Tuesday, October 4, 2016

UPRIGHT PIANOS

      Several months ago I met my neighbor on the street and we had our usual visit. She told me that she had been trying to sell her piano. Now, she had one of the newer pianos which was not as high as the older ones.  She gave up trying to sell the piano as no one was interested. She couldn't even get an offer on a ridiculously low price. Then she decided to give it away as she just wanted it out of her house. She had one person express interest but the person never came back. What's her only option? Pay to have it taken to the dump.

     Now I thought this was a rather sad situation that a perfectly good instrument would be thrown in the garbage.

     I was thinking that I sold my piano 20 years ago and how lucky I was to sell it.

     Now yesterday I was listening to a documentary on pianos. Yes the older pianos cannot be traded anymore. They were interviewing a piano technician. Many people come to him for help to sell their piano. They want to leave the piano with him. He has to refuse their pianos as he knows he won't find a buyer and he's left with the expense of disposal. He explained that many pianos are about 100 years old and they are at the end of their life. The wood in them has lost it's strength and warped. The cost of repair would be enormous and then you still have an old piano.

    Now I thought of the last 150 years when people had pianos and enjoyed music in their homes. I thought of all the children who took piano lessons and learned to play. I also thought about all those kids who took lessons and didn't learn anything. The reason I bought my piano was so that my kids could take piano lessons. One of them learned to play well and played after lessons were over. The other one did not touch the piano after the last lesson. So one learned to play piano and one learned nothing.

     In my family home we had a piano and my parents had the idea to give us piano lessons. I wasn't given piano lessons as we could seldom get to town in the winter. The other two were given lessons and learned very little.

     So it's the end of a long music tradition.

     Kids today take band and learn band instruments.

      How about you? Did you take piano lessons? Did you learn anything.

Piano, Beethoven, Candles, Chandeliers, Old House
Many of the old pianos were very ornate as this one that I found on the internet.

33 comments:

  1. Very interesting. I'd never thought about it but you don't hear a lot about pianos anymore. I took piano lessons for a while and continued to play some at church etc until I was in my mid thirties. I was never very good at it. My grandson plays the cello, and some kind of keyboard.

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    1. Piano players are disappearing. There are still grand pianos for the pros.

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  2. Hmmm.....we have an old piano that we got for our kids to play. And, like you our son played it long after high school, while my daughter didn't play it after her lessons ended. Now that both kids are on their own, my hubby and I have talked about getting rid of it. Sounds like we may have a harder time than I thought!

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    1. Well you could be lucky in your area but you can't sell them here. I think many of us bought the piano just for the kids.

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  3. I didn't know that about pianos, that they have a life span. We never had one around, and now all the kids are using synthesizers. :-)

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    1. The 100 years is flexible. Pianos that were looked after last much longer. The piano I had was hauled out to the farm in a wagon box in 1909.

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  4. We had an old upright that my parents bought so I could take piano lessons. I took lessons for a couple of years and I learned some things about reading music, but I never learned to play well and I hated to practice. The piano itself sat in our house for about 20 years before my mom finally sold it -- maybe she even gave it away, I can't remember. It was definitely an older piano, but quite ornate. I wonder where it is now?

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    1. The piano I had was also very ornate.

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  5. My parents were not so musical so we never had music lessons or instruments. I would have liked to sing in a choir but never dared to ask.

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    1. Well, you could still sing now! What's stopping you???

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  6. My family had a nice piano. My sister, brother, and I had piano lessons. My sister learned to play. My brother and I learned nothing. Oh, to this day, I remember the scale, but a lot of good that does me. If I could go back, I would appreciate those lessons.

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    1. I'm sure many adults would like to go back and take lessons over again.

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  7. the photo wouldn't load, but that's okay. i never played piano or took lessons. i had a small 'play' organ that i toyed with for a little bit.

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    1. I think very few kids didn't have music lessons.

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  8. I took piano lessons! My kids did, too. I heard this doc. It certainly is a problem, what with electronic music. I used to accompany our school choirs, as well as integrating music into my curriculum. They were the good old days! I don't play much anymore. Not much reason to. I should get more disciplined!

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    1. I know you listen to the CBC so I'll have to watch what I say. I quite often find topics from what I hear on the CBC.




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  9. I took piano lessons with the old piano. Never learned a note but I play by ear to this day. Comes in handy when the Grand-kids were small.
    If they did not know a note. I got it for them. I got a No Grandma from my daughter. We also had the music player on the roller too. My Moms sisters daughter got the old piano. So news about them today do not sell.

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    1. In the 70's player pianos were hot items. Lots of people wanted to buy them. Good that you can play by ear.

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  10. Hi Red, Informative! I did not know pianos had a life span of around 100 years ... I did have a piano in the family home, took a few lessons, but never got into it. However, I love listening to good piano music!

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    1. It depends how the piano is looked after as to how long it will last. Nothing like a good piano concerto!

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  11. My father played it- still does, albeit a keyboard now. He donated his piano and organ to a church before my parents moved into a retirement home.

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    1. Ithink keyboards had a lot to do with the discarding of pianos.

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  12. I was surprised how old one was that was left in a home I bought. The tech said it wasn't worth it to fix, but both my kids learned to play it.I left it when I moved also.

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    1. That' a great story. The people probably thought they got a bargain when you left the piano.

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  13. I had piano lessons between the ages of eight and ten. I hated it. The piano teacher was a monster and when she went out to deliver cakes I tried to set fire to her sofa. How come she was delivering cakes when my parents were paying for piano lessons? There was no joy. It was mechanistic like learning to type or something like that.

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    1. I think the high failure rate of kids not learning to play piano was due to very poor teachers. There wasn't any fun with those lessons.

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  14. I always wanted to learn to play but never did. My parents were poor and we had no piano. I bought a friends piano and our girls learned to play, both still can play today. I resold that same piano back to my friend...she was thrilled to have it back.
    My son in law made a few beautiful side tables from an old piano. :)

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  15. Piano wood was great stuff and there were many varieties of wood used. Many people made beautiful furniture pieces from piano wood.

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  16. furniture out of piano ? ah that must be musical to have around.
    hope your friend soon find the solution to her problem or may be she fall in love again with her old friend .
    your post reminded me a very beautiful movie that i watched almost thirty years ago but still reflects in my memories Mrs chamino and her piano if i remember it correctly was the name of movie

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  17. My dad played the piano and had one of the old stand-up ones. It brought a lot of joy to him and I used to love listening. There was one piano teacher in town. My sister took lessons but had her knuckles rapped if she played a wrong note. Mother refused to let her go again and sister was happy not to. That put paid to any ideas I had of going to the same teacher.

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  18. I was given piano lessons as a child -- whether I wanted them or not! Practicing was torture and the only thing I got out of it was the ability to read music. And I think I could still play Chopsticks!
    My oldest daughter desperately wanted lesson and continued playing through high school, but as an adult she never plays. I think it was a good thing because it gave her confidence to be good at something. She also earned money at it as a teen, as an accompaniest for kids playing stringed instruments in competitions.

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  19. I can't play any instrument, I'm musically challenged

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  20. I didn't know that pianos had a lifespan! You learn something new every day. I never learned to play an instrument but I have promised myself that I will learn the keyboard at some point. My husband is musically-inclined. He's in a band (just play for fun) and he is a lead guitarist and singer. My older daughter learned to play the saxophone in high school and performed with her class band in school shows and even performed one year at the Montreal Jazz festival! But she didn't continue with it. My younger daughter took guitar and singing lessons and continues to enjoy her music, although she's busy with so many other things these days.

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