PianoBuyer.com Launches New “Piano-Buying Stories” Feature

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For many, buying a piano is like finding a marriage partner. In “Piano-Buying Stories”—a new feature on PianoBuyer.com—consumers and retailers tell of their experiences in buying or selling pianos that were unusual, touching, surprising, or instructive—or all of these at once.

Fall 2011 Piano Buyer

Piano Buyer magazine

For many, buying a piano is more like finding a marriage partner than like buying furniture or appliances.

PianoBuyer.com, host of “Piano Buyer” magazine, has launched a new, ongoing blog feature—“Piano-Buying Stories”—in which individuals who have purchased a piano and those who sell them share unusual and touching stories about the piano-buying experience. “Pianos are unique among consumer goods,” says Larry Fine, editor, “in the extent to which buying one combines hardheaded choices about price and features with emotional responses involving art and passion. For many, buying a piano is more like finding a marriage partner than like buying furniture or appliances.”

This theme is well illustrated by the blog’s lead story, “The Piano Match,” by Nancy M. Williams, a creative writer and founder of Reflections on a Grand Passion, an online magazine for students of adult piano lessons. Williams describes her year-long search for a grand piano to replace an upright that no longer meets her needs. In the process she assesses the personalities of dozens of new and used instruments, rejecting some because of their undesirable tonal qualities, others for their unresponsive actions—and one used piano because its owner’s alcoholism reminds her of her father. Visiting the local Steinway dealer, Williams says, “I felt as if I had been set loose in a roomful of eligible bachelors, with [my teacher] Stephen not unlike my brother, intent on fostering a suitable match.” In the end, Williams finds and marries the piano of her dreams. “I commune with my beloved,” she rhapsodizes. “I have found my piano match. I revel in the sensation of being one with its crystalline sound.”

If “buying a piano is like dating, owning one is like marriage,” reminds Perri Knize in her piece, “The Surprising Thing About Pianos.” Knize, author of the book “Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey,” writes, “After a brief honeymoon, you find that your piano is far from perfect. She has bad hair and bad breath days. She has mornings when her voice is shrill and cutting, and evenings when she hisses, ‘Not tonight, dear.’ . . . You wonder whatever happened to the beautiful bride you brought home, the dream you fell for and believed you would possess forever.” Her prescription? “Once you’ve found your ‘perfect’ piano, accept its whims, find the good in it—just as you do with your spouse—and when it shows its flaws, look the other way. . . . Then it will be more likely to come back around to giving you those treasured moments of pure transcendence.”

Selling a piano, too, has its special challenges, fulfillments, and memorable moments. In “Piano-Buying Stories,” one piano dealer tells of his encounters with famous clients for whom cost seems no object, such as computer pioneer Steve Jobs and rock star Rod Stewart. Another tells of an instrument that was not sold but donated, and helped launch the career of a promising young musician. Several others share touching or humorous moments involving the importance of a piano in a customer’s life.

“Piano Buyer” is a semiannual publication devoted to the purchase of new, used, and restored pianos and digital pianos. Available free online at http://www.PianoBuyer.com, it can also be purchased in print, in color on glossy paper, from the website and in bookstores. Distributed by IPG. ISBN 9781929145324. List Price: $24.95.


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Barbara J. Fandrich
Brookside Press LLC
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