Piano Maker’s Corner: Moving Day!
For Ley Piano Company, piano moving in Tucson, Arizona can be a laborious task, especially during the scorching summers. However, as you can imagine, not all moves are the same. There are the normal, quiet moves; one simply moves the piano from one location to another without any difficulties. And then there are the abnormal moves—moves which are adventures.
Since pianos are meant to be in a climate-controlled environment, some piano owners use bizarre methods to maintain the humidity for the piano. For instance, placing twelve large, glass jars of water inside the piano. And, naturally forgetting to tell the movers that they are inside, causing the movers to slightly panic when then piano begins to make loud, jittery noises during the move.
Others find their pianos useful for a variety purposes. A couple of years ago, a client chased the movers half a block down the street, frantically waving for them to stop. Slightly confused, they did. The client then proceeded to approach the piano, take the bottom board out, and to gather up the money and the jewelry that was stashed in the piano. Afterwards, she politely thanked the movers and allowed them to proceed.
Moving pianos is not the only task that provides adventures. There are plenty from just fixing pianos. Several years ago, a client complained that their piano’s keys were not working and asked us to fix them. After taking apart the piano, the technicians discovered their dog’s food packed in and under the keys. In fact, they collected more than 2 ½ bags of dog food from the piano. Not only did they manage to fix the keys, but we also solved the Disappearing Dog Food Mystery. It turns out that the client had another small and furry friend, who enjoyed stashed dog food in the piano and that it was not the husband’s fault after all.
There are clients that give specific instructions to the technicians, such as, “Please rebuild the piano, but do not remove the gum under the piano”. Once the piano was rebuilt, the movers delivered it to an unveiling party for a group of 20 – 30 people. A few attendees were somewhat skeptical and claimed that this was not “the piano”, until an elderly gentleman walked up to the piano and reached underneath the piano to feel the gum. The elderly gentleman happened to be the owner and the one responsible for the gum, which was placed during his younger years.
Just like people, piano moves and repairs are unique in their own way and are never exactly the same. Some are difficult, and some are very surprising and can turn out to be not what they seem. Each piano has its quirk that adds to the sentimental value. Pianos are more than instruments. Each piano is inevitably tied to its owner or player; they have the capability to add more to our lives, to add household adventures and memories.