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Japan 12: Loom vs. Piano

In the old days, before the spread of radio and television, homes in the West often had a piano. With the advent of the aforementioned home entertainment devices, piano playing fell by the wayside, and to a greater and greater extent, music was left to the professionals. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is moot. We can look wistfully back at a past that probably never was: family and friends gathered around the piano to sing songs ... but some might thank goodness they are not forced to listen to tin-eared teenage girls massacring the classics and pop tunes alike.

Wenceslau de Moraes, writing nearly a hundred years ago: "Now we all know very well the familiar piano which disturbs so violently the solemn silence of the European night ... Well, here in Tokushima and the surrounding places, where idleness, the hard work of rural life, and other reasons as well make people go to sleep early, those passersby who ramble around late at night on the streets, sunk in dream and darkness, will often hear the ... rhythmical tic-tac of the piano of Tokushima coming from the interior of some humble house: the noise of the family loom with which, because of the idleness of the husband whose labor of the day is not sufficient to guarantee the sustenance of his wife and children, the poor wife finds some supplementary work in this night fashion.... A great difference is felt between these two pianos: the European piano irritates, the piano of Tokushima makes us sympathetic."
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Piano of Tokushima

I'll take the sympathetic piano of Tokushima over the irritating European piano any day!
sledding

October 2017

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