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 instruments.
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.
Fact 11: 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 pianoforte.
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.
Fact 13: 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 Medici court.
Fact 16: 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.