Steinway and Sons: The Pinnacle of Quality Essay

2131 Words 9 Pages
Steinway & Sons are some of the most coveted and expensive pianos in the world, it is a business that has been running for 150 years, and still producing many of the highest quality pianos per year. The production process and sound quality of the Steinway pianos will be discussed in detail and then compared to the manufacturing techniques of a more commonly known piano maker such as Yamaha. Also being considered is the future and the possibilities it holds for the classical piano.

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Henry Engelhard Steinway (Appendix fig. 1) was a German immigrant who founded Steinway & Sons in 1853. Steinway was an established master cabinet maker, and he built his first piano in the kitchen of his Seesen home in Germany. By the time Steinway &
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The process of production for a Steinway & Sons piano is rigorous and time-consuming. Each individual piano is hand-crafted with the utmost care; which is an easy explanation of the steep prices. It takes Steinway & Sons takes nearly a whole year to make a single piano, although the company produces approximately 2,500 pianos per year.

The very first step in the making of a Steinway masterpiece is selecting the appropriate timber (Appendix fig. 3). Steinway uses a variety of woods from widespread locations around the globe, these include spruce from the Pacific Northwest; oak and maple from the Northeast; mahogany from Central and South America; and East Indian rosewood from Southern India and Sri Lanka. Following this, the wood is cured for a number of months in a lumberyard until it reaches a specific predetermined moisture content (Roney, M., 2007).

The rims of a Steinway concert grand are made of solid maple (Appendix fig. 4), and are coated with glue and stacked. They are curved into a piano shape by placing metal braces within the rim. Maple wood is used in this step of the production because it is particularly known for being fast-growing, extremely strong and has a high resistance to the cold. Sugar Maple in particular is used universally in the manufacturing of bowling pins, pool cue shafts and butcher’s blocks (Wikipedia: Maple, 2011)

To better amplify the sound of the strings, a

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