P I A N O   3 0 0
Celebrating Three Centuries of People and Pianos


The Exhibition: Circling the Globe

Piano, 1926
By: Daizaburo Nakamura, 1926

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art


When the piano came to Japan the discipline and art of piano playing resonated with Japanese culture. The Japanese began manufacturing pianos to meet the national demand. Korea and China later followed suit, making East Asia the heart of the piano industry today.

Early in the 20th century, the piano faced competition from phonographs, automobiles, radio, and movies, which promised entertainment with little effort. The player piano brought households of all economic levels all kinds of piano music stored on perforated paper rolls.

Upright Player Piano, 1923-1925
Gabler & Bros., New York


Revolutions in Sound

The century also saw revolutions in piano sound. Composers used fists and forearms on the keys and occasionally strummed the strings with their hands. Another revolution was electronics. At the touch of a button, electronic keyboards provide amplified piano sounds, and those of other instruments. Through live performances and recordings, the whole world can enjoy all of piano music, from its earliest beginning to modern compositions. The resulting cultural interchange crosses community and national boundaries, making the piano everybody's music machine.

Liberace at Baldwin grand piano, 1980s, Courtesy of Liberace Foundation and Museum, Las Vegas Liberace at Baldwin grand piano, 1980s

Liberace Foundation and Museum, Las Vegas


In the Beginning

Across Europe and Beyond

Pianos In the Home

Romantic Superstars


Americans Take the Lead

Pianos for Everyone

New Communities, New Voices

Circling the Globe


[Introduction] [Performances, Tours and More] [Exhibition] [Timeline]
[Credits] [Donors and Collaborators ] [Play Some Music!] [Piano Resources]

Piano 300
American History
National Museum of American History