Discover piano history and the development of pianos and keyboards! Join in exploring the development of our favorite instrument, from it's origins until today!
Who invented the piano?
Piano history is a fascinating story that originates from approximately 2300 years ago... it is a journey to ancient times and back again.
The piano, also called Pianoforte, is one of the most popular instruments of all times.
Today it is played all over the world, and used in many different styles of music. As one of the most popular instruments, it has gone through many transformations during the history of its development.
The pianos and keyboards we play today have little in common regarding sound (at least!) with its historical forefathers.
This is interesting, and rather important to think about when playing music from earlier than the 20th century; those instruments sounded very different from the ones we play today!
When the piano was first invented around 1700 in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731), it was called “Gravicembalo col piano e forte” or “Fortepiano”.
Today the full name is “Pianoforte” (meaning Soft loud), and it is still called that way in some countries. But mostly it is referred to only as “Piano”.
The “Fortepiano”, is the antique instrument that was used by for example Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The Fortepiano is a historical instrument with a different build and it also has a different sound quality than the modern instruments produced today.
Fortepianos (as well as other historical keyboard instruments like the Cembalo or Harpsichord) are built by specialist workshops even today. They are mostly used for recordings and performances of the music of the classical epoch for a more historically accurate sound.
Click on each link below for more info about the history and the "forefathers" of the piano:
If you are short of time, or prefer to view and listen to the sounds of different types of historical keyboards, this is a great video about piano history to begin with!
Let's not forget the amazing pianists that bring the piano to life! Read more about some of the most famous and influential classical pianists of the 20th and 21st century.
These are the "movers and shakers" if you like, in the world of classical music. You can also watch a fantastic video to admire their playing!