Research & Development ...understanding how pianos work © 2011 Fandrich Piano Company, Inc. I began my studies into the design and physics of the piano during the 1970s. This work led to my appointment as Director of Research & Development for the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company, a position I held until 1989. On leaving Baldwin I set up my own piano design, consulting and research business. Many of my innovative piano design concepts are beginning to enter production as accepted mainstream practice. Here are just two areas in which my research is improving the modern piano: Soundboards and bridges I have made extensive studies into how piano soundboards work and how string scales interact with them. As shown in the photo (lower right) I have reintroduced the “transition bridge” (now properly scaled) to the production piano. (This example comes from the Walter 175--a modern grand piano of my design.) Several of my advanced soundboard design concepts are now entering mainstream production. Strings and string scales Shown at left is my one-of-a-kind string testing fixture. On this device two strings differing in only one specific parameter can be directly compared and the results recorded for subsequent computer-aided analysis. The results of these studies have resulted in a number of seminars in which technicians are able to see and hear the results of numerous scaling and bridge construction comparisons. These seminars provide an opportunity to learn directly how high-tension scales differ from low-tension scales, how different combinations of wrapped strings sound when directly compared, how cantilevered bridges compare to directly-coupled bridges, how short backscales compare to long backscales, and more. Please contact us for information about presenting one of these seminars to your technical or musical group..