Is smaller better?

As a counter to the previous article profiling the “world’s largest piano,” this time we highlight its opposite. You have to admire the skill and craftsmanship and dedication of someone who takes 16 years to build an exact functioning 1:7 scale replica of a Steinway art case piano. Note that when I say “functioning” I mean that all 12K parts were faithfully reproduced and work more or less as they are supposed to. This does not mean you can play music on it, and in fact the one thing they do not show you amongst all the wow factors is someone trying to play it. Which as always begs the question, “What’s the point?” When you have the original of something, and especially a musical instrument, what is gained by making a perfect replica in miniature that doesn’t actually perform the original’s primary function? It’s certainly a staggering intellectual achievement, and there is no doubt that the artist knows more about what goes into making a Steinway than just about anyone else on the planet who doesn’t actually work at Steinway. As a delicate piece of craft it is certainly stunning to look at. But as with any replica, the true artistic vision must be credited to the designer and makers of the original object. Whether the original of this particular obsession is an artwork worthy of such devotion is a whole other discussion.

The original article from Steinway is here.


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