The history of the modern piano goes back over three hundred years, and during the time the instrument didn’t see many changes that improved it considerably. The original instrument, of which there is one at the display in Metropolitan Museum, is almost identical to the modern pianos. There have been some improvements over time, and they did improve the instrument, but the basics of the piano from the 1700s are still the same.
The instrument started as something else, and harpsichord has a lot of influence on the invention of the piano. Harpsichord could produce several different sounds, and that gave inspiration to people to create a key-based wire instrument that could produce dozens of different sounds. The inventor of the piano as we know it was the Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, and his first instrument was exhibited in Florence in 1709 where it achieved a major success. The earliest piano of Cristofori that survived was from 1720, and as we mentioned, it is exhibited in Metropolitan Museum.
Traditional and digital pianos in modern age
Technology and innovations are there to improve everything, and musical instruments are not the exception. And we can see those changes in the form of digital pianos. But this doesn’t mean that digitalization is the best option and that it makes an instrument better. It does make it cheaper to create and thus more affordable, but the overall quality of sound may suffer.
A good example of more affordable pianos is a digital piano. An expensive digital instrument will produce sounds that come near the quality of traditional pianos, while those more affordable pieces have a sound that lacks in quality. They are perfect for modern music as it doesn’t require the quality and the range that a traditional piano offers.
Traditional pianos are still around, and the amount of modification of them is close to zero. They provide the real sound of the piano, and many opera pieces use them due to their range of sounds. Orchestra also uses traditional pianos as well as some artists who want an authentic piano sound instead of a digitalized replica.