KEYBOARDS II: Safe transposition method
Entire Contents Copyright © 2012 CBH
|Lower keyboard jacks lifted ready for transposition
safe transposition method…
Here is the safest transposing method. If you only transpose
occasionally and wish to avoid any possible problems with jacks jamming—especially if your jacks have bottom adjustment screws which can drag on the keyend cloth or get stuck between the keys—this is the method to use. It may
take you up to ten minutes to transpose from A415 to A440 following these directions:
- Lift the jackrail and place it carefully to one side—not somewhere on the
floor where you may kick it.
- With one hand, play each note ascending the keyboard while you lift up the
jacks for each note and stand them aslant on the lower guide. There is no need
to remove them from the instrument completely, so I’d encourage you in
fact not to. They should stand up just fine, well clear of any interference
with the keys. The photo at the right shows a Ruckers Double with the
jacks for the lower keyboard lifted ready for transposition—there’s no need to worry about
the front 8´ jacks because they tend to hang from their dampers.
- Check to see if there are any keyboard holddown screws you must remove. (Not
all instruments use these.) Most holddown screws are accessed from the bottom of the harpsichord,
although for some other instruments you must actually go hunting for the screws by lifting a few keys around
the top or bottom notes.
- Pull out the right hand transposing piece. Some instruments
might require you to remove the nameboard batten to enable you to access the transposing
- In a smooth but firm motion, push on the lower manual keyend blocks to slide
the keyboards to the right until they stop against the cheek. If you have a
double manual instrument, the upper manual usually sits on the frame of the lower and will
move with it. Do not push the upper manual keyend blocks, because they do not
always have the opportunity of as firm an attachment as the lower. Some instruments
have access to the middle of the keyframe through a hole cut in the front bottom: If your harpsichord
has this, engage your finger or tip of the tuning hammer in the housing cut in the underside of the balance rail to move your keyboard.
- Slip the loose transposing piece into the now vacant space at the left.
- Replace the keyboard holddown screws and the nameboard batten if you had to remove
- Drop the jacks down through the lower guide so they are standing on the
appropriate keytails, and replace the jackrail. You can now play your harpsichord at A440.
To return to the original A415 pitch,
follow a similar procedure to move the transposing piece
at the left back to its original position at the right.