The song, “Piano man” by Elton John seems to strike a chord with individuals of all ages. Many people in Montreal and the West island are looking for piano lessons. There is nothing more pleasing than the sound of a lone piano filling the empty halls of a church or theatre on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
The Piano’s current design
The piano’s current design evolved from the combination of two ancient keyboard instruments, the clavichord and the harpsichord, both of which operated on the principle of applied force. Force was applied by the pianist on the keys, and the level of sound that originated from these keys is what produced the sound.
Today, pressure is applied to both the keys and the foot petals and this is what creates the sound. It is interesting to note that each key represents a specific note.
This note can be altered simply by the musician’s touch and choice of keys and it is for this reason that the piano is a widely admired keyboard instrument.
The Piano was originally developed to solve a problem
The piano was originally developed because there was a problem with the sound that a clavichord and harpsichord produced, they were simply not loud enough for the places in which they were played – large theatres, cathedrals and churches.
Musicians and craftsmen at the time were looking to create a keyboard instrument that could produce louder and clearer sounds. Finally in 1700 an Italian craftsman known as Bartolomeo Cristofori succeeded. He created the first keyboard instrument that could produce two entirely different sounds – one soft and one loud. It was aptly named pianoforte, literally meaning “soft” and “loud.”
We simply refer to it as the piano.
The piano was crafted with two (or three) foot pedals allowing the pianist to produce softer or louder sounds because more force could be applied to the keys.
Similar to the guitar, the piano can create a number of different styles and genres of music from classical, pop, jazz and even rock and roll as any Elton John fan can attest to.
The piano plays a significant role in the history and culture of our society and has done so since the early 18th century.
Largely seen as the symbol of an affluent lifestyle, pianos are not only used as a musical instrument, they are often used as an accessory item for interior design in the homes of the rich and famous.
Pianos are not used by most people for design purposes because they are extremely expensive.
Pianos can be found mostly in large government buildings, theatres, churches and creative type organizations but they are also found in schools and homes across the nation in smaller less expensive forms.
The most expensive piano in the world is the nine foot Heintzman & Co. Piano, a futuristic looking crystal piano that sold at auction for a mere 3.2 million dollars. As you have no doubt surmised by now, pianists are a serious breed of musicians and stand in a class all by themselves. It is what makes them unique and interesting.