The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The US is experiencing an epidemic of “piano-cide.” But help is available and there are alternatives to loss. Is piano waste happening here in Madison and Wisconsin? What can be done to save or rescue pianos here and elsewhere? Part 2 of 2.

August 12, 2012
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

As I explained yesterday – and as readers of this blog well know — I am a devoted and even devout pianist.

I always used to find myself pained by piano abuse –- even when it is in the cause of making music by, say, rocker Jerry Lee Lewis (below) stomping and banging and doing hard glissandos on the piano. (I am not a guitarist, but I felt the same way when The Who used to destroy its guitars at the end of a show.) OUCH!!!! It hurts just to look at abused instruments that are capable of creating such beauty, no?

So you can imagine my distress when I found out that vast numbers of usable and even beautiful, valuable old pianos are being dumped and discarded, trashed and destroyed, simply because no one takes the time to find them a good home and an appreciative player.

Here is the original story about the widespread destruction of piano from The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/arts/music/for-more-pianos-last-note-is-thud-in-the-dump.html?pagewanted=all

Happily, the reporter Daniel J. Wakin received so much response that he ended up writing a sequel that has many tips – and much good news — about how to save pianos.

Here is a link to Wakin’s welcome follow-up story about rescuing and saving pianos (below).

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/arts/music/used-pianos-can-be-donated-to-charities-and-artists.html

I admit it: The story isn’t earth-shaking during a time of the deadly Syrian struggle and other major geo-political events. So it probably won’t win any major prizes for investigative reporting and public service. But little things can matter big and make a big difference — especially during hard economic times when  those who want to make music or take music lessons can’t afford an instrument but might indeed be looking for a piano. 

What do you have to say about the predicament and the possible solutions? Leave your view in the COMMENT section.

Save a Piano!

Save Classical Music!


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