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Evolution of Piano

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Dulcimer originally found in Iran shortly after the birth of Christ. The Dulcimer is the basic principles of the piano, hammers striking different strings tuned over a flat soundboard. Dulcimer players used two light sticks ending with broader blades, instead of the mechanical hammers.

Clavichord built in around 1400, the clavichord had about ten strings and in earlier examples two notes or more was produced from that string or pair of strings by making two or more tangents contacts the same string or pair of strings at different points. The clavichord has a quiet tone, but the way it's built allowa for some control of dynamics and even vibrato.

The virginal uses the same plucking action as the harpsichord, but it is oblong rather than wing shaped and the keyboard is in the long side. In this regard, it resembles the clavichord in shape. The virginal has one string per note running parallel to the keyboard and its range is approximately four octaves.

Harpsichord has the string which is plucked by a small plectrum, originally of quill. The variety of sound from these plucked instruments is achieved not primarily by finger pressure, but more subtly by phrasing and articulation. Variety of tonal color can be obtained, on a harpsichord by judicious choice of registration.

Cristofori Pianoforte - The year 1709 is the one most sources give for the appearance of an instrument which can truly be called a "Pianoforte." The writer Scipione Maffei wrote an article that year about the pianoforte created by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1732), who had probably produced four "gravicembali col piano e forte" or harpsichords with soft and loud. This instrument featured the first real escapement mechanism and is often called a "hammer harpsichord." The small hammers were leather covered. It had bichords throughout, and all the dampers were wedge-shaped. By 1726 he seems to have fitted a stop for the action to make the hammers strike only one of two strings. He had produced about twenty pianos by this time and then he is presumed to have gone back to making harpsichords, probably from the lack of interest in his pianos. Three of his pianos remain extant today: one with four octaves, dated 1720, is in New York; one with four and a half octaves, from 1726, is in Leipzig, Germany; and there is one in Rome from 1722. There are approximately ten plucked instruments surviving



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