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Public Pianos #2825536
03/11/19 06:04 PM
03/11/19 06:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,054
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Moo :) Offline OP
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I've notice pianos at stations, is this an English phenomenon?

I never remember seeing any until about 3 years ago and they are popping up in stations and I've seen seen them venturing into shopping centres.

I think the pianos are breeding as there are now 3 in kings cross

I thought people sounded good but in kings cross I think some people are going there to perform rather then as I thought because they are waiting for a train.

Even to do it in disguise. Why a disguise ?




Would be interested if this is a world wide spread or if its more a localised population breeding boom in piano. :p

Last edited by Moo :); 03/11/19 06:06 PM.
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Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825556
03/11/19 06:33 PM
03/11/19 06:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
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"Street pianos" are proliferating around Europe, and their popularity is increasingly fueled by social media, as celebrated pianists like Valentina Lisitsa and even Lang Lang play on them. If they can play La Campanella on a less-than-stellar no-name upright (rather than their favourite Bรถsendorfer Imperial or Steinway D) in a noisy train station, anyone can......... wink

If they spark off an interest in a kid or adult and inspire them to start learning, all the better. Acoustic pianos need all the help they can get to survive in this technology-obsessed world, where anything made of traditional wood and metal and can only give what you put into it - manually - and does not require daily recharging is going extinct at an alarming rate.

I myself have played on a few of those pianos in train stations (including King's Cross/St Pancras) and airports in the UK, and sparked off interest in passers-by every time. I've even played requests by total strangers (as long as it's classical, of course smirk ). When you have two hours to kill while waiting for your flight, why not entertain some fellow passengers with Schubert, Chopin and Rachmaninov? Last time I was there, there were three pianos in Heathrow Airport (two grands, one upright) - and I played on all of them before my flight, and many people stopped to listen (and applaud afterwards grin).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825568
03/11/19 07:01 PM
03/11/19 07:01 PM
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Moo :) Offline OP
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Nice.

You are able to remember Schubert Chopin and Rachmaninov on request from memory ?

I have played on the pianos when they are free which is not often,

I can only play bits of what I've learnt as I have never memorised them so I tend to get stuck quickly.

This is the only time I thought memorising would have been a useful skill.

Actually the only piece I really know start to finish is Fur Else (The Justin Bieber piece of the music world - this is shameful !).

Last edited by Moo :); 03/11/19 07:03 PM.
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825586
03/11/19 07:26 PM
03/11/19 07:26 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Nice.

You are able to remember Schubert Chopin and Rachmaninov on request from memory ?


Yes, this was after I'd bought my own piano (in 2010) and over the years since, have committed some two hours of music to memory (about thirty pieces of various lengths by some twenty composers). There's music to suit every taste, as long as it's classical (i.e. Baroque to 20th century) smirk . I thought of learning and memorising pieces from other genres like ragtime, but after playing through a few rags (including Joplin's The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag) and also Gershwin, I rapidly got bored.

I can't be bothered spending the time to memorise any piece that doesn't keep my interest every time I play it.

Before I bought my piano, there was hardly any piece that I could play complete from memory, so when I found a public piano to play on, I'd have to throw in some improv to join up bits and pieces of various classical pieces that I could half-remember.



"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825602
03/11/19 07:57 PM
03/11/19 07:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 959
Kitsap County, WA
Chrispy Offline
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We have them in Seattle, however I've only encountered one (near my office) and it's not very playable as many of the keys are broken. They seem to be left outside even in the rain and snow, so I don't know that I can blame vandals on that.

https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2017/8/18/pianos-in-the-park


๐’€๐’‚๐’Ž๐’‚๐’‰๐’‚ ๐‘จ๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘ต1๐‘ฟ
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825614
03/11/19 08:42 PM
03/11/19 08:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 640
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Toronto, Canada
The original idea of street pianos came from Sheffield England by accident (according to Wikipedia). Different cities put out public pianos over the years including Birmingham, London, Sรฃo Paolo, Paris, Toronto, New York, etc. Pianos in the English-speaking countries were labelled as "Play Me, I'm Yours".

In my city 41 pianos were placed around the downtown core in 2012. Back then there were a few Heintzman uprights on the street. The leading piano manufacturer in Canada has gone under for over 10 years. Back then not every street piano was properly maintained. Some had broken keys but people enjoyed playing them including a few homeless people who didn't have much to do during the day so they would sit at a piano and play a few tunes. Some locations like in front of the Royal Conservatory of Music you always have people stopping by and playing a tune because many were music students there.

The last sighting of a street piano from 2012 is sitting at the front entrance of a community center I would visit regularly.

Last edited by thepianoplayer416; 03/11/19 08:47 PM.
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825619
03/11/19 08:54 PM
03/11/19 08:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,410
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
It would be nice if they started popping up in the U.S....


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Re: Public Pianos [Re: Chrispy] #2825621
03/11/19 08:56 PM
03/11/19 08:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 5,140
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Originally Posted by squidbot
and it's not very playable as many of the keys are broken.

Very few of them are well maintained or in tune. The elements and changes in weather and temperature take their toll. What's amazing is when a top-notch pianist can make a good go of it nonetheless. For example, there appears to be at least one broken key, and on an upright action, she pushes some of the keys but apparently the jack hasn't yet been reset because there is no sound, or the key is broken, not sure which. Nonetheless, Lisitsa makes a valiant (pun intended) attempt at playing La Campanella and I doubt any of the ones there noticed anything except a splendid performance - of those that noticed her at all wink :



across the stone, deathless piano performances

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Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825628
03/11/19 09:17 PM
03/11/19 09:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 959
Kitsap County, WA
Chrispy Offline
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As I'm not the level of Lisitsa yet, I couldn't quite make it work laugh

Last edited by squidbot; 03/11/19 09:18 PM.

๐’€๐’‚๐’Ž๐’‚๐’‰๐’‚ ๐‘จ๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘ต1๐‘ฟ
Re: Public Pianos [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2825633
03/11/19 09:32 PM
03/11/19 09:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,054
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Moo :) Offline OP
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The original idea of street pianos came from Sheffield England by accident (according to Wikipedia).


Thatโ€™s very interesting. In shieffied there are two pianos in the rail station but they are directly next to each other.

Itโ€™s is an odd set up. I didnโ€™t want to play as I thought it would disturb the other person playing.

I was there 2 years ago and they were both badly vandalised but last year I went back and they were repaired.

Pianos are outside abroad, seriously?

In uk all pianos live indoors, Iโ€™ve never seen one outdoors.

Last edited by Moo :); 03/11/19 09:34 PM.
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825640
03/11/19 09:43 PM
03/11/19 09:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,054
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Moo :) Offline OP
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Where are there grand pianos in Heathrow mr Ben? And 2 of them? Wow amazing.

Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825642
03/11/19 09:48 PM
03/11/19 09:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 489
Sheffield, UK
K
KevinM Online content
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 489
Sheffield, UK
Originally Posted by Moo :)
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The original idea of street pianos came from Sheffield England by accident (according to Wikipedia).


Thatโ€™s very interesting. In shieffied there are two pianos in the rail station but they are directly next to each other.

Itโ€™s is an odd set up. I didnโ€™t want to play as I thought it would disturb the other person playing.

I was there 2 years ago and they were both badly vandalised but last year I went back and they were repaired.


I have always known there was a piano here at Sheffield Station. I have never noticed that there are two. I will pay more attention next time I am there. I also new none of the history of public pianos.

Kevin


Learning Mendelssohn Song without Words Op. 19 No. 2, Schumann Bunte Blรคtter Stรผcklein Op. 99 No. 1. Jensen Sehnsucht Op. 8 No. 5. Schumann Kinderszenen Op15 No1, Von Fremden Lรคndern und Menschen.
Digital piano: Casio Celviano AP-470. Headphones: Superlux HD681 EVO
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825649
03/11/19 10:09 PM
03/11/19 10:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,054
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Moo :) Offline OP
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Itโ€™s opposite the coffee shop. There are two next to each other

They were badly beaten up. When they were repaired they have scars of vsndalism with chopped keys but playable.

Glad they repaired them.

Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825650
03/11/19 10:11 PM
03/11/19 10:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,054
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Moo :) Offline OP
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Moo :)  Offline OP
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Maybe they have changed it since. I was there over a year ago.

Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825690
03/12/19 12:06 AM
03/12/19 12:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,890
Bulgaria
PhilipInChina Online content
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Posts: 3,890
Bulgaria
There was a Hamburg Steinway at Sofia airport for a while. I don't know what happened to it. I played it a couple of times.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825693
03/12/19 12:33 AM
03/12/19 12:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,752
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
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Dublin
I've seen two pianos in Dublin. One at the airport (Terminal 1 arrivals floor) and another at Heuston (train) Station. Not Hamburg Steinways though...

Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825697
03/12/19 12:47 AM
03/12/19 12:47 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,304
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Play me, I'm yours publishes their schedule:
http://www.streetpianos.com/


I've seen pianos in the street, in airports, and rail stations in a number of places, and none has ever been miked or set up like that Valentina image above.


Learner
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825703
03/12/19 01:08 AM
03/12/19 01:08 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 621
Sweden
Animisha Offline
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In the Netherlands, last winter a 12 y o boy played at each train station with a piano during one day to raise money for a diabetes organisation. His sister has diabetes. His goal was 5000 euro, and he got 62,000 euro.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825715
03/12/19 02:32 AM
03/12/19 02:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 640
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Toronto, Canada
Once my family was on winter vacation after the New Year and there was a public piano in Terminal 3 at the city's international airport. Don't know where the piano came from and certainly didn't stay for long.

When it comes to public pianos, it's best to keep them inside. In a place like Canada, the summer & winter temperatures can fluctuate by more than 20C. Don't expect anybody to be outside in sub-zero temperature in the middle of winter playing a public piano.

In my city there are a very few public pianos. Several are in public libraries. Every day you are only allowed to schedule an hour for a piano in the library and the line-up is long. These were donated by people who moved or no longer needed a piano in their home. The libraries here are funded by the city government have no budget to maintain their public pianos so the pianos with broken keys get borrowed by library users over & over. There is an old grand piano repainted blue in a local Indigo bookstore which is in good condition. You can only access the piano during store hours. There are several public pianos in a community center. These are well maintained and tuned regularly because during evenings teachers & students would use various rooms for their lessons. Part of the money collected for music lessons goes back to maintaining the pianos. Students & teachers wouldn't do anything to damage the instruments.

The only time this city put out public pianos in 2012 was to create publicity in anticipation of hosting the Pan Am Games. The city budget needs to pay for public transportation, housing for low-income police, fire department and other more important things than maintaining public pianos.

Re: Public Pianos [Re: Moo :)] #2825751
03/12/19 06:27 AM
03/12/19 06:27 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,674
Florida
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Florida
I came across one in Atlanta on the Beltline, a park built on old RR tracks. It was housed inside a small shopping mall, Ponce City Farmers Mkt, outside but under cover. Had to play it!

Surprisingly playable, must have been tuned relatively recently.

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