On my old Steinway, the lowest key that doesn’t have a damper is the second-highest E. On a Bösendorfer I got to play recently, I noticed that the highest key without one was (I believe) the second-highest G. What note most commonly is the highest without a damper on major companies’ pianos?

  • Fair question! On a Yamaha harped piano I play it's D with no damper. Doesn't seem to be an industry standard. – Tim Aug 27 '19 at 19:07
  • I'm willing to bet the choice varies within a manufacturer as one goes from upright to baby grand to concert grand to really expensive top-shelf concert grand. – Carl Witthoft Aug 28 '19 at 12:48

Steinway grands often cease damping at the same E as yours, because the harp's rightmost rib blocks where the E's damper would be. Many harped pianos (Baldwin, Kawai, Kimball) transition one note higher, at the F.

@Tim's comment is right, there's no industry standard. It's just convergent design, that as you go up in pitch, eventually dampers aren't worth the bother. A more precise enumeration could come from visiting some big piano showrooms and inspecting individual instruments, but it wouldn't affect many people's buying decisions.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.