History of Piano

Piano - literally music at your fingertips. Piano is a musical instrument, at the core of which is string vibrations, but those strings are controlled by keys of a keyboard. On a key press, felt covered hammers strike tuned strings to create sounds of various frequencies. The piano is perhaps one of the world's most popular musical instrument, especially after the introduction of the electronic and more portable versions. While the actual piano is more of a luxury - being non-portable and often expensive, these days, a wide range of portable keyboards have made it easily accessible to a larger group of people. Many public places, like malls, hotels, theaters, etc organize solo music performances by pianists. Piano is an important instrument in contemporary music. Jazz, western classical, film & television and some other musical genres have piano as one of the most important instruments.

Fazioli F308

Piano is actually influenced by another musical instrument, the harpischord. The invention of piano is credited to an Italian harpischord maker in 1709. References to the harpischord itself are said to date back to the 14th century. By the end of the 18th century, piano became a leading instrument of Western art music, for both professionals and amateurs. The modern piano is a highly versatile instrument, which can create various musical styles and moods. Almost every middle or upper middle class household in Europe or North America had a piano, towards the later half of the 19th century. Pianos started making their appearances in music halls and hotels, providing entertainment through a solo pianist, or in combination with a small band. The piano was also a very popular instrument of choice in hollywood as well as bollywood movies in the 20th century.

Grand piano and the upright piano are two main forms of pianos as of today. Grand pianos have horizontal frames and strings while in upright pianos the frames and strings are arranged vertically. Mozart Most pianos have keys spanning 7 octaves plus additional keys. The layout with 88 keys (52 white + 36 black keys) is the most common. Thought pianos are heavy, yet they are delicate instruments. Typical pianos weigh around 125-150 kgs. The world record for the largest piano ever built is held by the the Fazioli F308, which had a weight of 691 kgs. Electronic keyboards or synthesizers have allowed a large number of individuals to get a feel of the piano. Electronic keyboards are not only portable, less expensive but also contain many more features (like ability to synthesize sounds of various music instruments) and hence are versatile for amateurs to practice. An actual piano needs tuning, while electronic pianos do not need any tuning.

Famous Pianists: Mozart was a child prodigy and perhaps the most famous pianist. It is said that he was a master of the instrument even at the age of 5. Franz Liszt is another famous pianist, considered by many in the field to be the greatest ever. He exemplified perseverance - it is said that he used to practice piano for as much as fourteen hours a day. Scot Joplin was an Afro-American piano player who created the "Ragtime". Ray Charles is famous for his innovations in piano composition. He won many Grammy awards during his career. Adnan Sami of India is considered as the fastest piano player in the world as of 2012, while Wladziu Valentino Liberace is considered to be the fastest piano player of all time.