It shouldn't happen to a piano…

In the July issue of BBC Music Magazine we present 15 truly unpleasant ways in which pianos have been treated over the years. Six of those occasions were, alas, filmed for posterity. Here they are...
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Laurel, Hardy and an unforgiving staircase
In 1931’s The Music Box, Laurel and Hardy famously spend hours trying to get a piano up some very steep stairs, only to be met with a horribly ungrateful recipient:

 

It’s the taste
Never leave your upright in the hands of a pair of chimps. Especially ones that like tea. But that’s what PG Tips did in 1971…

 

Up, up and away
The American desert. A large catapult. A piano on fire. And wheeeeeeee! What fun… for those who are easily pleased:

 

A little woodwork
Here’s footage of a ‘recital’ given by experimental music group Fluxus in March 2006. You’ll notice that there are a lot of empty chairs. And why does the chap with the saw give up halfway through? Did he play a wrong note?

 

Lunch time
Frightening footage from Japan, in the form of the 1977 horror film Hausu. One to bear in mind next time you sit down to have a little go at a Mozart sonata…

 

Science explained
Some of the world’s greatest scientific brains attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here they prove that force = mass x acceleration with the aid of a baby grand and a tall building: 

 

For nine other examples of gratuitous keyboard maltreatment, take a look at our July issue, out on 11 June!

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