361st Birthday of the Piano Inventor B. Christofori
Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco, best known as the piano inventor, was born on May 4th, 1655 in Italy.
Hired by Ferdinando de Medici, the Prince of Tuscany, Bartolomeo maintained the royal collection of musical instruments.
The most popular instrument of his days was a harpsichord.
Cristofori innovated the hammer mechanism inside the harpsichord that struck the strings but did not remain in contact with them (which damps the sound, as is the case with the harpsichord and clavichord), and the hammer returned to its rest position immediately, and is therefore able to be sent to strike the string again very quickly, in rapid succession, allowing for much faster play than the other keyboard string instruments.
Additionally, the invented instrument piano was able to respond to the strength of the player’s key press, allowing for some notes to be played louder or quieter than others, which , something that the earlier instruments could not do. That is why the original piano was named pianoforte, which means “quiet-loud” in Italian.
Today, there are only 3 original pianos built by Christofori left.
In addition to being the piano inventor, Bartolomeo Christofori created two other keyboard instruments: the spinettone and the oval spinet.
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