2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
72 members (BravoRomeo, butchkoch, Animisha, 36251, accordeur, Auror, BMKE, boo1234, Anevsky, anotherscott, 12 invisible), 4,242 guests, and 269 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
T
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
I'm playing piano after piano in my so-far unfruitful quest after a used vertical piano -- and the superficials are generally unimportant. But.

What is up with 4-6 screws attaching a (usually short) shelf to the underside of the raised fallboard of most (non-practice-room) verticals? In what way are the needs of the home player so different from those of the practice-room user, that the music desk has to be a. so different, as in, smaller; and b. (to all appearances) so fragile? It even looks like it would be easy to accidentally lower the fallboard without folding up the music shelf.

Maybe I'm different than other people. I like to spread my stuff out.

Is this just the current fashion? I guess it won't be a deal-breaker, but the things are so identical that it seems odd.

Last edited by thorn_was_taken; 08/11/13 09:02 PM.

thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,557
E
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,557
Are you listening piano manufacturers??? ARE YOU???!!!

This design has been used on various upright pianos for more than 120 years. It is out-dated and one of the most stupid piano-related things ever.


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,129
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,129
I know what you mean about the little dinky, fold-down music desk. I've read that this is a traditional, European upright cabinet style, and quite common on uprights, new and old.

I like the un-common music desk on my older Kawai K48A. I don't read music that much, but I do need a music desk on occasion. (Sorry for the large pic... I'm not that good at editing photos smile ).

Rick

[Linked Image]


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 258
S
SBP Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 258
It's because it's sleeker and slimmer than the old full-length music rack. Minimalism is in, and clunkiness is out. The needs of the interior decorator outweighs the needs of the musician in the piano world. It's not too bad, providing it's long enough. My K3 has it, and I don't mind it too much. I have accidentally closed the fallboard with the rack down, but that's not too often.I must say that a full-length rack is very useful, especially if you are recording vocals.


2012 Kawai K3
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 14,439
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 14,439
I used to have a Kawai US-50 (in ebony) that looked much like your K48. It had that same music desk, the biggest and best I've ever had. It held everything, from single sheets to over-sized books ... and at least three of each, side by side. Superb!

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,825
K
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,825
Originally Posted by Rickster
I know what you mean about the little dinky, fold-down music desk. I've read that this is a traditional, European upright cabinet style, and quite common on uprights, new and old.

I like the un-common music desk on my older Kawai K48A. I don't read music that much, but I do need a music desk on occasion. (Sorry for the large pic... I'm not that good at editing photos smile ).

Rick



My YC Pramberger has the same music desk that's independent of the fall board as Rick's Kawai. There are "tone ports" behind it. I had a small problem with it. The lip was held on by #4 brass screws in the "end grain" of mdf. My son used to rest his elbows on it when was bored or frustrated at the piano and it pulled away from the vertical section. I called Hollywood Piano about how to fix it and they handled it as a warranty issue which I thought was quite gracious of them.




**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
That was gracious - and Smart!

What was the outcome with your son?

wink


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
T
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
Yikes. Well, it's at least nice to know I'm not alone in thinking it's not a very good design. Sadly I believe you are probably right, SBP. Outward appearance seems to be wagging the dog.

It now seems to me that the fallboard design may be determining what the shelf has to be. It's a first-year-design-student-simple solution to the problem, but the result is that the board has to be very deep front-to-back to extend far enough to cover the keys. That results in the fallboard when raised obscuring the lower half of the ideal spot for music. Result: Shelf screwed to underside of fallboard. Seems like more of a kludge than real design intention.

On the subject of sleekness -- I have to say it would force me to change my behavior to *become* sleeker. I spread out and don't mind music clutter. That would become impossible. So yeah. Sleek. Yark.

Upon a second look at Rick's Kawai (thanks for posting the photo btw -) I see that the fallboard area is very tall. But it obviously works, and it looks fine. But when lowered, I bet the back edge tucks into the cabinet like some kitchen pull-out cutting boards, which might complicate the design a bit. The built-in music stand isn't technically schmancey, but would use additional material -- heaven forbid. No one has wanted to do *that* since probably 1980.

I'm kind of hosed here because I want a pre-owned instrument, but to echo Eric's appeal...

Piano manufacturers: *Are* you listening?

Last edited by thorn_was_taken; 08/12/13 01:41 PM.

thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 387
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 387
I don't know. I can't think of one good reason for the short fold down shelves. I don't think its so much a matter of interior design as lack of intelligent design. When I was shopping I found them very aggravating. But that's because I usually don't play without music. And for shorter pieces, I don't like to turn pages, so I copy music on hard stock and lay it all out. Particularly when I'm accompanying someone. I don't have a picture of it, but I love the music desk on my vertical-the petrof 131. It is built right in and is up there where the music would be on a grand. Manufacturers need to offer more options on music desks---but how to get the message across? This would make for a good little article in the on-line piano book supplement.

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
T
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by gutenberg
This would make for a good little article in the on-line piano book supplement.


Hear, hear! *With* accompanying photos illustrating the struggle.


thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
I like Rick's music desk but my old original upright that I got from my Grandmother used almost the entire front of the piano as a desk. The angle was even adjustable.

This first time I saw one of the new little fold down lips I was shocked. What kind of fool would actually put something like that on a real piano on purpose.

There are aftermarket solutions and I'd get one right away. I put one on my Roland Fp7 and it made my life a LOT easier. You might expect a crappy desk on a portable DP, but on an acoustic?

At some point you would think a designer would let "form follow function".


Laugh More
Yamaha G7 - Roland FP7 - Roland FP80
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,284
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,284
I have one of those sleek and minimalist stupid non-desks too. The sleek minimalist design is complemented by the stacks of music all over the floor.


Learner
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,825
K
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,825
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
That was gracious - and Smart!

What was the outcome with your son?

wink


I took the full trade in credit on an upgraded model.

K*


**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Originally Posted by KurtZ
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
That was gracious - and Smart!

What was the outcome with your son?

wink


I took the full trade in credit on an upgraded model.

[Linked Image]

Let me guess, you traded in a teenager and got a college grad, with no school debts, and dating an heiress!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,179
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,179
The music shelf design is one reason why I prefer grand pianos to uprights.
With some pianos, the music shelf is wide enough to hold a large score; but also rather deep (front to back), so big books can fit on it.
Problem: When I play, sometimes my fingers hit the music shelf. And I don't like it.

With grand pianos, this problem is nonexistent.

I'm not a big fan of Schimmel, but when I studied music there were lots of Schimmel pianos there, and they usually had shelves independent from the fallboard; the fallboard sort of folded into the case.
Schimmel School Piano

That's why I like the design of the Yamaha YUS5, the August Förster 134K or the Young Chang Y116. And of course, lots of digital pianos don't have music shelf issues.

But if the issue is the width of the music shelf, then the Yamaha or the August Förster don't solve the problem. Try looking for used Schimmels or Young Changs; maybe there is an instrument you like.

Last edited by patH; 08/13/13 12:48 PM.

My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 387
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 387
The point though is that there is nothing inherent in the overall design of an upright that requires this trade-off. You shouldn't have to hit your fingers on a low short board just because you bought an upright rather than a grand.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,087
M
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,087
Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Are you listening piano manufacturers??? ARE YOU???!!!

This design has been used on various upright pianos for more than 120 years. It is out-dated and one of the most stupid piano-related things ever.


I agree. I hate those things. Can't count the number of times music has fallen or doesn't fit. I've seen much better designs on some of the old ancient uprights. So much for the theory that piano designs are improving over time (not that I really bought that sales pitch anyway.)


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
T
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 96
@patH: Hah! My mother-in-law observed the likelihood of finger-whacking events on some of the music shelves we've seen. It hadn't crossed my mind as a possibility before that, but I can totally see that happening.

Hilariously, at the suggestion of my spouse, I am now looking at 6" grands as well as a verticals. May the best instrument win.

If I end up with a grand, well, I've always known that we would be able to cram such a thing into our 13' x 16'6" living room with 8' ceilings if we really wanted to. There's no way I was going to agitate for that because it's ridiculous.

But since spouse is ok with it -- and in fact he was the one to note that it'll be easier to get it into the house -- sure. Whatever. I'll turn the living room into a practice room, if a grand turns out to be the best value.

Now watch the music desk be the deciding factor.

[facehand]


thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,961
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,961
This is the music area on one of my pianos.
[Linked Image]

Here it is with 8 pages of 8.5x11" sheet music spread on it.
[Linked Image]

That's my absolute minimum standard for size and non-flimsyness of a music desk on ANY piano, vertical or grand. (You listening, manufacturers? if Baldwin can make good music desks why can't the rest of you?)

Also the piano I used to have (before the Hamiltons) had a decent music desk, too.
[Linked Image]

This is another piano whose music desk I also like.
[Linked Image]
(I wish some of the internals were configured differently, though, but that's outside the scope of this topic.)

Now I'd like to see a piano with a music desk like this (with the large scale that would fit in this piano - strings and soundboard going all the way from the floor to the top of the case).
[Linked Image]

I believe the Mammoth piano is tall enough for that (and I really love its tone in this youtube video - link for those like me on mobile who can't display embedded video), but its sorry excuse for a "music desk" just isn't good enough.


Also, while searching Google for a few pics, I found myself taking a stroll down memory lane in this topic from 2 years ago, and this one from 4 years ago. smile


1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Originally Posted by thorn_was_taken
I am now looking at 6" grands as well as a verticals.

I recently played a lovely 5/8" vertical but I don't remember who built it.

Hallmark, at Christmas, has the best 6" grands with the extra lid-loop.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Target note video
by 36251 - 07/02/22 09:30 AM
Best Arduino Courses
by Palak Sharma - 07/02/22 08:15 AM
Pianoteq Stage 7.5 for sale for €80
by meghdad - 07/02/22 03:25 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,780
Posts3,204,883
Members105,697
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5