Piano, Including the History and Use of Term Paper
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piano, including the history and use of the instrument. The piano is one of the most popular musical instruments in the world, and pianos have been in use in orchestras and in homes for hundreds of years. The first piano was created from another similar instrument, the harpsichord, and it was invented in Italy. The editors at Wikipedia note, "The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua, Italy" ("Piano"). The first piano appeared in a Medici family inventory from 1700, and their popularity grew from there, especially after another Italian wrote an enthusiastic article about Cristofori's invention, along with diagrams of how the piano worked. Other people started building them, and the piano spread around the world. The first piano manufacturer in England appeared in 1730, and the first published piano music appeared in 1732 ("The Piano Timeline"). Early manufacturers were small, often family affairs, but today, there are many large, well-known manufacturers around the world, including Steinway, Yamaha, and Baldwin, just to name a few. Early manufacturers added many innovations to Cristofori's original design, from sliding pedals to quieter hammers, and they created different types of pianos, like the grand piano and the upright ("The Piano Timeline").
Two of the most famous performers on the piano were Johann Sebastian Bach and Mozart, although they were famous composers, as well. Bach grew up in a musical family and learned to play the organ at a young age. He worked as a church organist when he was young, and
wrote mainly organ compositions. He began writing and playing the piano in the mid 1700s, and he played public concerts in many different areas of Germany (then called Prussia). He also worked as a composer and performer for many churches, and many monarchs throughout Germany (Koster). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also began performing at a young age. He almost always composed and performed on a piano, and his concerts were extremely popular. He too worked for monarchs throughout Europe, especially in Vienna and Salzburg where he often performed his own works and the works of others. Both men were extremely prolific composers, and they had many fans of their different styles. Mozart performed many of his numerous piano concertos, and often performed as a conductor when his operas were performed (Sadie).
Frederic Francois Chopin is one of the most well-known and respected piano composers of all time. He, like Bach and Mozart, began playing at a young age. He had his first public concert by the time he was nine, and was composing for the piano shortly thereafter. He made his money by touring and playing the piano, and he wrote his many concert pieces for himself to perform while he toured. Another classical expert writes, "Chopin's legacy consists almost entirely of works for the piano. The instrument was everything to him, and he found previously undreamt of levels of subtlety and expression within its keys" ("Chopin"). Some of his most famous works for the piano include the F minor Piano Concertos (1 & 2), piano sonatas, ballades, and nocturnes.
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