There is a surprisingly large number of people who have a piano in their home and have no idea how old it is. They may have bought it cheaply from a secondhand store or a neighbor, or perhaps inherited it from a relative. Knowing the age of your piano is important in determining how long it will last, whether it is financially viable to make repairs, what the piano is actually worth, and much more. So how do you find out how old your piano is if you are not a piano expert?

Every individual piano has an individual serial number—similar to VIN numbers for cars. On most vertical pianos, the serial number is located inside the piano. Open the top of the piano and look at the top of the pinblock. If it is not there, it may be stamped on the back of the piano either at the top right or top left side. On grand pianos, the music desk, in most cases moves back and forth slightly. The serial number should be stamped on the cast iron plate at the very front of the plate under the music desk. If it is a very old piano you may find the number in other areas of the plate or even on the underneath side of the soundboard. (This would involve laying on your back on the floor and looking at the underside of the soundboard).

Occasionally, people confuse patent numbers with serial numbers. A patent number is a long and complicated number and may include letters as well, and is not what you are looking for in order to determine the age. The serial number is a simple four-five- or six-digit number.

Once you have the number, call an expert like Miller Piano Specialists. With the serial number and the name of the piano (which can almost always be found on the front of the piano right above the keyboard), we can look up your piano in the Pierce Piano Atlas, the ultimate authority on piano serial numbers and ages, and tell you how old your piano is. The Pierce Piano Atlas organizes pianos by name and then by serial number and year, so you can reference the serial number to find out exactly which year your piano was manufactured. If your piano is a well-known and widespread brand, the Pierce Piano Atlas will also be able to afford a little history of the company as well, to learn more about where your piano came from!

If you are wondering how old your piano is, contact Miller Piano Specialists today. We can help you find the serial number and determine the best course of action for taking care of your piano. For more information, call (615) 771-0020 or visit millerps.com to learn more.