Playing musical instruments as vegan

ZK1

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Hi!
I have been wanting to learn to play musical instruments especially piano and guitar. I have come to know that almost all musical instruments contain animal parts. I want to learn piano but it contains leather, wool, hide glue from what I have researched. I dont know what to do now. There are digital pianos but manufacturers have started incorporating wool in them as well to make them more authentic. But still digitals can not match an acoustic piano. They might have leather as well but I’m not sure. I think only the entry level digital pianos might be free from any animal product, but I am not sure. And digitals are nowhere near to an acoustic, real piano. There are no digital guitars either. I am really in a dilemma. I have always wanted to learn music and play musical instruments. After knowing the whole thing about animal parts in them, my inner self won’t allow me to buy these, yet I can’t kill the desire to play piano. What would you guys suggest?​

Thanks
 

Lou

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YES. That is a really big problem.

PETA has a pretty good article including some Brand recomendatons

This article has even more info.

This can be a debatable concept but many vegans think that buying non-vegan products second hand is ethical.
There has been a lot written on the subject mostly centering on clothes. You can read what other people think about it and then decide for yourself.

Also keep in mind that it's almost impossible to be 100% vegan. The computer I'm typing on has parts made from animals. The car I drive doesn't have leather seats but has a leather steering wheel and gear shift knob. We all make exceptions - some on purpose and some out of ignorance. I think as long as you are trying you are being vegan.
 

David3

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Hi!​

I have been wanting to learn to play musical instruments especially piano and guitar. I have come to know that almost all musical instruments contain animal parts. I want to learn piano but it contains leather, wool, hide glue from what I have researched. I dont know what to do now. There are digital pianos but manufacturers have started incorporating wool in them as well to make them more authentic. But still digitals can not match an acoustic piano. They might have leather as well but I’m not sure. I think only the entry level digital pianos might be free from any animal product, but I am not sure. And digitals are nowhere near to an acoustic, real piano. There are no digital guitars either. I am really in a dilemma. I have always wanted to learn music and play musical instruments. After knowing the whole thing about animal parts in them, my inner self won’t allow me to buy these, yet I can’t kill the desire to play piano. What would you guys suggest?​

Thanks
.
Modern guitars have strings made from steel or nylon wire. I've never personally seen an animal-gut stringed guitar.

Pianos also have strings made from steel ("piano wire"). Animal horn piano keys might be found on expensive pianos, but there are plenty of pianos with plastic keys.

Wool felt strip is used to tune pianos: Piano Tuning Wool Felt Temperament Strip . However, I can't find any evidence that wool is used inside a piano.

Hide glue is used for some expensive, "historically-authentic" instruments, but it isn't used on modern instruments. Hide glue is inferior to modern glues made from polyurethane ("Gorilla Glue"), epoxy, acrylic, polyvinyl acetate ("wood glue"), and cyanoacrylate ("super glue").

Remember that this is the 21st century! Piano keys are no longer (legally) made from "ebony and ivory" - ebony trees and elephants are now both endangered and legally protected. We have inexpensive, high-quality, synthetic substitutes for wool and leather!
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tlc1976

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.
Modern guitars have strings made from steel or nylon wire. I've never personally seen an animal-gut stringed guitar.

Pianos also have strings made from steel ("piano wire"). Animal horn piano keys might be found on expensive pianos, but there are plenty of pianos with plastic keys.

Wool felt strip is used to tune pianos: Piano Tuning Wool Felt Temperament Strip . However, I can't find any evidence that wool is used inside a piano.

Hide glue is used for some expensive, "historically-authentic" instruments, but it isn't used on modern instruments. Hide glue is inferior to modern glues made from polyurethane ("Gorilla Glue"), epoxy, acrylic, polyvinyl acetate ("wood glue"), and cyanoacrylate ("super glue").

Remember that this is the 21st century! Piano keys are no longer (legally) made from "ebony and ivory" - ebony trees and elephants are now both endangered and legally protected. We have inexpensive, high-quality, synthetic substitutes for wool and leather!
.
Hide glue is still used by some instrument and furniture makers as it absorbs wood stain, and has other benefits. I remember seeing it on the Woodwrights Shop.

But it is not made from animals anymore, or at least not nearly as much.

The only other thing I can think of is the string nut on a guitar or bass, many times people use bone because it performs very well. But you can just as well get or ask for one made from graphite.

 
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Brian W

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Maybe start by investing in a MIDI keyboard and finding a Piano rompler that you like. (A rompler is an instrument that has built in sound samples) A midi keyboard has no sounds of its own but plugs into your computer and plays virtual instruments. Alternatively you can get digital pianos that have their own sounds. This might be useful to you: Forte Composer Academy
 

tlc1976

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Maybe start by investing in a MIDI keyboard and finding a Piano rompler that you like. (A rompler is an instrument that has built in sound samples) A midi keyboard has no sounds of its own but plugs into your computer and plays virtual instruments. Alternatively you can get digital pianos that have their own sounds. This might be useful to you: Forte Composer Academy
That’s a good idea. A lot of the old Casio home keyboards have built in speakers with a great piano sound, and have MIDI out for use with a computer. I have a few. They’re usually pretty cheap on the used marketplace. You could always pick up something like that, to get started and see how you like it. That way if you decide that piano isn’t for you and you want to try guitar, you’re not out much. And if it is for you, you can always upgrade to something else later.
 
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vegan89

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YES. That is a really big problem.

PETA has a pretty good article including some Brand recomendatons

This article has even more info.

This can be a debatable concept but many vegans think that buying non-vegan products second hand is ethical.
There has been a lot written on the subject mostly centering on clothes. You can read what other people think about it and then decide for yourself.

Also keep in mind that it's almost impossible to be 100% vegan. The computer I'm typing on has parts made from animals. The car I drive doesn't have leather seats but has a leather steering wheel and gear shift knob. We all make exceptions - some on purpose and some out of ignorance. I think as long as you are trying you are being vegan.
Interesting article... I used to play the violin when I was younger and, aside from the horse hair in the bow, I would never have guessed it contains animal products. Nice to see there are Vegan Society certified violins now.

I knew there is such a thing as "gut core" strings, but I also know most music students use either steel or (if they want an upgrade) synthetic core strings.

Even the horse hair... I had thought most violin bows used something synthetic rather than actual horse hair... particularly on violins for students.

It's making me curious where the animal parts are... but I'm betting on glue and varnish used in the instrument, because I can't think of anything else that might have animal ingredients.

I saw something about vegan rosin... and that sounds odd to me, because I thought all rosin would be vegan because rosin itself is made from tree sap.
 

tlc1976

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Interesting article... I used to play the violin when I was younger and, aside from the horse hair in the bow, I would never have guessed it contains animal products. Nice to see there are Vegan Society certified violins now.

I knew there is such a thing as "gut core" strings, but I also know most music students use either steel or (if they want an upgrade) synthetic core strings.

Even the horse hair... I had thought most violin bows used something synthetic rather than actual horse hair... particularly on violins for students.

It's making me curious where the animal parts are... but I'm betting on glue and varnish used in the instrument, because I can't think of anything else that might have animal ingredients.

I saw something about vegan rosin... and that sounds odd to me, because I thought all rosin would be vegan because rosin itself is made from tree sap.
I would bet on the string nut being made of bone. But you can get alternatives, or have an existing one swapped out pretty easily.