Mar 18

Street Pianos and Pianos Everywhere

Piano’s are everywhere.  Some are cared for passionately and others guarded and displayed in museums and quite rightly so.  The piano is a beautiful instrument and deserves to be revered.  Not all of them live in peace though.  Here is a selection of real and not-so-real situations that end badly for the piano.


The piano has been used in many a cartoon normally being played by a cat, chasing a mouse up and down the action – a scene that is recalled by Lang Lang and cited by him as the inspiration for him to play, as can be seen in the following video.


Pianos have been used as cartoon weapons almost since cartoons began.  Most have a violent end that only animation can bring to life.  However, the boys at Top Gear have destroyed their fair share in quite inexplicably violent situations. Here’s a clip of one being unloaded onto a Morris Marina.



The wonderful STREETPIANOS, however,  are doing an amazing job of preserving or prolonging the shelf life of the humble piano.  Since 2008 they have distributed pianos on to our busy streets and public areas. “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. so the pianos don’t disappoint the eye either – always painted and inviting you to play.  Many of the pianos have been decorated by local artists where they stand and can be found on bridges, railway stations or in parks and shopping areas. I hope I’m not out-of-place posting these photos but I hope you’ll go and have a look round the website as there are many, many more pictures of these wonderful instruments dotted around the world and they actually get played. Street Pianos is a wonderful concept bringing music to where it wouldn’t have been before. 

Street Piano In Barcelona

Piano in Barcelona

Street Piano

Street Piano

Street Piano

Street Piano

I’m all for anything that gets the public interested in the piano, too many of them are locked away in a “parlour” or best room.


Blackburn council should also be praised for the initiative in doing a similar thing, though this was also a piano competition.  You register to play at an allotted time and the public vote on your performance. Thanks to my good friend Jim Collins who took the time to photograph the piano for me.  He said

No chopsticks. I think the fact that you had to book a slot deterred the sit down and thrash it brigade. I’ve sat on a couple of occasions and been entertained over a coffee by good players playing appropriate stuff and taking the job seriously.

Blackburn Piano

Blackburn Piano

Well done to Blackburn Market for extending the competition through March.  If you are in the area, get yourself down and book a slot. There’s even a prize!



I also came across a story in the British newspaper, The Guardian about a piano that was found at the top of Ben Nevis, the highest peak of the British Isles.  Nobody knows how it got to the altitude of over 4,000 feet, but it’s thought it was maybe a student stunt or charity stunt that didn’t get the publicity it deserved at the time.  Some food packaging was found under the piano that dated the foods sell-by date at 1986 so this old “joanna” has seen some adverse weather along the way as well.

Piano Ben Nevis

Piano Ben Nevis

The piano was discovered and recovered by members of the John Muir Trust, who also took this photograph and as you can see, the piano has seen better days.  The discovery was made during a clean up of litter and other debris that somehow accumulates around the cairns towards the top of the mountain.  The piano was minus its keyboard, which remains un-found, but the effort required to get a steel piano frame to such a height is quite staggering.  An upright frame can weigh up to 100Kg.



I’m not sure what FAZIOLI the world-class piano manufacturers think of these, and I’m also unsure how many of them have been designed with sound quality in mind, but there are some great and funky looking pianos in THIS COLLECTION put together by Curious Photos blog.

Here’s a small taster

Unusual Piano Designs

Unusual Piano Designs


If you have any photos or have stumbled up on any websites with pianos in strange places, please send them on to me. Either use the contact form that sildes out of the side of the page, or subscribe to my blog and I’ll notify you when I have collected enough for another post like this.




1 comment

  1. Sue

    Great post, good mix of humour and interesting information.
    Love the street pianos!

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