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-- Piano Glossary & Index --
Dampers are as important whether 'on' or 'off,' whether 'in use' or 'on standby.' The damper is lifted off the string to allow it to vibrate once hit by the hammer. If you don't do something to stop it, after the hammer hits, the damper restores itself to its original position, dampening or deadening the string or strings.
It's imperative that the dampers be installed with precision and know-how. "There must be room ... for the action of underdampers without fouling the hammers," says Samuel Wolfenden (Wolfenden, 46).
The goal of an action in perfect working order will include finding the perfect point in space to be filled by the damper as it sits poised ready to but refraining from crossing the hammer's strike line. The space between parts at this particular place calculated for exact measure. All this on a slightly curved surface.
Photographs by Robert Callaghan, RPT
Barron, James. Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand. New York, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2006.
Closson, Ernest. History of the Piano. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1944.
Fletcher, Neville H. and Thomas D Rossing. The Physics of Musical Instruments. New York,Springer, 1998.
Loesser, Arthur. Men, Women and Pianos, A Social History. New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1954.