Itty Bitty Piano Ditties
Musical anecdotes, full of lore, myth, and superstition.
Some are true, others apocryphal.
Memorable and concise. Like short, simple songs.
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The Musician's Cramp
Robert Schumann, c. 1839

There are several conflicting theories of why Robert Schumann had persistent pain, numbness, and paralysis in his hand. The prevailing lore is that he was impatient and wanted to expedite his virtuosity, thereby creating a device using a cigar box that would enable him to strengthen his fingers.

Others suggest that it was the treatment used for syphilis at the time--either arsenic or mercury poisoning--that caused the neuropathy, and as a result he may have used some sort of contraption to help mitigate the damage.

Another report rejects all these ideas and posits it was 'the musician’s cramp,' a neurological disorder being the ultimate culprit.

We may never come to find out the real answer, but as one scientific article concludes:

Meanwhile we end with the thought that music may have been enriched by Schumann’s enforced retirement from his career as a pianist and his consequent concentration on composition.
What's The Frequency, Orkin?

Apparently, termites are more inclined to eat wood faster when listening to heavy metal music (but really, it’s all about the sound frequencies).

Watch this video from Orkin as they try to prove/disprove the theory:

Does Rock 'n' Roll Make Termites Eat Faster? on the Orkin Channel.

Man Is But A Worm

Endlessly fascinated by earthworms for most of his life, Charles Darwin finally culminated his interests in his last book The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms with Observations on Their Habits. In it he describes an experiment testing the reaction of worms to sound by using a piano and other musical instruments.

“Worms do not possess any sense of hearing. [ ] “When placed on a table close to the keys of a piano, which was played as loudly as possible, they remained perfectly quiet.” He further added, “Although they are indifferent to undulations in the air audible by us, they are extremely sensitive to vibrations in any solid object. When the pots containing two worms which had remained quite indifferent to the sound of the piano, were placed on this instrument, and the note C in the bass clef was struck, both instantly retreated into their burrows.”

Hedy And Antheil

The famous Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (1914 – 2000), known for her extraordinary beauty, and American avant-garde composer George Antheil (1900 – 1959), famous for the composition Ballet Mécanique, were awarded U.S. Patent # 2292387 A in 1942, “Secret Communication System,” commonly known now as spread-spectrum communication technology.

Shortly after meeting, Lamarr and Antheil discussed their mutual concerns for the allies during WWII with protecting radio-controlled torpedoes from interference. That conversation was the wellspring for the idea of frequency hopping.

Their joint invention used a mechanism similar to piano player rolls to synchronize the changes between the 88 frequencies—not coincidentally, this is also the standard number of piano keys—and called for a high-altitude observation plane to steer a radio-controlled torpedo from above.

History Channel Presentation: Hedy Lamarr.

Shooting The Keys

Born in 1887, the 2nd child of Samuel & Minnie Marx and revered as the eldest of the Marx brothers (the first-born son, Manfred passed away during infancy from tuberculosis), Chico Marx was originally named Leonard and his mother’s favorite child.

Legend has it he was nicknamed Chicko for his delight in chasing women, or “chicken chasing” as it was known then. A typesetter accidentally dropped the ‘k’ and the spelling of Chico (pronounced Chick-oh not Cheek-oh) stuck.

He had a great ear for imitating accents and was renowned for his amiable, trickster Italian persona, and just as infamous for his compulsive gambling. The Marx family was highly musical. Chico took piano lessons as a young boy. His playing style was lively, incorporating many vaudeville antics, including ‘shooting the keys’ which he made famous.

Chico Marx Playing Piano from The Marx Brothers Films.

Defying The Anatomical

Named after its inventor, Hungarian Paul von Jankó (1856 – 1919), a mathematician, musician and engineer, designed this piano to improve the geometry and fingering of the keys with the intended goal for amateurs to be able tackle difficult pieces usually reserved for virtuosi or the professional pianists. For his invention, he was awarded a German patent on January 14, 1882.

Paul Perzina improved on Jankó’s idea by creating a ‘reversible double key-bottom’ to marry the original keyboard with Jankó’s, allowing for a more pliable or springy touch—resolving an early complaint of the Jankó Keyboard as being non-elastic.

On the old keyboard [...] the hand is forced to defy its anatomical construction. We hear of a great many instruments and devices to train and shape the fingers and wrists in opposition to what nature has intended. [...] It seems to be somewhat wiser trying to overcome the difficulties in a different way – namely, by changing the keyboard to suit the hands.E. K. Winkler of the Musical Courier (1891)

But the Jankó keyboard threatened a 400-year old way of thinking and playing the piano, which included a very lucrative business for builders and publishers; in addition, teachers and students were reluctant to relearn their training to accommodate the strange configuration of keys. Consequently, though championed both by Perzina and Blüthner, by World War I the Jankó Keyboard became extinct.

Demonstration of 4-Row Jankó Keyboard by Paul Vandervoort.

A Euphonious Icon

The Euphonicon (from Greek, meaning ’sweet-toned’) is more piano than harp as the strings are struck by hammers in lieu of being plucked. But unlike the harp, this unorthodox keyboard instrument was equipped with violin-shaped resonating boxes, delicate hand-painted scrollwork, and exposed strings rising vertically to the left within an iron frame.

Dr. John Steward (b. 1808) of Wolverhampton, England, patented his invention (English no. 9,023) in 1841, though his idea may have originated as an improvement upon the Johann-Christian Dietz’s German Claviharpe from 1805. It never gained much popularity; though it is rumored Florence Nightingale may have played one.

One author wrote wistfully at the hopes of its return: “Personal experience of the Euphonicon must admit that the iron frame renders it heavier than an ordinary cottage pianoforte…”

For drawing-room use, however, and for the voice, the Euphonicon seems to me as much more suitable than a loud Érard, or Broadwood, as it is more graceful: it is in fact an effort of genius, a new and poetic creation, not founded at all on the usual pattern, but wholly distinct. It is to be hoped that some enterprising firm will one day revive this artistic and neat design, which ought to drive out of the field the vulgarities of the clumsy form we have borne with so long, as we bore all other eyesores fashionable between 1820 and 1860.Mary Eliza Joy Haweis from The Art of Decoration
Pianos Make Strange Bedfellows

In Myrna Kaye’s book There’s a Bed in the Piano: The Inside Story of the American Home, she elucidates a “drive to maximize space through convertibility [that] is peculiarly American.” Some believe that it was a way to show off one’s standing and wealth (after all, the piano served as a symbol of societal status in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, for families to demonstrate proper breeding and refinement—especially in young ladies). The piano bed performed a duel function: providing entertainment without sacrificing space (an idea that seems to be inherently American, both for its whimsy and practicality).

Piano Bed in Luce Visible Storage.

Not much is known about this second example, an “instrument” designed in Great Britain during the 1930’s, specifically created for people who were restricted to bed rest. Whether this caught on or was a popular accouterment to the infirm is unknown; but since they no longer are manufactured, inference surmises it was merely a passing fad.

Piano Bed
Was It A Polka Or A Waltz?

The piano piece “Chopsticks” was originally named The Celebrated Chop Waltz, presumably written by Euphemia Allen in 1877—who was thought to have been 16 at the time—and published under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli. The name Chop Waltz refers to how the piece was to be played, as she wrote at the top of the sheet: “This part (primo part of the duet) must be played with both hands turned sideways, the little fingers lowest, so that the movements of the hands imitate the chopping from which this waltz gets its name.”

The Celebrated Chop Waltz for 2 Pianos / 8 Hands
La Rose - E. Allen, Arr by Eun Soo Kim.

Variations of Chopsticks have been composed almost from its inception. Ostensibly, in 1879, it was American Publishers who changed the original name.

Liberace Plays Chopsticks.

Coincidently (or is it?), four bars of a piece (also in 1877) were written or played by the daughter of Russian Romantic composer, Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887). It was named The Cotelettten Polka from the French word côtelette, meaning “cutlet” or “chop.”

The four bars are similar, but far from identical, to the usual opening notes of Chopsticks; the descending thirds are not included.James J. Fuld from The Book of World-famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk, 2000

Intriguing to think that a small, ubiquitous bit of music has such a rich background.

The One-Armed Law
Iowa Flag

The state of Iowa—known for its vast farmlands, eskimo pies, and hogs outnumbering humans, as well as the birthplace of James Tiberius Kirk—instituted a law stating that “a one-armed piano player may be seen, but not if admission is charged to view his performance.”

Piano Legs And The Captain

There is a folk story that Victorian England in the early part of the 19th century exhibited its modesty to such an extreme proportion that they covered their piano legs to prevent any salacious thoughts. This long-held myth has its roots in the fertile imagination of a sea captain and erroneous conclusions (and perhaps a little broken telephone).

A British novelist named Captain Frederick Marryat (1792 – 1848), on a visit to a girls’ seminary in America, noticed that the piano’s legs were wrapped in pantalettes. Upon enquiry at the peculiar sight, he was told it was “to preserve in their utmost purity the ideas of the young ladies under her charge.” (There are no other written accounts of anyone else adopting this practice in the United States.)

Victorian Cartoon

The British already thought Americans were obsessively puritanical and had no trouble in perpetuating this idea. The legend was then resurrected in the 20th century but was transposed to Victorian England.

Gaga's Oversight

In 2010, Apostol Tnokovski (b. 1982), a Macedonian product designer—known for his futuristic work and sea world metaphors—designed the Hydra Piano, drawing his inspiration from watching a performance by Lady Gaga.

He felt that all elements of her stage work were perfectly futuristic with the exception of her ordinary piano, and thus created the Hydra to correct this ‘blunder’—naming it for the mythological sea monster.

How Slow Can You Go?

John Cage’s piece Organ²/ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible), adapted from his original piano composition in 1985 for the organ in 1987, is currently the longest performance piece ever attempted: it is expected to take 639 years to finish, begun on Sept 5, 2001 (John Cage’s birthday) and running until the year 2640.

An organ was specifically built for the endeavor, which resides in the St. Buchardi Church in Halberstadt, Germany. The duration and location were chosen specifically, as “the first modern organ, the Blokwerk organ, was built for the Halberstadt Cathedral in 1361, 639 years before the turn of the millennium.” Since the original remains operative, there is hope that the ASLSP organ will last just as long in order complete its performance.

How many notes have been played so far? On October 5th, 2013, at 4:00 p.m., the 13th note change took place. There won’t be another change in the hyperdurational sounding for seven more years.

John Cage Organ²/ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible) in Halberstadt.

For more on John Cage, see A Vexing Composition.

The Wright Way

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959), the famous American architect, was known for controlling every aspect of a project—from the plan of the building to the design, choice and schematic of furniture, right down to every bit of material used. So why should it surprise us that Wright would have no shame in demanding Steinway & Sons to alter its walnut Model B piano to fit in the low-ceiling home commissioned by Lowell E. Walter, the famous Cedar Rock House in Iowa.

Here is an excerpt of that letter:

…the standard piano height – 38 inches – will be too high for this house and we wish to have you shorten the piano and pedal legs two inches – the bench as well.
Lowell Walter House Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright

In a coincidence—by design or by a stroke of irony—at one time, early in his career (c. 1896), Wright’s offices were located in the newly erected Steinway Hall in Chicago designed by Dwight H. Perkins. It was here that he became a part of a group of young architects influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement; they were later to be known as the Prairie School.

But Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t come from a neophyte position in his demand for aesthetic changes. He had grown up in a musical family. His father, William Russell Cary Wright, taught pianoforte and the organ, passing on his love for Bach and Beethoven to the young Frank Lloyd Wright. The elder Wright taught his son the piano (which was a Steinway Square), cello, and violin while extolling the importance of acoustics.

Lloyd attributed his sense of harmony in his architecture to this early influence: " his father who, he recalled many times, taught him to make structural comparisons between music and buildings."

In his autobiography, Wright talking about Beethoven stated that: "when I build I often hear his music and, yes when Beethoven made music I am sure he sometimes saw buildings like mine in character, whatever form they may have taken then."

Passing on the legacy of his father, Frank Lloyd Wright aggressively encouraged his own children to play musical instruments: Lloyd the cello, John the Violin, Frances the piano, David the flute, Llewelyn the guitar and mandolin, and Catherine voice.

Katzenklavier: A Medicine For Melancholy
Katzenklavier - Anthanasius Kircher

The "Cat Organ," or "Cat Piano," was an idea attributed to, but probably not executed by, the German Jesuit Scholar, Anthanasius Kircher, S.J. (1602 – 1680), in an attempt to treat the mentally ill—perhaps, an unceremonious origin to the notion of "music therapy."

Through second-hand accounts, under the auspices of soothing the melancholy of a Prince:

...he enclosed in such a way that [the cats’] tails…were fastened and led through to certain determined channels. Upon these he furnished keys constructed with most slender pricks in the place of mallets…when the keys had been depressed by the fingers of the Organist, since with their very pricks they punctured their tails, the cats, driven to a state of madness, thundering with piteous voice now deep, now shrill, were producing a harmony arranged from the voice of cats, which thing both moved men to laughter and was able even to drive the mice themselves to the fields.Kasper Schott from A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change, 2012
A Vexing Composition

Vexations was written in 1893 by French composer/pianist Erik Satie (1866 – 1925). It is considered the longest piece of music (certified by the Guinness Book of World Records), but only contains ½ page of sheet music, or 180-notes. On Satie’s guidelines, the work’s theme was to be performed 840 times. would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities.Erik Satie on the Score of His Piece Vexations
Vexations Score By Erik Satie

The piece was produced by American composer John Cage. (1912 – 1992), and made its first known début in 1963, with Cage playing in 20-minute intervals among eleven other pianists. The group, known as “The Pocket Theatre Piano Relay Team,” included John Cale of The Velvet Underground. It took them 18 hours and 40 minutes to complete, after which Cage slept for many, many hours. He is known to have said of the piece’s transformative effect on him, a notion echoed by some of the other performers on that day:

I had changed and the world had changed.
Klavins' Giant

Billy Mayerl (1935) on the Great Challen.

Up until 1987, the largest piano was the 1935 British Challen & Son Concert Grand built for King George V and Queen Mary’s silver jubilee—it is over 11 feet long. (Interesting side note: The Beatles played on a Challen upright at the Abbey Road Studios for the tunes Paperback Writer, Tomorrow Never Knows, Old Brown Shoe and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.)

David Klavins' Vertical Piano - Modell 370

The current honor now goes to the “Klavins-Piano Model 370,” also known as ‘The Giant,” built by German-Latvian, David Klavins (b. 1954). And it is over 12 feet (370 cm high) tall, weighing over 2 tons. However, this may soon be challenged by the next generation of Klavins, Model 450i, which is already in production.

David Klavins and the World's Biggest Piano.

Healing By Sound
Tibetan, or Himalayan, Singing Bowls

Tibetan, or Himalayan, Singing Bowls.

Music "alters, revives, recreates a restless patient that cannot sleep in the night." It is "a roaring-meg against melancholy, to rear and revive the languishing soul; [3470]affecting not only the ears, but the very arteries, the vital and animal spirits, it erects the mind, and makes it nimble."From Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621

Intuition, it would seem, should be enough to dispel any doubts as to the remedial affects of music upon the soul. Since the beginning of time, even before the development of instruments, man saw himself in accordance with the Music of the Spheres, a concept that connected the world and all its 'tones' within harmonic proportion.

That notion that music can purge the body of its illnesses rises out of the Pythagorean tradition, in the fragments of Aristoxenus, and in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. However, it wasn't until the 19th and 20th centuries that the concept evolved into a scientific practice for healing, ushered in by the convergence of psychotherapy and the first and second World Wars. Patients of Veterans hospitals who were visited by performing musicians showed 'notable physical and emotion responses to music,' a phenomena that led to establishing a curriculum for the training of musicians.

Since then, many associations have emerged, and music has now become a widespread subject for clinical research, especially in the study of rehabilitation, mindfulness, and in autism spectrum disorders. The most recent inquiries into the latter support "connections between speech and singing, rhythm and motor behavior, memory for song and memory for academic material, and overall ability of preferred music to enhance mood, attention, and behavior to optimize the student’s ability to learn and interact."

According to a study published in 2006 in the UK’s Journal of Advanced Nursing, listening to music can help reduce chronic pain by up to 21% and depression by up to 25%.

Our results show that listening to music had a statistically significant effect on the two experimental groups, reducing pain, depression and disability and increasing feelings of power.Sandra L. Siedlecki, Ph.D., RN, CNS, From Science Daily

An alternate approach, Sound Therapy, or Sound Healing, is the art of using objects of resonance—like sounding bowls or tuning forks—to send vibrations to the patient (including the voice). Though grounded in ancient tradition, the therapy has gained traction in the communities devoted to mind-body awareness.

Whether one plays an active or passive role in music, the growing body of evidence suggests that participating has an ameliorative influence on both mind and body, even when one's constitution is quite sound.

And The Oscar Goes To...
Oscar Levant from the Rhapsody In Blue Trailer

Famous for playing Gershwin’s music and considered one of the leading interpreters of his work, Oscar Levant (1906 -1972)—an American pianist, composer, author, provocateur, and actor—portrayed himself in the fictionalized biopic about George Gershwin in the 1945 movie Rhapsody in Blue.

In the movie, it is Levant playing the piano solos for the titular music and Concerto in F. Of the film, Levant once quipped: "Even the lies about Gershwin were being distorted."

Oscar Levant Plays Piano Concerto in F from Rhapsody In Blue (1945).

Piano Fever
Music, in the Chinese mind, is the most sublime thing you can do.Yuja Wang from China's "Piano Fever"
Mao Tse-Tung Cartoon - No Pianos

Mao Tse-Tung (1893 – 1976), founding father of the People's Republic of China, concerned by the influence of western culture, forbade western music, eschewing classical music for traditional Chinese music—banning the piano altogether in what was called 'The Cultural Revolution.'

The movement, however, ended after his death in 1976 as the birth of 'piano fever' in China commenced, starting with the performance from Chinese musicians in 1977 of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

"The once-banned piano, in particular, has become the instrument of choice for upwardly mobile Chinese families and their children. Hearkening back to the parlor-piano days of the 19th century in the West, no Chinese family on the make today can afford to be without a piano in the house – or without a willing young musician to perform on it."

Today, elite conservatories are brimming with Chinese students of the highest quality. James Undercofler, of The Philadelphia Orchestra, "called China's rising interest in classical music 'unbelievable.' After years of being denied access to it, China is in a period of discovery, he said: 'The music seems to speak to deep emotions in the Asian people.'"

Chichi, The Rocking Piano

An old, immobile standard baby grand, originally manufactured in the early 1900’s and belonging to the Ambassador of Hong Kong, caught the eye of the musician and designer Sarah Davenport, who saw an opportunity to re-imagine the piano. Her desire was to "create a design which could speak," and in the process made a piano that quite literally--rocks.

To achieve her dream, Sarah made significant design modifications. She added a mirror above the keys to use as a "force to communicate thoughts and feelings," what she calls "the other you." As the performer plays, the performance is reflected back, and "the character, sound and message of the piano changes according to the player." In addition, the keys are whimsically coated in silver. Its exterior is veneered in Canadian Rock Maple, with a cut-out to provide visibility of the strings and soundboard as one plays.

But perhaps the most notable enhancement to Chichi (yes, that is the instrument's christened name) is the cradle-like cabinet which liberates the pianist "to physically give something back and to strengthen the cohesion between piano and pianist--[to] create a feeling of oneness."

Jeremy Nicholas & The Rocking Piano.

An Epic Medley From Mos Eisley

The video speaks for itself, we think:

Ultimate Star Wars Medley - Sonya Belousova (Player Piano).


– Image: Meister.  "Lithograph of Robert Schumann, by Josef Kriehuber, 1839."  Scan of a Lithograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 11 Jan. 2006.  Web. 2 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote: Henson, R.A., M.D., FRCP, and H. Urich, M.D., FRCP.  "Schumann’s Hand Injury."  British Medical Journal.  1978: 1, 900 – 903: p. 903.  NCBI.NIM.NIH.GOV.  Web.  2 Oct 2015.

Additional References:
  • Altenmüller, Eckart.  "Robert Schumann’s Focal Dystonia."  Neurological Disorders in Famous Artists.  2005, Vol 19: 1-10.  IMMM.HMTM-Hannover.De.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015.
  • The Musical Times.  "Schumann’s Hand Injury – Some Further Evidence."  The Musical Times.  May 1972: 456.  Eric Sams.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015.
  • Daverio, John, and Eric Sams.  "Schumann, Robert."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015.
– Image: Giancarlodessi.  "Giant Northern Termite."  Illustration.  Original from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12 March 2007.  Web.  6 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Video: OrkinVideo.  "Does Rock ‘n’ Roll Make Termites Eat Faster?"  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 17 June 2014.  Web.  5 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
– Image: Cameron, Julia Margaret, and uploaded by Davepape.  Portrait of Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) In His Later Years.  1868.  Reprint from Charles Darwin: 'His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters, edited by Francis Darwin,' London, 1892.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Feb. 2008.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Image: Punch Magazine Artist, and uploaded by Pharos.  Caricuture of Charles Darwin 'Man Is But A Worm.'  1881/1882.  Punch Magazine or The London Charivari, London.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 Nov. 2005.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote: Darwin, Charles.  The Formation of Vegetable Mould:  Through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits.  New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1862, pgs. 26 – 27.  Google Books.  Web.  29 Aug. 2015.

Additional References:
  • "Charles Darwin & Evolution 1809 – 2009."  Darwin200.Christs.Cam.  Christ’s College, Cambridge, 2009.  Web.  29 Aug. 2015.
  • "Charles Darwin and Earthworms."  Science Learn.  The University of Waikato, 12 June 2012.  Web.  29 Aug. 2015.
  • "Earthworms Activity."  DarwinProject.AC.UK.  Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge, n.d.  Web.  29 Aug. 2015.
– Image: "Secret Communication System Patent # US 2292387 A."  Drawing.  Google Patents.  IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, n.d.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015. 
– Image: Stef joosen.  "George Antheil, 1922."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 13 July 2015.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Image: Floor.  "Hedy Lamarr."  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flickr, a Yahoo Company, 18 July 2006.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015.  CC BY-SA 2.0.
– Quote: "This Month in Physics History: June 1941: Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil Submit Patent for Radio Frequency Hopping."  APS.  American Physical Society, 1995 – 2015.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015
– Video: Loder, Thomas.  "History Channel Presentation: Hedy Lamarr 4 Minutes."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 7 Jan. 2012.  Web.  2 Oct. 2015. 

Additional References:
  • Lienhard, John H.  "No. 435: Hedy Lamarr, Inventor."  UH.EDU.  The Engines of Our Ingenuity, 1988 – 1997.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015.
– Image: We hope.  "Chico Marx at the Piano, taken by Allison-Lighthall. c. 1956."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 18 Nov. 2013.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Video: FairDealDan.  "Chico Marx Playing Piano. 10 Films!! Complete!! (good quality)."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 16 March 2014.  Web. 1 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.

Additional References:
  • "Chico Marx Biography: Pianist, Actor, Comedian (1887 – 1961)."  Biography.  A&E Television Networks, LLC, n.d.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.
  • Cullen, Frank.  "Chico Marx Mini Biography."  IMDB.  IMDb.Com, Inc., 1990 – 2015.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.
  • Bland, Frank.  "Chico Marx."  Marx-Brothers.Org.  The Marx Brothers, n.d.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.
  • Gehring, Wes D.  The Marx Brothers: A Bio-Bibliography.  Westport: Greenwood Press, Inc., 1987.  Google Books.  Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
  • Fulcher, Jane F., ed.  The Oxford Handbook of the New Cultural History of Music.  New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2011.  Google Books.  Web 2 Oct. 2015
– Image: Morn the Gorn.  "Piano with Jankó Keyboard at the Musical Instrument Museum, Berlin."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 18 March 2010.  Web.  24 Sept. 2015.  GFDL, and CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Video: Vandervoort, Paul.  "Demonstration of a 4-Row Janko Keyboard."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 7, Feb. 2012.  Web.  23 Nov. 2015.  Standard YouTube License
– Quote: Cranmer, Margaret.  "Jankó, Paul von."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  11 Nov. 2015.

Additional References:
  • Dolge, Alfred.  Pianos and Their Makers:  A Comprehensive History of the Development of the Piano from the Monochord to the Concert Player Piano, Volume 1.  Covina: Covina Publishing Company, 1911.  Google Books.  Web.  24 Sept. 2015.
  • "Janko Keyboard."  Wikipedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 21 Jan. 2015.  Web.  24 Sept. 2015.
  • Avantgardenabi.  "Strange Pianos (and Others) at Musical Instrument Museum, Berlin."  Piano World.  Piano World, 17 July 2008.  Web.  24 Sept. 2015.
  • Siepmann, Jeremy.  The Piano.  Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1998.  Google Books.  Web.  11 Nov. 2015.
– Image: "Upright Harp Piano, Manufactured by F. Beale & Co., 1843."  Under License, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY.
– Quote: Haweis, Mary Eliza Joy.  The Art of Decoration.  London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly, 1881: pgs. 322-323.  Google Books.  Web.  11 Nov. 2015.

Additional References:
  • "Euphonicon Piano."  Collection.VAM.AC.UK.  V & A Images, n.d.  Web.  4 Aug. 2015.
  • Palmieri, Robert, ed.  The Piano: An Encyclopedia.  2nd Edition.  New York: Routledge, 2003.  Google Books.  Web.  4 Aug. 2015.
  • Ripin, Edwin M., and Phillip R. Belt.  The Piano.  London: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997.  Google Books. Web.  4 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Brooklyn Museum.  "Smith & Co. Convertible Bed in Form of Upright Piano, c. 1885."  Photograph.  Brooklyn Museum.  Brooklyn Museum, n.d. Web.  3 Oct. 2015.  CC BY 3.0.
– Quote: Zimmerman, Philip D.  "There’s a Bed in the Piano: The Inside Story of the American Home."  Chipstone.  Chipstone, n.d.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015.
– Video: BrooklynMuseum.  "Piano Bed in Luce Visible Storage."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 16 Sept. 2010.  Web.  3 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
Nationaal Archief.  "Piano for the Bedridden, 1935, from the Spaarnestad Collection."  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flick, a Yahoo Company, . 17 Dec. 2009.  Web.  3 Oct. 2015.  No Known Copyright Restrictions. 
– Image: Jujimufu.  "The Celebrated Chop Waltz, by Arthur De Lulli."  Scanned from First Edition Reprint.  IMSLP.  International Music Score Library Project, 19 July 2007.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  CC BY-SA 4.0.
– Quote: Downing, Patrick.  "The Origin of ‘Chopsticks'"  West Music.  West Music Company, 24 Feb. 2011.  Web.  1 Sept. 2015. 
– Video: pianoplaylist.  "Liberace Chopsticks."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 14 July 2008.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
– Video: shirley.  "[라 로제] La Rose - E Allen, Arr. EunSoo Kim : 'The Celebrated Chop Waltz' for 2 Pianos 8 Hands."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 20 Sept. 2014.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
– Quote: Fuld, James J.  The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk.  Fifth Edition, Revised and Enlarged.  New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2000: p. 170.  Google Books.  Web.  1 Sept. 2015.

Additional References:
  • Moon, Krystan R.  Yellowface:  Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance, 1850s – 1920s.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005.  Google Books.  Web. 1 Sept. 2015.
  • Studwell, William Emmett.  The Americana Song Reader.  New York:  The Haworth Press, Inc., 1997.  Google Books.  Web.  1 Sept. 2015.
– Image: Freddie.  "Flag of Iowa."  Illustration.  Commons Wikimedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 23 Oct. 2009.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote: Gregory, Leland.  S Is for Stupid: An Encyclopedia of Stupidity.  Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011: pg. 193.  Google Books.  Web  27 Aug. 2015.

Additional References:
  • Trost, Alex, and Vadim Kravetsky.  Dumbest Modern Laws in the World: Top 100.  A&V, 2013.  Google Books.  Web.  27 Aug. 2015.
  • "Dumb Laws in Iowa."  Dumb Laws.  The Dumb Network, LLC, 1998 – 2015.  Web.  27 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Bassano, Alexander, and uploaded by Phrood~commonswiki.  Portrait of Queen Victoria.  1887.  Royal Collection Trust, London.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 20 March 2006.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Image: Haabet.  "Cartoon of Victorian Dilemma, 'If We Lift Our Skirts, They LevelTheir Eye-Glasses At Our Ankles.'"  Illustration.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 19 April 2008.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote: Perrottet, Tony.  "Quick, Jeeves, Cover the Piano Legs!"  The Smart Set.  The Smart Set from Drexel University, 18 Dec. 2007.  Web.  27 Aug.  2015.

Additional References:
  • Adams, Nene.  "The Victorians Didn’t Cover Their Table Legs."  KnowledgeNuts.  KnowledgeNuts, 21 July 2013.  Web.  27 Aug. 2015.
– Image:  "Portrait of Apostol Tnokovski."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 April 2015.  Web.  5 Oct. 2015.  CC BY-SA 4.0.
– Image: Emilija-design.  "Piano Concept for Lady Gaga – The Hydra Piano."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 April 2015.  Web.  5 Oct. 2015.  CC BY-SA 4.0.

Additional References:
  • Seth, Radhika.  "Lady Gaga, This One is Because of You."  Yanko Design.  Yanko Design, 16 July 2010.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Wikipedia-ce.  "Organ Playing Organ²/ASLSP in the Burchardi Church, Halberstadt, Germany."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia foundation, Inc., 6 Jan. 2006.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Image: Hoger.  "Halberstadt, St. Burchardi: Southern View Bellow for John Cage’s  Organ²/ASLSP."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Sept. 2013.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Quote: "As Slow As Possible."  NPR.  NPR, 2003.  Web.  28 Aug. 2015.
– Video: sinedi art.  "5 Min 48 sek von 639 Jahren: John Cage Organ 2 / ASLSP in Halberstadt."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 30 July 2009.  Web.  17 Dec. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.

Additional References:
  • "Organ²/ASLSP – As Slow As Possible."  ASLP.  John Cage Organ Halberstadt Foundation, n.d.  Web.  28 Aug. 2015.
  • Judkis, Maura.  "World’s Largest Concert Will Last 639 Years."  Washington Post.  The Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2011.  Web.  28 Aug. 2015.
  • Burton, Louise.  "A Leisurely Performance of John Cage’s 'ASLSP' Lasts for 12 Years…and Still Counting."  Classicalite.  The Classicalite Company LLC, 27 Sept. 2013.  Web.  28 Aug. 2015.
  • Kuhn, Laura.  "So Begins the Hiatus (Organ2/ASLSP in Halberstadt)."  JohnCageTrust.  John Cage Trust, 18 Oct. 2013.  Web.  17 Dec. 2015.
– Image: Ravenna, Al.  Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright.  1954.  Library of Congress, Washington D.C.  Part of the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Digital ID cph 3c16657LOC.Gov.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  No Known Copyright Restrictions. 
– Image: Orange Suede Sofa.  "Lowell Walter House, Quasqueton, Iowa, 27 June 2015."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2 July 2015.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Quote: Steinway & Sons.  The Height of Audacity.  New York.  Steinway & Sons Issue Two, 2011: p. 49.  Frank Llloyd Wright Sites.  Web.  10 Aug. 2015.
– Quote: Twombly, Robert.  Frank Llyod Wright: His Life and His Architecture.  New York: John Wiley & Sons, 24 April 1987: p. 4.  Google Books.  Web.  10 Aug. 2015.
– Quote: Wright, Frank Lloyd.  Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography.  Petaluma: Pomegranate Communications, Inc., 2005: p. 422.  Google Books.  Web.  10 Aug. 2015.

Additional References:
  • Olsen, Teri Ann Berg.  "Frank Lloyd Wright."  Famous Homeschoolers.  Teri Ann Berg, 2000 – 2015.  Web. 10 Aug. 2015.
  • Secrest, Meryle.  Frank Lloyd Wright.  New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 9 July 2014.  Google Books.  Web.  10 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Mattes.  "Athanasius Kircher from 'Mundus Subterraneus,' 1664."  Scanned from a Book.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 1 Dec. 2005.  Web. 2 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Image: Church of emacs.  "Cat Piano from La Nature, 1883."  Illustration.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 June 2011.  Web. 2 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote: Glassie, John.  A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change.  New York: Riverhead Books (a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012.  Google Books.  Web. 5 Aug. 2015.

Additional References:
  • La Nature.  "The Cat Piano."  La Nature.  Vol. 11 (1883), 319 – 320.  Imaginary Instruments.  Web.  5 Aug. 2015.
  • "Athanaseus Kircher, S.J., 1602 – 1680."  MJT.  The Museum of Jurassic Technology, n.d.  Web.  5 Aug. 2015. 
  • Cox, Trevor.  The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World.  New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014.  Google Books.  Web. 5 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Sonia y natalia.  "Erik Satie."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 29 July 2013.  Web.  20 Dec. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Image: Sonia y Natalia.  "'Vexations' Score by Erik Satie."  Scan.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 24 Jan. 2013.  Web.  28 Sept. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Quote: Satie, Erik.  "Vexations Score."  1893.

Additional References:
  • Sweet Sam.  "A Dangerous and Evil Piano Piece."  New Yorker.  The New Yorker, 9 Sept. 2013.  Web.  27 Sept. 2015.
  • Portman, Eugene.  "Interesting, Humorous and Weird Facts About Music."  Eugene Portman.  Eugene Portman, n.d.  Web.  27 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Schönherr, Maximilian.  "Portrait of German Piano Engineer David Klavins, taken by Zane Klavins, 2010."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 31 May 2012.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0 DE
– Image: Schönherr, Maximilian.  "David Klavins' Vertical Piano 'Model 370' Built in 1987."  Photograph.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 28 August 2012.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  GFDL, and CC BY-SA 3.0.
– Video: British Pathé.  "Billy Mayerl (1935) Playing the 'World’s Largest Piano – Challen.'"  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 13 April 2014.  Web.  30 Sept. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
– Video: DW(English).  "David Klavins and the World’s Biggest Piano | Euromaxx."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  Youtube, 31 March 2015.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.

Additional References:
  • Benner, Frank.  "The Bigger the Better? A 'Grand' for Pianists who Got It All!"  Piano Topics.  Piano Topics, n.d.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
  • Klavins, David.  "New Dimension of Pianobuilding: The Klavins-Piano Model 370."  Klavins-Pianos.  David Klavins, n.d.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
  • Gedan, Jörg.  "Piano History."  Die Klaviermachermeister.  Die Klaviermachermeister Letuha & Müller OG, 2003 – 2010.  Web.  31 Aug
  • "Piano Challen."  Piano Shop.  The Virtual Pianoshop, n.d.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
  • Jovell, Patrick.  "World’s Biggest Piano Helps Funding an Even Bigger Piano."  Piano Street.  Op. 111 Productions, 7 April 2015.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
– Image: athene8_. "Bowl 01."  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flickr, a Yahoo Company, 8 Nov. 2014.  Web.  21 Dec. 2015.  CC BY 2.0.
– Quote: Burton, Robert.  The Anatomy of Melancholy.  Vol. 2.  London: George Bell & Sons, 1893: pgs. 132-133.  Google Books.  Web.  21 Dec. 2015.
– Quote: Good, Marion, Ph.D, RN, FAAN, and Sandra L. Siedleckl, Ph.D, RN, CNS.  "Listening to Music Can Reduce Chronic Pain and Depression by up to a Quarter."  ScienceDaily.  24 May 2006.  ScienceDaily and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.  Web.  30 Aug. 2015.

Additional References:
  • "History of Music Therapy."  MusicTherapy.  American Music Therapy Association, 1998 – 2015.  Web.  21 Dec. 2015.
  • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica.  "Aristoxenus: Greek Philosopher."  Britannica.  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d.  Web.  21 Dec. 2015.
– Image: Van Vechten, CarlPortrait of George Gershwin.  28 March 1937.  Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ds-02793], Washington, D.C., Digital ID ds 02793  LOC.GOV.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  No Known Copyright Restrictions.
– Image: Rossrs~commonswiki.  "Oscar Levant from the Trailer 'Rhapsody in Blue.'"  Screenshot.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 8 June 2008.  Web.  1 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.
– Quote:  "Oscar Levant – Hollywood’s Musical 'Enfant Terrible.'"  Picture Showman.  Key Light Enterprsies, LLC, 2007.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
– Video: s006221.  "Gershiwn: Piano Concerto in F (excerpt)."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 18 Oct. 2007.  Web.  21 Dec. 2015.  Standard YouTube License

Additional References:
  • Schwartz, Lloyd.  "A Gershiwn Biopic That Ain’t Necessarily So True."  NPR.  NPR, 22 March 2012.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
  • "Rhapsody in Blue."  TCM.  Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network, n.d.  Web.  31 Aug. 2015.
– Image: Under License, CartoonStock Ltd.
– Quote: Lin, Jennifer.  "China’s 'Piano Fever.'"  Articles.Philly.Com.  Philly.Com, 8 June 2008.  Web.  2 Aug. 2015.
– Quote: The Washington Times.  "European Music Proves Instrumental for China."  Washington Times.  The Washington Times, LLC, 7 Oct. 2005.  Web.  2 Sept. 2015.
– Quote: Lin, Jennifer.  "China’s 'Piano Fever.'"  Articles.Philly.Com.  Philly.Com, 8 June 2008.  Web.  2 Aug. 2015.  
– Video: Nicholas, Jeremy.  "Jeremy Nicholas & the Rocking Piano."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 25 Jan. 2011.  Web.  3 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
– Quote: Baxter, Frank.  "Interview with Sarah Davenport."  Piano World.  Piano World, 8 Nov. 2007.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015.

Additional Resources:
  • Ward, Alex.  "Now THAT’S a Rock 'n' Roll Piano! 'Chichi' the Amazing Baby Grand Which Reels Back and Forth as You Get Into the Rhythm."  DailyMail.  Associated Newspapers Ltd., 3 July 2012.  Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
  • Spooky.  "Designer Creates World’s First Rocking Piano."  Oddity Central.  OddityCentral.Com,  8 Feb. 2011.  Web.  3 Aug. 2015.
– Video: PlayerPiano.  “Ultimate Star Wars Medley – Sonya Belousova (Player Piano).”  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 10 Dec. 2015.  Web.  22 Dec. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.

Additional References:
  • Masthead Image: spDuchamp.  "Glenn Gould."  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flickr, a Yahoo Company, 26 June 2005.  Web.  28 Dec. 2015.  CC BY 2.0.
  • Background Image: rhodesj.  “_DSC5241.”  Photograph.  Flickr.  Flickr, a Yahoo Company, 9 June, 2014.  Web.  28 Dec. 2015.  CC BY 2.0.
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