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#1742566 - 08/29/11 11:25 AM What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public?
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
And there are people around. Do you do nothing? Do you tinker around with it? Or you jump on and blast away your best piece?

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#1742590 - 08/29/11 12:23 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 21043
Loc: New York
It depends. smile
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1742593 - 08/29/11 12:27 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Silly to have strong feelings about such a thing, but I simply would never commandeer a piano under those circumstances. Just strikes me as show-offy in the extreme.

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#1742600 - 08/29/11 12:47 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: Mark_C]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It depends. smile


I guess you wouldn't do it if they were all strangers? What if they are mostly people who know you?

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#1742617 - 08/29/11 01:12 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19904
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It depends. smile


I guess you wouldn't do it if they were all strangers? What if they are mostly people who know you?


I doubt that, "in public," they would be mostly people who know me. In any case, I think that playing the piano in a public venue without a specific or implied invitation to do so would be presumptuous in the extreme.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
closing in on 20,000!
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1742646 - 08/29/11 02:10 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: BruceD]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It depends. smile


I guess you wouldn't do it if they were all strangers? What if they are mostly people who know you?


I doubt that, "in public," they would be mostly people who know me. In any case, I think that playing the piano in a public venue without a specific or implied invitation to do so would be presumptuous in the extreme.

Regards,


I couldn't agree more. But even if I know the people I'm not about to climb on board without an invitation. Even then, I'd be careful to assess whether they really wanted to hear something or were just being polite.

Edit: just to add, it's not (of course) as if I don't share the very human impulse to show others any talents or abilities I might have, But I have an even stronger desire to keep this need under wraps. And all that said, as to the former, it's an impulse that continues to wane as I age...


Edited by cardguy (08/29/11 02:17 PM)

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#1742661 - 08/29/11 02:36 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18091
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
It depends. If it is a hotel piano where I'm staying as a guest, I'll ask the clerk at the front desk if I can play it. I bat about .500 on those requests.

If it is in a private home and I am a guest at some social function, I'll wait to be invited.

If it's got a "do not touch" or "do not play" sign, I respect the sign and refrain from playing.

If it's located in a place where there's no obvious person to ask permission, I'll play it as long as there doesn't seem to be anything going on nearby that I might be disrupting. I'll also play it if I see other people playing it and then leaving.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1742668 - 08/29/11 02:45 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: Monica K.]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 21043
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
It depends. If it is a hotel piano where I'm staying as a guest, I'll ask the clerk at the front desk if I can play it. I bat about .500 on those requests....

me2

Footnotes: Begging raises it to about .600. ha
Making advance arrangements raises it to maybe .800.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1742673 - 08/29/11 02:59 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
MadForBrad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 202
Loc: LA / Montreal
how much alcohol have I consumed ? 1-5 , show off, 5 - 10 , try and steal it.


Edited by MadForBrad (08/29/11 03:00 PM)

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#1742674 - 08/29/11 02:59 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: Monica K.]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
It depends. If it is a hotel piano where I'm staying as a guest, I'll ask the clerk at the front desk if I can play it. I bat about .500 on those requests.

If it is in a private home and I am a guest at some social function, I'll wait to be invited.

If it's got a "do not touch" or "do not play" sign, I respect the sign and refrain from playing.

If it's located in a place where there's no obvious person to ask permission, I'll play it as long as there doesn't seem to be anything going on nearby that I might be disrupting. I'll also play it if I see other people playing it and then leaving.



Good answer.

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#1742777 - 08/29/11 05:58 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8735
Lucky me! I don't play piano in public, so it is not an issue.

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#1742784 - 08/29/11 06:18 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
asiantraveller101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 191
Loc: ME
Leave it alone!
_________________________
JN

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#1742791 - 08/29/11 06:27 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Depending, as has already been said, on the circumstances. If it won't interrupt anything then i'll play for as long as i like, not to show off but i usually just improvise little pieces for myself. I have done this a few times before, the oddest occasion, i would think, was when i came across a piano in a chinese takeaway and played something! The kitchen staff even came out to applaud me! smile
Of course, if it's in someone's home i wouldn't play it at all.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#1742825 - 08/29/11 07:26 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: TheHappyMoron]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: TheCannibalHaddock
the oddest occasion, i would think, was when i came across a piano in a chinese takeaway and played something! The kitchen staff even came out to applaud me! smile


I think it is actually good justice for workers who are bored as heck. Listening to someone play would be a much needed remedy for them.

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#1742833 - 08/29/11 07:37 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1473
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
A hotel? If I feel like playing, I'll sit and play.

I can't go pass a piano store without stopping in and pretending I'm interested. I always drop that I'm an engineer, and I'm never bothered by the salesmen besides the occasional "oh, please come try the 9-ft concert grand in the back room."

Someone's home? I pretend like I don't notice the piano and hope I'm not asked to play something.

Weird, eh?

-Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
-Dane Rudhyar's Stars from Pentagrams No 3

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#1742837 - 08/29/11 07:52 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6552
Although I don't sit down and start playing, I can't resist checking to see if it's in tune. It's sort of an ongoing poll with me. (they're never in tune)

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#1742842 - 08/29/11 07:58 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i just check the brand and raise my eyebrows or not.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1742851 - 08/29/11 08:17 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: apple*]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I basically never play in public. But one time I was in a hotel with hundreds of other teenagers trying to qualify for the Jeopardy Teen Tournament. The wait was getting long, so I finally decided to play the piano which was sitting unoccupied for a long time. Then some man approached me and said "That's Beethoven, right?" and walked away. It wasn't until the next day that I realized he was TV actor. I had a feeling that there were other celebrities there than Alex Trebek. Anyways, no one was bothered by my playing, which was only about 10 minutes.

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#1742863 - 08/29/11 08:39 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24305
Loc: Oakland
Under the usual circumstances that I have such encounters, I tune it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1742869 - 08/29/11 08:53 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1098
Loc: west coast island, canada
A generous friend visiting took me out to dinner on my 30th birthday to a pricey French restaurant in a rural setting. It was a quiet evening with only a few tables occupied. After dinner I inquired with the French owner/chef about playing a few of my pieces on his piano sitting in the restaurant. I played a short set and afterwards to my (and my friend's) surprise he wiped off our entire bill - over $200 ! And a young couple visiting from the States invited us over to their table and proceeded to order $150 bottle of Champagne, then another.... until finally the owner cut them off and told me privately they had already spent over $1000 that evening.

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#1742870 - 08/29/11 08:55 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6626
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
In the Student Activities Center on campus, the piano is there and it is more or less encouraged for people to tinker around on it, so I enjoy playing it from time to time.

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#1742875 - 08/29/11 09:12 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
ChibiSF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Long Island, New York
It depends on the situation. Though I had a fantastic time playing and associating with other pianists in NYC when Sing For Hope's Pop-Up pianos were around.
_________________________
Conservatory of Music @ Brooklyn College
Piano Performance, Class of 2014

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#1742878 - 08/29/11 09:19 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: ChibiSF]
robotherolove Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 71
The majority of my early piano-practicing were on the hospital's Steinway piano. (The hospital was next to my apartment)
I probably clocked 100 hours on the public piano.

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#1742880 - 08/29/11 09:23 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1558
The last piano I saw in public had the sign, "If you know how to play piano, please play, otherwise, don't".

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#1742923 - 08/29/11 10:39 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Arctic_Mama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I would just look at it longingly, I'm too shy to play in public. If I *really* had that (completely out of character) urge, I'd look around for a manager or desk clerk and ask if I coukd play a few pieces. If I couldn't find anyone to ask permission, I would never assume it.
_________________________
Starting over after a decade-long hiatus from playing!
Yamaha CLP320

Burgmuller - Inquietude

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#1742926 - 08/29/11 10:47 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 21043
Loc: New York
BTW, in such situations, even when we've gotten permission, I think it's best to always start with something relatively soft and low-key, and 'feel out' how people are reacting and whether we're disturbing anything.
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1742931 - 08/29/11 10:54 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: Dara]
Carey Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 7862
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Dara
A generous friend visiting took me out to dinner on my 30th birthday to a pricey French restaurant in a rural setting. It was a quiet evening with only a few tables occupied. After dinner I inquired with the French owner/chef about playing a few of my pieces on his piano sitting in the restaurant. I played a short set and afterwards to my (and my friend's) surprise he wiped off our entire bill - over $200 ! And a young couple visiting from the States invited us over to their table and proceeded to order $150 bottle of Champagne, then another.... until finally the owner cut them off and told me privately they had already spent over $1000 that evening.


You must have played REALLY REALLY well !!!!! grin
_________________________
Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai CA-65
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1742936 - 08/29/11 11:04 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
Miles Martin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 56
Loc: USA
Unless you're Valentina Lisitsa, it's very rude to randomly start playing in public... but that doesnst stop even the most polite of us from doing it occasionally xD. I play the rehearsal piano at my school's theater before rehearsal for the musical starts every day.
_________________________
MAH!

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#1742939 - 08/29/11 11:11 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: MathTeacher]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2238
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
I am amateur and not as good as you, piano corner posters. But I play any piano I find in public or out of sight. I travel on business too much (almost 50%), if I don't take advantage of pianos avaialble, I can never practice enough. The problem was my need to practice scales. I don't want to annoy people but I need to practice. So I made up combination of contrary and same motion scale with crescendo and decrescendo that I can practice scales and make it easy to listen. To my amazement, i had some people say, "wow, how nice! What is that?" I could not believe it.
_________________________
Solo - Beethoven Op 14 #2 3rd mvmnt, Chopin Ballade #3, Baroque piece to be decided soon

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#1742944 - 08/29/11 11:21 PM Re: What do you do when you see an unoccupied piano in public? [Re: Arghhh]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6148
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Arghhh
The last piano I saw in public had the sign, "If you know how to play piano, please play, otherwise, don't".
The last one I saw had the sign "Please do not play the piano". I'm assuming it meant "please do not play this piano", rather than a universal prohibition! smile

To answer the original question, no, I don't play it.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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