- Pianos are a beloved instrument with a rich history and many little-known facts.
- The modern acoustic piano was invented in the 1700s by Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian harpsichord maker who sought to create an instrument with soft and loud tones.
- The first musical composition specifically written for the piano was created in 1732 by Lodovico Giustini.
- Grand pianos are the biggest type of piano, measuring 6 to 9 feet long and costing up to $100,000 due to their intricate parts and longer soundboard, which provides better sound quality than regular pianos.
- David Klavins is renowned as the world’s largest maker of grand pianos – his M450i creation measures 15 feet tall!
- Steingraeber & Söhne remains one of the oldest companies making handcrafted pianos since 1852, using only high-quality materials for each piece they produce.
- Pianos have 88 keys, including seven octaves plus three additional notes.
Pianos are a staple in the music world, but how much do you know about them? Sure, you might know how to play a few chords or be able to name a famous pianist or two, but there’s so much more to these beautiful instruments than meets the eye. From their invention to their impact on music, countless fascinating facts and stories are rarely known to the public.
PianoCraft will unveil the mysteries of the piano and share ten rare and little-known facts that will blow your mind. You’ll learn about this beloved instrument’s history, inner workings, and some of the most interesting stories behind its creation and evolution. From the world’s largest piano to the highest note on an acoustic piano, these facts will give you a new appreciation for the piano and its place in the music world.
Fact #1: The Piano was Invented in the 1700s
The birth of piano and piano music is dated back to the 1700s. It was the brainchild of Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian harpsichord maker. Harpsichord is an ancient musical instrument focused on plucking strings to create sound rather than hammering.
He sought to create a keyboard instrument with soft and loud tones, something his predecessor couldn’t do. Eventually, he created the modern piano (formerly called pianofortes).
Fact #2: The First Musical Composition Specifically Created For Piano in 1732
The piano is a versatile and quality instrument that can play various musical compositions from different genres. Lodovico Giustini did the first piece of music specifically composed for the piano in 1732. This musical piece is known as “Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti” and combines a harpsichord and piano-like sound.
Fact #3: The Design Of The Modern Piano Hasn’t Changed Much
Although the first pianos were very different from those we have today, the design has been tweaked and perfected over time. Since then, there have been a few minor changes, such as varying the length of strings for some notes or adding pedals to increase their range of sound. Overall, the modern piano’s design hasn’t changed much for over 250 years.
Fact #4: The Grand Piano is the Biggest Piano Model
Most of us are well acquainted with the regular-sized acoustic piano, but did you know there are other sizes as well? The grand piano is the biggest and most expensive type of piano. They can be 6 to 9 feet long and cost up to $100,000. But what makes them so pricey?
Grand pianos are made with intricate parts and feature a longer soundboard. It means better sound quality, making them the most sought-after by professional musicians.
Fact #5: David Klavins is the World’s Largest Piano Maker
The Klavins M450i is the largest piano in the world and was designed by David Klavins. The massive creation measures 15 feet tall. This acoustic piano is so massive that it requires climbing up a staircase to access the keyboard. Every inch of this piano is handcrafted with precision, from the soundboard to the action. The M450i looks beautiful, yet its size makes it extremely challenging to move and install in any room.
Fact #6: Steingraeber & Söhne Still Provide Handcrafted Piano Today
Steingraeber & Söhne is a German piano company established in 1852 and remains one of the oldest companies making handcrafted pianos. Their instruments are highly sought after for their quality craftsmanship and rich, vibrant tones. Each piano is crafted from the finest materials to produce high-quality sound over time.
Fact #7: There are 88 Keys in an Acoustic Piano
Originally the piano had 54 keys when it was created. Still, with improvement in music and tones, the full range of an acoustic piano comprises 88 keys. It includes seven octaves plus three additional notes. Each note has its unique sound and can be played with other notes to create beautiful melodies.
Fact #8: Pianos Require Regular Tuning
One of the essential elements of owning an authentic piano is regular tuning. The strings inside the piano stretch and shrink due to temperature changes and progress in playing skills. It is essential to get a piano serviced or tuned twice each year.
Fact #9: Learning Piano Improves Memory
Learning how to play the piano requires memorization of notes and chords. It helps build strong memory skills and develops a better understanding of music. A study conducted in 2022 discovered that teaching children to play the piano improves visual memory, which can help improve academic performance.
Fact 10: Death Waltz is Nearly Impossible to Play By Hands Literally
Death Waltz, a popular piano piece composed by John Stump in 1976, is known for its complexity and difficulty. It is almost impossible to play the Death Waltz with hands alone as it requires several simultaneous keystrokes, which are impossible to perform without utilizing both arms. This piece has been performed on stage numerous times but with accompaniment.
In conclusion, the piano is a complex and fascinating instrument. Many people are unaware of the secrets behind this excellent instrument, from its unique and challenging pieces to its incredible ability to help improve academic performance. While mastering the piano is no easy feat, understanding more about it can help you appreciate it in a new way. Whether an amateur or a master, there will always be something new to learn.
Get Handcrafted Grand Pianos From PianoCraft in Washington DC, NW
PianoCraft is the leading store in Washington DC, NW, to get handcrafted pianos of premium quality.
We offer vintage and modern piano repair and restoration services with a customized approach. PianoCraft also deals in piano tuning, refinishing, and maintenance so you can enjoy your instrument for generations. If you’re looking for standard or grand pianos, you can find them here.
Please go through our vast catalog of acoustic pianos to find the right one for your needs.