The Mechanics of Musical Instruments

  • Kurt Adler


The accompanist and coach must first of all know the mechanics of the musical instruments he plays — the piano, the organ, and the small group of keyboard instruments used in orchestras for opera or for choir practice, such as the celesta and the harmonium. It is amazing how little most pianists, even professionals, know about the construction and mechanics of their instrument. A driver of an automobile — in this country — need not know how the motor works; the next mechanic is usually just around the corner. But the ability to repair a motor or an instrument’s mechanism is not the only reason for knowing how it works. A driver or a machine operator will handle his machine much more easily and better if he knows all the problems of its construction; he will make it run more smoothly and with more gratifying results to himself and to others. How much truer is this for the musician —the pianist, organist, accompanist, and coach! Knowledge of a piano’s anatomy will result in a more varied and finer touch, better pedaling, and more interesting combinations of sound.


Vocal Cord Hyoid Bone Musical Instrument Thyroid Cartilage Human Voice 
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© University of Minnesota 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Adler

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