- Jan 24, 2009
Pianos are part of our lives.

Elton John would have been up a creek without his piano--it’s hard to write the kind of ‘based-on-a-church-hymn’ music he likes to play for any another instrument. One of the most infamous piano players of modern times was the bejeweled Liberace with his blinged-out pianos. The most (incorrectly) remembered piano song line was "Play it again, Sam," from "Casablanca." Many of us have childhood memories of playing "Chopsticks" or a clever duet of "Heart and Soul" on a piano in need of tuning. 

Pianos have been around for 400 years and are distant cousins of the hammered dulcimer. The piano has been through several incarnations and its present form has only been around since circa 1900.

Music written by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Brahms was composed for an instrument that was very different from the modern piano. Still, pianos are considered ‘classical’ instruments, and many children have sat practicing musical scales to the tick, tick, tick of a metronome when they would rather be out playing.

That’s not true of every child, of course--just check out young Master Bortnick in the following cluster. You’ll also find unusual pianos and piano-inspired gadgets and gizmos. There’s no doubt one or more will tickle your musical fancy.

From Fantastical Painted Pianos to Weird Piano-Playing Eyeball: