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. These alumni have led significant advances in research and development of aerospace technology and established an amazing record for exploration of space. 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". The only other non-military institution that has more alumni who have become astronauts is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Pianos were, and are, extremely popular instruments for private household ownership, especially among the middle- and upper-classes. Over one third of all of NASA's manned space missions have had at least one Purdue graduate as a crew member. A large number of composers being proficient pianists, the piano is often used as a tool for composition. All together, Purdue has produced 22 astronauts, including the first and last men to walk on the moon.

The piano is a crucial instrument in Western classical music, jazz, film, television and electronic game music, and most other complex western musical genres. Purdue alumni have an especially strong relationship with NASA and the space program. 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. Purdue’s distinguished faculty have won Nobel prizes, solved long-standing riddles in science, headed government agencies, and received countless awards. The hammers of pianos are voiced to compensate for gradual hardening. Purdue alumni have headed corporations, held federal offices, founded television networks, and flown through space. 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. Purdue University has long been associated with accomplished and distinguished students and faculty.

The largest piano built, the Fazioli F308, weighs 691 kg (1520 lb). See Purdue's website for more information. 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). Purdue University operates fifteen separate residence facilities for its undergraduate and graduate students including: Cary Quadrangle, Earhart Hall, Harrison Hall, Hawkins Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, Hilltop Apartments, McCutcheon Hall, Meredith Hall, Owen Hall, Purdue Village, Shreve Hall, Tarkington Hall, Wiley Hall, Windsor Halls, and Young Hall. 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 Board of Trustees directly appoints other major officers of the university including a Provost who serves as the chief academic officer for the university, a number of vice presidents with oversight over specific university operations, and the satellite campus chancellors. Legal ivory can still be obtained in limited quantities. The office of the president oversees admission and registration, student conduct and counseling, the administration and scheduling of classes and space, the administration of student athletics and organized extracurricular activities, the libraries, the appointment of the faculty and conditions of their employment, the appointment of all non-faculty employees and the conditions of employment, the general organization of the university, and the planning and administration of the university budget.

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. He is responsible for organizing and establishing the administrative staff of the university not otherwise established by the trustees, and delegating to each administrative office with appropriate duties and responsibilities. Spruce is normally used in high-quality pianos. Jischke, appointed by the Board of Trustees, is the chief administrative officer of the university. Piano keys are generally made of spruce or basswood, for lightness. President Martin C. In cheap pianos, the soundboard is often made of plywood. Current board members include:.

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. Each member serves for a term of three years, except the student member who serves for two years. Spruce is chosen for its high ratio of strength to weight. The Board of Trustees consists of ten members (including one student of the university), as appointed by the governor of Indiana. In quality pianos this is made of solid spruce (that is, spruce boards glued together at their edges). The authority and responsibility of the Board of Trustees can be changed only by legislative acts of the Indiana General Assembly. The part of the piano where materials probably matter more than anywhere else is the soundboard. The laws of the state of Indiana require that the trustees: provide a seal, have power to appoint and remove all professors and teachers, regulate faculty and staff compensations, do anything necessary and expedient to put and keep the university in operation, and make all bylaws, rules, and regulations necessary to conduct and manage the university.

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. When Purdue University was established in 1869, the Indiana General Assembly created a Board of Trustees having, by law, full governance and control of the university. 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. Below is a selection of the most popular legends. 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. Many of these legends are so outlandish, it is difficult to believe they are still in circulation. Since World War II, plastics have become available. Like many institutions with long and rich histories, Purdue University is steeped in legend.

hornbeam). The lyrics are as follows:. maple, beech. Elliott Hall of Music. The numerous grand parts and upright parts of a piano action are generally hardwood (e.g. The University Choir first performed the hymn in 1943, during convocation in the Edward C. 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 lyrics and music were written by Alfred Kirchhoff in 1941.

The inclusion in a piano of an extremely large piece of metal is potentially an aesthetic handicap. In 1993 the Purdue Board of Trustees approved the "Purdue Hymn" as the official alma mater of the university. 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 lyrics of the refrain are:. Some manufacturers now use cast steel in their plates, for greater strength. The official fight song of Purdue University, “Hail Purdue!”, was composed in 1912 by alumni Edward Wotawa (music) and James Morrison (lyrics) as the "Purdue War Song." "Hail Purdue" was copyrighted in 1913 and dedicated to the Varsity Glee Club. 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. The distinctive colors were inspired by those of Princeton University, at the time the leader in college football, whose colors were black and orange.

It is advantageous for the plate to be quite massive. Purdue University adopted its school colors, Old Gold and Black, in the fall of 1887. The plate, or metal frame, of a piano is usually made of cast iron. The seal is generally reserved for more formal usage than the logos of the Boilermaker Special, or Purdue Pete, although a different seal composed of a stylized P surrounded by a circle appears on diplomas. For the acoustic reasons behind this, see Piano acoustics. The words 'Purdue University' are set in Uncial typeface above the griffin, and below the three-part shield represents the three stated aims of the university: education, research, and service. The bass strings of a piano are made of a steel core wrapped with copper wire, to increase their flexibility. The seal features a stylized griffin, which in medieval heraldry symbolizes strength.

They are manufactured to vary as little as possible in diameter, since all deviations from uniformity introduce tonal distortion. The seal, designed by Purdue professor Al Gowan, replaced one that had been used informally for more than 70 years. Piano strings (also called piano wire), which must endure years of extreme tension and hard blows, are made of high quality steel. In 1969 the Purdue University Board of Trustees approved the official seal of Purdue as part of the university’s centennial celebration. It is made of hardwood, and generally is laminated (built of multiple layers) for additional strength and gripping power. The inflatable mascot, made of parachute material, stands nearly 10 feet (3 meters) tall, and represents a young boy who hopes to become a Purdue Boilermaker. The pinblock, which holds the tuning pins in place, is another area of the piano where toughness is important. Purdue's newest symbol, Rowdy, was introduced in 1997 during the first home football game of the season.

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. As a matter of tradition, the modern mallet-wielding Boilermaker character always appears in a #1 jersey. 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. By 1956 Purdue Pete was at the center of activity at Boilermaker athletic events, as entertainer and energizer. According to Harold A. Eventually, the popularity of the image grew among the Purdue community, and the advertisement evolved into a full character, complete with costume and mallet. In quality pianos, the outer rim of the piano is made of a hardwood, normally maple or beech. Pete was originally developed in 1940 as an advertising logo for the University Bookstore.

Many parts of a piano are made of materials selected for extreme sturdiness. Though not the official mascot, Purdue Pete is one of the most recognized symbols of Purdue University. 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. The latest generation of the mascot, the Boilermaker Special Mark V, was dedicated during the halftime show of the 1993 football game versus Notre Dame at Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium. 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 Boilermaker Special, a locomotive, has been the official mascot of Purdue athletics since the 1930s. It works like the damper pedal, but only lifts the dampers for the lowest notes. In the more than 130 years since the founding of the university, several mascots have emerged in support of the Boilermaker athletic teams, including: The Boilermaker Special, Purdue Pete, and more recently, Rowdy.

Other uprights have a bass sustain as a middle pedal. Before the widespread adoption of ‘Boilermaker,’ Purdue was also sometimes referred to as the home of the "haymakers," the "rail-splitters," the "sluggers," or the "cornfield sailors.". The practice pedal is rarely used in performance. Soon afterward, Lafayette newspapers were using the name, and in 1892 the student newspaper announced its approval of the 'boilermaker'. 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 1891, the Purdue football team was first referred to as the "Boiler Makers" by a reporter from Crawfordsville, Indiana, who wrote about the team’s 44-0 victory over local rival Wabash College. Some upright pianos have a practice pedal in place of the sostenuto. The name that has become such a big part of the identity of the university has its origins in the words of a nineteenth century sportswriter.

(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. Over the years, the name has been applied to Purdue organizations (athletic and otherwise), institutions, and individuals alike, and has come to be the unofficial nickname for all things Purdue, although Boilermaker is the official moniker of the athletics teams and certain other university organizations. 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. Since the 1890s, the term ‘Boilermaker’ has been synonymous with Purdue. This can be useful for musical passages with pedal points and other otherwise tricky or impossible situations. After his first season at Purdue, Tiller was named National Coach of the Year by both Football News and Kickoff magazines, the GTE Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and the Big Ten Dave McClain Coach of the Year. 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. The team has made a bowl appearance every year of Tiller’s leadership except in 2005 after a streak of 8 straight appearances.

The sostenuto pedal or "middle pedal" keeps raised any damper that was raised at the moment the pedal is depressed. Before Tiller joined the Boilers as the 33rd head coach in 1996, the team had not seen a bowl game since 1984. increase the already-great versatility of such instruments. The Boilermaker football team, once a minor player in the conference, has enjoyed a significant resurgence in recent years under the leadership of head coach Joe Tiller. Pitch bends, leslie speaker on/off, vibrato modulation, etc. Coach Keady had the honor of being named in The Sporting News as the best college coach never to make the final four. Digital pianos often use this pedal to alter the sound to that of another instrument such as the organ, guitar, or harmonica. In his years at Purdue, Keady has led the Boilermakers to more than 500 victories.

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. Coach Keady became Purdue's all-time-winningest coach on December 6, 1997. On upright pianos, the soft pedal operates a mechanism which moves the hammers' resting position closer to the strings. Men’s former head coach Gene Keady coached his final season with the Boilermakers in the 2004 – 2005 season after 25 years with the Boilermakers. 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. The current coach of the Boilermaker men's basketball team is Matt Painter. 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". The Boilermaker men's and women's basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 conference banners, including a league-leading 21 for the men’s team.

The soft pedal was invented by Cristofori and thus appeared on the very earliest pianos. The Boilermakers battle the Hoosiers on the football field each year to win the Old Oaken Bucket, Purdue leads the series first played in 1925, 66-35-6. For notation of the soft pedal in printed music, see Italian musical terms. Traditional rivals include Big Ten colleagues the Indiana Hoosiers and the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the Big East Conference. This softens the note and also modifies its tone quality. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and played a central role in its creation. 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. Purdue is home to 18 Division I/I-A NCAA teams including football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball and others.

The soft pedal or "una corda" pedal is placed leftmost in the row of pedals. Many of the university's other schools have gained repute over the years. 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. Purdue University's traditional strengths have been in its world-renowned agriculture and engineering programs. 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. degrees. 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. Over the past ten years, Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has awarded more aerospace engineering degrees than any other institution in the country, issuing 6 percent of all undergraduate degrees and 7 percent of all Ph.D.

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. The school adopted its present name in 1973. This serves two purposes. The programs were popular among returning veterans in the years following World War II, bringing total undergraduate enrollment to 736 students. When the damper pedal is pressed, all the dampers on the piano are lifted at once, so that every string can vibrate. The school initially offered undergraduate degrees in both aeronautical engineering and the new field of air transportation, and issued its first graduate degrees in 1947. The damper is raised off the string whenever the key for that note is pressed. Later, other training programs for the war were introduced that eventually lead to the formation of an independent School of Aeronautics in 1945.

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. As a result of the expansion in technical education prompted by World War II, the aeronautical engineering electives in mechanical engineering were expanded to create a full four-year degree program in 1941 within the newly-rechristened School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. It is placed as the rightmost pedal in the group. Purdue libraries maintain an extensive Earhart collection, which is still studied by those seeking to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The damper pedal (also called the sustaining pedal or loud pedal) is often simply called "the pedal," since it is the most frequently used. Earhart began her fateful transoceanic flight from the Purdue University Airport. (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. Purdue also played a central role in Earhart's ill-fated "Flying Laboratory" project, providing funds for the Lockheed L-10 Electra aircraft she intended to fly around the world.

Pianos have had pedals, or some close equivalent, since the earliest days. Famed aviator Amelia Earhart came to Purdue in 1935 and served as a "Counselor on Careers for Women," a staff position she held until her disappearance in 1937. The extra keys are the same as the other keys in appearance. In 1930 Purdue became the first university in the country to offer college credit for flight training, and later became the first to open its own airport. On their instruments, the range is extended both down the bass to F0 and up the treble to F8 for a full eight octaves. Although it would be several years before a separate school would be established, Purdue did begin offering technical electives in aeronautical engineering within the School of Mechanical Engineering in 1921. More recently, the Stuart and Sons company has also manufactured extended-range pianos. He arrived from Dayton, Ohio with a proposal to establish a School of Aviation Engineering at Purdue.

Only a very small number of works composed for piano actually use these notes. Haskins became the first alumnus to land an aircraft on campus. 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. In 1919 George W. 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). Clifford Turpin, from the class of 1908, was the first Purdue graduate to become an aviator, and received flight instruction from Orville Wright himself. 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. J.

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 event, sponsored by Purdue alumni, attracted an estimated 17,000 onlookers and enthusiasts, and was the first of many such exhibitions at Purdue. Almost every modern piano has 88 keys (seven octaves plus a minor third, from A0 to C8). In the summer of 1911 the club hosted Aviation Day, the Lafayette community's first aircraft demonstration. 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. Cicero Veal, professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, organized the Purdue Aero Club. For the arrangement of the keys on a piano keyboard, see Musical keyboard. In 1910, Dr.

Progress is being made in this area by including physical models of sympathetic vibration in the synthesis software. Since the earliest days of the University, students, faculty, and staff have played major, and often instrumental, roles in the history of aerospace. 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. Although the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics was not formally established until 1945, Purdue and the greater Lafayette community have a long history in the field of aviation. 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. By 1883 enrollment had increased beyond 350, and by the turn of the twentieth century Purdue had begun a period of active expansion: scholarship standards were raised, courses were expanded, and equipment was improved. The best digital pianos are sophisticated, with features including working pedals, weighted keys, multiple voices, MIDI interfaces. The first female students were admitted to the university in the fall of the same year.

Since the 1980s, digital pianos have been available, which use digital sampling technology to reproduce the sound of each piano note. Purdue issued its first degree, a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, in 1875. 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. Classes first began at Purdue on September 16, 1874 with three buildings, six instructors, and 39 students. Also in the 19th century, toy pianos began to be manufactured. In 1869, it was decided that the college would be founded near the city of Lafayette and established as Purdue University, in the name of the institution’s principal benefactor. 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. The state of Indiana received a gift of $150,000 from John Purdue, a Lafayette business leader and philanthropist (buried at Purdue), along with $50,000 from Tippecanoe County, and 150 acres (.6 km²) of land from Lafayette residents in support of the project.

For recent advances, see Innovations in the piano. In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly took advantage of this offer, and began plans to establish such an institution. 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. On July 2nd of 1862, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act into law, offering public lands to any state that would establish and maintain a college for the purpose of teaching agriculture and mechanics. 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. The main campus has a consistent enrollment of over 30,000 undergraduate students and of nearly 8,000 graduate students. 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. Purdue is also home to the state of Indiana's school of veterinary medicine.

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). Particularly notable among its numerous research facilities and centers are Discovery Park, the home to its several interdisciplinary programs, and the non-academic Purdue Research Park. There are several sizes of grand piano. The campus is well-known for important and groundbreaking contributions in strategic areas. This makes the grand piano a large instrument, for which the ideal setting is a spacious room with high ceilings for proper resonance. The main campus is particularly noted for its engineering, agriculture, and business administration programs, which are consistently counted among the best. Grand pianos have the frame and strings placed horizontally, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. .

Modern pianos come in two basic configurations and several sizes: the grand piano and the upright piano.
. 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. This main campus in West Lafayette anchors the Purdue University System statewide, which is comprised of regional campuses, satellite technology-training centers, and county agricultural extension offices. 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. Purdue University is a public land-grant university whose primary campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana on the bluffs above the Wabash River. 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. See also Purdue University System..

53). Purdue University System. 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. Engineering Projects In Community Service. Others have noted that the music itself often seems to require the resources of the early piano. Purdue University Horticulture Gardens. 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. See List of Purdue University people.

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. Jischke, 2000-Present. Even the music of the early Romantics, such as Chopin and Schumann, was written for pianos substantially different from ours. Martin C. 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. Beering, 1983-2000. The huge changes in the evolution of the piano have somewhat vexing consequences for musical performance. Steven C.

These were uncommon. Hicks, acting president, 1982-1983. 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. John W. Most had a wood frame, though later designs incorporated increasing amounts of iron. Hansen, 1971-1982. Square pianos were produced through the early 20th century; the tone they produced is widely considered to be inferior. Arthur G.

It was similar to the upright piano in its mechanism. Hovde, 1946-1971. 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. Frederick L. Some early pianos had shapes and designs that are no longer in use. Potter, acting president, 1945-1946. For some recent developments, see Innovations in the piano. Andrey A.

The modern concert grand achieved essentially its present form around the beginning of the 20th century, and progress since then has been only incremental. Elliott, 1922-1945. Some other important technical innovations of this era include the following:. Edward C. As revised by Henri Herz about 1840, the double escapement action ultimately became the standard action for grand pianos, used by all manufacturers. Marshall, acting president, 1921-1922. 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. Henry W.

By the 1820s, the centre of innovation had shifted to Paris, where the Érard firm manufactured pianos used by Chopin and Liszt. Stone, 1900-1921. The two schools, however, used different piano actions: the Broadwood one more robust, the Viennese more sensitive. Winthrop E. The Viennese makers followed these trends. James Henry Smart, 1883-1900. 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. White, 1876-1883.

Over time, the Broadwood instruments grew progressively larger, louder, and more robustly constructed. Emerson E. 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. John Hougham, acting president, 1876. 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. Shortridge, 1874-1875. 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. Abraham C.

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. Richard Owen, 1872-1874. This evolution was in response to a consistent preference by composers and pianists for a more powerful, sustained piano sound. Townsend, of Hartford City, Indiana. 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. Mark W. The term fortepiano is nowadays often used to distinguish the 18th-century style of instrument from later pianos. Thomas Spurgeon, of Peoria, Illinois.

The piano of Mozart's day had a softer, clearer tone than today's pianos, with less sustaining power. Powers, of Gary, Indiana. 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. Mamon M. The Viennese-style pianos were built with wooden frames, two strings per note, and had leather-covered hammers. Peterson, of Rochester, Indiana. 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. Robert E.

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

Virtually all subsequent pianos incorporated some version of Silbermann's idea. Birck, of Hinsdale, Illinois. 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. Michael J. One of these builders was Gottfried Silbermann, better known as an organ builder. Hardin, Vice Chairman, of Danville, Indiana. This article was widely distributed, and most of the next generation of piano builders started their work as a result of reading it. John D.

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. Timothy McGinley, Chairman, of Indianapolis, Indiana. However, in comparison with the clavichord (the only previous keyboard instrument capable of dynamic nuance) they were considerably louder, and had more sustaining power. J. Cristofori's early instruments were made with thin strings and were much quieter than the modern piano. Though this story cannot be corroborated, it has been a favorite folk legend among some of the administration. Cristofori's piano action served as a model for the many different approaches to piano actions that were to follow. According to the legend, the coaches gathered a number of boilermakers from the Monon Railroad Shops, enrolled them in one class each, and added them to the team.

Moreover, the hammers must return to their rest position without bouncing violently, and it must be possible to repeat a note rapidly. The legend tells of two Purdue football coaches that would not accept the scrawny volunteers that came out for the team. 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). Another legend purports to offer an explanation of the Boilermaker moniker. Cristofori, himself a harpsichord maker, was well acquainted with this body of knowledge. In recent years due to rennovation, this has been removed. 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. A series of smokestacks on top of a building were arranged in such a way that it looked like an upraised finger was being shown in the general direction of Indiana University.

Like many other inventions, the pianoforte was founded on earlier technological innovations. Another legend was of John Purdue's finger. Cristofori built only about twenty pianofortes before he died in 1731; the three that survive today date from the 1720s. A particle accelerator is underground in the physics building, and does extend into the general vicinity of the fountain. 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. It generates a small amount of energy, comparable to the amount of energy to run a hair dryer or toaster. He called it a gravicembalo col piano e forte. There is a nuclear reactor, but it is in the Electrical Engineering building.

Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy, invented the first pianoforte. This has some semblance of truth. . The reactor is cooled by the Engineering fountain. In a piano, the strings are struck by hammers which immediately rebound, leaving the string to vibrate freely. According to some stories there is a nuclear reactor underground, which powers the entire campus. In the clavichord, strings are struck by tangents which remain in contact with the string. These, of course, are also untrue.

In a harpsichord, strings are plucked by quills or similar material. The legends range from silly to macabre and many involve students from rival Indiana University participating in grave robbing and other acts of desecration. The three instruments differ in the mechanism of sound production. There are also a number of legends that periodically circulate on campus that involve benefactor John Purdue’s grave, which is located on campus per his final requests. As a keyboard stringed instrument, the piano is similar to the clavichord and harpsichord. In fact, the new tower includes bells from the original Bell Tower, which was demolished in 1956. 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. However, inside the modern Bell Tower are a computerized carillon, and an electronic clock.

It is derived from the original Italian name for the instrument, clavicembalo col piano e forte. Project leaders supposedly had a speaker system installed to imitate the sound of ringing bells. The word piano is a shortened form of the word "pianoforte", which is seldom used except in formal language. The legend claims that when construction of the tower was completed in 1995 it was discovered that the tower was structurally flawed, and as a result the bells could not ring without risking collapse. These vibrations are transmitted though the bridges to the soundboard. One of the more bizarre, yet most commonly heard, legends on campus concerns the integrity of the Purdue Bell Tower. The piano produces sound by striking steel strings with felt hammers. It is of interest to note that these buildings are considered "off-campus" by many of the students, due to their location in an area which is surrounded primarily by local business.

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. Although both buildings on the West Lafayette campus are made of limestone, both had brick included in their foundations in keeping with the 'red brick' tradition. Reblitz (Vestal Press, ISBN 1-879511-03-7). Although this claim cannot be substantiated, it is apparently contradicted by two university buildings: Krannert and Rawls halls. Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding: For the Professional, the Student, and the Hobbyist by Arthur A. A legend connected with benefactor John Purdue asserts that he owned the local brickyard, and that his donation carried the stipulation that all permanent university buildings must be built of red brick or his entire gift reverts to Purdue's heirs. 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. Purdue and Indiana University rigged up the first supercomputer network in the nation to tie together university-owned computers with a combined peak capacity of more than one teraflop.

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. Although not academic, Purdue's research park was ranked first by the Association of University Research Parks in 2004[4]. 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. Purdue was the birthplace of the nation’s first academic program in computer science in 1962[3]. It also includes advice on buying and owning pianos. Its technology education program ranks first in the nation[2]. 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. Purdue's College of Technology is the largest producer of engineering technology graduates among public universities in the United States.

The Piano Book by Larry Fine (4th ed. Purdue's School of Nuclear Engineering ranks 4th by US News & World Report. In the 1988 edition, the primary article can be found in "Musical Instruments". The School of Industrial Engineering was 3rd by US News & World Report. The Encyclopædia Britannica (available online by subscription) also includes a great deal of information about the piano. Purdue's landscape and architecture design program ranks 2nd in the nation. Main article: "Pianoforte". Purdue's industrial/manufacturing program ranks 2nd in the nation.

The authoritative New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (available online by subscription), contains a wealth of information on the piano. Purdue's College of Engineering ranks 8th in the nation by US News & World Report. Similar systems developed by Blüthner (1873), as well as Taskin (1788), and Collard (1821) used more distinctly ringing undamped vibrations to modify tone. Krannert School of Management's MBA was ranked 1st by regional corporate recruiters in the Wall Street Journal[1]. 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. Krannert School of Management ranks 8th among public universities according to Business Week. duplexes or aliquot scales. 1 nationally by a survey published in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education.

in 1859. Purdue University's hospitality and tourism management undergraduate program has been ranked No. 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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