Square Piano Tech

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Square Piano Tech

– A resource for the restoration of  18th and early 19th century square pianos.

Thomas Strange has an extensive background in materials science, and is the author of forty three patents and numerous papers over the last two decades, covering all aspects of capacitor development, with an emphasis on foil development for aluminum electrolytics.

Lucy Coad Square Piano Conservation and Repair

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Lucy Coad Square Piano Conservation and Repair

Following an initial training in modern piano technology Lucy Coad completed a three year apprenticeship with conservator Tim Hamilton specialising in the conservation and restoration of historical pianofortes.

Johannes Mercken square piano

Johannes Mercken. Made in Paris, 1784.

In response to the growing need to conserve and repair surviving instruments in private and public ownership, Lucy later chose to further specialise in square pianos. This led to the establishment of Lucy Coad Square Piano Conservation and Repair in London in 1985, later moving to our current location between Bristol and Bath. Our work ranges from the making of a single string through to the complete rebuilding of structurally failed instruments. Our experience is considerable, with a huge number of instruments having come through the workshop, from clients worldwide that include national heritage bodies, museums, private collectors, dealers, colleges of music, royal schools and performers both amateur and professional. Pianos are prepared to meet differing requirements, from conservation for display only through to performance standard, and always with the expertise, care and respect due to early instruments. The workshop continues to work primarily with square pianos dating from the 1760s-1860s, however, in recent years the business has grown and now employs a specialised team to undertake the conservation and repair of grand pianos of the same period.

Our methods aim to conserve, where possible, all original components. When it is not possible to conserve, or components are missing, an accurate replacement is made and the original returned for future historic reference. Thorough research into original materials allows us to use only suitable replacement woods, cloths, leathers and alloys, all being vital to achieve the correct ‘touch’ and sound. All work is documented in detail in an accompanying photographic report.

Friends of Square Pianos

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Friends of Square Pianos

Website of David Hackett of Chelveston.

We are also happy to welcome owners of very old grand pianos – say before about 1837 – as they do not seem to have a website of their own.  We hope that you will find something of interest, and also feel free to contribute – please e-mail any questions or contributions to David at  friends.sp@btinternet.com

Our aim is to encourage ownership and enjoyment of these historic instruments, and to help owners to keep them in playing condition.  There is a special pleasure in playing (and hearing) music played on the instruments for which it was composed.

Clementi Square Piano

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If you have a piano that looks like this, congratulations, you have an instrument that is quite rare in Australia. If you would like to have it totally restored, then you have come to the right place.

Clementi square piano with lid raised

Square pianos are seldom seen in Australia, but were the main household instruments for over 100 years from the mid 18th till 19th century.

To read more about square pianos, click here.