the piano deconstructed

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The Construction of the Piano

The Strung Back

Explore the Strung Back

Move the mouse over the picture of the piano on the right to highlight different components of the strung back. Click on a highlighted part to learn more about it.

The Source and Amplifier of the Sound

The parts of the strung back work together to produce and amplify the sound of the piano. The playing mechanism initiates the sound by setting in motion a chain of events that ends with the hammer striking the string. At this point, the strung back goes to work. The strings, which are held at an extremely high tension over the cast-iron frame (also called the plate), begin to vibrate when struck by the hammers. The strings by themselves, however, are not loud enough to be heard unless they are linked to the soundboard, which acts as an amplifier of the sound waves generated by the strings. The strings, cast-iron frame, and soundboard are supported by a system of internal braces, called the back frame.

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