The soft and loud notes of the piano perfectly accommodate emotional appeal in the sound produced, and particularly, this is what makes this instrument so dynamic and versatile. Apart from its own melodies, it can also be used to compose music for all other instruments.
What makes it so versatile?
Its construction refined through the course of the time by many pioneers, including the first person who brought it to life.
Bartolomeo Cristofori worked tirelessly to improve the sounds of clavier and harpsichord in his workshop in the 1700s. He was already accustomed to making these two instruments, but this time he went a little far and created something that was not too loud or too quiet. This masterpiece that he created had features of both these instruments and yet it was different and entirely versatile.
How was it made at that time?
The makeup of the piano clearly indicates the genius of Cristofori. Indeed, for us, it is fascinating to think how such an instrument could be created at the time when technological advancements were not appreciable? Questions like these and “how were the hammers held back from bouncing on the string?” arise just by contemplating.
But then, all of these questions are answered by history itself.
According to accounts on the original or the first piano ever made, Cristofori used backchecks (also called hammer checks) to hold the hammers on their initial position after falling on the strings by momentum and producing vibrations. This way, the notes could be played for a longer time and a hammer could strike the strings again, depending on the number of times its associated key was played.
This was genius. Soon, the piano, named at that time pianoforte, took place of the harpsichord because the hammers could be struck either softly or loudly by the hammers and a variety of sound could be produced. Cristofori started producing them in great numbers and it also served to be as an opportunity for other people to earn from making its sideline products such as cases.
This relentless story of passion for music and improvement in musical instrument did not stop even after Cristofori. Many patents worldwide contributed to its design and function; thus, leading to the modern piano we see today. Not only did the colors of the natural and accidental keys were swapped with each other, but also improvements were made in the soundboard to produce over-strung scale.
Some notable personalities who contributed throughout the timescale of the evolution of the piano are Gottfried Silbermann, who invented the forerunner, Sebastien Erard, who modified the repetition of the notes, Henri Pape swapped leather for felt to cover the hammers and introduce wider dynamics and invented over-stringing, Louis Boisselot invented sostenuto pedal, and a total of 1000 other patents introduced a wide variety of things.
Where did the creation of piano take place, though?
Oh, we totally lost track, but that was important.
It was in Padua, Italy in a dusty workshop where harpsicords and claviers were made.