Piano Facts

Piano Facts
The piano is a musical instrument of the string family. The piano was invented based on keyboard technology based on pipe organs that have been in existence since Antiquity. The piano is believed to have been invented in approximately 1700. The piano has a keyboard (a row of keys) that is struck by the pianist's fingers and thumbs. The keys cause the hammers to strike the strings and create sound. The piano is the most commonly played instrument by musicians in the world, and it is used in a variety of music styles including classical, pop, jazz, rock, blues, folk, country, and many more.
Interesting Piano Facts:
The earliest piano was called the 'pianoforte' (Italian term) which is derived from the word 'fortepiano' which is another Italian term for soft (piano), and loud (forte). This term refers to the ability of the instrument to sound loud or soft depending on the musician's playing.
In the 1800s the grand piano evolved to become louder. This included adding cast iron frames (which made them very heavy and difficult to move) but ideal for the Romantic era of music.
Bartolomeo Cristofori is credited with the invention of the piano. He lived from 1655 to 1731 and was an employee of the Grand Prince of Tuscany as his Instrument Keeper. Three of his pianos exist today and date to the 1920s.
There are a variety of piano types today including the grand piano, upright piano, specialized piano (toy piano - uses metal rods instead of strings), the electric piano, and the digital piano.
The keys of pianos have been made of a variety of woods over time including sugar pine, spruce, ebony, and basswood.
Ivory was used at one time to cover the white keys but has since fallen out of practice for legal and moral issues. Plastic is also commonly used.
Pianos have pedals for the pianist to use including the soft pedal, the sustain pedal, and the sostenuto pedal. Grand pianos in the U.S. have all three while in Europe many only have two (soft, and sustain).
Most pianists hire tuners to tune their instruments, unlike other string players such as guitarists and violinists.
Because of their weight and delicate nature piano movers have to be skilled.
Most pianos have between 220 and 230 strings made of steel. There is roughly 168 pounds of pressure on each string. The total tension of the average piano is about 20 tons but can be as high as 30 tons.
The most expensive piano in the world is the Crystal Piano, created in 2008 for the Olympic Games. It later sold for over $3.2 million.
The largest piano in the world was created by Adrian Mann and it weighs 1.4 tons. It is 5.7 meters long.
The piano is capable of the widest range of tones; it can play melody and accompaniment simultaneously; it is the most played instrument in the world. These contribute to it being known as the King of the Musical Instruments.
The piano is often used when composing and writing music.
Famous pianists include Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Billy Joel, Liberace, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Martha Argerich, Chopin, and Myra Hess.

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