Antique Piano Appraisal

As emphasized in the articles Piano Values and Antique Piano Values, a piano’s fair market value may not reflect its true quality as a musical instrument, and the older a piano is the more this rule generally holds. Antique piano appraisal might thus help to determine a reasonable market price for a piano, but it might tell you little about how good (or bad) the family heirloom actually is. Since piano prices fluctuate with supply and demand, piano appraisal is only relevant when buying or selling a piano. Read more »

Antique Piano Value

Question: I have a piano for sale that’s very rare and I do have some information about it already: Steinway BP Louis XV Painted The reason I’m inquiring is that I think it’s worth more than what it has been valued for. Can you advise me on this? Mark Colt (Argentina) Albert’s reply: You’ll need to hire a piano technician who’s a specialist in antique piano values. Read more »

Antique Piano Values

As discussed in the article Piano Values, a piano’s musical value may well differ from its market value. This is particularly the case when determining antique piano values. If you’re a buyer, antique pianos are where the real bargains are. But there are also a lot of pianos that look good on the outside but are worth less—or even worthless—on the inside. If you’re selling an antique piano, on the other hand, you may well have to settle for a lower price than you may like. Read more »

Baldwin Piano Age

Question: What year is my Baldwin piano from? The serial number is 1518109. Thank you. June (New Jersey, USA) Albert’s reply: This Baldwin appears to be an Acrosonic from 1993, according to this source. Here is a list of Baldwin piano serial numbers correlated with year. It doesn’t extend past 1989, which started with serial number 1442402, but you can approximate the number of pianos built per year and date your piano to the early ‘90s. Read more »

Blue Book of Pianos

Many people looking to buy or sell a seek to appraise its value by means of a so-called “blue book” of pianos. A blue book of pianos is a compilation of prices of new and used pianos, which can be used to give you an estimate of a piano’s value. It is vital to understand that piano values are determined by many factors, and a blue book can by its nature only give you a ballpark figure. Read more »

Digital Piano Review

key-notes is pleased to present its digital piano review section, which aims to help readers understand the benefits and drawbacks of digital and acoustic pianos. Although as a classical pianist I play an acoustic piano, many students ask me about digital pianos and I therefore wish to share my thoughts and experiences. While I don’t believe a digital piano will ever approach a great acoustic piano such as my beloved Bösendorfer Imperial, technology has progressed sufficiently for them to be genuinely useful to classical pianists. Read more »

Famous Piano Players

History is full of famous piano players in all musical genres. Since key-notes is dedicated primarily to classical music, this article focuses on the most famous and innovative piano players in classical music history. The are the “Big 5,” those who had the most significant impact on piano playing. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Technically speaking, J.S. Bach was not actually a pianist. He was first and foremost an organist, as well as a harpsichordist. Read more »

Harmony Museum Historic Piano

Question: We have a piano dating probably from early 19th century (could be earlier) bearing the name F. Domeyer & Osterhold, Hamburg. We have no provenance, have been unable to find any reference to this firm. Could be German or Pennsylvanian (or ????). Can you help identify it? John Ruch, President, Historic Harmony (Harmony Museum) (Harmony, Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA) Albert’s reply: John, what a coincidence, since my parents used to live in Harmony, Pennsylvania! Read more »

Layout of Piano Keys

A piano keyboard may look confusing at first, but the layout of piano keys is actually very simple. While it would be nearly impossible to identify individual keys if all we had were the white keys, the pattern of black keys makes it easy to identify the keyboard layout. The black keys are arranged in alternating groups of two and three: (It’s not unimportant to point out that, in the piano’s early days, the “white” keys were black and the “black” keys were white! Read more »

Piano Appraisal

The purpose of piano appraisal is to determine a fair price for a piano. Fair market value should not be confused with a piano’s worth as a musical instrument, or even its actual quality. While it is true that a better piano in better condition will have a higher market value compared to the same model built the same year but in poor condition, basic economic forces will ultimately determine a piano’s reasonable selling price. Read more »