Whether you are a beginner in the piano learning classes or have gone through the basic lessons already, you might have wondered about the history and evolution of the piano. It may be surprising for you to hear that the modern piano has evolved over more than 300 years. Although the looks and design have remained the same in these years, you may observe several advancements in technology.
Those who are interested in getting more information about the evolution of piano are advised to go through the details below. Here we have presented some historical elements of this important instrument in the music world to boost your knowledge base.
History of Piano:
The piano is a wonderful stringed instrument that is loved by most of the musicians. It makes use of percussion to develop resonating sound. The first most piano was invented by Bartolomeo Di Francesco Cristofori, an Italian harpsichord maker in the year 1700. This instrument was first named as pianoforte, whose look was borrowed from the age-old harpsichord. With time, designers started using better materials to design this instrument; however, the inner working was almost the same.
Harpsichord and piano are string instruments, and they are enclosed in wooden cases. The only difference is that the harpsichord comes with two or more string sets that are fixed inside the case, and it has two keyboards. While playing the harpsichord, the musician needs to press a key on the keyboard, and it causes a plectrum that plucks strings inside. Whether you press the keys hard or soft, they will produce the same sound.
The pianoforte, an Italian instrument developers soft sound. In simple terms, the pianoforte developed by Cristofori was basically an extension to harpsichord with similar looks but an advanced sound system. Note that, instead of using the plectrum mechanism for producing sound, the pianoforte made use of a hammer to strike them. This new instrument provided higher control on the intensity and volume of sound while improving overall length as well. With the widespread use of pianoforte, it became a favourite among musicians as they were able to express emotions with unique sounds.
Modern pianos making a mark in history:
With the full seven octaves in the system, the modern piano comes with 88 keys that are made up of plastic or ivory. The cast-iron frames and wool-covered hammers are capable enough to withstand higher tension. However, before achieving the version that musicians play in the current days, the modern piano has gone through several changes over the years. The evolution is presented below step by step:
- Square piano:
This piano was initially designed in the year 1777 by Sebastien Erard. Although it was named as square piano, it was not square at all. The shape was rectangular in actual, and the strings on this instrument were running horizontally with respect to the keyboard. Johann Christoph Zumpe and few other German designers improved the design of square piano in the mid-1800s. At that time, this instrument was used to play salon music in different parts of Europe.
- Upright piano:
In the mid-1800s, musicians were more attracted to upright pianos, and they started replacing old square pianos. These modified pianos had strings upright with the vertical arrangement; they appeared perpendicular to the keyboard. Initially, they were tall but later, an English piano maker, John Isaac Hawkins, improved the design. He brought the upright strings on the floor. The original height of upright pianos lead to elegant designs, but the only trouble was that they required more space as compared to the previous version of uprights. Moreover, they were less expensive than the traditional grand pianos. Within very little time, they got huge popularity in homes and schools.
- Grand piano:
Whether you talk about the small four and half-foot grand piano or the larger eight or eleven-foot concert special design, the classic look of these famous grand pianos stayed almost the same over the years. The strings were placed horizontally, and they used to run perpendicular to the keyboard. Their unparalleled sound was preferred for the large performances and concerts. As a rule of thumb, larger pianos have a longer string, and they have greater timbre to produce high sound quality.
- Digital piano:
The present digital age is influenced by advanced technologies where piano designs are also revolutionized by a considerable level. It is now possible to find many unique versions of the digital and electric keyboards. Right from the year 1946 until now, these pianos have experienced great changes in design. The modern pianos are better recognized as electronic instruments that offer high-quality sounds over the internal hard drive. The keys are replicated creatively to develop the acoustics of the traditional pianos.
Now you have gone through the history of pianos over the year. If you are interested in becoming a musician, it is good to learn to play piano notes. The great news is that you can find several courses to learn piano online. Moreover, the piano2notes platform can help you to transcript your music into notes. It is the best way to start as a beginner and improve your skills over time.
The modern pianos are available in multiple size ranges. You can buy one depending upon the requirement and available space in your premises. The beginners can start with the basic version and then move ahead to advanced solutions to enhance their skills.
Millions of musicians have learned to play piano over the past 300 years; you can be the next. Even if you are not able to join traditional classroom lessons to practice it every day, it is possible to follow flexible routines with online courses. It is the right time to go online and look for the piano2notes software tool for music transcription. You can upload your sound file instantly on this website, and it can revert the PDF version of the notes. You can start practicing with these notes to enhance your skills in this field. Soon you will be able to get opportunities to play for a huge audience, and regular practice will help you mark an impression in public.