Piano

For other uses, see Piano (disambiguation). A grand piano

A piano is a keyboard instrument, widely used in western music for solo performance, chamber music, and accompaniment, and also as a convenient aid to composing and rehearsal.

The piano produces sound by striking steel strings with felt hammers. These vibrations are transmitted though the bridges to the soundboard.

The word piano is a shortened form of the word "pianoforte", which is seldom used except in formal language. It is derived from the original Italian name for the instrument, clavicembalo col piano e forte. Literally harpsichord with soft and loud, this refers to the ability of the piano to produce notes at different volumes depending on how hard its keys are pressed.

As a keyboard stringed instrument, the piano is similar to the clavichord and harpsichord. The three instruments differ in the mechanism of sound production. In a harpsichord, strings are plucked by quills or similar material. In the clavichord, strings are struck by tangents which remain in contact with the string. In a piano, the strings are struck by hammers which immediately rebound, leaving the string to vibrate freely.

Early history

Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy, invented the first pianoforte. He called it a gravicembalo col piano e forte. When he built this instrument is not entirely clear, but an inventory made by Cristofori's employers, the Medici family, indicates the existence of an early Cristofori instrument by the year 1700. Cristofori built only about twenty pianofortes before he died in 1731; the three that survive today date from the 1720s.

Like many other inventions, the pianoforte was founded on earlier technological innovations. In particular, it benefited from centuries of work on the harpsichord, which had shown the most effective ways to construct the case, the soundboard, the bridge, and the keyboard. Cristofori, himself a harpsichord maker, was well acquainted with this body of knowledge.

Cristofori's great success was to solve, without any prior example, the fundamental mechanical problem of piano design: the hammers must strike the string but not continue to touch it once they have struck (which would damp the sound). Moreover, the hammers must return to their rest position without bouncing violently, and it must be possible to repeat a note rapidly. Cristofori's piano action served as a model for the many different approaches to piano actions that were to follow.

Cristofori's early instruments were made with thin strings and were much quieter than the modern piano. However, in comparison with the clavichord (the only previous keyboard instrument capable of dynamic nuance) they were considerably louder, and had more sustaining power.

Cristofori's new instrument remained relatively unknown until an Italian writer, Scipione Maffei, wrote an enthusiastic article about it (1711), including a diagram of the mechanism. This article was widely distributed, and most of the next generation of piano builders started their work as a result of reading it.

One of these builders was Gottfried Silbermann, better known as an organ builder. Silbermann's pianos were virtually direct copies of Cristofori's, but with an important addition: Silbermann invented the forerunner of the modern damper pedal (also known as the sustaining pedal or loud pedal), which lifts all the dampers from the strings at once. Virtually all subsequent pianos incorporated some version of Silbermann's idea.

Silbermann showed Bach one of his early instruments in the 1730s. Bach did not like it at that time, claiming that the higher notes were too soft to allow a full dynamic range. Though this earned him some animosity from Silbermann, the latter did apparently heed the criticism. Bach did approve of a later instrument he saw in 1747, and apparently even served as an agent to help sell Silbermann's pianos.

Piano-making flourished during the late 18th century in the work of the Viennese school, which included Johann Andreas Stein (who worked in Augsburg, Germany) and the Viennese makers Nannette Stein (daughter of Johann Andreas) and Anton Walter. The Viennese-style pianos were built with wooden frames, two strings per note, and had leather-covered hammers. It was for such instruments that Mozart composed his concertos and sonatas, and replicas of them are built today for use in authentic-instrument performance. The piano of Mozart's day had a softer, clearer tone than today's pianos, with less sustaining power. The term fortepiano is nowadays often used to distinguish the 18th-century style of instrument from later pianos.

Development of the modern piano

In the lengthy period lasting from about 1790 to 1890, the Mozart-era piano underwent tremendous changes which led to the modern form of the instrument. This evolution was in response to a consistent preference by composers and pianists for a more powerful, sustained piano sound. It was also a response to the ongoing Industrial Revolution, which made available technological resources like high-quality steel for strings (see piano wire) and precision casting for the production of iron frames.

Over time, piano playing became a more strenuous and muscle-taxing activity, as the force needed to depress the keys, as well as the length of key travel, was increased. The tonal range of the piano was also increased, from the five octaves of Mozart's day to the 7 1/3 (or even more) octaves found on modern pianos.

In the first part of this era, technological progress owed much to the English firm of Broadwood, which already had a strong reputation for the splendour and powerful tone of its harpsichords. Over time, the Broadwood instruments grew progressively larger, louder, and more robustly constructed. The Broadwood firm, which sent pianos to both Haydn and Beethoven, was the first to build pianos with a range of more than five octaves: five octaves and a fifth during the 1790s, six octaves by 1810 (in time for Beethoven to use the extra notes in his later works), and seven octaves by 1820. The Viennese makers followed these trends. The two schools, however, used different piano actions: the Broadwood one more robust, the Viennese more sensitive.

By the 1820s, the centre of innovation had shifted to Paris, where the Érard firm manufactured pianos used by Chopin and Liszt. In 1821, Sébastien Érard invented the double escapement action, which permitted a note to be repeated even if the key had not yet risen to its maximum vertical position, a great benefit for rapid playing. As revised by Henri Herz about 1840, the double escapement action ultimately became the standard action for grand pianos, used by all manufacturers.

Some other important technical innovations of this era include the following:

  • use of three strings rather than two for all but the lower notes
  • the iron frame. The iron frame, also called the "plate", sits atop the soundboard, and serves as the primary bulwark against the force of string tension. The iron frame was the ultimate solution to the problem of structural integrity as the strings were gradually made thicker, tenser, and more numerous (in a modern grand the total string tension can approach 20 tons). The single piece cast iron frame was patented in 1825 in Boston by Alpheus Babcock, culminating an earlier trend to use ever more iron parts to reinforce the piano. Babcock later worked for the Chickering & Mackays firm, where the first iron frame in grand pianos (1843) was developed.
  • felt hammers. The harder, tauter steel strings required a softer hammer type to maintain good tone quality. Hammers covered with compressed felt were introduced by the Parisian maker Jean-Henri Pape in 1826, and are now universally used.
  • the sostenuto pedal (see below), invented in 1844 by Jean Louis Boisselot and improved by the Steinway firm in 1874.
  • the overstrung scale, also called "cross-stringing". The strings are placed in a vertically overlapping slanted arrangement, with two heights of bridges on the soundboard, rather than just one. This permits larger, but not necessarily longer, strings to fit within the case of the piano. Overstringing was invented by Jean-Henri Pape during the 1820s, and first patented for use in grand pianos in the United States by Henry Steinway Jr. in 1859.
Duplex scaling: Treble strings of a 182 cm. grand piano. From lower left to upper right: dampers, main sounding length of strings, treble bridge, duplex string length, duplex bridge (long bar perpendicular to strings), hitchpins.
  • duplexes or aliquot scales. In 1872 Theodore Steinway patented a system to control different components of string vibrations by tuning their secondary parts in octave relationships with the sounding lengths. Similar systems developed by Blüthner (1873), as well as Taskin (1788), and Collard (1821) used more distinctly ringing undamped vibrations to modify tone.

The modern concert grand achieved essentially its present form around the beginning of the 20th century, and progress since then has been only incremental. For some recent developments, see Innovations in the piano.

Some early pianos had shapes and designs that are no longer in use. The once-popular square piano was an inexpensive design that had the strings and frame on a horizontal plane, but running across the length of the keyboard rather than away from it. It was similar to the upright piano in its mechanism. Square pianos were produced through the early 20th century; the tone they produced is widely considered to be inferior. Most had a wood frame, though later designs incorporated increasing amounts of iron. The giraffe piano, by contrast, was mechanically like a grand piano, but the strings ran vertically up from the keyboard rather than horizontally away from it, making it a very tall instrument. These were uncommon.

History and musical performance

The huge changes in the evolution of the piano have somewhat vexing consequences for musical performance. The problem is that much of the most widely admired piano repertoire — for example, that of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven — was composed for a type of instrument that is rather different from the modern instruments on which this music is normally performed today. Even the music of the early Romantics, such as Chopin and Schumann, was written for pianos substantially different from ours.

One view that is sometimes taken is that these composers were dissatisfied with their pianos, and in fact were writing visionary "music of the future" with a more robust sound in mind. This view is perhaps more plausible in the case of Beethoven, who composed at the beginning of the era of piano growth, than it is in the case of Haydn or Mozart. Others have noted that the music itself often seems to require the resources of the early piano. For example, Beethoven sometimes wrote long passages in which he directs the player to keep the damper pedal down throughout (a famous example occurs in the last movement of the "Waldstein" sonata, Op. 53). These sound rather blurred on a modern piano if played as written, but which sound fine when played on restorations or replicas of the pianos of Beethoven's day.

A few pianists simply ignore this problem; others modify their playing style to help compensate for the difference in instruments, for example by using less pedal. Finally, participants in the authentic performance movement have constructed new copies of the old instruments and used them in performance; this has provided important new insights and interpretations of the music.

The modern piano

Types

Modern pianos come in two basic configurations and several sizes: the grand piano and the upright piano.

Grand pianos have the frame and strings placed horizontally, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. This makes the grand piano a large instrument, for which the ideal setting is a spacious room with high ceilings for proper resonance. There are several sizes of grand piano. Manufacturers and models vary, but a rough generalisation distinguishes the "concert grand", (between about 2.2 m to 3 m long) from the "boudoir grand" (about 1.7 m to 2.2 m) and the smaller "baby grand" (which may be shorter than it is wide). All else being equal, longer pianos have better sound and lower inharmonicity of the strings (so that the strings can be tuned closer to equal temperament in relation to the standard pitch with less stretching), so that full-size grands are almost always used for public concerts, whereas baby grands are often chosen for domestic use where space and cost are considerations.

Yamaha U3-S Upright Piano

Upright pianos, also called vertical pianos, are more compact because the frame and strings are placed vertically, extending in both directions from the keyboard and hammers. It is considered harder to produce a sensitive piano action when the hammers move horizontally, rather than upward against gravity as in a grand piano; however, the very best upright pianos now approach the level of grand pianos of the same size in tone quality and responsiveness. For recent advances, see Innovations in the piano.

In 1863, Henri Fourneaux invented the player piano, a kind of piano which "plays itself" from a piano roll without the need for a pianist. Also in the 19th century, toy pianos began to be manufactured.

A relatively recent development is the prepared piano, which is simply a standard grand piano which has had objects placed inside it before a performance in order to alter its sound, or which has had its mechanism changed in some way.

Since the 1980s, digital pianos have been available, which use digital sampling technology to reproduce the sound of each piano note. The best digital pianos are sophisticated, with features including working pedals, weighted keys, multiple voices, MIDI interfaces. However, with current technology, it remains difficult to duplicate a crucial aspect of acoustic pianos, namely that when the damper pedal (see below) is depressed, the strings not struck vibrate sympathetically when other strings are struck. Since this sympathetic vibration is considered central to a beautiful piano tone, in many experts' estimation digital pianos still do not compete with the best acoustic pianos in tone quality. Progress is being made in this area by including physical models of sympathetic vibration in the synthesis software.

Keyboard

For the arrangement of the keys on a piano keyboard, see Musical keyboard. This arrangement was inherited from the harpsichord without change, with the trivial exception of the colour scheme (white for notes in the C major scale and black for other notes) which became standard for pianos in the late 18th century.

Almost every modern piano has 88 keys (seven octaves plus a minor third, from A0 to C8). Many older pianos only have 85 keys (seven octaves from A0 to A7), while some manufacturers extend the range further in one or both directions. The most notable example of an extended range can be found on Bösendorfer pianos, two models which extend the normal range downwards to F0, with one other model going as far as a bottom C0, making a full eight octave range. Sometimes, these extra keys are hidden under a small hinged lid, which can be flipped down to cover the keys and avoid visual disorientation in a pianist unfamiliar with the extended keyboard; on others, the colours of the extra white keys are reversed (black instead of white). The extra keys are added primarily for increased resonance; that is, they vibrate sympathetically with other strings whenever the damper pedal is depressed and thus give a fuller tone. Only a very small number of works composed for piano actually use these notes. More recently, the Stuart and Sons company has also manufactured extended-range pianos. On their instruments, the range is extended both down the bass to F0 and up the treble to F8 for a full eight octaves. The extra keys are the same as the other keys in appearance.

Pedals

Pianos have had pedals, or some close equivalent, since the earliest days. (In the 18th century, some pianos used levers pressed upward by the player's knee instead of pedals.) The three pedals that have become more or less standard on the modern piano are the following.

The damper pedal (also called the sustaining pedal or loud pedal) is often simply called "the pedal," since it is the most frequently used. It is placed as the rightmost pedal in the group. Every string on the piano, except the top two octaves, is equipped with a damper, which is a padded device that prevents the string from vibrating. The damper is raised off the string whenever the key for that note is pressed. When the damper pedal is pressed, all the dampers on the piano are lifted at once, so that every string can vibrate. This serves two purposes. First, it assists the pianist in producing a legato (playing smoothly connected notes) in passages where no fingering is available to make this otherwise possible. Secondly, raising the damper pedal causes all the strings to vibrate sympathetically with whichever notes are being played, which greatly enriches the piano's tone.

Sensitive pedaling is one of the techniques a pianist must master, since piano music from Chopin onwards tends to benefit from extensive use of the sustaining pedal, both as a means of achieving a singing tone and as an aid to legato. In contrast, the sustaining pedal was used only sparingly by the composers of the 18th century, including Haydn, Mozart and in early works by Beethoven; in that era, pedalling was considered primarily as a special coloristic effect.

The soft pedal or "una corda" pedal is placed leftmost in the row of pedals. On a grand piano, this pedal shifts the whole action including the keyboard slightly to the left, so that hammers that normally strike all three of the strings for a note strike only two of them. This softens the note and also modifies its tone quality. For notation of the soft pedal in printed music, see Italian musical terms.

The soft pedal was invented by Cristofori and thus appeared on the very earliest pianos. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the soft pedal was more effective than today, since it was possible at that time to use it to strike three, two or even just one string per note—this is the origin of the name "una corda", Italian for "one string". In modern pianos, the strings are spaced too closely to permit a true "una corda" effect — if shifted far enough to strike just one string on one note, the hammers would also hit the string of the next note.

On upright pianos, the soft pedal operates a mechanism which moves the hammers' resting position closer to the strings. Since the hammers have less distance to travel this reduces the speed at which they hit the strings, and hence the volume is reduced, but this does not change tone quality in the way the "una corda" pedal does on a grand piano.

Digital pianos often use this pedal to alter the sound to that of another instrument such as the organ, guitar, or harmonica. Pitch bends, leslie speaker on/off, vibrato modulation, etc. increase the already-great versatility of such instruments.

The sostenuto pedal or "middle pedal" keeps raised any damper that was raised at the moment the pedal is depressed. This makes it possible to sustain some notes (by depressing the sostenuto pedal before notes to be sustained are released) while the player's hands are free to play other notes. This can be useful for musical passages with pedal points and other otherwise tricky or impossible situations. The sostenuto pedal was the last of the three pedals to be added to the standard piano, and to this day many pianos are not equipped with a sostenuto pedal. (Almost all modern grand pianos have a sostenuto pedal, while most upright pianos do not.) A number of twentieth-century works specifically call for the use of this pedal, for example Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux.

Some upright pianos have a practice pedal in place of the sostenuto. This pedal, which can usually be locked in place by depressing it and pushing it to one side, drops a strip of felt between the hammers and the keys so that all the notes are greatly muted — a handy feature for those wish to practice in domestic surroundings without disturbing the neighbours. The practice pedal is rarely used in performance. Other uprights have a bass sustain as a middle pedal. It works like the damper pedal, but only lifts the dampers for the lowest notes.

The rare transposing piano, of which Irving Berlin possessed an example, uses the middle pedal as a clutch which disengages the keyboard from the mechanism, enabling the keyboard to be moved to left or right with a lever. The entire action of the piano is thus shifted to allow the pianist to play music written in one key so that it sounds in a different key.

Materials

Many parts of a piano are made of materials selected for extreme sturdiness. In quality pianos, the outer rim of the piano is made of a hardwood, normally maple or beech. According to Harold A. Conklin, the purpose of a sturdy rim is so that "the vibrational energy will stay as much as possible in the soundboard instead of dissipating uselessly in the case parts, which are inefficient radiators of sound." The rim is normally made by laminating flexible strips of hardwood to the desired shape, a system that was developed by Theodore Steinway in 1880.

The thick wooden braces at the bottom (grands) or back (uprights) of the piano are not as acoustically important as the rim, and are often made of a softwood, even in top-quality pianos, in order to save weight.

The pinblock, which holds the tuning pins in place, is another area of the piano where toughness is important. It is made of hardwood, and generally is laminated (built of multiple layers) for additional strength and gripping power.

Piano strings (also called piano wire), which must endure years of extreme tension and hard blows, are made of high quality steel. They are manufactured to vary as little as possible in diameter, since all deviations from uniformity introduce tonal distortion. The bass strings of a piano are made of a steel core wrapped with copper wire, to increase their flexibility. For the acoustic reasons behind this, see Piano acoustics.

The plate, or metal frame, of a piano is usually made of cast iron. It is advantageous for the plate to be quite massive. Since the strings are attached to the plate at one end, any vibrations transmitted to the plate will result in loss of energy to the desired (efficient) channel of sound transmission, namely the bridge and the soundboard. Some manufacturers now use cast steel in their plates, for greater strength. The casting of the plate is a delicate art, since the dimensions are crucial and the iron shrinks by about one percent during cooling. The inclusion in a piano of an extremely large piece of metal is potentially an aesthetic handicap. Piano makers overcome this handicap by polishing, painting, and decorating the plate; often plates include the manufacturer's ornamental medallion and can be strikingly attractive.

The numerous grand parts and upright parts of a piano action are generally hardwood (e.g. maple, beech. hornbeam). Since World War II, plastics have become available. Early plastics were incorporated into some pianos in the late 1940s and 1950s, but proved disastrous because they crystallized and lost their strength after only a few decades of use. The Steinway firm once incorporated Teflon, a synthetic material developed by DuPont, for some grand action parts in place of cloth, but ultimately abandoned the experiment due to an inherent "clicking" which invariably developed over time. More recently, the Kawai firm has built pianos with action parts made of more modern and effective plastics such as carbon fiber; these parts have held up better and have generally received the respect of piano technicians.

View from below of a 182-cm grand piano. In order of distance from viewer: softwood braces, tapered soundboard ribs, soundboard. The metal rod at lower right is a humidity control device.

The part of the piano where materials probably matter more than anywhere else is the soundboard. In quality pianos this is made of solid spruce (that is, spruce boards glued together at their edges). Spruce is chosen for its high ratio of strength to weight. The best piano makers use close-grained, quarter-sawn, defect-free spruce, and make sure that it has been carefully dried over a long period of time before making it into soundboards. In cheap pianos, the soundboard is often made of plywood.

Piano keys are generally made of spruce or basswood, for lightness. Spruce is normally used in high-quality pianos. Traditionally, the black keys were made from ebony and the white keys were covered with strips of ivory, but since ivory-yielding species are now endangered and protected by treaty, plastics are now almost exclusively used. Legal ivory can still be obtained in limited quantities. At one time the Yamaha firm innovated a plastic called "Ivorine" or "Ivorite", since imitated by other makers, that mimics the look and feel of ivory.

The requirement of structural strength, fulfilled with stout hardwood and thick metal, makes a piano heavy; even a small upright can weigh 136 kg (300 lb), and the Steinway concert grand (Model D) weighs 480 kg (990 lb). The largest piano built, the Fazioli F308, weighs 691 kg (1520 lb).

Care and maintenance

Pianos are regularly tuned to keep them up to pitch and produce a pleasing sound; by convention they are tuned to the internationally recognised standard concert pitch of A = 440 Hz.

The hammers of pianos are voiced to compensate for gradual hardening. Top-quality but aged pianos can be restored or reconditioned, by replacing a great number of their parts to produce an instrument closely similar to a new one.

Role of the piano

The piano is a crucial instrument in Western classical music, jazz, film, television and electronic game music, and most other complex western musical genres. A large number of composers being proficient pianists, the piano is often used as a tool for composition.

Pianos were, and are, extremely popular instruments for private household ownership, especially among the middle- and upper-classes. Hence pianos have gained a place in the popular consciousness, and are sometimes referred to by nicknames, including: "the ivories", "the joanna", "the eighty-eight", and "the black(s) and white(s)." Playing the piano is sometimes referred to as "tickling the ivories".

See also: Social history of the piano

Further reading

  • The authoritative New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (available online by subscription), contains a wealth of information on the piano. Main article: "Pianoforte".
  • The Encyclopædia Britannica (available online by subscription) also includes a great deal of information about the piano. In the 1988 edition, the primary article can be found in "Musical Instruments".
  • The Piano Book by Larry Fine (4th ed. Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts: Brookside Press, 2001; ISBN 1-929145-01-2) gives the basics of how pianos work, and a thorough evaluative survey of current pianos and their manufacturers. It also includes advice on buying and owning pianos.
  • The pianist's guide to pedaling by Joseph Banowetz (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1985) offers a history of the three piano pedals and covers the wide variety of ways in which they are used by professional pianists.
  • Piano roles : three hundred years of life with the piano by James Parakilas (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1999) provides much history of the instrument.
  • The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart (Random House, 2002; ISBN 0375758623) is a partly autobiographical exploration of the diversity and history of the piano, and is a readable introduction by an enthusiast.
  • Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding: For the Professional, the Student, and the Hobbyist by Arthur A. Reblitz (Vestal Press, ISBN 1-879511-03-7)

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See also: Social history of the piano. Furthermore, certain religious offices may be considered of princely rank, and/or imply coparable temporal rights, as for the abbots of See Prince of the Church for the main Christian versions. Hence pianos have gained a place in the popular consciousness, and are sometimes referred to by nicknames, including: "the ivories", "the joanna", "the eighty-eight", and "the black(s) and white(s)." Playing the piano is sometimes referred to as "tickling the ivories". with a secondary title son of a named god), but also the mode of succession (even reincarnation and recognition). Pianos were, and are, extremely popular instruments for private household ownership, especially among the middle- and upper-classes. In states with an element of theocracy, this can affect princehood in several ways, such as the style of the ruler (e.g. A large number of composers being proficient pianists, the piano is often used as a tool for composition. Bokassa I's short-lived Central-African Empire in Napoleonic fashion), usually the styles, or even the systems, are completely independent or almost.

The piano is a crucial instrument in Western classical music, jazz, film, television and electronic game music, and most other complex western musical genres. Except for the Arabized, Muslim North and some other monarchies that simply adopted Islamic practices, or in cases where a Western model was copied (e.g. Top-quality but aged pianos can be restored or reconditioned, by replacing a great number of their parts to produce an instrument closely similar to a new one. The former is the higher title of a male member of the Imperial family and the latter is the lower. The hammers of pianos are voiced to compensate for gradual hardening. The title kôshaku, however, is more commonly translated as duke to avoid confusion with the royal ranks in the imperial household, shinnô (親王 (literally king of the blood) female;naishinnô (内親王(literally queen(by herself) of the blood) and shinnôhi親王妃 (literally consort of king of the blood)) or ô (王 (literaly king) female;nyoô (女王(literaly queen (by herself)) and ôhi (王妃(literally consort of king)). Pianos are regularly tuned to keep them up to pitch and produce a pleasing sound; by convention they are tuned to the internationally recognised standard concert pitch of A = 440 Hz. In Japan, the title of prince (kôshaku 公爵) was used as the highest title of kazoku(華族Japanese modern nobility) before the present constitution.

The largest piano built, the Fazioli F308, weighs 691 kg (1520 lb). In ancient China, the title of prince developed from being the highest title of nobility (synonymous with duke) in the Zhou Dynasty, to five grades of princes (not counting the sons and grandsons of the emperor) by the time of the fall of the Qing Dynasty. The requirement of structural strength, fulfilled with stout hardwood and thick metal, makes a piano heavy; even a small upright can weigh 136 kg (300 lb), and the Steinway concert grand (Model D) weighs 480 kg (990 lb). It therefore makes sense to treat these per civilization. At one time the Yamaha firm innovated a plastic called "Ivorine" or "Ivorite", since imitated by other makers, that mimics the look and feel of ivory. Different (historical, religious ...) backgrounds have also begot significantly different dynastic and nobiliary systems, which are poorly represented by the 'closest' western analogy. Legal ivory can still be obtained in limited quantities. Applying these essentially western concepts, and terminology, to other cultures even when they don't do so, is common but in many respects rather dubious.

Traditionally, the black keys were made from ebony and the white keys were covered with strips of ivory, but since ivory-yielding species are now endangered and protected by treaty, plastics are now almost exclusively used. Haiti). Spruce is normally used in high-quality pianos. The above is essentially the story of European, Christian dynasties and other nobility, also 'exported' to their colonial and other overseas territories and otherwise adopted by rather westernized societies elsewhere (e.g. Piano keys are generally made of spruce or basswood, for lightness. within the Holy Roman Empire, not their linguistic family; some even fail to follow the same logic for certain other aristocratic titles):. In cheap pianos, the soundboard is often made of plywood. Etymologically, we can discern the following traditions (some languages followed a historical link, e.g.

The best piano makers use close-grained, quarter-sawn, defect-free spruce, and make sure that it has been carefully dried over a long period of time before making it into soundboards. Be aware that the absence of a separate title for a prince of the blood may not always mean no such title exists; alternatively, the existence of a word does not imply there is also a reality in the linguistic territory concerned; it may very well be used exclusively to render titles in other languages, regardless whether there is a historical link with any (which often means that linguistic tradition is adopted). Spruce is chosen for its high ratio of strength to weight. If a second title (or set) is also given, then that one is for a Prince of the blood, the first for a principality. In quality pianos this is made of solid spruce (that is, spruce boards glued together at their edges).
In each case, the title is followed (when available) by the female form and then (not always available, and obviously rarely applicable to a prince of the blood without a principality) the name of the territorial associated with it, each separated by a slash. The part of the piano where materials probably matter more than anywhere else is the soundboard. Rurikid branches used the knyaz title also after they were succeeded by the Romanovs as the Russian imperial dynasty.

More recently, the Kawai firm has built pianos with action parts made of more modern and effective plastics such as carbon fiber; these parts have held up better and have generally received the respect of piano technicians. In the Russian system, knyaz (translated as "prince"), is the highest degree of nobility, and sometimes, represents a mediatization of an older native dynasty which became subject to the Russian imperial dynasty. The Steinway firm once incorporated Teflon, a synthetic material developed by DuPont, for some grand action parts in place of cloth, but ultimately abandoned the experiment due to an inherent "clicking" which invariably developed over time. Prince Bismarck in the empire of reunited Germany, under the Hohenzollern dynasty. Early plastics were incorporated into some pianos in the late 1940s and 1950s, but proved disastrous because they crystallized and lost their strength after only a few decades of use. This can even occur in a monarchy within which an identical 'real' feudal title exists, such as Fürst in German; e.g. Since World War II, plastics have become available. the British system of "royal" princes difficult.

hornbeam). in France, prince can be an aristocratic title of someone having a high rank of nobility in chief of a geographical place, but no actual princedom, and without any necessary link to Royalty, which makes comparing it with e.g. maple, beech. In several countries of the European continent, e.g. The numerous grand parts and upright parts of a piano action are generally hardwood (e.g. Both systems may concur, as in the kingdom Belgium, where "Prince of Liège=Luik" is one of the traditional titles for royal sons (alongside Duke of Brabant, the highest title, being handed down through primogeniture if it is not yet taken; Count of Flanders is similarly used for the next in the succession order). Piano makers overcome this handicap by polishing, painting, and decorating the plate; often plates include the manufacturer's ornamental medallion and can be strikingly attractive. Some states have an analogous tradition, where they confer another princely title, such as the British 'royal duchies' (for various royal princes), and formerly the French Dauphin (again, through de facto primogeniture).

The inclusion in a piano of an extremely large piece of metal is potentially an aesthetic handicap. This is done in particular for the heir to the throne (creating a de facto primogeniture), who is often awarded a particular principality in each generation, so that it becomes synonymous with the first in line for the throne, even if there is no automatic legal mechanism to do so. The casting of the plate is a delicate art, since the dimensions are crucial and the iron shrinks by about one percent during cooling. may be attached to them), and are awarded traditionally (or occasionally) to princes of the blood, as an appanage. Some manufacturers now use cast steel in their plates, for greater strength. principalities, but are maintained as essentially hononary titles (though some land, income etc. Since the strings are attached to the plate at one end, any vibrations transmitted to the plate will result in loss of energy to the desired (efficient) channel of sound transmission, namely the bridge and the soundboard. A number of nobiliary territories, carrying with them the formal style of prince, are not (or no longer) actual (political, administrative, etc.

It is advantageous for the plate to be quite massive. One type of prince belongs in both the genealogical royalty and the territorial princely styles. The plate, or metal frame, of a piano is usually made of cast iron. Maha Upayuvaraja Sanskrit for 'Great Joint King' in Cambodia, though sometimes also conferred on powerful regents who exercised executive powers. For the acoustic reasons behind this, see Piano acoustics. prince-lieutenant in Luxemburg, repeatedly filled by the Crown prince before the grand duke's abdication), or in form of consortium imperii; some have even a practice in which the Monarch can formally abdicate in favor of his Heir, and yet retain a kingly title with executive power, e.g. The bass strings of a piano are made of a steel core wrapped with copper wire, to increase their flexibility. as Regent of Viceroy (though these offices must not be reserved for members of the ruling dynasty, in some traditions they are, possibly even reflected in the style of the office, e.g.

They are manufactured to vary as little as possible in diameter, since all deviations from uniformity introduce tonal distortion. Various monarchies provide for different modes in which princes of the dynasty can temporarily of permanently share in the style and/or office of the Monarch, e.g. Piano strings (also called piano wire), which must endure years of extreme tension and hard blows, are made of high quality steel. In German, such a prince is also called "Fürst" (capital obligatory in German grammar), and there are equivalents in most languages in the tradition of the Holy Roman Empire, where these abounded. It is made of hardwood, and generally is laminated (built of multiple layers) for additional strength and gripping power. The term "prince" has also been used to describe, in languages like English that lack a specific word for this concept, the head of a feudal (vassal) state of lower rank; for example, it has been used as a synonym for duke at times. The pinblock, which holds the tuning pins in place, is another area of the piano where toughness is important. In the same tradition/vein some micronation 'monarchs' establish themselves as (usually merely nominal) 'princes'.

The thick wooden braces at the bottom (grands) or back (uprights) of the piano are not as acoustically important as the rim, and are often made of a softwood, even in top-quality pianos, in order to save weight. This can be a regular nation, even sovereign, but his protocolary ranking is below a grand duke. Conklin, the purpose of a sturdy rim is so that "the vibrational energy will stay as much as possible in the soundboard instead of dissipating uselessly in the case parts, which are inefficient radiators of sound." The rim is normally made by laminating flexible strips of hardwood to the desired shape, a system that was developed by Theodore Steinway in 1880. A prince or princess who is the head of state in a monarchy is a reigning prince, which had no other specific, formal (rank) title, and their domain, typically smaller than a kingdom, is called a "principality". According to Harold A. Other princes (or the same, see below) derive their title not from their dynastic position as such (which must often be shared with brothers, etc), but from their claim to a unique title of formal princely rank, one named after a specific principality, not after the suzerain/sovereign state, even if they belong to one. In quality pianos, the outer rim of the piano is made of a hardwood, normally maple or beech. Independently of such traditions, some dynasties more or less frequently awarded apanages to princes of the blood, typically carrying a feudal type title (often as such of lower protocollary rank than their birth rank) and some income.

Many parts of a piano are made of materials selected for extreme sturdiness. However, often such style is used in a way that may surprise as not apparently logical, such as adopting a style for princes of the blood which is not pegged to the ruler's title, but rather continues an old tradition, asserts genealogical descendency from and/or claim of political succession to a more lofty monarchy, or simply is assumed 'because we can'. The entire action of the piano is thus shifted to allow the pianist to play music written in one key so that it sounds in a different key. mehtarjao. The rare transposing piano, of which Irving Berlin possessed an example, uses the middle pedal as a clutch which disengages the keyboard from the mechanism, enabling the keyboard to be moved to left or right with a lever. Indeed, various princely titles are derived from the ruler's, such as (e)mirza(da), khanzada, nawabzada, sahibzada, shahzada (all using the Persian patronymic suffix -zada, "son, descendant", (maha)rajkumar from Raja, or even from a unique title, e.g. It works like the damper pedal, but only lifts the dampers for the lowest notes. Many princely styles and titles are used in various monarchies, often changing with a new dynasty, even altered during one's rule, especially in conjunction with the style of the ruler.

Other uprights have a bass sustain as a middle pedal. Over the centuries foreign-language titles such as Italian principe, French prince, German Fürst, Russian kniaz, etc., are often rendered as "prince" in English. The practice pedal is rarely used in performance. Although the definition above is the one that is most commonly understood, there are also different systems: depending on country, epoch and translation other meanings of "Prince" are possible. This pedal, which can usually be locked in place by depressing it and pushing it to one side, drops a strip of felt between the hammers and the keys so that all the notes are greatly muted — a handy feature for those wish to practice in domestic surroundings without disturbing the neighbours. In these systems, a prince can be:. Some upright pianos have a practice pedal in place of the sostenuto. certain parliaments), which may be delayed, withheld or even reversed.

(Almost all modern grand pianos have a sostenuto pedal, while most upright pianos do not.) A number of twentieth-century works specifically call for the use of this pedal, for example Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux. Regardless of birth rank, marriage to a prince(ss) generally means accession to the ruling house (dynasty), but often the princely style is subject to an explicit conferral (by the Monarch or a political authority with in say in the succession, e.g. The sostenuto pedal was the last of the three pedals to be added to the standard piano, and to this day many pianos are not equipped with a sostenuto pedal. Generally, when such a prince takes a (royal, imperial, etc.) throne he stops being styled a mere "Prince" when he becomes the ruling (or at least titular) monarch, King, Emperor, Grand Duke or one of many other ruler-styles, usually of higher rank, except in the case of a ruler styled "Prince" (see below) of a principality (idem: "Princess" becoming a Queen). This can be useful for musical passages with pedal points and other otherwise tricky or impossible situations. Depending on individual national tradition, this may either be restricted (often to one or two generations after the monarch, and/or the line of succession), or it may be allowed to run into very high numbers (as often applies in oriental dynasties). This makes it possible to sustain some notes (by depressing the sostenuto pedal before notes to be sustained are released) while the player's hands are free to play other notes. of a princely house, such as an imperial - or royal family.

The sostenuto pedal or "middle pedal" keeps raised any damper that was raised at the moment the pedal is depressed. A Prince of the blood (in some monarchies, however, this is an actual title in its own right, of more restricted use; thus Prince du sang in the French kingdom, restricted to the royal descendents in the male line) is a male member of royalty, i.e. increase the already-great versatility of such instruments. The following parts of this article are only concerned with the use usages as a formal nobiliary (or analogous) title. Pitch bends, leslie speaker on/off, vibrato modulation, etc. In this sense, it can in principle be used for any ruling (hereditary or elective) monarch, regardless of his title and protocolary rank. Digital pianos often use this pedal to alter the sound to that of another instrument such as the organ, guitar, or harmonica. The original but least common use is as a generic (descriptive, not formal) term, one originating in the application of terminology from Roman (actually Byzantine) law and classical "ideology" to the European feudal society.

Since the hammers have less distance to travel this reduces the speed at which they hit the strings, and hence the volume is reduced, but this does not change tone quality in the way the "una corda" pedal does on a grand piano. Many other languages have (at least) two separate words for these two distinct meanings. On upright pianos, the soft pedal operates a mechanism which moves the hammers' resting position closer to the strings. Courtesy princes may be members of a royal or a highly noble family, sharing their title with several relatives in similar position. In modern pianos, the strings are spaced too closely to permit a true "una corda" effect — if shifted far enough to strike just one string on one note, the hammers would also hit the string of the next note. Substantive princes are in some cases reigning monarchs, and in some cases heads of their noble house. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the soft pedal was more effective than today, since it was possible at that time to use it to strike three, two or even just one string per note—this is the origin of the name "una corda", Italian for "one string". In Latin-based languages, Prince has two basic meanings: it could be a substantive title and a courtesy title.

The soft pedal was invented by Cristofori and thus appeared on the very earliest pianos. He also tasked his grandsons as summer rulers of the city when most of the government were on holiday in country or making religious rituals, and for that task, granted the title Princeps. For notation of the soft pedal in printed music, see Italian musical terms. Emperor Augustus established the formal position of monarch on basis of principate, not dominion. This softens the note and also modifies its tone quality. The Latin word Princeps, kin to "primus" and "first among equals", was established as the title of the more or less informal leader of the senate some centuries BC. On a grand piano, this pedal shifts the whole action including the keyboard slightly to the left, so that hammers that normally strike all three of the strings for a note strike only two of them. .

The soft pedal or "una corda" pedal is placed leftmost in the row of pedals. The term prince (the female form is princess), from the Latin root princeps, when used for a member of the highest aristocracy, has several fundamentally different meanings - one generic, and several types of titles. In contrast, the sustaining pedal was used only sparingly by the composers of the 18th century, including Haydn, Mozart and in early works by Beethoven; in that era, pedalling was considered primarily as a special coloristic effect. and many other. Sensitive pedaling is one of the techniques a pianist must master, since piano music from Chopin onwards tends to benefit from extensive use of the sustaining pedal, both as a means of achieving a singing tone and as an aid to legato. Thailand. Secondly, raising the damper pedal causes all the strings to vibrate sympathetically with whichever notes are being played, which greatly enriches the piano's tone. Indochina : Cambodja, Vietnam, Laos.

First, it assists the pianist in producing a legato (playing smoothly connected notes) in passages where no fingering is available to make this otherwise possible. See princely states for the (often particular, mainly hindu) title on the Indian subcontinent in (former British) India (including modern Pakistan and Bangladesh) as well as Burma and Nepal ... This serves two purposes. Korea. When the damper pedal is pressed, all the dampers on the piano are lifted at once, so that every string can vibrate. Japan. The damper is raised off the string whenever the key for that note is pressed. China.

Every string on the piano, except the top two octaves, is equipped with a damper, which is a padded device that prevents the string from vibrating. etc. It is placed as the rightmost pedal in the group. & other Near East. The damper pedal (also called the sustaining pedal or loud pedal) is often simply called "the pedal," since it is the most frequently used. Princes of the blood, male and female, were given the style sultan (normally reserved for Muslim rulers). (In the 18th century, some pianos used levers pressed upward by the player's knee instead of pedals.) The three pedals that have become more or less standard on the modern piano are the following. In the Ottoman empire, the sovereign of imperial rank (incorrectly known in the west as (Great) sultan) was styled padishah with a host of additional titles, reflecting his claim as political successor to the various conquered states.

Pianos have had pedals, or some close equivalent, since the earliest days. Malay countries. The extra keys are the same as the other keys in appearance. In families (often reiging dynasties) which claim descent from the prophet Mohammed, this is expressed in either of a number of titles (supposing different exact relations): sayid, sharif; these are retained even when to remote from any line of succession to be a member of any dynasty. On their instruments, the range is extended both down the bass to F0 and up the treble to F8 for a full eight octaves. Arabian tradition since the caliphate - in several monarchies it remains customary to use the title Sheikh (in itself below princely rank) for all members of the royal family. More recently, the Stuart and Sons company has also manufactured extended-range pianos. Hungarian (Magyar)%9Herceg /Hercegnő %9Herceg /Hercegnő.

Only a very small number of works composed for piano actually use these notes. Greek (New)%9Igemonas /Igemonida%9Pringipas /Pringipesa. The extra keys are added primarily for increased resonance; that is, they vibrate sympathetically with other strings whenever the damper pedal is depressed and thus give a fuller tone. Finnish%9%9Ruhtinas /Ruhtinatar%9Prinssi /Prinsessa. Sometimes, these extra keys are hidden under a small hinged lid, which can be flipped down to cover the keys and avoid visual disorientation in a pianist unfamiliar with the extended keyboard; on others, the colours of the extra white keys are reversed (black instead of white). ) languages :

    . The most notable example of an extended range can be found on Bösendorfer pianos, two models which extend the normal range downwards to F0, with one other model going as far as a bottom C0, making a full eight octave range. Finnish-Ugrian .

    Many older pianos only have 85 keys (seven octaves from A0 to A7), while some manufacturers extend the range further in one or both directions. other (incl. Almost every modern piano has 88 keys (seven octaves plus a minor third, from A0 to C8). Ukrainian%9%9Knyaz /Knyazhnya%9Tsarenko, Korolenko, Prints /Tsarivna, Korolivna, Printsizna. This arrangement was inherited from the harpsichord without change, with the trivial exception of the colour scheme (white for notes in the C major scale and black for other notes) which became standard for pianos in the late 18th century. Slovene%9%9Knez /Kneginja%9Kraljevič, Princ /Kraljična, Princesa. For the arrangement of the keys on a piano keyboard, see Musical keyboard. Slovak%9%9Knieža /Kňažná%9Kráľovič, Princ /Princezná.

    Progress is being made in this area by including physical models of sympathetic vibration in the synthesis software. Russian%9%9Knyaz /Knyagina, Knyazhnya%9Tsarevich, Korolyevich, Prints /Tsarevna, Korolyevna, Printsessa. Since this sympathetic vibration is considered central to a beautiful piano tone, in many experts' estimation digital pianos still do not compete with the best acoustic pianos in tone quality. Polish%9%9Książę /Księżna%9Książę, Królewicz /Księżna, Królewna. However, with current technology, it remains difficult to duplicate a crucial aspect of acoustic pianos, namely that when the damper pedal (see below) is depressed, the strings not struck vibrate sympathetically when other strings are struck. Macedonian%9%9Knez /Knezhina%9Tsarevich, Kralevich, Prints /Tsarevna, Kralevna, Printsesa. The best digital pianos are sophisticated, with features including working pedals, weighted keys, multiple voices, MIDI interfaces. Lithuanian%9Kunigaikštis /Kunigaikštiene%9Princas /Princese.

    Since the 1980s, digital pianos have been available, which use digital sampling technology to reproduce the sound of each piano note. Latvian%9%9Firsts /Firstiene%9Princis /Princese. A relatively recent development is the prepared piano, which is simply a standard grand piano which has had objects placed inside it before a performance in order to alter its sound, or which has had its mechanism changed in some way. Latin (post-Roman)%9Princeps/*%9Princeps/*. Also in the 19th century, toy pianos began to be manufactured. Czech%9%9Kníže /Kněžna%9Králevic, Princ /Králevična, Princezna. In 1863, Henri Fourneaux invented the player piano, a kind of piano which "plays itself" from a piano roll without the need for a pianist. Croatian, Serbian%9Knez /Kneginja%9Kraljević, Princ /Kraljevna, Princeza.

    For recent advances, see Innovations in the piano. Bulgarian%9Knyaz /Knaginya%9Tsarevich, Kralevich, Prints /Printsesa. It is considered harder to produce a sensitive piano action when the hammers move horizontally, rather than upward against gravity as in a grand piano; however, the very best upright pianos now approach the level of grand pianos of the same size in tone quality and responsiveness. Belorussian%9Tsarevich, Karalevich, Prynts /Tsarewna, Karalewna, Pryntsesa. Upright pianos, also called vertical pianos, are more compact because the frame and strings are placed vertically, extending in both directions from the keyboard and hammers. Slavonic and (related) Baltic languages

      . All else being equal, longer pianos have better sound and lower inharmonicity of the strings (so that the strings can be tuned closer to equal temperament in relation to the standard pitch with less stretching), so that full-size grands are almost always used for public concerts, whereas baby grands are often chosen for domestic use where space and cost are considerations. Swedish%9%9Furste /Furstinna%9Prins /Prinsessa.

      Manufacturers and models vary, but a rough generalisation distinguishes the "concert grand", (between about 2.2 m to 3 m long) from the "boudoir grand" (about 1.7 m to 2.2 m) and the smaller "baby grand" (which may be shorter than it is wide). Norwegian%9%9Fyrste /Fyrstinne%9Prins /Prinsesse. There are several sizes of grand piano. Luxemburgish%9[German dialect]%9Fürst /Fürstin%9Prënz /Prinzessin. This makes the grand piano a large instrument, for which the ideal setting is a spacious room with high ceilings for proper resonance. Icelandic%9%9Fursti /Furstynja%9Prins /Prinsessa. Grand pianos have the frame and strings placed horizontally, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. German%9Fürst /Fürstin%9Prinz /Prinzessin.

      Modern pianos come in two basic configurations and several sizes: the grand piano and the upright piano. Estonian [Finnish-Ugrian family]%9Vürst /Vürstinna%9Prints /Printsess. Finally, participants in the authentic performance movement have constructed new copies of the old instruments and used them in performance; this has provided important new insights and interpretations of the music. Dutch%9%9Vorst /Vorstin%9Prins /Prinses. A few pianists simply ignore this problem; others modify their playing style to help compensate for the difference in instruments, for example by using less pedal. Danish%9%9Fyrste /Fyrstinde%9Prins /Prinsesse. These sound rather blurred on a modern piano if played as written, but which sound fine when played on restorations or replicas of the pianos of Beethoven's day. Languages (mainly Germanic) that use (generally alongside a princeps-derivate for princes of the blood) an equivalent of the German Fürst:

        .

        53). Spanish%9%9Príncipe /Princesa%9Príncipe /Princesa. For example, Beethoven sometimes wrote long passages in which he directs the player to keep the damper pedal down throughout (a famous example occurs in the last movement of the "Waldstein" sonata, Op. Romanian%9%9Principe /Principesă Principe /Principesă. Others have noted that the music itself often seems to require the resources of the early piano. Rhaeto-Romanic%9Prinzi /Prinzessa%9Prinzi /Prinzessa. This view is perhaps more plausible in the case of Beethoven, who composed at the beginning of the era of piano growth, than it is in the case of Haydn or Mozart. Portuguese%9%9Príncipe /Princesa%9Príncipe /Princesa.

        One view that is sometimes taken is that these composers were dissatisfied with their pianos, and in fact were writing visionary "music of the future" with a more robust sound in mind. Monegasque%9%9Principu /Principessa%9Principu /Principessa. Even the music of the early Romantics, such as Chopin and Schumann, was written for pianos substantially different from ours. Maltese%9%9Princep /Principessa%9Princep /Principessa. The problem is that much of the most widely admired piano repertoire — for example, that of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven — was composed for a type of instrument that is rather different from the modern instruments on which this music is normally performed today. Italian%9Principe /Principessa%9Principe /Principessa. The huge changes in the evolution of the piano have somewhat vexing consequences for musical performance. Irish%9Prionsa /Banphrionsa%9Prionsa /Banphrionsa.

        These were uncommon. Catalan%9Príncep /Princesa%9Príncep /Princesa. The giraffe piano, by contrast, was mechanically like a grand piano, but the strings ran vertically up from the keyboard rather than horizontally away from it, making it a very tall instrument. Albanian%9Princ /Princeshë%9Princ /Princeshë. Most had a wood frame, though later designs incorporated increasing amounts of iron. French%9Prince /Princesse%9Prince /Princesse. Square pianos were produced through the early 20th century; the tone they produced is widely considered to be inferior. English%9Prince /Princess%9Prince /Princess.

        It was similar to the upright piano in its mechanism. Languages (mostly Romance) only using the Latin root princeps:

          . The once-popular square piano was an inexpensive design that had the strings and frame on a horizontal plane, but running across the length of the keyboard rather than away from it. minister Manuel Goday was created Principe de la Paz 'Prince of Peace' by his Spanish king for negocating the 1795 double peace treaty of Basilea, by which the revolutionary French republic made peace with Prussia and with Spain); more often, sovereigns awarded triumphant generals a so-called victory title (see there for context since Rome and details), confusingly in chief of the battleground (or a nearby locality) where a victory was won, even if the awarding monarch has no authority in that country outside his realm (especially Napoleon I Bonaparte created many such titles, also dukedoms). Some early pianos had shapes and designs that are no longer in use. In other cases, such titular princedoms (the same happens with other titular awardings at peerage level) is created in chief of an event, such as a treaty (e.g. For some recent developments, see Innovations in the piano. Protosebastos reserved).

          The modern concert grand achieved essentially its present form around the beginning of the 20th century, and progress since then has been only incremental. Some monarchies also commonly awarded some of their princes of the blood various lofty titles, some of which were reserved for royalty, other also open to the most trusted commoners and/or the highest nobility, as in the Byzantine empire (e.g. Some other important technical innovations of this era include the following:. Mian in various of the Punjabi princely Hill States (lower Himalayan region in British India). As revised by Henri Herz about 1840, the double escapement action ultimately became the standard action for grand pianos, used by all manufacturers. Sometimes a specific title is commonly used by various dynasties in a region, e.g. In 1821, Sébastien Érard invented the double escapement action, which permitted a note to be repeated even if the key had not yet risen to its maximum vertical position, a great benefit for rapid playing. French Emperor Napoléon I Bonaparte created the style Prince français ('French prince') for the princes of his house in line for the imperial succession, which excluded notable his adoptive stepson Eugène de Beahaurnais, who meanwhile was Prince de Venise in chief of Napoleon's other realm, Italy.

          By the 1820s, the centre of innovation had shifted to Paris, where the Érard firm manufactured pianos used by Chopin and Liszt. Yet a style can be reserved for members of the dynasty meeting specific criteria, e.g. The two schools, however, used different piano actions: the Broadwood one more robust, the Viennese more sensitive. Sultan for ordinary members of the Ottoman dynasty (ruler mainly styled Padishah). The Viennese makers followed these trends. On the other hand, an existing style can be used without retaining any of its intrinsic qualities, e.g. The Broadwood firm, which sent pianos to both Haydn and Beethoven, was the first to build pianos with a range of more than five octaves: five octaves and a fifth during the 1790s, six octaves by 1810 (in time for Beethoven to use the extra notes in his later works), and seven octaves by 1820. Other titles are unique to one dynasty, even though the ruler's title is not, such as Moulay (French form; also Mulay in English) in the Sherifian sultanate (now kingdom ruled by a Malik) of Morocco,.

          Over time, the Broadwood instruments grew progressively larger, louder, and more robustly constructed. This can be a style in existence for a 'princely' -at least originally- feudal entity, possibly still nominally linked to one, Archduke in the Habsburg empire, Grand Prince (often rendered, less correctly, as Grand Duke) in tsarist Russia; see also Porphyrogenetos. In the first part of this era, technological progress owed much to the English firm of Broadwood, which already had a strong reputation for the splendour and powerful tone of its harpsichords. In some monarchic dynasties, a very specific title is used, some official, such as Infante in Iberia.

            . The tonal range of the piano was also increased, from the five octaves of Mozart's day to the 7 1/3 (or even more) octaves found on modern pianos. four in Islam) and/or official concubines, for these women (sometimes collectively referred to as harem) there are often specific rules determining their hierarchy and a variety of titles, which may distinguish between those whose offspring can be in line for the succeesion or not, or specifically who is mother to the Heir to the throne (possibly reaching another official position when he succeeds). Over time, piano playing became a more strenuous and muscle-taxing activity, as the force needed to depress the keys, as well as the length of key travel, was increased. However for wives of Monarchs, the title is usually a female variation on his (the same as used in case a female can mount the throne), such as Queen or Empress; but in cultures which, contrary to Christian traditions, allow the ruler to have several wives (e.g.

            It was also a response to the ongoing Industrial Revolution, which made available technological resources like high-quality steel for strings (see piano wire) and precision casting for the production of iron frames. The husband of a reigning queen is usually titled "prince" or prince consort. This evolution was in response to a consistent preference by composers and pianists for a more powerful, sustained piano sound. (In constitutional monarchies the precise rules for succession are fixed by law, possibly even the constitution, but may involve parliamentary assent; in more absolute monarchies, there is more likely a family council involved, in more tribal societies possibly some representative council). In the lengthy period lasting from about 1790 to 1890, the Mozart-era piano underwent tremendous changes which led to the modern form of the instrument. Other members of the royal family, styled a Royal Highness, and also in the order of succession (although more distant). The term fortepiano is nowadays often used to distinguish the 18th-century style of instrument from later pianos. The son of a monarch and in the direct line of succession.

            The piano of Mozart's day had a softer, clearer tone than today's pianos, with less sustaining power. To complicate matters, the style Royal Highness, normally accompanying the title "Prince" in a dynasty (if of royal or imperial rank, that is), can be awarded separately (as a compromise or consolation prize, in some sense). It was for such instruments that Mozart composed his concertos and sonatas, and replicas of them are built today for use in authentic-instrument performance. Inversely, the husband of a born princess is (or was) in many monarchies not as readily styled prince (although it certainly occasionally happened). The Viennese-style pianos were built with wooden frames, two strings per note, and had leather-covered hammers. The female form is "princess", but this is also generally used for the spouse of any Prince (of the blood, or of a principality), and also the daughter of any monarch, though in some monarchies (by law and/or tradition) the award is explicit, not automatic. Piano-making flourished during the late 18th century in the work of the Viennese school, which included Johann Andreas Stein (who worked in Augsburg, Germany) and the Viennese makers Nannette Stein (daughter of Johann Andreas) and Anton Walter.

            Bach did approve of a later instrument he saw in 1747, and apparently even served as an agent to help sell Silbermann's pianos. Though this earned him some animosity from Silbermann, the latter did apparently heed the criticism. Bach did not like it at that time, claiming that the higher notes were too soft to allow a full dynamic range. Silbermann showed Bach one of his early instruments in the 1730s.

            Virtually all subsequent pianos incorporated some version of Silbermann's idea. Silbermann's pianos were virtually direct copies of Cristofori's, but with an important addition: Silbermann invented the forerunner of the modern damper pedal (also known as the sustaining pedal or loud pedal), which lifts all the dampers from the strings at once. One of these builders was Gottfried Silbermann, better known as an organ builder. This article was widely distributed, and most of the next generation of piano builders started their work as a result of reading it.

            Cristofori's new instrument remained relatively unknown until an Italian writer, Scipione Maffei, wrote an enthusiastic article about it (1711), including a diagram of the mechanism. However, in comparison with the clavichord (the only previous keyboard instrument capable of dynamic nuance) they were considerably louder, and had more sustaining power. Cristofori's early instruments were made with thin strings and were much quieter than the modern piano. Cristofori's piano action served as a model for the many different approaches to piano actions that were to follow.

            Moreover, the hammers must return to their rest position without bouncing violently, and it must be possible to repeat a note rapidly. Cristofori's great success was to solve, without any prior example, the fundamental mechanical problem of piano design: the hammers must strike the string but not continue to touch it once they have struck (which would damp the sound). Cristofori, himself a harpsichord maker, was well acquainted with this body of knowledge. In particular, it benefited from centuries of work on the harpsichord, which had shown the most effective ways to construct the case, the soundboard, the bridge, and the keyboard.

            Like many other inventions, the pianoforte was founded on earlier technological innovations. Cristofori built only about twenty pianofortes before he died in 1731; the three that survive today date from the 1720s. When he built this instrument is not entirely clear, but an inventory made by Cristofori's employers, the Medici family, indicates the existence of an early Cristofori instrument by the year 1700. He called it a gravicembalo col piano e forte.

            Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy, invented the first pianoforte. . In a piano, the strings are struck by hammers which immediately rebound, leaving the string to vibrate freely. In the clavichord, strings are struck by tangents which remain in contact with the string.

            In a harpsichord, strings are plucked by quills or similar material. The three instruments differ in the mechanism of sound production. As a keyboard stringed instrument, the piano is similar to the clavichord and harpsichord. Literally harpsichord with soft and loud, this refers to the ability of the piano to produce notes at different volumes depending on how hard its keys are pressed.

            It is derived from the original Italian name for the instrument, clavicembalo col piano e forte. The word piano is a shortened form of the word "pianoforte", which is seldom used except in formal language. These vibrations are transmitted though the bridges to the soundboard. The piano produces sound by striking steel strings with felt hammers.

            A piano is a keyboard instrument, widely used in western music for solo performance, chamber music, and accompaniment, and also as a convenient aid to composing and rehearsal. Reblitz (Vestal Press, ISBN 1-879511-03-7). Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding: For the Professional, the Student, and the Hobbyist by Arthur A. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart (Random House, 2002; ISBN 0375758623) is a partly autobiographical exploration of the diversity and history of the piano, and is a readable introduction by an enthusiast.

            Piano roles : three hundred years of life with the piano by James Parakilas (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1999) provides much history of the instrument. The pianist's guide to pedaling by Joseph Banowetz (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1985) offers a history of the three piano pedals and covers the wide variety of ways in which they are used by professional pianists. It also includes advice on buying and owning pianos. Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts: Brookside Press, 2001; ISBN 1-929145-01-2) gives the basics of how pianos work, and a thorough evaluative survey of current pianos and their manufacturers.

            The Piano Book by Larry Fine (4th ed. In the 1988 edition, the primary article can be found in "Musical Instruments". The Encyclopædia Britannica (available online by subscription) also includes a great deal of information about the piano. Main article: "Pianoforte".

            The authoritative New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (available online by subscription), contains a wealth of information on the piano. Similar systems developed by Blüthner (1873), as well as Taskin (1788), and Collard (1821) used more distinctly ringing undamped vibrations to modify tone. In 1872 Theodore Steinway patented a system to control different components of string vibrations by tuning their secondary parts in octave relationships with the sounding lengths. duplexes or aliquot scales.

            in 1859. Overstringing was invented by Jean-Henri Pape during the 1820s, and first patented for use in grand pianos in the United States by Henry Steinway Jr. This permits larger, but not necessarily longer, strings to fit within the case of the piano. The strings are placed in a vertically overlapping slanted arrangement, with two heights of bridges on the soundboard, rather than just one.

            the overstrung scale, also called "cross-stringing". the sostenuto pedal (see below), invented in 1844 by Jean Louis Boisselot and improved by the Steinway firm in 1874. Hammers covered with compressed felt were introduced by the Parisian maker Jean-Henri Pape in 1826, and are now universally used. The harder, tauter steel strings required a softer hammer type to maintain good tone quality.

            felt hammers. Babcock later worked for the Chickering & Mackays firm, where the first iron frame in grand pianos (1843) was developed. The single piece cast iron frame was patented in 1825 in Boston by Alpheus Babcock, culminating an earlier trend to use ever more iron parts to reinforce the piano. The iron frame was the ultimate solution to the problem of structural integrity as the strings were gradually made thicker, tenser, and more numerous (in a modern grand the total string tension can approach 20 tons).

            The iron frame, also called the "plate", sits atop the soundboard, and serves as the primary bulwark against the force of string tension. the iron frame. use of three strings rather than two for all but the lower notes.

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