Lang Lang plays a “street piano” in St. Pancras Station in London earlier this year. Photograph by Linda Nylind/The Observer.

“For years, it seemed like the piano was disappearing from British public life,” writes Miranda Bryant in Sunday’s (4/30) Guardian (U.K.). “But now–despite all the digital entertainment alternatives and conductor Simon Rattle’s stark warning last week that UK classical music was fighting for its life amid funding cuts–the piano seems to be making a 21st-century comeback in homes, on streets and online. Piano retailers are reporting strong sales and, according to industry insiders, growing numbers of people are taking up (and returning to) the instrument, thanks in large part to the technology that threatened to replace it, including thousands of free online videos that teach amateur pianists how to play using step-by-step lessons. ‘The prominence of the piano afforded by TV, social media and street pianos is encouraging new players to learn,’ said Matt Ash, membership and retail lead at the Music Industries Association (MIA), adding that there was a notable increase in interest during the pandemic…. Britain’s street pianos, an initiative kicked off in 2008 in Birmingham by artist Luke Jerram, have become a fixture of urban life … ‘With TikTok and YouTube, you can teach yourself to play the piano …,’ [Jerram] said. ‘There’s a democratization of piano lessons.’ ”