Posts Tagged ‘christofori’

In the beginning

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

The idea of having strings attached to another piece of wood that made sound had been around for years but the idea of having a keyboard was not truly developed until around the 1400’s.  For the next 300 years (give or take a year or two), the harpsichord was the instrument that set the “bench mark” for keyboard instruments.

Sure, there were many other instruments that came and went, a small portable harpsichord, and variations on the harpsichord did come on the scene from time to time and their popularity came and went, but the harpsichord was the instrument that was to be the traditional instrument for many composers and artists to use not only for “pop” music but also for worship in local churches and houses of worship.

The idea of the harpsichord was that the hammers moved forward to the strings, the strings were then plucked as the hammer returned to its resting point.  This was the standard sound that was heard but there were a few problems with this that necessitated a different technique in producing sound.  One of the biggest problems was that the sound could not be made softer or louder.   This made it  very difficult to write music that allowed feeling.

Sometime in the early 1700’s, many people believe it was between 1707 to 1712 that a man by the name of Bartolommeo Cristofori came up with the idea that the hammer could move  from its resting place, come forward and strike the string, and return to its  resting place in one very fluid movement.

this action by renner actions

There were many more differences but, this was somewhat similar to the action that Christofori made in the early 1700’s.  He referred to his new invention as “gravicembalo col piano e forte” which meant ” harpsichord with loud and soft”

This was the beginning of the piano as we know it today.  Lots has changed since that day and many things have stayed the same.

I will continue this series to help inform you of the origins of my passion.

Ric Overton

Ric@PianoSD.com

posted by Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

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