“Sal Porretta talks about the piano chair development.”
Typical wooden piano benches or piano chairs fail to provide the personal individual seating needs that pianists require. Some benches may have upholstered padded seats and adjustable seat height, and some piano chairs may have a fixed wooden unadjustable back. In many instances, manufacturers call them ergonomic.
Unless the entire seat pan can adjust with a forward slope to your liking, any alternate idea will fail. Angled foam wedges (just think about it) have no support and only compress flat once sat upon.
Wooden benches and chairs are made of hardwood secured with glue and screws. The glue joints with dowels gradually loosen because of moisture and climate changes in your own environment. The screws become loose and strip in their own holes and cannot be retightened. This can happen within a couple of years simply from your body weight and movement while you are playing piano, and the environment of the room you use.
Pianists usually sit at the edge of the piano bench to allow their legs to comfortably use the pedals. Sitting at the edge of the piano bench depending on the height of person you are cuts off the blood circulation to one or both of your legs. That is what happens when you feel your legs go numb or fall asleep. Gradually this causes discomfort to your lower back.
That was happening to me. Within 15 minutes of playing, my left leg would go numb and my back became sore. I would have to stop playing, sit on a couch, and then stretch my legs and back.
I took it upon myself in 1994, with the support of Lois Stouffer, to source out what was available in the chair industry and what was needed to manufacture the most fully functional and fully adjustable chair with back support for a pianist.
My piano chair was the first chair I made for my personal use, before we even had a business. I was always a gizmo and gadget nut. I purchased some chair parts and assembled a chair. Once I adjusted the seat angle (from the mechanism) to the same angle of my legs to use the pedals on the piano, my left leg stopped falling asleep. I could play 3 to 4 hours or more, sit on more seat surface and use the back support for extra comfort.
We liked it so much, I made another chair for Lois to use at her piano.
Shortly after that we became Concert Design.
The Interval Piano Performance Chair will completely change the way you sit to play your piano.
Sal Porretta May 2007
Chair Technical Info for more information about the design
and capabilities of the Interval Performance Chairs.