The Piano Evolved The piano, the most popular instrument in existence, is entering its fourth century. While the piano evolved from its predecessors, the harpsichord and the clavichord, the first piano was produced by Bartolemeo Cristofori (a harpsichord maker at the Medici court) in approximately 1700.
Current research on brain development has shown that piano study, above all other studies, increases IQ. Therefore, the purchase of a piano is one of the best investments a parent can make toward a child's future.
How To Select a Piano for Your Home
First off, understand that buying a piano will be a fairly major purchase. You are bringing both a musical instrument and a piece of furniture to your home. You must allot the proper space for it. It will occupy a certain amount of space in an area of your home which is accessible to your children, your family, your friends, your teachers, or anyone else who will be using it. Also, consider whether the area is adequately lit, for those who will be reading sheet music.
If you are even remotely considering placing the piano in your basement, out of the way of traffic, reconsider seriously. You want to place the piano in an area of your home which is the least variable in temperature and humidity. Do not place it in a basement (an area which tends to be damp), because it will rot, or near a working fireplace or heating vent (areas which get very dry in the wintertime), because it will turn to sawdust. Ideally, you want to put it in a room which is comfortably heated in the winter, and air conditioned in the summer. Even with those climatic conditions, your piano will probably need to have some sort of climate control mechanism installed in it, if you want the instrument to live a long, healthy life.
Another major consideration for most families, is the cost of the instrument. A good piano, (everyone has his own definition of good), or a trouble-free new piano will cost at least a few thousand dollars. New pianos that I recommend to customers start at closer to $5,000. That is an incredible value when you consider that a well-built instrument, cared for properly, will last you a lifetime. Compare that to a $2,000 computer which will be obsolete in a couple of years. You can find new pianos which cost less, but frequently, they come with problems which may or may not manifest themselves until you have had the instrument for a while. Often, new, inexpensive pianos come with headaches.
Headaches You Can Avoid...
they don't hold a tune
no matter who tunes them, or how much time the tuner takes, the piano just doesn't sound pretty when the tuning is completed ( this is due to poor engineering of the instrument)
they produce inexplicable noises which cannot be diagnosed
after a while they begin to produce buzzing and clicking noises because poorly glued or fastened parts begin to loosen up
action parts move noisily, while notes do not repeat as quickly as you would like
the tone of the music is harsh
the pedals make noise
Buying a piano is very much like buying a car. If you don't know what you're looking at, take someone with you who does. It is worth paying a recommended tuner a consultation fee before you select the instrument which will become very much like a member of your family.