Euro Pianos Naples welcomes you to the “Under the Lid” piano blog place where we strive to keep you informed and entertained with everything important and interesting in the world of pianos. We’ll show you how to choose a piano, how to decorate with pianos, what makes luxury pianos, the histories of famous piano manufacturers, reviews and photos of musical events, and you can catch some interviews with people in the industry who know all about pianos. Check back with us frequently and see what’s new. Everyone knows that the piano magic is always hidden under the lid.
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I remember once overhearing a young woman in a coffee shop saying to her friend across the table, “I hope someday I get so rich that I can own a baby grand!” I was charmed and amused, but it was at that point I realized that “baby grand” is such a common phrase that some people might think any three-legged piano is a “baby grand.”
The fact is this popular instrument called a “baby” is so named because it’s smaller than other “grand” pianos. Grand pianos are typically named and defined by their lengths. The standard width of any size grand piano is approximately five feet. But the length (from the keyboard to the tail) varies, based on its category. Grands are categorized by size, and as you can see the “Parlor” and “Drawing Room” categories (below) reflect the popular piano sizes for rooms of a bygone era. (More categories than needed, if you ask me, but tradition sticks!)
When one uses the word “modern” to describe pianos, you are getting into very subjective territory. Pianos over the decades have gone through transformations of shapes and sizes, handmade to mass-produced, and technologically aided and abetted with computer software, players system and gizmos. Manufacturers have added extra piano keys, extra piano pedals, and intricate improvements to the mechanisms within, but realistically, the piano of the 1700’s is almost as “modern” as the modern piano of today.
The design revolution in the piano industry didn’t stop with just exciting new modern piano styles. No, the same modern esthetic eked into the design of piano benches, which are an integral part of the visual beauty of the instrument and the room.
People are often amazed at the variety of benches available today. Often in the excitement of a piano purchase, the customer takes whatever bench is offered in the sale, but a little education in bench designs can enhance your choice for furniture in your home.
Upright pianos have been very popular for decades, but were once highly disparaged by critics who prefer the performance of grand pianos. It no longer holds true, however, as in the latest piano renaissance, uprights have come into their own. But it was never a fair comparison since the instruments are manufactured for different uses, and to serve the needs of different pianists.
There is no doubt that acrylics are finding their rightful place in the marketplace, the darling of designers, homeowners, and architects. What makes acrylic so desirable is its versatility and its advantages. By that I mean that acrylic is crystal clear and free of distortions. Tough and shatterproof, it’s seventeen times more impact resistant than glass, and usually about half the weight. It maintains its clarity and does not yellow, so a new item looks just as new years later. It’s highly weather resistant as well, unlike some woods and leathers. The material can be fashioned into every conceivable shape and design. Not only is furniture being fashioned totally in acrylic, but also acrylic furniture legs are being added to sofas, chairs, tables and benches.
It may be true that the great concert halls of the world favor their concert grand pianos in traditional ebony color regardless of brand, but that is where tradition ends.
It may also be true that during the era when the parlors of the middle class and children’s school began to fill with uprights and small grands, the typical piano color was brown. It was simply the economic result of mass-production by manufacturers like Steinway where uniformity saved dollars.
But what is also true is that for the pure aesthetics of décor, status and beauty, the white piano has forever held its own.