Thursday, October 29, 2009

Karen Continues Piano Repair (Oct 30 09)

My daughter Karen, in the process of cleaning our Yamaha upright piano after it was immersed in Ondoy floodwater, is learning many new things about how the piano works. For example. she learned what each felt damper does and there are many of these felt dampers, what each pedal does and how the pedals differ between a grand piano and an upright piano. She has also learned that the correct material to use to glue wood to wood and felt to wood is Elmer's Carpenter's Glue. She learned how to remove and clean each hammer, and how to remove and clean each key. She numbered each component that did not have a number, so that she can return them to their original positions. She learned that the same diluted bleach solution that they use as anti-bacterial in the MBB lab at UP can be used as anti-fungal for the Yamaha piano.

She also learned the compact economical Japanese design that does not compromise quality -- how the Japanese designers diagonally crossed the long strings over the short ones to conserve space without compromising string length -- without compromising sound quality. She also learned the the Japanese used a synthetic ivory substitute for the keys, called "ivorite", which is actually smoother and does not chip as easily. She concluded that the Yamaha is the best value for money upright piano that one can buy in today's market. Of course, the overpriced Steinway is still the world's best grand piano, but the Yamaha is not so far behind in quality, if not in price.

So Karen is learning to do a decent job of cleaning our Yamaha. She does not intend to make this her vocation, since she is already too busy with her MBB wet-lab job, programming in C for plasmid 5-tuple binding amino-acids, playing the electronic keyboard, and learning the violin.

1 comment:

Allan Espinosa said...

why C? most computational biologists use perl and python. the community also has a lot of libraries.