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Zugzungen actions.docx - Zugzungen actions For the reader...

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Unformatted text preview: Zugzungen actions For the reader with a knowledge of eighteenth-century piano design, this action will be immediately recognizable as that employed by Stein in his vis-à-vis combination piano-harpsichord. Both the Prellzungen and Zugzungen actions are generally attributed to Stein, but the idea that they were the unique fruit of his inventive genius represents an organological myopia which fails to take the larger cultural context into account. Both actions are really the same basic mechanism, the one being the inversion of the other, and both consist of the combination of two common ancient mechanisms: the trip hammer and the pawl. In medieval times, trip hammers were common in all manner of water- and winddriven mills for crushing ore, forging metal, decorticating grain, and such. By the mid fourteenth century, they were 2nding a musical application in pinned-cylinder automated carillons. A pawl is a biased hook which grabs in one direction while slipping in the opposite (like a harpsichord tongue/plectra). ...
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