Agraffes

Agraffes on a grand piano

Agraffes on a grand piano

In an earlier post I referred to agraffes (the first A is pronounced as in ‘apex’). These are brass studs with holes in, through which the strings are threaded. They act both as a top bridge and a pressure bar. The speaking (vibrating) length of the string stretches from the agraffe until it meets the soundboard bridge at the bottom end of the piano.

Agraffes are generally found on better quality pianos. Occasionally because brass is a fairly soft metal, they can break; usually due to the upward pressure of the strings. Replacing them should be straightforward; they should screw out when the strings are removed. But often they get seized into their holes in the iron frame and have to be drilled out. In the photo one of the agraffes has been replaced. Can you spot it?

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