All the musical desires of a musician can be fulfilled with this magical instrument in his hands called piano. Piano was and is one of the most premium musical instrument that carries with itself a rich history, an opulent present and a bright future. It is termed to be and is truly one of the most complicated instrument but once a pianist gets its hands over it with consistent practice and right methods, he/she can become a pro piano player over time. This instrument was not the first one of its kind but it was founded over some earlier technological innovations that led to the development of this instrument commonly known as piano today.
Realizing that some vibrating strings can produce sound is something that man discovered back in the prehistoric ancient times. Earlier it was only a series of strings stretched and attached with the use of bows, boxes and gourds. These strings were tied with the use of pins, pegs and other similar objects. Plucking or bowing them produced sound and effects.
Later a keyboard with strings attached evolved during the 14th century which was termed to be a dulcimer. This was a shallow box closed with stretched wires that were bowed with hammers. These stringed instruments were called hammered dulcimer. After dulcimer, clavichord was invented after which a number of various keyboards evolved including spinet, clavecin, gravicembalo and harpsichord.
The clavichord and harpsichord both has appearance close to a piano today. There were limitations. The final invention harpsichord had limited features in the form of volume. Its volume and softness could not be varied. Thus this limitation also limited musicians’ performances. There was lack of expression witnessed that gave rise to the need of adding expressiveness to this instrument. Clavichord on the other hand gave musicians control over volume but it lacked expression.
Harpsichord and Clavichord together gave the foundation for the development of piano and its limitation led to the invention of piano with which musicians were given freedom of expression and increased control over softness and loudness of sound. Thus combining loudness effect of harpsichord and control from clavichord.
Story of Invention Piano:
First ever piano was invented by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori in 1709 in Padua, Italy. He was an expert at making harpsichord. The Grand Prince of Tuscany, Ferdinando de’ Medici employed him to take care of his instruments. This new invention was termed gravicembalo col piano e forte (meaning soft and loud keyboard instrument) and was exhibited first time in Florence. The term later was altered to fortepiano or pianoforte and later just piano. The appearance of this piano was quite different to what we see as modern pianos today. Only some of Cristofori’s instrument survive today dated back from 1720s and his earliest piece is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Now today when you ought to buy a grand piano or a designer digital keyboard or any other model, the best part is that you get a number of choices that makes buying and using the instrument more exciting with a number of options and features diversifying your abilities as a musician. Earlier these many choices were not available for musicians.
These are often termed as reproducing pianos and they gained a lot of popularity. These instrument are real acoustic pianos including hammers and strings played normally without any digital technology. However these pianos get cues from floppy disks instead of punched paper. These disks are placed internally in the memory of player pianos. They include a number of pre-recorded samples belonging to different genre of music. With these pianos, even if you don’t know or enjoy playing piano, you can enjoy live music played for you at any time you want.
If you are looking for something within a lower price range in comparison to buying a grand piano, you can purchase a modern digital piano. Many of the top piano making companies are not also producing some well-sampled digital pianos whose sound samples are taken from top range of instruments’ voices offering you enhanced realism. Digital pianos today are software based and thus they offer exciting methods of learning making them ideal choice for beginners. Features like on screen display, learning programs, internet connectivity, preset sounds and effects etc. makes your learning and practice experience more rewarding.
Even when a number of digital and enhanced instruments are now easily available at comparatively reasonable prices, traditional acoustic pianos are still popular. The basic design of these instrument closely replicate to the ancient ones that were developed back in 1700s. But as time is passing, various technological advancements have been made at a quick speed. Now you can find acoustic pianos made with different materials adding more durability and making appearance more beautiful. Various technicians have worked over mechanics of acoustic piano for more than 300 years now and thus now you can find pianos that not only look and feel great but also sound better in tonality and effects. Sound is now richer and deeper. You can even get some baby grand piano in order to accommodate it in a small space around a corner in your house.
Pianos have a rich history and these instruments not only have gained popularity among upper-class but you will find some good pianos in the houses of families leading a middle-class life. Cost has decreased to a huge extent and techniques and technology has evolved. Now even if you own a small house, you can enjoy experience of a grand piano over a digital piano so this leaves no room for excuses of not being able to accommodate one. Not only elders but even kids at a very young age are encouraged to learn to play piano and this skill once learnt will be with you for your whole life.