Europiano Magazine , Issue 2: April-June 2013
From the review by Rick Ohlendorf MPTA
“This is the most comprehensive book on piano technology
that has been written in recent times. . . . It is a monumental work and if one wants to have the
latest information on the subject of piano tuning and technology this is the book to own and use as a reference.
“The tuning chapter is to be commended for including a good description of inharmonicity. Chapter 9 titled Touch, Geometry, Playability, is a very advanced and detailed trip through hammer weight, friction, action geometry and how this all affects the way the piano feels to the pianist.
“Pianos Inside Out is an excellent book; highly readable and recommended for piano owners, piano technicians and those learning about piano technology.”
Read the entire review
Piano Technicians Journal , April 2013
From the review by Stephen Brady, RPT, Journal Editor Emeritus
“Pianos Inside Out is certainly the most ambitious book on
piano technology ever written, and very likely the most complete and successful. . . . It covers a very
broad spectrum of piano technology topics in much greater depth than one would expect for a book
covering such a wide range of topics.
“[The] chapter on touch, geometry, and playability is about as detailed and thorough as anything I've seen short of Walter Pfeiffer's two books on action design.
“Igrec's 164-page chapter on rebuilding could quality as a book all by itself. I believe this is the most comprehensive exposition on piano rebuilding I've ever seen anywhere.
“Buy this book. Read this book. You will be glad you did.”
Read the entire review
Praise for Pianos Inside Out
“I’d like to congratulate you on your well thought out and
wonderfully detailed volume. I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to further their knowledge and expertise
in the piano tuning, repair, and restoration field. It should be required reading for anyone aspiring to
become an RPT member of the Piano Technicians Guild.”
— Arthur Reblitz, RPT
Reblitz Restorations Inc; Author of Piano Servicing, Tuning, and Rebuilding:
For the Professional, the Student, and the Hobbyist
“When Arthur Reblitz's book was published in the 1970s it was a "quantum leap"
forward in piano technical books, and deservedly became a standard text. It represented a new standard of presentation,
and explored many technical matters in depth in a way that had not previously been done in any book. And it was copiously
illustrated with clear photographs. I believe that 'Pianos Inside Out' represents a similar leap forward, for the 21st Century,
incorporating all the
latest thinking, techniques and materials.”
— David Boyce
Educator and Piano Technician
“The most significant contribution to piano tech to date. You really
outdid yourself over many years and we are all in your debt. Your text is now a prominent feature on my syllabi
from this point on. Thanks again for your amazing contribution.”
— Anne Garee, RPT
Head of Piano Technology Program, Florida State University College of Music
“What an incredible gift you have given to our industry!
Kudos to you!”
— Melanie Brooks
“Thank you for writing your book. It is changing my life. I would not be able to be
a piano technician without your book.”
— Skye Meadows Jenkins
Pianist and Piano Technician
“Pianos Inside Out by Mario Igrec lives up to its subtitle, A Comprehensive Guide to Piano Tuning, Repairing, and Rebuilding. . . .
If beginning techs could only have one textbook with which to get started, this would be the one to get,
and it would take them far. . . . Get it; you will be glad you did.”
— Claude Harding, RPT
“That's a terrific book that you've produced. Very comprehensive.
A lot of work went into that undertaking I can tell--a real jewel! Bravo.”
— David Love, RPT
“The book . . . is truly stunning. I . . . am amazed at just how
comprehensive the book is, and at its quality. You've single-handedly written an encyclopedia. Being a
self-educator who relied on the existing literature when I began, it is interesting to speculate how my career
would have been shaped if I had such a book in 1974. What a boost it will be for future generations of technicians.
I . . . value your book as a worthy addition to the canon of keyboard reference works hereafter to be kept within
arm's reach. The book will obviously receive the widest possible circulation. Wow!”
— John Watson
Conservator and Associate Curator of musical instruments at
the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
“One of my favorite parts of the book's premise is that while [Mario Igrec] covers current practices, he does that
by thoroughly examining different schools of thought on the practice in question. Reasoning for the different
approaches are presented, giving the reader enough info to both follow their own design biases and also to challenge
their own biases.
“There is enough in there for the student of piano technology, as well as references that an experienced [technician] would find interesting and informative.
“One of the things that really impressed me about Mario and his approach to the work, was that when he received feedback on the proofs of the original version of the book, he took the feedback, thought about it, questioned the reviewers regarding their feedback, and then completely revised the scope and content of the book. The re-write took I think another 3 years or so, and went though several scope permutations. That means the resulting book is very well thought out . . . much more comprehensive and cohesive than a first or even 2nd draft could ever be.”
— Jim Ialeggio
Piano rebuilder, Grand Piano Solutions
“Wow! This thing is mammoth! . . . You have raised the bar in the
literature and filled a need. I am happy you included the important historical aspects of piano technology.
This is truly an ambitious and far-reaching project.”
— Ian Gillis, RPT
Piano technician and historical piano restorer
“Collects and explains in great detail the knowledge and experience
gained by the best piano technicians over the past 40 years, after a thorough survey of the instrument's history,
construction, and maintenance. Exhaustively covers all aspects of this complex field. Written so clearly that
a novice will have no trouble understanding. Excellent photos, diagrams charts to illustrate all points covered.
An awesome achievement! Thank you Mario!”
— Larry Lobel, RPT
“If you are a hobbyist or DIY'er, [Pianos Inside Out] will put things into perspective
for you in a way that no amount of scattered reading would ever do. If you're an experienced technician, I'm
betting there will be plenty of topics which you will come away thinking how much you're learning after you've
begun delving into the book. If you have not yet ordered your own copy, my advice is to put in your order today.”
— Chuck Behm
Piano technician and restorer, Piano Promo Productions
“This book should be the new official standard and benchmark for piano technology texts.”
— Chris Leslie
“Your book was as a key for me to open a new door to the piano world.”
— Mohsen Jozi
Piano teacher, process engineer
Advance Praise for Pianos Inside Out
“Fantastic job. Very well written and thought out. The book will be of great help.”
— Franz Mohr
Former Chief Concert Technician, Steinway & Sons
“Very comprehensive and full of valuable information. Pianists should read it!
Just the observation on humidity alone would help to improve the quality of our instruments.”
“I can appreciate the vast amount of thought and effort that went into making the
text so detailed and comprehensive. It is especially good coming from an experienced pianist who understands the player's needs.
You give a very useful introduction to the profession and the scope of work involved that might encourage some people to become
techs and others to forget about it. It is good that you mention so many different manufacturers' designs, because many people
think that all pianos are alike. Your appendices and index are most helpful. Thank you again for teaching me so much about the
Editor-in-Chief, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments
Research Curator Emeritus of Musical Instruments, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Your undertaking fills a crying need, bringing together some of the advances in
the past three decades as part of a comprehensive treatment of the profession, and trying to make things accessible to non-technicians.
You have gathered a really impressive array of material. [The book] provides a considerable service.”
—Fred Sturm, RPT
Pianist and piano technician, University of New Mexico
“This looks terrific. Very modern information. I am especially thrilled about the
inharmonicity discussion, I think it is the most clear and accurate that has ever been published to the lay person crowd.”
—Dave Carpenter, RPT
Designer of Verituner®
“You've taken an excellent stab at dealing with the geometry/touchweight issue in
grands. It is a more complete discussion for a beginner than can be had in any volume I know of.”
—Jim Ialeggio, RPT
Piano rebuilder, Grand Piano Solutions
“An impressive piece of work, a very comprehensive body of information. Its sheer
volume of information is a credit to you due diligence. Very well done. It is obvious that you are attempting to do a fair
assessment of many parts, techniques and protocols. I think you have succeeded.”
—Dale Erwin, RPT
Concert technician, piano rebuilder, Erwin's Piano Restorations, Inc.
“What a piece of work! I can appreciate the energy you have put into it. I think
you've done a very fine job.”
—David Stanwood, RPT
Inventor of Precision Touchdesign and Stanwood Adjustable Leverage Action,
“Very, very nice work . . . A lot of information and details.”
Factory Manager, Pianos Bolduc
“[The book is] wonderfully comprehensive. The illustrations and layout are fantastic.
So far what I've read seems accurate and very articulate, yet has a casual readability and isn’t off-puttingly wordy or overly
complicated or presumptuously definitive; it's clear and unfussy. The information . . . is uniformly balanced, and excellent. . . .
It looks like a sort of encyclopedia of pianos and piano construction and service.
“I'm reading the chapter on touch and geometry closely, and it’s excellent; the great service your book will provide is to make these ideas understandable as a whole. Thanks for your explanation of why reps with assist springs can cause slower repetitions.
“Our field is so full of unexamined myths! Your book should help in that regard.
“One problem with learning things in bits and pieces over the years, through various individual articles, classes, etc—and often receiving contradictory opinions and information—is that it’s not necessarily conducive to a holistic understanding of the action as a system. Which is one thing I think your book could help to overcome for many readers.”
—Allen Wright, RPT
Consulting technician and restorer for Steinway & Sons London,
Period Piano Company, and John Broadwood & Sons
“This is quite a comprehensive piece and a testament to not only a lot of hard work,
but your love of the subject matter.”
Director of Marketing & Communications, Steinway & Sons
“I can't imagine a more thorough and definitive book on the subject than this.
It's a must for every pianist's and piano technician's library. I see this book as also being written from a pianist's perspective.
Mario Igrec always conveys a sense of what we pianists want from an instrument and the kind of sound we want to make.”
Pianist, conductor, Hochschule für Musik und Theater München
“Quite an ambitious undertaking. All in all, there is a huge amount of info in this book, congratulations.”
—Edward Foote, RPT
Piano technician, historical tuning specialist,
Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music
“Very in depth and thorough . . . it is by far the most informative and instructive publication out there.”
Keyboard maker and restorer, Blackstone Valley Piano
“This is the most complete book on piano technology that I have ever read. What a great accomplishment!
Thank you for making such an amazing contribution to piano technology.”
—Poppy Miles, RPT
Independent piano technician, New Orleans, Louisiana
“I’m surprised by how many interesting things there are in [the book] for everybody,
from beginners to advanced technicians. It’s great that you wrote all of this down and collected it in one book. Of course, it's not
everything, but I think it will give everybody a very good idea of our profession, and a lot of instructions.”
—Alexander Abel, piano technician (Klavierbauer)
Graduate of Oscar Walcker Schule, technical college for music instrument building,
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