A Requiem For Pianos

O’Mara Meehan Piano Movers has been the business since 1874. The vice president, Brian O’Mara, laments the fact he has to dispose of five to ten pianos a month.

This is by no means synth related, but it is interesting and also profoundly sad. The destruction of these pianos is an event that speaks on many levels. Least of all, the destruction of so many excess pianos is indicative of our shift towards more modern status symbols such as cars and electronic devices. But most of all, what is being lost is hand made musical instruments that were created with knowledge passed down from one generation of instrument makers to another. And quite possibly, what I think is the most saddest aspect of their destruction is that there seems to be little use or appreciation for them as musical instruments.

Quite obviously, the excess of pianos represents the decline of an interest in music in our culture. Almost every one of these pianos was quite possibly played at one time or another by a school boy or girl who had taken lessons. But as these pianos are being disposed of, so are industrial arts, music, home economics and citizenship classes from our children’s schools. The destruction of these pianos may represent the end of an era, but they also represent the destruction of something far greater from ourselves.

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