Piano Values Sound a Minor Key

Photo credit:  Great American Auction Service, Inc.

Photo credit:  Great American Auction Service, Inc.

I remember when my parents brought home a Wurlitzer piano much like the one pictured above.  It was a big deal.  Chosen by our French decorator in part for the stylistic characteristics of its case, it anchored one end of our pristine formal living room.  

My big sister was the musical one, and the Wurlitzer helped her to become a star pupil at Mr. Ogle’s piano studio.  Even so, her relationship with that piano could be described as love/hate over the years--battles over practice time were frequent.  Nevertheless, when given the choice of a handsome antique piano that had belonged to our great-grandmother or the little Wurlitzer, she moved out with the Wurlitzer.  

Why did my sister choose as she did?  Because the Wurlitzer possessed vastly superior sound quality and a full keyboard.  Her choice was between an instrument (the Wurlitzer), and a piece of furniture (the antique).  

And therein lies one reason that piano values vary drastically.  A review of auction prices realized requires sorting through pages and pages of unsold pianos before arriving at those that trade for humble amounts.  Next come the Steinways and other superior instruments which continue to sell at more robust prices.

A recent article in the New York Times reports that many orphaned pianos are simply landing in the dump.  The expense of moving, repairing, and re-tuning make even a free used piano something of an investment.  And then there are those electronic keyboards to consider.

So, if you’re looking for a real piano for yourself or someone else why not consider adopting!  Check outPianoAdoption.com to find (or list) a needy piano near you.