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PIANO TIMELINE

History Of The Piano

Tracing the roots of the piano to the very beginning of consciousness, when man first became aware of sound.

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1521, Harpsichord By Jerome

Made in Rome by Jerome of Bologna, remains one of the oldest Harpsichords that established the typical light construction, elegant ornamentation, and elongated, incurved frame.

The Harpsichord remained relevant through the 18th century for solo, chamber, orchestral, and opera, falling out of use by c.1810. The name now serves as a general designation for the entire family of plucked keyboard instruments.

The instrument has witnessed many reincarnations, as it authentically expresses the original repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with revivals reaching into the modern day. Of particular interest is the work of Wanda Landowska, who in 1933 became the first person to record Bach's Goldberg Variations.

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Additional References:
  • Clutton, Cecil.  "Keyboard Instrument."  Encyclopædia Britannica.  Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Dec. 2014.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.
  • Rimbault, Edward Francis.  The Pianoforte, Its Origin, Process, and Construction:  With Some Account of the Same Class which Preceded It; Viz. the Clavichord, the Virginal, the Spinet, the Harpsichord, etc.; to which is Added a Selection of Interesting Specimens of Music Composed for Keyed-stringed Instruments.  London: R. Crocks and Company, 1860.  Google Books.  Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
  • Apel, Willi.  Harvard Dictionary of Music.  2nd Edition.  Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1969.  Google Books.  Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

1567, Monteverdi

Painting of Claudio Monteverdi by Bernardo Strozzi, c. 1630, in the Tyrolean State Museum, Austria.
Claudio Monteverdi, c. 1630. 1

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643): Italian Composer – Late Renaissance Period

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[1]
Strozzi, Bernardo, and uploaded by Tiroler Landesmuseum.  Claudio Monteverdi.  c. 1630.  Tyrolean State Museum, Austria.  Commons Wikimedia.  Commons Wikimedia, 5 Nov. 2013.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.

1653, Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel's signature from a letter to Gotha City authorities, 11 June 1695.
Johann Pachelbel's Signature. 1

Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706): German Composer, Organist – Baroque Period

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[1]
Jashiin~commonswiki.  "Johann Pachelbel Signature from a Letter to Gotha City Authorities, 11 June 695."  Scan.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 1 July 2008.  Web.  9 Oct. 2015.  Public Domain.

1659, Purcell

Portrait of Henry Purcell, 1706, by Robert White, in the Orpheus Britannicus.
Portrait of Henry Purcell, 1706. 1

Henry Purcell (c. 1659 – 1695): English Composer, Organist – Baroque Period

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[1]
White, Robert, uploaded by Justlettersandnumbers.  Portrait of Henry Purcell.  1706.  Orpheus Britannicus.  2nd Edition.  London: William Pearson, 1706. Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 March 2003.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.

1660, Scarlatti

Portrait of Alessandro Scarlatti, 18th century, in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Bologna, Italy.
Portrait of Alessandro Scarlatti, 18th Century. 1

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 – 1725): Italian Composer – Baroque Period

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[1]
Unknown, and uploaded by Mezzofortist.  Portrait of Alessandro Scarlatti.  18th C.  Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Bologna.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 25 April 2005.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.

1668, Couperin

Portrait of François Couperin, early 18th century, in the Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France.
François Couperin, Early 18th Century. 1

François Couperin (1668–1733): French Composer, Harpsichordist, Organist, Teacher (Son of Charles Couperin) – Baroque Period

  • His treatise The Art of Playing the Harpsichord (L 'Art de Toucher le Clavecin) (1716) covers fingering, touch, ornamentation and performance on the harpsichord.

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[1]
Unknown, and uploaded by Charvex.  François Couperin.  Early 18th C.  Palace of Versailles, Versailles.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,  28 Dec. 2007.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.
Additional References:
  • Higginbottom, Edward.  "François Couperin."  Oxford Music Online.  Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015.  Web.  14 Sept. 2015.

1678, Vivaldi

Engraved portrait of Antonio Vivaldi in 1725, by François Morellon de la Cave.
Antonio Vivaldi, 1725. 1

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741): Italian Composer, Violinist – Late Baroque Period

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[1]
Lumijaguaari.  "Engraved Portrait of Antonio Vivaldi by François Motitle="" rellon de la Cave, 1725."  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 Oct. 2005.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.

1685, Händel

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Händel in 1756, by Thomas Hudson in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Georg Friedrich Händel, 1756. 1

George Frideric Händel (1685 – 1759): English Composer of German Birth – Baroque Period

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[1]
Hudson, Thomas, and uploaded by Pigsonthewing.  Portrait of George Friedrich Handel.  1756.  National Portrait Gallery, London.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 31 Aug. 2014.  Web.  6 Nov. 2015.  Public Domain.

1685, Scarlatti

Portrait of Domenico Scarlatti in 1738, by Domingo Antonio Velasco.
Portrait of Domenico Scarlatti, 1738. 1

Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757): Italian Composer, Harpsichordist, Singer (Son of Alessandro Scarlatti) – Baroque Period

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[1]
Velasco, Domingo Antonio, uploaded by ANGELUS.  Portrait of Domenico Scarlatti.  1738.  Unknown Location.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 8 March 2008.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.

1685, Bach

Tracing of Johann Sebastian Bach's signature.
Signature of Johann Sebastian Bach. 1

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): German Composer, Organist – Baroque Period

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[1]
Morn.  "Signature of Johann Sebastian Bach."  Tracing.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 4 Oct. 2010.  Web.  18 Aug. 2015.  Public Domain.
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