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Songwriter Irving Berlin performs on his transposing piano

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Songwriter Irving Berlin performs on his transposing piano
Songwriter Irving Berlin died in his sleep on September 22, 1989 in New York. He was 101. The photo shows him in a photo taken in the 1920s playing the transposing Calvin Weser piano under a portrait of George M. Cohan. On this piano Berlin used to compose “White Christmas”, “Easter Parade” and other hits. The famous song writer Irving Berlin is seen seated behind his transposing piano in the 1920s. The portrait above the piano is that of George M. Cohan. The piano was donated to the Smithsonian Insitute by Mr. Berlin, who at age 84, said on December 22, 1972 that the scarred, mahogany piano was a Christmas gift to the museum. It was fitted with a special mechanism called a transposing keyboard, which operates like a clutch of a car and shifts the keyboard to the right or left into a different musical key. (UPI Photo/Files)
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