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a very first piano #2943792 02/07/20 07:00 AM
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Maximillyan Offline OP
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Dongsok Shin performs the Giga of Sonata number 6 in B flat major by Lodovico Giustini (1685-1743) on the earliest known surviving piano, made by the instrument's inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), in Florence, 1720. This sonata is from the 12 Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti, Op. 1, written in 1732. These are the first known pieces to have been composed specifically for the piano.

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Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2943819 02/07/20 08:04 AM
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GC13 Offline
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Wow! That's quite intriguing to me to listen to works performed on early pianos. While the "modern" piano basically stopped evolving in the late 19th century, it amazes me that it became what it is from it's beginning as a modified harpsichord although the ability to control dynamics (as is evident in this video) was a monumental leap forward. The innovations in the 19th century were phenomenal, from every angle; size, capacity, range, tonal characteristics, control, dynamic range, and expressiveness.

When I listen to classical performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries, I often think about how they experienced the music on the primitive instruments they composed and performed on and what their thoughts would be if they heard their works performed by Lang Lang, Horowitz, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein on our modern Steinway D's, Yamaha CFX's, Kawai SK-EX's, M&H CC94's or Imperial Bosendorfer's. I wonder how they would react to the experience. Then I'm also taken by the fact that the music itself is timeless -- still retaining it's beauty whether performed on a 1700's Christofori PianoForte or a Yamaha CFX.

Thanks for posting Maximillyan!

Last edited by GC13; 02/07/20 08:05 AM.
Re: a very first piano [Re: GC13] #2943834 02/07/20 09:08 AM
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ShiroKuro Offline
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Originally Posted by GC13
When I listen to classical performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries, I often think about how they experienced the music on the primitive instruments they composed and performed on and what their thoughts would be if they heard their works performed by Lang Lang, Horowitz, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein on our modern Steinway D's, Yamaha CFX's, Kawai SK-EX's, M&H CC94's or Imperial Bosendorfer's. I wonder how they would react to the experience. Then I'm also taken by the fact that the music itself is timeless -- still retaining it's beauty whether performed on a 1700's Christofori PianoForte or a Yamaha CFX.


I often think about these things as well. It's amazing that these compositions were made on such different instruments, and composed by composers whose only experience of keyboard instruments were (obviously) the instruments of their day. But the compositions themselves still sound so sublime on the instruments we use today. It really is a testament to their music genius. And at the same time, also a testament to the piano itself.

Swoon. whome

Back to the original post, thanks for sharing the video Maximillyan, it's so interesting to see and hear it!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: a very first piano [Re: ShiroKuro] #2943837 02/07/20 09:22 AM
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Maximillyan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by GC13
When I listen to classical performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries, I often think about how they experienced the music on the primitive instruments they composed and performed on and what their thoughts would be if they heard their works performed by Lang Lang, Horowitz, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein on our modern Steinway D's, Yamaha CFX's, Kawai SK-EX's, M&H CC94's or Imperial Bosendorfer's. I wonder how they would react to the experience. Then I'm also taken by the fact that the music itself is timeless -- still retaining it's beauty whether performed on a 1700's Christofori PianoForte or a Yamaha CFX.


I often think about these things as well. It's amazing that these compositions were made on such different instruments, and composed by composers whose only experience of keyboard instruments were (obviously) the instruments of their day. But the compositions themselves still sound so sublime on the instruments we use today. It really is a testament to their music genius. And at the same time, also a testament to the piano itself.

Swoon. whome

Back to the original post, thanks for sharing the video Maximillyan, it's so interesting to see and hear it!

I had great aesthetic pleasure in hearing this. Wow! I have my amazing sensation of sound there if we had a huge guitar but the blow of a felt hammer is already. It's evolution SOUND! REAL PIANO SOUND!

Re: a very first piano [Re: GC13] #2943838 02/07/20 09:23 AM
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Maximillyan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GC13
Wow! That's quite intriguing to me to listen to works performed on early pianos. While the "modern" piano basically stopped evolving in the late 19th century, it amazes me that it became what it is from it's beginning as a modified harpsichord although the ability to control dynamics (as is evident in this video) was a monumental leap forward. The innovations in the 19th century were phenomenal, from every angle; size, capacity, range, tonal characteristics, control, dynamic range, and expressiveness.

When I listen to classical performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries, I often think about how they experienced the music on the primitive instruments they composed and performed on and what their thoughts would be if they heard their works performed by Lang Lang, Horowitz, Van Cliburn, and Leonard Bernstein on our modern Steinway D's, Yamaha CFX's, Kawai SK-EX's, M&H CC94's or Imperial Bosendorfer's. I wonder how they would react to the experience. Then I'm also taken by the fact that the music itself is timeless -- still retaining it's beauty whether performed on a 1700's Christofori PianoForte or a Yamaha CFX.

Thanks for posting Maximillyan!

thanks,GC13

Re: a very first piano [Re: ShiroKuro] #2943921 02/07/20 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro


I often think about these things as well. It's amazing that these compositions were made on such different instruments, and composed by composers whose only experience of keyboard instruments were (obviously) the instruments of their day. But the compositions themselves still sound so sublime on the instruments we use today. It really is a testament to their music genius. And at the same time, also a testament to the piano itself.

Well, the most important things are unchanged across the instruments - melody, rhythm, harmony and dynamics.

You could play their compositions (albeit with some difficulty) on a steel drum.

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 02/07/20 12:48 PM.

M-Audio Keystation 49 | Casio PX-S1000 | Yamaha HS8 studio monitors
Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2944006 02/07/20 04:46 PM
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Thank you for posting Maximillyan. It gives me a chance to appreciate how far piano technology has come from Christofori’s pianoforte.


J & J
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Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2944148 02/08/20 02:11 AM
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Thank Max,
This is just so interesting.
I wonder how different was the piano that JS Bach heard ? (to this one ?)

Last edited by Lady Bird; 02/08/20 02:12 AM. Reason: Spelling
Re: a very first piano [Re: Lady Bird] #2944189 02/08/20 07:16 AM
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Maximillyan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird

I wonder how different was the piano that JS Bach heard ? (to this one ?)


The lautenwerck (also spelled lautenwerk), or lute-harpsichord (lute-clavier), was a European keyboard instrument of the Baroque period. It was similar to a harpsichord, but with gut rather than metal strings, producing a mellow tone; one of Bach's favorite keyboard instruments, which is now almost impossible to hear on record. It's truly wonderful, with a deep, rich and resonant sound. No wonder Bach had one custom-built to his own specifications. He owned two of the instruments at the time of his death, but no specimens have survived to the present day

Re: a very first piano [Re: j&j] #2944191 02/08/20 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Thank you for posting Maximillyan. It gives me a chance to appreciate how far piano technology has come from Christofori’s pianoforte.

yes a spector of sounding changed by best, I'm think

Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2944205 02/08/20 08:04 AM
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The one thing that is not evident from the video (the piano is beautifully mic'ed) is that these instruments had a delicateness and intimacy to their tone that is difficult to find in a modern recording. The recordings that have been famous and that many of us know of earlier works for the piano (and for that matter, works originally written for another instrument, like harpsichord or portative organ) are mostly performed very differently than they were originally written.

The 20th and 21st century's definition of ff and pp is quite different than the definition was in 1702, for instance. This makes sense. Today there is a background noise in our lives that did not exist then. Street noise, mechanical, HVAC, constant muzak and soundtrack, not to mention the ease at which we can just make anything we are listening to louder at the twist of a knob.

The sound of silence escapes us today. I wish I had more time to write about this, but I must end it here for now. I look forward to others developing this more and thank you so much for sharing Max.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
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Re: a very first piano [Re: Rich Galassini] #2944208 02/08/20 08:17 AM
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Maximillyan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Today there is a background noise in our lives that did not exist then.


thanks, Rich Galassini
your words is gold

Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2944211 02/08/20 08:27 AM
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Carol lei Breckenridge to shows an action of a Cristofori-Ferrini piano (1730's)

Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2946993 02/14/20 11:06 PM
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"Cristofori action" - Earliest surviving escapement action for piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori, 1726
in the Musikinstrumentenmuseum of the Univ. of Leipzig

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Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2949331 02/20/20 12:17 AM
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Re: a very first piano [Re: Maximillyan] #2950803 02/24/20 01:27 AM
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Tribute to Bartolomeo Cristofori


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