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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Historical keyboard instrument course

Broadwood & Sons in association with Finchcocks Musical Museum held an event on the 19th and 20th July 2013 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Piano Tuners Association.  This two-day hands-on course was, held at Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent, primarily aimed at PTA members.

Finchcocks Musical Museum
Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent

The informal course covered historical keyboard instrument design and regulation and in particular that of the early English and Viennese grand piano.    There was also an opportunity for attendees to assist Christopher Clarke, to recover  the felt hammers of the museum’s  1843 Pleyel  grand piano using a copy of a 19th century hammer covering machine.    Chris Nobbs gave an account for the cataloguing the musical instruments of the National Trust including keyboard instruments.  Chris hoped that the catalogue would be published on the Internet sometime in the future.  There was also an opportunity to take a tour of Broadwood & Sons piano manufacturing and see the fine upright pianos currently being made and their repair shop for historical instruments.  The authentic early keyboard cloth was also available for purchase at this event.

This course complemented the “square piano weekend” held at  Finchcocks in May this year and perhaps it may be possible to continue with some elements this present course with those in the future. Thanks go to Alastair Laurence for organising and managing the event and also to Richard and Katrina Burnett, the Directors of the Finchcocks Musical Museum.

Graham Walker,


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