Vertical Music

Back in the days of the 1800s people would play piano by the light of a candle. It was not only dangerous but made it very hard to read the music and to see the keys. Another issue the player had to deal with was the glare that came from the glowing candle, reducing their sight of the music and potentially causing a headache. An inventor looked at this issue and placed a cover on the back of a candle that reduced the glare and focused the light from the candle onto the piano keys and the sheet music in front of the player. The Piano Lamp was born.

When electricity and the light bulb came along it was not long afterward that the same issue with an electric light bulb arose. The light bulb was safer than the candle, to be sure, but the glare in the eyes of the piano player was rough on the eyes. The cover as placed on the front of the light bulb to reduce the glare and the piano lamp light fixture was a staple for anyone serious about playing a piano.


There have been some ultra-fancy piano lamps that are called candelabras. These are multi-light arrangements that typically sit on top of grand pianos. They are very formal and a little bit on the expensive side, costing $200 to $1,000 dollars depending upon the style you are interested in purchasing. The candelabra is attractive, as most piano lamps are, but the primary function of the lamp is still to display light on sheet music and the piano keyboard. They are not limited to use with grand pianos. Piano lamps fit well with console, studio and upright pianos.


While most piano lamps sit directly on top of the piano, several models are vertical lamps that raise from the floor. These models have advantages in that they can be arranged to display light from many angles at just about any height that the player wishes to have it be displayed. The common theme among different models of piano lamps is that they are all hooded to reduce the direct glare into the eyes of the player while lighting the keys of the piano. Many players purchase a piano lamp to further display their piano as a showcase of their house. They can be beautiful as well as being very functional. 


Piano lamps come in many different styles and are made of many different materials. Brass and chrome are the most popular materials used to make a piano lamp but many enameled surfaces are used in the manufacturing process to allow for more affordability and style.  


The shelf style (sits on top of the piano) piano lamp is usually height adjustable, and many feature a weighted base to allow for increased stability. Many times the base is made of a high quality material such as marble, to add beauty to the lamp as well as a great weight which serves the function. A very practical feature of a piano lamp is a counter-weighted arm, which most piano lamps have, preventing the lamp from getting top heavy regardless of its positional setting.


Piano lamps are manufactured to be either plug-in or battery-powered. Several companies also manufacture piano lamps that clip-on directly to the sheet music. An electric piano lamp is normally designed for either one or two light bulbs of 40-watts or less.


You can purchase these piano lamps at furnishing stores, music stores or online. The price in US dollars of a piano lamp can range from as low as forty to as high as hundreds of dollars.


From their very inception, piano lamps have replaced the need to use candles to provide light and add a nice mood to a piano recital or concert. Modern piano lamps are much safer and can be even more beautiful than the nicest candelabras from times of old.

Chuck R Stewart owns and operates a top ranking web site for piano lamps called

The site specializes in offering a wide variety of piano lamps to fit any type of piano for every type of budget.

T-Squad – Vertical (Music Video)

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