a video of him playing a piano


Senior Member
It is often said that you're supposed to say play the piano as opposed to play piano or play a piano.

Policeoracle.com, a UK website, has this article titled "Piano playing plod pleases Prague" that says:

A Czech police officer has been applauded for improving the image of his force after a video of him playing a piano during his beat went viral.
Is this a legitimate usage of the indefinite article?

In the same context, could the writer possibly have written playing the piano instead, now the piano referring to the specific piano shown in the photo above the sentence?
  • Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    It sounds correct to me. Even though the piano is shown in the picture, it still is just one of the many pianos.

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    That usage is absolutely fine.

    You say "play the piaono" when you are talking about the general skill: My nephew can play the piano.
    You can sometimes use that phrase to describe a specific playing event:
    He plays the piano in the school hall when they have concerts.

    Or, it would be OK to use a piano in your sentence or one like this:

    He played a tune for my mum on a piano in a hotel dining room last week. I could use A or THE there. THE woudl fix it as the hotel's insturment. A piano can suggest it was AN ACTUAL PIANO compared to the electric thing he uses at home ..
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