Discover piano history and the development of pianos and keyboards! Join in exploring the history of our favorite instrument, from it's origins until today!
Who invented the piano? The history of the piano is a fascinating story that originates from approximately 2300 years ago. It's a journey to ancient times and back again...
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Learn More About The History Of The Piano
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.
Click on each link below to learn more about the history and the "forefathers" of the piano:
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”.
The full name of the piano today is “Pianoforte” (meaning "soft loud"), and
it is still called that way in for example Italy. But as we know, generally it is referred
to only as “Piano”.
The First Piano: FortePiano
The “Fortepiano”, however, 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.
A (Very) Short Piano History
If you are short on time, or prefer to view and listen to the sounds of different types of historical keyboards, this is a great video about piano history as an introduction: