The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: These are tough times for piano sellers who are hearing sour notes. Read why. Plus, hear a FREE concert of string music by Bach and Bartok Friday at noon. | January 7, 2015

ALERT: The week’s FREE Friday Noon Musicale, to be held in the Landmark Auditorium from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, will feature violist Jeremy Kienbaum and pianist Vincent Fuh in music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Bela Bartok.


By Jacob Stockinger

For most of my life, having a piano at home and taking piano lessons seemed one of the cultural givens. It was a gateway to classical music, and to playing other instruments and even to singing as well as to becoming a lifelong appreciative listener.

child at the piano

But times are changing.

And they are not changing for the better -– at least not from my point of view.

Across the nation, sales of acoustic pianos are down — way down.

Here is a story from The Associated Press that localizes a piano store in Iowa to show the general situation.

Farley's House of PIanos MMM 20141


  1. This articles makes me appreciate Farley’s Pianos even more. Occasionally I flirt with the idea of trading up from my Baldwin to a Steinway, Chickering, etc. but sad but true, it’s more than I can afford. The article did not mention the decline of the middle class as a more recent factor. Linda Donnelly

    Comment by Linda Donnelly — January 7, 2015 @ 9:43 am

    • You are right: It should indeed make us appreciate Farley’s House of Pianos even more. And it is a very good point, what you say at the end about the decline of the middle class and the stagnation or decline of workers’ wages. Thank you.

      Comment by welltemperedear — January 7, 2015 @ 9:44 am

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