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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.

LIST
1692, Marchand
1711, Tuning Fork

1700, Pianoforte

Pianoforte instrument from 1720, built by Bartolomeo Cristofori, in the Museum of Metropolitan Art, New York City.
Pianoforte by Bartolomeo Cristofori, Florence, Italy, 1720. 1

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.’

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Cristofori Piano: Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata K.9, performed by Dongsok Shin. 2
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The Difference Between Fortepiano
and Piano (Forte)
. 3

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.

Page Sources

SOURCES
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[1]
Under License, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY.
[2]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  "Cristofori Piano: Sonata K.9 by Domenico Scarlatti, Performed by Dongsok Shin."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 29 July 2006.  Web.  16 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
[3]
ear8002.  "The Difference Between Fortepiano and Piano(Forte)."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 13 Oct. 2012.  Web.  16 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
Additional References:
  • 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.
End of Article