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Monday, 30 December 2013

A Good Piano

A good piano, wherever it is, appears to have an open invitation to any passing pianist to sit and play. Piano manufacturers like a Steinway, Bluthner, Bechstein, Fazioli, Bosendorfer etc. all have established reputations to maintain, and they continue to produce highly respected pianos which are greatly treasured by their owners! 

The search for a good piano usually eliminates the lesser-known, relatively inexpensive pianos. But many very fine pianos have faithfully served their owners and given hours and hours of music-making pleasure to all who appreciate piano music even though the name on the front may not be widely known.   

It is a mistake for pianists with more modest means, to think that buying a really good piano has to cost a fortune. For the more fortunate, no price is too much to pay for a particular piano. For most, the best piano available for a given cost will have to do. Interestingly, expensive does not guarantee 'good' and a low price does not always mean wasted money. There are so many variables with pianos that dogmatic generalisations are unhelpful. Seek advice where possible.

Popular opinion seems to prefer a grand piano over an upright piano. As a general rule however, a good upright piano is better than an average grand piano. A baby grand piano is chosen as much for its elegant looks as for its value as a piano. If you are wanting to spend a fixed amount of money on a baby grand OR an upright piano, almost certainly, the upright will be a better piano than the grand.

In days of old, to categorise grand pianos, odd names were used e.g. boudoir grands, semi-grands, cottage grands and mini grands. All had clear meanings when these pianos were sold originally, but today manufacturers generally distinguish their grand pianos by giving their size. The exceptions might be the terms Baby Grand and Concert Grand.

The very best pianos will always be expensive to buy. Most people manage to come to terms with the best piano they can afford. Dreams of one day buying a Steinway or something similar is a very worthy aspiration! Dreams - even dreams about pianos, come true!  

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