Components of a pianola

A concise description of the essential components will give you an idea about the construction of the instrument. A more detailed description of the individual components is given in the other categories on this website. There are basically five components of a pianola, whether upright or grand piano:

Components of a pianola in detail

the acoustic system (Iron frame, soundboard, stringing incl. tuning peg, tuning pin)
the action and the keyboard
the case
the upper installation (elements above the keyboard, often: wind chest etc.)
the lower installation (elements below the keyboard, often: accentuation etc.)

Condition of a pianola

Only the acoustic system, the action, the keyboard and the self-playing mechanism are relevant for the purposes of playability, sound or the self-playing function when examining the condition. When considering the current value of the instrument and any restoration costs, include the condition of the case as well.

Please, find a detailed description of points 1 -3 (piano without self-playing mechanism) on my website, including sample pictures. Here you will find, in addition, a description of the parts that are relevant for the self-playing mechanism. An initial orientation may be provided by this concise overview on the construction of a pianola:

Pictures of pianola components

Components of a pianola pictures

1 tracker bar (scale)
2 air-powered motor
3 wind chests (contains the bellows)
4 pedal system (for pedal instruments, to create suction )
5 bellow system (for reproducing instruments, to create suction)
6 player and accentuation controls (for reproducing instruments)
7 electric motor
8 operating levers to control tempo, accentuation, dynamism
9 track control (correct winding of the piano roll)