Search over 300,000 sheet music arrangements available instantly to print or play in our free apps. The left-handed riffs of "What'd I Say" performed by Ray Charles on the Wurlitzer electric piano.
The Wurlitzer electric piano, trademarked[citation needed] the "Electronic Piano" and referred to by musicians as the "Wurly"[citation needed], was one of a series of electromechanical stringless pianos manufactured and marketed by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of Corinth, Mississippi, U.S. The Wurlitzer piano is usually a 64-note instrument whose keyboard range is from A an octave above the lowest note of a standard 88-note piano to the C an octave below the top note of an 88-note piano.
Inventor Benjamin Miessner had designed an amplified conventional upright piano in the 1930s, and Wurlitzer used his electrostatic pickup design, but replaced the strings with struck steel reeds. Most Wurlitzer electric pianos are portable models with removable legs and the sustain pedal attached via a Bowden cable; console, "grand" and "spinet" models were also produced with a permanently attached pedal. The earliest versions were the "100" series; these had a case made from painted plywood and were fitted with a single loudspeaker mounted in the rear of the case. One important role for the Wurlitzer piano was as a student instrument in school and college music labs, and non-portable console versions were made for this purpose.
A rare version, and the only known model not to have 64 keys is the 106P (P for "Pupil"), a 44-note classroom model with a plastic case, no controls, one loudspeaker and no sustain pedal. Since production began, small numbers of wood-cased spinet-style instruments were made for domestic use.
The rarest of all Wurlitzers was the Europe-only model 300, which was a spinet type piano based on the model 200A.
The 200 uniquely had a domestic sister model 270 called the "Butterfly Baby Grand", a semicircular, walnut finish wooden-cased piano with twin quadrant-shaped lids angled above horizontally mounted 8" loudspeakers. Compared with its erstwhile rival, the (Fender) Rhodes electric piano, the Wurlitzer has a less harmonically-complex, darker sound, while the Rhodes is more bell-like, containing high harmonics not as present in the Wurlitzer.

The reeds are notorious for metal fatigue caused by hard playing which can make them go out of tune and eventually break. The reeds are tuned by filing off solder on the ends of them to make them go sharper and adding solder to them to make them go flatter. American Football — "The One With the Wurlitzer"; the song features a Wurlitzer track, which also inspired the song's name. By semi-popular demand, also includes piano sheet music of Hyun-ae's Theme in PDF format.
Tone production in all models comprises a single steel reed for each key, activated by a miniature version of a conventional grand piano action and forming part of an electrostatic pickup system using a DC voltage of 170v. The early models sustain pedals actually attached through the side of the instrument, with the pedal eventually being connected directly under the unit in the late 1950s.
Apart from the 1950s models (110, 111, 112, 112A, 120), the portable Wurlitzer pianos featured a tremolo effect with fixed rate but adjustable depth.
The teacher had a headphone and microphone to be able to listen into each student individually and talk to them without others hearing them.
The 106P was available as a set of eight on a folding frame, forming a portable keyboard lab.
These usually had an upright-piano style soft pedal (actually an electronic attenuator) as well as the sustain pedal. This was the very last model produced and is even rarer than the model 270, butterfly grand.
Using an electric keyboard with a MIDI outlet and a lightning connector, one can connect and play through the iOS operating on a portable computer.
This is seen by some as an advantage in a dense arrangement as the Wurlitzer can clearly be heard, occupying its own space without dominating.

For those not handy with a soldering iron and in search of a quick tuning fix, beeswax may be added to the tip of the reed rather than solder.
You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL. Models produced until the early 1960s used vacuum tube circuitry; the 140 was the first solid-state model, introduced in 1962. They were attached by an umbilical to a full size teacher piano with controls to feature each pupil piano. When played gently the sound can be quite sweet and vibraphone-like, sounding very similar to the Rhodes; while becoming more aggressive with harder playing, producing a characteristic slightly overdriven tone usually described as a "bark". Since then the Wurlitzer electric piano sound has been recreated on digital keyboards, and the vintage models are sought by musicians and collectors. Ultimately, after revisions designated with "A" and "B" suffixes, both were replaced in 1968 by the plastic-bodied 200, a much lighter instrument (56 lbs, without the legs or pedal) with two loudspeakers facing the player.
According to former Wurlitzer employee Bill Fuller, 75% of all universities used Wurlitzer piano labs in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and some facilities were still in operation as late as 2000.[1] Those usually seen resemble a beige or light green Model 200 mounted on a matching pedestal containing a loudspeaker, headphone niche and sustain pedal.
On these models there is no tremolo (although later models simply have the facility disabled). The model 720 was the spinet version of the 145 tube model; the slightly later 720B was a version of the solid state 140B. The white Wurlitzer sometimes seen being used by bands such as The Beach Boys, The Carpenters and Supertramp was a custom painted finish not made by the manufacturer.

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