In the picture above you can see one of Bartolomeo Cristofori’s first pianos still preserved which he built in 1722 in Florence, Italy. This is around the time when the first “Pianoforte” was born. Supposedly Cristofori built the first prototype in 1698. This piano only has 4 octaves (a little more than half of a modern piano).
“A piano’s sound comes from striking a string held under tension with some form of hammer. The string and soundboard assembly had been in existence for many years prior to Cristofori’s work, but Cristofori managed to develop an effective mechanism that took the downward pressure on a key and used it to ‘project’ a small hammer towards the strings. The ‘action’ of a piano is that mechanism.”
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