Piano

A Boesendorfer grand piano

A piano (also called a pianoforte) is a musical instrument that is played by pressing keys on a keyboard. Each key is a lever that makes a hammer inside the piano hit a string inside, producing a sound. Each string has a different length and so produces a different note.

The piano has been an extremely popular instrument in Western classical music since the late 18th century. A person who plays the piano is called a pianist.

History

The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristoffori of Padua, Italy. He made his first piano in 1709. It developed from the clavichord which looks like a piano but the strings of a clavichord are hit by a small blade of metal called a “tangent”. [1] In the piano the strings are hit by a block of wood called a hammer. The early keyboarded instruments, such as the clavichords, harpsichords and organs that were used at that time, had a much shorter keyboard than they do today. Gradually the keyboard became longer until it had the 88 notes (7 octaves plus three notes) of the modern piano.

At first the instrument was called the “fortepiano”. This means “loud-soft” in Italian. It was given this name because it could be played either loudly or softly, depending on how hard the note was hit (the harpsichord could not do this, and the clavichord could only make a tiny difference between louder and softer). Later this name changed to “pianoforte”. This is normally shortened to “piano”. The word “fortepiano” is sometimes used to describe the pianos of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In some languages, such as Russian, “fortepiano” is the normal word for a piano.

A Yamaha upright piano

Although the piano was invented at the beginning of the 18th century, it was not until 50 years later that it started to become popular. The first time the piano was played in a public concert in London was in 1768 when it was played by Johann Christian Bach. [2] The upright piano was invented in 1800 by John Isaac Hawkings. Seven years later T. Southwell invented “overstringing”. This means that the strings for the low notes go diagonally across the soundboard so that they can be longer and make a much bigger sound.

The early pianos had strings that were fastened to a frame made of wood. They were not very heavy, but they were not very strong or loud, so they could not be heard very well in a big concert hall. In 1825 the cast-iron frame was invented in America. This made the piano much stronger so that it could make a bigger sound and the strings were not likely to break.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Klavier
Alemannisch: Klavier
አማርኛ: ፒያኖ
العربية: بيانو
aragonés: Piano
armãneashti: Phianu
asturianu: Pianu
Avañe'ẽ: Kuãytasã
azərbaycanca: Piano
বাংলা: পিয়ানো
Bân-lâm-gú: Kǹg-khîm
башҡортса: Фортепиано
беларуская: Фартэпіяна
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Фартэпіяна
български: Пиано
བོད་ཡིག: རྣོ་སྦྲེང་།
bosanski: Klavir
brezhoneg: Piano
català: Piano
Cebuano: Pyano
čeština: Klavír
Cymraeg: Piano
dansk: Klaver
Deutsch: Klavier
eesti: Klaver
Ελληνικά: Πιάνο
English: Piano
español: Piano
Esperanto: Piano
euskara: Piano
فارسی: پیانو
Fiji Hindi: Piano
français: Piano
Frysk: Piano
Gaeilge: Pianó
galego: Piano
ગુજરાતી: પિયાનો
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kông-khìm
한국어: 피아노
Հայերեն: Դաշնամուր
हिन्दी: पियानो
hrvatski: Glasovir
Ido: Piano
Ilokano: Piano
Bahasa Indonesia: Piano
interlingua: Piano
isiZulu: Ipiyano
íslenska: Píanó
italiano: Pianoforte
עברית: פסנתר
Basa Jawa: Piano
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಪಿಯಾನೋ
ქართული: ფორტეპიანო
қазақша: Фортепиано
Kiswahili: Piano
коми: Зонгорö
Кыргызча: Клавир
Latina: Clavile
latviešu: Klavieres
Lëtzebuergesch: Piano
lietuvių: Fortepijonas
la .lojban.: pipno
lumbaart: Piano
magyar: Zongora
македонски: Пијано
മലയാളം: പിയാനോ
मराठी: पियानो
Bahasa Melayu: Piano
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Gáung-kìng
မြန်မာဘာသာ: စန္ဒရား
Nāhuatl: Pianotli
Nederlands: Piano (instrument)
Nedersaksies: Piano
नेपाल भाषा: पियानो
日本語: ピアノ
norsk: Piano
norsk nynorsk: Piano
occitan: Piano
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Fortepiano
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪਿਆਨੋ
پنجابی: پیانو
Piemontèis: Piano
Tok Pisin: Piano
polski: Fortepian
português: Piano
română: Pian
Runa Simi: Yatana qallwa
русиньскый: Клавір
русский: Фортепиано
Scots: Pianae
Seeltersk: Klavier
shqip: Pianoja
sicilianu: Chianuforti
slovenčina: Klavír
slovenščina: Klavir
Soomaaliga: Biyaano
کوردی: پیانۆ
српски / srpski: Клавир
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Klavir
Basa Sunda: Piano
suomi: Piano
svenska: Piano
Tagalog: Piyano
తెలుగు: పియానో
Türkçe: Piyano
українська: Фортепіано
اردو: پیانو
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: پىئانىنو
vèneto: Pianoforte
Tiếng Việt: Dương cầm
Võro: Klavvõr
West-Vlams: Piano
Winaray: Piano
ייִדיש: פיאנע
粵語: 鋼琴
Zazaki: Piyano
žemaitėška: Pianėns
中文: 钢琴
Kabɩyɛ: Piyaanoo