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#3140307 07/24/21 11:50 PM
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Does anyone know what brand of piano was on the ship Titanic? Also how many pianos were on board?

Dakota #3140310 07/25/21 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Dakota
Does anyone know what brand of piano was on the ship Titanic? Also how many pianos were on board?
Here

https://titanicpiano.blog/2012/03/23/titanics-first-class-pianos/

https://www.steinway.com/news/artic...mTfX5zyM-fH_lZzTuLd0c6gfI2TQKQWQIypelCxI


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Carey #3140313 07/25/21 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Dakota
Does anyone know what brand of piano was on the ship Titanic? Also how many pianos were on board?
Here

https://titanicpiano.blog/2012/03/23/titanics-first-class-pianos/

https://www.steinway.com/news/artic...mTfX5zyM-fH_lZzTuLd0c6gfI2TQKQWQIypelCxI
This part of the blog I found interesting and ties into a couple of previous threads regarding piano resonance.

‘The musical taste of the time was for pianos to sound very resonant or “wet,” meaning that a key struck would produce a tone that would ring with a bell-like quality and a lingering reverberation. The size of the pianos contributed to this reverberant sound, as well as the dampers (the felted mechanism that deadens the sound once the depressed key is lifted). At that time piano makers placed the dampers in a sweet spot of the strings’ frequency so they would continue to vibrate with a slight ring even after dampened. Today’s pianos have a much drier sound, the dampers placed to stop resonant ringing.”

I didn’t know vintage era Steinway dampers were positioned to allow some resonant sound to leak through even if they were engaged creating a more “wet” resonance. How interesting…


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Dakota #3140315 07/25/21 12:47 AM
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A long-standing 20c joke: the main difference between Cleveland and the Titanic?

'

'

'

Cleveland has a better orchestra.

Jethro #3140316 07/25/21 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
I didn’t know vintage era Steinway dampers were positioned to allow some resonant sound to leak through even if they were engaged creating a more “wet” resonance. How interesting…

Blame the navigating officers for catering too much to the piano technicians' wishes.

Sometimes customer service can be overdone.

Dakota #3140318 07/25/21 01:14 AM
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A wet piano for sure smile

Playing on a boat or ship can be a drag. Often the engine has a drone, in a key like B.

When I was young I thought playing on a cruise ship in my older years would be enjoyable and something to look forward too.
Now it hits me like a jail sentence. I’ll play around town with my freedom intact.

Dakota #3140329 07/25/21 02:44 AM
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The eight year old London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was scheduled to make its first tour of North America in 1912, with the great Arthur Nikisch conducting. They were booked on the Titanic to make the trip, but because of scheduling issues, they were rebooked on one of the Titanic's sister ships, the Baltic. I don't see any listing of the pianos on the Baltic. The tour was a great success and they returned safely to London. I learned about this story from a book by Gareth Davies, the principal flutist of the LSO, on the history of the LSO, entitled "The Show Must Go On", written about the LSO tours of 1912 and 2012, a very nice read. Not sure whether the LSO played Handel's Water Music or Debussy's La Mer on their 1912 tour. Britten's Peter Grimes with its Four Sea Interludes had not yet been written.


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Dakota #3140698 07/26/21 02:23 PM
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Interesting side story...I was just visiting the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge Tennessee last week. And they actually have a grand piano exhibit with a pianist in period costume. The pianist also happened to be completely blind and played Maple Leaf Rag and Elite Syncopations while we were there. I was also curious was brand of piano they were using for the exhibit, but there was no label on the fallboard. The lid was also on the short stick so it was hard to see what was on the plate, but I believe it said "Boston".

Dakota #3140709 07/26/21 03:11 PM
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Maybe a Chickering? But there would have been many other options, I am sure.

Dakota #3140731 07/26/21 04:13 PM
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Even for cruise ships that didn’t sink, I imagine sailing the ocean blue would be hard on and for any piano.


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Dakota #3141130 07/27/21 11:36 PM
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The link above describes 3 First Class pianos, a Model B and two Model R "Vertical Grand" type uprights, 54." I vaguely recalled that there were 5 total, and sure enough there is another article on the 2 Model K uprights in 2nd class. I think these were all Hamburgs. Sadly nothing in 3rd class (1/2 the paying passengers).

Also, There is a youtube video of the RMS Georgic, one of the last WSL Ships, and what is definitely a Bechstein can be seen in the left foreground of the Palm Court. Going by the music desk it can't be anything else. Light color, but not white. Possibly golden oak or similar.

Dakota #3141135 07/28/21 01:19 AM
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Pianist Miki Sawada did work on a cruise ship:

https://www.mikisawada.com/blog/that-time-i-lived-on-a-boat-for-4-months

She’s a really good pianist — I wish I had been on that cruise.

Dakota #3141152 07/28/21 03:32 AM
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Very interesting blog on her time on the cruise ship. Four months is a long time. We've taken the Queen Mary 2 several times across the Atlantic, always one way from New York to Southampton (London) for month long musical stays in London. The quite large ship always has several musical groups who play in several small and two large venues on the ship. We've had true classical pianists who have given 50 minute recitals in the big venues and sometimes a Liberace type classical pianist who mixes popular tunes with classical music. No Ligeti sonatas - typically more Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Schumann and maybe some Beethoven, Mozart or Bach. One trip we had the classical guitarist Carlos Bonell, who was a protegee of John Williams. Often there has been a young string quartet who play in the smaller venues - often every day for 20-30 minutes, while the bigger names may play three or four concerts in the bigger venues over the 7 day cruise. We even had an Irish harp soloist who mixed classical with some Irish harp music. In addition, there is a Broadway/Las Vegas troup of singers/dancers who put on revues at night with a small orchestra. I think the string quartets, harpist and singer/dancers sign on for several months on Board while the bigger names may just be on a one way trip, where their fees are partly the passage over. We got to talk to both Bonell and the pianist whose name I don't remember who had been a student of Seymour Bernstein. The pianist had brought her mother on the cruise. There is definitely more interaction between the musicians and the passengers than there is in a typical concert setting, since they eat with the passengers and partake in the other cruise activities as they wish, when not performing.

Last edited by astrotoy; 07/28/21 03:34 AM.

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Dakota #3141850 07/30/21 11:46 AM
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I was an orchestra musician on a cruise ship for 6 months in the late 90s. For the last few weeks, I subbed on another ship and had a roommate who would watch "Titanic" every night with his girlfriend. That was a bit weird. Still, he was a nice guy and great player.

Orchestra musicians would play in the main 1500 seat auditorium with a wide variety of shows including a Vegas-style show, working with magicians and comedians. We had an incredible singer who had the best charts for a set of Sammy, Frank, and Harry Connick Jr tunes. On the nights we weren't playing in the lounge, we'd do a small group jazz set or R&B review in another lounge. As a rhythm section player, I worked more hours than most musicians on the ship, but even then, it was only 14 hours a week. Lots of free time. Not a bad gig really.


The singer/pianist in the piano lounge would hammer away through various songwriter and piano rock material. I don't remember him being the most amazing player or singer, but he had a great personality, could read the room, and sure did rake in the tips.

We also had a Polish string quartet who taught me how to say, "I'm hungover" in Polish.

It was the largest cruise ship in the world at the time and wouldn't fit through the Panama canal. Since then, the canal has been widened and ship designs have changed. The largest cruise ships now are more than twice the size of my ship.

Since my experience was over 20 years ago, I can't say what it is like now, but if anyone is interested in learning more or trying it out, Windish Productions could be a good place to start. http://windishmusic.com/billboardonboard/


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