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Rebuilding a Vintage Collard & Collard Piano

For a few years now I have been interested in learning to play the piano. The idea came to me following an accident I had in 2006 when I accidentally sliced through the tendons of two fingers and a piece of my middle finger knuckle on my left hand. It took a five hour operation to repair the hand and many months in plaster followed by physiotherapy to get it useful again. At the end of the process the consultant surgeon said the repair was very successful, but added jokingly, I would probably never be able to play the piano.

A couple of years later this remark was still playing in the back of my mind and being a little bloody-minded decided to see if I could prove him wrong. Initially I brought an M-Audio Keystation 61es midi keyboard and started learning some fairly basic melodies. However after a couple of years persevering with the keyboard, I was challenged to play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which proved to be quite a challenge. The first problem was the M-Audio Keystation 61es didn't have a larg enough range of keys, Moonlight Sonata needed to be played on a full sized keyboard. Eventually I purchased a KORG SP 250 stage piano, which was an excellent step up from the M-Audio Keystation. The feel and sound was completely different with the KORG SP 250 responding much more like a real piano.

With the sheet music freely available on the internet (it can be downloaded from here), I downloaded Beethoven's Symphony No 14 in C sharp minor. The music instantly exposed the limitations of my playing. The animated score available from musanim really helped check the music is being interpreted correctly. 

Not being able to read music I made a notes primer to make it easier to identify the position of the notes on the staves correctly.

Using the primer: middle C sits between the base and treble clef. Notes shown on the treble clef are normally played with the right hand, notes shown on the base clef are usually played with the left hand.
Notes Primer

Click on the image for a larger version.

Yamaha Clavinova CLP 380 PE

I suppose I got the bug, finding playing music a really rewarding way to de-stress from the day to day grind of work. The KORG though an excellent piano, didn't really suit the decor of our lounge so I have now invested in a Yamaha Clavinova CLP 380 PE. This looks feels and sounds just like a real piano and now takes pride of place in the lounge.

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