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Since the strings vibrate from the plate at both ends, an insufficiently massive plate would absorb too much of the vibrational energy that should go through the bridge to the soundboard. While some manufacturers use cast steel in their plates, most prefer cast iron. Cast iron is easy to cast and machine, has flexibility sufficient for piano use, is much more resistant to deformation than steel, and is especially tolerant of compression. Plate casting is an art, since dimensions are crucial and the iron shrinks about one percent during cooling. Including an extremely large piece of metal in a piano is potentially an aesthetic handicap.
The sustain pedal (or, damper pedal) is often simply called “the pedal”, since it is the most frequently used. In addition, Morris Brothers Music Store it alters the overall tone by allowing all strings, including those not directly played, to reverberate.
The first model, known as the Pianette, was unique in that the tuning pins extended through the instrument, so it could be tuned at the front. This is the shortest cabinet that can accommodate a full-sized action located above the keyboard.
These extra keys are sometimes hidden under a small hinged lid that can cover the keys to prevent visual disorientation for pianists unfamiliar with the extra keys, or the colours of the extra white keys are reversed (black instead of white). More recently, manufacturer Stuart & Sons created a piano with 108 keys, …