What would music be like if the piano had never been invented? It’s strange to think about what life was like before it came around, isn’t it? The instrument has been such a huge contribution to both classical and modern music since it’s been created. With grand pianos, digital pianos, and synthesizers, it’s safe to say pianos have come a long way since they’ve been invented back in the 1700s. If you want to discover some interesting facts about the classic instrument, read on!
The piano was first invented back in 1709 in Italy. A man named Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, to be exact. He called his first invention gravicèmbalo col piano e forte, which roughly translates to ‘soft and loud keyboard instrument’. Later on, the name was shortened to ‘fortepiano’ before becoming just ‘piano’. At the time, it was a major gamechanger for an instrument to be sensitive to the touch. Still, the piano began as a very expensive and exclusive instrument. In fact, it was so expensive that even average rich families couldn’t afford it. For nearly a century, you’d only be able to find a piano in aristocratic families or royalty.
There Are Only Three Cristofori Pianos Left
Nowadays, there are only three original Cristofori pianos in the world. One is in the National Museum of Musical Instruments in Rome, one is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, while the third is in the Museum of Musical Instruments, Leipzig University in Germany.
A piano has over 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which are moving. It’s a massive amount of pieces that all have to work perfectly together in order to get the sound that you want to out of the instrument. It’s mind-blowing to think about the intricate work that needs to go into making such an instrument. For comparison, a car normally has 30,000 parts in total.
The piano can be considered both a string instrument and a percussion instrument. However, most claim it’s a percussion instrument, despite the fact that it has strings. This is mainly because the sound is made when the hammers connected to the keys hit the strings, making it a percussion instrument.
Lots Of Tension
A piano needs to have 220-230 steel strings in order to produce its range of sounds. These strings have a lot of pressure on them and need to have a certain amount of tension to create the correct sound. So, each string normally holds about 168 pounds of tension, making the total tension of most standard pianos around 18-20 tons of pressure. However, some of the largest grand pianos can hold up to a whopping 30 tons of tension.
Digital Pianos Are Still New
Believe it or not, digital pianos we’rent created until 1980, which is rather recent considering the piano was made in the early 1700s. When the digital piano came around, it opened up a whole world of possibilities for musicians and also solved some disadvantages that came with acoustic and grand pianos. These new digital pianos allowed musicians to practice silently, amplify the instrument, save space, and also save on tuning costs.