Friday, March 24, 2006

Piano Man

I am grateful for a tuned piano.

My friend Bill came over yesterday and spent a couple of hours tweaking my piano back into it's glorious, 1960's era, vinyl-clad self.

Pianos are funny things. They are more sensitive to the weather than a southern belle. They loathe humidy, heat, cold. Mine is squeezed onto our sleeping porch, a tiny room with 3 walls of windows and a set of french doors leading back into the living room. In the 20's, when the house was built, sleeping porches were all the rage for providing a comfortable night's sleep on a hot summer night. My piano, however, doesn't appreciate it at all. It gets all huffy when the weather changes. It acts remarkably like a prima donna, requiring at least twice yearly tuning... when most other pianos manage to get by on once a year. Pretty funny considering it's a Wurlitzer Spinet and not some fancy Chickering or Steinway.

And it ain't like I am some kind of sensitive virtuoso myself. My piano needs to be completely boinged out of tune before I even notice.

So yesterday, Bill tuned it. He also tightened all the keys, which involved, remarkably, removing the entire action of the piano and laying it out on my living room floor. It was amazing to see it's guts freed from the case. Each little piece of wood connected to another and another, in this crazily complex system. Who came up with it, I wonder?

At my piano lesson last night I played Handel's Pastoral Symphony on my beautifully tuned instrument. And my teacher and I agreed that I was finally ready to move on to another piece.


Handel and I thank you!

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