Haut de gamme

One of my favorite sources for the inside scoop on all that’s going on in Paris is My Little Paris. Today they had a great new story about Play Me, I’m Yours. As I told you, June 21 is La Fête de la Musique, the night amateur and aspiring musicians take to the streets to play their hearts out. It’s fitting that from 4 until 7 PM forty pianos are going to be dropped off in the Palais Royal. The next day, they’ll be distributed to locations all around the city so people can just sit down and play until July 8. The pianos will be available each day from 9:30 AM until 8:30 PM and there’s a place to upload your photos and videos of the pianos in action. This project has already taken place in several other cities around the world, including Sao Paulo, London, and New York. It was created in 2008 by an English artist, Luke Jerram. The pianos will be in parks, malls, and street corners. After July 8, the 40 pianos will be donated to various charitable organizations.

My parents paid for lots of piano lessons and suffered with me through many recitals, competitions, and exams. Finally, I faced the truth. I had a teeny, tiny amount of talent. So, although I’ll be in Paris as of the 23rd, I won’t be sitting down to enthrall the crowd with Chopsticks. If I could play well, I’d sit down and rip off Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor.

Today’s expression, haut de gamme (owe deh gam) means “top of the line” or “high quality.” Une gamme is also a musical scale. Maybe if I’d played more of those, my piano skills would have become haut de gamme and I could, indeed, have managed more than Chopsticks.

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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