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The Tone-Softening Devices

The "piano nuisance," as it is called, is being severely dealt with in some European cities. In one instance the authorities will not allow the outside windows of a room to be open where a piano is in use. In music schools, unless pianos are widely separated or have heavy partitions between the rooms, the music can be heard from one room to another. In their homes pupils frequently lose practice rather than disturb some member of the home who may be ill, or from dislike or diffidence to playing before some musical visitor who may chance to be present at the hour given to the instrument. To obviate this, many of the piano makers have introduced devices to soften the tone at will, some using a stop, others a pedal. The use of these is to be commended for another reason. A great deal of the pupil's practice is technical and comes in the centre of the instrument, and to relieve the hammers of unnecessary wear lengthens the life and tone quality of the instrument. This is especially true of the practice of accent exercises.

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