This accession consists of materials documenting three Smithsonian Productions projects that celebrated the 300th anniversary of the piano: "People and Pianos: 300 Years," "Piano 300," and "Piano Grand!"
The documentary, "People and Pianos: 300 Years," was filmed in various locations across Europe, the United States and in Japan, and featured experts and craftsmen who traced the evolution of the piano, beginning with its inception in Italy to the digital and electronic technologies of tomorrow. Performances demonstrated how the introduction of the piano influenced the development of music from classical to ragtime to jazz. The broadcast aired on PBS in December 2001.
"Piano 300" was a video production that accompanied the 2000 exhibition "Piano 300: Celebrating Three Centuries of People and Pianos."
"Piano Grand!" was a 90 minute television performance that complimented the "Piano 300" exhibition. It was hosted by Billy Joel and featured Dave Brubeck, Jerry Lee Lewis, and other renowned pianists. It was co-produced by Maryland Public Television.
Materials consist of video and audio elements, including digital betas, HDCAMS, beta SP, compact disks, MP3s, DATS, 1/2" digital audio mastering tapes, camera originals, and edited masters. Some materials are in electronic format.