Fact File about the Invention of the Piano: Invention: Piano *** Date of Invention: c.1709 *** Name of Inventor: Bartolomeo Cristofori *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1655 - 1731 *** Nationality of Inventor: Italian *** Historical Period: Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1860) *** Category: Musical Instruments *** Country of Origin: Italy *** The Inventor and Invention of the Piano ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Piano? The Piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in c.1709 during
the Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1700 - 1860) and was a prominent addition to advancements made in the area of Musical Instruments.
Fact 2: Who invented the Piano? Prior to the invention of the Piano in c.1709, there was
a limited number of stringed keyboard instruments, the most prominent being the
harpsichord and the clavichord.
Fact 3: Who invented the Piano? The
inventor of the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori, was born on May 4, 1655 in Padua, Italy and died on January 27, 1731.
Fact 4: Who invented the Piano? The early years of Bartolomeo Cristofori were spent in Padua, Italy where he was raised by his family. Bartolomeo Cristofori was educated at apprentice to the famous
violin maker Nicolo Amati. Following his education his first job was as an
apprentice to a maker of musical instruments.
Fact 5: Who invented the Piano?
Bartolomeo Cristofori became an expert harpsichord maker and had an extensive
knowledge of stringed keyboard instruments.
Fact 6: Who invented the Piano? In
1668 Cristofori was employed by Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany,
as his Keeper of Musical Instruments. Prince Ferdinando was a talented musician
who sang and played the harpsichord. He was also a patron of music.
Fact 7: Who invented the Piano? Prince
Ferdinando de’ Medici had a great collection of over 75 musical instruments and
was keen for Bartolomeo Cristofori to use his musical skills to develop new
Fact 8: Who invented the Piano?
Ferdinando de’ Medici provided Cristofori with the money and allowed him the
time to work as a musical inventor. In 1690 Bartolomeo Cristofori invented a
type of harpsichord called the oval spinet and then the spinettone which was
much longer, but narrower, than a regular harpsichord.
Fact 9: Who invented the Piano?
Bartolomeo Cristofori became determined to invent a musical instrument that
improved the existing harpsichord (a keyboard instrument whose strings are
plucked by quills or plectrums, instead of hammers, for striking the strings)
and the clavichord (a delicate sounding stringed instrument with a keyboard)
Fact 10: Who invented the Piano?
Bartolomeo Cristofori found that the harpsichord was loud but it had no control
of dynamics (variation in force or intensity). The clavichord had a certain
degree of dynamics but it was too quiet. Neither the clavichord nor the
harpsichord enabled a musician to add emotion to the music or to vary the tone
of the instrument. And Bartolomeo Cristofori resolved to address these problems.
Bartolomeo worked hard on his new musical instrument which was invented c1709.
He referred to his invention as the 'gravicembalo col piano e forte' meaning
"harpsichord with soft and loud". The word piano is a shortened forms of
Fact 12: He
dampened the sound of his 'piano' by means of the hammer striking the string but
not remaining in contact with it. He therefore resolved the problem of the
existing keyboard instruments by replacing the plucking mechanism of the
harpsichord with a hammer action.
Bartolomeo Cristofori’s piano was the first successful keyboard instrument which
used hammers to hit the strings.
Fact 14: The invention of the Piano
enabled the pianist to vary their touch or pressure on the keys enabling them to
convey emotions into their music.
Fact 15: The
invention of the Piano was greeted well by his patron Prince Ferdinando but the
new musical instrument was not initially made public, it was only enjoyed by the
Bartolomeo Cristofori continued to make improvements to his piano designs. On
his earliest pianos the natural keys were black and the accidental keys were
white, the exact opposite of the final piano keyboard, as it exists today.
Fact 17: The
piano was finally made public in 1711 when an Italian journalist called Scipione
Maffei published drawings of the new invention.
Fact 18: Who invented the Piano?
Prince Ferdinando died in 1713 and Bartolomeo Cristofori continued to work in
the service of the grand duke, Cosimo III.
Fact 19: Who invented the Piano?
Bartolomeo Cristofori remained in the service of the Medici family until his
death on January 27, 1731.
Fact 20 - Impact: How did the Piano impact the world? The impact of the invention of the Piano
was a highly important advancement and a hugely influential instrument in both
music and society.