Old Faithful Gets a Tuneup (er, tuning)

I’m home for five whole weeks – joy! I can’t remember the last time I was home for so many consecutive weeks, but I think it was late last summer when I had pneumonia so that doesn’t count.

The time at home affords me the opportunity to actually see my lovely husband and our hilarious dog, and to take care of things around the house such as a much-delayed tuning of the household piano:

piano and Charlie

My dog Charlie poses reluctantly with the piano

The nice tuner from Ruggero Piano, like every (I swear, EVERY) tuner who has ever tuned this old Kawai, told me what a nice piano it is, and that I should hold onto it. He echoed past tuners in telling me it was an exceptional version of this model, and that they just don’t make ’em like this anymore.

This is amazing. I love this piano, but it has not lived an easy life. Unpractically and unfrugally, I have moved it all over the country. Each time I’ve moved I’ve considered selling it and buying a nice electric, weighted-key piano which would make all future moves easier, but I can’t part with the Kawai. It has a nice touch and a warm sound, and there’s nothing like a real piano.

The cabinetry is worse for wear. There are nicks all over the legs from being tied to too many trailers. The finish has faded to a weird cloudiness around the Kawai name and key hole. The middle pedal long ago turned a frightening dark, matte color.

piano blemishes

signs of wear & tear

But the instrument inside has weathered it all well. The piano still sounds great, and it holds tuning very well, which is bad for piano tuners but good for my finances. Despite its many scuffs, the piano remains a beautiful piece of furniture that holds a place of honor in our living/dining room.

Here is the history of the piano’s many moves:

c. 1990: moved from factory to unnamed music school in Providence, RI, possibly with layover at piano store

c. 1992: moved after two years’ service at music school to Providence piano store, where I play it and convince my parents that if I am to be a serious musician we need to replace our probably perfectly decent Baldwin spinet and buy this piano

c. 1992: moved by piano store to our house outside Providence

Dec. 2002: moved by U-Haul truck to 300-square-foot Washington, DC apartment, following command by my (clutter-averse) parents to take the piano to my new residence or they will sell it

Aug. 2004: moved by moving company (but not piano movers) cross-country to Tucson, AZ, in SUMMER

Sept. 2004: moved by friends (near-deaths ensue) in open-air trailer from short stay at my parents’ new Tucson residence to my grad school apartment

May 2006: moved by piano movers across Tucson for temporary storage at my parents’ house

August 2006: moved by piano movers across Tucson to my new rental house

July 2007: moved by piano movers BACK across Tucson for another stay at my parents’ house (have you noticed how the piano they thought they got rid of in 2002 keeps coming back?)

January 2008: moved by piano movers only a few miles away to my new apartment

July 2010: moved by piano movers back to my parents’ for one last stay!

April 2011: moved by piano movers into storage container, where it sits outside for several days

April 2011: moved in storage container cross-country to Raleigh, NC, where it is unloaded by friends and my husband-t0-be (no near-deaths but I vow never to do this again)

May 2013: piano gets a tuning after having not moved at all in over two years!

That was longer than I expected. Poor piano.

I’m not much given to naming things, but after over 20 years it might be time for a name for my trusty musical companion, which always waits faithfully at home. Do you have any ideas? Leave me a comment below.


One thought on “Old Faithful Gets a Tuneup (er, tuning)

  1. Pingback: Holy smokes! Soprano clef strikes again. | Soprano In The Air

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