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Posted By: doremi Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:21 AM
Isn't black the color of grief?
Posted By: FormerFF Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:31 AM
Not when it's on a piano. smile
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:37 AM
I wonder what emotion bubinga or jacaranda signifies?
Posted By: Mark... Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:41 AM
I thought pianos only came in black...
Posted By: TX-Dennis Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:42 AM
I would never perform in public on a black piano because black is the color of evil in mythology. Playing a black piano in public may cause the audience to believe that you are evil or possibly even mythological.
Posted By: TSPhillips Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:48 AM
I think a lot of pianos come in black because, the color goes with anything. Why do you think women think they need at least one 'little black dress.' People in Western culture don't really pay attention to color symbolism anymore, and in different cultures colors mean different things. Anyway, my favorite piano finishes have been a natural wood with a reddish tint. Red is the color of passion, and of blood, maybe love as well, but I like the red wood pianos because I think they look nice.
Posted By: Carey Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:01 AM
Well - seriously folks - does anyone know exactly when "black" became the standard (i.e. basic) finish for pianos - and was there a particular reason for it?? I wonder if this was simply a development of the late 19th/early 20th century? I can't recall when I've ever seen a keyboard instrument built prior to 1880 that was black.
Posted By: Marty in Minnesota Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:12 AM
laugh

I would have to ask Sister Mary Joseph if the color of a piano equates to the sins upon my soul.

Alas, she had departed us.

I shall never know.

frown
Posted By: Seneca Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:13 AM
Not only have I bought a black piano, I have PLAYED a black piano. Before you put me on your ignore list, let me assure you that the black piano I played had brass pedals, some white keys, and much bare wood and wire inside.

That said, I'm worried that maybe I also have done the "would you buy a piano without seeing it first" thread. You see, the black piano I bought was in a room full of black pianos. How do I know the one that was delivered was the one that I bought? I didn't write down the serial number or anything. Maybe the piano that was delivered spent a decade lying flat on its side while the warranty term ran to zero? The way I play, you couldn't tell the difference. Still, it's the principle of the thing.

All that said, my wife is not cool with shiny anymore. I have not even brought up the subject of a white piano, for fear she'd buy me a Liberace outfit for Valentine's Day. White shiny?--Forget it, cowboy. She is the ID ic (Interior Decorator in chief) and the Id ic has dictated satin, from here on out.

Black goes without saying.
Posted By: Dale Fox Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:26 AM
Did you know that everyone who has ever played a black piano eventually dies????? eek eek eek eek
Posted By: TX-Dennis Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:30 AM
See, I told you they were evil!
Posted By: Carey Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:35 AM
and we all have a death wish !!!!
I love black....makes my arse look small!
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 05:39 AM
Black is simple.
Black is elegant.
Black never goes out of style.
Black is unobtrusive.
Black is beautiful.
Black is the color of my piano.
It goes with everything in my house.
Even the black cat.
And my black wallet.
And my black tuxedo.
I love my black piano.
And it loves me back.
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 09:50 AM
Black is Black,I want my baby back!
Posted By: Konzert Patrick Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 09:52 AM
Black is the only color I would consider for a piano.......
Posted By: tanjinjack Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 10:03 AM
Of course black. At night when there's no light, the thief can't spot it. laugh laugh

Anyway, I do like a veneer finish more. laugh laugh wink
Posted By: Rickster Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 12:50 PM
I used to prefer a dark walnut wood grain finish in a piano. Since I don’t have lots of money to spend on a piano, I bought a pre-owned grand that was ebony polish (beggars can’t be choosey laugh ); I also have a Petrof P118 upright that is dark walnut polish. (Best of both worlds? wink )

In all honesty, I have fallen in love with the black piano. If I were to buy another grand, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a black one, although I still like dark walnut. I don’t think I’d want to pay more for the wood grain finish. IMOHO.

Take care,

Rick
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 02:14 PM
As opposed to white pianos, which reflect all wavelengths, black pianos absorb both the performer and listeners wavelengths.
This means they are more user friendly and consequently
better fit for purpose than white pianos.
Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!
Posted By: athomik Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 04:23 PM
In 1894 when all pianos were made in a wood grain finish, a famous, but now defunct piano maker was running very late finishing a piano for a very important lady customer. Everything was ready, bar making the lid and painting it. When he looked around the workshop, he found that he'd run down his stock of wood and he didn't have anything remotely big enough for a lid. Then he remembered that old piece of ply he'd used to board up the broken back door on his barn. When he retrieved it, it turned out to be the perfect size, but 3 years in the snow and rain hadn't done much to enhance the beauty of the grain. In desperation, he told the customer that black was the latest fashion and not being one to be accused of being old fashioned, the customer thanked the piano maker for bringing such an important point to her attention. Shortly after it was delivered, she was giving a very posh party at her mansion, and (as it really was the latest fashion,) it was a black tie affair. Everybody who was anybody turned up and was amazed that you could get a piano which fitted in so well with the smart dress code at the party and wanted one too. Ever since then, pianos were black and the plywood industry has never looked back. smile
Posted By: -Frycek Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 05:01 PM
Since black absords all waves of light black pianos get very hot in the summertime - especially with their windows rolled up.
Posted By: -Frycek Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 05:03 PM
Quote
Originally posted by carey:
Well - seriously folks - does anyone know exactly when "black" became the standard (i.e. basic) finish for pianos - and was there a particular reason for it?? I wonder if this was simply a development of the late 19th/early 20th century? I can't recall when I've ever seen a keyboard instrument built prior to 1880 that was black.
I tried to get a serious answer to this question about a year ago. Apparently no one really knows - or at least no one who read the question. I think late 19th/early 20th comes close though. There seems to have been a late Victorian vogue for ebonized furniture - beginning, I think, around the 1870's.
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 06:48 PM
Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
Since black absords all waves of light black pianos get very hot in the summertime - especially with their windows rolled up.
Pianos have windows??? eek
Posted By: TX-Dennis Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 11:41 PM
Of course, they are the windows into your soul. wink
Posted By: LJC Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 11:47 PM
Serious pianos should be black, its a serious color.
Posted By: JonBrom Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/12/09 11:59 PM
Black delineates the sensuous curves of a piano like no other color. It is classic and lovely in form and function

That said, my dream piano is a Schimmel 189 in bubinga -- now that is jaw-dropping gorgeous!
Posted By: -Frycek Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 12:11 AM
The great black beasts make quite a statement on stage but personally I'd rather leave Darth Piano in the concert hall. Woodtones are just a little "friendlier" in a home. (That said if you got a big black 7 footer just lying around I wouldn't turn it down.)
Posted By: DanLaura Larson Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 01:11 AM
Our first grand was a gorgeous red mahogany. We sure miss how it looked in our home. We bought our current piano in black because that is what was available and because even if there was one in wood in the showroom there is no way we could have afforded the wood finish.

If we ever buy another piano we will definitely be looking for wood. Probably something in red like Bubinga, Rosewood, Mahogany or one of those pretty Walters in Cherry.

Dan
Posted By: FormerFF Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 02:57 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Rickster:
I used to prefer a dark walnut wood grain finish in a piano. Since I don’t have lots of money to spend on a piano, I bought a pre-owned grand that was ebony polish (beggars can’t be choosey laugh ); I also have a Petrof P118 upright that is dark walnut polish. (Best of both worlds? wink )

In all honesty, I have fallen in love with the black piano. If I were to buy another grand, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a black one, although I still like dark walnut. I don’t think I’d want to pay more for the wood grain finish. IMOHO.

Take care,

Rick
+1. I like the woodgrain finishes on uprights, but more and more, I think I like ebony for a grand. I also greatly prefer the basic, classic cases over the more ornamental ones. It's a musical instrument, not a piece of furniture.
Posted By: pno Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 04:00 AM
I wonder why they don't make true ebony finish. Then it is true black not stained black.
Posted By: Carey Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 06:18 AM
Originally posted by carey:
Well - seriously folks - does anyone know exactly when "black" became the standard (i.e. basic) finish for pianos - and was there a particular reason for it?? I wonder if this was simply a development of the late 19th/early 20th century? I can't recall when I've ever seen a keyboard instrument built prior to 1880 that was black.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RESPONSE FROM FRYCEK -
I tried to get a serious answer to this question about a year ago. Apparently no one really knows - or at least no one who read the question. I think late 19th/early 20th comes close though. There seems to have been a late Victorian vogue for ebonized furniture - beginning, I think, around the 1870's.

DEAR FRYCEK - THANKS FOR ACKNOWLEDGING AND RESPONDING TO MY QUESTION. I APPRECIATE IT.

CERTAINLY THERE MUST BE SOMEONE WHO PARTICIPATES IN THESE FORUMS WHO KNOWS ENOUGH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF PIANO BUILDING TO BE ABLE TO TELL US WHEN AND WHY BLACK BECAME THE STANDARD FINISH FOR GRANDS AND UPRIGHTS. JUDGING FROM THE PRICES OF PIANOS, THE SATIN AND POLISHED EBONY FINISHES SEEM TO BE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE.
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 06:26 AM
Double Post -- see below:
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 06:29 AM
Pianos are big. Satin black is a neutral color that's easy to repair in case damage occurs (which can happen in venues with some frequency). Therefore, most pianos on stages are black. People go to concerts and see black pianos and they want black ones too. To most people black = piano in much the same way that MOST people equate tuxedos with black or limousines with black. Understated elegance is always in style. Bright colors and tailfins however come and go, so those pianos tend to get dated quickly and can be hard to sell down the road.

How many people do YOU know that are dying for distressed oak or antique white?
Posted By: Nicholas B. Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 09:06 AM
Simple in my view - I want my piano at home to approximate as closely as possible the instrument I perform on when on stage, which will be, in all likelihood, black.

Black grand against a nice hardwood stage (or home) floor... mmmmmm! laugh

No question that the wood finishes are stunning (SHPiano's Bösendorfer 225 comes to mind!!), though... laugh

Cheers
Posted By: curry Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 03:26 PM
Ebonized finishes on keyboard instruments go back quite a while. There many examples of 17th century harpsichords and clavichords in this finish. Most likely closely linked to trade and travel to Japan where the japaning of metal caught their eye.
True ebony cannot be used. It is too hard and brittle to slice into the veneers needed to finish a piano. Other ebonies like Macasssar are used.
Posted By: U S A P T Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/13/09 04:40 PM
It's interesting that this discussion is taking place during Black History Month. Why, just yesterday was Abraham Lincoln's birthday!

I'm so happy we can freely discuss black and not worry about some politically correct person insisting we refer to them as a "pianos of color."
Posted By: RachFan Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/14/09 12:08 AM
I would never buy a fine quality grand piano UNLESS it were black. Most serious musicians prefer satin or polished ebony grands. If you're not a serious musician, then the color or wood finish won't really matter.
Posted By: Mocheol Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/14/09 12:44 AM
Since neither Black nor White are colours would this mean that a serious piano, if its black, does not exist?

What a phenomena .
Posted By: teachum Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 05:29 AM
I haven't been here for ages and I can't believe this topic is up AGAIN! Black is the color of cast iron skillets. I love my satin mahogany. It is a serious piano, but it is also seriously beatiful. I'm very glad hubbie insisted on the wood finish, because I would have *settled* for black just to get my piano. But seriously, I have read that they began doing pianos in black because fine woods required for more woodworking/carpentry skill and were more expensive.
Posted By: Diaphragmatic Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 06:25 AM
Hasn't everybody heard????? green is the new black :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Posted By: -Frycek Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 11:18 AM
Quote
Originally posted by RachFan:
I would never buy a fine quality grand piano UNLESS it were black. Most serious musicians prefer satin or polished ebony grands. If you're not a serious musician, then the color or wood finish won't really matter.
Isn't this a little, pardon the expression, bass ackwards? I should think for a serious musician piano finish color would be the last and least consideration.
Posted By: Horwinkle Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 05:08 PM
To answer the original post ... yes. My first piano is a black "polished ebony" Kawai upright. My second is a black "polished ebony" Yamaha DP.

To answer the implied question "when did pianos turn black?" ... I really don't know. But I'll agree with others here ... it seems to me that black "says" piano. If only they could make those damn white keys black ... laugh

I like Chat Noir's comment "Pianos have windows???" smile .

And especially Dale Fox's response to the black-is-evil notion ... "Did you know that everyone who has ever played a black piano eventually dies??".
Posted By: RachFan Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 08:24 PM
It was tongue in cheek, of course.
Posted By: ChatNoir Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 09:44 PM
Quote
Originally posted by teachum:
Black is the color of cast iron skillets. I love my satin mahogany.
And as you know, all my frying pans are in lovely, satin mahogany. It goes so well with Porterhouse steaks.
Posted By: -Frycek Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/15/09 10:36 PM
Quote
Originally posted by RachFan:
It was tongue in cheek, of course.
That occurred to me later. You never know around here though.
Posted By: DarkGreenChocolate Re: Would you buy a black piano? - 02/16/09 12:21 AM
Has anyone ever made a natural finish non-veneered piano? I was about to argue, after the iron skillet reference, that non-ebonized pianos, like uncoated fry pans, are more "natural," but then I remembered that the wood you see is only skin-deep. I'll never complain about mahogany, but I've often thought maple to be more attractive than commonly thought, so why not let the rim shine through?
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