Piano give off a sense of stability, certainty and reliability. The most unpredictable aspect of this sometimes-imposing instrument is the wonderful sound it produces. But creativity can’t be contained, and creative minds are always finding new ways to surprise us.

We look at a few pianos who’s appearances – not the sound the produce – would be the biggest surprise should you come across them.

  1. Chichi, The Rocking Piano

First introduced within Designersblock for the London Design Festival in 2007, ‘Chichi’ was designed to give the player more than a normal piano could – the ability to rock back and forth while playing.

Chichi - Rocking Piano
Image Courtesy of Davenport Interiors

Chichi is a beautiful and whimsical piece which rocks you gently as you tinkle her (I think she’s a girl) silver keys. Inspired by a sense of liberation that was awakened in Sarah at the Milan Furniture Fair, Chichi is her way of putting the soul back into design and communicating the value of making dreams happen. I love how the piece pushes the boundaries of traditional design with a subtlety and softness that makes her quirkiness seem graceful and her rebellion romantic. She’s very seductive is that Chichi.” Via Davenport Interiors

  1. The Lyra Flugel

Popular in the first quarter of the 19th Century, the Lyra Flugel was designed to serve three purposes: make music, save space and decorate the room. With its strings stretched upwards instead of horizontally, it has the shape of a stylized lyre.

Image Courtesy of Museum Digital
Image Courtesy of Museum Digital
  1. The Boganyi

Those who have played it compare the tone of the Boganyi to ‘hovering above gravity’. Its sleek Gothamesque look has earned it the name ‘Batpiano’. Gergely Boganyi spent 8,000 hours working on it, so it’s only fair it bear his name.

The BoganyiAKA the Bat piano, or “a cross between an art deco sculpture and something out of Star Trek” Hungarian pianist Gergely Bóganyi launched his update on the piano form earlier this year in Budapest. Via The Guardian

  1. The Piano and Violin House
piano and violin house
Image Courtesy of Architizer

In Huainan, China, any passing giant can try to their hands on this house-sized instrument. On three legs with a partially raised lid it looks ready to be played, even if the architect hasn’t quite managed to recreate the right keys of the chromatic scale, or put all those strings and hammers across the living room. Probably… Via The Guardian

  1. The Circular Piano
circular piano
Image Courtesy of Musicians Unite

Principal Health Care’s circular piano: sociable, yes, but pretty difficult to play solo unless you happen to be octodextrous. Via The Guardian

  1. The Piano Tree
tree piano
Image Courtesy of Web Urbanist

A living installation by artist Jeff Mifflin, the Piano Tree was set in a forested area just off the Disc Golf Course at the California State University. He took an old stage piano and after some careful sawing made it look as if the ancient tree was growing out of the upright piano. As part of its natural process, the tree continued to grow, parting the timber. Unfortunately, it’s incredible story came to an end when a drunkard smashed it up.

This tragic yet beautiful instrument could once be found in Monterey, California, a resonant (or rather not that resonant, given that there was a tree growing through its soundboard) metaphor for the demise of the domestic upright in our musical lives. Via The Guardian

  1. Lady Gaga’s Spider Piano
 Lady Gaga and her spider piano. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex Shutterstock
Lady Gaga and her spider piano. Photograph: Ken McKay/ITV/Rex Shutterstock

Ok, it’s only a stage-based intervention, but Gaga raises her piano on Louise Bourgeois-style legs, turning the instrument into a symbol of musical malevolence. Via The Guardian

  1. The Ferrari-Red Schimmel Pegasus
The Ferrari-red Schimmel Pegasus, at Boardwalk Ferrari. Photographs by ADAM FISH. Image Courtesy of FD
The Ferrari-red Schimmel Pegasus, at Boardwalk Ferrari. Photographs by ADAM FISH.
Image Courtesy of FD

Designed by Luigi Colani, this instrument is the logical endpoint of the grand piano as symbol of superabundant cultural power, a triumph of pure unrestrained bad taste and musical pointlessness. Via The Guardian

Well, I think it looks pretty cool…

  1. The Janko Piano
Janko Piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

This six-row keyboard, first developed in the late-19th century, invented a system of rearranging the keys so that fingering becomes easier. It’s also much more comfortable to stretch large intervals such as a 10th or a 12th. It looks like it requires a mind of beautiful proportions to be able to master it – but some have! Via The Guardian

  1. The extending piano for the bed bound

The piano’s keyboard construction design allows it to be conveniently let down over the bed so that it is within easy reach of the patient. This would probably translate to much faster recovery for piano lovers who can’t get out of bed.

piano for the bed bound
Image Courtesy of Bored Panda

An ingenious invention for hospital patients or for those who can’t get otherwise get out of bed. With this at the end of your feet, why would you want to? Via The Guardian

Featured Image: Image Credit

Man Playings Burning Piano

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