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Gulangyu Piano Museum

 2014-08-19    sonrisabai    Activities    Xiamen    605  

Gulangyu,also known as the Piano Island, is located in the south of Xiamen, Fujian province. There is a sea cave in the southwest on the island, the rise and falls of sea water makes sound like drum beat. Therefore local people named it as Gulangyu and used it till today.

It is more than just an island only with beautiful scenery. What makes it famous is the unique Piano Museum. Music lovers can talk an idly walk and listen to the soothing music coming out on the street, finding some peace of mind and a little bit lost innocence in this world of chaos.

The Piano museum was founded by the famous pianist Youyi Hu. He is also a great piano lover and has collected more than 70s pianos with histories. He spent tons of money trying to build his dream piano museum. Sadly I was being told cameras was not allowed in the museum since it is personal collection. The bright side was I still could admire those musical wonders with all my heart.

It is established in the year 2000 and covers an area of 450 square meters. Now it has over 100 pianos on display.The piano collection is definitely a mind-blower. There is Steinway piano made in the middle age of 19 century America, Bosendorfer in Austria, Germany-made piano only for Royal family.

First thing came to my sight was a strange-looked piano. It didn’t have a keyboard, only with one handle. The songs were set up inside the piano already, 10 songs in total, each one lasted for 45 seconds. You just move the handle to play the music. Very interesting. They say this is for street dealer doing business in noisy area, the beautiful sound would attract customers and bring them money. Pretty smart idea at that time.

They also had this Harpsichord piano with two layers of keyboards, and its color is the opposite from the piano color. According to the tour guide, piano was luxury for nobles and chances were great that those who played the piano was ladies from noble families. The black keyboard were meant to make the white and soft hands of ladies stand out. Harpsichord factory was blasted after the war and never was rebuilt again, so it is very rare to see a Harpsichord in nowadays.

If you were a piano lover, you must have heard the most renowned piano brand-
Steinway. As the best piano maker in the world, having a Steinway is every pianist’s dream. Here in front of us was a Steinway piano made in 1875, right above it there was a painting.

The interesting part was the person who played it, who was the famous pianist Paderewiski. He once played this very piano in Australia. Right beside the piano, there were valuable candlesticks. It was about an old guy holding a cane, with snake around his waist. Cane meant time and snake meant wisdom. Outside the museum, there was sound of the sea and singing of seagulls. 

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