The making of a Steinway piano

One of the most famous instrument manufacturers in the world is Steinway. Here is an old 1929 movie about the construction of their pianos.

Notice they already used electric glue pots. All in all the process doesn’t differ much from the way they make their instruments these days…

And in the end a documentary about the history of this brand.

I’m not a big fan of Steinway pianos. Somehow they always looked to me like big and hefty. Their sound is beautiful, but is it the best in the world? I think an element in most pianists desire of owning one some day is much like the Harley effect: it’s the most famous brand and they’re large, loud and expensive so they must be great…

The great harpsichordist Gustave Leonard used to call the grand piano ‘the big black monster’. And although I wouldn’t go that far, I must say that many classical pieces get something extra when performed on a piano from the era in which it was written. Playing everything on a modern Steinway or -knockoff makes that it gets to sound all the same. While the ‘imperfections’ of old fortepianos add a touch of character to the performance. Just give an old Erard or Pleyel a try, completely different, elegant, light. But don’t get me wrong; Steinway grand pianos are great, but I simply don’t think they are the final apex in the large and varied history of pianos.

This entry was posted in Documentary, History, Movies, Research, Think different, Thoughts, Tools, Uncategorized, Woodworking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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