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The Evolution of the Piano Who invented the piano, and how did it get to be the way it is today? 9th Grade General Music Class Ms. Julianne Hambrick.

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Presentation on theme: "The Evolution of the Piano Who invented the piano, and how did it get to be the way it is today? 9th Grade General Music Class Ms. Julianne Hambrick."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Evolution of the Piano Who invented the piano, and how did it get to be the way it is today? 9th Grade General Music Class Ms. Julianne Hambrick

2 What is a piano?  A stringed keyboard instrument  Derived from the harpsichord and the clavichord  Also called the pianoforte  Differs from its forerunners because it uses a hammer-and- lever action that allows the player to control the intensity of the sound by through the touch of the fingers

3 The Piano’s Ancestors  The sound on a harpsichord is produced by the strings being plucked. It’s sound is much different that that of a piano.  The clavichord is the oldest form of a keyboard instrument. Small brass blades, called tangents, strike the string on each key to create the sound.

4 The First Piano  Called a gravicembalo col piano e forte (which is Italian for “harpsichord with loud and soft”)  Built in 1709 by Bartolomeo Cristofori, who was a harpsichord maker in Italy  Two of of his pianos still exist today, one in New York and one in Germany

5 Influential People Gottfried Silberman  An organ maker  1725  Noted Christofori’s work and initiated the development in Germany Johann Andreas  Most important contributions  Made improvements which led to the “Viennese” piano that was praised by Mozart and was preferred by German players of the 18 th and 19 th centuries

6 John Broadwood  1760  Migrated from Germany to London with eleven others  Constructed a school that turned the production of pianos into a stronger build, resembling even more those of today Sebastien Erard  Founded a French school in the 1790’s  In 1823, created “double escapement” (the ablilty for a note to be rapidly repeated) that is still in use today

7 Noted Manufactures  By this time, artisans in all of the Western nations were trying to perfect the construction of the piano  Germany and America have been distinguished manufacturers for years  Karl Bechinstein  Baldwin, Mason &Hamlin, Steinway, and Chickering

8 Early Pianos Like the harpsichord, the early piano had a span of only four, or at most five, octaves. Today the piano has a range of more than seven octaves.

9 How does the piano work?  The strings are wound around pins in the frame (1).  A thin piece of spruce is placed under the strings to reinforce the vibrations (2).  The strings get larger and thicker as you go down the keyboard to the lower notes. The higher strings are made of 2-3 strings tuned to the same pitch, but the lower notes are made of a much thicker strings with copper wound around them (3).

10  The action is the entire part used to propel the hammers against the keys. The most visible part of the action is the keyboard, which is make of ivory and ebony, or sometimes plastic (4).  The pedals are levers used by the feet. They control the dampers and create several different effects (5).  The case determines whether a piano is grand, square, or upright. Square pianos are no longer made. (6).

11 What is the piano used for today?  The piano is a very popular instrument because of its versatility and responsiveness. The piano is used in orchestral and chamber music as well as in jazz and popular music.  The piano is also used as a solo instrument, to accompany voice, and as a part of a band or orchestra.

12 Famous Pianists Johann Sebastian Bach ( )  German organist and composer of the Baroque era  Famous for Goldberg Variations, The Well- Tempered Clavier, and The Art of the Fugue Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ( )  Was an accomplished performer on the clavier, organ and violin at age 6  Famous for his 27 piano concertos and 17 piano sonatas

13 Ludwig van Beethoven ( )  Began his career as an outstanding improviser at the piano and composer of piano music  Famous for his piano sonatas including the Pathetique sonata and Moonlight sonata Frederic Chopin ( )  He wrote his first composition at the age of seven  Famous for 55 mazurkas, 27 etudes, 24 preludes, 19 nocturnes, 13 polonaises, and 3 sonata, all written for the piano!

14 Franz Lizst ( )  Studied with many famous pianists in Paris for 12 years  Famous for teaching more than 400 students and producing more than 350 compositions, most of them being very complex Claude Debussy ( )  Went against the traditional “rules” of music and paved the way to the modern styles  Famous for Estampes (Engravings), Images, and several preludes

15 How much do you remember?  Name one of the piano’s ancestors.  What is the name of the person who made the very first piano?  Name one other person who contributed to developing the piano.  Name one famous manufacturer of pianos.  What part of the piano is controlled by the feet?  Name one famous pianist and what they are famous for.


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