What is the Piano?
The piano is a musical instrument that is considered to be an evolution in that other instruments are involved. It is classified as a keyboard percussion string instrument and more recently as a zither with box of resonance and added keyboard that strings will dance. The name of the instrument actually is an abbreviation of "pianoforte", referring to the ability of the instrument to make the sound with different levels of intensity or volume (piano = gentle, forte = strong), depending on the force exerted to the power of the keys, which at the time of its creation was a revolutionary concept.
Piano being the result of a permanent evolution, its history depends on the instruments that compose it and the oldest of them is the zither. The history of the piano is speculated originated in Africa and Southeast Asia in the bronze age, 3000 years BC. It was a group of strings placed in height on a small table. The nails of the fingers or some sharp object were used to make them sound. After the zither, the following instrument on the way to the piano is the Psalter, which was built as the zither but with trapezoidal, so that all your strings had a different long. It consisted of a soundboard with tonal bridges. Those instruments comes the harpsichord, with the idea that the strings do not touch with fingers but with a mechanical system consisting of a metal pin that was triggered by a keyboard played with the fingers. By 1695, Bartolomeo Cristófori began designing the first piano, based on the model of the harpsichord. The latter issued a metallic sound so Cristofori designed a piece of wood as hammer tipped leather which percudiera the ropes; This gave the instrument a much sweeter sound. Later pianos, with many improvements, have been based on the Critofori until you reach modern pianos piano.
In terms of modern pianos, there are two groups: the grand pianos and upright pianos. The upright piano is composed of the harp, strings and hammers, all perpendicular to the floor leaving the instrument as a standing Cabinet. The grand piano is made by the harp, strings and hammers, but parallel to the floor, leaving as cabinet lying shaped tail on the back.
The two types of pianos are equipped with pedals that cause effects on the sound of the instrument. In the case of the grand piano, has the left pedal, which serves to make hitting two strings with a hammer and make vibrate a third string that causes a sweeter sound; central, or tonal pedal that causes the same note or chord is maintained for a while without being affected by that touch each other Finally, the pedal resonance, causing a note to follow sound yet to released a key and other strings to vibrate the sound volume to increase. As for the upright piano, the left pedal serves to bring the hammers to strings so to beat them decreases the sound volume; the pedal of the Center, called mute, which serves to reduce the sound allowing to play without disturbing; Finally, the pedal resonance, which has the same functions as the grand piano.
Some of the most prominent pianists at all times are María Teresa Carreño (Venezuela, 1853-1917), Ignacy Jan Paderewski (Poland, 1860-1941), Alfred Cortot (France, 1877-1962), Arthur Rubinstein (Poland, 1887-1982), Myra Hess (Great Britain, 1890-1965), Walter Gieseking (Germany, 1895-1956), Wilhelm Kempff (Germany, 1895-1991), Guiomar Novaes (Brazil, 1896-1979), Claudio Arrau (Chile, 1903-1991), Vladimir Horowitz (Russia, 1903-1989), Rudolf Serkin (Austria, 1903-1991), Sviatoslav Richter (Ukraine(, 1915-1997), Emil Gilels (Ukraine, 1916-1985), Alicia de Garrocha (Spain, 1923), Alfred Brendel (Austria, 1931), Glenn Gould (Canada, 1932-1982), Vladimir Ashkenazy (Russia, 1937), Martha Argerich (Argentina, 1941), Daniel Barenboim (Israel, 1942) and Murray Perahia (USA, 1947), among others outstanding interpreters of the piano.