Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Are Some Of The Features Of A Steinway Piano?

Hello, World!

Andrea The Piano here
with another great Steinway Piano video.
This video details some of the reasons
that Steinway pianos
are the best pianos ever.

With this video,
I've included the transcript that youtube provides.
It's just that the information contained here
is so very important
that I don't want you to miss any of it.

I am a Steinway,
albeit, a piano much older
than any in this video.
But I am Steinway!


-Andrea, The Piano


Since 1853, Steinway & Sons has been synonymous with musical
excellence in the building and the design of the Steinway Piano.
Our founder, Henry Engelhard Steinweg,
had one simple tenant that we subscribe to today,
simply build in the best piano possible. Period.
Today, over 1,500 pianists worldwide proudly bear the title
Steinway Artist.
What is so remarkable about this distinction, is that these are not paid
but they choose the Steinway piano because of the love of their craft.
As President of Steinway & Sons for the Americas, I am often asked,
"What components within a Steinway piano contribute to this unique and imitable
Steinway sound?"
Considering a piano is comprised of over 12,000 parts, it is a
little difficult to determine which ones are the most prominent.
But I think as we all know, the soundboard of the piano is perhaps the
heart and soul of any piano.
And Steinway & Sons, in 1936, had an innovative breakthrough.
We developed what is known as the diaphragmatic soundboard that
essentially allowed the piano
to vibrate more freely, creating a warmer, richer, more resonant sound for a
longer, sustained period of time.
The action in any piano is an extraordinarily important part of an
and in 1936, Steinway & Sons patented the accelerated action.
This was a revolutionary breakthrough which enabled the performer to extract
whatever sounds, loud or soft,
they wished to get from the instrument.
Another exclusive feature of the Steinway piano, is the patented Hexagrip pinblock.
The pinblock is an integral part of the Steinway piano in that it holds
the tuning pins in place using hard rock maple construction angled at forty-five
degrees in laminations.
It is this particular Hexagrip design that enables the Steinway piano to
withstand any climatic conditions and maintain its tune for extended periods
of time.
The rim of a Steinway grand piano is comprised of hard rock maple,
continuously bent in one operation.
It is this process that enables the Steinway piano to endure for generations
to come.
The scale of each Steinway piano is this some of all of its components,
and one specific component which is extraordinarily important to every grand
piano, is the cast iron plate or frame.
This component is so important to Steinway & Sons that we own and operate our
own foundry, using bell quality castings to make the Steinway plate.
The duplex scale,
a Steinway invention, adds color to every Steinway piano
by enhancing the termination of each individual note.
It takes over a year to handcraft a Steinway grand piano from the finest
materials available,
and it is this painstaking process
that enables the Steinway piano to develop its own unique musical personality.
Whether you are an aspiring artist, or just want the joy of music in your home,
there is a Steinway built especially for you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

How Do You Make A Steinway?

How do you make a Steinway piano?
What makes Steinway so special?
As you will learn from this video,
many many people join forces
in creating a single Steinway piano.

I hear people usually say
that it takes a year to make a Steinway.
That's not really true.
Really, it takes about two years.
As you'll hear in the beginning of this video,
the wood is dried for year.
That's the first part of the process.

Narrating this video is Mr. John. H. Steinway.
He was the great-grandson of the infamous Henry E. Steinway.

this video details the process
of a concert grand piano.
And I, of course, am a square grand.
And Steinway doesn't make pianos like me anymore.
the loving care that goes into a Steinway
remains virtually unchanged.
Each Steinway is unique.
Each Steinway is marvelous.

Enjoy the video.

-Andrea, The Piano

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Andrea, What Is A Square Grand Piano?

Most have never seen
a square grand piano in person.
Most people don't even know
what one is.

Just about everyone
who has come to Wyandotte to see me,
their jaws drop.
They gasp.
They say that they had no idea
of how big I was.
(I'm 7feet long!)
They are really shocked and surprised!

what is a square grand?
It's an antique piano
that is, basically, square in shape
(OK, I'm really more of a rectangle).
Sometimes we are known
as box pianos.

Take a look at my photo.
I am a square grand piano.

Square grand pianos
have their place in history.
We are, for the most part
19th century instruments.
Steinway and Sons of New York
first gained infamy as master piano builders
with the square grand piano.

Square grand pianos
are from the Victorian era.
as such we are very beautiful to behold.
We are magnificent instruments
that were created, built and carved by hand
by artisans extremely skill in their craft.
We are pianos with intricately carved legs,
music racks and pedal lyres.
This, alone, give us much value
as square grand pianos.

Steinway and Sons
often used Brazilian rosewood.
Brazilian rosewod
is almost extinct today.
In 1967.
the Brazilian government outlaws the export
of Brazilian rosewood logs
and in 1992
the newly formed CITES
(Convention on International Trade
in endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
declared that Brazilian rosewood
is a threatened species.
The aim of the CITES convention
is to ensure that international trdae
in specimens of wild animals and plants
does not threaten their survival.
As a result.
most nations throughout the world
declare it illegal to harvest,
export or import
any Brazilian Rosewood.
This ban includes import and export

of finished products
made of Brazilian Rosewood,
like square grand pianos,
for example.

And when originally crated,
most of these beautiful pianos
had ivory keys.
and so,
this, too, gives added value to the square grand.
Effective this year (Feb. 2014)
Ivory cannot be imported to the U.S. at all,
not even for historic reasons,
like restoring an antique piano.

Made of ivory and rosewood,
you just can't buy this piano today.
She isn't made.
And with the name "Steinway & Sons,"
well, dare I be the one to say it,
she is a treasure beyond measure.

Now let us also consider the fact
that the square grand piano
has her place
in the history and evolution of pianos.
We came before the upright and player pianos,
and we certainly came before
the modern day grand piano.
And so
the square grand piano has value
because she is,
in fact,
a part of piano evolution.

In fact,
we square grand pianos
are the grandparents
of your modern day grand pianos.

When restoring these instruments
new owners of these old pianos
are often amazed that the hammers
have leather instead of felt.
we must look to the times
when these instruments were built.
Piano builders of the day
would have used the material they had on hand.
And so,
with leather instead of felt,
pianos of our day
had more of a harp sound.
From leather to felt,
this is the part of
the piano's evolution.

By about 1880-1890,
the upright piano grew every popular.
It was considered
as much more fashionable than the square grand piano.
The upright piano was smaller
(can you believe it?)
and took up less space.
And so,
the square grand piano became obsolete
by about the year 1900.

Even though the square grand piano
has her place in history,
there are those who would detract
and state that the square grand piano
has an inferior sound.
The truth is,
it is a softer sound than the grand or upright.

As previously stated,
some actually sound like a harp.
So, we can't compare apples and oranges.
We need to understand
what was going on in history
and what materials where available at the time,
as well as look at
what venues these pianos were crafted for.

people what baby grand and concert grands.
People want Elton John
to have a bigger and louder piano
every time they see him.
looking at things historically,
putting things in perspective,
modern music
really does carry
a harsher/louder sound.
Back in the day
we were making music
for theaters and parlors.
Back in the day,
an instrument that made music
to fill The Palace of Auburn Hills
wasn't being considered.
It was a ofter sound,
a gentler sound
that was so desired.

And so,
now I have, more or less,
explained what a square grand piano is.

I am Andrea,
The Square Grand Piano.
I was crafted by Steinway and Sons.
I am made of Brazilian Rosewood
and have my original ivory keys.
I was crafted in the year 1872.

Welcome to my blog!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Am Andrea, The Piano

Hello, World!
I am Andrea.
I am an 1872 Steinway Piano.
Yes, I am a Steinway!
Steinway: The Rolls Royce of Pianos.
And I am a square grand piano.
So many have never seen a square grand,
don't even know what one is.
But here I am!

More on Steinway,
about Henry Steinway himself,
about square grand pianos,
about pianos in general,
and even, perhaps,
a bit about some great composers.

I recently moved to
the Beautiful City of Wyandotte, MI.
But I will tell you all more about my travels,
about the journey that brought me to Wyandotte,
as this blog progresses.

I am over 100 years old,
and I have to admit
that I do have a few health problems.
With this blog
I'd like to let you know
what happens to pianos as they age,
and why some (like me!)
are truly historic treasures
worthy of restoration.

I will put up a "contact me" form
on this blog
so that we can dialogue
and get to know one another.
I'm sure there are many questions
you all might have
for a lady that is 142 years young!

I just wanted to introduce myself
and let you all know
that I will be blogging here
with a little help from my pianist.

Welcome to my blog!

-Musically yours,
Andrea, The Piano.