At one point or the other, we hear fascinating musical notes and maybe even get interested in learning about those sounds and how to make them. The piano is one very popular and astonishing instrument for creating incredible music. With a fascinating past dating as far back as 1698, pianos are incredible. It is not surprising, that a lot of people even those who spend plenty of time with the instrument, do not really know it.
Every piano has 7500 parts and requires 230 strings for full sound: This instrument is made up of many little pieces which come together as the whole. All of them need to be in great working condition for fluid sound and performance. This instrument also requires hundreds of strings to produce a full range of sound and those strings bear more than 30 tons of pressure to work.
It is known as the king of instruments: This is because the lowest note is available on a piano as is the highest note. From a double-bassoon to a piccolo, this single instrument can cover the full range of an orchestra.
It is in the percussion family: You probably never knew this, but the piano is considered as an instrument in the percussion family because a hammer needs to hit a string before any sound comes from it. If you know how to play the piano, then congratulations you are a percussionist.
Many pianos have two or three pedals: The right paddle also called the sustaining paddle works to raise all dampers at once so that the notes played keep sounding even after the player releases the keys. The left pedal also called the soft pedal or una corda pedal shifts the action sideways so that a few strings keep playing. The middle paddle is the bass sustaining pedal which lifts only bass dampers.
A piano is only the short form of the name: The full name of the instrument is ‘pianoforte’ and it is Italian. This name was given because the instrument has the ability to make very soft (piano) as well as very loud (forte) notes. The word piano is only a nickname that emerged from the original.
It is young compared to other instruments: In comparison to other musical instruments, the piano is relatively new. Some instruments, like the flute, were introduced thousands of years ago but the piano was invented by Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori in 1698 which makes it only 319 years old.
No more Ivory: The keys of the piano were originally made from Ivory cultivated from elephants and so the keys of pianos got the popular name ‘Ivories’. This is still called the same thing till date even though Ivory has not been used to make these keys since 1940. They are now made out of plastic to protect the endangered species.