If you are doing historical research, it soon becomes obvious that we don’t know how words and names were pronounced at the time, the written word survives, but the sounds do not. For anyone who needs to be convinced, this is the very simple and obvious reason why grammar, punctuation, and especially spelling are so important to written language. We can’t hear the tone of voice, so if the spelling is wrong, we have no chance of understanding words, or following names through a family tree. Unfortunately, human errors have always been around, so they will always place obstacles in the way of your research, and they proliferate on the internet, but please try not to add to them.
I am amazed at the number of people who are desperate for information, and say they cannot find anything on the net, but don't bother to check that they have the spelling correct! Very often, all I am given is a name, so if that is not spelt correctly, what chance do I stand?
Please check carefully the exact spelling before asking us about a piano name, and include any other information that is written on the piano, because it can waste a considerable amount of our time if you get it wrong. I don't just sit in a room with a book. A complete search through my files can involve manually going through over a million entries. Many people are frustrated if their piano does not have a name on the front but, to be honest, most piano names mean very little anyway.
Although it certainly is a wonderful resource, the internet does not list the VAST MAJORITY of piano names - there are over twenty thousand on my files. For more information, see the Names page at
If you don't find the name immediately, try Google Alert.
Ask questions on piano history and the age of your piano.
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