NATIONAL PIANO MONTH
All during the month of September, we take time to honor everything piano. It’s National Piano Month! The entire month is set aside to pay tribute to pianists everywhere, piano makers and those who simply enjoy piano music.
Bartolomeo Cristofori is given credit for inventing the first piano in Padua, Italy, around 1700. At the time, Cristofori’s employment with the Florentine Court of the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici put him in charge of a large collection of the Prince’s musical instruments, including his harpsichords. During this time, Cristofori’s interest in stringed-instruments led him to the early development of the piano. Cristofori’s early piano designs were a testament to technological innovations in keyboard instruments of the times. At the height of the Industrial Revolution, composers and pianists like Mozart found a passion and eagerness for a more powerful and sustainable piano sound. As expected, the piano underwent tremendous changes during the 1790s to the 1860’s, leading to the modern form of the piano.
Piano experts and enthusiasts are able to identify four basic types of pianos–the Spinet, Console, Studio, and Grande. The Spinet piano is the smallest of all piano types, while the Grande is the largest. Though all pianos are known as upright pianos, piano experts agree each piano style has its own distinct and identifiable sound.
The Spinet piano is the smallest of all pianos. Spinet pianos have a large number of working parts and have the characterization as being dropped action pianos. Dropped action refers to the hammer-like striking action to strike the keys. Similar to its relative, the Console piano is closest to the Spinet piano in size. Furthermore, the action needed to play the Spinet piano is also used for the Console piano.
Studio pianos are taller than both the Spinet and Console pianos, respectively. The Studio piano also offers a richer tone than the two. However, the Studio piano has a different feel in comparison to a Spinet or Console piano. Finally, Grande pianos are the tallest and largest of all pianos. Similar to Studio pianos, Grande pianos are full of rich sounds that are carried carefully within the keys to emit a beautiful sound. Grande pianos are known to be the most beautiful and durable of all four pianos. Notably, when properly cared for, Grande pianos will last generations, making them a timeless heirloom.
Other types of pianos found today are more specialized and can be put into a category of their own. Furthermore, these types of pianos are more commonly used in contemporary music. Obviously, electric pianos are based on electro-mechanical designs because of the synthesized piano-like tones that use oscillators and digital samples of acoustic piano sounds.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Try learning to play the piano in celebration of National Piano Month. If possible, find a local piano instructor to set up your piano playing classes. You never know! You might become an expert piano player!
Use #NationalPianoMonth in social media.
We give credit to Bartolomeo Cristofori as the inventor of the first piano in Padua, Italy, around 1700. If it wasn’t for his interest in stringed-instruments, Cristofori’s might not have developed the piano we know today. Because of him, the piano has undergone tremendous changes leading to the modern form of the piano.
We were unable to find the founder of National Piano Month.
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