Friday, October 15, 2010

The Sound of Music

Music is so important.  Out here, JOTOLR, I believe part of being "self-sufficient" is being able to produce our own music.  Good music.  Singable music.  Something apart from the din so much of today's so-called "music" yields.  I guess I'm talking about "the old-fashioned" brand. The Old Millstream, Home on the Range????

My parents gave me the ability to play music. When I got home from school as a child, I wasn't allowed to go out to play with the other kids in the neighborhood.  Nope.  Elora "had to practice her music."  I was not pleased.  Many a tearful afternoon rained on my desire to be "free."   Today, I am grateful for their persistence.  I'm no concert pianist, but I play well enough that the sound which comes out of the instrument pretty closely resembles the notes on the page I'm reading.  I play the acccordion, organ, piano, and an electronic keyboard.  I don't play as often as I should, or as often as MM would like.  (He loves music, loves hearing me play, but doesn't play an instrument himself.) But nonetheless, it is a joy to be able to riffle the keyboard and produce agreeable, gentle sounds that don't mar the ear drum from time to time.

What passes for music these days, has prematurely damaged the hearing capabilities of many young listeners.  Music and melodiousness are one and the same for me.  But so much of what people call "music" these days, is simply noise--and by golly, old washtubs and washboards and pots and pans sound a LOT better by comparison.

I love all the instruments I play.  Each has its own appeal.

Now I know many people make fun of the accordion.  Many a joke has been made about women getting "caught" up in playing the squeezebox.  But I grew up in a Scandinavian household, where the instrument's name was canted a bit to reflect its heritage:  as in "skveeezbox."  Yes...the polka, and schottish, and umpah were all a part of my growing up...accordions were played with sprightly intent and got rave reviews from listeners if one was any good at all.  Of course Lawrence Welk gets some credit (or otherwise...???) here....and would you believe, that if you reflect on what Lawrence Welk did, you'll find he was one of music's greatest ambassadors!

This is my accordion.  At thirty pounds it's a bit heavy for me now, but it belonged to my godfather who played semi-professionally during the 1930's.  I pick it up now and again to play, but it's getting weightier every year!

But, I also love my piano.  Just look at the color (MM and I painted it, and I'll tell you why in a second).

 We bought this old BALDWIN Modello for $75. It's a player piano (no guts to the player part) and though a little out of tune,  not badly so.  Prior to our getting it, the poor old thing had been wasting away in a garage.  Someone had decided they didn't like the black laquer finish, and so had proceeded to START to strip it down to bare wood.  Not a good idea.  It was so ugly!  And the details and crevices still to be stripped and sanded...?  And therein was the problem...starting is not finishing.   So, instead of following tradition, I thought the personality of the instrument would be that of residing in a bordello.  So, what color would a bordello player piano be?  I thought a lusty rose would be particularly appropriate.  TaDaaaaa!

The other day I got to wondering about the player part of the player piano.  You might say I got a case of ARSS--that's Antique Road Show Syndrome!  So, I got on the web (oh how wonderful!) and found a website where I could learn some history about my piano. Enter John Tuttle's Player-Care  What a generous website.  I appealed to him for information about the age of my piano, the value both of the piano itself, and the value of renovating.  He was generous beyond measure.  And here's what he said:  Enjoy it as a piano! Restoration would cost in excess of $7000 and the instrument would be worth around $3500 when completed. Need I say more?You paid a fair price if the piano is in good shape and it holds its tuning.  It was most likely made in the late teens or early 20's.

As it turns out, another  exchange of emails resulted in our nailing the age down to a 1926 serial number.  Serial numbers of musical instruments have been cataloged, and offer clues and documentation to age.

So, there went my hopes of being on Antiques Road Show!  But I still have good music close at hand and expect to continue enjoying my pink piano for a long time to come!

That's it for the week, my friends!  Here it is October 15th and we still have not had a frost of any kind!  Climate change?  I've seen TWO solid black wooly worms so far this fall.  Same as last year.  Hmmmmm.  Gotta keep a close eye on those things!  Here's your sunrise/sunset (who knows which?!) for the week. 
Have a wonderful weekend.   See you Monday!


  1. Elora -- Which ever it is -- sunrise or sunset -- it is beautiful. Have a good autumn weekend -- barbara

  2. Thanks so much, Barbara! You, too! E.

  3. Accordian music is still alive and well in Wisconsin. There are some radio stations that play only polka music.

  4. Love the sunset picture, molten gold across the sky. I too was 'made' to learn the piano for which I am forever grateful. I never liked playing in front of other people but get great pleasure playing for myself. I was part of a folk dance group and always envious of our accordian players who had such lively music at their fingertips.

  5. NCMW...Does that mean you live in Wisconsin but pine for NC??? Glad to hear the polka is alive and well. That gives me inspiration to bang out a few on the BRAND NEW HOHNER ACCORDION that MM just bought me! It shipped just as of this moment! Can't wait to try out and hear that red jewel!

    I, too, thank my parents for "making" me practice. And getting a brand new accordion is going to be vonderful,vonderful! (Lawrence Welk). Can't wait. I just got the shipping notice a few moments ago! MM says it's his...and he is just hiring me to play it!;-))