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The Mainichi Japan’s National Daily Since 1922
(Mainichi Japan)
Japanese version
KOMONO, Mie — A museum of vintage pianos in central Japan has produced a calendar that lets you hear the subtleties of different pianos from the time of classical composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin.
Mitsuyoshi Iwata, an 80-year-old professional piano tuner, opened the Komono Piano History Museum in Komono, Mie Prefecture, in 2021. The museum features an assortment of 30 pianos collected by Iwata over the years, and includes both modern and antique pianos going back to the Classical and Romantic eras. The older pianos have been specially restored so as to maintain their original timbre, just as the composers would have heard them. The pianos can even be played by visitors, which is unusual for a museum.
The calendar project — the first at the museum — began with the idea to let people fully experience the sound of instruments from the past. Four of the museum’s pianos are featured over three months each, including color photos, details and fun facts (in Japanese). There is a QR code on each page that can be read using a smartphone. Accessing the QR code opens a video on YouTube of a performance using the featured piano. The performances are of pieces from the piano’s era, such as Chopin’s Nocturne, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, and Turkish March by Mozart.
The calendars are priced at 1,650 yen (about $12) apiece, tax included.
(Japanese original by Noriyoshi Matsumoto, Yokkaichi Bureau)
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