My Old Piano by Lucile Surface
Who will want this old piano
After I can play no more?
Who will love and cherish it?
That is what I want to know.
Though it is scarred, its finish marred
It’s tone is as sweet and melodious as before.
Many were the tales of joy, laughter and grief
Played by our family and brought relief
As our faith in God raised to brighten our days
And help us go cheerfully on our ways
For years I sat in the dusk of evening
With my little ones gathered ’round,
And left my mind go wandering back
How they thrilled to its glorious sound.
It was played at the Chautauqua
About the turn of the century,
How its music soared in the summer air,
Bringing joy to all who gathered there.
It is there that my father found it
As he searched for one for our home,
How our hearts were filled with gladness
When he bought it to be our own.
Many years have passed since that day
But the beauty of the tones are there today,
In my heart I rejoice over its wonderful presence
That brings back those long gone days.
Who will want this old piano when I can play no more?
Who will love and cherish it, I would like to know.
This piano is still in use by Lucile’s great grand daughters. A Davenport and Tracy upright built in the early 1900’s.I tune it twice each year. It is still loved and cherished. Lucile would be proud!
Related item: Diana Ross sings – My Old Piano.
I am often asked if I recommend piano climate control systems to be installed into a piano. No, I do not. I am one of the very few technicians who will take this position. It is for good reason. My reasons, straight out, are this – in some cases they will increase tuning stability but I have found that 100% of the time, over long term, they will cause damage. I am saying this from the point of over 40 years of observation.
In some situations climate control systems can be useful devices, but in most cases they are installed recklessly and unnecessarily. The manufacturers of the most popular climate control system have express to me that their biggest challenge is to see that their product is being used in the correct application and installed as intended. As a field technician I sympathize with them since most of what I see is detrimental to their cause.
The driving force behind the sale of these products is incentive for add-on sales by stores and technicians.
The best way to acclimatize a piano is to control the environment in which it is place. In some cases, such as with institutions and large halls, it is difficult to do this. In this case, the risks and rewards need to be evaluated and the lesser of two evils must be selected. If the selection is to install a climate control system than it must be done correctly.
The images on this page show a terrible situation involving a Steinway “B” concert grand belonging to a client of mine. Someone came along and installed a climate control system and it has caused severe damage to an otherwise magnificent instrument.
There was absolutely no need to install this system on this piano. The piano sits in a 7 figure house with a state-of-the-art heating and air cooling system. As you can see from the images the soundboard is damaged directly above the area where the water tank is located. This is what I find with most installations.
Pianos must be treated in a uniform manor with regard to humidity. The humidity needs to be kept constant in the area surrounding the piano. In the installation shown the humidity is concentrated in a small area of the soundboard. Sadly, this is the case in most installations.
I suggest thinking very carefully about installing one of these systems in your piano. If a system is absolutely necessary, consult with an experienced and competent technician with experience in climate control and piano climate control system installation before making a decision. Consider instead acclimatizing the entire room with air cooling and heating.
Areas where the winters are long the air becomes dangerously dry the problem is easily remedied by humidification of the entire room or house. In climates of high humidity, consider a central or room unit cooling system.
Remember, however, that the key factor is stability. I maintain instruments for clientele in the northeaster US as well as in the southwest. Each climate is opposite the other. Regardless of the humidity difference between the regions I have found that minimizing the fluctuation in relative humidity within a 12 month period by keeping it within a 25% variance, pianos will not need a climate control system.
Steinway & Sons Console Piano Sr.#378591 Built 1962 Walnut
This instrument has been in my care for over 30 years with regular scheduled maintenance. The action has been recondioned within the past few years. This piano has had minimal use and is in near new condition.
This model Steinway was constructed with the highest standards and materials. Nothing new in the US market compares in quality.
Baldwin Model “R” Grand Piano Sr. #242552 Built 1981
Baldwin Piano For Sale Model R Price $8,999.00 Includes delivery within New York State, excluding NYC and Long Island (a small surcharge will be applied).
Medium Walnut Satin Finish, Built 1981
Baldwin Piano Model R
Fully reconditioned and in near new condition. This Baldwin Piano Model R has received minimum use and is in excellent condition with nice tone. Built in 1981 in the Baldwin factory in the US before company was sold and manufacturing went overseas. This is the original Model R.
This Baldwin Piano Model R instrument is high quality. The Rim (Body) is made of hard maple like Steinway uses, giving distinctive dynamic tone, unlike Asian made pianos with softer wood rims.
This piano features the patented Baldwin acujust hitch pins. This feature allow for precision setting of string hieght after the plate (string frame) is installed.
As you can see from the photos the action, bridges and soundboard are in like-new condition. Case is in excellent condition with the exception of a few cat scratches and slightly worn edges
- Hammer Heads Reshaped and Voiced
Wear to the hammer heads is normal. Subsequently, reshaping and voicing is done for optimal tone and tuning ability. These hammers have been reshaped, a voicing procedure done by sanding the outer perimeter of the hammer head recreating a smooth striking surface and correct symmetry.
- Adjustments made to bring action back to specification.
Piano is Tune stable to Standard Pitch A440. This piano never tuned below pitch and is very stable at A440.
- Notice how clean keybed is. Internally this piano is like new; better is some cases. Many new pianos use a CNC routed laminated panel for keybed. This one is a high quality spruce keybed made up with expnasion panels to inusre stability of the action.
- Accujust Hitch Pins and Hard Maple Bridges
- Soundboard in excellent condition. Made of high quality tight-grain Sitka pruce with mortised ribbing. Many new pianos in double this price range have laminated boards of inferior quality. The soundbard is the heart of the piano.
- Case Finish Touched Up and Polished
This Baldwin Piano Model R is priced very fairly. This price is far below what an equal quality new piano would sell for. Anything in the new market at this price point is of no comparison.