History Of The Piano

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

1777, Stein Praise From Mozart
1779, Érard

1778, Hummel

Portrait of Johann Nepomuk Hummel.
Portrait of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. 1

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

  • 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.

Page Sources

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.
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.
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.
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