PTM 2021 September Convention

Tom Strange

Four Important Early American-made Pianos


Hear about four startling and very different American pianos that led to the explosion of piano making in the nineteenth century!

What's in the episode ?

America was never simply a consumer of pianos, but began producing them contemporaneously with London and Paris in ways that will be new to most viewers. We will describe in some detail the technology and stories behind the John Behrent piano of 1775, the Alpheus Babcock 'first iron frame' piano of 1825, the Robert & William Nunns 'Unichord' piano of 1834, and the Chickering 'Cocked Hat' grand piano of 1855. The ways that these pianos changed the landscape for piano making and marketing, and the technology hurdles that were overcome, create a fascinating background to the modern piano today.


Tom Strange

Tom Strange has presented numerous lectures/concerts on early piano development in England and the US and is a builder and restorer of early keyboard instruments. Articles on the life of early square pianoforte builders and newly published books on the Kirkman family of harpsichord builders and Geib family of piano makers have greatly expanded the understanding of this early industry. Strange and a group of partners founded the Sigal Music Museum in Greenville SC in 2017, to promote the many forms of musical language and highlight early keyboard instrumental music.

A stellar reputation in the piano industry.

“McNulty is the top quality maker in the fortepiano field. Clients include Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Academy of Music in London, Royal College of Music in London, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Alexander Skeaping, also best performers and institutions internationally.”

Peter R.

“I had fortepiano by Paul McNulty many years and I am very much happy with it and everyone else is. I recommended McNulty instrument to the Amsterdam Conservatory and people there were also very happy with the instrument. My fortepiano is especially wanted by many and I had rented it out many times. I think it is one of the best fortepiano copies in the world.”

Stanley Hoogland - professor of fortepiano in Amsterdam and Den Haag conservatories


Feedback from this lecture's participants. 


"I felt I had a history lesson on the piano & it's formation. I now know who to contact if I ever run into one of these, so far in over 50+ years in the piano business I haven't but you never know. "

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"This was my 2nd online convention I found both to be EXCELLENT learning experiences. I am 50+ years in the business so I am definetly not a newbie, just open to new & different ideas & ways of performing certain tasks in piano work. I also had my knowledge base expanded about the differing types of wool used in making felt & the different types of buckskin/sheepskin/leather used in modern & historic piano making."

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"There were many things that I can use to make my service better and the knowledge of procedures that I already employ in my work that others have been doing too"


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