When Was the Golden Age of Pianos?

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Robert Estrin here from LivingPianos.com with another great question. When was the golden age of pianos? You may have heard the term, “Golden Era”, particularly referring to American pianos. Did you know,

A hundred years ago there were over a thousand companies manufacturing pianos in the United States!

Even before the Great Depression and the crash of the stock market in 1929 there were still hundreds of piano companies in the U.S. The piano was as ubiquitous in homes as big screen televisions are today and in no small part by the player piano.

The player piano was the first home entertainment system.

In the late 1920’s the piano plummeted as radio and phonograph technologies came about. Of course when the Great Depression hit, the piano industry was heavily impacted. The golden era was really before this time. Yet, you could say it extended to before World War II when there were still hundreds of piano companies in this country.

However, during the 1930’s there was tremendous attrition of the piano market for the reasons I articulated: The Great Depression as well as technologies in audio such as radio and the phonograph dealt a death blow to the piano market. Yet there were still many companies making fine pianos.

Ten times more new pianos were sold in the United States sometime between the turn of the century and before World War I.

Remember, that was when the population was less than ⅓ of what we have today! The piano was extremely popular. That was the golden era.

Today, the piano has a renascence of activity in:

China where there are more companies manufacturing pianos than there are piano stores in the United States!

80% of the world’s piano students are in China today. You’ve got to be thankful that the piano is alive and well, just not in the United States like it used to be.

Of course, there are many of you who love the piano just as I do and they will always be around. Keep the questions coming in, again I’m Robert Estrin from LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Store.