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Curiosities About The Piano That You Would Love To Know

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Curiosities About The Piano That You Would Love To Know

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When you think of a musical instrument, the piano likely comes to mind as your first option.

The piano, also known as the “king of instruments,” has a structure, sonority, and presence that have elevated it to the pinnacle of classical music and nearly every other musical style.

Although it is a protagonist of various musical genres, such as jazz and rock, we have also been able to view it as the thread that runs through numerous films hits, such as The Piano or La La La Land.

We even picture the piano in our heads once we purchase our Bruno Mars concert tickets because the song “Just The Way You Are” just sounds better when played with a piano. Don’t you agree?

It’s origins

In Africa and Southeast Asia, the zither is the earliest known predecessor of the piano, and it is said to have originated during the Bronze Age.

It was made up of strings organized on a board and made to vibrate by using fingernails or a sharp item to strike them.

The monochord was invented somewhere during the Middle Ages. An instrument having a single string and a hollow and elongated body, the monochord was traditionally percussed with the calamus of a bird’s feather.

The psaltery, a plucked string instrument that had already been equipped with a harmonic table and tone bridges, arrived a little later. This evolved into the dulcimer, which is a musical instrument made out of a flat trapezoidal soundboard and numerous metallic strings that were not played directly with the hands but rather percussed instead.

The harpsichord (14th century) is the closest historical relative, and it, like the piano, responded to the force of the hit but in a weaker way. This mechanism served as the foundation for the development of the contemporary piano.

The inventor of the piano

Towards the close of the 17th century, Bartolomeo Cristofori constructed an instrument comparable to the harpsichord but had undergone considerable evolutions.

Using a hammer-shaped piece of wood to vibrate the strings, the sound was made sweeter and more sustained. The loudness and tone of the sound could be adjusted depending on the strength with which the keys were depressed.

There is no confirmed information regarding his early life, but tradition has it that he was apprenticed to the violin maker Nicola Amati.

In any case, what we do know is that in 1688, at the age of 33, he began working for Prince Ferdinand de Medici, a music lover with a passion for mechanics and mathematics who was also an avid musician.

He was able to work on the piano’s invention there because he was allowed to give complete freedom to his imagination.

The materials used to make it

Different types of wood are used in the construction of pianos. The piano frame can be manufactured of a variety of woods, including oak, spruce, beech, and walnut. Woods such as pear, pine, and maple are commonly used to construct the percussion mechanism.

The keyboard is made of linden or ebony wood for the most unusual finishes, while the external veneer is composed of exotic woods.

In the case of the frame or structure, it is constructed from a single piece of cast iron (harp), with the edges finished with wrought iron or steel.

Originally, ivory was used for the white keys and ebony for the piano’s black keys. Because ivory is no longer permitted, alternate materials are being employed. Some elements of the mechanism are made of leather and cloth.

The most expensive piano in the world

According to the ranking, there are two pianos in the top ten most costly instruments in the world. One of them is the Steinway & Sons piano built for Chinese millionaire Guo Qingxiang, which the company made.

A total of 40 different varieties of wood are used to construct it, including ebony, ash, olive, rosewood, rosewood, and maple.

It is a replica of a painting by Chinese artist Shi Qi used as exterior decoration. It is estimated that this piano is worth more than one million euros. It is the only one like it in the world.

Steinway & Sons, the world’s largest piano manufacturer, celebrated the presentation of its 600,000th piano in 2015.

The design of this anniversary edition was commissioned by the craftsman Frank Pollaro, who was inspired by the famous Fibonacci spiral in order to create this unique piece. It took four years of dedication to create an instrument with precise dimensions, fantastic acoustics, and a distinctive look.

For the premiere of this piece, which is valued at more than two million euros, the Chinese performer Lang Lang was highly commissioned.

SEE ALSO: Guitar Chords: Exercises, Tips, and Advice

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