A Brief History Of Piano Essay

892 words - 4 pages

A piano is an instrument, 32 black keys, 56 white, both string and percussion, the piano has been around for centuries, evolving from a small woodne box with strings and dulcimers, to electronic machines capable of creating thousands of different sounds. Hundreds of companies have manufactured their own version of the classical instrument since the 1700's, giving pianists everywhere something to play, and audiences songs to enjoy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a piano is a large keyboard musical instrument with a wooden case enclosing a soundboard and metal strings, which are struck by hammers when the keys are depressed. The strings' vibration is stopped by dampers when the keys are released, and it can be regulated for length and volume by two or three pedals, originating from early 19th century: from Italian, abbreviation of pianoforte. It is used in virtually every musical genre and is considered to cornerstone of both modern and classical music alike.

In the early 1700's, supposedly, a man named Bartolomeo Cristofori, an expert harpsichord maker and Italy native, built the first modern piano. The pianos predecessors, the clavichord and the harpsichord were well known at the time. Cristofori created a way for the piano's internal hammer to come in contact with the string, but not stay in contact, unlike it's predecessors. In 1711, a writer by the name of Scipione Maffei wrote an article about the new invention, along with a diagram of the instrument's mechanics. This article became well known, popularizing the piano. The manufacturing of pianos thrived in the 1800's, prominent makers included the now famous Johann Andreas Stein, who built viennese style pianos. These pianos had wooden frames, two strings per note, and had leather-covered hammers. From the years 1790-1860, this was known as the Mozart era of pianos, with the instrument undergoing changes in style and manufacturing. One major change that helped create the sound of the modern piano was using an iron frame as opposed to wood. Over the years the process of manufacturing pianos has changed, with improvements, changing the sound of music forever.

Famous pianists, primarily Sergei Rachmaninov, have had years upon years of experience with the instrument. Sergei has been named the greatest pianist ever by Limelight Magazine. Other composers are most well known for the piano chops, such as Beethoven, with pieces, most prominently Fur Elise, others like Mozart and Bach, are some of the most famous composers during the classical period, following the baroque period, and followed by the romantic period. In the early 19th century, many pianists played small shows across America in bars and pubs. ...

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