So I sat down on Christmas Day to accompany myself while singing Come Unto Him from Handel's Messiah. Somewhere along the way, the D above Middle C developed a ticking sound, then it spread to the E, then the F, then the G, then the A, and finally it stopped on the B, black keys included. This was highly disturbing since the piano had just been tuned, and albeit to say, this annoyance stopped me in my tracks. I decided not to bother Al Moles, my tuner, until the day after Christmas. He came right over Monday morning, and after determining that indeed, the broken notes were the length of a pencil, he extracted a Brunschwig et Fils (fabric and wallcovering manufacturer) pencil. It's amazing to me that never in my life, have I lost a pencil in a piano! He said it happens all the time. Maybe I got a little carried away in the passion of the moment and with absent-minded abandon tossed a pencil into the abyss?
The culprits: pencil, tab, and broken paper clip
While the front was opened for surgery, we also exhumed a blue paper tab (that I use to mark both music pages and interior design magazines) and what appeared to be a broken black paper clip (the kind that I use in my interior design studio). Always eager to blame something for my poor playing, I seized upon these excuses and clear sabotage by some unknown person. With the evidence of three interior design studio accutrements, here we have the mingling of music and design...hmmm!
Pencil tethered to leg of piano
Al told me that one of his client's solutions to the problem was to tie the pencil to the piano leg with a piece of string. Ha! I thought that was a very funny thing to do, so I did it myself...I don't expect it to stay there forever, but you never know...I can laugh at the same joke again and again! And in either case, now I know how to take the front off so that I can perform my own piano surgery, if necessary. Now, back to that song...