Today’s photos are event-related: the arrival of our new piano!
Tucked away in a recipe file, of all places, I have the purchase agreement for the Baldwin Acrosonic spinet that I’ve been playing off and on since I was seven. My parents bought it on an installment plan in 1970 for $929, and paid it off six months early. (Go, Mom and Dad!) A spinet is somewhat different than a full piano, but it was always a piano to me. It’s the piano that my children both took lessons on, and the one my daughter played as she learned to sing. It did not have a warm or rich sound, and at the change of seasons a couple of the keys would stick in the most maddening way. Years ago, one of my sisters ran a pin or some other sharp object over the length of the white keys. Only just this moment does it seem like a shocking thing to have been done, though I do remember there was an uproar when it happened. But by the time the piano left here, the scratches were almost gone, smoothed over by 40+ years of playing. I will miss it.
The piano that has come to live with us now is a studio-style piano by Wm. Knabe and Company. It’s not particularly fancy, either. But it does have a very warm and rich sound. I spent almost an hour playing on it, and two others of the same model at the music store last week. It was a huge challenge for me to play in a store, where strangers could hear me. To say that I have piano performance anxiety is an understatement. (Though put me in front of a room full of people to talk about books, and I’ll talk all day.) Fortunately, I got lost in my research and just had fun listening to the pianos. As the owner of the store told me, pianos have individual personalities much in the way that people do. I think I met the right one.
February 20th Words
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