MUSIC THROUGH THE AGES

Development Of The Piano: A Timeline
Tracing the roots of the piano to the very beginning of consciousness,
when man first became aware of sound.
Page 7 of 28 pages

In London, at the age of 33, J.C. Bach performed the first public recital on a piano, a square grand built by Johannes Zumpe.

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven Composing the Missa Solemnis,
by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820. [ 1 ]

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) — German Composer, Pianist – Classical / Romantic Period


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Stieler, Joseph Karl, and uploaded by ADGE.  Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven When Composing the Missa Solemnis.  1820.  Beethoven-Haus, Bonn.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 May 2005.  Web.  15 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain. 

Portrait of Johann Baptist Cramer by William Sharp, 19th Century. [ 1 ]

Johann Baptist Cramer (1771 – 1858) — German Composer, Pianist, Publisher

  • Was a pupil of Clementi.
  • He owned an instrument manufacturing and music publishing firm named J.B. Cramer & Co.
  • His most famous work is Studies for the Piano (Studio per il pianoforte) (1804 and 1810), “considered a cornerstone of pianistic technique.” [ 2 ]


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Sharp, William, and uploaded by Mu.  Portrait of Johann Baptist Cramer.  19th C. Joseph Muller Collection of Music and Other Portraits, New York Public library, New York.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 29 Jan. 2011.  Web.  21 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain. 
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Graue, Jerald C., and Thomas Milligan.  "Cramer: (2) Johann Baptist Cramer."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

Mozart praised the Stein piano for its knee-levers, allowing the composer to operate the dampers without removing his hands from the keyboard; and also for their escapement, which the piano maker had not quite perfected.

In a letter to his father, Leopold, he wrote:

In whatever way I touch the keys, the tone is always even. It never jars, it is never stronger or weaker or entirely absent; in a word, it is always even. It is true that he does not sell a pianoforte of this kind for less than three hundred gulden, but the trouble and the labour which Stein puts into the making of it cannot be paid for. [ 1 ]


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Palmieri, Robert, ed.  The Piano: An Encyclopedia.  2nd Edition.  New York: Routledge, June 1, 2004: pg. 240.  Google Books.  Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

Érard built his first five-octave bichord piano (presumably based on the Zumpe Square) for the Duchesse de Villeroy.


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Additional References:
  • Macnutt, Richard.  "Erard."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778 – 1837) —Pressburg born Austrian Pianist Prodigy, Composer, Teacher, Conductor – Classical

  • Student of Mozart, Haydn & probably Clementi.
  • Considered a rival of Beethoven’s.
  • “What kind of teacher was Hummel? They found a kind and caring teacher who could guide them through every aspect of piano performance with thoroughness, clarity, and experience. Moreover, they found in Hummel a future mentor and loyal friend.  In other words, they got Hummel the artist and the man.” [ 2 ]
  • His piano methods are published in the three volume work A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instruction on the Art of Playing Pianoforte, From the First Elementary Instruction on to a Complete Education (Ausführliche theoretisch-practische Anweisung zum Piano-Forte-Spiel, vom ersten Elementar-Unterrichte an, bis zur vollkommensten Ausbildung.) (1828). Comprised of 2000 exercises with advice for parents and teachers as well as posture, position, note reading, finger exercises, and style, theory, “it remains one of the most important sources of information about the late Viennese style of performing…” and is considered a “pianistic bible for generations.” [ 3 ]
  • As a teacher he was concerned with voice, texture and fingering, and used his own compositions for instruction.
  • Some of his pupils: Ferdinand Hiller (1811 – 1885), Julius Benedict, and Eugénie Beer.
  • Influenced Chopin and Mendelssohn.

Portrait of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. [ 1 ]


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Kjetil.  "Portrait of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (Bratislava, 1778 - Weimar, 1837) Austrian composer and pianist, Engraving."  Engraving.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 6 Feb. 2006.  Web.  21 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain. 
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Kroll, Mark.  Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician’s Life and World.  Lanham: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2007: pg. 248.  Google Books.  Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
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Sachs, Joel, and Mark Kroll.  "Hummel, Johann Nepomuk."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
Additional References:
  • Dubal, David.  The Art of the Piano: Its Performers, Literature, and Recordings.  Revised and Expanded Edition.  New Jersey: Amadeus Press, LLC, 2004.  Google Books.  Web.  15 Sept. 2015.
  • "The Hummel Project."  J.N. Hummel.  Orpheus & Bacchus, 2009.  Web.  15 Sept. 2015.

Érard built a harpsichord known as the clavecin mécanique. Soon after he started successfully marketing his five-octave pianos.

Portrait of Anton Diabelli – Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, Photographed by Peter Geymayer, 1841. [ 1 ]

Anton Diabelli (1781 – 1858) — Austrian Publisher, Composer – Classical Period


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Kriehuber, Josef, lithograph, photograph by Peter Geymayer, and uploaded by Spike~commonswiki.  Anton Diabelli, Lithographie von Josef Kriehuber.  1841.  Private Collection.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 Sept. 2006.  Web.  15 Sept. 2015.  Public Domain. 

“German action,” or Prellmechanik, ascribed to Johann Stein, first conceived as early as 1769 and refined during the 1770s.  By 1781, hammers mounted directly on the keys.

Overwhelmed by all the requests, Érard and his brother, Jean-Baptiste Érard (1749 – 1826), opened a shop together, eventually calling it Érard Fréres (also known as the house of Érard). Over the years, Érard obtained numerous patents on the pianoforte and harp.

Page 7 of 28 pages

[ CLOSE ]
 

Additional References:
  • Mastehead Image: O’Donnell, Dylan.  "Piano Strings."  Photograph.  Deography.  Dylan O’Donnell, 1 Nov. 2010.  Web.  18 June 2015.  Public Domain.
  • Mandalatrece, Jim Doney.  "History of an Ascended Master, His Connection with Essenes, and The Secrecy of The Kanon."  ThaKanon.  Jim Doney Mandalatrece, n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • Blaise, Gary.  "The Early String Keyboards."  Gary Blaise.  Gary Blaise Early Keyboard Instruments, n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "History of Classical Music."  Naxos.  Naxos Digital Services Ltd., n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "History of the Piano."  Piano Technicians Guild.  Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "Development of the Piano."  Bluebook of Piano.  Bluebook of Pianos, 1933 – 2015.  18 June 2015.
  • Estrella, Steven G.  "Stylistic Timeline of Music History."  Steven Estrella.  Steven G. Estrella, 2013.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "The History of Graphical Music Notation."  Block Museum.  Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "The Piano Time Line: A Chronological History."  Concert Pitch Piano.  Concert Pitch Piano Services, 2000 – 2015.  Web.  18 June. 2015.
  • "History of the Piano."  Piano Tuners.  The UK Piano Pages, 1996 – 2015.  Web.  18 June. 2015.
  • Weinstock, Ron.  "A Personal List of Ten Great Blues Pianists."  In a Blue Mood.  In a Blue Mood, 25 Sept. 2009.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • "Romantic Music."  Essential Humanities.  Essential Humanities, 2008 – 2013.  Web.  19 June 2015.
  • "List of Romantic-Era Composers."  Wikipedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 Sept. 2015.  Web.  18 Sept. 2015.
  • Duchen, Jessica.  "Top 20: The World’s Greatest Pianists."  Sinfini Music.  Sinfini Music, 23 April 2014.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • Solomon, Jon.  "The Ten Best Jazz Pianists of All Time."  Westword.  Denver Westword, LLC., 27 Aug. 2013.  18 June 2015.
  • Sturm, Connie Arrau, Debra Brubaker Burs, and Anita Jackson, eds.  "Annotated Bibliography of Sources on the History of Piano Technique and Piano Pedagogy."  Piano Technique.  Piano Technique.Net, n.d.  Web.  18 June 2015.
  • Groves Music Online for Music Research.  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  June – December 2015.
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Store Hours:
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