

467Western Sydney the Blue Mountain and the Southern Highlands. http://www.deepeninghistories.anu.edu.au/at-the-heart-of-it/
468 see p.25 Part II‘What We Know About This Place’
469     2 ChristopherSainsbury.

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The music performed at OUR MUSIC 2012 was a mixture of many styles. The Yabun Yaguna re-compositions of the Sydney Chants, music by the Eora TAFE composition students, Sainsbury’s contemporary classical music, and various popular music styles that ranged from rock using the larger ensemble to duets and solos. An ensemble of musicians made up of the Eora TAFE and Sydney Conservatorium music students accompanied the various soloists of the varied program.

It was at the rehearsals for this collective music ensemble where the genuine magic of OUR MUSIC was observed for the first time. The 2012 OUR MUSIC ensemble was made up of keyboard, guitar, bass, drums and saxophone students of the Conservatorium jazz faculty, with backing singers, guitarists, saxophonists and keyboard students from Eora TAFE. The ensemble was directed by each of the professional performers, as they rehearsed their particular songs. The Eora student performers each directed the rehearsals of their pieces. In several cases the Indigenous professionals knew or were even cousins of the Indigenous students, so there was much laughter and friendship in the group. It soon became evident to me by the attitude and musical input of the Conservatorium students, that this was a very significant event. In some instances, these rehearsals were the first time the Conservatorium students had met Indigenous musicians. The music produced by this creative cross-cultural collaboration was thrilling for all involved, and life changing for some.

The Painted Piano

At the very same time the preparations for OUR MUSIC 2012 were under way, Wayne Stuart suggested that a good research opportunity was on offer for me, to go to Menindee Central school, in Western New South Wales, to supervise and musically participate in the painting of a Stuart piano! Stuart had noticed in a television documentary, that the highly regarded visual artist Mr Rick Ball was directing Indigenous art students at the Menindee Central school to produce art works of a very high standard. So Stuart offered them the project of painting shaped panels that would fit on the outside of the Stuart piano cabinet. My part in the process would be to host the Menindee school painters and musicians at the approaching OUR MUSIC day in Sydney. It was planned that this would be the first occasion the school students would see their art work actually on the piano.

The photo below is of one of the panels which is fastened onto the side of the piano cabinet. Art students Travis Philp and Shane Blore had been at work on this particular part of the panel.

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Rick Ball says-

I believe education is about their nervous system, gifted by all their ancestors. I encourage students of all ages to explore what they CAN do, and to ignore what they can’t, as that is someone else’s business. What they can do with this gift has drawn extraordinary responses from Sydney’s established art community, and overseas.470

Paakantji elder and language teacher Kayleen Kirwin ‘commented in an interview for a documentary that ‘the art works are linking them back to their country.’471

Peter McMurray and Lumina Films produced a short film about the painting of the piano. It opens with Rick Ball the talking about his students, and how they are instinctively producing art in their cultural and regional traditions that date back many thousands of years.

The Painted Piano Clip
Video: The Painted Piano.mov
Audio visual table 6.6

Menindee school’s music teacher Helen Bub-Connor produced a performance piece entitled Menindee Bop. This piece was composed for the Menindee students to perform at OUR MUSIC, which was also the first concert appearance of their Painted Piano. The piece features myself and four young keyboard players, a student percussion group complete with tennis balls, and the Menindee Community Choir. The painting of the piano panels at Menindee Central School took place over a series of three days. As with many high school buildings, the music and art rooms were adjoined. The door between the two rooms was left open and as the art students painted and the music students rehearsed the beginnings of Menindee Bop.

470Lumina Visual Film documentary , yet to be released. http://www.luminavisual.com/
471 ibid

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Menindee Bop
Score: Menindee Bop Appendix 8 p. 438
Audio Recording: Menindee Bop std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Menindee Bop performance video
Audio visual table 6.7

Viewing the performance footage of Menindee Bop above,( USB 6.2, trk 20 Menindee Bop .mov) it is clear that Helen Bub–Connor conducting, knows how to keep the young students focused, …. by bringing a game into music performance! To begin the piece, a multi skilled student percussionist had to ricochet a tennis ball onto the keys of the painted piano. Ms Bub-Connor would throw the ball to the students positioned on stage, close to the piano. they were then required to ricochet the ball from off their djembe drum onto the piano keys! Sometimes it took awhile for the piece to begin.

After the ball had struck the piano, three student pianists improvised with me on variations of a Paakantji corroboree song472 . These improvisations continue throughout the piece. The rhythm is provided by the djembe players with a pre-recorded rhythm track that combined to produce the gradual crescendo. After the peak of intensity, the Menindee women begin to sing a chant melody about their land, composed by Helen Bub-Connor. The chant uses the Paakantji words marnti ngamakana – ground of our mother, and kirra kirra ngamakana – country of our mother. After several repeats of the chant….suddenly, the painted piano boogie starts up and the choir sings ‘got to get to Sydney, to hear that piano groove’. It was clear we were uplifted by the spirit of the Menindee folks’ contributions to OUR MUSIC ‘12 that day.

I composed the Painted Piano Suite as a tribute to the young artists of Menindee central school. The dynamism at which they took to the task of painting the piano panels was breathtaking. I know their teacher Rick Ball was very proud.

Swirls – The Painted Piano Suite
Score: Swirls Appendix 8 p. 443
Audio Recording: Swirls std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Swirls video
Audio visual table 6.8

The first movement Swirls musically depicts the energy and the sense of movement in the paintings. I have been inspired to compose music on the Stuart piano that compliments the swirling figures in the paintings. They seem to describe youthful boldness and a sense of grounded natural energy. Some of the images are illustrated in the file Swirls.mov. (file 24 of the USB 6.2) The musical swirls are energized and powerful. The vibrant energy in the music is sustained for the entire movement.

Thanksgiving – The Painted Piano Suite
Score: Thanksgiving Appendix 8 p. 447
Audio Recording: Thanksgiving std.rec.wav
Performance footage: Thanksgiving video
Audio visual table 6.9

472     2Gummow.

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Thanksgiving segues out of Swirls, into a slower pulsating low repeated note, F2. The tonal colour of the repeated note changes as the damper pedal movement combines with selectively sustained low Stuart piano sounds of F0 and F1 .The continued engagement and release of the damper pedal in combination with the selective sustain creates a ‘swell’ in the timbre of the note, momentarily opening up its harmonic spectrum. This implementation of tone colour in the Stuart sound is previously noted in the generic vocabulary at sound No.7 ‘Spectrum swell with damper pedal’. The highest note of the 102 key Stuart piano is played loudly at mm.5 in Thanksgiving to invigorate the sustained piano spectra. A chant-like melody (mm.12) offers a stationary reflection in its natural rubato pacing, and suggests time that stands still. This image is of ‘old time,’ thousands of years old. There are many opportunities for ‘stillness’ at Menindee. The feeling of the semi arid flat land that spreads out in all directions is quite a different feel for this coastal dweller. There is a feeling of containment.
An expressive processional follows mm 24., which becomes more stirring with each repeat. An imitation of the yidaki (didgeridoo) sound follows at mm.30, deploying the bright clean sound of the Stuart bass tones. Overall this movement expresses the depth of feeling we were all feeling at Menindee as we watched the young artists at work. Some of the painted images are set to the music on Thanksgiving.mov

Many images were painted on ‘keyboard strips’ of heavy tracing paper. These strips were cut precisely to be placed very close to the piano keys on the inside surface of the keyboard lid or fall board. The OUR MUSIC program image (Fig. 6.8), illustrates a keyboard strip painted by Menindee art student, Robert Ferguson. The strips were painted very colourfully by the younger Menindee artists and I must say it’s a great joy to play at the piano keyboard with all the ‘colour and stories’ right next to your finger tips. The strips also provided a chance for many of the students to contribute to the painting.

First Steps – The Painted Piano Suite
Score: First Steps Appendix 8 p. 455
Audio Recording: First Steps std.rec.wav
Audio visual table 6.10

The third movement of the Painted Piano Suite is First Steps. This music describes the first careful steps taken early in life into a new experience, the first walk, the first swim, experiences that create a

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sense that self growth is actively occurring. As much as it is a careful step, it is an exciting and thrilling step. I imagined the first footsteps out on the Menindee clay pans, the very first careful steps. The music in this movement repeats its melodic and harmonic language, though it changes key to present the same idea in a different colour of sound. The tones in First Steps are played in a fragile, careful manner.

The final movement of the Painted Piano Suite is Lines. The lines of musical pitch are played on the piano in stepwise diatonic rows, usually of five notes each. The damper pedal is fully engaged to hear the whole spectra of each row of notes. The rows transform into circular arpeggios and they ascend in pitch, signifying flight and freedom. (mm.28). The lines rise up as bright harmonic offshoots to eventually scatter in circular motifs. Four tonal centres are repeated throughout Lines . The musical lines move in various directions up, down, sideways and in a circular motion. Lines depicts growth in all directions.

Lines – The Painted Piano Suite
Score: Lines Appendix 8 p. 457
Audio Recording: Lines std.rec.wav
Audio visual table 6.11

Thank you to all the Menindee artists- Anthony Kelly, Travis Philp, Shane Blore, Naomi Vili, Leo Johnson, Jade Cicak, Taya Biggs, Bridget Malowe, Neil Mitchell, Mali Kelly, Riley Barnes, Joseph Newman, and their inspirational teacher, artist Rick Ball.

The collaborative creation of the Painted Piano and the participation of the Menindee community in OUR MUSIC linked the event with the thriving regional arts sector in regional Australia. Everyone who attended OUR MUSIC were witness to how the notion of the new Australian piano had inspired a community to interact with it artistically, even before they had seen it! The Menindee community’s artistry and musicality were on show that day in Sydney. They brought with them a great spirit of collaboration and creativity, amidst all logistical details of travelling long distances as a large group of all ages. They showed the city dwellers that anything is possible through their motivation.

The Indigenous and non-Indigenous music students collaborated in this same spirit. They produced an ensemble sound that is rarely heard in Australian music. The cross-cultural music I have composed
in the Yabun Yaguna collection was used to demonstrate to the music students, how these collaborations produce new sounds, new music. My collaborators are really co-authors of the Yabun Yaguna music because it was composed specifically for their collaboration with me. Richard Green, Clarence Slockee, Matthew Doyle, Marlene Cummins and Karen Smith have each contributed greatly to my collaborations with Indigenous music and culture.

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The inaugural OUR MUSIC festival in 2012 was the first time the Sydney Conservatorium of Music had hosted an Indigenous music event solely for the musical collaborations of its students and Indigenous musicians of Sydney and Western N.S.W. Partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people were created at this event. OUR MUSIC opened the doors of one of Australia’s elite music schools to Indigenous music students, inviting them to play their music. Many staff members of the Conservatorium assisted in producing OUR MUSIC ’12. Julia Torpey–Hurst473 and her faculty
Deepening Histories of Place at the Australian National University, produced a website of the performances of OUR MUSIC 2012. Ms Torpey–Hurst’s interviews with the performers are also documented in the website

The objectives and processes of my research were put into practice in OUR MUSIC. I played and evaluated the sound of the Stuart piano in a wide range of Australian Indigenous music styles. I interacted artistically with approximately thirty-five Indigenous performers, using the Stuart piano sounds in the rehearsals and performances of their music. Certainly from my perspective, through all the interaction, the Stuart sound was becoming ‘the’ piano sound of cross-cultural Australian music.

Producing OUR MUSIC has enabled me to conduct my research of the new piano sound in the community. At various times I realised I was being an observer, observing a rehearsal, or the painting session, or simply a discussion I wasn’t part of. Noticing these interactions occurring without my direct input, confirmed to me that the participant’s singular interactions with the ideas and materials of the project was only one part of the creative process, that it was really the interactions of person to person that formed the building blocks towards a creative outcome. I was fortunate to observe ‘change’ occurring in how an artistic research idea, for instance a re-composition of a historic Indigenous chant, was being transformed through person to person interactions. The composed sound is interpreted by a collective of interactions and changed into something new purely through engaged activity. In many ways this is what happens at every ensemble music rehearsal and performance, peoples’ perspective of the entity they are working with and within changes. Musicians remember particular rehearsals and performances over many years, when ‘something special’ occurred. In this instance of OUR MUSIC an unexpected collective synchronicity with the materials and the participants transformed the intended objective into another dimension, producing a creative outcome of a surprisingly high quality.

473Julia Torpey | PhD Candidate | School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, Faculty of Arts,The University of Sydney, visiting scholar Australian National University | School of History Coombs Building | The Australian National University | Canberra ACT 0200 Australia

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OUR MUSIC – A Collaborative System of Education.

I began to categorise the interactions I observed during the preparations and performances of OUR MUSIC, with the objective of producing a methodical set of suggestions that could be used to guide Conservatorium tertiary music students’ involvements in collaborative cross-cultural music projects. Resources of research for this set of suggestions would include Paul Grabowsky’s Crossing Roper Bar474 , the collaboration with the Waligah singers in Southeast Arhnem Land, and the Regionalist compositional practices of Dr Chirstopher Sainsbury475 . The application of Activity theory would provide a structure to monitor the level of interaction and outcome.

Activity Theory 476 analyses the interactions of people involved in preparing for a particular collaboration, and defines the change that occurs in the activity as the collaboration ensues. To aid the educational process, Activity Theory defines internalised conventions and illustrates how changes to these conventions would occur in cross-cultural collaborations. The theory demonstrates the possibility of evaluating the level of change that occurs to internalised practices.

In an earlier section of this chapter I discussed Peter Sculthorpe’s suggestion, that if the first Europeans had initially collaborated artistically with the first peoples in the colony here in Sydney, there may have been a very different outcome affecting how the first peoples and the colonisers interacted in the ensuing years. 477 He claims that this could have also established a different perspective on how the nation identifies its culture, suggesting it would have instigated less of a Eurocentric identity. To continue on this a little further, it does seem that history records reveal changes occurred in Aboriginal music very soon after the arrival of the Europeans. Captain John Hunter, known to be musically trained in his youth478 , recorded in his first fleet journal that in 1790, an Aboriginal tribe in Botany Bay sang and danced a song about Woollarrawarre Bennelong and his house and his new European friends. 479 Graeme Skinner suggests that this must be the earliest record of ‘Australian composition activity.’ Skinner also offers accounts of information gathered by anthropologist Daisey Bates of another Aboriginal ceremonial song that contained impressions of European drum and fife military music. The connection being the military music played by the marine musicians accompanying Matthew Flinders’ expedition to King Georg Sound in Western Australia in 1801.480 The first steps taken by European musicians towards participating in cross-cultural musical collaborations with Indigenous musicians from all accounts were the actions of scribing the chant transcriptions 481 by Edward Jones, Pierre-Francis Bernier, Baron Field and Nathan Isaac. We know both Field in 1822 and Isaac in 1840 and

474     4 Paul Grabowsky. Rennaisance On The Roper.
475     3Sainsbury,
476 – takes the object-orientated, artifact-mediated collective activity system s a unit of analysis, thus bridging the gulf between the individual subject and the societal structure.- Yryo Engestrom, “Perspectives on Activity Theory”. Learning in Doing edited by Y. Engetrom, R. Miettinen and R. Punamaki. (New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
477     2Sculthorpe, 200.
478     2Skinner, G. (2011)”Toward a General History of Australian Musical Composition- First National Music 1788-1860.” The University Of Sydney, 2011 pg. 59-60
479ibid p.61 source: 4Hunter.
480 Isobel.M.White,”The Birth and Death of a Ceremony’ Aboriginal!History!4!(1980),p 33-42. See: Skinner,G ( 2011) p.64
481 see Sydney’s Aboriginal chants- earlier in this chapter, p.221.

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their Indigenous colleagues sat together and enjoyed fascinating exchanges of broken dialogue and gestures.482 These were, unfortunately, rare events. Researchers Ian McLean and Greame Skinner both recognise in separate studies concerning the birth of Australian art forms, that the Eurocentric art world of our nation has been slow to realize and interact with the cultural importance of the Australian Indigenous art disciplines of dance, music and visual art.483

So in 2015, this research program is proposing a tertiary education model of interaction that may engender the cross-cultural Indigenous Australian composition to become a staple form of Australian music. The students could be assessed for the level of interaction achieved in the collaboration as well as their abilities to understand conventional practices of the disparate art forms.

Activity theory recognizes two basic processes operating continuously at every level of human activities: internalization and externalization. Internalization is related to reproduction of culture; externalization as creation of new artifacts make possible its transformation. The dialectical relationship between continuity and change, reproduction and transformation, is a challenge to concrete research in local activity system. Today externalization, the transformative construction of new instruments and forms of activity at collective and individual levels has become an equally central theme of research.484

The Stuart piano is the new mediating artefact in this model, that has enabled me to reinterpret traditional Aboriginal chants, into new collaborative forms of music. The internalisation is demonstrated by the conventional methods used to categorise the particular sonorities of the Stuart piano sound485 , and the conventional notations of the re-compositions. My educations in music practices, my cultural background and musical influences are also my internalisations. The Indigenous collaborators each bring their conventional internalisations of culture, and their musical styles. The collaborative performances of the Yabun Yaguna pieces and our performances of other music at OUR MUSIC demonstrates the externalization. The externalisation is recognised because the conventional internalizations are in a changed form in the collaborative output. The artistic practices of subjects (musicians, composers, performers) are influenced and changed by their active interaction which each other. A new collaborative music is recognised that consists of new materials that have been transformed from their earlier state, a change that is a creative outcome of the collaboration.

482     2Nathan,I.,114 ; 3Field.
483     2MacLean..
Also: 3Skinner, 392.
484     2Engestrom.
485 The generic & Indigenous Stuart piano sound vocabularies earlier in this chapter, pp 208- 215 ; 227- 230.

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In OUR MUSIC there are various groupings of collaborating subjects :

This process is clearly demonstrated in the collaborations of Paul Grabowsky and the Indigenous Waligah singers in their Crossing Roper Bar486 projects.

The Stuart sound was my ‘transformative’ instrument. My use of the Stuart piano mediated my internalised conventions of playing the modern piano, into the new externalized output. My internalised playing styles and methods of analysis of the new instrument’s sound qualities enabled me to identify particular new sounds in the Stuart soundscape. These sounds are used in the externalized pianistic collaboration with the Indigenous conventions culminating into the new form of the collaborative output. The inherited cultural conventions that belong to the Indigenous musicians of meeting and sharing music as a system of exchange 487 are internalized cultural practices. The collaborations with my pianistic discoveries affects a change in theirs, and a new form of Indigenous music eventuates.

The collaborating students are directed by internalized teaching philosophies and education systems. Their cross-cultural exchange produces new outcomes that change their musical outputs and experiences. The teaching philosophies are also informed and changed by the new music produced by the collaborations.

486Renaissance on the Roper: April 30 2009 http://www.news.com.au/national/renaissance-on-the-roper/story-e6frfkp9-1225705191868; http://www.aao.com.au AAO Crossing Roper Bar performer profiles.
5 Grabowsky .
487Lancelot E.Threlkeld, (Reverend) An Australian Grammar, Comprehending the Principles and Natural Rules of the Language as Spoken by the Aborigines in the Vicinity of Hunter’s River, Lake Macquarie and New South Wales (Sydney: Stephen & Stokes,1834 ),90. and see : Skinner, G. (2011)”Toward a General History of Australian Musical Composition- First National Music 1788-1860.” The University Of Sydney,p.66 ; andThe Sydney Gazette (16July1836),2:http://nla.gov.au/nla.newsSarticle2205490O!The!Perth!Gazette!(3December1836),1810:http://nla.gov.au/nla.newsSarticle640187.

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OUR MUSIC 2014

In 2014, I began preparing the second OUR MUSIC event. It was planned to be a three day event, supervised and directed by an Indigenous mentor. An audition process would select 10 soloists, who would then participate in the three days of tutoring with the mentor leading up to a final concert performance. The model of interaction above shows the mentor’s philosophy to be an integral influence on the creative output. Other integral objects are the conventions of the practices, the curriculums the students are enrolled in, the staff, infra structure of the host Institution. Many of these interacting objects were involved in the production of OUR MUSIC ’14. Though at this stage, the clear delineation of each interactive object has not been succinctly defined. The tasks of the researcher/composer/producer were generally my responsibility, though the Indigenous composers of the songs in each case would have the final say in how the collaboration would be presented in the performances at OUR MUSIC ’14. As an assessment course for undergraduate Conservatorium students OUR MUSIC the student would be the researcher/producer of their collaboration with an Indigenous performer-composer.

Yorta Yorta soprano Ms Deborah Cheetham AO was appointed as mentor to OUR MUSIC ’14, giving the program an emphasis of Indigenous vocal performance tutelage. Ms Cheetham is Australia’s eminent Indigenous opera singer, and Associate Dean (Indigenous) at the Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne, and Head of the Wilin centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. Ms Cheetham is also the director of her ‘Short Black Opera Company’. In 2014, Ms Cheetham was appointed as an officer of the order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, the development of indigenous artists and to innovation in performance.

489Harry Daniels, and Kris Gutierrez.(2009) Learning and Expanding with Activity Theory. (New York: Cambridge Universtiy Press, 2009) ,65 ; and 3Engestrom, 237.

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Ms Cheetham is a national leader in the promulgation of how the Indigenous art forms play an integral part in Australian nation’s understanding of its culture. In an interview in 2013, Ms Deborah Cheetham simply explained the artistic characteristics of Australia’s Indigenous culture, and connects the historic facts with the modern day success stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people completing university degrees in the Arts.

Aboriginal people have been singing their stories for tens of thousands of years, … for Aboriginal people, the arts have never been a luxury, an indulgence, an elective that you take in year 7 and drop in year 10, while you get on with more important studies, the Arts were a way of knowing the world that you live in and giving meaning to everything in it. For the longest continuing culture in the world the visual and performing Arts were the way, the means by which the knowledge was transferred from generation to generation for more than a 1000 generations. I think that the sung story, the danced story, all of the elements that combine to make great opera are exactly the elements that combine to sustain culture down the generations for Aboriginal people. I think it’s a way of knowing that Aboriginal people have embedded within them, I think perhaps, a way of knowing that everyone has embedded within them, but for Aboriginal people it’s so much closer to the surface because we have been living and knowing this way for so long.489

[We are currently witnessing ] a quiet revolution where Aboriginal people reconnect with the visual and performing arts as a way of knowing, and that this brings an industry into the community…. Giving the Aboriginal people in small communities a choice, an opportunity to do something their ancestors have done for 1000s of generations.
……..empowered through a knowledge system that’s proven for say 70,000 years or more, what a fabulous way of releasing people from the cycle of welfare, and the systematic depression of Aboriginal people.490

……the Arts are the way that we define ourselves, the Arts are the way that we pass on all knowledge, so this devaluing of the Arts is just another way that Aboriginal people are disadvantaged, , …491

In her welcoming speech at the OUR MUSIC ‘14, Ms Cheetham spoke about her years as a student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She remarked that she would not have had a career as a soloist, composer and director if she hadn’t studied at the tertiary level. She has composed an opera ‘Pecan Summer’ , she has had an international career as an opera soprano, and she directs her Opera company ‘Short Black Opera’. Ms Cheetham was directing her remarks to the Indigenous participants of OUR MUSIC, saying ‘do it! Go for the highest level of education in music.’ Ms Cheetham also spoke of the innate artistic knowing an Indigenous person has inherited, and suggested that the tertiary education in the Arts will assist the unlocking of that cultural knowing. Ms Cheetham made a tremendous contribution of Indigenous cultural and musical education at OUR MUSIC ‘14. She encouraged me to create a mission statement for the event, which is illustrated below. Since 2014, the Sydney Consevatorium has posted a more general mission statement stating OUR MUSIC is an annual event. Ms Cheetham’s involvement with OUR MUSIC has facilitated its inclusion in the Conservatorium’s annual event calendar.

489 Deborah Cheetham speaks on LNL ABC 24th February 2014. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-life-of-deborah-cheetham2c-indigenous-soprano/4663034
490     2Cheetham speaks on LNL ABC
491 Yorta Yorta soprano Deborah Cheetham, interview AWAYE, ABC , RN 17th August 2013.
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/awaye/heard-it-on-the-radio3a-deborah-cheetham/4851296

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Mission Statement OUR MUSIC 2014

492 To access the current OUR MUSIC mission statement, see the Sydney Conservatorium website listing- www.sydney.edu.au/music/ourmusic

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Collaborations with the Indigenous applicants for OUR MUSIC ‘14 began in preparatory sessions for the auditions. This preparatory collaborative work is at the heart of the OUR MUSIC process, and would be the activity of the non- Indigenous students if the OUR MUSIC program was part of an undergraduate urriculum. In these preparatory sessions, the musical ideas and visions of the Indigenous performer’s music are closely shared with the non-Indigenous colleague, and both collaborators combine their crafts to shape the piece into a collaborative work. Ms Cheetham commented on my collaborative arrangements –

His endless capacity to explore all possible nuances in each arrangement was the driving force behind a totally engaging process and performance.493

My application of the Stuart & Sons piano sound to the performers’ music added another dimension to the collaborations. The application of the new instrumental sounds of the Stuart piano made of Australian woods with the music, was quickly understood by my Indigenous colleagues as being an integral part of the collaboration. This was especially apparent when the extreme registers of the piano soundscape were implemented as abstract depictions of environment and spiritual aspects. The Stuart piano sound is the mediating artefact in all my research into Indigenous cross-cultural collaborations.

My collaborative activities were varied for OUR MUSIC ‘14. I assisted in reviving hymns composed in 1930s at Sydney Aboriginal La Perouse Community with an elder of that community Dr Peter MacKenzie. I also collaborated with MacKenzie on his song ‘Stand Up’ for recognition song. Dr MacKenzie is a PhD at University of Western Sydney, his research specialized on Indigenous songwriting in urban Australia. He is a prolific songwriter. A project we started working on was the development of a song line from LaPerouse down the south coast from Sydney to Wreck Bay. I collaborated with singer songwriter Charlie Trindall arranging his songs for the accompanying ensemble including classical strings. The Indigenous hip hop rap singer Rhyan Clapham and I collaborated on two of his compositions ‘Sausages’ and ‘Black Graduate’ that contained strong social comment. Clapham also played drums in the accompanying ensemble. I collaborated again with Buruberongal singer Richard Green and the children’s choir from Mt Druitt in Sydney’s Western suburbs of Sydney on the Australian anthem ‘I Am Australian’ sung in the Indigenous language of Sydney. I was thrilled to collaborate with songwriter-singer Corey Kirk and her family band. This band formed a good nucleus for the large ensemble in accompanying all the performers. The perspectives of contemporary music from the Gamargal areas on the north side of Sydney were portrayed in the songs of Michael Birk. Guest performers Brenda Gifford and Matthew Doyle collaborated with me in traditional language pieces, Gadhu from the Dhurga language groups in Wreck Bay, and Wirritjirribin, the story of the creation of the Lyrebird, from the Dharawal area south of Sydney.

493 Deborah Cheetham email interview with author, 3rd April 2015.

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Deborah Cheetham made the following observations about OUR MUSIC ‘14

Our Music allowed for the broadest possible expression of contemporary Indigenous Culture. I saw identities strengthened, musicianship developed and communities connected through this process. It was a great pleasure to perform several of my own compositions in this project, in particular Kevin’s arrangement of Dali Mana Gamarada was dynamic and powerful and a joy to perform.494

Collaborations between Indigenous and Non Indigenous artists and students provide reciprocal learning opportunities and can lead to a greater understanding of the value of Indigenous culture in Australia. Even in 2014 there are too few collaborative projects of this nature in the realms of classical or jazz music.495

Projects such as Our Music are quite rare in the Tertiary space and among-est Conservatoriums of Australia this project is unique.496

The Our Music project provides critical access to the resources and experiences which a Conservatorium of Music may provide. Indigenous Australian’s are stil locked out of institutions such as the Sydney Con by disadvantage, discrimination and the narrow perception of artistic ability inflicting so many of our tertiary institutions.497

Dli Mada Gamarada
Score: Dali Mada Gamarada Appendix 8 p.
Audio Recording: Dali Mada Gamarada std.rec.wav
Audio visual table 6.12

494Deborah Cheetham, email interview with author, 3rd April 2015.
495 ibid
496ibid
497 ibid

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Ms Deborah Cheetham opened the concert of OUR MUSIC ‘14 with her Acknowledgement Of Sydney Country, Dali Mada, Gamarada, (to gather friends). Ms Cheetham composed this piece for the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Dali Mada Gamarada was the perfect start to the concert. Acknowledging Country, with a spectacular vocal line, and providing us with a comfortable ‘groove’ piece to ‘warm’ everyone into the program. (mm.4 St.rec.00:13) The lower register of the 97 key Stuart piano provided a unique blend with the yidaki (didgeridoo) drone note B1, (mm.4 ; std.rec.00:13). The Stuart clarity in the bass register sounds the note B0 an octave lower than the yidaki to create a unique Australian sound. piano/didge drone sound. The yidaki is played by Cody Chungai Costelloe. The Viola/Clarinet player Phillipa Murphy-Haste, responds to Ms Cheetham’s opening, creating an duet with the vocal line.(mm.4 ; std.rec.00:13). The low piano sound of B0 is heard again at fortissimo (mm.56 std.rec 3:03).The singers of the ensemble enter the chant collectively responding the Ms Cheetham chant, and eventually singing in a cluster of dissonant powerful tones.

Guest artists at OUR MUSIC ‘14

Muruwari song man Matthew Doyle was a guest performer at OUR MUSIC ’14. Matthew and I collaborated on the section of his song cycle which tells the Dharawal creation story of the lyrebird. Marc Anderson has provided the recording of the lyrebird calls. 498 Doyle has been granted permission to set the story to his music, by the elders of the Dharawal people.Matthew Doyle was born and raised on Dharawal land.

Wirritjirribin
Score: Wirritjirribin Appendix 8 p.484
Audio Recording: Wirritjirribin std.rec.wav
Audio visual table 6.13

The full spectrum of the 97 key Stuart piano is used to set the atmosphere of the cultural business of this story. The high rattling piano sounds depict the sound of ceremonial shells. The low sounds depict images of a deep knowledge and closeness to land, known to these people for many thousands of years. The Stuart piano sets the atmosphere of the ‘d’ tonality with the very low A0 and D1 notes. The selective sustain (sostenuto), sustains sounds with frequencies two octaves below the yidaki pitch. The highest note of the Stuart piano, f8 is heard in the high ‘shell’ rattling sounds. The score of Wirritjirribin is to be read as a set of cues, as the piece is mostly improvised. The pianist needs to know the number of cycles of each verse and their syllabic articulations before each performance of this piece, because Doyle sings this in Dharawal language. The story travels through a desolate drought and then fire, and as they are painting up for ceremony the Dharawal people hear the lyrebird for the first time.The final verse is the lyrebird song and dance.

The final piece of the OUR MUSIC ‘14 program to be presented in this paper is Buruberongal songman Richard Green’s version of ‘I Am Australian’, Nygaya Wagul. Richard has taught the Sydney language to many people in the Sydney region. He has assisted in the production of a vocabulary

498 Lyrebird Recording “Wild Ambience” www.wildambience.com (2014)

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website – dharugdalang.com499 Green describes his process of reclamation of the Sydney language in his essay Reclamation process of Dharug in Sydney500 .

Ngaya Wagul
Score: Ngaya Wagul Appendix 8 p.489
Audio Recording 1: Ngaya Wagul 1 std.rec.wav (Mt Druitt Children’s choir)
Audio Recording 2: Ngaya Wagul 2 std.rec.wav (Richard Green)
Audio visual table 6.14

Richard Green has assisted the Mt Druitt children’s choir with their pronunciations of the Dharug language, Dharug dalang, (tongue).The choir performs many songs in the Sydney language. I collaborated with the Mt Druitt choir for large performance piece Land Of Dreams by Greg Stigter . Two recordings are included of Nygaya Wagul .The OUR MUSIC performance with the childrens choir, and Richard Green in the studio with myself playing the 102 key Suart & Sons piano.

OUR MUSIC 2014
Sydney Conservatorium of Music

499 http://www.dharug.dalang.com.au/filedownload/FrontPage.html
500John Hobson, Re-awakening Languages Theory and Practice in revitalizationof Australia’s Indigenous languages. (Sydney: Sydney University Press 2010).
501 © Rusty Peters, courtesy of Warmun Art centre WA

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Conclusion – Final words.

My perceptions of the Stuart & Sons piano sound have been realised through various processes of engagement. Throughout this research project I have engaged with the soundscape of the Stuart & Sons piano in a wide range of creative, scientific and cultural projects. I have described the piano as a piano of this time and place, indicating that the modern philosophies implemented in its making by Wayne Stuart have influenced me to engage with its sound in contemporary Australian arts practices, in particular the creation of intercultural Australian music.

The experiences of playing and defining the qualities of the Stuart & Sons piano sound have inspired me to use the sound in composition and improvisation that informs me about the place of its making. The sound has moved me to act in this particular artistic manner. I have interpreted the Stuart piano sound as being a collective of many Australian characteristics. My collaborative compositional use of the piano sound with Aboriginal musicians enhanced my creativity to interpret the sound as being sound of this ‘place’. These creative outcomes of the research have contributed greatly to my individual musical and personal maturation. My artistic creativity, the outcome of my investigations, has therefore been discussed as being a consequence of the Stuart piano design and sound, and my interactions with it in the contemporary Australian society.

An education model for the creation of collaborative intercultural music has been instigated by this research, entitled OUR MUSIC, performing place, listening to Sydney. At OUR MUSIC 2012 and 2014, the Stuart piano played a ceremonial role as ‘the painted piano’ and took centre stage in the intercultural performances. The connection and acceptance I have experienced with Aboriginal musicians whilst engaging in the OUR MUSIC projects has encouraged me to continue my musical practice in this manner. OUR MUSIC, performing place, listening to Sydney is now in 2016, established as an annual event on the Sydney Conservatorium of Music calendar.This is an inspiring and satisfying outcome of the research.

Throughout the research program, I have played a wide variety of musical styles on the Stuart piano in exploratory improvisation sessions and in various ensemble settings. Playing the instrument as much as possible has been important for this study, as it has provided me with the opportunity to develop an intuitive musical relationship with the sound and touch of the instrument in my customary way, as a pianist.

As a researcher, I have produced an accurate reading of the tonal qualities of the Stuart piano sound by engaging in processes of sonic analysis. The antithesis of playing the piano, these practices required a calibrated key striker. The piano sound was captured within a controlled 180° sound field of eight microphones, transforming the performance space into an acoustics laboratory. Both Steinway and Stuart piano sounds were analysed in this way to provide data for the evaluation and comparison of the qualities of tone colour produced by each piano.

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A combination of research practices, the intuitive musical knowledge attained by playing the instrument and the analytical evaluations of its sound production, has achieved my overarching research objective to define distinctive characteristics of the Stuart & Sons piano sound. Four distinctive characteristics of sound quality were found in the Stuart sound:

i) A slower rate of decay in the fundamental partial frequency
ii) An earlier transition into the after-sound states of string oscillation.
iii) A wider harmonic spectrum in the onset state of the sound.
iv) A more comprehensive projection of sound to 6 metres.

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This research has proven that the defining findings of the Stuart piano tonal colour are directly a consequence of the Stuart bridge agraffe. The particular states of oscillation and vibrational behaviour of the Stuart piano strings were found to be a consequence of the manner in which the Stuart bridge agraffe couples the strings to the bridge and soundboard. It is therefore proposed that each Stuart & Sons piano would exhibit tonal characteristics that associate closely to the findings of this research.

To encourage audiences to articulate their perceptions of the Stuart piano sound, I developed a vocabulary of verbal attributes from a wide range of piano literature to present literary descriptions of the Stuart piano sound.

For example,
‘A bright percussive onset sound that decays quickly and briefly to settle into a steady mellow sound of pure clarity.’

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The descriptive language enabled me to open up the research discussion about the Stuart piano tone to the public. I produced a series of audience survey concerts and used specific verbal attributes in survey questions that attracted responses of over three hundred participants. The piano sounds of the Stuart and Steinway were equally portrayed to the audience in various concert venues, and in performances of varying styles of music repertoire. The survey results indicated that the psychophysical nature of musical perception played an important part in peoples’ descriptions of the Stuart sound. That style of music, the various interpretive dynamics chosen by the pianists in performance, and preconceived notions of instrumental tone, influenced the audience survey responses. Compared to the Steinway sound, the sound of the Stuart piano received favourable audience descriptions of tone more frequently in smaller performance halls.

Wayne Stuart’s piano designs are presented as logical developments in the timeline of development that started early in the 18th century with Cristofori’s invention of the piano. The Stuart pianos sit at the most modern point of the chronological keyboard compass illustrated in the introduction and in Appendix 1, showing that the presumed completed evolution of piano design indicated by its standardisation late in the 19th century, is far from complete. Indeed the spirit of experimentation in piano design that occurred frequently before standardization has been continued by Wayne Stuart, particularly in regards to his expansion of the piano’s frequency range and his innovative collaborations with Stephen Paulello, the French piano designer and wire manufacturer.

At the beginning of this paper, I stated that this research project has added to my total sense of what it means to be a creative working musician. I feel prompted now to add to this sentiment by saying that the theoretical practices, the cultural diversity, and the musical explorations I have experienced whilst producing this research have opened my eyes to the continuous possibilities of a rich musical life.

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Appendix 1. Stuart Piano Recordings; String Scale; Steel Drawing and Compass History;
1a.1 Stuart & Sons Piano Recordings 1996-2015

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1a.1 Composers – Stuart & Sons Piano Recordings 1996-2015

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1a.2 Steel drawing history.

William Brockendon’s invention for drawing wire through holes in diamonds and rubies, in 1819,502 established an efficient process for the production of hard drawn steel wire. Alpheus Babcock’s one piece iron frame patented in 1825, and Henri Pape’s expansion of the keyboard compass to 97 notes in 1842, were pivotal piano design responses to steel wire tensile strength improvements. It is widely acclaimed that it was the desirable tonal improvements of the higher tensioned drawn steel wire which directed the major change from wooden to iron framed pianos, and the subsequent developments of steel tensile strength and wire hardness by Moritz Poehlmann of Nuremberg in the 1850s, that brought about a standardised piano tone.

…all the leading piano manufacturers of Europe and America adopted the Poehlmann make for their pianos. 503

Between 1867 and 1893, music wire tensile strength increased by 44%.504

1a.3 String Scaling C2, C3, C4, C5

String speaking lengths- are measured from the bridge agraffes or pins to the tuning bar or capo bar agraffes.

All these strings on the Steinway piano are terminated by an agraffe on the tuning pin plate and a dense felt stringing pillow at one end with two bridge pins at the other. In the Stuart piano one of two agraffes is housed in a capo bar with a counter agraffe on the tuning pin plate with a dense felt stringing pillow behind that. At the other end is a bridge agraffe. The deflection of the string pathway is fundamentally different and thus, the attack and decay transients.505

Wire Tensile strength is measured by the nominal breaking load, newtons / length2 (N/mm²)

Thickness is measured by mm of the cor diameter of the pure music wire for the treble strings, and cover + cor diameters of the wound bass strings. (C2)

In harmonicity:
In harmonicity produced from wire stiffness and string length variations is
only a minor part of the practical application of the stretched string.
 String terminals are more influential on what is actually heard and the
 acceptance of the in harmonicity levels. Stephen Paulello and I have
 discussed this matter and agree on this point. In effect, the way in harmonicity garb is tossed around by techo’s is mostly rubbish and
 meaningless in practical piano making as other factors have greater
 influence on the sound. The bridge agraffe reduces the heard in harmonicity factor significantly as the string is held more accurately.506

Yield is the percentage of elasticity the string can be stressed to, to achieve maximum tonal spectra.

Simply, the closer the music wire is taken toward the yield point the more efficient it becomes. The consequence of this increased efficiency is more sustain/resonance, power and tuning stability producing a better all round sound quality.507

502     5Wolfenden, 6.
503     2 Dolge, 124
504     6Wolfenden,7
505 Wayne Stuart email interview Wayne Stuart with author,24thMarch, 2014.
506 Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 20th March, 2014.
507 Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 24th November , 2012.

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1a.4 Notes on String Scaling:

W.Stuart:
The hardness or tensile strength of the music wire does not influence the applied tension. However, the percentage of Newton loading in context to the yield point has a significant effect on sound but the small differences noted between these two scales it is arguably imperceptible e.g. The length of the C 130.8 Hz frequency over the slightly shorter Stuart will be somewhat countered by the additional stiffness due to a slight increase in tension in the Steinway. The Inharmonicity variants are imperceptible at circa 2% at this frequency level. A few pricks of the voicing needle will change everything if indeed there is anything at all.

In harmonicity produced from wire stiffness and string length variations is only a minor part of the practical application of the stretched string.
String terminals are more influential on what is actually heard and the
 acceptance of the in harmonicity levels. Stephen Paulello and I have
 discussed this matter and agree on this point. In effect, the way 
in harmonicity garb is tossed around by techo’s is mostly rubbish and
 meaningless in practical piano making as other factors have greater
influence on the sound.508 W. Stuart (email 20 Mar 2014)

The bridge agraffe reduces the heard in harmonicity factor significantly as the string is held more accurately. (email 20 Mar 2014)

Music Wire Scaling for C2 65.406Hz – An immediate difference of sound :

Reasons for the differences in the sound of the Steinway and Stuart sounding of the note C2 65.406 Hz at v20, can be initially satisfied by simply looking into the instrument. The Stuart piano uses 2 wound strings, a bichord, wound in stainless steel nickel-plated509 , and the Steinway uses 3 wound strings, a trichord, wound in copper. The Steinway piano uses Roslau piano wire, made in Hamburg, which are wound in non-tinned copper510 . Roslau piano wire is the music wire of choice of many piano manufacturers of concert grand pianos. The Stuart strings are manufactured in France, by Stephen Paulello, who implements slower drawing methods of steel string production, and new composite alloy mixtures in the steel, to achieve steel of a higher tensile strength. Paulello’s innovations have enabled Wayne Stuart to extend the frequency range of the piano compass.

Samuel Wolfenden writes about the excess weight of the copper wound string,

Naturally, such excess [of copper winding weight] whether partial or total, tends to aggravate the characteristic defect of bass piano tone, viz., the preponderance of the first over-tone, often so pronounced as to eclipse the pitch of the fundamental, particularly when the strings are very short.511

In response to this problem, Wayne Stuart implemented changes to the standard piano design:

i) extended the piano scale of the long bridge, lower by two notes,

ii) bichord Paulello ‘M’ steel wire, stainless steel wound of greater thickness, length, and tensile strength with increased applied tension.

508Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 20th March, 2014.
509     9Paulello, accessed 21st February 2014.
510http://www.fortepiano.com/wire/RoslauPiano/roslaupiano.htm, accessed 21st February 2014.
511     7 Wolfenden, 209.

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1a.5 Steel String Limitations

Pianos have to be designed around these limitations and most of the issues in traditional designs stem from music wire limitations. The 7 trichord bass string groupings of the model D Steinway is a classic example of music wire limitations.512

The problem with thin wound strings is that they are unstable and often sound rather poor. In this region[tenor strings]the very thin core and covering combinations are also weak in sound and Steinway uses three instead of two. Wound strings are harmonically incompatible , ….. two are bearable, but three are often noisy and unbearable… a very poor compromise.513

1a.7 C2 Scaling

The contrasting dimensions of the Paullelo and Roslau piano wires of C2 65.406 Hz are illustrated in table 1a.3 above. The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart core wire is .125mm thicker than the Steinway/Roslau wire, the Paulello/Stuart cover wire is .47mm thicker and of Stainless Steel, whereas the Steinway/Roslau strings are wrapped in copper. Stainless steel is 1.9g per cubic cm lighter than copper in specific gravity514 . The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 481 N/mm² higher than the Steinway/Roslau. The Paulello/Stuart strings are 235mm longer, and are set at 65.3kg higher tension. The higher tension imposed on the Paulello string is possible because its mass and length are greater, and Paulello’s tensile strength is significantly greater than the Roslau, illustrated by the breaking point figures. The yield or capacity of the Paulello/Stuart. wire is 46% higher than Steinway/Roslau. The composite of materials used, and the proportion of the amount of tension to the breaking point of the string are a matter of tone and the taste/choice of the piano maker.

The Stuart strings are significantly longer, a factor which is known to reduce inharmonicity of wound strings515 . A reduction of inharmonicity means reduced prominence of the inharmonic frequencies of the string, resulting in a more pure sonorous sound. A wire with a higher capacity of yield produces a more satisfactory sound.516

1a.8 C3 Scaling

The scaling of the strings for C3 130.81Hz, of the Steinway and Stuart, present a different scenario to C2. The strings for C3, are set in trichords of steel music wire, Stuart using Paulello ‘M’ wire, and Steinway using Roslau wire, both of similar thickness 1.125mm. The Steinway strings are longer by 41.5mm, and the composite materials of the steel wires are different, with differing drawing methods producing contrasting yield and breaking points. The tensile strength and stress % of the yield point is greater in the Paulello string by 140 Newtons per square millimetre (N/mm2). The different rates of tension illustrated in table 1a.4 in the C3 appendix, are part of the equation due to differing string lengths and string material stiffness. The contrasting ‘hardness-stiffness’ of the music wire is illustrated by the contrasting breaking point, the higher the breaking point potential, and the harder or stiffer the wire.

…..the string , considered in its length, diameter, tension and point of agitation, is the most important factor in the production of tone.517

The combinations of string length and string wire ‘hardness’ affect the amount of movement generated in the bridge and soundboard by the string vibration. This influences tonal colour. The piano maker therefore adjusts combinations of length and hardness in the string to achieve the required tonal colour.

Tonal balance and sustain are the main differences between Röslau wire and Paulello wire.518

512Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 23rd November, 2012.
513 Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 5th March,2014.
514http://www.csgnetwork.com/specificgravmettable.html (accessed July 2014)
515     4Fletcher &. Rossing, 388.
516     5Fletcher &. Rossing, 362.
517     8 Wolfenden,15.
518 Stephen Paulello email interview with author, 14th April, 2014.

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This comparison of Roslau and Paulello music wires used for the note C3 130.81 Hz, is centred on the tonal differences which are influenced by the hardness and tensile strength of the two wires. The ‘M’ Paulello string has the greater tensile strength.

1a.9 C4 String Scaling.

The Paulello/Stuart string is 1.5mm longer the Roslau/Steinway, and is set at 3.5kg higher tension. The diameter of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 25mm thicker than the Roslau/Steinway wire. The tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 177 N/mm² higher and the yield or capacity of the Roslau/Steinway wire is 3.6% higher than Paulello/Stuart.

1a.10 C5 String Scaling.

For the note C5, the diameter of the Paulello-Stuart wire is 35mm thicker, the tensile strength of the Paulello/Stuart wire is 138 N/mm² higher . The Paulello-Stuart wire for C5 is 4.5mm longer, and is set at 7kg higher tension. The yield or capacity of the Paulello-Stuart wire is approximately 10% higher than the Roslau-Steinway wire.

1a.11 Stuart Design Impetus – quotations.

Standardisation.

Wayne Stuart:-
The industrialization of piano manufacturing during the 20th century abdicated the critical aesthetic choices to mechanical engineers and non piano building related disciplines. This has produced so called piano makers unable to realise a workable, individual design. Thus, copying of derivative designs and adherence to past ideologies in an attempt to hold onto the so called core essence of what many believe the acoustic piano to be, underpins a crisis in potency and direction.519

Stephen Paulello:-
In the years 1880, the instrument was almost perfected; complaints from pianists and composers became less insistent and growing enthusiasm for the piano led to increased demand. It was necessary to put a brake on the exuberant inventiveness of the XIX century craftsmen and move on to rational, industrial production. Piano makers conformed progressively to the technologies of the most enterprising and well-established manufacturers of the era. Inevitably, the sonority of pianos lost its diversity to a common aesthetic. Since then, the trend of standardization has been validated by the explosion of production in Asia, where the base model is conscientiously reproduced. It is therefore normal to think that all pianos are alike because the instrument has reached its final form and is a perfectly finished product.520

Keyboard Compass- Ambitus, Stuart & Sons website:-
Since the beginning of music, composers have written beyond the imposed frequency limitations of their time. Stuart & Sons are respectful of composers whose vision extends beyond the 88 digits of the late 19th century. Stuart & Sons recognises that once a composition is written for a range greater than the so called norm it is the duty of the instrument maker to realise that range if it is at all practically possible. Therefore, given the advanced wire of Stephen Paulello, a French piano maker, it was inconceivable to limit these new generation pianos to 88 keys but rather, to aim for the ultimate goal of 9 octaves for the chromatic scale.521

Wayne Stuart :-
Pianos have to be designed around these limitations and most of the issues in traditional designs stem from music wire limitations. The 7 trichord bass string groupings of the model D Steinway is a classic example of music wire limitations.522 The problem with thin wound strings is that they are unstable and often sound rather poor. In this region [tenor strings] the very thin core and covering combinations are also weak in sound and Steinway uses three instead of two. Wound strings are

519     3 Stuart, A Bright Light in a Stagnant Pond. (5/2/2012) ,3.
http://pianoinforoom.blogspot.de/2013/02/stuart-sons-pianos-bright-light-in.html
520     10 Paulello, “concept page,” accessed 19 June,2013.
521     10 Stuart &Sons Handcrafted Pianos ,“The Ambitus,”accessed 1st Sept, 2015.
522 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 23rd November, 2012.

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harmonically incompatible , ….. two are bearable, but three are often noisy and unbearable… a very poor compromise. 523

String terminations:

Wayne Stuart: –
All these strings on the Steinway piano are terminated by an agraffe on the tuning pin plate and a
dense felt stringing pillow at one end with two bridge pins at the other. In the Stuart piano one of
two agraffes is housed in a capo bar with a counter agraffe on the tuning pin plate with a dense
felt stringing pillow behind that. At the other end is a bridge agraffe. The deflection of the string pathway is fundamentally different and thus, the attack and decay transients.524

Vertical Concepts.

Wayne Stuart:-
Wayne Stuart maintains a position that his piano design is a reaction to significant changes in Western artistic aesthetics that date back to the Impressionist movement from around the mid 1860s. By increasing the importance of the harmonic and dynamic aspects of the sound envelope (vertical) to the time and ethos focused tradition (horizontal), enabled an explosion in radical new ways of expression. The old narrow European tradition expanded to embrace a ‘world music’ that reflects not one particular idea of sound but has potential to integrate with may traditions where vertical or ‘colour’ based sound has been the cultural preference.
Stuart’s vision is for a multi dimensional orchestral approach to piano tone building where both the vertical and horizontal elements of the attack and decay transients of the sound envelope are integrated and explored.525

The sound fashion adopted for the acoustic piano of the 20th century is fundamentally an American ideology and aesthetic. It is not culturally nor universally representative but rather, reigns as a consequence of political and economic dominance.526

Wayne Stuart:
Stuart’s observations of string vibration behaviour and music composition over the past 150 years reveals that the vertical mode of vibration in sound behaviour has developed as the dominant factor in current sound behaviour aesthetics. The old pinned bridge favours an elliptical vibration mode whereas the Stuart agraffe favours the vertical mode.527
(see p.58 chpt.2 Part.I)

‘Controlled manner’ –Stuart & Sons website
Vertical string coupling is at the core of the Stuart & Sons design concept. A special device [the Stuart bridge agraffe] is used to couple the strings to the bridge and soundboard structure. The agraffe defines the string’s speaking length (frequency) and contains the reaction forces produced by bending the strings as they pass through it. This scientifically designed device encourages the strings to vibrate in a more controlled manner improving the dynamic range, increasing sustain and significantly improving tonal clarity sympathetic to the entire piano repertoire.528

Eric Tamm- Vertical gradations of timbre.

Most traditional and popular music unfolds horizontally with time, and the listener hears the music as if listening to a verbal statement, thesis or argument. In recent years, many composers have become interested in creating a type of music to be heard vertically or spatially: the listener finds himself or herself at the center of a universe of sound whose details can be inspected at leisure. Such music tends to rely on subtle gradations of timbre rather than on the traditional elements of melodic and harmonic development and progression.529

523 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 5th March, 2014.
524Wayne Stuart email interview with author, 24th March, 2014.
525Wayne Stuart,email interview with author, 18th April ,2011.
526ibid
527 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 4th April ,2012.
528     11 Stuart &Sons Handcrafted Pianos, accessed 14th May 2015.“Innovations”
529 Eric Tamm, Brian Eno, His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound, (New York : Da Capo Press, 1995), 3-4.

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1a.12 Chronological Expansion of the Piano Keyboard Compass

56

530     5Good,58.
531Arthur Ord-Hume, “Zumpe, Johann Christoph,” In 2Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano, 451.
532 David Grover, A History of the Piano from 1709 to 1980 https://www.piano-tuners.org/history/d_grover.html (accessed 14th May 2015).
533     6Good, 111
534     7 Good,211
535     8 Good, 200
536 The term ‘chromatic span’ is interpreted in this instance as being a group of 11 semi-tones, 7 whote-tones. Therefore the full chromatic spans consist of 8 repeats of each of the 11 semi-tones.
537     8 Peggy Flanagan-Baird, “KEYBOARDS,” in 3 Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano, 203.

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123

538Edwin M. Ripin, et al. “Pianoforte.” Sc. 8. North AmericaTo 1860 Adams-Hoover,C. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/21631.(accessed November 1, 2015).
539 9Good, 184,205.
540     10Good,212.
541     11Good,220.
542 Edmund M. Fredrick, ‘ERARD, SEBASTIEN,” 4Palmieri, Encyclopedia of the Piano,126.

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Appendix 2. Testing Modes of String Vibration & String Coupling

2a.1 Testing Modes of Vibration in Agraffe Bridge and Pinned Bridge Coupling – Peter Phillips.

Testing the vibrational modes of piano strings of agraffe bridge and pinned bridge pianos, to see if the vibrations directly correspond to the type of string coupling on the bridge of Stuart and Steinway.

The horizontal and vertical excursions in both the Stuart and Steinway piano string oscillations were measured using sensors at both horizontal and vertical angles positioned close to the strings. This research is influenced by Gabriel We inriech’s study Coupled Piano Strings, which established evidence for the actuality of two polarizations in the piano string motion, Vertical and Horizontal, with respective decay rates. To do this, We inriech constructed a vibration probe for piano strings that recorded the two independent projections of the string’s motion.543

These research tests involved the expert contributions of mathematician Peter Phillips, and photographer Hideki Isoda.

The purpose of the tests described here are to establish data to identify the manner in which a piano string vibrates when struck at a particular force. The results of the tests provide insight into the behaviour of two different strings, coupled differently to the bridge, the Stuart-Paulello and the Steinway-Roslau string, and allow a comparison between their behaviour. From the results obtained it has been concluded that the strings demonstrate significantly different vibrational characteristics, and that this is primarily due to the manner in which they are attached.

Summary of conclusions

The Stuart string has a greater tendency to oscillate vertically, and a lesser tendency to oscillate horizontally compared to the Steinway string. Its oscillations resolve into a narrow elliptical pattern, where the Steinway string resolves into a much wider elliptical pattern. Furthermore the Steinway string begins horizontal motion much sooner in the cycle than the Stuart string.

Equipment

1. Wayne Stuart provided a rig comprising two piano strings tuned to C2 (65.406Hz), one attached to the sound board as per PB design, the other as per AB design. The PB string is wound with copper, the AB with stainless steel. Wayne Stuart also provided a single hammer piano action from a Yamaha C3 grand, with the rig designed to work with this action.

2. To establish a reliable means of striking the piano key with a fixed velocity, Peter Philips developed a piano key striker powered by a solenoid typical of that in a MIDI mechanical piano. When a button is pressed, the electronics provides a pulse of power at 40V DC to the solenoid of a certain duration and via a certain value of resistance, with a range of six velocity settings. The unit was calibrated by making it play middle C on Peter Phillip’s Disklavier at each velocity setting, and recording the results. The MIDI values on the control box are the values obtained in this way, but cannot be regarded as absolute, rather as relative values, where MIDI 20 is PPP, and MIDI 81 is FF.

543     9Weinreich.

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calibrating-the-striker

3. To measure the excursion distance of each string in both horizontal and vertical directions required constructing a set of contacts that could be moved a known, but small distance from the string. The arrangement used has a gold-flashed contact mounted in a closed-cell neoprene rubber support that offers high flexibility without a tendency to vibrate.

string-vibration-sensor-contacts

The rubber support is glued to a lever such that the overall length (contact point to end of lever) is 100mm, with a hole drilled 20mm from one end. This gives a 4:1 scale, which was developed on computer and glued to a backing. The scale is in 0.4mm increments, allowing a resolution of 0.1mm.

4. The electrical circuit comprises a 12V DC plug pack with the negative terminal connected to the string under test. The positive terminal connects to each contact via an 82k ohm resistor. The probes of a dual channel digital storage oscilloscope connect across each resistor. When the string is struck, it will vibrate and if the contacts are close enough to the string, an electrical contact is made each time the string hits the contact. This causes the signal to pulse towards zero, which triggers the ’scope, allowing it to record the sequence of pulses from both sensing contacts. These are called H and V in this document.

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Test conditions

Tests were conducted over a period of days, starting with preliminary tests to confirm the operation of the equipment and to get some idea of the string behaviour. Initial data and photos are located at the end of this document. The following test conditions were established and then adhered to:

1. Vibration sensors adjusted to just touch strings at 0 scale mark with LED indicators, such that striking the other string would cause LED activity.
This is done routinely.
2. Strings and contacts sprayed lightly with contact cleaning spray at routine intervals.
3. Vibration sensor frame clamped to string test rig and positioned at mid point of string (65mm)
4. Hammer positioned to strike string at marked point
5. Other string damped to prevent any vibration
6. Key striker clamped to bench to prevent upwards movement
7. Positions of test rig, hammer and striker marked on bench to allow same
position to be resumed

Test data
• Test 1 – To determine the maximum vertical vibration distance of both strings at various MIDI velocities.

sd

Analysis

• Maximum vertical deflection of the Stuart string = 2.2 mm
• Maximum vertical deflection of the Steinway string = 1.8 mm
• The Stuart string shows a higher vertical deflection than the Steinway string at all tested velocities
• At velocity 81, the Stuart string exhibits a 22% higher vertical deflection than the Steinway string.

Conclusion

• Compared to the Steinway string, the Stuart string exhibits a higher deflection in the vertical direction when struck by a hammer also travelling in the vertical direction

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Test 2 – Duration and nature of vertical vibration at various MIDI velocities and various V sensor positions.

ew

Analysis

• In general, the Stuart string maintains a vibration excursion of at least 1mm over a longer period than the Steinway string.
• Test results vary, but in all cases show that the above is true.
• Both strings start showing a strike rate of 65.406Hz (fundamental frequency f), which resolves into a strike rate half the fundamental (f/2).

Conclusion
• Compared to the Steinway string, the Stuart string maintains a vertical deflection of 1mm for longer period.
• Both strings exhibit a sub-harmonic

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Test 3 – Maximum horizontal vibration distance of both strings at various MIDI velocities (Vertical sensor moved to not contact string)

sd

Analysis
• In the horizontal direction, the Steinway string registers strikes at a sensor distance slightly greater than 0.4mm.
• A similar strike rate occurs with the Stuart string when the sensor contact is 0.25mm from the string.
• The Steinway string horizontal vibrations are 37.5% greater than for the Stuart string.
• At MIDI 72, the Steinway string vibrates horizontally by 0.2mm with increasing strength (shown by the f component over a total period of 2.25s).
• At MIDI 72, the Stuart string vibrates by 0.1mm for 1.7s.
• Both strings start with a horizontal vibration rate of half the fundamental (f/2),which resolves into the fundamental (f), then back to half the fundamental (f/2).

Conclusion

• Compared to the Steinway string, the horizontal excursion distance of the Stuart string is significantly less.
• The Steinway string has a greater tendency to maintain horizontal oscillations
• Both strings exhibit a sub-harmonic.

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Test 4 – Duration between start of vertical and horizontal vibrations at various MIDI velocities and various H sensor positions, with fixed V sensor positions.

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Analysis

• Two tests made at different times have shown similar results in which the Stuart string commences horizontal oscillations later in the cycle compared to the Steinway string
• Photo 2 (b) shows that the strike frequency is consistently equal to f towards the end of the cycle

Conclusion

• Compared to the Steinway string, the Stuart commences oscillating by ±0.2mm by up to four times later in the cycle
• The Steinway string has a greater tendency to stabilise its oscillating frequency in the
horizontal direction
• Both strings exhibit a sub-harmonic

Initial data and photos

Table 1 and the photos on the following pages are from initial tests carried out on the Steinway string. An explanation of each photo is in Table 1. Photos were taken after each test. The results obtained from the initial tests showed that the Steinway string appears to adopt a more rotational vibration compared to the Stuart. This is shown by the results of tests 1 and 3. Tests 13 and 14 demonstrated the effect of a

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sub-harmonic occurring, and photos 9 and 10 show the effect in the vertical direction (photo 9) and in the horizontal direction (photo 10).

wqer

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Photos – initial Steinway string tests

• Top waveform in scope display shows results for H (horizontal string movement)
• Lower waveform shows results for V (vertical string movement)

wwwww

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qqqq

2a.2 Wayne Stuart’s response to the string vibration test.

All comparisons need to focus on the specific differences the vibration modes have on the attack, decay and sustain transients.

Measuring the vertical and horizontal deflections of the stretched music wire is the purpose of this study not to incite subjective interpretation which is why the brand names must be removed.

In the case of the increased horizontal deflection of the wire of the traditional two pin off set, a decay/dynamic/amplitude graph should be displayed to indicate the decay trajectory specifically the influence of damping as the vibration mode changes from one plane to another.
(This graph should show a maximum dynamic range followed by a sharp drop in the dynamic spectrum followed by a gradual but increasing decay rate with variable frequency responses during that period. The nature of this decay transient should confirm variable frequency or internal tuning characteristics and dynamic responses producing periodic damping that reduces the overall sustain envelope). (Damping equals energy loss.)

In the vertical agraffe example the vertical deflection needs to be displayed in a decay/dynamic/amplitude graph displaying the impact of the long period of time before the string makes its initial horizontal excursion and the influence this has on the dynamic range in the initial period of the

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sound. The reduced horizontal deflection, or changes of vibration mode, will produce proportionately less damping within the sound envelope. This should be demonstrated by increased sustain and greater stability in the decay transients. The more stable a string is held and the less it deflects in eccentric motions the more stable should be the decay envelope.

A vertical coupled string should display a graph with a strong and stable attack transient followed by a period of sustained stability (400ms) before it displays any variation caused by damping as the mode of vibration changes.

The initial attack transient should show a greater dynamic range for a similar energy input on the amplitude scale. The 400ms portion is where the fast and strong initial attack is experienced. The sustain transient should clearly reveal this also, there should be a lessened change due to less movement of the string by comparison to the ‘horizontal’ graph as its modal deflection by comparison is greater. Thus, more radical by approximately half as much again over the vertical system.(More movement means more damping – greater change!)

The implications of this behaviour should be demonstrated in an amplitude/dynamic graph.544

544 Wayne Stuart, email interview with author, 1st February, 2012.

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Appendix 3. Partial Frequencies (Hz); Sound Board Vibration Spectrograms

3a.1 Partial Frequencies for : C2 , C3 , C4 , C5 .

xz

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3a.2 C2 Soundboard Amplitude Spectra.

The four probe positions for C2 65.406Hz and the dimensions of the soundboards are illustrated in table 4.14 below.

ssss

Sound board dimensions:

vvvv

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Sound Board Probe Point P1 : C2

ttttt

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Sound Board Probe Point P2 : C2

vv

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Sound Board Probe Point A : C2

tt

299

Sound Board Point B: C2

1

C2 Soundboard Comparison Summaries:

Across the three velocity strikes of the note C2 65.406Hz, the Stuart soundboard vibrated in significantly larger amplitudes than Steinway.

2

300

3

301

3a.3 C3 130.81 Hz – Soundboards Vibrations

4

5

302

6

7

303

8

304

9

305

C3 Soundboard Comparison Summaries:

The Stuart soundboards vibrated at larger amplitudes than Steinway in each of the velocity strikes for C3 130.81Hz. The larger amplitude of the Stuart’s 2nd partial radiation to mic 8, for the note C3v81, illustrated in the see spectrogram 4.315 above, is supported by a large resonance of the 2nd partial in the Stuart soundboard at probe position B, v81 & v54.The Steinway sound board distinctively resonated the 3rd partial more prominently at probe B, v81 & v54.

11

1

306

2

3

3a.4 C4 262.63 Hz, Soundboard Vibrations

4

307

5

308

7

309

12

310

a

311

C4 Soundboard Comparison Summaries: