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History of Instrument
Of all the instruments the keyboards make the most complete music. That means that because both the thumbs and fingers can play at the same time the musician can make a wide range of music. Chords, runs of notes, or several melodies can be played at the same time.
The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1710. He was the "keeper of music" at the Medici court of Florence. He called his new instrument the "pianoforte", which means soft-loud. He called it the piano for short. The piano is basically a harp laid on its side with hammers connected to the keys. Bass strings are thick single strings. Tenor strings are thinner and there are two of them for each note. The higher treble strings are triple strings. When you strike the key the hammer hits the strings inside the piano.
The piano is more widely used than the clavichord and the harpsichord because it is capable of crescendos and decrescendos as well as musical phrasing. Clavichords are capable of dynamic expression but its tone is too small to play in ensemble music. The harpsichord has a louder sound than the clavichord but it is incapable of producing very much change in loudness in how loud it plays. Pianos are able to sustain the sounding of notes because of the pedals, as well as produce a louder sound than either the clavichord or the harpsichord.
The piano has three pedals. The soft pedal moves the keyboard and the hammers sideways. This makes the hammer strike only one of the three strings in the higher ranges so the sound is softer. The sustaining pedal raises the dampers from the string so that they can vibrate and make the notes sound longer. The third pedal which is the middle pedal, is the one note sustaining pedal. It allows the pianist to play one note or chord and keep it sounding while he goes on to play.
Range of the Piano:
The entire keyboard, of course.
Music for the Piano
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