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Topic: The attack revisted--is there an apoyando effect?

We still hear worries about modelling the attack, and I've been revisting my limited knowledge of the two string attacks used in classical guitar playing--the rest stroke (the apoyando attack) and the free stroke (the tirando attack). The former is created by pushing down on the string during the attack (pushing it down towards the sound board) and then letting the finger come to rest on the string above it. The latter is the more common stroke in folk and rock playing, which plucks the string to the side and avoids both downward motion and any touching of adjacent strings. Many players may also pull up the string, of course. The rest stroke, the apoyando attack, is intended to create a louder sound with fewer upper partials, and thus a more present fundamental and other low, formative partials. This rest stroke, in other words, "pops" the soundboard a bit, making the string apply downward pressure to the bridge.

Which leads me to wonder about the amount of downward, vertical deflection of the piano strings, for perhaps obvious reasons. The usual line of thought I have read and myself follow, is well-known: the harder the strike, the more upper partials are excited, and thus the brighter the sound. Clearly, this line of thinking is accurate--harder strikes DO excite, and make more audible, more upper partials.

But I wonder, too, about the extent to which piano strings deflect vertically under the pressure of the hammer. Not nearly as much as guitar strings, of course. But is there enough of an early deflection to cause an apoyando effect--the lower partials are emphasized a little more, so that harder strikes do not just increase the amplitude of all of the partials linearly, but instead increase the amplitude of upper partials while also increasing the amplitde of low partials still more? In other words, do the the lower partials increase by a greater percentage than the upper partials as the velocity of the attack increases?

Here's a discussion of the two strokes for anyone interested:

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/v … hp?t=37689

Last edited by Jake Johnson (28-12-2017 23:06)