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Forth in Praise

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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

January 5, 2010

Getting rid of an old electronic piano

evelyn @ 4:14 pm

In my last post on electronic pianos, Electronic pianos are awful! I said I would offer suggestions for getting rid of them to those organists who are landed with one.   But first, a warning.

WARNING! If you are contemplating sabotaging an electronic piano, either subtly (with a screwdriver) or openly (with an axe), remember:

  • It is an electrical device and could kill you.
  • If you remain alive, you will be highly unpopular with priest and parish
  • Either way, the police will be involved.

End of warning.

There are two types of electronic pianos, old ones and new ones.  They are both equally horrible, but the new ones look better.  However, the old ones are easier to get rid of.

I can’t really give a precise definition of ‘old’ in relation to electronic pianos, but if it has been in the parish for yonks, and especially if it was bought second-hand or donated in the first place, it’s probably on its way out.  Technology has improved in the last 10 years or so with the introduction of sampled organ sound in these things as well as in real organs.  If the tiny little organ part of the piano sounds ‘electronic’ then the piano will certainly be old.  Even without that, the chances are good that parts will no longer be available.  Impress on the powers-that-be that the piano’s demise could be imminent.  Tell them this will be a wonderful opportunity to get a new sampled-sound electronic ORGAN, which will probably be less expensive than a new version of the piano.  Keep telling them this.

Another and more serious issue is safety.  Potential danger is something I’ve experienced with elderly home organs rather than electronic pianos, but I would imagine aged pianos are just as susceptible. If an electronic instrument of any kind is crackling or making other strange noises, it might or might not be putting the player at risk.  Unless you’re a technician, you can’t tell.  An organist can quite legitimately refuse to play such an instrument – I certainly wouldn’t touch one – but I know that some organists have been putting up with the crackles and bangs, not realising what they might mean, and not telling the church.  Safety is the church’s responsibility, and if they know there’s a problem they will act.  And, with luck, your snap, crackle and pop will be replaced by a lovely new ORGAN.

In the next post we’ll look at a much bigger challenge: how to get rid of NEW electronic pianos.

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