Interesting Facts to Know about Piano – Piano is interesting music instrument. It is not only found in classical music performance, but modern music also uses pianos in many genres. Of course, now pianos have developed further with development of technology. There is electric keyboard and even variations of it that are simpler that piano in term of sizes and there can be many effects. Even so, the basics are still similar.
The position of notes, chords, and basic ways to play the instruments are the same. Of course, piano still becomes very specials. Sounds of piano are actually produced by the strings and these need to be set and arranged manually to produce the precise sounds to represent the notations in music. To know more about piano, there are some facts and information that you should know.
First, it is about history of piano. Piano has existed for hundreds of year. It was actually invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori. He invented the piano in 1700s and it was invented in Italy at that time. However, the piano invented by him was not as advanced as what people and pianists use currently. Even so, the basics are the same. Piano was considered as advanced version or harpsichord.
Mechanism of piano in producing sounds combines string and hammer mechanism. When a note is pushed, it will make the hammer push the string to produce the sound. Of course, it has quite long evolution process to reach what people nowadays have. The basic form of what is invented by Bartolomeo was known as fortepiano and it changes to match tis function.
As for piano. Positions of keys are the same. In grand piano, smaller piano, and even electronic keyboards, the position of keys are the same. However, the numbers of keys can be different. Mostly, pianos have less than 88 keys. Even in electronic piano or keyboards, the keys are only 61 keys. However, it does mean that there are no pianos with more than 88 keys. For example, there is piano with 92 keys. The extra keys are to add bass sounds to give lower sounds on the keyboard. This is produced by Bosendorfer. This is one of the best brands in the world that have many pianos. Then, Stuart and Sons created piano with 102 keys and even 108 keys. The keys on pianos will provide different ranges of sounds. With more keys, the low and high ranges of sounds can be obtained.
As what is mentioned before, sounds of piano comes from strings. The strings are hammered when the people press the key. Regarding the string, it is important to know that composition of string is quite complex. Each key does not have only single string, but there can be more strings hammered for each key pressed by pianist. In general, a grand piano has more than 200 strings. 230 strings are the common numbers in grand piano. Each key will have different number of strings. In this case, bass notes of keys will have less strings to hammer compared to the middle and treble keys. Of course, it may seem complicated to see the compositions of strings. Even, pianists do not always understand the compositions of strings in piano.
Regarding pianos, quality of piano cannot be the same as it gets older. It is similar to vehicles that will depreciate as the vehicles grow older. Of course, quality and durability depends on brands and price. Maintenance is also important. In some aspects, piano is similar to other string instrument. The string and the sound produced by them will not be the same over time. Its strength and tightness should be maintained properly and it requires specialists to set the strings in the piano. Other maintenance will also be necessary to make sure that piano and its parts are durable.
Regarding the history of piano, there is something interesting. Actually in the past, keys of piano used ivory as the material. However, the use of ivory got banned in 1950s and it started in US. European countries set the same policies after that in 1980s. It is related to the source of ivories that will endanger the elephants. Now, it is almost difficult to find piano keys made of ivories. Of course, when there is one, its price is very high because it is no longer a musical instrument but collectible item or even an antique. Ivories were chosen in the past because the material gave special feelings when they were touched. There were cool feelings so it was more comfortable to play. However, ivories were easy to get dirty. Thus, pianists should keep cleaning it by using special methods. These took time and these are reasons why the ivories were no longer used as the materials. Of course, preservation of elephants is the main reasons. There are actually more interesting facts about pianos that people need to know. However, these are enough to show that pianos are surely special instruments even when there are already electronic instruments as alternatives.