The square piano presented in the exhibition was built by Friedrich Wilhelm Rosenkranz (1806–1856), a piano builder from Dresden, around 1840. It was donated to the Robert Schumann House in 1970 and is of particular importance as Friedrich Wieck often dealt with Rosenkranz pianos and Clara Wieck played on them repeatedly. Clara Wieck even became godmother of one of Rosenkranz’ daughters on May 15, 1834. Square pianos were common as affordable domestic instruments. In 1827 Clara Wieck noted in her diary: ‚I don’t like square pianos as they usually don’t bear sufficient tone‘ (Archive, Robert Schumann House). The exhibition presents this instrument in combination with a pianistic training device, the so-called ‚hand guide‘, built by Mikhail Niks (1935-1996) and designed after a model of Friedrich Kalkbrenner’s (1785-1849). Many piano teachers of the 19th century recommended such devices, as did Friedrich Wieck.


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