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A Political Note… Steinway Pianos in the White House

White House Steinways - Since 1903

1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C. The home of the President of the United States... and multiple pianos? Like other countries, music is rooted in American history, so it is no wonder that pianos of various makers have found their way into one of the world's most well known political residences. Since 1903, the showpiece grand piano in the White House has been a Steinway Model D. Read on for more!

The Current Piano - Steinway #300000

Steinway & Sons recognized the honor, prestige, and yes, marketing value that came with having their instrument reside in the home of the President of the United States. The most well-known piano in the White House is a 1938 Steinway & Sons Art Case Model D Concert Grand #300000 veneered in mahogany. Resting on legs resembling American Bald Eagles, this piano features motifs depicting traditional American music. Read More
Steinway family leadership in the ancestor room

New York Steinways vs. Hamburg Steinways – a Tail of Two Factories

Steinway & Sons New York and Hamburg | What's the Difference?

Question: “What's the difference between Steinway pianos built at the company's New York Factory and their Hamburg Factory?"

An American Company

While Charles Dicken's novel A Tale of Two Cities dealt with the cities of Paris and London, this comparison deals with New York and Hamburg. Specifically, their shared role as the home for Steinway & Sons pianos. This unusual situation has resulted in key differences between the American and European variants of these legendary musical instruments.

Contrary to the belief of some, Steinway & Sons is not a European company and have always been an American company first and foremost. Founded by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway, the New York-based company grew quickly from its modest founding in 1853 to quickly become the leading piano maker in North America. This led to increased demand for their products in both the United States and around the world. As this demand for pianos grew, the decision was made to open a factory overseas and the Steinway name returned to Germany - the City of Hamburg, to be exact.

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The Baldwin: The Story of a Piano Restoration – Ruthmere Museum & Chupp’s Pianos

Partnering With The Ruthmere to Restore Local History 

This historic Baldwin Model M Baby Grand Piano was fully rebuilt by Chupp’s Piano Service. Built in 1938 at the Cincinnati Baldwin piano factory, this grand piano was a family heirloom of the Deputy family, the last residents of the historic Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart, Indiana. (In fact, one of their family portraits at the museum shows the family sitting around this very piano.) The piano is believed to have been moved out of the mansion in 1969. Recently, the Deputy family generously donated the Baldwin piano to the Ruthmere Museum, returning it to its former home. This is the story of a historic piano’s full restoration. Producer/Shooter/Director: Benjamin Rogers - Music Written & Performed by Philip Balke - Special thanks to The Ruthmere Museum of Elkhart, IN. Read More
The History of Mason & Hamlin Piano Company - An Ongoing Legacy of American Piano Quality - Chupp's Pianos

The History of Mason & Hamlin Pianos | An Ongoing Legacy

From 1854 to Today | Mason & Hamlin

The tale of the Mason & Hamlin’s rise to the top of the piano world is an interesting piece of history, dating back to the mid 19th century. Now normally, the first name to come to mind when thinking of premium pianos is probably the venerable Steinway & Sons company. Steinway has long enjoyed a spot at the top of American piano manufacturers in both artists' use and public opinion. However it would be very remiss to ignore the contributions and the ongoing history of another leading piano maker, Mason & Hamlin. Created one year after the founding of Steinway & Sons in 1854, Mason & Hamlin quickly asserted themselves as a company dedicated to handcrafted quality and today is one of only two fully operational piano manufacturers in the United States today (with the other being their longtime competitor, Steinway). Read More
Baldwin Model M Grand Piano Interior - Ruthmere Museum, Elkhart, Indiana

Letter to the Editor: Reader Appreciates Rebuilt Baldwin Piano

Joyce Brown of Edwardsburg, Michigan sent in this very nice letter to the editor to The Elkhart Truth about the historic Baldwin Model M Grand Piano we rebuilt and presented at the Ruthmere Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. The piano was originally built in 1938 at the Cincinnati Baldwin piano factory and was the personal piano of the Deputy family, the last residents of the Ruthmere Museum. This instrument was donated to be placed in the museum by the Deputy family and was fully rebuilt by the team here at Chupp's Piano Service.
An outstanding musical gift to our community was presented at the Ruthmere Museum Friday night April 1. The event welcomed back a totally restored 1938 Baldwin Baby Grand piano, generously funded by the original owners, the Deputy family. Read More

The Evolution of Musical Tools | From 4-Tracks to Music Streaming

Hear The Difference | Through the Years with Music Technology

The way we create and listen to music has changed dramatically over the years. Since the 1960s, advancement in music technology has seemed to escalate at an ever quickening pace. In decades past 4-track tape machines were the norm. Today, tablets and computers allow us to create, listen and interact with music in ever changing ways. Take a look at the handy info-graphic below for more about the fascinating evolution of music technology. Read More
1922 Steinway & Sons Model A-3 Grand Piano #214713 - Fully Restored - Polished Ebony

The Steinway Model A-1 vs. A-2 vs. A-3

The Steinway Model A Family | What's the Difference?

Question: “I was looking at Steinway Model A pianos and noticed that there are pianos labeled Model A-1, A-2 and A-3 and it is getting a bit confusing. What is the difference between these models of Steinway pianos?
Steinway & Sons Model A-III Grand Piano in Satin Ebony - Fully Rebuilt Steinway Model A3

The First Model A Grand Piano | 1878

The Model A family of pianos consists of several 6' variants in Steinway's line of grand pianos. The A-1, A-2 and A-3 are all in the same family, yet there are some distinct differences, and even differences within those models. Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 and the first Model A, the A-1 was first introduced back in 1878. This piano measured 6’ in length. This piano was an 85 note piano and the scale design was scaled down from the larger Model B. When first introduced the Model A was actually the smallest of all of the grand pianos built and sold by Steinway. (This was before the introduction of the Models S, O, L or M.) The scale design was crafted by C.F. Theodore Steinway, an innovative man credited with many of the patents and technical advances introduced by Steinway in their early days of operation. This model was fairly historic in terms of innovation and introduced the bent-rim case construction, which allowed for a better transfer of soundboard vibrations, a technique still in use today. Read More
Steinway Model A-III Plate, Dampers and Soundboard

History of Steinway & Sons Pianos

Steinway & Sons | A Basic History

In the early part of the 20th century there were more than 300 piano manufacturers in the United States alone, churning pianos out of factories large and small at a rapid pace. A piano was THE luxury item that everyone wanted in their home. If you didn't have one already you wanted one and if you had one, you probably wanted to upgrade to a better one.  Today, few of these companies remain in business, victims of changing taste and economic swings. However Steinway & Sons continues on. The Steinway name is everywhere. From the cabinets of living room baby grand pianos to the foremost concert venues in the world, the mention of Steinway still commands a deep respect for the instruments and the music artists create with them. Here is a basic history of this famed business.

The Founding of Steinway:

The company was founded on March 5, 1853 by Henry Engelhard Steinway. An immigrant from Germany, he had already built 482 pianos by the time he founded the new company in New York, New York. His first Steinway & Sons piano sold to a local family for the price of five hundred dollars. The company grew rapidly. So rapidly that within a year he moved the business to a larger facility on Walker Street. By the 1860s a new factory housed the piano manufacturing and a workforce of 350 were producing over 1,800 pianos a year. In the early days of Steinway, new ideas and innovation were key to their success. The famed duplex scale, overstrung bass strings and many other industry changing designs were developed during this time. The Steinway piano did battle against other popular brands during this time, including Mason & Hamlin, Chickering and Sons and more. The company secured many awards at various trade fairs, which bolstered the reputation of the instruments. The Steinway name had been cemented as one linked to quality and new ideas.

Expansion and the World War:Henry_E._Steinway_-_photographer_Mathew_Brady

It was clear at that point that Steinway pianos were there to stay and the company continued to push through rapid growth. To reach the European market, William Steinway and C.F. Theodore Steinway built a factory in Hamburg, Germany in the year 1880. Hamburg Steinway Pianos share many of the same innovations and techniques as their New York brothers, and designers share ideas between the two factories. However there are differences that make these instruments unique and sometimes preferred by artists. Speaking of artists, in the early 1870s the Steinway artists program was born. This program where pianists are supplied the best Steinway & Sons pianos is a useful promotion for both the company and the artist themselves. (Other companies have utilized the same formula, but Steinway has had the most success by far.) Read More
Steinway Fallboard and Keys

The History of the Piano | The King of Instruments

The History of the Piano

The piano is one of, if not the most popular instrument in the world. Millions have been introduced to music through piano lessons and the mention of the name ‘Steinway’ still invokes a feeling of class and grandeur. The piano has come in all shapes and sizes over its long and varied history. But the piano didn't begin as the 'king of instruments', it had to start somewhere!

The Origin of the Instrument

In the early 1700s a harpsichord maker by the name of Bartolomeo di Franceso Cristofori developed the first piano. A well respected Italian craftsman and inventor, he worked for Prince Ferdinando de Medici.  His first ‘gravicembalo col piano e forte’ was exhibited in Florence in 1709. The advantage his instrument had over the similar harpsichord was the ability for the musician to vary the volume. A harpsichord could not play notes at different levels of sound, due to the way the strings were plucked. The piano with its hammers on the other hand, could. A few of his instruments have survived and one of his early creations is currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (In playable condition.) Read More
Cristofori - Piano Forte

What Did the First Piano Sound Like?

LISTEN: The Earliest Known Piano in Existence:

In the early 1700s, Bartolomeo Cristofori invented what would become the 'king of instruments', the piano. The early pianos were a vast improvement over their immediate predecessors the harpsichord. The pianos had a wider range and the hammers hit the strings instead of plucking them, allowing the musician to vary the volume of their notes. (An obvious plus.) But what did the first piano sound like? The early pianos sounded quite different from the modern instruments that we know today. The early pianos lacked a metal plate, were quite light and lacked the range of pianos today. One good way to describe the sound they produced, is that they sounded like a mix between the earlier harpsichords and a modern piano. The Cristofori Piano that resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has been restored to playable condition. Read More
Kawai GL Series Grand Pianos for Sale | Chupp's Piano Service, Inc.

Top Five Reasons to Purchase a Kawai Piano

Kawai has made a name for themselves as a quality piano manufacturer with a rich history. Here are just a few reasons why purchasing a Kawai piano from Chupp's Piano Service is a wise decision.

1: Quality Manufacturing.

With dozens of respected piano companies competing for a share of the market, many have moved their production to places like China in an attempt to reduce their overhead. Although it does reduce production costs it can come at a steep drop in quality. Kawai still has their headquarters and factories in Japan and retain the high quality and control expected by artists around the world.

2: Pioneering Advancement.

Kawai is well known and respected for their innovation when it comes to the parts that go into their many pianos. In 1971 Kawai began utilizing ABS for pieces of their piano actions. Why did they do this? According to tests completed in 1998 the ABS parts were more consistent in size, were over 50% stronger and were much more resistant to environmental problems. Recently Kawai has combined their ABS with carbon fibers to create an ABS Carbon. This is much stronger than their previous design and allows for lighter parts, creating a quicker and more responsive action. Although some, including competitors have attempted to discredit the ‘plastic’ parts, they have proved to be long lasting and very precise.  Kawai hasn’t been afraid to try new things and this has benefited the music industry as a whole. Recently legendary American piano manufacturer Mason & Hamlin began utilizing very similar parts in their new pianos. Read More

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