Please look out for these, unless you have money to burn and could care less about a piano's value as an instrument. In which case you don't need me. I do not work on these! I know they're beautiful, keep them as furniture. UPDATE,UPDATE! THESE BEAUTIFUL CASES CAN NOW ACTUALLY PROVIDE MUSIC THROUGH MODERN MIDI TECHNOLOGY!! CONTACT BETH ZIMMERMAN 831-335-3733
These are the names of two outdated designs of piano that are no longer
being built. The square piano, which is actually rectangular in shape, was built mainly from about 1855 to 1890, a very short lived design, and with good reason. The birdcage piano was built from about 1850 to the early 1900's, and is so called because if you look at the action from the front the first thing you'll see are vertical wires, just like a cage for a bird.
Both the square grand and the birdcage were unsuccessful attempts to design a piano that takes up less floor space than a conventional grand. In Atlantic City in 1904, the National Association of Piano Dealers burned a pile of 1000 square grands (this may or may not be an exaggeration) to publicize the instruments' obsolescence and announce the arrival of the newest design-the vertical piano, the design of which has remained almost completely unchanged. It has become so popular that the majority of new pianos sold today are vertical pianos, and are the same basic design as the ones celebrated in 1904.
Compared to modern designs, birdcages and square pianos generally have minimal musical value. Avoid buying one, or even taking one for free. For these outdated relics, we're glad for the old expression, "They don't make them like that any more!"