Saturday, October 3, 2015

10 interesting facts about the piano

1- The Piano was invented in 1698 by an Italian called Bartolomeo Cristofori.

The piano as built by Cristofori boasted almost all of the features of the modern instrument. It differed in being of very light construction, lacking a metal frame; this meant that it could not produce an especially loud tone. This continued to be the rule for pianos until around 1820, when iron bracing was first introduced.

2- Three of the original Pianos built by Cristofori survive till this day.

- A 1720 instrument is located in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. 
- A 1722 instrument is in the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Rome.
- A 1726 instrument is in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of Leipzig University.

3- The name "piano" is an abbreviation of Cristofori's original name for the instrument: "piano et forte" meaning soft and loud

4- There are over 12,000 parts in a piano, 10,000 which are moving

5- the piano is known as "The King of Instruments"

The piano earned this title for a number of reasons including it's tonal range ( the piano covers the full spectrum of any instrument in the orchestra from below the lowest note of the double bassoon to above the top note of the piccolo), it's ability to produce melody and accompaniment at the same time, and it's broad dynamic range. It is also the largest musical instrument (excluding the pipe organ), most versatile and one of the most interesting.

6- A grand piano action is faster than a vertical (spinet, console, upright) because it has a repetition lever.

This allows the pianist to repeat the note when the key is only half way up. A vertical action requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer action.

7-The term "Tickle the Ivorys" refers to playing the ivory keys of the piano

Older piano keys were made from the Ivory from elephant tusks, however, ivory has not been used to make piano keys since about the 1950's (they are plastic now).


8- The worlds largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand.


This piano is 11 feet long, has a total string tension of over 30 tons and weighs more than a ton!

 In 2002, this monster stringed instrument was said to be located at a French estate.

9- The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C, it is actually the space between E and F above "middle" C.

10- The final fact about pianos is that, even though it's a stringed instrument, it's placed in the Percussion section in a symphony orchestra.