In Search of Down Bearing: Finding the Genius Within

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Piano

In the previous blog I used Michelangelo as an example of a genius who had an inherent understanding of the science that was used to create his art. His renderings in sculpture met the tests that might have otherwise been imposed and foretold by an architect designer, an engineer, a draftsman and a physicist.

If we move down the ladder one notch, we can see how a variety of different backgrounds, talents and preferences contribute to a person’s brilliance. We will leave the topic of genius and just focus on brilliant people. We all know a few people who we regard as brilliant. There are many piano technicians who are brilliant. They do not always agree with other brilliant technicians, and this phenomenon interests me. If someone is more brilliant than me, why do they disagree with other people who are more brilliant than me? You would think they would all agree. Well, they probably all agree they are more brilliant than me! But if you get them talking about down bearing, you will find that they are each approaching the subject a little differently.

To be a genius technician, you would have to be like Michelangelo: a talented, artistic, architect, designer, engineer, draftsman, physicist kind of guy. Michelangelo had a lot of tools in his bag. Brilliant people do too, but not to the same degree as the everyday genius.  Following that logic, let’s expand the categorization of piano technicians by including just their second strongest skill.

For purposes of this examination, let’s assume that all piano technicians are primarily craftsmen. They like to build things and they are good with tools. They have a natural mechanical inclination. But they each have one secondary skill that influences how they use their primary skill.

Now let me assign the other skills, those possessed by Michelangelo, to the technicians. We arrive at four different types, based on the addition of their secondary skill.

Craftsman Architect

Craftsman Engineer

Craftsman Draftsman

Craftsman Physicist

In each of these classifications, the opinion of each craftsman would be strongly influenced by his secondary skill. The Craftsman Architect would be brilliant as he explained how the whole system of the piano wire, bridges and down bearing work together. The Craftsman Engineer would be able to talk about the ratios, angles, formulas and math behind everything that affected down bearing. The Craftsman Draftsman could draw a perfect blueprint of down bearing and all the relevant components. The Craftsman Physicist would be able to explain down bearing in terms of force, motion, and gravity.

Each brilliant craftsman relies on the knowledge gained from learning, as it was viewed through the lens of his stronger skills. If he had exemplary talents and perceptions in every area of expertise, then he would be a genius. But most of us aren’t genius level. We have a few tools, but we do not have all of the tools.

And because of that, our views of down bearing (and just about anything else) might be brilliant, but our ideas will probably be slightly different than the opinions of other brilliant people. In order to learn about down bearing then, we are going to have to combine the observations, findings and opinions of a variety of craftsmen.

So let me start that project. In the next blog I am going to write about what the Craftsman Architect thinks about down bearing.  I will follow in kind with the other three types. A summation might then reveal everything we need to know about down bearing. In fact, if we can borrow from the brilliant ideas of all four types, we may get a glimpse of something that resembles genius.

It’s worth a try.

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