Courses: Beginner Music Course
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Beginner Music Course
The mechanical genius Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the piano around 1700. The name piano is actually a shortened version of the Italian term pianoforte, meaning soft-loud, and referring to the fact that the pianoforte could produce sound volume covering a much larger range than its predecessors, the harpsichord and clavichord. To get more of the story behind the invention and evolution of the piano
Conceived and brought into being by a mechanical genius named Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence, Italy sometime during or before the year 1700, the piano arrived when there was a growing demand for a keyboard instrument that could produce a more authoritative sound than the clavichord, and, at the same time, permit much greater control over dynamic expression than was possible on either the harpsichord or the organ. What gave rise to this demand?
How does the piano create sound?
A: When you push down a key, the mechanism inside (the action) makes a hammer go up (in a grand) or forward (in an upright) to strike the strings. The hammer is a round stick with a head on it (it looks something like a real hammer), and the head is covered with very dense wool felt. When the string vibrates it makes a musical sound; the string is connected to a large soundboard that amplifies the sound much louder than the string could do by itself. When you let go of the key, a felt pad, called a damper, drops back onto the string and stops the sound again. When you press down the right pedal with your foot it raises all the dampers so that the strings can keep sounding.
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