Country Child: Prelude in D Major

Yes, another video. Yes, another prelude.

Truth be told, the reason for posting another low quality video is the faintest hope that a reader/listener/viewer may be curious enough to download the sheet music to play themselves; but I don’t know, maybe that’s just too much to hope for. I’ve been considering only making music in printed form from now on, as if it’s not difficult enough to get recorded music heard, so why not make it even more inaccessible. Well, here it is:

download-icon     Download/view the sheet music for Country Child.

A much higher quality and effected version can be heard on Human Once.

Prelude in E Major

Most of the music I’ve written for piano over the past few years has been based on three recurring ideas: 1) repetition, in regards to both notation and mechanics; 2) symmetry, in varying degrees; and 3) a minimal tonal range of the instrument, though not harmonically minimal, arguably.  The Prelude in E Major is a reasonable example:

download-icon     Download/view the sheet music for Prelude in E Major

I’ve included fingerings in the printed music, which are nothing more than suggestions; others may find more suitable solutions. As well, there are no dynamic markings; those decisions may be made at the performer’s discretion. And while there are repeat signs for every bar, the repeats may be ignored or bars can be repeated as many times as the performer prefers.

This prelude can also be heard in a lengthier and effected manner on Human Once.


Phase 1, complete.

Big day today, with the piano finally back in one piece and playable again. The most time-consuming part of the work done over the past few weeks was definitely the key tops, but it was necessary and worth the effort and frustrations.


There are other issues that will need to be addressed soon. The new damper felts, particularly those on the trichords, are not completely leaving the strings when a key is pressed, causing partial muting for a handful of keys. This is going to mean taking out the action and adjusting the damper spoons so that the felts clear the strings completely, as they do when the pedal is used.

This isn’t really a big deal, but there are some other minor adjustments that need to be made to the let-off of the hammers as well and so I’ve decided it would be best to handle all of these things at the same time, and at a later date.

The down side of working on a spinet is that the action is all located below the keys, hence the name ‘drop-action’, and requires the removal of the entire mechanism in order to make any of these adjustments. On a vertical piano, the action is above the keys and so most of these types of adjustments can be made without the extra work of removing the action bracket as a whole piece.

For now, I’m just glad to have an instrument to practice on again; the next round of repairs can wait.


Days away.

If things go as planned, the piano will be back in playing shape within a few days. There were some unexpected delays over past month that left the piano out of commission longer than had been expected.

Since the key tops were stained beyond all possibility of cleaning, I decided somewhat hastily to go ahead and replace them during this first round of repairs. Overall this was a good decision, but filing down the the replacement tops to fit was time consuming to say the least.


It can seem overwhelming when thinking about doing any work on a piano, that most anything that gets done is likely going to be done 88 more times, more or less, depending on the task. In the case of replacing the white key tops, only 52 times, but still daunting and tedious.


The dampers shown below had become largely useless, many of the strings continuing to ring even after returning to a sounding string.


The full set of dampers were replaced, including the treble dampers shown below.


The action is back in place and I’m now in the process of returning the keys as they’re finished. Most of the hard work on the key tops has already been done, with mostly some clean-up left to do getting the edges right.