History Of The Piano

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

C. 1480, Clavicytherium
Early 1500s, Virginal

Early 1500s, Spinet

Spinet instrument built by Benjamin Slade, in the Musik-Och Teatermuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Spinet Built by Benjamin Slade, photographed by Olav Nyhus. 1

Almost identical in construction to the oblong virginal and the harpsichord, the spinet, or bentside spinet, was thought to have gained popularity in the early 16th century and lasted for roughly a hundred years before being supplanted for the most part by the piano-forte.

A triangular shaped, jack-action keyboard instrument, wherein strings run transversely, at a 30 degree angle to the keyboard, moving toward the right and crossing a bent bridge to alter their resonance.

Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) would later create a larger version, called the spinettone, expanding the range of sound with multiple choirs of paired strings.

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The Keene and Brackley Spinet. 2

Page Sources

Mnnnnalin.  "Spinett, Photographed by Olav Nyhus"   Photograph.  Original in the Musik-Och Teatermuseet, Stockholm.  Commons Wikimedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 27 Feb. 2013.  Web.  21 Aug. 2015.  CC BY-SA 3.0.
Mole, Peter.  "The Keene and Brackley Spinet."  Online Video Clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 4 July 2008.  Web.  16 Oct. 2015.  Standard YouTube License.
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