The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano Hardcover – Feb 1995
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From Library Journal
This comprehensive volume contains valuable information for the consumer; following a technical but lucid description of the mechanics of a piano's action, it discusses all aspects of purchasing and maintaining an instrument. Numerous illustrations and charts enhance the text, which is clearly and directly written, and buying tips accompany the guides to purchasing both new and used instruments. But most valuable for a prospective buyer are the numerical ratings of virtually all models of pianos currently available, both foreign and domestic, based on the experiences of technicians around the country. An excellent source book. Susan Kagan, Hunter Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The Piano Book is a must-have resource, no matter what kind of music you play, or what kind of piano you own or intend to buy.” —Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer
“It is a book that I never thought I would see in print and a book that will be of great service to the piano world.” —Robert Silverman, former editor of The Piano Quarterly
“Clearly and directly written. . . . An excellent source book.” —Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Ideally, if you really want the best reference, get the latest edition and supplement, but augment it with the first edition if you can find a copy (yellow cover).
I took this book with me in Sept. 2003 to buy a "nearly new" piano at the annual sale of the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore. The salewoman noticed it and said, "I see you have Larry Fine's book. I bet you'll leave here with a good piano at a great price."
Throughout our tour of the many pianos on sale, I felt as though she was being more factual because I had the book! And, because I had read parts of it, I was able to ask more questions about the types of materials used in construction of the various parts.
I bought a 2 month old Kawai GM-10 for about 2/3 list price! Not only did the book give me independent in-depth information on the Kawai, but several paragraphs (p.118) to read comparing it to other brands in terms of sound, feel, durability, warranty, etc.
Now, every time I sit at my piano, I feel an added confidence that I'm playing the finest instrument I could afford.
If you are buying a NEW piano, you also need to buy the yearly "Supplement" book (Current version is "2001-2002 Annual Supplement to The Piano Book", also by Larry Fine).
Together, these two books do not cost much. You WILL save hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars.
Here is what is covered in each book:
THIS BOOK - "The Piano Book". This book has chapters on How a Piano Works, Buying a New Piano, Buying a Used Piano, Piano Moving, Piano Care, and a special chapter entitled "A Consumer Guide to New and Recently Made Pianos", which includes brand by brand listings and rankings in a number of categories. This book DOES NOT include price information. This book has 234 pages of content!!
THE SUPPLEMENT - "2001-2002 Annual Supplement to The Piano Book". This book provides "suggested" list prices for almost every manufacturer and model, AND discusses % discounts you can expect. For example, did you know, that the average discount off of list price is between 15-25%?
This book is published every year in August, based on data from that Spring. For example, this "2001-2002" was published in August 2001, based on data from June 2001. This means that the "2002-2003" version should be available in August 2002. This book has 98 pages of discount and list price information!!
The author has his own website (pianobook.com) which is also listed in the book, and even offers private phone consulatations (for a fee, given your specific needs).
BOTTOM LINE: Buy both of these books. Trust me, you will NOT be disappointed!!!
I disagree with the reviewer warning against the price lists. The efficacy of haggling over the price will vary from location to location and dealer to dealer, especially when you are buying used, but it is always useful to know the *range* so you don't start at an immediate disadvantage.
The book is dense with information, but it's worth spending the time reading it through and gaining a better understanding of the instrument in which you're interested. The diagrams are clear and instructive, and the history behind piano design is fascinating. (Terry Pratchett fans will immediately recognize the history of "B.S. Johnson" creations!)
Most recent customer reviews
Good Book. Great gift. Useful information for piano owners and buyers. Great value for money.Published 6 months ago by Lorelei Fernandes
I purchased this book based on the glowing reviews on Amazon as well as on other piano related sites. Read morePublished on July 16 2004
After a hiatus of almost 20 years, I decided that the time was right to buy a piano for myself and my young son. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by C. M. Cha
I agree with everything said above about how useful this book is--it was my bible when I bought my piano. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2003
I own a music store and have used this book a lot when researching piano brands as well as what to look for in a used piano. Read morePublished on July 5 2003
After studying the piano market for the past six years, I have found it continuosly changing and evolving. Read morePublished on June 28 2003
This book has everything you need to know about how to buy and maintain a piano plus a lot of entertaining information about piano industry and piano mechanics.Published on April 25 2003 by Slava K.