Now that I know what my old cast-iron harp is out of (an ancient no-name straight-string piano), and now that I've managed to track down some recordings of straight-string pianos, I want one. The question is, How the heck do I get my hands on one?
It's a buyer's market right now in terms of old pie-annas. In fact, they're literally giving them away these days. Give me a 5-ton truck and a couple of young guys with strong backs and I could fill it with old pie-annas in no time.
I'm guessing that a few of those old pianos are straight-strung. The problem is that people who own old pianos tend not to know anything about them. Those getting rid of them either don't play or no longer play them, and very few people who own pianos know anything about them.
So asking the owner whether their pie-anna is cross-struck or straight-strung is like asking a monkey to give a dissertation on quantum chromodynamics.
Any words of wisdom from any of you pie-anna hunters out there?
Oh- in case you're wondering WHY I want a straight-strung pie-anna, the answer is that you've got to hear one. They're very variable throughout the register, unlike the cross-strung variety, and handy for sussing out why certain old pie-anna compositions were written the way they were.