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Ivory Piano Keys

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by

Claudia Sisk

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Ivory Piano Keys

Constituents
Obtaining
Improvement
Product
Impact
Ivory Piano Keys
Ivory Piano Keys
Prior to the 1990's, many high-end piano keys were made out of ivory
Ivory tops were wanted for their yellowish hue, rarity, and the aesthetics
Installed in segments, and supposedly "easier to play"
Typically 88 piano keys on one piano
Constituents
Piano Tops:
ivory (main constituent)
cleaners, including bleach and other whiteners

Body:
lighter wood
adhesive to attach the ivory
paint (black piano keys)
What is Ivory?
Obtaining Ivory
Since most animals containing ivory are endangered, it is illegal to buy, sell, or produce raw ivory
Most ivory comes from elephants, so elephants are poached for their tusks
Poaching usually occurs in the African Savannah
The tusks are then cut out of the animals, and bodies are either left to rot or the meat is taken for food
Environmental Impacts
Elephant populations are drastically decreased due to poaching
In the 1980's, about 100,000 elephants were killed each year, decreasing herds in some areas by 80%
There were 7 - 10 million elephants in the 1930's, but now there are less than 1 million in the wild today
The ivory trade reaches the entire globe, so shipping requires massive amounts of fuel, leading to high amounts of emissions.
Ivory dust created during manufacturing and production of piano keys can be reused for other products
Improvements
By law, only ivory products manufactured before 1980 are still legal on the market
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) has placed laws on the selling, trading, and poaching of elephants for ivory tusks
Heavy punishments are placed for anyone caught poaching elephants or participating in the ivory trade (shoot-to-kill or life in prison)
In some African countries, there are natural parks, game reserves, and wildlife management areas
Piano keys are now being made with plastic substitutions, or other legal materials
ivory: [
ahy
-
vuh
-ree] (noun)
the teeth or tusks of any mammal
Ivory can come from walruses, elk, narwhals, sperm whales, and pigs
80% of illegal ivory came from elephant tusks
Desired for hue, smoothness, and how easy it is to carve
Full transcript