If a Swede says to you ‘ta det piano’ – take it piano – what they mean is take it easy, go slow often to avoid any mistakes. They can also say ‘it’s piano’ which means everything is cool, calm, ok.
Researching the origin of this expression led me, not surprisingly, to the world of music.
The word ‘piano’ has two meanings – firstly the string instrument with its variety of keys.
Secondly, it is a musical term for ‘weak’ or ‘soft’. In sheet music, the letter ‘p’ indicates piano and tells the musician to play their instrument softly. Double ‘pp’ means pianissimo and indicates to play very softly.
The term ‘piano’ originates in Italian and has been in use in Sweden since the 1600’s.