The Piano-Smashing Fad

The fad of piano smashing reportedly began in 1963 at a technical school in Derby, England, but it quickly spread to American campuses via Caltech, where a "Piano Reduction Study Group" was formed.

The goal of piano smashing was "to reduce the piano, in the shortest possible time, to such a state that it may be passed through an aperture of 20 cm. in diameter." This was to be done by a maximum of six people using tools no heavier than 15.4 pounds each.

A record-setting time was achieved by students at Wayne State University who smashed a piano and passed it through a hole in 4 min 51 sec.

I wonder if this college fad was the inspiration for the Destructivist Art Movement, which emerged three years later, and also involved smashing pianos.

Source of images: Life - Mar 8, 1963

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 29, 2021
     Category: Fads | 1960s | Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

I would go with the wisdom from Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman: "When in doubt, C-4."
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/29/21 at 03:41 PM
Virtual in Carnate
15.4 pounds of C-4 and you could pass the piano through a 2 mm hole. The issue would be finding all the dust sized particles plus what was embedded in the crater.
Posted by eddi on 09/29/21 at 10:51 PM
For the frustrated pianist who was allowed to play in the marching band.
Posted by KDP on 09/30/21 at 09:50 AM
John Cage would approve.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/02/21 at 01:23 PM
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