Musings from the Boss . . .

A real piano, with all it's hundreds of strings in tune with each other becomes like a living thing which feeds off the notes you play and hints at where your harmonies might take you next. This is why it is the most popular instrument of composers. Nobody loves a digital keyboard but it is not unknown for people to weep at losing an 'old friend' piano.

Today in fashion

We hear that 'norm-core' is very 'in' right now, hip young things up and down the land are dressing 'normal' and I think the staff at Pianoman need crediting with inventing this hot new fashion trend. Can someone let Vogue know? Thanksomuch.

Pro photography tips

We're upping our photography game here at Pianoman . . . we've invested in a large white board so far. I know, you thought we'd magicked a pristine white room up for photographing in. Tricked you.

Here is our expert board wallah at work -

A ship's piano

"What is this strange and wondrous delight?" I hear you exclaim.

Well my little ones, it is a rare and ingenious ships piano. Narrow in section with a folding keyboard, it is just the thing for your Thames barge or Norfolk Wherry or indeed an ambitious HMS Warrior back garden recreation. Please call for details and make sure you have a trusty boarding cutlass to hand.

A very Special Brinsmead Grand

We currently have in our showroom this intricately decorated grand by John Brinsmead and Sons.

John Brinsmead was a member of the National Academy of France, a chevalier of the Legion D'Honour and a Knight of the Portuguese Royal Order.

Brinsmead supplied pianos not only to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII but also the kings of Italy, Sweden, Bavaria and Portugal, The Shah of Persia and The Pope. A decorated grand was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893.

Brinsmead pianos were used exclusively by P&O liners due to their resistance to changing climate.

High quality decorated pianos like this are very scarce and would have been hugely expensive in their day. It would be nice to know in which stately pile this piano began it's long life.

We've just added a lot of new pianos to our stock page, including some that haven't left the workshop yet!

When you visit we're always more than happy to show you pianos that are in the process of being reconditioned in case there's something to suit you.

What width is an average piano?

The maximum width for an upright piano is 5ft. An average 7 octave piano will range from 50" - 58" wide. The space needed for your piano must be away from a radiator and on the ground floor*, come in and see us and we can find the perfect piano for your chosen spot.

We do sometimes have a 6 octave piano in stock, which are on average 45" wide, so it's worth calling us if you have very limited space. We would always recommend a 7 octave piano however as they offer a broader tonal range and cost the same as their smaller friends.

 

*if we are to deliver it: you'll need a specialist mover if you wish to put the piano upstairs: we're happy to recommend a good one in your area

A note from The Boss

Pianos: the situation at present

A piano has a similar life expectancy to ourselves and appreciates being kept in similar conditions: not too hot and dry, not too cold and damp.

Occasionally one will encounter a centenarian piano which can give a good account of itself but many more are poor, frail old things - only suitable to put ones family photos on. People get very sentimental about the old museum pieces.

At present we are reaping the benefits of a huge enthusiasm for the piano in the Far East. Capable instruments are being produced at prices below that at which our British manufacturers can make them. It's sad but true that our once great piano industry has gone for good. We are one of a handful of small businesses dedicated to stocking British pianos in order to offer our customers the choice they deserve and to keep the knowledge base alive for future generations.

In short: we have lots of high quality, second hand pianos from both Asia and Great Britain. I've never been prouder of our current stock, do come and see us if you need a piano.

Choosing a piano: Touch and tone

We have generally enough pianos in enough different colours and styles to suit most peoples whims and fancies.

What about the musical instrument inside!?

We must think about TONE and TOUCH!

The TOUCH must be even across the scale: each note must have a similar resistance and response. A similar amount of pressure will produce a similar amount of sound from all keys.

 
 

When it comes to TONE I find it can help to have some pictures in the mind . . . I like to imagine a huge Disney cave with stalagmites and stalactites with drips and drops that make the loveliest clear notes. This is how I like the trebles to sound. If it sounds like bicycle spokes it is a poor piano.

Bass and mid range notes need to sound like an opera singer, not someone holding their nose.

This is the sound profile we like our pianos to adhere to