Pianoforte (Italian forte – loud, piano – silent) is the common name for keyboard hammer-strings musical instruments. The predecessors of pianos were harpsichords and clavichords. Their disadvantages were rapidly fading sound and constant volume level, which excluded one of the important expressive means of music – dynamics (change of volume).
Pianos are divided into:
- Grand pianos, instruments with horizontal strings;
- Pianos, with the vertical arrangement of the strings.
The piano is inferior in sound and playing ratio to the grand piano, which is mechanically and acoustically superior and perfectly suited for serious professional work.
Sound production of an acoustic piano
The acoustic piano is played by striking the strings with a hammer. The strings are strung on a soundboard (one of the main parts of the instrument, which transmits the vibrations from the strings to the air, making the sound louder) with the help of pins. There is a chorus of strings for each sound: three strings for the middle and high range notes, two or one for the lower range. The range of most acoustic instruments is 88 notes. In the neutral position, the strings are in contact with the dampers. When the keys are pressed, a device of levers, straps, and hammers, called piano mechanics, is actuated. When a key is pressed, the damper is separated from the corresponding chorus of strings so that the string can sound freely. The strings are struck by a hammer padded with felt.
Pedals on pianos and grand pianos
Pianos usually have two pedals and pianos have three:
- The right pedal, when pressed, raises all the dampers, and certain strings sound when the keys are released, while others begin to vibrate. It is used to make the sequence of sounds to be extracted unbroken where it cannot be done with fingers, and to enrich the sound.
- The left pedal, makes the sound muffled and weakens it.
- The middle pedal (only available on a grand piano), it is necessary to block certain dampers so that they remain elevated until the pedal is removed. Due to this you can save one chord while playing other notes.
Features of the acoustic piano:
- Lively and rich sound. When you press a key, the piano gives a different and unique sound each time. The swaying of these strings is reflected in the wooden case, and as wood tends to change depending on the humidity, temperature, respectively, and the sound will be reflected differently.
- Sensitive keyboard. The instrument reflects all the nuances of the musician’s playing as subtly as possible.