As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I am frequently asked what types of wood are used in a piano. As we said in our previous article, there are many kinds of wood that are used in a piano, depending on the function of each particular structure. If you have not yet read our previous article, this would be a good time to read it, so that this article will be more easily understood.
Generally, there are three main structures in a piano. One structure is the main cabinet and everything that supports the piano strings. The main cabinet is what you see when you walk up to a piano. It is the external case. The second structure is the soundboard, which is inside the piano. The third structure is everything that is mechanical, from the piano keys to the piano hammers which strike the strings, and including the piano pedals and damper mechanisms. The previous blog article discussed the types of wood in the main cabinet. This article will discuss the wood used in the soundboard. The third article will discuss the design of a soundboard. The fourth article will discuss the types of wood used in the piano action, which is the mechanical portion of the instrument.
A soundboard is the amplifier of sound in a piano. If there were no piano soundboard, a piano would have about the volume of an electric guitar when the amplifier is turned off. The piano strings, by themselves, would have very little volume. A soundboard amplifies the sound of the strings by vibrating a large volume of air as a result of vibrating in sympathy with the strings. In order to vibrate as large a volume of air as possible, the soundboard is made as large as possible, reaching to the far end and sides of the piano, and only stopping at the front of the instrument to make room for the piano action.
To make the soundboard as resonant as possible, Sitka spruce is used, because it transmits sound along its grain faster than any other wood. Our next blog article will discuss the way a piano soundboard is made, so that it will be as resonant as possible. If you have any other questions about pianos, please feel free to give us a call or email us. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts. Kenneth Keith Piano Services also provides piano tuning, piano repairs, and other piano services Philadelphia PA, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.