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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Keyboard of Soft and Loud

A Short History of Piano

Around the beginning of the 1700s, a man named Bartolomeo Cristofori; an expert harpsichord maker employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany; created an instrument he called the “un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte” (a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud). Eventually the instrument enquired names like “pianoforte” or “fortepiano.” Over the last century or two, it simply became known as a “piano.”

This keyboard of soft and loud would eventually eclipse the harpsichord as the favorite keyboard instrument in Europe and eventually would become one of the most recognizable instruments in the world. Not only would it would be recognized as a favorite instrument of classical music, but it would be synonymous with Jazz, Blues, Folk, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rock.

In the late 1700s, composers were already beginning to create compositions that included the piano. Mozart most famously composed his piano concertos throughout his life. He eventually composed 27pieces for piano and orchestra before his death.

The piano became the signature instruments of 18th century composers. Pianist became the heroes of the music world. Frederic Chopin, a pianist from Poland, entranced the aristocracy of Europe and tutored many of their children. Franz Lizt, pianist from Hungary, composed solo piano performances that had women crying and flowers drenching the stages he play upon.

In America during the turn of the 20th century, piano musicians like Scott Joplin and “Jelly Roll” Morton would eventual begin composing and playing a kind of American music that started out as Ragtime and would eventually become Jazz. Morton, a New Orleans musician, would especially bring Jazz into the world. Fusing together blues and ragtime, he created "Jelly Roll Blues,” in 1915, in what is sometimes considered the first jazz piece published.

Later, Blues artists would begin create their own version of piano music. Memphis Slim in 1947 would write "Every Day I Have the Blues.” Meanwhile, Fats Domino in 1955 would have a Top Ten hit with "Ain't That A Shame,” helping bring piano blues into the mainstream.

The Piano would increasingly become present in other popular forms. Rock stars, Blues artists, Singer-Songwriters, R&B Performers, and Hip-Hop Composers would all feature many songs with piano. Artist from Marvin Gaye to Bob Dylan would compose and perform with piano; while artist like Elton John and Fiona Apple would be recognized as writing and performing as piano musician stars.

It is hard today to listen to any music without piano in it. By perusing your music device, you could select any track and probably hear a little piano in the recording. In around three hundred years, piano has evolved from a new variation of the harpsichord to becoming a signature instrument of many forms music heard and performed throughout the world.

Please listen and enjoy the relaxing piano music at; https://soundcloud.com/treamwith/sets/playlist-instrumental-piano

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