The Steinway Grand Piano Model S

The Model S Saves the Day

Design sketches for the Steinway Model S were drawn by Henry L. Ziegler sometime before World War I and later finished by Paul Bilhuber during the Great Depression. James Barron claims that the Steinway Model S "saved Steinway" from financial ruin because "it had the voice of a larger grand, but did not take up as much room. Nor did it cost as much." Since piano sales during this time had dropped dramatically (Barron claims by as much as 90 percent), a smaller, but still powerful grand was well suited to the piano orders coming into the Steinway factory at the time. During the Great Depression, many piano companies would close due to lack of sales, but Steinway was able to hold on with the help of the Steinway S and other smaller models including uprights.

The Steinway Model S is considered by many to be the quintessential "baby grand piano." At just over five feet in length, this piano is often used as a "concert piano" for small venues, churches, apartments, living rooms, music rooms and music parlors. Its mechanics are as exacting as any of the Steinway grand models, with excellent tone and the famous Steinway piano action touch response (with legato, presto, prestissimo, staccato and monotone techniques easily achieved). Its range of volume -- from pianissimo to forte to sforzando -- is excellent when played within a proper space, and of course, when expertly tuned and regulated.

New York Steinway Production Models

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