Part one of "pianissimo" argued that moving a piano is an art. With many works of art, there is a particular scene, or moment, or passage that comes to embody the greater work. A part that symbolizes the whole. For me, the sight of a grand piano flying above a small San Francisco skyline was that moment.
Let's take a step back. "Pianissimo" is the story of how my friends' cherished piano made it from their old home to their new one. So how does this scene fit into the big picture?
The crew consisted of four movers, plus a crane operator. Given the close proximity of the crane to surrounding buildings and foliage, and the resulting poor visibility to small targets, the crane operator relied on one of the movers to act as a spotter, telling him where, how, and how quickly to move the load. Here, the other movers get ready to attach the piano to the hook, as the spotter signals the operator to pay out the winch line.
Once the spotter was out of line-of-sight, he and the crane operator coordinated by cell phone to get the piano lined up over the open atrium. Then the other movers held onto the guide line as the operator slowly lowered the piano down to them.
Finally, the three maneuvered the piano through the atrium door and (with assistance from some furniture dollies) over to its new resting spot. Then the unpackaging began: Remove the lift straps and balance straps. Remove the exterior blankets.
Once the blankets were removed, the dovetail joints for the legs were exposed. So next was to actually reattach the legs.
With the legs locked into position, the movers got the piano back on its feet and pulled out the blanket they used to keep the top from banging into the body of the piano during the move.
The last step was to fine-tune the position…
…And lock it in place. Mission accomplished.
One of the best parts of musical instruments, or, rather, of music in general, is its power to bring people together. Part 3 will share some of the joy and reunion that was catalyzed by this delivery. Click here to subscribe, and don't forget to share with friends and piano lovers. The full pianissimo series: