Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tuesday 3rd November - Talking about pianos

http://shafferpianos.com/harling/

I used to teach someone who had a piano similar to this one. Her mother thought it was "a lovely piece of furniture", which is true. It was lovingly cared for, and had pleated red silk showing through the fretted front panels and candle holders, with candles in them which they lit at Christmas.
Apparently this one dates from 1850. I'd guess hers was about 50-75 years later, with much less decorative carving.

But it was a rubbish piano, in terms of playing rather than looking at it. A piano is a mechanical contraption, when all is said and done, and mechanical contraptions do wear out. We got as far as beginning Chopin and Beethoven, and then the beautiful piece of furniture's shortcomings as a musical instrument became all too clear. I guess it could have been restored, maybe? For a price? New soundboard, new tuning pins, restringing, sorting out the action? Would have cost a lot.

What has provoked this post? Talking to a number of parents about what they need to have in order for their child to start piano lessons. Namely, A PIANO. (Or a "digital" or "stage" piano). A keyboard is NOT the same thing at all.

Rant over.

Breathe. Pour the second sherry. Relax.
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