Start composing your own music—here's how
The piano is one of the most popular instruments, having been featured in global music history for centuries. Over the years, the piano with all its facets has been able to develop further, which is why it has developed from the original dulcimer to the piano that is widely known today. But what exactly characterizes the individual stages of development of the piano at this point? And what makes the history of this instrument so special? In this article we will take a closer look at the facets of the piano and inform you in detail.
More than 700 years have passed from the first form of the piano to the present day. Little has changed in the popularity of the instrument in this respect. Above all, it is the musical diversity and wide variety of keys that make the piano a real long-running favorite. In this way, the piano becomes an exciting choice both as a solo instrument and in the form of an accompaniment. A look at the history of the language is also very interesting.
The German term for piano, “Klavier,” is derived from the Latin term “clavis.” In connection with the French language, this results in the meaning “key,” since the respective tones in the original form of the piano were still directly on the keys. Over time, the meaning also developed in Germany from the keyboard instrument to the piano we know today.
However, before the piano that we know today came into being, it was primarily the ancestors who were able to ensure that the instrument was used in the right direction. While the dulcimer marked the beginning of modern piano playing in antiquity, it developed into the clavichord in the 14th century. With this, the strings of the instrument can be struck with a metal tangent. The harder the strings are struck, the louder the sounds of the clavichord sound.
In the baroque period, the clavichord developed to the next level. This is how the harpsichord came about, which, until then, had been the solution most closely comparable to the piano. Already here the tones were created by a mechanical keystroke, through which the strings were plucked. As a result, it was only a small step from festive baroque music to the hammer action that is still present today.
In order to enable an even more dynamic playing style, Bartolomeo Christofori developed the hammer mechanism in 1709, which is still used today. More and more instruments were equipped with exactly this mechanism, after the fortepiano was not so well received at first. In the years that followed, the piano was increasingly developed to achieve new pitches. As late as the 18th century, the fortepiano replaced the very popular harpsichord.
Thanks to the hammer method, the mechanics of sound production have not evolved any further. The modern piano is basically made up of the same components and can be played on the basis of the body. The wooden skim stick and the strings on the metal pegs also contribute to the sound production. With the keyboard, you determine which pitch you want to trigger and which strings are plucked. By pressing the individual keys, the integrated hammers hit the strings, bounce off them and thus create the respective tone.
While the technology of the piano has remained constant to this day, there are currently three types of modern piano in circulation. There is the classical piano, the grand piano and the digital piano. The latter in particular is often used to gain initial experience in playing the piano. This has many advantages, but also some disadvantages, since the sound generation is purely electronic in this case. In the following we have more facts for you about the individual species:
Most great piano artists took their first steps on the classical piano. As a rule, the prices for a modern and at the same time well-tuned piano start at around 2,000 euros. In return, however, you get a coherent construction that increasingly accompanies you in the creation of unique tones. Learning to play the piano is guaranteed to be fun.
It gets even more majestic with the grand piano, which should appear at large concerts and events. While the strings are arranged vertically on a classical piano, they are horizontal on a grand piano. This also results in the large body. Depending on the size and design, the price of the concert grand often starts at around 8,000 euros.
The cheap alternative to the classic piano is the digital piano. These generate their tones purely electronically, which means that tuning the strings on the instrument is not necessary. On many models, the key play is completely imitated by the playing feel of a mechanical piano in order to develop a feeling for the piano despite the electronic sound generation.
The entry-level models for electronic pianos in particular are very popular, as they are available for just a few hundred euros. This has the clear advantage of turning the piano from an exclusive instrument into an interesting choice for all music enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the differences to the classical piano should not be underestimated. Due to the electronically generated tones, many models lack the very important distinction between forte and piano.
While the digital variants are becoming increasingly popular, the classical piano in all its facets has changed only slightly. The composition of the body and keyboard has been completely identical for more than 300 years, and no further changes are to be expected in the future. This will continue to make the piano the best accompaniment for many songs in the future.
While we have primarily focused on the facets and types of the piano so far, we would, of course, also like to help you practice. Our article with all the important tips for learning piano for beginners shows you step by step how to tackle the first pieces. This applies both to the classical piano and to playing directly on the electric piano. However, we do not want to withhold the following tips from you in this article, so that you can use the many facets of the piano exactly:
It is not without reason that the piano is a real dream for many when it comes to learning exciting and new instruments. While instruments such as the xylophone or the drum set are practiced in school, this is rarely the case with the piano. If you have the chance to dedicate yourself to practicing the piano, we wholeheartedly recommend this step.
The piano is one of the most important musical instruments, and has been for many centuries. At least since the baroque period, piano sounds have been able to hold their own in every epoch and in every genre of music. Both emotional and strong songs as well as relaxing and quiet sounds are produced by the piano and are therefore the focus. This gives you the chance to easily develop the way and style of your piano playing over time. For the future, too, it is becoming apparent that the piano will be of great importance. With a little patience and the necessary ambition, you too will be able to devote yourself to playing your piano and improve your abilities step by step. If you are wondering whether the piano is the right musical instrument for children, then feel free to drop by here.
Hardly any other instrument has as many facets as the piano. It is all the more important to connect with new musicians and especially pianists and to stay in touch musically. Here at mukken we offer you the opportunity to talk to other people about the piano and many other instruments and topics. Our contact ads especially for musicians will help you with this step. So you won't miss anything more about music!
Originally published on July 14, 2022, updated on July 14, 2022
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