Top 5 Piano Myths
1. Steinway is the best piano in the world.
There are a handful of piano companies which make pianos equal in quality to Steinway. (For example: Bösendorfer, Bechstein, Fazioli, Blüthner and Mason & Hamlin are all top notch pianos with rich histories.) In fact, if you look in the latest supplement to “The Piano Book”, by Larry Fine, New York made Steinway pianos are rated in the 3rd rank of pianos according to manufacturing quality. So why is Steinway recognized as the undisputed leader? In a word: marketing. Just as Microsoft dominates computer software because of aggressive licensing arrangements, John Steinway helped propel Steinway & Sons to its market dominance through exclusive artist contracts and favorable institutional arrangements.
2. When you move a piano it has to be tuned.
This is a half truth. The fact is, a piano that is moved will show up pretty much as it left most of the time. However, after the piano gets acclimated to its new environment, it will require tuning. The piano may not sound bad, but the pitch of the entire instrument may adjust slightly up or down. It is important to keep a piano stable. It is best to wait at least a couple of weeks or even longer after a move before tuning to make sure the piano has settled.
3. Kids banging on a piano may damage the instrument.
While it can grate on your nerves, the force with which kids hit the keys of a piano even with their fists can’t match the power professional pianists inflict upon a piano in concert. Just be sure that the children don’t take sharp or heavy objects to the keyboard since this can damage the instrument.
4. The fall board of a piano must have a slow close feature to avoid injury.
The slow close fall-board feature of a piano is a great marketing tool. The truth is, unless you have some really wild kids, the incidence of being hurt by a falling fall board is quite rare. Most of the best pianos including Steinway do not offer a slow close fall board.
5. You shouldn’t place a piano on an outside wall.
Even in a temperate climate, the insulation of modern homes will keep the temperature fairly stable even on an outside wall. However, it is important to avoid direct sunlight on your piano. This will not only effect tuning stability, but it will fade the finish in a matter of weeks. Also, you should keep your piano closed particularly at night. If you leave your windows open at night, the moist night air will rust the strings. Also, even with the piano closed, the cooler air can make the sound board contract destabilizing the tuning. Use your judgment in balancing the enjoyment of your piano versus its longevity.
I’m interested to hear your opinions and thoughts on these piano myths. Please leave some comments below. Thanks for reading.