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A damper is a felt pad designed to deaden the sound of the string, tine, or reed. On most keyboard instruments, the damper is lifted when the key is pressed just before the hammer strikes, allowing the note to sustain. When a key is released, the damper falls and stops the vibration of the note, ending the sound almost immediately. A sustain pedal is often used in keyboard instruments to lift the entire damper system up, allowing for sustained, expressive playing. Rhodes and Wurlitzers both have dampers that function like an acoustic piano, though look quite different. Clavinets do not have a damper as such, the notes are always dampened by yarn or Clavigel that are temporarily sustained when the hammer of the Clavinet strikes it and then released.

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