An acoustic piano has dampers that mute the strings when a pressed key is released. Pressing (and holding) the sustain pedal lifts the dampers, allowing the strings to continue ringing after keys are released.
What I'm calling the upper register of the piano: the roughly 20 or so highest keys [depending on the model, (from D6 and up on my upright, often from F#6 on grand)], don't have any dampers — they act as if the sustain pedal is always on, which makes passages in this register necessarily blurry sounding, and staccato impossible.
Surely it would be a simpler designed to just have dampers on all of the keys — Why aren't there dampers in this register?
I thought it might be because these notes are so high in frequency that they their wave envelope would naturally decay too quickly for dampers to have a noticeable effect. But, after some experimentation I've found this not to be the case. The lowest notes in the upper register can be heard distinctly ringing for at least 5 seconds, even with only a moderate press velocity.
I'm sure there must be a good reason that a piano does not have dampers in this register, but what is it?
Why doesn't a piano have dampers for the keys in the upper register?