Music, history: the 85-key piano

Seeing an antique can trigger self-tutoring: the tutor shares a find.

A few days back my son, visiting a historic site, was invited to play the piano. After awhile he pointed out that it starts – and ends – with an A key.

The pianos that I’ve seen, as both my sons pointed out, start with a bass A but end with a treble C. Our piano at home is like so. Such pianos have 88 keys.

The antique one that starts with a bass A, but ends with a treble A as well, three keys earlier than I’ve ever seen – is it common? Well, common enough, especially among pianos from the 1800s, apparently.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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