The piano is nothing more than a musical vehicle. It has a brake, accelerator and clutch. The metronome makes a precise speedometer.
Unlike a typical car, however, the piano can be started with any key.
It is good for taking out for a spin on a Sunday morning when the shops are closed. Dusty, rural roads recommend Mussorgsky; the city’s stop-and-go pairs well with Satie; and the long lake drive lined lushly with chestnuts lends itself to a variety of Baptist hymns.
The piano has an ample interior, airy and comfortable, but that needn’t influence one’s driving style – it may be slow and sumptuous, or aggressive and down-to-business. Most models are aerodynamic, epitomized by the Steinway grand, though the piano world also has its jaunty uprights, which are easier to park.
All pianos are suited to melodious cruising. If you crave a large audience, turn up the volume and burn rubber, or pop a wheelie, or go do doughnuts in the parking lot.
As with any vehicle, a piano is meant to provide its driver with a feeling of freedom. It’s versatile – with imagination you can take anywhere. For flair, experienced drivers suggest wearing a veil or a scarf, or simply let your mane grow long. That way you’ll feel the wind try to pull you back as you get going, before deliriously playing along.