Mr. Langshaw's Square Piano

Mr. Langshaw's Square Piano : The Story of the First Pianos and How They Caused a Cultural Revolution

3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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A handwritten serial number inside a neglected Broadwood square piano built in 1807 launches a captivating quest to uncover the remarkable history of these now almost forgotten musical instruments.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 147.32 x 223.52 x 30.48mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1933346213
  • 9781933346212
  • 834,174

Review quote

"Goold's writing shows the mark of a true storyteller . . . she shows the rise of the square [piano] as a bridge to many things: from the harpsichord to the modern piano, from the elite aristocratic society to the "middling sort," from one-of-a-kind production to a business of mass production . . . can be read as much for social history as for keyboard history." --"Harpsichord & Fortepiano Magazine" "Goold chronicles the transformative history of the model and the instrument, both of which changed culture . . . all across the world this personal but carefully-crafted history reveals how technical innovation can advance the evolution of society." "--Publishers Weekly" "An extraordinary book." "--Booklist" "This is a truly remarkable and delightful book . . . We are given a wide-ranging and extremely detailed overview of the birth, mechanics and development of the square piano . . . And at the same time we meet the host of people who were involved in its production and burgeoning popularity." --"The Jane Austen Society Newsletter" "This delightful book is a story about the life and times of . . . a little Broadwood square piano made in 1807 . . . Goold succeeds admirably, and the thoroughness of her research is particularly impressive . . . fascinating and informative." --"Early Music America" "It was a serial number inside an antique piano which launched Madeline Goold on the quest to discover its first owner . . . Goold's piano was made by Broadwood, an English piano-maker so confident that it sent one of its grand pianos as a gift to Beethoven. Amazingly, Broadwood still has most of its archive records of sales from the 1770s onwards." --"The Guardian" "A wealth of fascinating stories and characters . . . One of the strengths of Ms. Goold's fine book is showing us how the presence of pianos expanded and deepened the cultural life . . . Ms. Goold has herself produced an enchanting work." --"The Wall Street Journal" "A journey that will fascinate the reader . . . a riveting glimpse into a musical and social world, all thanks to Broadwood square piano #10651." --"The Historical Novels Review"
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About Madeline Goold

Madeline Goold holds a law degree from the London School of Economics. A sculptor and artist, she has also taught piano, which she has played since childhood.
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 42% (8)
3 21% (4)
2 16% (3)
1 0% (0)
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