Bluthner Grand piano in a Walnut case Aliquot Stringing
Walnut Case grand piano by Bluthner with an Aliquot system, serial number 145703 year 1983 200 cm long
Aliquot stringing is the use of extra, un-struck strings in the piano for the purpose of enriching the tone. Aliquot systems use an additional (hence fourth) strings in each note of the top three octaves. This string is slightly higher that the other strings so that they are not struck by the hammer. Whenever the hammer strikes the three conventional strings, the aliquot strings vibrates sympathetically. Aliquot stringing broadens the vibrational energy throughout the instrument, and creates an unusual complex and colorful tone.
The word “Aliquot” comes ultimately from the Latin word meaning “some, several”: In Mathematics” aliquot” means ” An exact part or divisor”, reflecting the fact that the length of the aliquot string forms an exact division of the length of the longer strings which it vibrates sympathetically.