Musical Details


Square pianos were the most prevalent instrument in homes between 1740 and the late 1800’s, therefore most music was heard on these instruments except in the concert hall setting.  This early example of a square piano has a light touch and a light sound, not much bigger than the sound of a lute.  It can handle the music of Mozart and Hadyn, as well as mid-1800 romantics, but is not very adept at the heavy and demanding pieces of later writers.  The keyboard span is also a determinant.

Technical details:

Square piano #598 built by Robert and William Nunns, 1828, New York City

Action:   English square action, felt over leather hammers, overdampers

Pedals:   one, damper, pedestal mounted towards the left side

Range:   68 notes, FF to c4

Stringing:  double stringing throughout, FF – D are copper wound on iron, D# – c4 are iron

Framing:   wood only

Case:   Mahogany and mahogany veneer, rosewood trim, rosewood and pearwood banding


The Nuuns Square on display at the Strathroy Home and Leisure Show – Day For The Arts.


Model of the action of a Broadwood square of 1825.  The Nunns piano of 1828 lacks items 9 and 9b, two important developments to assist repetition which Nunns soon added to their production.