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#167204 - 08/07/08 12:31 AM 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
The first acoustic piano my parents bought when I started piano lessons in the mid-1950s was a slightly used 66 key spinet. It was a nice little instrument that served me well for three years. We sold the piano for $100 in 1959.

I have absolutely no recollection about who made the piano - and interestingly enough I've never seen one like it since. My guess is that this was a model built in the 1940s and 50s (intended for apartments and other small spaces) which didn't really catch on.

Does anyone know anything about these instruments - including who made them and whether any still exist??
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#167205 - 08/07/08 01:57 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Hey carey,

It might have been a 64 note Melodigrand, made by Aeolian I think. Built much on the order of a smaller spinet piano. Approximately 42" wide.
If I remember correctly they also built a 73 note piano at one time.

Cordially,

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#167206 - 08/07/08 11:43 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Don't know about your piano but I saw a small (I'd say around 66 keys) spinet on board the MV Columbia on one of my trips back and forth to the Lower 48. I asked about it, because I was surprised to see a 'real' piano that didn't have at least 88 keys. The ship's bursor told me that there were a fair number of these in existence specifically for putting on board ships, as they are a bit lighter and take up less room but afford the opportunity for passengers and crew to enjoy "real" piano music. I never knew whether this was true or not, but it made sense, although I can't imagine there are so many ships out there with miniature pianos on board that it would have been an economaically compelling thing for a manufacturer on its own.
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#167207 - 08/07/08 12:41 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
radaddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 63
Loc: North Carolina, USA
As a child I first played on a piano my father had purchased in 1939. I don't remember the manufacturer, but it said Mini-piano on it. It had less than 88 keys, but more than 66.

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#167208 - 08/07/08 12:45 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
There are a number of short keyboard pianos that were available at various times. Today, there are short keyboard digital instruments that serve the same purpose, but are even more portable.
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#167209 - 08/07/08 01:10 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
When I was a kid, an aunt had an Aeolian Pianola player piano with a short keyboard. It was ... frustrating.

I remember "running out of keys," but not the exact range. Were keyboard compasses standardized for pianos with fewer than 88 keys?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#167210 - 08/07/08 03:23 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 370
Loc: Chicagoland
I've seen a Wurlitzer console with only (about) 5 octaves, 60+ keys.

Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#167211 - 08/07/08 03:30 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1187
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Some brands that come to the top of my head include: Wurlitzer, Eavestaff (Mini-piano...made by Hardman & Peck?), Melodigrand, Gulbransen
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Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#167212 - 08/07/08 03:33 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1187
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Oh...forgot Weber. I tuned one of those a few years ago...fairly new piano...more than 66 keys, though...maybe an octave short..
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Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#167213 - 08/08/08 01:19 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Thanks for the information everyone. I really appreciate it.

I'll probably never know exectly what we had back then - but it could very well have been a Melodigrand. Since reading your posts, I've found craigslist and e-bay ads for at least ten Melodigrands - all over the nation. From the photos most appear like they are in good condition - and the prices range from $125 to $800. In fact there's one for sale here in Phoenix for $225.

I remember that the piano was great for playing Bach and Mozart - but very frustrating when it came to Rachmanioff and Chopin!!

Thanks again for your responses.
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#167214 - 08/08/08 03:26 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 607
Carey, you'd have a hard time on it with Brahms and Liszt, too \:\)
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#167215 - 08/08/08 04:17 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Hazel Quinn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 12
Loc: UK
I see the Eavestaff Mini-piano is mentioned here (and given a hard time on another forum thread!). I play one of these most weeks at our local drinking hole where we have an acoustic music night. It's black and chrome art-deco design with its own little deco stool. It needs attention but this particular one has wonderful bass tones which I enjoy for jazzy walking bass lines or setting the rhythm on some brazilian jazz. I have heard them called 'yacht pianos' before which ties in with the earlier post about them going on board ships.

~Hazel

My dumb piano blog: http://hazelquinn.bravejournal.com

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#167216 - 08/08/08 04:44 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5067
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:

I remember "running out of keys," but not the exact range. Were keyboard compasses standardized for pianos with fewer than 88 keys?

Steven [/b]
The 88-note keyboard compass did not become "standard" until about the middle of the 19th century. Prior to this the keyboard compass was much shorter and there was little standardization. Steinway built 85-note (ending at A-85) Model Bs until 1892.

I continue to be intrigued with the idea of building an 85-note, 160 cm (5’3”) grand leaving off the lowest three notes. I’ve gone as far as drawing up a design cartoon so I can study the layout. The piano is about 130 cm (51”) wide, is about as slender, and light (both aesthetically and in weight) as possible. This concept is designed to be a very high-performance grand for the very small living room or music room. By leaving off the lowest three notes I can make the rest of the bass—the rest of the piano, for that—perform more like that of a 170 cm or 180 cm piano.

I haven’t talked myself into building one yet. Nor have I been able to convince any manufacturer to take the plunge. So, we’ll see….

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#167217 - 08/08/08 11:00 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Sounds very intriguing Del !! I hope you get the opportunity to do this. Its good to know that there are talented, innovative folks in the field willing to take risks and think out of the box!
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#167218 - 08/08/08 11:39 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Del:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
I remember "running out of keys," but not the exact range. Were keyboard compasses standardized for pianos with fewer than 88 keys?

Steven
The 88-note keyboard compass did not become "standard" until about the middle of the 19th century. Prior to this the keyboard compass was much shorter and there was little standardization. Steinway built 85-note (ending at A-85) Model Bs until 1892.[/b]
Thanks, Del, but actually I was wondering about modern short-keyboard pianos. What would be the typical compass of a 64- or 66-note piano like the Aeolian Pianola I mentioned?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#167219 - 08/09/08 01:46 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5067
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Del:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
I remember "running out of keys," but not the exact range. Were keyboard compasses standardized for pianos with fewer than 88 keys?

Steven
The 88-note keyboard compass did not become "standard" until about the middle of the 19th century. Prior to this the keyboard compass was much shorter and there was little standardization. Steinway built 85-note (ending at A-85) Model Bs until 1892.[/b]
Thanks, Del, but actually I was wondering about modern short-keyboard pianos. What would be the typical compass of a 64- or 66-note piano like the Aeolian Pianola I mentioned?

Steven [/b]
To my knowledge no 64- or 66-note pianos are being made today. And I do not know the keyboard compass of the Aeolian Pianola. I do remember seeing one several decades back but my memory is not that good. Sorry.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#167220 - 08/10/08 11:31 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
Barbara G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 495
Loc: N. Texas
I have a book called: Piano[/b] , by David Crombie. It has very many pictures and descriptions of the history of the piano. It has pictures and descriptions of the Minipiano which was made by Eavenstaff, London from 1937 and until 1958. The Minx Miniture piano which was made by Kemble of England from 1935 and for 32 years., and also "yacht" pianos which were made by many companies. The minipiano was made from a prior Swedish design. The Minipiano had 6 octives and came in three versions. The Minx was an improved piano and was copied by companies in Europe and the US. The Ministrelle was made in France as well as Pleyel made the Elite and the Gaveau le Menuet. Feurich made a version. And Hardman Peck made the Minx in the US. He says that there were other copies.

here is an 85 key Mini Minx
http://manchester.gumtree.com/manchester/09/24730509.html
another
http://www.markgoodwinpianos.co.uk/img/p222x-kemble-minx-photos/
A 7 octive version
http://www.brightonpianos.co.uk/Minx%20Upright.htm
Here is info and pictures of the Minipiano
http://www.uk-piano.org/history/eavestaff.html
_________________________
Master of Music, School Teacher, Church Musician- See "Our Adventure to a New grand" thread... http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/18212.html

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#167221 - 08/11/08 11:53 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around????
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6040
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Jordang -

Thanks for the info and the links !!

Very interesting !!

Carey
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1559550 - 11/17/10 10:17 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around???? [Re: carey]
Barbara Ann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Medway, Ma
I coincidentally popped in here and saw your post about the 66 key piano. I just had a call last week to tune a spinet. It is a 66 key Winton made by Acrosonic in 1918. It needs damper felt firstly. I usually just tune and do minor repairs so i am trying to come up with a fair price for my customer and myself.
Can someone give me an idea of thier charges for this? I am thinking 2 hours labor plus parts.

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#1559580 - 11/17/10 11:58 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around???? [Re: carey]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Hi Barbara Ann, your inquiry about figuring a fair price for the work might be better served by being posted over the on Technician's Forum here at PW. smile
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Nancy Fanzlaw
Seamstress for the Band

www.FortePianoGallery.com
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#1559590 - 11/17/10 12:29 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around???? [Re: M.O.P.]
Barbara Ann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Medway, Ma
Thanks M.O.P duly noted, as you can tell i haven't posted in so long i was unfamiliar in which forum i posted this but the answer to the 66 keys piano might have been helpful atleast, i'm hoping. smile

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#1559703 - 11/17/10 05:06 PM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around???? [Re: Barbara Ann]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Barbara Ann

Can someone give me an idea of their charges for this? I am thinking 2 hours labor plus parts.


Here is the fairest way to calculate this: take the fee you charge for tuning a full keyboard. Then divide that fee by 7.3 (octaves)

Example: My fee for a tuning is 140.00 Divide by 7.3 = 19.178082.

So 20 bucks per octave should put you pretty close to fair.

Throw in a few of those damper felts for the little difference,and you are done.

I just sold a Mason & Risch 56 key instrument from the 40’s.

I have here at the moment a 76 key instrument from Steigerman ( 1985 Horugel factory)Here are a few shots of that one……

http://picasaweb.google.com/silverwoodpianos/SteigermanHG101125#

_________________________
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www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1560122 - 11/18/10 10:41 AM Re: 66 Key Pianos - Are they still around???? [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Barbara Ann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/02/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Medway, Ma
Thanks so much for your formula which i will keep in mind. I did come up with about that price but in a different way. Again, thank you! Great pics btw of the pianos!

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