Piano Service Blog #1 History of the Piano

Hi, and welcome to my Piano Service Blog. The purpose of this blog is to help inform you of the design, function and care of your piano and to introduce you to the services I provide. This first article contains a short history of the piano. I hope you enjoy it. A little over 300 year ago, around the year 1700, Bartolomeo Cristofori, “Keeper of the Instruments” to Ferdinand de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, invented an instrument that changed music forever. The primary keyboard instruments of that day were the harpsichord and the clavichord. However both instruments had limitations. The clavichord allowed for dynamic expression but had a sound too soft for large audiences. The harpsichord on the other hand had sufficient volume but did not provide any expressive control. Cristofori wanted an instrument that combined the volume of the harpsichord with the control of the clavichord, and thus the piano was born. It employed a unique mechanism (the piano action) which caused the hammer to strike and then rebound off the string, thereby allowing the strings to vibrate freely. By varying the force applied to the keys the piano could be played louder or softer, giving composers more freedom for emotional expression. The name piano comes from part of an early description of the instrument by Cristofori,  un cimbalo di cipresso di piano […]