David C. Stanwood draws from a lifetime of experience in diversified fields including:
Machine tool making, felt making, artistic photography, professional sailing and rigging,
and classical piano.  He performs and records in his own improvisation style of piano.
He received his degree in Photographic Science and Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology.

His life work began in 1978 when he received his certificate from Piano Technology
department of the North Bennet St. School in Boston under William E. Garlick.  At
the School, the first question he asked was "if the action doesn't feel right what can I
do to change it?"  The repeated lack of definitive answers to this question led him to
 research and develop methods for improving the feel of piano actions. A pivotal event
in his career occurred in August of 1988, when Rudolf Serkin tested a Model D Steinway
fitted with a prototype "improved" action. Serkin was favorably impressed and encouraged
Stanwood to keep on his path.

Guided by evaluations of his work by top pianists, Stanwood went on to invent the
"New Touch Weight Metrology", a new system of units and measures that describes
how each action part contributes to the feel of the action in terms of weight, leverage,
and friction. His the discovery of  "The Equation of Balance"  opened up a whole new
field of study and practice, that of "Piano Touchweight Technology", culminating in
the creation of Precision Touch Designtm.

His work dramatically improves the quality of restored or rebuilt pianos and is
also used frequently to improve new pianos and makes possible the customization of
pianos in a way that was never before possible.  Hundreds of concert pianos have been
upgraded with Precision Touch Design
tm.   His work also helps in the education of music
students by improving the quality of practice pianos as well as performance pianos
in Colleges and Universities, most notably the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
His work also continues to bring great benefits to pianists who suffer from injury or
who are in a weakened state due to health issues.  Most notably he helped the world
famous improvisation artist Keith Jarrett when he was suffering from Chronic Fatigue

His long range goal is integration of his component balancing techniques with the
manufacture and rebuilding of pianos worldwide and the improvement of pianos
everywhere.   Another long range goal is to integrate touch weight metrology into
the curriculum  of  piano technology schools across the globe.  

Stanwood volunteers a considerable amount of time to teaching in his profession.
In October of 1990 he published "Factoring Friction with the Balance Weight System"
in the PTG Journal.  In June of 1996 he published "The New Touchweight Metrology"
in the PTG Journal followed by a series of articles in 2000 that layout a whole new
science within the discipline of Piano Technology.   Stanwood is frequently asked to
teach  classes and seminars to piano technicians across the continent and in Europe. 

His specialty also crosses over into public school programs were he has often been
asked to teach young students how to understand algebra using the analogy of
a piano key as a see saw and of an algebraic formula being equal when the see
saw is balanced.  

On June 1, 2007 Stanwood was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award
from the North Bennet St. School
for his contributions to the craft of piano technology. 
In 2009 he received the
Crowl-Travis Member of Note Award from the Piano
Technicians Guild.  In 2019 he was inducted into the Piano Technicians Guild
Hall of Fame
.   Click Here for the PTG Hall of Fame Book entry.

He lives and works at his home in the Lambert's Cove area of West Tisbury, on the
Island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

David Stanwood Piano Innovations and inventions include:


Low Inertia Jack


The Balance Weight System


Adjustable Friction Hammer Flange


Hard Anodized Aluminum Capstan


The Equation of Balance and Precision Touch Design


Adjustable Wippen Support Spring - "The Miracle Whippen"


Half Balance Rail bearings for changing ratio


Circular Slide Rule for Calculating Balance Weight and Friction Weight


Adjustable Leverage Action


The Table of Touch Design Elements


SNAP! Stanwood New Action Protocol
Computer free method for balance piano actions to a desired dynamic playing inertia level

Back to Stanwood Piano Innovations Home Page

Created: January 8, 1996,

Last Updated: July 27, 2019