The Piano Lesson

I recently saw a commercial air on the television that compared mankind to a piano. Humans are the keys, each one different from another, but all appear to be the same in shape and form. This thought remained with me for most of the afternoon and evening. It is still with me as I write this piece today.  Mind you, I can barely play Chopsticks on the piano. My only musical training is two years of training on the viola in grade school and summer days tinkering around on my Aunt’s piano during vacation years ago. However, it doesn’t take a Mozart to recognize the beautiful gift a piano is to the Universe.


“Pianos, unlike people, sing when you give them your every growl. They know how to dive into the pit of your stomach and harmonize with your roars when you’ve split yourself open. And when they see you, guts shining, brain pulsing, heart right there exposed in a rhythm that beats need need, need need, need need, pianos do not run. And so she plays.” ― Francesca Lia Block, Love Magick

The piano is such a ponderous and colossal instrument. Why does it occupy such a place of importance in music?  Mankind is such an unwieldy and vast instrument. Why does it occupy such a place of importance in the Universe?  Let’s look at the piano as if it were mankind and each key of the 88 keys represent individual members of humanity.

Eighty-eight keys make up the core of the piano. Each key represents a different note, giving the piano a wide range of sounds. The 88 keys contain seven octaves, plus a few other notes, just as individuals are members of nations across the globe.

The white keys represent the musical tones A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The black keys differ from the white keys in that they represent half-step intervals — known as sharps and flats — between various notes. A group of seven white keys and five black keys together make up the 12 notes we call an octave.  In our world there are may individuals of difference races. Races among different cultures. Cultures amid different religions and philosophies. But yet all make up the instrument called mankind.


“The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” ― Thelonious Monk

To like is to recognize.

Maybe, just maybe, Wassily Kandisky was spot on when he theorized that “color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

The piano reminds us to be together, not the same.

So it is no surprise that Android’s “be together. not the same.” tagline was adopted last October. The phrase reflects how Android has a unified experience across a range of different devices.

Isn’t that how humanity should be?



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