Presentation on theme: "The History of the Piano Greater Latrobe Senior High School Piano Lab Ms. Surden."— Presentation transcript:
The History of the Piano Greater Latrobe Senior High School Piano Lab Ms. Surden
Background Information A taught string produces a pitched sound Beginning thousands of years ago, strings were attached and stretched over bows, gourds, and boxes to amplify the sound. – They were fastened by ties, pegs, and pins, and were plucked, bowed, or struck to produce sound. Nyatiti – a 5 to 8 stringed instrument from Kenya modeled after the Greek lyre.
Eventually, a family of stringed instruments with a keyboard evolved in Europe in the 14 th century. The earliest of these was a DULCIMER, a closed, shallow box over which stretched wires were struck with two wooden hammers.
The dulcimer led to the development of the CLAVICHORD, which also appeared in the 14 th century.
HARPSICHORD The harpsichord, however, was limited to one, unvarying volume. Its softness and loudness could not be varied while playing. Therefore, performing artists could not convey the same degree of musical expression as that of most other instruments. The artistic desire for more controlled expression led directly to the invention of the piano, on which the artist could alter the loudness and tone with the force of one’s fingers.
The First Modern Piano First exhibited in Florence in 1709, Cristofori’s new instrument was named gravicembalo col piano e forte (roughly “soft and loud keyboard instrument”). Eventually, it was shortened to fortepiano or pianoforte, and finally just piano. His earliest surviving instrument dates from 1720 and is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The Development of the Modern Piano The development of the pianoforte to its present form has been decisively related to the development of the hammer mechanism. In 1709, Cristofori achieved the invention of the hammer mechanism, a combination of the beater strike of the dulcimer with the keyboard touch. The new action made it possible for the instrument to play both soft and loud, hence the name pianoforte, and was crucial for the future development of the piano's expressive capacity. While continual improvements in its action paved the way for the advance of the pianoforte, a half century passed before it was able to overcome the initial objections of decisive figures such as Johann Sebastian Bach, and prevail over the harpsichord and clavichord. So in sum…it took a while before musicians of the 18 th century accepted this new instrument!!!!!
The Acceptance of the Piano The piano owes its popularization to Gottfried Silbermann, a superlative craftsman and genius in both the building of organs and piano-making. By 1730, Silbermann had made two pianofortes, and by the end of the decade had produced instruments regarded as completely successful and supported by the leading musicians and theorists of the day, even to the point that Silbermann was, for many years, regarded as the inventor of the piano! His instruments finally met the approval of Bach, who tested the Silbermann pianoforte at the Potsdam court of Frederick the Great at the wish of the Monarch in 1747. Thus composers at the beginning of the 18th century concentrated above all on the harpsichord and clavichord. It was the Bach sons Philipp Emanuel and Christian, as well as Mozart and Clementi, who learned to exploit and appreciate the advantages of the piano, and contributed to its successful introduction around the world.
Evolution of the Piano The pianoforte has undergone numerous improvements in its details up to the present day. At the beginning, the piano-makers constructed their piano actions "works" themselves. It is estimated that there were about 400 piano factories with more than 8,000 employees in Germany in 1894, quite apart from the many master piano-makers who constructed their instruments with the help of only a few journeymen and apprentices. In Berlin alone, there were more than 200 independent piano-makers at the end of the l9th century. The London World Exhibition of 1851 provided a wide- ranging survey of the achievements of the piano-makers in the first half of the 19th century and of the emergent piano industry. The leading companies exhibited their products which according to the conditions laid down by the exhibition management had to be the outcome of new technical discoveries. The piano was first popularized in the U.S.A. The industrial revolution had facilitated the production of pianos in large numbers. A successful campaign was held in the twenties and thirties of the 19th century, aiming at the introduction of music lessons in America's state schools. The piano found its way into the homes of the up-and-coming bourgeoisie and was no longer the domain of the aristocracy.
The Beginnings of the Supply Industry The piano models became more and more uniform as a result of the demands made by industrial production aiming at large piece output. The new models, their production in large quantities and the wide distribution led to a steadily increased specialization in manufacture. Division of labor prevailed and the supply industry began to develop. Companies were set up with the sole purpose of manufacturing individual parts. This was a significant development since all instruments had previously been constructed as a whole, i.e. mechanics, cases and wiring. The suppliers became more and more important. Specialization made it possible to produce large quantities at lower costs, since the production of the mechanism, for example, an expensive and time consuming process, had become too costly and labor-intensive for the individual pianoforte producer, calling for a high standard of skilled workers, materials and instrument-making know-how. Although the piano manufacturers had tried since the beginning of the industrial revolution to incorporate new developing technologies in their production, inevitable limits became apparent and could only be developed and utilized through the emergence of the sub-supply companies.
Specialization in Germany Originating in America, this development and the process of model adaptation prevailed only gradually in Europe and in Germany The rise of Germany to an industrial power at the end of the 19 th century involved its piano makers in a rise to unknown and unexpected status and important. The progressive companies achieved great advances. Companies such as Ibach, Bösendorfer, Schiedmayer, and Irmler, exploited the advantages of technological developments.
So what are the parts of the piano? KEYBOARD The keyboard is comprised of 88 black and white keys The keys are what you press to produce the sound.
Case and Lid Opening the lid of a grand piano increases its resonance and projection. Pulling an upright piano away from the wall will increase its resonance and projection.
Piano Pedals With the pedals, you can make the sound softer or longer. The Una Corda pedal will actually shift the hammers inside of the piano so they are striking only 1 string (instead of all 3 strings) The Sostenuto pedal will prolong the note with a soft echo, and the Sustain pedal with prolong the note with rich sound. We most often use the sustain pedal.
Keys, Hammers, and Strings Each of the 88 keys is connected to a small, felt-covered hammer. When you press a key, its hammer strikes a string, or set of strings, tuned to the appropriate musical note. The string begins to vibrate extremely rapidly. Your ear picks up these vibrations, and you hear music. The entire vibration process occurs in a split second. To stop the strings from vibrating, another mechanism called a damper sits over the strings inside the keyboard. Dampers are made of cloth or felt that mutes the strings by preventing any vibration. When you press a key, in addition to triggering the mechanism that vibrates the string, a piano key also lifts the damper. When you release the key (provided you’re not holding down a pedal), the damper returns to mute the string so that all your notes don’t crash into each other.
Today piano's come in different shapes an sizes. There are two main shapes, the grand piano shape which the strings are parallel to the floor. These are used in concerts and professional venues of playing. The second type of piano is the upright. This type of piano has the strings perpendicular to the floor. These are used for practicing and home use. These models are much more compact than the grand piano style.
…and just for fun, we’re going to watch Ms. Surden’s favorite piano youtube clip…EVERRRRRRR.