If you were to ask someone to name a musical instrument to you, more often than not you will probably hear the word "piano" said back to you. This grand instrument has become synonymous with the concept of music and is perhaps one of the most popular and famous instruments.
However, there are a few facts about the piano that you may not know:
- The piano was only invented in 1698, making it only just over 300 years old. Now this may sound old to you, but in the world of instruments this makes the piano pretty young. The flute, by comparison, has been dated to around 43,000 years ago!
- The piano's full name is actually the pianoforte. Originally named by the inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori as "un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte" meaning a "keyboard of cypress with soft and loud". Understandably, this was abbreviated over time to pianoforte then gradually to the piano that we all know today.
- In order to make a full sound range a piano will have between 220-230 strings. These strings are made from steel and are tightly wound as to produce a sound when struck by the hammers. These strings hold around 18-20 tons of tension with some large grand pianos holding up to 30 tons.
- The great piano debate! Is the piano a string or percussion instrument? It may surprise you, considering the high number of strings used in a piano, but the piano is considered a percussion instrument. The hammers hitting the strings is what produces the sound, landing the piano a place among the percussion instruments.
- The King of the Instruments! Often referred to as this because of its vast range of notes.Playing lower notes than the double bassoon and higher notes than piccolo, it has more notes on offer than any other instruments.
Hopefully these facts have interested you and if you have any more fun piano facts let us know!