A tack piano is an altered version of an ordinary piano, in which objects such as thumbtacks or nails are placed on the felt-padded hammers of the instrument at the point where the hammers hit the strings, giving the instrument a tinny, more percussive sound. It is used to evoke the feeling of a honky-tonk piano (a piano in which one or more strings of each key are slightly detuned).
Tack pianos are commonly associated with ragtime pieces, often appearing in Hollywood Western saloon scenes featuring old upright pianos. The instrument was originally used for classical music performances as a substitute for a harpsichord.
- Everett, Walter (2009). The Foundation of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-531023-8.
- Malvinni, David (2016). Experiencing the Rolling Stones: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-8108-8920-0.
- Miller, Leta (1998). "Incidental Music for Corneille's Cinna (Suite for Tack Piano)". In Harrison Lou. Selected Keyboard and Chamber Music:1937-1994. A-R Editions. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-89579-414-7.
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