Piano Profile: Wurlitzer Butterfly

So named for its unorthodox winged-top lid that resembles a set of butterfly wings, this vintage Wurlitzer grand piano was built in c. 1937. Of the three butterfly models produced, this particular instrument is a petite 3’9” in length, while the keyboard spans 73 notes (the other models span 44 and the standard 88).

While the keyboard length makes the instrument impractical for modern classical works, it is still effective as a beginner’s piano, as well as appropriate for pieces from the Baroque and early Classical periods that were written for harpsichords and forte-pianos with a 4-5 octave range.

Designed to fit into apartments and smaller homes without losing the touch and response of a grand action, Wurlitzer also took great care with the cabinet, utilizing the highly popular Art Deco aesthetic (my favorite design style) of the era as an influence in the case design.

Now, if only tuning this rare instrument didn’t require removing more than 20 screws…

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