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Topic Options
#1989608 - 11/21/12 10:50 PM Is this a real piano?
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
The 1941 movie Lady be Good dance sequence
are these real pianos?

Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#1989633 - 11/22/12 01:05 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
TunerJeff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 534
Loc: Oregon Coast
Interesting! Thanks for the video link.

I've never seen a set of pianos like those. It was quite clear that the first couple of keyboard players were WORKING those keys....so I'd guess that the pianos were real, and not a 'lip-sync' kinda thing. But....odd design and cases... one-offs for the film? Modified pianos just for that clip?

Don't know, boss!

Thanks again,
(Great dancer, too!)

Gobble 'til ya wobble ya'all.
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services

#1989649 - 11/22/12 02:29 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2220
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Those pianos remind me of the Rippen aluminium grands - could there be a connection?
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

#1989653 - 11/22/12 02:46 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22995
Loc: Oakland
The first piano looks like a 40" Steinway. Although the grand pianos are similar to some actual French pianos, I would guess they are props.
Semipro Tech

#1989731 - 11/22/12 10:42 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Mark R.]
Wim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 198
Loc: Belgium
Definitely NOT an aluminum Rippen.


Edited by Wim (11/22/12 10:42 AM)

#1989890 - 11/22/12 06:54 PM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2255
Loc: Philadelphia area
I only hear one piano.

#1990003 - 11/23/12 08:09 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4056
* weird shape nobody has seen before
* lid does not seem to really fit, attached too high
* lid bends - not stiff enough?
* front side of piano seems very thin, too thin?
* legs at unusual place, would need special construction to not touch sound board and would interfere with sound radiation
* If it were real, they probably would cost a lot (for the design)
* they have a dozen of them
* We hear only 1 piano

My guess it's fake

Edited by wouter79 (11/23/12 09:02 AM)

#1990017 - 11/23/12 09:38 AM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4290
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
They are stage props. The piano we hear is clearly a slightly honky-tonk upright.

#2042319 - 03/03/13 12:30 PM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
xbj Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8
Except for the lids, which might have been reinforced and cut differently, they look like copies of a Walter Dorwin Teague Steinway. I say copies because I doubt they could find that many of them. Although definitely prerecorded, the honky-tonk sound might be because there are at least four pianos in the recording at one point (with imperfect tuning) and one in the forefront that is in much better tune. I'm trying to figure out how they would make props with playable actions that would rise and fall without bouncing off strings though.

#2042335 - 03/03/13 01:09 PM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Bob Newbie]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
My guess is if they are real and since there are curtains around the first few feet below the key area and then a pedestal in the rear is they are spinets with a mock up attached to it. They had great prop builders in those days.
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

#2042348 - 03/03/13 01:34 PM Re: Is this a real piano? [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3109
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Have to say it sounds like a big grand because of the bass tone of the left hand boogie-woogie repeated phrase. I think they just spent time in finger and feet syncing the sound to the the visuals. I think the stage pianos are real pianos, with cabinet modifications, really being played, but the soundtrack is separate.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com


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