Toy Pianos Aren’t Playing Around

Schoenhut toy piano ( Andrew Malone)

Schoenhut toy piano
(Andrew Malone)

In music, size matters not. Jane Little, a bassist in the Atlanta Symphony for 71 years—she met her end last May after collapsing on stage during a concert—was 4 feet, 11 inches and 98 pounds, over a foot shorter and only 70 pounds heavier than the tubby piece of timber to which she’d devoted her life. Generally speaking, no height or weight requirements will disbar a player from their instrument of choice. For the violinist not yet graduated from sucking her thumb, there exists an instrument that can fit in a purse. The infinitesimal aspirant saxophonist will appreciate the Soprillo, an instrument that fits comfortably on a dinner plate. The NanoHarp, with strings about 150 atoms thick, ensures that even molecules can dream.

Capable though these tiny instruments may be, they are considered lesser varieties of the instruments at their standard sizes and lack those instruments’ sonority, timbre, and overall quality; adult professionals will perform on full sizes. Not so for the toy piano. Full story.

Jennifer Gersten (WQXR) / September 12, 2017

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