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To take on an untunable piano

(68 Posts)
Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:37:36

Hello all,

In a bit of a quandary and need to be told if I'm being batshit or not.

My beloved grandmother whom I was incredibly close to has passed away. For about the last 20 years she has been telling me every time I see her "I want you to have the piano". And she has actually written into her will that I am to have the piano plus money to have it moved to my house.

My gran had dementia for the last 5 years or so and the piano has been sat out of tune for years. She did have it tuned twice in the last 10 years prior to getting ill, and it went out of tune within a month or so. I've had a piano tuner look at it and his view is that the pegs / mechanics inside are too worn out and it cannot be tuned. I'm gutted.

It's a fairly bog standard upright piano but my grandmother and I used to play together on it. It was my great grandfathers piano, he was a piano tuner and concert hall pianist.

My aunt and mother have said I'm silly to take it and it should be scrapped but I just cannot bear it.

I have a big enough house to find a space for it, but it is very badly out of tune.

I've had an idea to repurpose it into something else that usable ... see attached images. The harp inside is beautiful once revealed and I have some carpenter contacts - it could perhaps be partially stripped down and made into a dresser / bar for the dining room.

But that might cost a bomb (even if DH and i stripped it down ourselves). ... I'll need to get some ideas of cost to repurpose it .... but is it a crazy idea? Is it a project that might just never get completed? Is it wrong to dismantle my grandmothers precious piano?

What would you do?

Ps - we have a dd14 months and another baby due in 2 months so we don't have shedloads of money / time... which also concerns me. But it could be a long term idea......

Any other suggestions welcomed !!

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:38:45

Pics attached of ideas

roundtheriverbend Sat 23-Feb-19 17:39:00

Does it have a piano stool? I would take that and any music and let the piano go.

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:41:17

Yes a stool and music too

Pinkyyy Sat 23-Feb-19 17:42:02

I think it would be very sad and quite distasteful to turn a family heirloom into a drinks bar.

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:44:01

I was thinking more of a dresser rather than a bar

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:44:48

When I say bar I mean I would store the wine glasses on it. It wouldn't be loaded with booze !

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:45:32

The alternative might be that it goes in a skip, which is sadder

Bigdreams Sat 23-Feb-19 17:47:04

I'd get a second opinion from another tuner.
Could they replace parts that are broken/worn?

RomanyQueen1 Sat 23-Feb-19 17:48:38

You need to let it go unless you want it as a piece of furniture.
Once they have gone, that's it.
You could buy a Piano with the money, if you would really like one.
Failing this, something to remember her by, and the idea of a dresser is great.
So sorry for your loss. thanks

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:48:44

Hey can replace he parts butit would cost thousands - the inside would need to be rebuilt

Stopandlook Sat 23-Feb-19 17:50:14

I don’t know - the re-purposed ones don’t look v nice to me.

Could you take an artistic photo of it and make it into a big frame for the wall? And then keep up your grandma’s memory by investing in a playable piano when you can afford one?

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Sat 23-Feb-19 17:50:22

i used to have a piano's really surprising how many bottles you can get on top.

If you have the space then why not have it, just for the memories. You can talk about your lovely Grandma to the children, let them have a plinky plonk, and maybe you will repurpose it or maybe in ten years time you will send it on its way.

IHaveBrilloHair Sat 23-Feb-19 17:50:43

Is there anywhere near you that might be able to do something with it?
Admittedly I know nothing about pianos but my nearest city has a community piano scheme where they put pianos in public places for people to play and I wonder if somewhere like that might want it?

jay55 Sat 23-Feb-19 17:51:17

There are places that recycle pianos, taking the useful parts, but you generally have to pay them to take it.
Most council tips don't take them either.

BikeRunSki Sat 23-Feb-19 17:51:23

Could it be refurbished with new pegs, so that it could hold its tune?

homemadegin Sat 23-Feb-19 17:53:08

I think you should turn it into whatever you wish op, it will then be there to remind you of her. Probably outing but I'm a solicitor in Scotland. When they started closing the courts the chucked everything in the skip. With permission, I took the dock from one court. It is a bar, out in one of the barns as its huge. I couldn't let it be burnt. So it's a bit of history living on in a different format.

DisplayPurposesOnly Sat 23-Feb-19 17:53:14

Not keen on either of those.

I think you're going to extra ordinary lengths to preserve something ordinary. Though I understand why, Im not sure the effort is worth the reward.

I suggest the piano equivalent of hair&makeup and taking a photo of it looking its best self. Then the hang the picture as pair with one of your grandmother (ideally one of the two of you together).

It's the memory that's important, not the object.

Shazafied Sat 23-Feb-19 17:53:42

Sadly not @BikeRunSki .... it's either take it as it is (and let kids play it as pp suggested ), find a way to repurpose it, scrap it or ... think of something else !

pigsDOfly Sat 23-Feb-19 17:53:47

I know things like this are a matter of different taste but those repurposed piano bars are bloody ghastly.

The piano obviously has huge sentimental value for you so if you love the look of it - some old pianos are very beautiful - and you have the room, perhaps keep it and let your DCs enjoy just using it as a rather over large toy.

Personally, I'd rather do that if you really can't bring yourself to let it be scrapped, rather than spending loads of money you don't really have, turning it into an expensive monstrosity.

domton Sat 23-Feb-19 17:54:57

If she had it tuned and it went out of tune, it should be tunable. It will drop, and will have to be done every few months for a while before it holds its pitch, but I'd get someone else to have a look. If she had it tuned twice, it doesn't ring true that the piano is too worn to tune.

Is it a standard size?

gherkinpickle Sat 23-Feb-19 17:55:19

I think you have to keep it! You can keep it as a piano until you have the money to repurpose it.
I love the bar idea (definitely not bad taste in my opinion!) or you could turn it into a seat, or study area?

MrsAird Sat 23-Feb-19 17:57:00

I completely understand your feelings...but I loathe both of those photos and I don't think it could ever be anything other than a white elephant.

Yes, the harp inside a piano is a lovely thing, but if you take this into your home it will only ever be a giant dust-collector. Making it into a dresser, for example, takes away all the beautiful parts of a piano.

If you put the money towards buying a decent piano, you could enjoy memories of your grandmother by actually playing it, and you could hand down the joy that you had from playing music with her to your own children. They won't be able to play your grandmother's piano with any pleasure.

Fourmagpies Sat 23-Feb-19 17:58:45

It'd be a shame to get rid of it if it has sentimental value and you have space for it. You don't need to repurpose it at all. My mum had one for years in her house that wasn't played, it was used to display photos on and just looking nice!

Fifthtimelucky Sat 23-Feb-19 17:58:47

I love that desk picture above. What make is the piano? If your great grandfather was a concert pianist it might be a decent make and worth restoring

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