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BYU Non-traditional / Prepared / Extended Piano Use Policy

Non-traditional / Prepared / Extended Piano Use is defined as any piano use other than “fingers on the keys and feet on the pedals.”

The concert instruments that reside in the Madsen Recital Hall (Fazioli 278, Hamburg Steinway D, Shigeru Kawai EX, Schimmel K195), the de Jong Concert Hall (Fazioli 308, Steinway D, Yamaha C7), Room E400 (two Steinway Ds), and Room E432 (Yamaha DC7) are not approved for this use. All faculty studios, practice rooms, and other classrooms, except as specifically identified, are not approved for this use.

The School of Music has approved specific pianos, including concert quality instruments, for Non-traditional / Prepared / Extended Piano Use, for both rehearsals and performances. These pianos must be scheduled in advance, at the time the booking packet is filled out, so as to allow adequate time for moving and other logistics. The list of approved pianos is subject to change. Please contact the Piano Shop to obtain the current list of approved pianos.

Only on Approved Instruments

1. Structural changes
All structural changes to any piano must be approved by, and in most cases performed by the piano technicians. This includes removing the lid or other case parts (excluding the music desk), and attaching anything to the strings or soundboard to modify the sound.

2. Marking notes
Painter’s tape may be used on dampers or a graffes to mark notes. Never use masking tape, stickers or any other adhesive that may leave a residue. Care must always be used when touching the dampers as the wires are easily bent. The performer is responsible for removing any markers immediately after any performance. Harmonics may be marked on the strings using a non-permanent felt tip marker. These marks should be wiped off after the performance. Nothing else should be applied directly to the strings or piano parts. This includes white-out, tape, stickers, nail polish, chalk, etc.

3. Striking and plucking strings
Strings may be struck or plucked with fingers or guitar pick. Other implements must be of a material that will not damage the strings. On steel strings, only materials that are softer than the steel strings, such as brass, aluminum, wood, plastic, rubber, etc., may be used. Copper wound bass strings must also be struck or plucked with a material softer than the copper. Acceptable materials include wood, plastic, rubber, etc. In some cases, the literature calls for the insertion of screws or mutes between piano strings. Again, a material softer than the strings involved must be used. The piano technicians are available to help suggest and select the appropriate materials for your particular need.

4. Extreme volume
There is a fine line to be drawn between passionate musical expression and outright banging on a piano. As with all performances, please use good judgment when approaching extreme volumes.

5. Common sense
Most damage to our pianos can easily be avoided by using good judgment. Usually an alternative can be found that will satisfy both the performer and this policy if it appears that any techniques being considered may harm the instrument. The piano technicians welcome the opportunity to consult with you as you contemplate using any of the above techniques.

6. Exceptions
Any exception to this policy must first be approved in writing by the School of Music Piano Technicians, and then by the Director of the School of Music.

This policy replaces any previously published or verbally communicated policy that may have existed in the past.