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Piano Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Piano Facts

Piano Facts

The piano is a musical instrument played by way of a keyboard. The typical acoustic piano has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings. Strings are sounded when the keys are pressed. There are 88 keys in all (52 white and and 36 black). A greater touch on a key produces a louder sound of the corresponding note. By using pedals, notes can be sustained even when the keys are released.

The piano was created in Padua, Italy in 1709. Harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori is credited with development of the instrument, which he called a pianofortepiano meaning “soft” and forte meaning “loud.” Unlike the harpsichord, the piano allowed for variations in volume depending upon a pianist’s touch on the keys.

Many improvements have been made over the past 300 years, yet the modern instrument remains true to Cristofori’s earliest designs. His oldest surviving pianoforte was built in 1720 and is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

There has never been a better time to acquire and learn to play the piano. Not every home has the space or budget for a grand or upright model, but there are many other options. Digital pianos and keyboards are extremely popular and affordable.

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Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a pianist.

Notable pianists include Leif Ove Andsnes, Martha Argerich, Claudio Arrau, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Ludwig van Beethoven, Alfred Brendel, Frédéric Chopin, Glenn Gould, Myra Hess, Vladimir Horowitz, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Ogdon, Murray Perahia, Maria Joao Pires, Maurizio Pollini, Sergei Rachmaninov, Sviatoslav Richter, Arthur Rubinstein, Clara Schumann, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Mitsuko Uchida. Source: Classic FM – The 25 Best Piano Players of All Time

Imprint Piano

Kelsey Hochstatter Art Print

Piano FactsImprint Piano by Kelsey Hochstatter

Listen to the Piano

Don Grusin & Friends

Songwriter, producer, and keyboardist Don Grusin performs Catwalk, from the album “The Hang.” Also performing are Alex Acuña (drums), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Abraham LaBoriel (bass), and Sadao Watanabe (alto saxophone).

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Business Cards for Performers and Teachers

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Piano Facts

Find a Keyboard Online

Casio 61-Key Portable Keyboard Package

Product details:

  • Samson HP30 closed-cup headphones
  • 400 AHL keyboard voices
  • 150 rhythms, 110 songs, 10 digital effects
  • Intuitive sampling function with built-in microphone and audio input
  • Voice percussion function (samples are integrated into the rhythm)
  • 61 keys with 48-note polyphony
  • Rugged World Tour X-Style keyboard stand
  • Step-up learning system
  • Power supply

Casio 61-Key Portable Keyboard PackageCasio 61-Key Portable Keyboard PackageX-Style Stand DetailX-Style Stand Detail

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Piano Facts

Piano Deals Online

Keep an eye on this automatically updating gallery of pianos, keyboards, and accessories available on eBay. Find bargains on all kinds of stringed instruments including pianos and keyboards.

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Alesis MELODY61 61 Key Digital Piano 200 Sounds

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Harpsichord Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Harpsichord Facts

Harpsichord Facts

The harpsichord is a musical string instrument, somewhat similar in appearance to a piano. Both instruments are played by means of a keyboard. However, when a key is pressed on a harpsichord keyboard, a corresponding string is plucked to create a sound.

Similar plucked keyboard instruments in this family include the archicembalo, clavicytherium, ottavina, spinet, and virginal.

Replaced in popularity by the piano at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the harpsichord has enjoyed a renewed interest in recent times. Its unique sound is appropriate for historical music as well as contemporary compositions.

More Harpsichord Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a harpsichordist.

Notable harpsichordists include Tori Amos, Francesco Baroni, Michele Benuzzi, Michael Borgstede, Elizabeth Farr, Ketil Haugsand, Kim Heindel, Anthony Newman, Trevor Pinnock, Jean Rondeau, Andreas Staier, and Peter Watchorn.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Vinyl Wall Decal

Harpsichord FactsJohann Sebastian Bach Wall Decal

Johann Sebastian Bach

The harpsichord was widely used in Renaissance and Baroque music. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) was perhaps the most celebrated composer to write music specifically for the instrument. His solo works continue to be performed widely, though often on the piano. Bach was a pioneer of the harpsichord concerto, and featured the instrument in his Fifth Brandenburg Concerto.

Chaconne, The Novel

by Joseph C. Mastroianni

 

Johann Sebastian Bach lost both of his parents at an early age, then outlived 10 of his 20 children. His beloved wife died while he was away on a brief assignment. Chaconne, the Novel takes you back to the early 1700s when the legendary composer created what many consider his most emotionally raw piece of music. The story alternates between Bach and Brooklyn-born Milo Damiani, whose earliest memory is of his estranged father playing Chaconne on the violin. Though the characters are separated by two and a half centuries, their stories are woven together as both men deal with tragedy, pain, love of family, and joy.

Listen to the Harpsichord

Performed by Jean Rondeau

French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne for his debut album Imagine. Born in 1991, Rondeau is an accomplished musician with impeccable credentials. An award-winning master of the harpsichord, he is also proficient as an organist, a choral conductor, and a pianist. Rondeau co-founded Note Forget, an ensemble that features his jazz-oriented compositions and piano improvisations.

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Harpsichord Facts

Build a Piece of Music History

The Art of Making a Harpsichord

by Darryl Martin

For nearly three centuries the harpsichord was a commonly played musical instrument, as well as a fashionable piece of furniture. This book gives readers an opportunity to learn some interesting harpsichord facts, and perhaps discover the challenging and rewarding pursuit of building an heirloom quality musical instrument.

Harpsichord FactsThe Art of Making a Harpsichord

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Harpsichord Facts

Harpsichord Deals Online

Keep an eye on this automatically updating gallery of harpsichords and accessories available on eBay. Find bargains on all kinds of string instruments including harpsichords.

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Harpsichord built by Richard Kingston 1982

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