Is it possible to feel sorry for a piano?
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
Just watch this short video and you might
just shed a tear or two like I did.
I would love to know what you think of it.
Please send me your thoughts.
Comments on this video:
Thanks for sharing this video! It is really a heartbreaking video. And yes, you can feel sorry for a piano!
Yes, it is possible to feel sorry for a piano. This video reminds me of the ‘public’ pianos cropping up in railway stations. As a pianist, I find it difficult to walk by any piano without having a little play (although since I haven’t played properly for many years, I keep my efforts very short!)
It was a shame the couple left it too late to get the trolleys take it into safety, and even more of a shame that someone seemed to randomly decide to have a piano smashing party (as in days of yore.)
I’d have loved for it to have been rescued and kept giving pleasure for years to come.
Thanks for sharing the video, really interesting, if a little sad.
Many thanks, Andi Scott
A beautiful and sad story. The way it ends made me think that this is the end of culture, respect and empathy.
When I leave this world i hope to be treated in a more decent way, as I will for MY still beautifully looking and sounding Hornung & Maller grand from 1897.
Thanks for the post. Fine documentary and sad but true story end for many pianos and even grands.
Many thoughts came to mind but just now I remember the film “Love Story”. Oddly I feel some similarity.
If there would be some blog related to the topic I possibly could attend…. so many thoughts…..
I myself have a 100 year old piano in my garage. However, it has been there about 40 years since nobody has played with it but basicly hers parts are in incredibly good condition. It has very very nice “honky-tonk” sound with good and deep bass tones. I am not giving it away (I have offered to many with demand that it will not be destroyed but nobody wants). I would made it reconditioned and play it but just now I have not enough room in my apartment. Oh, and its tuning is about A=425 Hz and it cannot be raised.
But the sound of those old pianos…. there is no modern equivalent. In the document the young boy playing it seems to be very happy a moment when he hears the sound of this old piano. Than kind of happiness is rarely seen in nowadays stressy life.
Greetings from Finland,
I thought this short film was deeply moving and even bordering on brutal at the end, very moving.
“No-one would have given a second glance to an old Casio keyboard chucked on the pavement”
It is sad to see a piece of old workmanship going to waste. But I cant help thinking that no-one would have given a second glance to an old Casio keyboard chucked on the pavement.
When we acquired our old piano, we had a local piano tuner, Julian Philips – Boogie Woogie piano player par excellence, cast his eye over it. He said it obviously had a history being 120 years old but he has managed to tune it up and it plays just great – well it sounds great when he’s playing it anyway. So why chuck it away?
When things are well made they just seem to command respect.
Livvy and Peter
How can anyone be so heartless!
Those vagabonds! They need to be strung up themselves!
Sometimes humans like that dissapoint me, animals are better, so I wouldn’t call them an animal.
Dear Mr. Graham Howard,
Thank you for your kind information of the end of life of the piano.
Yes, it was very sad story and I agree with you that I felt same sentiment with you.
I studied B.A. degree in Musinc and also studied piano tuning and technology course in Sydney Australia
also Tokyo Japan and I’m retired now and last 30 years I was piano tuner technician.
Piano is not machine to me and it has own soul so that I can’t to do it. (get rid of it).
Thank you very much for reading my mail.
Ken, Sydney, Australia
Thank you for the video, it was really sad(( Thanks, Tatiana.
So beautiful and heart-wrenching. See how everyone loves a piano!
Thanks for sharing that movie. I enjoy your emails. They’re unusual and special in that they 1) Aren’t frequent enough to become annoying, and 2) Always have interesting content.
I cried..it’s why I couldn’t buy a new piano – I feared that this would happen to my old piano
I was totally moved by watching the video.
It made me realise the wonderful value of piano sound and the magic of playing this wonderful instrument.
I was moved to realise that people may not compliment a piano player in action however there is a subconscious interest .
I nearly cried !!
Loved it. I shed a tear too. really weird.
How sad ! It felt like losing an old friend.
I found it rather poetic in a bit of a sad way, but one thing irritated me a bit (and made it more sad).
A lot of people had respect for the instrument, for the music, the last ones, were completely lacking any kind of sensitivity to it, for them was just something they made of wood to scrap. And it was not something linked to money or status, some of the people who passed by did not look especially wealthy or anything…
Hi Graham, I always feel sad when this happens, especially when it just gets smashed with a sledge hammer, if it could still be played you would have thought that a charity would may be able to give it a good home.
Thanks for sharing this film with me. It was really instructive. It showes how music affects to the people. So many stopped to play on it. Even if they have no any knowledge of music. I think the world would be different, if more people had the possibility to listen or play music in reality. It is something different than listen to the radio.
And of course, an old instrument like this, has a strange effect on people. Except ones…who are still in a lower spiritual level.
So yes, we can cry on objects. I cannot really describe it why, just feel it. Perhaps, cause we have experiences with them. You know, similar or the same as with another person. Who you have lots of experience with. Of corse, in this case those people who sopped and played, or we who are just watching this slideshow, have no experiences with that pianino, but we can imagine its past. And it can be enough to cry.
hello Graham, I used to like sad films, stories songs and poems. Now I just prefer to turn away from them. There’s one hell of lot going on in the world around you to make you sit and cry 24 hours of the day. Brush those tears frin your eyes and try to realize that nothing lasts forever.
Curiosity at first but later, it was so heartbreaking to see the piano been torn apart!
The piano brought pleasure to so many passers-by and so sad to see it in pieces.
The film was very well made.
Thank you for sharing it with me.
It was really sad watching it to get destroyed! They could have used it as a monument. However, it makes you think that usually objects live longer than their owners. They get round many generations when so many owners of them come and pass away!!! and they keep the secrets of everyone unrevealed!
Thanks for sharing this,
I saw the video.
People were paasing by as if they were visiting an old friend at the hospital
It the “End” it was cruel – I mean; that felt like murder.
And it certainly reflects a small (I hope) part of today’s “culture”.
But the soul…? The soul Graham-what happened to the soul – Is there really a heaven for pianos ?
I think heaven is on earth for these little fellas because in order to breathe they need someone to play with them.
On the other hand there is Franz, Frederic, Sergei, Arthur, Vladimir and so many others waiting Up there….so who knows…?
Lightning could strike…
yes it is possible
when i am ready to shed tears i’ll turn to this interesting video. i do not like to see pianos die.
Beautiful and tragic. I have been trying to “sell” our Kimball console piano on craigslist for a minimal commitment of $25, to make room for a Yamaha electronic piano, with no success. I suppose the piano will remain part of the family until I can find someone who values it. I will not put it on the street!
Also a great object lesson for my young-adult children. Thanks for sharing this video.
Thank you so much for showing me this film – Lament for a Piano. It is so unconventional, untidy, lonely,
sad, nostalgic, compelling, indefinably beautiful and totally unforgettable. It is a treasured addition to my small collection of videos.
It is very kind of you to have got into touch with me. Your country and mine are somewhat different in size
but I think we have something in common.
Thanks for the email. What a pity it was a set of still photos, it would have been a lot better had it been a video with sound. Didn’t they do a similar thing in, I think it was Cambridge, last summer without the smashing up bit. There were some quite accomplished pianists who stopped to have a play.
This story is very poignant and strangely human and warm. Yes it made me sad.
Thanks for sending me the link to the video.
Well, what can I say, sometimes all the words you know and use aren’t enough to express your feelings.
I’m just gonna say one thing: have been thinking about that video during a day and will be thinking about it tomorrow and a day after tomorrow. It’s something which is not easily could be kicked out of your head.
Load of Luddites!!!!!
A lovely little film Graham, thank you for sending it to me. No piano should be destroyed, they are like dogs, they give you unconditional love, no matter how you treat them, they are always there for you. I hope you’re well, regards, Alan
Thank you for sending the link.
“Bonita”, realistic and poetic story, but really sad.
I wonder who dare to abandon a piano….
I really liked it.
Thanks for sharing that. It was sad, if the lady could come sooner she could put more history into that piano.
A piano when played could bring a moment of peace to ones soul especially in the stressful modern life we live in now.
My two girls love to play their guitars and their portable keyboard, and not a day passed by without them playing it. It is their favourite hobby. They teach themselves and always learn new modern songs. At times I know they wished they could have a proper piano. Current economic climate where employers hardly give a basic payrise to meet the standard of living make it impossible to purchase one but I never give up considering that one day maybe, we can afford to get them one.
Thanks for sharing.
I find it very creative but very sad, as I have a piano and am very attached to it.. it’s a beautiful grand piano that I have squeesed ito a loft would be so sad if it ever ended on the street
I have never thought of the “value” a piano actually has. I would say an instrument in general, but I feel that a piano is more like a music organism (among others I think its size helps on this direction) and the video proves this. I was also surprised by the fact that ordinary people, most of them probably with no solid relation to music, were touched by the image of a lone piano and maybe thought that there are things whose value cannot be estimated by the capital laws we all are aware of. This “value” is too high however. I think that image woke up memories inside them.
In the end, there are things that can just travel you so far.
Really nice music, really nice film. I was touched too! Thanks for sharing.
All the best!