PianoPedia: Trivia & Quotes

Piano Trivia

curvy piano keysThe average grand piano weighs about 1,000 pounds.

The tensile strength on the piano’s frame is capable of powering a hoist that could lift forty or more heavy old uprights simultaneously.

A Bösendorfer piano was thrown off the Queen Elizabeth II into the ocean during the Falkland Islands conflict to make room for helicopters.

During the Vietnam War, some American prisoners held captive at the “Hanoi Hilton” fashioned piano keyboards out of flat boards, with exact-size “keys” sketched in pencil so that they could silently practice while in prison.

Steinway pianos have occasionally been put on board submarines for deep-sea entertainment and have fared quite well despite the undersea pressure. One piano has been on a submarine for more than twenty years.

Presidents Truman and Nixon played the piano.

There are 18 million nonprofessional pianists in America. Nearly one out of twenty people plays the piano. There are 30 million pianos in the United States.

The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C; it is actually the space between E and F above middle C.

Notable Quotes

Young Mozart

Young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the harpsichord

“Hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” – Johann Sebastian Bach

“He who plays the piano keeps sane.” – Italian proverb

“The pianoforte is the most important of all musical instruments; its invention was to music what the invention of printing was to poetry.” – Playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw, in The Fortnightly Review, 1894

“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“I cannot tell you how much I love to play for people…sometimes when I sit down to practice and there is no one else in the room, I have to stifle my impulse to ring for the elevator man and offer him money to come in and hear me.” – Pianist Arthur Rubinstein, 1963

“Please don’t tell Mr. Hurok, but I love playing the piano so much, I would do it for nothing.” – Pianist Arthur Rubinstein, 1964

“The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consists in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star.” – American writer Logan Pearsall Smith (1865 – 1946)