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Today I visited my piano. I have two, actually, one in my house and one at the piano man's house. It was this latter that I visited. He hauled it off a few years ago, to refinish and repair. Not much repair was needed, fortunately. It's a tough piano. It needs one new string and the "ivories" needed to be replaced - with plastic.

Years ago I struggled with the idea of replacing the ivories. I wondered if I should get more real ivory keys from old pianos. But by the time the piano man asked me what to use to replace the keys that were popping off I knew I wanted plastic. There are some nice ones, now, that have the same kind of texture as real ivory, but don't require the killing of elephants, either now or long ago.

The piano is a 7' "parlor grand", and was built for my grandmother. It is a Mason & Hamlin, built around 1900. These pianos are incredibly large and substantial in every way. I think you could sleep on the lid, could put a large mattress on it, if you needed to. The piano is made of Brazilian mahogany, which is a rich red color, just beautiful.

And all of this beauty was restored when I saw it today. There are a few little bits of damage that couldn't be repaired but they are hardly noticeable. And, more important, it is a wonderful piano. Worth the effort.

I am making plans to move it to Las Vegas,where I will later install it into my new home. Which, of course, I do not have yet. Might not have for a while, but I am taking steps. It's nice just thinking about it.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
That sounds amazing....I'd love to see the piano! I took piano for 11 years. We had a grand in the Evanston home I grew up in with my grandparents and my mother had a baby grand in her apartment...both pianos were sold when everyone moved to Florida. I cried. It is so wonderful you have your grandmas piano!

I didn't know you wanted to move to Las Vegas. My mom is always talking about moving there. Or Arizona.
May. 1st, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
My piano looks very similar to the current version:


Model BB.

The finish on mine is not glossy, though, and the music stand is not curved. But very similar. And what a piano it is!

Yes, it is the most important thing I have. I almost have a degree in music, piano performance. I didn't quite finish. I am not a wiz, honestly, but I want to get back to playing. When I learn a piece I can indeed play it well. Although I feel a bit of arthritis creeping into my hands, which does limit what I can do.

I have been planning to move to LV because my children live there. Not for any other reason. It will be difficult to leave here because it is so beautiful here and I love how easy it is to get out into my natural surroundings. But there are always ways to find what one wants.
May. 2nd, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
your piano sounds absolutey exquisite, judith!

reading your entry makes me want to have my upright piano tuned (something i've procrastinated at for several years now).

good for you for hanging onto it!
May. 2nd, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yes. It's one thing I did right.

My upright is also in need of tuning and minor repair. I mentioned this to the tuner guy while I was there. So I'll be scheduling that some time soon, too. Too damned cool.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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