INSPIRATION FROM DAD
MY FATHER’S KEYBOARD
Music is ingrained in my father’s family. It is a way of life. To better understand this, I thought I’d share some facts about my fathers family, and then come back and explain what you see in the above collage – which is primarily material from my father.
Below is a picture of my grandfather and four of my father’s sisters as they get ready to perform on WDUN-AM in Gainesville, Georgia (the radio station still exists!)
Aunts Caroline, Martha, Mary Lou and Colene with my granddad
My father rebuilt pianos, my grandfather was a piano tuner. Even tough my father knew how to tune, he preferred putting the piano together again. I began taking piano lessons at age five (from my aunt Colene pictured above).
When my father died and I was asked what I’d like to keep that belonged to him. I asked for his piano tuning fork – pictured below lying on my piano.
Now – back to the collage above.
Not only do you see music in the above collage, but you see pages from my father’s piano tuning book. Everything handwritten is in my father’s hands. You can see the cover of the book – kind of anyway (look to the left – see the letters FIR). There are the words “showing off the piano” – partially obscured – this is what a piano tuner does when the piano is properly tuned.
The keyboard you see at the bottom left is the Bearings Scale – which is the traditional “laying the bearing” or setting a central octave to proper pitch using the method of counting the beats (I don’t pretend to understand all of this! – but I heard discussions about counting the beats growing up).
At the top of the collage, there is a picture on the right and a drawing on the left of the “action” of the piano. What is the action? The Piano Tuners Guild says:
“The three systems involved in regulation are the action, trapwork and damper system. The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings.”
The printed portion on the lower right are definitions of different part of the piano, such as string, damper, felt, etc.
Here are some additional pieces of art that were inspired by my family’s devotion to music.
The Buttefly uses my recital piece from about 6th grade. Here is proof!
And – I know you wanted to see this – scroll down!
Here I am with my very first piano! (I remember sitting on my grandfathers lap about this time and learning where “Middle C” is located – it confounded me that is wasn’t in the middle of the keyboard!)
Now – if you have read this far – I have a gift. Subscribe to my blog (see block on the upper right corner) When you have done so – email me at email@example.com and on March 21st (first day of Spring!), I will draw 10 names and send them each 10 pieces of original music like what is pictured below to use in your own collage!
BTW – an aside about the piano. I have long considered it a percussion instrument, because the sound is made with the hammer hitting the strings. Lately I’ve heard more and more are considering it a string instrument, as the musical tones originate in the strings. Any way you look at it, it is a chordophone.
I had to much fun putting this together, I’ve decided to do a series of blogs about where I find inspiration. Next up – for equal time, find out what of my mom’s I continue using in my artwork!