There are two points of pride for me here. One is that the house I grew up actually has a Steinway piano and two, obviously, is that I live one block from Steinway street. This doc, almost the dictionary definition of small gem, spends most of its time just up the road from me at the Steinway factory — the last major piano factory where everything is done by hand, essentially the same way as 100 years ago. The film begins, though, in Alaska as trees are cut and logs are sent down river. We then see the year-long process in Queens (which includes the entertaining “pounding room”), go to the showroom on 57th St and, finally, Carnegie Hall. That I actually have an emotional attachment to Steinway L1307 (the concert grand we see given life) is remarkable. The factory workers are fantastic. An array of artisans that might just be the best representation of Queens on film. We have the old school Irish-Americans, the Poles, the Croats, the Carribeans, Mexicans, African-Americans, old Jews all taking a sack lunch break and reading the Daily News. If John Sayles ever made a documentary, it would be like this. Indeed, with its soft sell, this a better labor propaganda film than anything the Soviet Union ever put out. Famous pianists (Marcus Roberts, Lang Lang, Harry Connick and more) give color commentary about their instrument of choice. Note by Note only has a brief run at Film Forum, but this is one that will surely show up on, say, Sundance Channel or PBS. Try and catch it.