Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos!

Update February 22nd


Finchcocks 2015


Piano Makers in Victorian England


An Organized Square Piano


The Hogwood Sale Catalogue now


Welcome to Friends of Square Pianos! This is a sort of on-line club for anyone who owns, or would like to own,  a square piano. Or anyone who is just interested, possibly to learn a little more.


Please get in touch with me, David, on friends.sp@btinternet.com with questions, comments, or just to say 'Hello'.  This is a site for everyone, especially those new to the world of Square Pianos.  And of course, we very much appreciate the support of those with more experience.


Square Piano Weekend

Finchcocks 2015

9th - 11th May

  We can confirm that our informal Square Piano Weekend will take place at Finchcocks from My 9th - 11th.  We hope that new Friends will come and join the party - please see the Finchcocks Page for further details.  There are still plenty of places, so please say you can come.  

An Organized Square Piano 

  Last year, David Shuker gave a fascinating talk about these marriages between a square piano and a chamber organ.  Although we do not know of any music written specifically for the instrument, we know from various records that they were made in considerable numbers.  Very few have survived, however, and I do not know of one in playable condition.

  As well as having an interest in square pianos, David is an organ builder by profession, and he has risen to the challenge of making a reconstruction.  A Broadwood square of appropriate date is providing the piano component; the organ is being built from scratch to an authentic specification.  

  David has promised to have it ready for May, and we look forward to being able to hear and play it for ourselves.  For me, and I think for many others, it will be a new experience.

Piano Makers in Victorian England -

by Dr Marie Kent

  Dr Marie Kent is our favourite Piano Historian.  She is seen in the above picture giving a presentation about London Piano Makers in Prison (!)  


 At Finchcocks this year, she will be talking about the wills of the old makers, and the story that these documents tell.  But in the meantime, she has recently published in the Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle a fascinating article about the 6,500 or so piano makers active in Mid-Victorian England.  Possibly a bit 'after our time' (I think the last English square was made by Collard & Collard about 1872) but many of the names will be familiar.


 It may be downloaded  http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/eGTquIgdnFGA2ZNM6SGY/full  and the first copies will be free!


 Thank you, Marie, and we look forward to seeing you again in May.

Gardiner Houlgate

Specialist Musical Instrument Auctions

The Christopher Hogwood Collection

Catalogue Now On-Line


  The full catalogue for this sale is now on-line, and it is so good that there is nothing I can add to it.  Please go to:




Piano Auctions and Meeting of Friends of Square Pianos

December 10th

A good turnout of Friends for the viewing day on December 10th - fun with the pianos, a good gossip, and lunch in the pub.  What could be better?


Please see the Auction Page for the results of the sale.


Thanks again to Terry, Richard, and Sean, of Piano auctions for making us so welcome.

The Spinet Page

  We all love those beautiful English Spinets, and now they have a Page of their own, where I hope to encourage interest, ownership, and amateur makers.

Square Piano Tech

Please take time to visit our sister website www.squarepianotech.com  This is run by our Friend Tom Strange in America, and is rapidly growing into a treasure-store of permanent wisdom.  

About the 'Webmaster' (David Hackett)

My only claim to respectability is that Carl Dolmetsch once offered to take me on as an apprentice.  This was in 1962, when I had just shown him my first clavichord, and been his guest at Haslemere.  However, he also advised me that it would be better to go to University, and I accepted his advice.  Early Keyboard Instruments have therefore remained a hobby, and now happily retired, I am able to spend a bit more time enjoying them - and encouraging others, I hope..

My real work is with homeless cats now, though - I have the privilege to be Co-ordinator of the local voluntary branch of Cats Protection.



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© David Hackett