Tracing the roots of the piano to the very beginning of consciousness, when man first became aware of sound.
Louis-Joseph Marchand (1692 – 1774): French Theorist, Composer, Priest – Baroque Period
- His book Singing from the Book (Traité du Contrepoint Simple, ou Chant sur le Livre) (1739) considered to be the first French counterpoint handbook.
- Aleksandrowicz, Milosz. "The Rules of the Improvised Vocal Religious Polyphony. Louis-Joseph Marchand’s Traité Du Counterpoint Simple (1739)." KUL. The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
- Montagnier, Jean-Paul. "Marchand, Louis-Joseph." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
The first piano, pianoforte, described as an ‘arpicimbalo ,’ built by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1732) while he was appointed ‘to the Florentine court of Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici in 1688,’ vastly improved upon the harpsichord and clavichord, ‘with hammers and dampers and two 8′ choirs, having a range of four octaves.’
His innovations included an “escapement” mechanism to prevent the hammers from dampening the strings, a “backcheck” to ensure the hammer did not fall against the strings after being struck, and a dampening mechanism to silence strings not in use. Other technical advancements included isolating the soundboard from its stress-bearing parts and using thicker strings with increased tension. These numerous refinements expanded the range and versatility of the sound, affording the player an instrument responsive to touch, capable of dynamic gradations.
- O’Brien, Michael. "Cristofori, Bartolomeo." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
- Robinson, J. Bradford. "Pianoforte: History of the Instrument." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
1711, Tuning Fork
Tuning fork invented by British musician John Shore, to overcome the difficulty of tuning his lute.
1711, Term: Pianoforte
Term Pianoforte ( “soft and loud” ) coined by poet/journalist Scipione Maffei; he named Cristofori’s instrument a “gravicembalo col piano, e forte.”
1714, CPE Bach
C. P. E. Bach (1714 – 1788): German Composer, Harpsichordist, Organist (Son of JS Bach) – Late Baroque / Early Classical Period
- His famous treatise Essay on the True Art of Playing the Keyboard Instruments (Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen) (1753) covers technical advice on fingering (helped to standardized the use of the thumb), position & figured bass, improvisation and ornamentation and his philosophy of performance, believing that music should “touch the heart” and “awaken the passions.” “…it was the most important work of practical musical instruction of the second half of the 18th century.” [ 2 ]
- Mozart once said of him: “Bach is the father. We are the children!”
- Dammann, Guy. "CPE Bach: Like father, like son." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
- "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788)." Early-Music. Early~Music, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
- Leisinger, Ulrich. "Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
1714, Christoph Willibald von Gluck
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (1714 – 1787): Bohemian Composer – Late Baroque / Early Classical Period
Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg (1718–1795): German Critic, Journalist, Theorist, Composer – Classical Period
- Initially interested in discussing how music had an effect on audiences but later shifted and became more concerned about the works themselves & the composer’s relation to the work.
- Among his many works are topics ranging from teaching keyboard performance, thoroughbass, and composition and fugue.
- Developed Rameau’s theories.
- His works used in the study of the history of 18th century music. He had three periodicals in which he wrote and edited: Der critische Musicus an der Spree (1749–50), Historisch-kritische Beyträge zur Aufnahme der Musik (1754–62, 1778), and Kritische Briefe über die Tonkunst (1760–64).
- Serwer, Howard. "Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
- Johnson, Keith. "Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg Biography." AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC., n.d. Web. 14 Sept 2014.
- Pulver, Jeffrey. "Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg." The Musical Times. Vol. 53, No. 832. 1 June 1912. JSTOR. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Johann (Georg) Andreas Stein (1728 – 1792), German keyboard instrument maker and organist, whose many experimental contributions to the piano rival its inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori.
- Latcham, Michael. "Stein, Johann (Georg) Andreas." Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, 2007 – 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Kirkman established by German born Jacob Kirchmann (1710 – 1792) (Changed his name to Kirkman) in London – Builder of harpsichords and pianos.
- "Kirkman." Antique Piano Shop. Antique Piano Shop, n.d. Web. 14 Sept 2015.
- Palmieri, Robert, ed. The Piano: An Encyclopedia. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge, June 1, 2004. Google Books. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809): Austrian Composer – Classical Period