Are there any hand-made pianos?
Updated: Jan 16, 2022
No! "hand-made" is mainly a marketing label.
For years, piano buyers have been romanced with the idea that a fine piano is built by craftsmen who make use of their hands like someone who is carving a sculpture. Technically every single piano requires the use of a factory worker's hands. But it is hard to believe that a massive object such as the piano can be built and improved upon by using more hand-work than modern high precision machinery.
Then, what makes one piano better than another? The most concise answer to this question is "the design of the piano and proper execution by the manufacturer."
The piano is not an instrument from the past, the piano is a musical instrument that has been in continuous evolution since its invention, just like music has been in constant evolution. Keep in mind that making a piano requires a lot of infrastructure and heavy equipment, and not just wood shop.
The #piano has been cleverly romanticized by marketeers to the point that even #professionalpianist have learned to believe stories passed on to them. There is information about pianos that very few people can say they had an opportunity of researching and verifying.
Often these creative stories were made to mask poor quality control or faulty designs. Stories such as each piano has its own character, as if pianos were humans and not objects. Although, if it is true that pianos vary in touch or sound, when comparing pianos of equal size, made by the same manufacturer, those #pianos properly built tend to have some level of similarity or consistency in touch and tonal quality. This is opposite to the romanticized version of individual character and the need for 6 to 8 hours of work (prep work) by a skilled technician to make it play properly or sound good.
There are new standards created by manufacturers that actively pursue the refinement and performance of the piano by making use of #technology #research and implementation of advanced piano #design. Contrary to the use of brochures or documentaries portraying a nostalgic view of the making of a piano, which actually for those deeply familiar with pianos, some of those documentaries give you all the reasons why not to purchase one of those pianos. The #pianobuyer can re-think how to approach the purchase of their next #high_end_piano and receive a piano of substantial quality and design versus a substantially old story passed on through generations.