Who invented the piano? Where did the piano come from? The history of the piano has roots from long ago...
The first piano "Gravicembalo col piano e forte" was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Italy around the beginning of the 1700's.
But when learning about the history of pianos and the development of the piano we have today, it's interesting to also look at the development of keyboard instruments in general, as well as how the desire for different tone-qualities have changed over the centuries.
The piano we play today is actually a “hybrid”; it is both a string instrument and a kind of percussion instrument. The piano strings are set in a frame in the shape of a harp, and are played by hammers covered in felt.
I believe humans, as well as always having had a need for music in one form or another, also always have been fascinated by buttons :-).
Imagine then - buttons that produce sound.
(Must have been enticing enough to keep several inventors of instruments busy!)
In any case, the first proof of a keyboard instrument goes way back in history to ancient Greece! It was called the Hydraulis- and was a water organ, a predecessor to the Church organ, from about 300 BC.
Now you can see a new fantastic replica of the Water organ finalized in 1999, at the museum in Dion, Greece.
The Hydraulis became rather popular and spread to Rome and Western Europe; the instrument was even used to help get the audience in a good mood during Roman gladiator games!
It makes me think of the electric organ used during ice hockey games today...
At least the hockey players do not have to pay with their own lives like the gladiators…
The ancient Hydraulis developed from a more secular instrument to an acceptable religious instrument. Later it developed into the Church organ and was increasingly used in the Catholic liturgy during the eight century AD.
The inventors of the piano and other keyboard instruments later built upon this idea of keys or levers being pressed down to produce sound in various ways...