PTM 2019 Episode 4

Del Fandrich presents - 'How to design a piano'






Lecture course description

1. What

Gathered from his years of experience, including as Director of Piano Research and Development for the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company and Years of Consulting to other manufacturers Del will share what are the essential ingredients, not only of a piano, but of the design process. What are the primary functions of the various parts when boiled down to their most essential role.

2. Why and How

Why are shapes and sizes chosen for various parts. How are decisions made that go into the final product? Why might a manufacturer make a choice that doesn't make sense to a technician? Equipped with first-hand experience of the design optimization, and budgeting process, Del can answer some of your deepest questions about the pianos you encounter every day, why and how they got to be the way they are.

3. When

As an astute student of piano design history, having searched far and wide for documentation on the historical trends in and ideas about piano design, Del will share how we got where we are and where he thinks we are going.


Biography of Del Fandrich

  • Delwin D. Fandrich, piano designer and builder, has been actively involved in the piano industry since the early 1960s. He began as a piano technician doing basic piano servicing, and over time he grew his business into a major piano rebuilding facility. He has been an active member of the Piano Technicians Guild since 1972.


       Fandrich worked as service manager for Oregon’s largest Steinway dealer and continued as the official piano tuner for the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Increasingly dissatisfied with the performance of new pianos, he began studying piano design and manufacturing techniques, ultimately becoming Director of Piano Research and Development for the Baldwin Piano & Organ Company. 


       In 1989 he made another career shift, becoming at the time America’s only independent design and manufacturing consultant. His first project was to design and build a 190 cm (6’ 3”) grand piano for the Charles Walter Piano Company, followed by assisting the company in setting up their first grand piano manufacturing facility. Ten years later he designed the Walter 175 cm (5’ 9”) grand piano.


       During the early 1990s he designed and manufactured the 122 cm (48”) Fandrich Vertical Piano, which was labeled “revolutionary” by Larry Fine in The Piano Book, third edition. Utilizing his patented soundboard system (U.S. Patent #5320018), this piano has been called one of the best vertical pianos of its size ever built. A CNN video of this factory can be seen on


       During 2008–13 Fandrich worked with Young Chang redesigning their entire product line and refining their manufacturing systems to improve build quality and performance consistency. Most of these new designs are now available in the United States and Canada.


       Fandrich has written extensively on the subjects of piano design, manufacture, and acoustics. He authored a long-running series of articles for the Piano Technicians Journal, “The Designer’s Notebook,” that explained piano technology for the technician from a designer’s perspective. Fandrich also updated and republished the historic book, Piano Tone Building, adding numerous footnotes and comments, correcting errors, and bringing the work up to date. More recently he contributed to the book “An Introduction to Spectral Analysis of Musical Sounds” by David M. Koenig (Oxford University Press, 2014).


       Fandrich lectures extensively on piano technology and design topics in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Korea, and China. In addition to his factory consulting work he maintains several active research projects in his workshop in Olympia, Washington.

A Stellar reputation in the piano industry. 

Larry Fine

Author of The Piano Book

"In this business, the vast majority of piano technicians just plod along tuning pianos,...So Del stands out like a sore thumb. He's leagues ahead of most people in his thinking. He's also somewhat immune to criticism because no one knows enough to criticize him."

Rich Galassini

Co-Owner Cunningham Piano Company, Philadelphia, PA

"Del has my most sincere respect and admiration. He has had a career in this industry that has resulted in "Del Fandrich" becoming a household name among his peers. As a result, he has been hired by several truly artistic piano manufacturers. His deep knowledge of the acoustic piano, its design elements, and their execution are exemplary.


My personal and professional experience with Del has only been stellar. In every conversation with him, his passion is unmistakable. It is my hope that he is able to become more involved in my organization and product."

"Del Fandrich is one of the very best piano designers in the world"

"When you short list prominent piano designers in North America, you will always run into Del Fandrich." 

"Had an excellent hour with Del Fandrich online."

 --Keith Akins, RPT


Make a one time payment of 297 USD which will get you access to the lecture, related downloads and resources and access to a private discussion group. 


100% Privacy. We Will Never Spam You!

© Copyrights by Piano Technicians Masterclass 2020 All Rights Reserved.