I read a very sad fact today, and it made me sad to realize that I knew beyond a doubt that it was true.. When I was little, stopping at piano stores was a fact of life. I would followed mom and dad as they picked out music for the minstrel or just music for themselves or for church or for me. It was always an adventure I loved. Upright pianos.
Baby grand pianos.
Broadway piano scores.
What else could a kid from a musical family want? And when I was allowed to touch a grand piano my heart fairly hammered the keys without even bothering with my fingers.
The article said that piano stores are dying. The ones that are closing down can’t find anyone who wants to take the business into the next centruy. Do you remember when every mall had a piano store? Do you know the location of any new you? Sadly, I don’t know of eveb one piano store anywhere in my new state. I’m sure there are some out there – somewhere. When I need sheet music, I order it (or find it if it is copyright free) from the internet. When I need records… oops…CD’s… oooppss… digital music stored in the cloud, I turned to technology again. Even my husband found the Clavinova that sits in my music/writing room on Craig’s List after our house fire.
According to the article, the best year for piano sales was 1909 but with the advent of radio, TV and now unending technology, sales have plummeted. Who needs piano when you have constant entertainment at the touch of the remote button? Add to that, less and less kids are taking piano lessons and pianos are becoming a dinosaur There are lots of reasons being thrown around for that one: sports, society (piano’s aren’t cool), expense of the instrument, etc. I think about Bach playing the church organ, Mozart composing masterpieces a child prodigy. My mom trying to teach herself to play from my piano books.She got better, but it was always a frustration to her that she couldn’t seem to master it.
Things change. I understand that. We’ve certainly seen a lot of changes during the 20th century. But…there is something about the piano that I will miss, if it does indeed disappear even more than it has. Yes, I know the dulcet sounds can be recreated by a computer. Yes, I know that music will continue to be made without such an instrument. But I will miss walking in the mall and seeing someone sitting at the piano, trying it out or just playing for the sheer joy of sharing music with the world.
Pounding out frustration.
Crying between the cracks of the keys.
Letting the dissonance of the white and black keys ease my own.
I wish the article was wrong, but I fear it’s not. I know my life would not be the same without the blessing the piano brought to my life. For me, the piano is praying without words. It is touching the hem of His garment at a different spot and being healed or forgiven once again.
“As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.” Ps 87:7
(AP photos/Charlie Neibergall)