The Piano Book
Keith Jarrett, pianist, from the Foreword:
"The most comprehensive and helpful guide to the mysteries of the piano yet published."
Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer:
"Complete, detailed, and easy to follow, The Piano Book is a must-have resource, no matter what kind of music you play, or what kind of piano you own or intend to buy."
Noah Adams, host of NPR's All Things Considered:
"If there is to be a piano in your future, the single indispensable reference is The Piano Book by Larry Fine." (from Piano Lessons: Music, Love & True Adventures [Delacorte Press, New York, 1996])
Anthony and Joseph Paratore, duo-pianists:
"A great addition to the library of professional musicians and amateurs alike."
Arthur Reblitz, author, Piano Servicing, Tuning, and Rebuilding:
"A thorough job of presenting information that the public should have had available long ago."
Frank Hanson, Chairman, Dept. of Piano Technology, New England Conservatory of Music:
"The best-researched, most accurate, most honest writing about pianos I have read."
Barbara Kreader, former editor, Clavier:
"When your students' parents ask you about buying a piano, hand them this book. Make sure they return it, though; it includes plenty of information you won't want to be without." (Clavier, December 1987)
Robert Silverman, former editor, The Piano Quarterly:
"I have just finished reading The Piano Book. It is an outstanding book in every way. It is a book that I never thought I would see in print and a book that will be of great service to the piano world." (personal letter to the author)
Library Journal, December 1987:
"... clearly and directly written ... An excellent source book."
A piano is a bit like a puppy: you never quite know what you're getting into when you buy one, and the pleasure of ownership is balanced by the demands of maintenance. A piano may not pee on your rug, but it can be troublesome in other ways, ways that you may be able to avoid by reading this fascinating book. What is desirable and what to avoid is shown brand-by-brand in an experienced, opinionated (the best kind) review of currently available pianos and their foibles. Illustrations abound. Names are named in a way that is rare in these days of instant litigation. The mechanisms and construction details are revealed and discussed from the standpoint of long-term serviceability — important for lasting satisfaction with your considerable investment. I also enthusiastically recommend the book as a model of honest and professional presentation of a difficult subject, spirit and all. It would have been immodest, but they could truthfully have called it THE piano book. It's that good, and I've added it to my personal library.
— J. Baldwin, Whole Earth Review, Spring 1988
Everything you ever needed to know about purchasing a new or used piano — and more. Journalist and piano technician Fine does a great service to readers interested in buying a piano for professional, educational, or strictly pleasurable pursuits, with extensive description of salient features — case construction, tuning stability, strings, bridges and soundboard, tonal quality, the action of the keystroke, hammers, pedals, etc. — and tips on how to separate a fine instrument from a clunker. (This information is especially valuable for anyone buying a used piano, since the market fluctuates wildly, and the average person usually won't know if they're being taken or not.) Fine offers an excellent rundown of the quality, prices, and availability of new and recently made instruments, including an index to trade names (very helpful since a given piano can be marketed under a variety of names even though the parent manufacturer is the same) and extensively annotated brand-by-brand listings (which include pianos that are "out of print").... Concluding material discusses piano storage, moving, and servicing. Clear line drawings of piano parts and paraphernalia supplement an extremely well written text. Highly recommended for all collections. Index.
— American Library Association Booklist, Nov. 15, 1987
If you want to buy a piano, or are in any way involved with maintenance of pianos, this absolutely splendid guide tells anything you can imagine wanting to know. With the aid of innumerable clear diagrams, new and used pianos and parts are presented in detail. New pianos are discussed by name, with no pussyfooting around. Mr. Fine tells what models are available, what firm makes them, where the weak points are, and all in impressive detail. The style is entertaining, and for many the book will be indispensable.
— The American Organist, May 1989