Grandma play a piano

sisse nar

Senior Member
Korean
Hi, all.

This is from <A death in the family> by James Agee.

Is Grandma playing a piano or not?
Is the reason little Catherine couldn't hear any sound because Grandma didn't play it at all, or because there is a lot of noise outside?

She was bent way over, with her good ear close to the keys, the way she always was when she played, and her feet were working the pedals, yet she couldn’t hear a sound. ... With sudden pleasure, Catherine thought of listening through a large black ear trumpet, then she realized that she was still hearing the shuffling street and the murmurous city, and knew why she could hear no music. Grandma was just making the notes go down without making any noise.
 
  • Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    We read that there was a certain amount of noise outside, but not enough to cover the sound of the piano. If she didn't hear the piano it's because Grandma was "just making the notes go down without making any noise".

    Without knowing any more, my impression is that Grandma had died and Catherine was seeing an illusion, or Grandma's ghost, and this is why Grandma was "playing" silently.
     

    sisse nar

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Einstein and suzi br.
    I don't quite get "make the notes go down." Could you please paraphrase it?
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    It means that she pressed down the keys (the black and white objects on the piano). It's not really exact to call the keys "notes", but it's quite common.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    If you press down a piano key very slowly, the hammer rises but does not hit the strings.
    Yes, but we don't know if the grandma was doing this for some strange reason or if the whole thing was a ghostly illusion.

    PS I've found the text; your explanation is the right one, Keith.:)
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top