Piano Tuning In  West Virginia

Did You Know?...

  1. Christie's Auction House recently sold a Victorian Steinway grand piano for $1.2 MILLION DOLLARS! The piano was sold to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, Massachusetts.
  2. What famous piano company was Engelhard Steinweg the founder of?
    Maybe this will help. In 1850 he Americanized his name to Henry E. Steinway!
    1997 was the 200th Anniversary of his famous Steinway Pianos!
  3. Did you know that the piano is known as "The King of Instruments"? The piano earned this title for a number of reasons including it's tonal range (the piano covers the full spectrum of any instrument in the orchestra from below the lowest note of the double bassoon to above the top note of the piccolo), it's ability to produce melody and accompaniment at the same time (try that on a flute) and it's broad dynamic range. It is also the largest musical instrument (excluding the pipe organ), most versatile and one of the most interesting.
  4. The average medium size piano has about 230 strings, each string having about 165 pounds of tension, with the combined pull of all strings equaling approximately eighteen tons!
  5. The total string tension in a concert grand is close to Thirty Tons!
  6. A boxed model D Steinway Grand Piano weighs 1400 Pounds!
  7. Six Steinways are now in the Smithsonian collection.
  8. The working section of the piano is called the action. There are approximately 7500 parts here, all playing a role in sending the hammers against the strings when keys are struck.
  9. A new piano should be tuned four times the first year, with the change of seasons, and at least twice a year after that.
  10. There are over 10 MILLION pianos in American homes, businesses, and institutions.
  11. The first practical piano with an escapement mechanism for the hammers and capable of being played softly and loudly was built in 1700 by an Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731).  The Smithsonian in Washington, DC is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the piano with a wonderful exhibit that runs through March 2001.
  12. Cristofori made few pianos. His attention was set on building harpsichords.
  13. The name piano is an abbreviation of Cristofori's original name for the instrument: piano et forte or soft and loud.
  14. Spinet pianos were made by Samuel Blythe as early as 1789 at Salem, Mass.
  15. The term Grand was first used in 1777.
  16. Abraham Lincoln used Chickering Grand #5070 while at the White House.
  17. During 1869 the US produced 25,000 pianos valued at $7,000,000, during 1910 production was 350,000 pianos valued at $100,000,000 !
  18. The term "Tickle the Ivorys" refers to playing the ivory keys of the piano, however, ivory has not been used to make piano keys since about the 1950's (they are plastic, sometimes referred to as "Ivorine").
  19. There are currently over 50 Brand Names of pianos?
  20. During the past 100 years there have been approximately 5000 Brands of pianos placed on the market. Most are still on display in homes or elsewhere.
  21. Pianos are made of thousands of pieces of wood glued together to form various parts of the playing mechanism as well as the cabinet. Felt, buckskin, paper, steel, iron, copper, and other materials are also used.
  22. Independent studies show that children who learn piano tend to do better in school. This is attributed to the discipline, eye-hand coordination, social skills building, learning a new language (music) and the pleasure derived from making your own music.
  23. It should also be noted here that anyone considering a career in any facet of music should consider studying the piano. Many music schools require at least one semester of piano, regardless of your major.
  24. Over the years there have been many attempts at "improving" the piano. One such experiment was to replace some of the wooden action parts with plastic. It didn't work, they cracked with age. There were many other ideas that tried and failed including the Jensen piano which had 2 keyboards, a vertical grand, one that had a keyboard that was more like a typewriter and many others.
  25. Presidential Pianos…
    1st President - George Washington - Longman & Broderip Harpsichord; Schoen & Vinsen Pianoforte
    2nd President - John Adams - Currier & Co
    3rd President - Thomas Jefferson - Astor Pianoforte
    4th President - James Madison - Square Grand (name destroyed by fire)
    5th President - James Monroe - Astor Piano
    6th President - John Quincy Adams - Currier & Co
    7th President - Andrew Jackson - T. Gilbert & Co. Square Piano
    8th President - Martin Van Buren - Hallet & Cumston Square Piano
    9th President - William Henry Harrison - Haines Brothers
    10th President - John Tyler - Thomas Tomkinson Upright Piano
    11th President - James Knox Polk - Astor & Harwood Square Piano
    12th President - Zachary Taylor - name unknown
    13th President - Millard Fillmore - name unknown
    14th President - Franklin Pierce - Chickering Square Piano
    15th President - James Buchanan - Chickering Grand Piano
    16th President - Abraham Lincoln - Chickering Square Piano & Chickering Upright
    17th President - Andrew Johnson - Steinway & Sons Square Piano
    18th President - Ulysses S. Grant - Melodeon
    19th President - Rutherford B. Hayes - Bradbury Upright & Harpsichord (name destroyed by fire)
    20th President - James A. Garfield - Hallet & Davis Upright
    21st President - Chester A. Arthur - Piano cannot be located.
    22nd President - Grover Cleveland - Combination Piano & Harpsichord (name destroyed by fire)
    23rd President - Benjamin Harrison - J. & C. Fischer Upright Piano, Haines Brothers Square
    24th President - Grover Cleveland - (same as above)
    25th President - William McKinley - A. H. Gale Co. Square Piano
    26th President - Theodore Roosevelt - Chickering Upright, Steinway Grand Piano
    27th President - William Howard Taft - Baldwin Grand Piano
    28th President - Woodrow Wilson - Ernst Rosenkranst Square Piano, Knabe Grand
    29th President - Warren G. Harding - A. B. Chase Electric Player Piano
    30th President - Calvin Coolidge - Sohmer Upright Piano
    31st President - Herbert Hoover - Knabe Grand & A. B. Chase Grand
    32nd President - Franklin D. Roosevelt - Hardman Grand
    33rd President - Harry S. Truman - Steinway Grand, Baldwin Grand & Steinway Upright
    34th President - Dwight D. Eisenhower - Hallet & Cumston Upright
    35th President - John F. Kennedy - Ivers & Pond Grand Piano
    36th President - Lyndon B. Johnson - Style L. Steinway, Knabe Console
    37th President - Richard M. Nixon - Geo. P. Bent Upright, Baldwin Vertical
    38th President - Gerald Ford - No personal piano
    39th President - James (Jimmy) Carter - Ludden & Bates
    40th President - Ronald Reagan - Steinway Grand
    41st President - George Bush - Did not own personal piano.
    42nd President - William (Bill) Clinton - Baldwin Grand in the Governor's Mansion.
    43rd President - George W. Bush - No personal piano. Steinway Grand in the White House residence
  26. Jonas Chickering was the first exporter of American made pianos. First shipment to India 1844.
  27. Yamaha, established in 1887 was the first piano manufacturer in Japan.
  28. Pianos were the first meaningful brand names, the first Status Symbol, and the first major items sold on an installment basis, which was the cornerstone of several major banking institutions of today.
  29. A grand piano action is faster than a vertical (spinet, console, upright) because it has a repetition lever. This allows the pianist to repeat the note when it is only half way up. A vertical action requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer action.
  30. Piano Sizes
    Concert Grand - 8' 11" and larger
    Half Concert Grand - 7'4"
    Parlour Grand 6'8"
    Drawing Room Grand - 6'4"
    Professional Grand - 6'
    Living Room Grand - 5'10"
    Baby Grand - 5'8"
    Upright - 51" and up
    Vertical - 36" - 51"
    Studio - 44" or taller
    Console to 42"
    Spinet - 36" to 38"
  31. The worlds largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand. This piano is 11 feet long, has a total string tension of over 30 tons and weighs more than a ton!!
  32. The term A-440 concert pitch refers to A above middle C vibrating at 440 cycles per second.
  33. The first note (on a standard 88 note keyboard) is A
  34. The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C - it is actually the space between E and F above "middle" C.
  35. The last note of the keyboard is C
  36. The Bsendorfer Imperial concert grand piano is 9' 6" long and has 9 extra keys stretching to a growling C below bottom C! (Imperial grand sold for $55,000 in 1980!) The 9' and 7' 4" grands have four extra bass keys, the lowest of which is F below bottom C.
  37. Comma (or coma) -- A minute interval or difference in the pitches of the same musical tone occasioned by different systems of tuning. The comma of Didymus is an interval such as that between two enharmonically equivalent notes like B-sharp and C-natural, an amount of 24 cents. (cents are 1/100th of a semitone) The syntonic comma is the interval between a just major third (5:4) and a Pythagorean third (81:84). The comma of Pythagoras (known also as the ditonic comma) is the difference between a cycle of just fifths and seven perfect octaves. In equal temperament tuning this comma is absorbed by the diminishing of each successive fifth in the cycle by the amount of 1/12th of the comma.
  38. Paul Janko, Austria, constructed a keyboard of six tiers, one above the other -- runs and arpeggios made less difficult than on regular piano keyboard.
  39. Silver, glass, gold and silk were used in making strings for musical instruments.
  40. Zumpe created the square piano in England in 1760.
  41. Beethoven's Studio Piano is in the National Museum, Vienna, Austria.
  42. The first patent issued to H. Steinway, New York, was May 5, 1857.
  43. Gustavus Hessilens made a spinet piano in Philadelphia in 1742.
  44. G. Hoffman built a symmetrically rounded piano in 1804.
  45. Sebastian Erard made the first

French Square
piano in 1777 and the first grand in 1796.

  1. John Broadwood enlarged the strings in the square piano, used two thick strings instead of three thinner ones and moved the wrest plank from the right side to the bottom of the case in 1788.
  2. Johann Christian Schleip built many vertical pianos known as the "Giraffe Piano".
  3. Johann Behrent built the first piano in America at Philadelphia in 1775 under the name "Piano Forte".
  4. Mangeot of Paris built a piano with reversible keyboards in 1876.
  5. Sebastian Erard built a piano and organ combined for Marie Antoinette.
  6. Piano Row was located on

14th Street, New York
. This was the headquarters of such fine pianos as Steinway, Steck, Behning, Bradbury, Sohmer and many others.

  1. As far back as 1901, Estey stated they had manufactured and sold 325,000 organs.
  2. Nickelodeon is a general term used to describe various electrical coin operated pianos.
  3. The first census giving figures for instrument makers was in 1860 which was 223 - about 110 were piano manufacturers.
  4. About 1870 Daniel F. Beatty advertised rosewood square grands for $255.
  5. Piano player was developed 1863 with push up cabinet, with wooden felt covered fingers that depressed keys. R.W. Pain was probably the first to build a pneumatic self playing piano, a 39 note self contained player for Needham & Sons in 1880.
  6. J.C. Stoddard, Worcester, Massachusetts, invented the Calliope in 1855.
  7. A drop of 1/2 step in pitch can equal a change of 3000 to 5000 Pounds of tension! (Now you know why it is important to keep your piano tuned).
  8. The Yamaha piano company produces a new piano that sells for $333,000!
  9. Did you know that the first upright piano was built in 1800 by Matthias Muller?
  10. Of course the better models of John Isaac Hawkins of Philadelphia are the true ancestors of those played today.
  11. It is common knowledge that Napoleon owned a piano. He owned an Erard piano, although it is very doubtful he ever played it at all!!  Although Napoleon did have his namesake continued as the Napoleonic Era. With the Napoleonic era came the birth of the romantic movement in literature, painting and decor as well as in music It was Beethoven who was known as the very first Napoleonic Pianist.
  12. Of course Beethoven cannot be considered just classical or romantic.  This would definitely limit his achievements in music.  His creativity developed musical forms beyond that ever attempted at that time.  His Music was full of emotion which seem at times able to sweep from one extreme to the other.
  13. From fortissimo to pianissimo. Human emotion was Beethoven’s best friend.  He was able to capture it truly in the music he composed.
  14. Mozart, Haydn or Handel did not reveal the dark side or even the compassionate expressive qualities Beethoven was able to portray in his Music.
  15. Beethoven essentially was the first real father of The Napoleonic Romantic Era of Music.
  16. A 64th note is called a hemidemisemi quaver.
  17. There are as many constellations in the sky as there are keys on the piano!
  18. In the 18th century (around Mozart's time), some pianos had a knee pedal that has the same function as today's pedal but were operated with the knees.
  19. The great pianist Anton Rubinstein has trouble getting up in the morning. Every morning Mrs.Rubinstein would wake him up by playing a dischord on the piano. Not being able to stand the sound, Rubinstein would run to the piano and resolve the chord properly, while Mrs.Rubinstein run to the bedroom and take all the sheets and blankets off the bed. That's how the day of the great Rubinstein gets started. - Victor Borge, My Favorite Intermission.
  20. The average medium sized piano has about 230 strings, each string having about 165 pounds of tension, with the combined pull of all strings equaling approximately eighteen tons.
  21. The oldest piano still in existence was built in 1720.
  22. No one knows where Mozart is buried.
  23. Each American president has had a personal piano -- with the exception of Gerald Ford and George Bush.
  24. Mozart once composed a piano piece that required a player to use two hands and a nose in order to hit all the correct notes.
When Beethoven was writing his 9th symphony he requested a piano that had a percussion pedal on it.