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Steinway & Sons Piano TV Show
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3594
Last night on one of the PBS stations, I saw a great show titled "Note by Note," about the making of a Steinway Concert Grand Piano. It was a great show. Two things struck me. One was how precise the piano is, in the same way as guitars are with intonation, differences in tone in the same models, etc. Pianos vary, just like guitars, with one produced right beside another on the factory floor having a completely different tone and amount of volume. The other thing was that this was a lot like the Martin factory. The people talked the same way about their jobs and their company. I guess Steinway and Martin are the two classic American instrument companies.

For what it's worth, if you get a chance to watch it and you're interested in pianos, it's a good 50-minute show.


Sep 15, 09 | 5:53 am

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Thanks Bill, I'll sure look for the experience in this area was with a victorian era Wurlitzer upright grand I discovered in the back room of an old bar in Arizona.
After a fashion, I talked the owner out of the old piano. I needed a LOT of work. Someone had tossed a beer bottle through the hammers "Back in the day" and it was just pushed back in the store room where it stayed until I removed the cobwebs and started it's return to daylight.
The old piano had a "History" so to speak...the origional owners Daughter (Then 75 at the time) filled in as much as she could remember, which included weekly travels...for over 30 years the piano was loaded up every Saturday morning and moved to a Grange Hall in Eastern Colorado for the "Dance" that would be held there every weekend, and then reloaded in what ever was available, wagon OR? and moved to a local church for the Sunday services...only to all be repeated the next have no idea how heavy this thing was..
If it could only also had bullet holes in the front panel (Which had been removed for volume).
Anyway...thus my adventure began to revive this wonderful old instrument! It took me a full year to bring it back to life...having to hand carve some of the connecting pieces...the strings were an interesting venture all thier own and make as much difference in their sound as does strings for a guitar!
My kids learned to play on this old piano, we had many great times and parties and some GREAT players to remember together...including one old friend who played with Tommy Dorsey for a while..
One day the Old Lady showed up with HER Son and said that the "Bar Owner" had no right to give away HER Mother's piano which she had only "loaned" them and she demanded "Her" Piano back...she was now 93...and very frail..we discussed it and with tears in my eyes, I let her have the old panio rather than fight over it..
Sadly..two years later I heard rumors and I drove by her home only to find it was sitting beside the garage... out in the open.... in the pouring down rain completely ruined..
But yes indeed, these wonderful old (And NEW) pianos have their own distinct personalities..
Sorry...guess I kinda got carried away....

Sep 15, 09 | 9:59 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
That's a great story. Thanks for sharing it!

Makes me remember, 50 years ago, me and my pappaw sittin' on his porch in Weatherford (Texas) one hot summer day. He was in a rocking chair, whittling something with his Barlow knife, telling me, a young whiippersnapper, why I should value the things of this life, " 'cause somebody worked hard to make 'em -- real hard -- ...and 'cause they have a "hist'ry,' y'know, 'n' they go back farther than the people that owns 'em sometimes. ... " He pauses, and his eyes fill with tightly controlled tears. But that's all he said, and I will always wonder what or who he was thinking about .... He never told me.

I wonder if any of our guitars will ever have a story like these? Wouldn't that be cool? (Without the leaving them out in the rain part!)


Sep 15, 09 | 1:12 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Or havin to give em away without notice!

Sep 15, 09 | 1:51 pm

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
If you wanted to see this show and missed it...there is suposed to be a DVD release should be available for rent..

Sep 16, 09 | 2:40 pm

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