Piano Keys

My parents were over for dinner this past weekend. As they were leaving, my dad stopped near our baby grand.

“Do you know that soon I’ll be the same age as there are piano keys?” He paused. “Eighty eight.” He sounded proud. I smiled.

I was impressed he came up with that fact. We’ve had a piano since our girls were young, and I’ve never thought about counting the keys. I guess it’s something I should’ve just known.

“Wow, Dad. It’s hard to believe you’re going to be 88. Can’t wait to celebrate with you in a couple of weeks.”

That night I thought about the keys. Fifty two white and thirty six black. All there for a purpose. Each one is important. If one isn’t working or is out of tune, it changes the song. The keys work together, as a team, to create the perfect harmony. Like people.

I was surprised at how many ways piano keys can relate to our lives.

Some sound prettier than others. Some are loud, low, booming, and powerful. Others are light, tinkly, soft, and happy. On their own, they aren’t complete. But together, they make beautiful music.

Imagine being in a concert hall. The lights go down and the audience is silent. A soft spotlight beams on a pianist, alone on the stage sitting at a grand piano. The music starts slow and soft. Peaceful. It eventually gets louder and more dramatic. Peaking at an emotional level. It seems as if the pianist is unaware of the thousands of people watching. His body moves from side to side, his eyes closed. His head bobs up and down, as he feels the urgency of the melody. The confusion, the anger, the desperation. Toward the end of the song, the pianist relaxes and gently plays the final notes.

The audience erupts into applause. We’re grateful for the experience. We’re thankful the pianist shared his talent with us. We’re hopeful to feel like this again.

There are joyful, lighthearted songs and intense, bitter, and passionate ones. Some are brilliant, while others are not as profound. There are symphonies that make us dance, and others that make us cry.

Just like the days, weeks, months, and years of our lives.Β 

It amazes me that my dad will be 88-years-old. A piano key to represent each year. Played together, there’s no end to the beautiful music.

First image courtesy of here

Second image courtesy of here

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50 thoughts on “Piano Keys

  1. Music is magical, and the piano is my favorite….love that your father is comparing himself to the keys of the piano….I agree they can represent life in so many ways…..love the post….have a wonderful week….kat

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Jenny. Nice to meet you, and thank you also for the connect. The plight of anxiety is very close to me, and I very much wanted to follow your site, but somehow couldn’t work it out. Thank you for now giving me the opportunity. I very much look forward to following your beautiful site and words.

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  2. When I find a blog that I really love, it’s always impossible to pick a favorite post, because I connect with so many of them in such a deep way, but I think this is one of your best! I absolutely treasure this analogy. Recently, I was thinking about myself as just a tiny instrument in God’s great symphony, which stretches over space and time. Sometimes, I get really wrapped up in myself, my problems, my life, my self-importance. I forget the big picture, how I am connected to others. If I was an instrument, alone my part would lack meaning. A few scattered notes here and there in isolation. But as part of the great orchestra of creation, I get to contribute to something profound, amazing, unimaginably wonderful. Your thoughts about the people in our lives being like the different keys of a piano, and the days of our lives being like the different compositions is another way of thinking about the musical analogy. I love it! Thank you!

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  3. Here is another interesting thing about pianos: When you tune them, you work with the fifths – essentially, keys that are 5 whole steps apart (like A and E, for example.) When you tune them, you actually don’t want the fifths to be perfectly in tune – there has to be a specific, calculated slight discord, or a certain number of “beats” heard in time. This is referred to sometimes as “setting the bearings.”

    (More behind that here: http://fundamentals-of-piano-practice.readthedocs.io/en/latest/chapter2/CH2.6.html)

    So we all have to be slightly different in order to produce pleasing harmonies. Without these slight dissonances, the instrument can’t be in tune. It just doesn’t work!

    How’s that for a potential life lesson? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a fantastic life lesson! Wow, I love that! Thanks so much for your insight, and you explained it perfectly (I’m not musically inclined, lol). This is great… We all need to be different and unique. It makes life interesting and so much more. How boring it would be if we were all the same. It’s best, even with our flaws. Thanks again, what great additional info to my post! I’m going to read your link. A million thanks! 😊🌷

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  4. Dad’s should be appreciated and celebrated. As a fellow pianist I found this moving and heartfelt. Thank you. My piano Tuner, an elderly man called Les looked up the serial number on my piano and discovered it is 99 years old. He said that he hoped he was in as good a condition at 99 as the piano. I concluded that all be it a bit scratched and beaten up the piano has many stories to tell and many tunes left to play.

    Liked by 1 person

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