Remembering the Alamo since 1996
Michael Andrew Itzoe

A new old piano

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Having been largely away from music for the past several years, and having moved into our house since then, it was with a bit of excitement and a little trepidation that we were able to get a free piano.


My wife participates in FreeCycle here, and was about fifth in line to get this used upright piano. Cost: you haul it. After the previous respondents all backed out, my brother and I drove his pickup across town to get it. (Of course, not thinking ahead, we took nothing with us, such as wood to use as a ramp, for getting said piano on the truck.)

It's old. And beat-up. And extremely out of tune. And the sustain pedal doesn't work. There's no bench. But it's mine. All mine.

I've never had a real piano of my own before. I had the Korg digital piano before some of the keys wore out and we had to get rid of it (definitely ranks on my top-ten list of saddest days), but I've never had an honest-to-gosh, real wires and hammers acoustic piano before.

After ruminating on getting it tuned and the pedal fixed, my first thoughts ran to sanding and refinishing it. But as I look at it, I realize, no, it's probably better the way it is. After all, our house is a hundred years old, why shouldn't the piano match? Sure, it's all scratched and whatnot, but is that really so bad? Doesn't that give it character? Doesn't that make it a part of our home? Aren't we all a little scratched, used, banged up in some way or another?

So I think it stays as is, plus tuning and fixing. And of course then, all that remains is coming up with a good name.