From The Blog Of Ric Overton...


There have been about 6 or 8 major changes since the very earliest days after the invention of the piano.  I have located a picture that you may be interested in.

This is rumored to be one of the very first pianos.  Between the years of about 1790 and leading up to the the years around 1870 the changes that were bought about were changes that would last til today.

  1. The original piano only had 5 (five) octaves.  These were eventually stretched out to 71/2 octaves in the early 1800’s.  There are some manufacturers that have experimented with longer octave ranges like Bosendorfer (for example) and a couple of others. However, these pianos are not in common manufacturing lines.
  2. We integrated the use of an iron plate to help with the stability of the piano and assisting in making it last much longer than the older ones may have been capable of.  The one piece casting is very heavy with some weighing up to several hundred pounds.  Originally the piano either did not have a plate or a wooden plate.  I am sure that when this was originally done the enthusiasts of that day thought this was a horrible idea and that the piano had been ruined.
  3. The hammers which had been made of leather gave a very tinky sound because of the hardness of the leathers.  Early in the 1800’s it was discovered that you could use hammers made of felt.  The felt hammers would increase the tone of the piano (notice that I said “increase the tone” and not “increase the volume”) and this gave the piano a much richer tone than the piano that Cristofori had brought to us earlier.

Over the next few days I will be telling you more about the history of the piano and fill you in on the other changes that the piano was about to undertake.


posted by Ric Overton of via


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