History Of The Piano

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

1771, JB Cramer
1777, Érard

1775, Behrent's Forte

Advertisement for John Behrent's newly built pianoforte, 1775.
1775 Advertisement in the "Pennsylvania Packet" for John Behrent's Pianoforte. 1

It is believed that John Behrent (a German or Swiss immigrant) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania built the first pianoforte in the United Colonies, soon to be United States of America. The Revolutionary War of Independence presumably preempted any further development of Mr. Behrent manufacturing musical instruments.

John Behrent, Joiner and Instrument Maker, living in Third-street continued, in Campington, directly opposite Coates's Burying-ground, Has just finished for sale, an extraordinary fine instrument, by the name of Piano Forte, of Mahogany, in the manner of an harpsichord, with hammers, and several changes: He intends to dispose of it on very reasonable terms; and being a master in such sort of work, and a new beginner in this country, he requests all lovers of music to favour him with their custom, and they shall not only be honestly served, but their favours gratefully acknowledged, by their humble servant, John Behrent.
John Behrent from Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet 2

Page Sources

Dunlap’s Pennsylvania Packet or, The General Advertiser  Vol. IV., Numb. 177 13 March 1775.  Newspapers.Com.  Web.  27 Sept, 2019.  No Known Copyright Restrictions.
Additional References:
  • Drummond, Robert Rutherford, Ph.D.  Early German Music in Philadelphia. New York: University of Pennsylvania, D. Arthur & Company, publishing agents, 1910.  Google Books.  Web.  27 Sept. 2019.
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