Home: Pet: Training
using mice to tune a piano…   (+9, -1)  [vote for, against]
cos they will do anything for food.

tuning a piano takes hours. avoid the misery.

train up half a dozen mice to know that by running on their wheel(s), which is/are hooked up to each string of your piano, they will be rewarded (the once) with a food treat for each string corrected tuned. a correctly tensed string will open a small aperture dropping a treat to your little frieds. (friends even..)

hey, they will have to get off the wheel several times to go twang the strings and test the sound – this is all part of the training.

when the piano has been tuned to your satisfaction, remove mice, (clean up all droppings) and treat them kindly until the next time. the next generation of mice might even play you a tune, who knows..
-- po, Nov 13 2003

Damned Mice http://www.balaams-.../piano/63-vrmnt.htm
[The Kat, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

T, M, M,M, O. http://www.smallfil...uss/people.htm#Mice
[sufc, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Arthur Ewings Mouse Organ http://www.tvtome.c...wid-3412/epid-57051
Montypython episode description, text search for organ to find it [rambling_sid, Jan 06 2005]

see! I TOLD you they were musical. http://www.bloomber...gEXivs&refer=canada
[po, Nov 01 2005]

Meow http://www.kirchersociety.org/blog/?p=116
I suppose, in an indirect manner, this piano fulfills this idea. [bristolz, Mar 02 2006]

Muppaphone http://muppet.wikic...wiki/The_Muppaphone
The Amazing Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphone [BunsenHoneydew, Mar 07 2006]

Play us a song, you're the piano mouse.
Play us a song tonight.
Cos were all in the mood for a melody.
And the mice got it tuned up just right.
La da da, dee dee da da.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 13 2003

working on it dag, working on it.
-- po, Nov 13 2003

Aw darn, my "Middle C" mouse died. Have to train a new one.
-- krelnik, Nov 13 2003

no krelnik, they can all do *all* the strings silly!
-- po, Nov 13 2003

"Boy, your bottom F# is way out of tune."
"I know, the mouse just loves that wheel and keeps overtightening it - I've had to replace the strings 8 times already this month."
-- PeterSilly, Nov 13 2003

"The mice on the mouse-organ woke up and stretched..."
-- lostdog, Nov 13 2003

[lostdog] Marvellous. And mechanical.
-- Fishrat, Nov 13 2003

I love Bagpuss. I've put a link up to the Mouse Organ. Watch out for Charlie Mouse, He taught me more about left wing politics than any union leader ever could. Mice not sing, mice not work. Right on brother/sister.
-- sufc, Nov 14 2003

"My cat just ate the piano tuners" Not a sentence you see frequently. Is it best if they are Blind Mice? And maybe 3 of these? My piano needs rodent tuning right now. Don't think the wife will go for this though.
-- BritUSA, Nov 14 2003

If you can train mice to do this then surely you can train them to squeak different tones. Replace the strings with mice that get hit by a little hammer when a key is pressed. The harder you press, the harder the mouse gets hit, the louder the squeak or SQUEAK as the case may be.
-- squeak, Nov 14 2003

Sorry [po] - all my mice are busy programming my VCR, answering my email and attending to my zen gardenning. Perhaps my cat could help as its claws would make excellent string-twangers and its a bit bored as its forbidden from eating all the mice.
-- dobtabulous, Nov 14 2003

the question is, can you get them to PLAY the piano? (fyi i'm requesting Chopin Nocturne in G)
-- genevieve, Dec 05 2003

anyone seen that monty python sketch with the guy playing 3 blind mice on the xylaphone by hitting 2doz white mice with mallets?
-- Tender Vittles, Jan 06 2005

-- po, Jan 06 2005

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me:

Cats LOVE fish, they're bound to want to eat Tuner...


...I'll get me coat
-- kmlabs, Jan 06 2005

Nocturne in Gmin? Which one?
-- bristolz, Jan 06 2005

The high-pitched eepy one.
-- shapu, Jan 06 2005

It's hard to get high-pitched and eepy with a piano piece. High-pitched, yes. Eeepy? You need a string section for that (or maybe a prepared piano). Besides, you're tawkin' about Frédéric here.
-- bristolz, Jan 06 2005

Only if you've removed the tuning mice before playing.
-- shapu, Jan 06 2005

Aha! It all makes sense now...
-- zen_tom, Nov 02 2005

According to [The Kat]'s link, cows have been found inside of pianos.

I find that hard to believe.
Then again...
-- DesertFox, Mar 02 2006

Isn't this just a variation on Monty Python's Mouse Organ?
-- jellydoughnut, Mar 03 2006

//cows have been found inside of pianos// That's what piano remoovalists are for.

<pedant> The 'cat piano' ([bristolz]'s link) gives a date of 1650. There is no evidence of pianos before about 1700 </pedant>
-- spidermother, Mar 05 2006

Quite correct [spidermum] although cat harpsichords were used from around 1650 to 1730, replacing the beautiful but dangerous mink harpsichords.
-- wagster, Mar 05 2006

<Obligatory "When I First Read This" anno>
When I first read this I thought you were proposing to actually use mice as tools to tune a piano, as in holding the little critters in your hand and gripping the tuning pins with their tiny teeth. I perceived this would be highly impractical since rodent dentition would likely suffer catastrophic failure before the pins would be adjusted so I gave the idea a bone.

Now that I have seen my error, I'm afraid I have to stand by my fishbone because you imply that half a dozen trained mice would be able to tune your piano in less time than usual, and I'm afraid all that jumping on and off the wheel would slow the whole process down. Besides, you might be able to convince the piano tuner to work for food...

My bigger concern about the mice would be that they would develop a diabolical plan to get more treats by systematically and surreptitiously un-tuning some strings in order to prolong the process, thereby guaranteeing a continuing supply of food. Kind of like the Public Works department.
-- Canuck, Mar 05 2006

ahem, there is no fishbone!

hey, don't deny the mice their treats...
-- po, Mar 05 2006

Sorry for the delay, I was answering the front door.
-- Canuck, Mar 05 2006

-- po, Mar 07 2006

This is more like the halfbakery I remember.... excellent +
-- xenzag, Apr 24 2016

random, halfbakery