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THE PIANO WARS

The history of the piano as a commodity is quite interesting.

By 1890, the piano had penetrated everywhere in Western culture. With no electricity, no cars, no radio and no telephone, the ideal was to sit in one's living room in the evening and listen to someone playing the piano.

There were 150 piano companies in the USA alone, trying to meet the public's insatiable need for the instrument. In fact, the piano industry, always labor intensive, provided jobs for more Americans than any other industry.

There were to be several shocks, historical forces, really, that were to shake the piano industry and ultimately cripple it.

First was the economic decline around 1900. This started to affect sales. Then came electricity and cars.

Electricity and cars made the ideal of sitting in your living rooms listening to a piano into old news. Americans wanted to be out on the road in their Model T, using all that cheap electricity they had just discovered.

With less reason to stay home, US piano sales plummeted again.

Then the Aeolian Company, a piano manufacturer, found a way to mass-produce the mechanism for the player piano.

All of a sudden, player pianos were the rage, and sales skyrocketed. For a few years the piano returned to a position of dominance in the instrument marketplace.

Aeolian built a huge new building in Manhattan to take care of the expected permanent surge in sales.

People were intrigued with the idea of not having to play the piano at all, but instead listening to great music reproduced from a piano roll. 

Then came the death-knell.

Some bright fellow figured out a way to cheaply mass-produce the radio in 1926, and the radio swept the Americans like a raging fire.

Piano sales of all kinds dropped off the map. The great honeymoon with the American public was over.

In New York City, the Aeolian Piano Company had begun construction on a huge new Manhattan factory and showroom, only to abandon the building entirley when radio swept the nation. The piano wa done for, finished, all washed up.

The piano, which had come to personify the accomplishments of the Industrial Revolution since 1800, was relegated to a lower and lower position as inventions poured out such as the television, and then, of course, the computer.

In the 1980s, electonic synthesizers entered the scene, leading to hopes that the market could be rejuvenated, but the demand was not great, although almost all pop music adopted synthesizers and abandoned the acoustic piano.

By the 1950's the Piano Culture started to wither, and then die, mostly due to television, the computer, and then the internet.

A slight resurgence in the 1970's and 1980's was caused by the invention of the digital player piano, a mechanism that could be fitted to any piano much like a player piano.

But then came the PC in the 1980's, and the piano was finally finished.

The great piano, once a vehicle for a nation's dreams, had become just another piece of furniture. 


By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2000 Walden Pond Press

PIANO IS EASY includes a 107 page song book with 44 songs. It is identical to the print version.

PIANO IS EASY DOWNLOAD wcs018DL $9.95 Includes download of printable 120 page illustrated song book with 50 songs in Adobe PDF format plus printable stickers. Identical to the printed version

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BOOKS

See also: PRESCHOOL PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for the youngest kids

See also: CHILDREN'S MULTI BOOK PACKAGE: Includes books for older AND younger children

See also: ADULT PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for adult beginners

REFERENCES

See also ORIGINS OF THE BLACK PIANO KEYS

See also THE GREAT PIANO CRAZE OF 191
0

See also THE BALLET OF THE PIANO HANDS

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Here's what your piano will look like with the piano key stickers applied.

Kids love piano chords. Try all the types here.

 

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The Piano Is Easy Book Package offers a discount for buying several books at once.

PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE INCLUDES:

PIANO IS EASY (ISBN # 0-9718936-1-6) Sturdily bound, durable, colorful 120 page illustrated song book with 50 songs such as Jingle Bells and London Bridge, Play Along Audio CD and removable numbered stickers. 

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a copy of I CAN READ MUSIC. This fun, easy-to-understand music activity book is the best way to start children reading music. Click here for sample pages.

Every book package order of PIANO IS EASY includes a FREE copy of the 56 minute DVD video from TEACH YOURSELF PIANO. This video will have you playing chords (three piano keys played with the left hand) and fun, familiar songs with both hands right away. That's a $16.95 value free!

2 BOOKS,  PLAY ALONG AUDIO CD and DVD 

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PIANO IS EASY BOOK PACKAGE $39.95   

 PIANO IS EASY book package includes a 120 page song book with 50 songs and removable stickers, plus a Play Along Audio CD, free DVD and copy of the book  I CAN READ MUSIC.

You can also purchase individual books with CD $24.95

Play Along Audio CDs help the child enjoy making music.

Teaching children the piano involves much more than just reading the notes.

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