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Why Not a Stradivarius Piano?

By Andrew Ross
 
LAST night I saw a Stradivarius violin that cost its owner $15,000.00. It poured forth a beautiful tone and it was a work of art in every sense. Reposing upon a grand piano of one of the very best makes I could not help realizing that the piano had cost only $1,500.00 or one tenth as much as the violin. Why is this? The piano is ten times as large and ten times as complicated as the fiddle, yet its market value is only one tenth.
 
Is this because the piano is manufactured by a great many men working upon the various parts,—while the violin is the work of one master maker?

Is it because the violin seems to have a durability which makes it live five or ten times as long as the keyboard instruments?
 
Is it because the piano makers do not regard their product as an art work but rather a factory product?
 
America which has produced several of the great pianos of the world is constantly tending toward better and better instruments. Judging from past experiences the piano will be made more and more durable, but since the instrument is operated by a machine and a machine must necessarily wear out with time, we cannot hope for a “Stradivari” of the piano whose instruments made now will be used one hundred years from now and command a higher price.

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You are reading Why Not a Stradivarius Piano? from the May, 1922 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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