The History and Evolution of the Piano

          The piano is instrument based upon technologies derived from stringed instruments and other keyboard instruments with struck strings such as the clavichord and the harpsichord. The invention of the piano is accredited to an instrument caretaker who worked for the Medici family. This man was Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua, Italy. The exact date of the invention of the piano is not know, but an inventory of his instruments indicates a piano by the year of 1700 (Between the Baroque and Classical eras of music). The three remaining Cristofori pianos that remain today date back to 1720.   

          Over the course of several hundred years the piano has undergone several evolutions. The original pianos created by Cristofori and later Steinway were very light and not much sturdier than a harpsichord. The strings were low tensile and the hammers were made of brass in a tubular form. The modern day piano improved on this basic yet incredible design in every way so that the piano creates the wonderful music created by the composers. The range of the piano was increased from five to the standard seven and a third octaves. The frame of the piano is a single piece of iron. The strings of the modern piano are copper wires or ultra-tough steel wires, with three strings per note in the upper two thirds of the piano’s range. The hammers used to create the sound of the piano are now made from wood and covered in felt, the hammers of the piano also increased in weight. Finally the overall robustness of the piano was increased by a factor of approximately six times. The standard weight of a modern Steinway Model D weighs approximately 480 Kg. 

          After Crisrofori began creating the first piano’s in the 1700’ s a new piano maker emerged across the world in New York, USA. Mr. Steinway was an inventor and an innovator who was responsible for many of the patents that led to the modernization of the piano. The Company Steinway and Son’s is now responsible for some of the greatest piano’s manufactured in the world. 

           The way that sound is produced on the piano is that when the musician presses on any of the given keys a hammer strikes the corresponding string on the piano. The sound is then produced through the repeated vibrations of the string and is amplified by the body of the piano. ImageImage


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