What is the meaning of Piano? Concept, Definition of Piano

Definition of Piano

On this website you will find one or more meanings in your language for the word or expression: Piano. As well as definitions of Wikipedia pages and other Web pages related to the word Piano and, of course, synonym of Piano with appropriate images related to the use of this expression.

Archivo:Piano Pokorny 1905.JPG

1. Concept of Piano

The piano (a word which in Italian means "soft", and in this case is apocope of the original term, 'pianoforte", referring to its nuances, soft and strong) is a musical instrument classified as an instrument of keyboard of ropes swinging by the traditional classification system, and according to the Hornbostel-Sachs classification is a simple chordophone. The musician who plays the piano called the pianist.
It is composed of a resonance box, to which has been added a keyboard through which dance steel ropes with hammers lined with felt, producing the sound. Vibrations are transmitted through bridges to the soundboard that amplifies them. It is formed by a chromatic harp of multiple strings, powered by a mechanism of indirect percussion, to which you have added dampers. It was invented around the year 1700 by the Paduan Bartolomeo Cristofori. His predecessors include instruments like zither, the monochord, the hammered dulcimer, the clavichord and the harpsichord.
Throughout history, there have been different types of pianos, but the most common are the piano tail and the vertical piano or wall. Piano tuning is a primary factor in the acoustics of the instrument and is performed by changing the tension of the strings so that they vibrate at appropriate frequencies.
In Western music, piano can be used for the interpretation of solo for the camera, for the accompaniment music, to help compose and to rehearse. The first specific compositions for this instrument emerged around the year 1732; These include the 12 sonatas for piano by Lodovico Giustini titled Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti. Since then, many have been composers who have performed piano works and in many cases those composers themselves were pianists. Figures include Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Piotr Ilich Chaikovski. He was the representative of musical romanticism instrument and has played a relevant role in society, especially among the classes more affluent of the 18th and 19th centuries. It is an interest in the music instrument jazz.
The word «piano» derives from the original Italian of the instrument name, pianoforte (piano: «soft» and forte: «strong»), assigned by its first manufacturer, Bartolomeo Cristofori: harpsichord col piano e forte (literally ' harpsichord [sound] soft and strong»). This refers to the ability of the piano to produce sounds with different intensities, depending on the weight applied to it to the keys. This feature differed it from his predecessors, who could only produce a single volume.

2 Meaning of Piano

What they share in historical as Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Frédéric Chopin figures? All three were great composers and performers of works for piano. The term, which comes from the Italian pianoforte, refers to an instrument that is used to create and play music from a keyboard that drives strings.
When a key is pressed in the pianist (the person who plays the piano), the internal mechanism of the instrument makes you hit a certain string, producing the sound. Thanks to the pedals of the piano, it is even possible to modify the characteristics of the sound.
Said that the piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori at the beginning of the 18th century, having as background closer to instruments such as the harpsichord and zither. Over time developed different types of pianos, which include the wall piano and grand piano.
To tune a piano, it is necessary to analyze and, if necessary, modify the tension of each string. The vibration of the strings should be provided at a frequency that is accurate, ensuring the purity of the sound.
It is possible to use the piano in various musical genres. What we now know as classical music, with his symphonies and operas, often give great importance to the piano. The jazz and symphonic rock also awarded prominently to this instrument.
Since piano, in Italian, means "slow" or "soft", in our language it is usually used the expression piano piano to refer to something that should be done step by step or calmly. For example: "do not worry: advances piano piano, safely, and things will leave you well".

3. Definition of Piano

To know the origin of the piano we must go back to meet some other older than the same musical instruments, which with the passage of time, evolutionarily gave rise to this beautiful musical instrument.
The oldest musical instrument that initiates the evolutionary line that culminates in what is today known as piano is the zither. This instrument is originally from Africa and Southeast Asia and dates back to the bronze age (about 3000 BC). The zither consisted of a set of strings arranged at a certain height on a small table, which were put to vibrate through the nails of fingers or some other sharp item.
A subsequent to the zither instrument, although with slight variations, was the monochord. Its construction was based on the placement of a single rope (from there its name: Monkey = a Hey rope) considerably longer than the zither, vibrating on a small box of resonance built of wood. On this instrument was Pythagoras, the famous Greek philosopher, completed his studies on the relationship between musical intervals.
Was the next evolutionary step the psaltery, a tool built on the principles of the sitar but with a trapezoidal shape according to the different lengths of the strings. He had a rudimentary harmonic table and small tonal bridges. The trapezoidal shape of the Psalter is that later is present in the design of the first harpiscordios. We find a variation of the Psalter in the Dulcimer that, basically following the same principles of construction which the Psalter was intended not to make the strings played with the hands or with some poignant element but that they are swinging.
The piano such which we know it today is based, then, on the principles of construction of the above-mentioned instruments, whose strings are not already touched with the hands but swinging by hammers.
There are a number of constituent elements of all of them that, although they have changed in shape, size and material of construction, are present in the piano. These elements can be summarized in the following: a frame skeleton or structure, a varied number of ropes tightened through it to vibrate at a certain height in a table or box that deals of amplify its sound. The oldest instruments, except in the dulcimer, these strings, tuned conveniently and in very different ways throughout history and geographical regions, are touched with the fingers.
The idea of bringing some sort of mechanical device between strings and fingers, in such a way that those have since touched directly by the fingers, is not as old and one of the last steps in the evolution of the piano. It is assumed that the first attempts in this regard took place around the 12th and 13th centuries.
These instruments include to the harpsichord, an instrument in which the strings were put to vibrate using a small nail or needle metal. This nail or needle was set in motion from a keyboard powered by fingers. This keyboard, using pieces of wood or metal, springs and cloths more or less complex systems, transmitting its motion to the nail or needle. This last "hooking" the cord and releasing it immediately making it vibrate.
A further development although contemporary harpsichord produced an instrument called Harpiscordio. The difference found between the two is that in this last strings were put to vibrate by a Quill or feather-veined.
Around the year 1695, an Italian named Bartolomeo Cristofori think piano which is known today which, though basically similar to the harpsichord and the Harpiscordio species, included in the design of its mechanism a revolutionary concept. Since both the harpsichord and the Harpiscordio were vibrating strings through some kind of pick or plectrum, strings began to always vibrate with the same volume and tone regardless of how fast or slowly the keys you press. The instrument developed by Cristofori element putting strings to vibrate was a piece of wood shaped like a hammer whose tip was covered with leather. This had no metallic, shrill sound as in the harpsichord and the Harpiscordio but a sound much more sweet and sharp. In addition, mentioned hammer had an exhaust system by means of which it was possible to vary both the volume as well as the pitch of the sound. This instrument was significantly augmented the musical expressive power in it was not only possible to always produce a particular sound to the same volume and tone, as mentioned about the two instruments that they precede the piano, but that it was also possible to produce sounds with more or less volume than others and produce a very slight tonal variation. And all of this is clear, it was possible to do it from the keyboard, as this will touch. Fast and sudden movements of the key produced sounds of loud and bright; movements slow and appeased produced smaller and sweeter in tone sounds.
This was the first piano that was built. Mr Bartolomeo Cristofori called it "Forte-Piano", name that meant nothing more than refer to what we have just said as its main characteristics: that the instrument could produce loud sounds (forte) and soft (piano). Today we more commonly use the word Piano to refer to this instrument.
Bartolomeo Cristofori built three pianos in his life, the oldest of which is kept in the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York and dates back to 1720.
Since the first Italian to the current pianos pianos many improvements and advances have been made, but the concept and the fundamental idea for its construction are still the same. Materials have been optimized to achieve a better sound quality, the number of notes has been increased gradually to expand the musical ability of the instrument and design has been enhanced to achieve a better perfomance. But the fundamental concept of Forte-Piano as an instrument capable of achieving strong and soft sounds are remains the same.

From the piano from Cristofori to the modern piano

As we mentioned recently, the Cristofori piano was the first to possess a system of mechanism with hammer that could achieve both loud sounds as soft. In 1711 Scipione Maffei describes one of the first pianos by Cristofori as a "harpiscordio (gravicembalo) with strong and soft".
To 1726 Cristofori introduces a new element into its pianos, the system "una corda" which remains to the present day. I was based on the possibility of allowing the performer using a special command to move the mechanism in such a way that each hammer tap on fewer strings of what usually makes for a very soft sound. In current modern pianos the "una corda" allows piano hammer hit on only a string of each group.
The first specific compositions for pianos make their appearance in 1732. They are the 12 sonatas for piano by Giustini.
Juan Sebastián Bach takes contact for the first time with a piano around the year 1750. The piano was built by Gottfried Silbermann who built pianos from 1725.
This man was an organ builder of the city of Freiberg, in Saxonia. It took contact with the piano of Cristofori towards the end of the Decade of the 20 what moved him to build his own. Bach got in touch with him and asked that he alivianara the mechanism and that it would reinforce the volume of the sound in the upper octaves. Silbermann was ordering what produced that Bach would become agent of sales of these pianos.
From Gottfried Silbermann workshop developed the famous schools of construction of pianos known as the "German school" and the "English school".
Two disciples of Silbermann called Johannes Zumpe and Americus Backers emigrated to London where he developed a piano possessing the same mechanism as the Cristofori but with significant modifications. This evolved mechanism was more late was called "English mechanism".
Another disciple of Silbermann called Stein, perhaps the most notable of them, made other variants to the original mechanism of a designer called Schröter. This mechanism was that later became known as "German mechanism or coming".
Between the years 1760 to 1830, there was a great expansion in the construction of pianos. The first concert of piano ever made by Henry Walsh in Dublin, occurs in 1762. The square piano, a special variant of the grand piano, makes its debut in 1776 by construction of Sebastián Erard.
The famous sonatas for piano Opus Muzio Clementi 2 trying to make maximum use of the resources of the piano are published in 1773. The first piano in the United States of America in a factory installed in Philadelphia was built in 1775.
In 1795 develops in London at first upright piano. Its designer was William Stodart.
In 1808 Sebastián Erard, a designer of German-born French pianos, patented his famous mechanism of simple repetition and presents the Cork which allowed to remain to the strings in its exact place after the hammer blow. In 1810 Sebastian designed the pedal mechanism as it comes up to our days. In 1822 he introduces its mechanism of double repetition that allowed great speed of repetition between keys.
In the year 1828 Ignaz Bösendorfer founded his factory in Austria. These pianos are currently among the most outstanding in the world. The year 1853 marks a milestone in what refers to formation of factories of pianos that are now renowned. The German Heinrich Steinweg emigrated to the United States of America and founded Steinway and Sons in New York. Julius Blüthner founded its factory in Leipzig and Carl Bechstein makes theirs in Berlin.
In 1863, Steinway designed and built the modern upright piano with cross strings and a single harmonic table. In 1874 he perfects the Sostenuto pedal. In that same year J. Blüthner patented his famous system aliquot which increases the resonance of the strings introduce a fourth rope in addition to each group of three, although most high. This rope is not percutida by the hammer, but it vibrates in sympathy.
In 1880 Steinway opened a branch office in Hamburg beginning to fight the European market with its two strong challengers: Bechstein and Blüthner.
From that year already it can speak of modern piano, as we know it today. Although we found subsequent developments of design, these have not been revolutionary.

The modern Piano

Characteristics, properties and models

When we talk about the modern piano we refer mainly to pianos designed and built in the last decade of the century up to the present. While this period of time is very broad, pianos that were built on it can be considered altogether since variations of design and materials have been minor.
In modern pianos, we find two large groups:
  • Upright piano
  • Piano de Cola
Vertical pianos are characterized by the harp, strings and hammers perpendicular to the floor. As a result, we have a piano in which its exterior appearance is "standing" furniture.
The grand pianos are characterized by the harp, strings and hammers that are parallel to the floor. In this case the type of resulting furniture is "lying" and the Cabinet on its back shaped tail.
Within the upright piano we have furniture of different sizes. Here that can speak of different generic models of upright piano.
These can be summarized in the following four groups:
  • Vertical large or old (bad called "concert"), over 140 cm in height.
  • Vertical Studio. 110 To 139 cm in height.
  • Vertical console. 98 To 109 cm of height.
  • Vertical spinet. Children of 98 cm high.
Regardless of the size also can be classified to pianos according to the relative height of the mechanism with respect to the keyboard. Thus in the large vertical we found mechanisms positioned above the height of the keyboard and with heights ranging from 26 to 40 cm. In the vertical Studio, also with mechanisms positioned above the height of the keyboard, find mechanisms ranging from 18 to 25 cm in height. In the console vertical we usually find compact mechanisms positioned on the height of the keyboard. Finally, in the vertical spinets mechanism lies below the height of the keyboard.
They can also be found, especially in large upright Pianos or study, measures a very old piano called "bayonet" type. This type of piano is characterized by dampers located above the height of the hammers and commanded by a series of wires to the mode of bayonets.
In terms of the grand pianos are also among them different sizes, with which also can be grouped them into generic groups that in this case they are five, namely:
  • tail Mignon. Up to 130 cm long.
  • quarter tail. 131 Up to 189 cm long.
  • ¹⁄₂ tail. 190 To 225 cm long.
  • ³⁄₄ tail. 226 Up to 255 cm long.
  • Great tail. Higher than 256 cm long.
Another classification which is usually done with pianos, regardless which are these vertical tail, is your number or amount of notes or keys. Modern pianos built within the already specified period two groups include:
  • Pianos of 85 notes
  • Piano's 88 notes
Usually the number or amount of notes gives us only a reference to the age of the piano. Without generalizing it can be said that the majority of pianos built between the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century had 85 notes. After that period the pianos were built and are still built with 88 notes. However, we find some manufacturers of pianos as Steinway & Sons, which built pianos of 88 notes already from the last years of the 19th century.
Another important group of pianos, that regardless whether vertical or tail, are called "player pianos" pianos which through a complex system of bellows air in the past or a complex system computerized today, are capable of running on their own a piece of music. In antique pianos music played on pianolas was recorded in "rolls". They are currently recorded on floppy disks or CD-ROM.