I’m working on my concept that we, as manufacturers, need to get together to develop and promote the idea of the High End Piano Experience, rather than assume that everybody agrees with our premise that these things are worth a lot of money.
What is the HEPE? It’s the combination of an outstanding musical instrument and a product of supreme craftsmanship. The instrument needs to be one that is capable of giving an artist (at any level) a tool for exploring the real power of music to create and influence emotions. The product of craftsmanship should be associated with a long and noble history of the science and craft of piano building. The HEPE is best when experienced by a musician (of any level) but is not at all limited to those who play themselves. The craft aspects should appeal and give satisfaction to those that don’t play and the availability of a high quality musical instrument means that music can enter the scene at any moment.
Notice that I did not say the “art” of piano building. To me, Art refers to emotional communication and while a silent piano does stir the emotions in some of us, the real magic comes when a high quality piano is being used as a tool by a fine pianist. Therefore piano building is less Art and more high level craft. The only exception is in veneer and casework. The very best veneer work should, in the words of Don Bennett, “tell a story”. And boy, when done right, can it ever!