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Piano as a musical instrument

Piano is one of the most loved musical instruments in the world. The term piano is an abbreviation of pianoforte . It is played using a keyboard and widely employed in playing classical, traditional, modern and jazz music for solo and as an accompaniment. It is regarded as the queen of music instruments because of its shape and elegance. Basically, acoustic pianos are large in size and comes with 88 black and white keys in total, a wooden case to protect the soundboard and strings, the cast iron plates, hammers etc.

Piano as a musical instrument

A brief history of Piano

Piano was developed by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, who was a famous harpsichord maker in Padua, Italy in 1709. Hammered Dulcimers were the first string instruments with struck strings and several attempts were made to create stringed keyboard instruments with struck strings during the middle ages. Clavichord and Harpsichord were the two popular keyboard instruments during 17th century.

After detailed study, Cristofori found that harpsichord is most suitable for constructing the case, soundboard, bridge and keyboard because of the arrangement of strings. In harpsichord, the strings are pulled by quills and it helps to hammer the strings perfectly. Moreover, Cristofori also found that harshipcord produced relatively high sound and offered very less control over every note when compared with clavichord. Later, he was able to resolve this issue and developed Piano, which was a great combination of loudness and dynamic control.

Construction of Piano

The construction of Pianos are really interesting and they were made of some fine quality materials. The rims are made of maple wood and spruce fibres are used to strengthen the braces. Sometimes wooden materials are also used to design the side patterns. Usually, softwoods are preferred for the making of huge wooden legs since the grands and uprights of the piano holds the rim portion and they must be strong enough to withstand the pressure.

Pianos are played in different natural conditions and therefore they need to be strong enough to overcome all the physical factors like heat, moisture, humidity etc. Hence, piano strings are made of high carbon steel and the plates are made of cast iron so that they can withstand all these factors up to an extent. There are also certain pedals available in Pianos, which help to lift the keys and alter sounds. Grand Pianos in the US comes with three pedals like the soft pedal, sostenuto and sustain pedals.

Types of Piano

Like many other musical instruments, pianos are also classified into different types like:

  • Grand piano: Grand pianos are large ones with horizontal frames and strings. They produce finer tones and comes with the most responsive key action compared to other types of Pianos. Grand pianos are used for concerts and solo performances.

  • Upright or vertical piano: They are much smaller compared to grand pianos due to the vertical arrangement of frames and strings. Usually, this kind of piano will be having a height of 36 to 60 inches and springs are used to control the horizontal hammer movement.

  • Moreover, there are some special types of pianos like toy piano, silent piano, mini piano etc. Later, electric pianos and digital pianos also came into action.

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