Frederic Chopin, 1849/Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Frederic Chopin, 1849/Credit: Wikimedia Commons

How much would you pay to take a piano lesson from Frederic Chopin? In his time, adjusted for inflation, the price tag on a piano lesson with Chopin would fall somewhere between $50 and $96 in 2010 dollars. Worth it? Classical station WDAV in North Carolina reports:

Considering the average daily wage for an unskilled laborer in Paris was one franc. That’s three weeks’ wages to pay for one lesson if you don’t eat.

To commemorate the composer, Poland put his image on money:

In 1982 Chopin and the first two bars of this Polonaise in F Minor appeared on the Polish 5000 zloty bill. This year, The National Bank of Poland is adding their two cents’ worth with a release of special, collectible Chopin banknote valued at 20 zloty – about $6.77. Fourteen of the new notes if you want a lesson from the old poet of the piano!

There’s a ton of zloty in music today. Apple’s iTunes hit its 10 billionth 99-cent download this week. In an unusual agreement from two bloggers on opposite sides of the political spectrum, Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas and GOP strategist Patrick Ruffini each speculated on Twitter about what that $10 billion in revenue could have gone to, had it been spent in government:

@PatrickRuffini: iTunes songs have been sold 10 billion times…less than the cost of the jobs bill
@Markos responded: Less than monthly cost of wars too!

2 thoughts on “Chopinomics

  1. Lisa Gray

    Laura – Thanks so much for posting! This story is part of a year-long audio series entitled Radio Chopin, set to launch on March 1, 2010 — the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin. Hear producer Jennifer Foster’s full audio story, “Chopinomics,” at — and access all things Chopin there!

    Radio Chopin is a production of WDAV 89.9 Classical Public Radio in North Carolina and receives generous support from The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.

    Lisa Gray, Director of Marketing, WDAV

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