• 1.  What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-09-2022 14:47
    The Journal is working on an article about a good core selection of books on pianos/piano technology.
    We may call it "what to read"--or not. We'll see.
    Here's what's on my shelf, along with a couple of recommendations by fellow editor Andrea Hackbarth:

    Baldassin-On Pitch
    Campbell-Piano Parts and their Functions
    Levitan-Craft of Piano TuningBrady-Repairs
    PTG-Grand and Vertical regulation manuals
    Potter-action handbook
    Orebeek-Voice of the PianoPierce Piano Atlas
    Fine- Piano Buyer
    Brady-Under the Lid
    Parakilas-Piano Roles

    We're sure there are many more "must have" references you can recommend, especially to advancing technicians.
    What's on your shelf? Feel free to include related books, such as general woodworking etc.

    ps--we might ask for a photo of the work, and a very brief description.

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 2.  RE: What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2022 21:32
    Hi Scott,

    You certainly have a good list of the essentials. The following may not be considered first tier books but I believe they are worthwhile to own.

    Three good essentials:
    A Guide To Restringing - Travis
    Piano Parts and Their Functions - Mason
    The Official Guide to Steinway Pianos - Kehl/Kirkland

    Since you posted on the CAUT group, it is worthwhile mentioning books on harpsichords:
    Three Centuries of Harpsichord Making - Hubbard
    The Harpsichord Owners Guide - Kottick
    The Modern Harpsichord - Zuckermann

    Giraffes, Black Dragons and Other Pianos - Stanford
    Pianos and Their Makers - Dolge
    A Natural History of the Piano - Isacoff

    The Art of Tuning - Montal/Translated by Fred Sturm

    I used this book when I taught my piano technology class:
    The Wonders of the Piano - Bielefeldt

    Two great books exploring music history and pianos:
    The Lost Piano of Siberia - Roberts
    Chopin's Piano: In Search of the Instrument that Transformed Music - Kildea

    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [Home 607.277.7112]

  • 3.  RE: What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-18-2022 12:14
    Hi all,
       I use to be a caut and never stopped this list serve.  I am retired now but am the St. Louis Chapter's newsletter editor ever since COVID shut things down.  We weren't meeting or having any kind of zooming so for content for the newsletter I decided to start reviewing books from my own and our Chapter's library.  I will attach the list I have done so far.
    I am interested to see what everyone adds ,as our chapter has on its minutes to purchase a new book for the chapter library for all our deceased members.

  • 4.  RE: What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-18-2022 15:02
    Thanks for the suggestion all!
    Donald, thanks for reminding me about including harpsichord references.

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 5.  RE: What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-19-2022 10:21

    Glad to see Ed McMorrow's "The Educated Piano" on your list. It is an excellent volume that belongs in any serious library focused on piano technology. This great book seems to be under-appreciated.


    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA

  • 6.  RE: What's on your bookshelf?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-19-2022 16:27
    Piano Tone Building (Del Fandrich's edition)
    The Keyboard Stringing Guide, Jean Louchet (2021 edition, available through
    The Harpsichord Stringing Handbook, Thomas Donahue (2015, Rowman & Littlefield)
    Theory and Practice of Piano Tuning, Brian Capleton
    A Guide to Musical Temperament, Thomas Donahue (2005 Scarewcrow Press)
    Clefs Pour le Piano/Keys to the Piano, Ziad Kreidy (2018, Editions Aedam Musicae) [includes articles in both French and English, including an interview with Wayne Stuart, articles by David Rubenstein, Del Fandrich, David Klavins, Stuart Pollens]
    The Piano Hammer (Vom Hammer) and The Piano Key and Wippen, Walter Pfeiffer
    Upright and Grand Piano Regulation, Carl-Johan Forss
    The Pianoforte in the Classical Era, Michael Cole (1998, Clarendon Press)
    Broadwood Square Pianos, Michael Cole (2005, available from the author via square [the best account of the history of Broadwood] 
    Theory and Practice of Piano Construction, William Braid White
    Five Lectures on the Acoustics of the Piano, Askenfeld et al (can be found on line)
    The Eighteenth Century Fortepiano Grand, Eva Badura-Skoda (2017, Indiana University Press)

    Fred Sturm
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Twain