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What Buyers of Performance-Quality Pianos Should Know

Sally Phillips gives three case studies illustrating the need for all pianos to be given careful regulation and voicing:

Many pianists believe a piano’s action or tone can’t be changed, or that the performance quality of a piano or action is determined solely by its brand.

Sally Phillips

Without this preparation, even the finest instrument is reduced to little more than a collection of parts, almost certain to disappoint. As a purchaser of a performance-quality piano, you have a much better chance of finding a suitable instrument if you have a basic understanding of these subjects.

The Steinway Hunter

Burned Out in Buffalo

A free chapter for your reading pleasure, reprinted from “The Steinway Hunter” – a memoir by Robert Friedman and his wife Ronnie, recounting Mr Friedman’s 40-year career searching all over the U.S. for old Steinway grands in need of rescue, restoration, and new homes:

As the twilight of an early winter’s evening was settling in, I received a call from the owner of a demolition company in Buffalo, NY. The man’s voice sounded old and tough. He told me of an 1880s stone church that had burned in a wicked fire. The only things that were left standing were the stone foundation, the outer stone walls, a few broken stained-glass windows, a few caved-in sections of floor, and in the basement, a black Victorian Steinway grand piano.

Robert Friedman

Clinkscale Online

Database of Early Pianos: 1700 – 1860

Clinkscale Online is a comprehensive research database dedicated to the worldwide cataloging of historic pianos from before 1860. The database is now available as an online resource available to all registered users without cost. Explore information about nearly 7000 historic pianos, and easily submit information on pianos not yet included, or corrections for existing data.

Pianos for Sale

You may have noticed that we have finally added a new a new section to our web site, where we will list all the pianos that are available to purchase. These are pre-loved instruments that we restore to as-new condition, ready for another generation to enjoy.

Please browse what we have all ready to go at Pianos for Sale, and watch out for the pianos that are being worked on next.


For anyone researching information on their old family upright, there is one site that has more valuable information than any other, and that is the Piano History pages at EDWARDIAN UPRIGHTS and later .

There is information on age and style that is not available anywhere else. I would highly recommend that you look here first to get started on your information quest.

The Etude, May 1913. Presser’s Musical Magazine. Schubert and His Friends.

The Etude, May 1913. Presser’s Musical Magazine. Schubert and His Friends.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) at the piano, playing for his friends while some of them sing. Appreciation of Schubert’s music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, as on the Etude cover, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades immediately after his death.


Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that you can take a difficult passage, work on it for a bit, get it sounding pretty good, but return to the practice room the next day to discover that you’re back at square 1? That nothing has really changed? And despite how good it sounded yesterday, now it sounds just as bad as it did before you worked on it?

Continue reading Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight