In the world of musical instruments, the piano is king. No instrument (with maybe the exception of the human voice) has had more impact on western music than the piano. Invented early in the 18th century by Bartolomeo Christofori, the piano eventually worked its way into nearly every household by the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Before the advent of the radio, the piano was the central entertainment piece of nearly every house in the developed world. The same reasons people love the piano today are the same reasons people loved the piano 100 years ago, and here are seven of them:
- Fun – Playing the piano is a true joy. In an era not dominated by electronics and gadgets that provide instant (yet superficial) gratification, the act of playing the piano was a very common pastime. Set a child in front of the ivories, and that child will sit and play uninterrupted for as long as the adults in the room can stand it. Obviously some of us enjoy sound more than
others, but a love of music is virtually universal. If the time is invested in playing, the joy from producing beautiful harmonies and melodies is one of the best things on earth.
- Sound – The sound created by the piano is unlike anything else on the planet. Capable of sounding fleeting and effervescent one instant, and gritty and powerful the next, few other instruments have anything close to the range of the piano – both tonally and dynamically. Of all instruments, the piano is also considered the most similar to the human voice. Try listening to a Chopin Nocturne (I recommend the one in Bflat minor) played live and tell me that sound doesn’t move you.
- Looks – Pianos are elegant. Pianos are classy, and automatically raise the status of just about any room they sit in. The shiny, black silhouette of a concert grand piano is about as iconic as it gets. Some of the cases are incredibly ornate, but across the board, nearly every piano produced is at least intended to be aesthetically pleasing.
- Health – Playing the piano is good for your brain and the overall functionality of your body. It has been proven over the past few decades, as the technology to quantify changes in the brain has improved, that playing music stimulates more of your brain simultaneously than any other activity. Playing an instrument is also one of the best mental releases, and actually helps regulate your organs and body functions as well.
- Positivity – Playing the piano is good for your mental health and mood. Separate from #4, the actual act of sitting and playing causes a large release of serotonin, much more so than just listening. Though there is certainly a most efficient way to play the piano, you don’t have to learn any embouchure or fingerings – just press the keys – which makes the piano one of the easiest instruments to learn how to play, and will give you a way to healthily regulate your moods (as opposed to turning to prescription drugs).
- Educational – Learning the piano is the best way to study music and learn music theory. Unlike all other instruments – with the exception of other percussive pitch instruments, like the vibraphone and marimba – the piano is the only instrument you look directly at the notes your playing. Even the guitar is not as cut and dry. There is one and only one key for each pitch. And they are laid out in a very visible black and white color scheme, making it much easier to see what you’re doing. Learning the piano also makes learning other instruments less difficult.
- Entertaining – Even if you’re not a piano player yourself, you never know which one of your guests may be able to dazzle you with their skills. Just having the instrument present in the house provides the potential for some great live entertainment.
There are more reasons to love the piano, but here are seven of them. If you don’t own one of these fine instruments, but are thinking about potentially buying one, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We have pianos of all sizes that fit every budget.