A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 19, 2015
“What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?” (joke)

A popular piano joke is:

Q: What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A: A flat miner.


The “miner"/"minor" pun has been cited in print since at least 1975.

“What do you get if you drop a piano on a child?"/"A flat minor” and “What do you get when you drop a piano on an army base?"/"A flat major” are related jokes.


14 March 1975, Ennis (TX) Daily News, “Ennis Echoes” by Casey, pg. 1, col. 1:
What happens if you drop a piano down a mine shaft? You get A Flat Minor.

Newspapers.com
14 May 1975, Newhall Signall & Saugus Enterprise (Santa Clarita, CA), “Friendly Valley Report: Off-Beat Competition” by Stu Wilson, pg. 19, col. 1:
What happens if you drop a piano down a mine shaft? You get A Flat Minor! (Sorry about that!)

16 April 1976, The Daily Review (Hayward, CA), “Jaborrocky” by Ray Orrock, pg. 17, col. 1:
Latest riddle among the skateboard set:

Q: What note do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A: A flat miner.

Google Books
The Crack-a-Joke Book
Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books
1978
Pg. 125:
What do you get when a piano falls down a mine ?
A flat miner.

Google Books
February 1981, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 74, col. 2:
Beethoven: What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
Mozart: A flat miner. — Brent Morrow, Independence, Mo.

19 July 1985, Greensboro (NC) News & Record, “Bad jokes: The worst was best” by Susan Ladd, pg. B1, col. 4:
What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A flat minor.
-- Cedric M. Alston, 11 1/2
High Point

Google Books
Smart Alec’s Revolting Jokes for Kids
By Ward Lock & Co., Ltd.
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1989, ©1987
Pg. 10:
What do you get if you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A flat miner.

Google News Archive
3 November 1990, The Blade (Toledo, OH), ‘Personals” by Leah Garchik, The Peach, pg. 1, col. 1:
What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft? A flat miner (Jackie Pels of Walnut Creek).

Google Books
The Mammoth Book of One-Liners
By Geoff Tibballs
London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
2012
Pg. ?:
What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?
A flat miner. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Friday, June 19, 2015 • Permalink