Piano Origins Unveiled
The modern piano's ancestry traces back to the early 1700s. Invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Italy, its original name was 'gravicembalo col piano e forte', meaning 'harpsichord with soft and loud'.
Evolution of Sound Mechanism
Unlike its predecessors, the piano can vary the intensity of sound. The hammer strikes the strings, allowing dynamic control - softer or louder - based on the player's touch, a revolutionary feature of Cristofori's design.
Range Expansion Over Centuries
Early pianos had a range of only about four octaves. Today, concert grand pianos boast a range of seven octaves, offering composers a vast canvas for their musical expressions.
Unique Pedaling System
Modern pianos have up to three pedals. The sustain pedal (right) prolongs the sound, while the una corda pedal (left) softens it. The sostenuto pedal (middle) sustains selected notes, offering nuanced sound textures.
The World's Largest Pianos
The Fazioli F308 model measures over 10 feet, making it the longest widely produced piano. It has a fourth pedal that brings hammers closer to strings, reducing volume without altering tone quality.
Pianos in Space Exploration
A specially-designed piano was sent to the International Space Station in 2011. Weighing just a kilogram, it was intended to provide astronauts with musical comfort without adding significant weight to the payload.
Rare and Precious Pianos
The most expensive piano ever sold is the 'Crystal Piano', used for the Beijing Olympic Games. It fetched a staggering $3.22 million at auction, signifying its blend of musical instrument and art piece.