English | 2020 | ISBN: N/A | ASIN: B08NHVTH46 | 437 Pages | PDF | 5.58 MB
This bible of the piano is indispensable to buyers and owners of pianos, amateur and professional players alike.
The ‘piano’ is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. The person playing a piano is called a ‘pianist’.
‘Piano’ is a shortened form of ‘pianoforte’ which is seldom used except in formal language. ‘Pianoforte’ is derived from the original Italian name ‘clavicembalo col piano e forte’ or ‘harpsichord with soft and loud’. This refers to the instrument’s responsiveness to keyboard touch, which allows the pianist to produce notes at different dynamic levels by controlling the speed at which the hammers hit the strings
The piano makes its sound by having tuned strings which are struck by felt hammers. When a key is depressed it activates a mechanism which throws the hammer at the appropriate string and lifts the damper off to allow the string to vibrate freely. The hammer strikes the string, bounces off and is caught by a checking device. A string vibrates at a set pitch or frequency, which is different for each note.
The strings are stretched tightly across bridges which are mounted on the soundboard to which the vibration is transferred. The sound is amplified by means of the soundboard which is a large flat piece of wood which effectively acts as a large loudspeaker.
When the key is released the hammer falls back to its normal resting place and the damper is pressed back onto the string to stop the vibration and hence the sound.
A piano is essentially a horizontal harp but it is struck with felt hammers operated by keys rather than plucked by the fingers.
The piano is widely used in Western music for performance on its own or with voice or other instruments or orchestra. It is also used in composing and rehearsal. Although not portable and often expensive, the piano’s versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the most familiar of all musical instruments.
The piano keyboard offers an easy means of melodic and harmonic interplay and pianos were and are frequently used for domestic music making as well as by composers. They were and still are extremely popular instruments for private ownership and use in the concert hall. An ordinary piano is called an ‘acoustic’ piano to contrast with electronic and digital pianos.