About the Piano, It’s History, and How it Works
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May 19, 2016
The piano is truly a beautiful instrument and many people enjoy learning how to play it. However, if you plan on learning to play the piano, you may want to spend the time learning more about the instrument. It’s important that you understand the history of the piano, how the piano works, and even the different types of pianos that are available today. This way you’ll know your instrument a bit better as you learn to play. History of The Piano The piano has a very long and rich history. The earliest ancestor of the piano is the dulcimer, which had hammers that struck strings. However, later in the 17th century, other keyboard instruments would be developed, such as the harpsichord and the clavichord. However, the modern piano is thought to have been invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori, who lived in Italy. He kept the instruments for Prince Ferdinand de Medici and he was talented at making harpsichords. Later he would go on to build a piano and three of his pianos survive yet today. Later the piano would evolve even more, bringing about the soundboard, the damper pedal, as well as the sostenuto pedal. How the Piano Works The piano is an interesting instrument that is very different than most other instruments in it’s class. It is a stringed instrument, but is played in a very different way than most other types of stringed instruments. There is a keyboard with keys that works by striking the strings of steel with hammers that are made of felt. The hammers quickly hit the strings and move away so that the strings keep vibrating. There is a special soundboard within the piano that amplifies the sounds that are made when the strings are struck. Different Types of Pianos Today you will find that there are a variety of different types of pianos out there. Here are a couple of the main types of pianos. - Grand Piano - A grand piano has a horizontal frame and the strings are also horizontal, going away from the keyword. For this reason, grand pianos are usually quite large and best for larger rooms. However, there are different sizes of the grand piano. There is the concert grand, which is the longest, the parlor grand, which is a medium size grand, and then the baby grand, which is often small enough that it is wider than it is long. - Upright Piano - The upright piano is often known as a vertical piano and it is much more compact than a grand piano is. The strings go vertically inside the piano and the frame is more vertical as well. Although at one point in time these pianos were not as great as the grand piano, today some of the best ones are close to the same level of grand pianos. However, you will find that these pianos do have benefits, such as conserving space. - Other Pianos - There are other types of pianos available as well. There is the old style player piano, the toy piano, and even the silent piano, which is actually a digital type of piano that is quite popular today. Digital style pianos are more popular than ever before and they come in various sizes and styles as well.