By the term “pianoforte” we mean five of its varieties, viz. “table-like pianoforte”, “tabletop pianoforte”, “vertical pianoforte”, “piano” and “grand piano”.
Along with the term “pianoforte”, in the collective meaning the following terms are used — the English “piano, pianoforte”; Italian: pianoforte; German: Klavier; French: pianoforte, and so on.
In the Russian-language literary and oral use, the name “fortepiano” has been gain a foothold from the first written references, despite the fact that in the past it coexisted with a number of names such as Flügel-Fortopiano, Forte-Piano, Forte Piano, Piano, Piano-Forte, Англинской рояль, клавир, крыло фортопиано, пианино, пиано, пиано рояль, пианофорт, Пьяно-Форте, рояль, флигель, флигель-фортепиано, фортепиан, фортепианы, фортепьяно, форт пьяно, форте-пиано, фортопиано, фортопьяно… (the list can be continued).
Pianoforte is a stringed percussion keyed instrument. The sound is generated by the keyboard, which enables the performer to control the operation of the hammer mechanism (mechanics) – hammer blows on the strings. A design constant for the pianoforte is also the presence of a string muting, or a damping mechanism. The instrument was designed and first made in 1698 by the Italian maker of musical instruments Bartolomeo di Francesco Christophory (1655–1731).
Domestic musical culture has its own history both of assimilating the term “piano” and endowing it with a collective meaning, and of the existence of the instrument itself. Given the outstanding contribution made by Saint Petersburg to the domestic and world piano engineering, piano performing and composer's creative work, let us briefly touch upon the phenomenon of the “Early Piano in Saint Petersburg”. Not only the instruments represented in the museum collection, but also the materials of the main periodicals of Russia “Sankt-Petersburgische Zeitung” and “Saint Petersburg Vedomosti” for 1728–1828 will serve as the main sources.
The first written reference to the stringed hammer-action keyed instrument as such appeared no later than August 20, 1764. We owe this news to the “Zeitung”. There, the pianoforte appears under the name “Pantalon” in the following context: “Bey dem Mechanicus Reinhart Siegfriedt… sind unterschiedene Sorten von den neuerfundenen musicalischen Instrumenten Pantalons genannt, um einen billigen Preis zu bekommen…” The news was repeated on August 31 of the same year.
“Vedomosti” noted the appearance of this instrument on August 30, 1765: “The court musician Forster... offers for sale and makes to order fligels, paatalons (sic!) and clavichords...”. The slip in the name of the instrument was corrected on September 2 to the “pantalons”.
Certainly, in 1764, a pantalon for the citizens of Saint Petersburg was an unprecedented wonder. Otherwise, “Vedomosti”, dated November 25, 1765, would not have so eloquently explained, “Next month, the 1st day... in the auction chamber, with public bargaining, the new pantalon (musical instrument) is being traded...”.
In some cases, newspapers provide valuable information on design of the instrument. It turns out that the pantalons were not frankly cheap, since they were made of mahogany — “von rothem Holze”. The range of such instruments reached 5 octaves, and timbre resources increased due to changes (registers) — “mit 5. Octaven, und drey Veränderungen” (“Zeitung”. January 7, 1765. No. 2). There were standing (the museum pantalon falls within this category) and lying pantalons — “Claviere, stehende und liegende Pantalons” (“Zeitung”. January 25, 1768. No. 8). However, the readers of “Vedomosti” could not catch this important detail, because the translator put an extra comma: “claviers, standing and lying, pantaloons” (“Vedomosti” January 25, 1768. No. 8).
Both newspapers agree to the fact that, indeed, there could be standing pantalons: “ein neues schönes stehendes Pantalon” (“Zeitung”. June 6, 1768. No. 46), “standing pantalons are offered for sale” (“Vedomosti”, June 10, 1768. No. 47; here, the translation from German is not exact again). On the contrary, in the following case, the Russian version of the newspaper turns out to be more explicit than the German one: “ein von einem guten Meister verfertigtes Pontalon” (“Zeitung”. September 10, 1773. No. 73), “a used skillfully made pantalon” (“Vedomosti”. September 10, 1773. No. 73).
Finally, and this is very important, the pantalon is different from the pianoforte: “At Strelka in the Mikulinsky house, the registrar Korz offers for sale pantalon and pianoforte, which instruments can be seen every day, and you can ask him about the price” (“Vedomosti”. June 13, 1777. No. 47). Unfortunately, the source does not report on the distinctive features of the instruments.
We believe that on September 24 and 27, 1784, the word “Pantalon” flashed in the “Zeitung” for the last time; we never came across any reference to the instrument in “Zeitung” or “Vedomosti” any more.
Based on the above, it can be concluded that, for the first time, the pianoforte was brought to Saint Petersburg in 1764. It turned out to be its early modification — the pantalon. To manufacture the body of the pantalon, which could be a wing or other form, mahogany was used. The range of some Petersburg copies reached 5 octaves, and the timbre was enriched with 3 registers.
The strings of the standing pantalons, apparently, were stretched vertically, while of the lying ones — horizontally. They were made both in Petersburg and abroad, most likely in Germany. The instrument had existed in Saint Petersburg for at least 20 years, i. e. from 1764 to 1784.
The first reference to the advent of a pianoforte as such in Saint Petersburg appeared no later than July 27, 1767. The honor of disclosing this fact also belongs to “Zeitung”: “Es sind an der Börse verschiedene Musicalische Instrumenten, als ein Forte-Piano mit 12. Zügen…” (“Zeitung”. July 27, 31, 1767/ Nos. 60, 61).
For the second time, the term was recorded in the “Vedomosti” in December 17, 1770: “On the Vasilyevsky Island in the 8th line... a new instrument called a forte piano made by one of the glorious craftsmen, is being sold”. (“Vedomosti”. December 17, 21, 1770. Nos. 101, 102).
The remark “called” indicates that the novelty — the piano — was first proposed to the attention of a Russian-speaking reader. The public was growing accustomed to it for several years: for the last time we came across the cliché “the instrument called the piano” in “Vedomosti” of January 8, 1776. Meanwhile, “Zeitung” did not use this cliché. This suggests that the German-speaking reader was more knowledgeable in respect of the piano than the Russian speakers.
In the “Zeitung” and “Vedomosti” for 1767–1800 we encountered the contexts with the term “pianoforte” at least 1,600 times, while in the “Vedomosti” for 1801–1828, at least 3,000 times. These materials, appearing year after year with ever-increasing frequency and diversity, unfold a panorama of the existence of the piano in Saint Petersburg, some other Russian cities and even in European countries.
In a number of contexts, the pianoforte as an instrument is opposed to the clavichord and the harpsichord: “...in St. Petersburg, the clavichords and harpsichords are made and sold... the ordinary pianoforte...” (“Vedomosti”. January 30, 1786. No. 9. Announcements). However, pianofortes were often called clavichords or harpsichords: “Es ist ein Fortepiano… unter dem Namen Clavecin Royal bekannt ist…” (“Zeitung”, September 1, 1786 No.70), and sometimes — on the contrary: “...the carpenter Sasse is selling clavichords called pianofortes...” (“Vedomosti”. May 30, 1783. No. 43. Announcements).
The newspapers made such reservations not often. Therefore, without additional information in many contexts, the interchangeability of names remains mysterious: “Ein neues Clavier von rothen Holz, von 6½ Octave oder 78 Stimmen…” (“Zeitung”. September 26, 1788. No. 77). Since the “Clavier” can mean both the clavichord and the harpsichord, it is not clear — whether it is about the piano? And here is an example of the opposite nature: “...glorious Clementievic clavichords of six full octaves, spinet and clavichord made in Petersburg” (“Vedomosti”. July 26, 1804. No. 60). Here we can confidently assert that “Klementievy clavichords” is pure and simple the piano, because it is known that M. Clementi (1752–1832) was engaged in pianoforte making only.
The “Vedomosti” for 1801–1828 contain an extensive, often contradictory, but at the same time very valuable information about the design of the pianoforte and its modifications, learning to play and playing techniques, prices asked for individual instruments, etc. We illustrate this with a selective, extremely brief review of contexts.
1802: “Musician Jacob Zamboni... brought... works, transcribed for pianoforte”; “easy to play pianofortes”; “pianoforte made of Vologda walnut wood”
1803: “two pianofortes made by Stein and Walter, decorated outside with bronze, enamel and taffeta”; “pianoforte used for about six months”
1806: “in the girl's boarding house, where they are taught... to play the pianoforte”; “four New Berlin Pianofortes”
1807: “[is for sale] Full music, remade from the third part of the Mermaid for pianoforte with voices; composed by ... Mr. Davydov 8 r.”
1810: “the best English piano with a special full forte”; “Parisian piano with 4 pedals”; “For sale... Regensburg wing pianoforte for 350 rub.”
1813: “Sofia Dall’Okka will... play with her 7-year-old sister 2 pianofortes the variations on the Russian song: “Vo Pole Beryoza Stoyala”, accompanied by a large orchestra”
1814: “A valet who is also a skilled cook and pastry chef, and knows to tune the piano is for sale”; “March, or the Battle of Berlin, dedicated to His Serene Highness Prince Mikhail Larionovich Kutuzov-Smolenskiy, composed for piano. St. Petersburg, 1813, 3 rubles 50 kopecks”; “for sale is the English piano for 550 rub.”
1815: “the clavichord maker Heinnatz is selling pianofortes are sold with and without flutes”
1816: “The clavichord maker Hauk... makes, repairs and glues the hammers with Enlgish leather, tunes and rents the pianoforte”; “[is for sale] the Polish, a trio mains for piano, 1 rub.”; “piano... of 5 ½ octaves with 2 pedals”; “a piano of six octaves... of a red tree with a large case”; “three wings of 6 ½ octaves of foreign work with English mechanics”; “a wing piano of 6 ½ octaves, with real Janissary music and six other turns”
1817: “[Gederich, the instrument maker is selling]: two wing pianofortes, of which one is of five and a half and the other is of six octaves, and one is ordinary”; “the pianoforte of special size of six octaves... made by Broadwood and sons”; “Viennese grand piano made of black wood with 4 pedals, six octaves, made by Schantz”; “wing pianofortes… made in the English style, which differ from others in that they can be transformed by means of solid mechanics, with each piano one tone higher, and lower may be”
1818: “the grand pianos made by Mr. Tomkison, of which one is... a desk with a cylinder”;
1819: “the pianoforte of new design of very good pitch and work, with Turkish music”; “For the daughter of the merchant Iyudin, a governess with good references is needed, who could teach the French language according to the Grammar rules, and also play the piano”
1820: “wing pianofortes of 6 ½ octaves with Broadtworth mechanics... and with English mechanics... with many turns, decorated with real bronze... with a full pleasant pitch”; “a wing pianoforte”, “made to test the name (sic!) of the master, of a very good work, decorated with bronze, having a loud and pleasant pitch”; “piano of 6 octaves, made in the form of a bureau, decorated with bronze”
1822: “a new wing pianoforte of 6 octaves with 2 turns and a drum in the newest taste”
1823: “a Viennese wing pianoforte, with silver finish”; “For sale... a pianoforte... of new style, and the old pianoforte redone; “a wonderful wing pianoforte made by an English maker”
1825: “a wing of 6 ½ octaves for 1,000 rubles, and the pianoforte of 6 octaves for 500 rubles for sale”
1828: “pianoforte, not much used, made by Diedericks”; “clavichord, i. e. a wing of 6 ½ octaves made to the perfection”; “almost completely new pianoforte like a wing of 6 ½ octaves”; “a grand English piano by Broadwood is sold for 1500 rubles” — the list goes on...
In these materials, the same can be said about table-like and vertical pianos, about the instruments with cases in the form of cabinets, as well as about grand pianos, clavichords and even harpsichords. It is not improbable that the following instruments sometimes referenced to in the “Vedomosti”, could also have been equipped with hammer-action mechanics: on May 13, 1821, a certain “E. Gausen” — “a mechanic from Courland” — announced the invention of a string keyed instrument “Olympic” (“Vedomosti”. May 13, 1821. No. 38); on January 12 and October 16, 1823, “pianoforte, was for sale called Sostenento” (“Vedomosti”. January 13, October 16, 1823. Nos. 4, 83).
The design deficiencies of early pianos inevitably led to the creation of combined instruments. The makers tried to combine the brilliance of the sound of one instrument with the flexible dynamics of another, to expand expressive qualities as far as possible, etc. In the 18th century, in Saint Petersburg, there was a fashion for so-called “kunststyuki”, in particular — on the “piano with flutes”. It received general recognition.
In the literature, the instrument appears under the following names: English: Calaviorgan, Organo piano; German: Orgelklavier, Orgelklavizimbel; French: Piano organisé; Italian: Сlaviorgano. In Russian, the names “pianoforte with flutes”, “pianoforte with organs”, “pianoforte organized” prevailed.
The pianoforte with flutes consisted of two different instruments united by a common body and a keyboard: a piano was mounted at the top of the body, and an organ at the bottom... However, the description can be completed with picturesque text from the “Supplement” to No. 76 of “Moskovskiye Vedomosti” for September 22, 1778: “...recently arrived... master... who agrees to put... under pianofortes, clavicymbalo and clavichords the organs consisting of 1, 2 and 3 different registers and plays [over 100 pipes].” Using the registers, the musician could play the piano and the organ simultaneously or alternately.
If in Russia the pianoforte equipped with flutes began to appear in the 1770s, then in European countries they were already going out of use, having a long history by that time. In Russia, this process was completed by the third quarter of the 19th century.
For the first time, the appearance of pianoforte with flutes in Saint Petersburg was mentioned by “Zeitung” and “Vedomosti” not later than April 14, 1780: “In der Cadetten-Linie… ist 1 Kirschnikisches Forte-Piano mit einem Flöten-Register und Rohrwerk zu verkauffen»; “In line 1... pianofortes with flutes and without flutes [that is, traditional pianofortes] are sold...” (“Zeitung” and “Vedomosti”. April 14, 17, 21, 1780. No. 30–32). In the newspapers over the period 1780–1828 more than 1,100 references to the instrument were made.
In 1779, a combined instrument called the Bogenhammerklavier (bow and hammer piano) was created by the German master I. K. Greiner. And on December 28, 1786, this rare instrument, very complex both in manufacture and in playing, sounded at least once in Petersburg: “Mr. Stein in the Anichkov house” [performs] “various concerts... on Bogen-hammer pianoforte” (“Vedomosti”. December 22, 29, 1786. Nos. 102, 104).
The Olympic, Sostenento, Bogen-Hammer pianos, like the pantalon, relieved the general panorama of the Petersburg concert life, yet they did not leave a trace in the national musical culture.
Since the days of Christophory, the design of the pianoforte has undergone many changes. One of the most complex structural components of the instrument was and is a mechanics that provides a hammer blow on the string. It is the core of the keyboard mechanism. With the development of piano engineering, mechanics became a separate industry. It provides factories and workshops with a variety of mechanics modifications, varying with a factory only in details. Historically, the designs of all existing mechanics go back to the mechanics of Christophory, more precisely – to his idea (hammer blow on the string) as such.
The essence of Christophory’s mechanics was that the hammers located under the strings struck them due to the push carried out by a key by means of an intermediate piece (spiller). J. Marius (France, 1716) and G. Schroeter (Germany, 1717) are considered the authors of such mechanisms. The features of these mechanics were united by a common name – spiller or pushing mechanics (Stossmechanik). Later, it became known as “English”.
Another modification of the mechanics was based on the fact that the hammer was mounted on an axis in a fork, screwed into the end of the keyboard lever, and tossed by it. Spiller is not required here. This mechanics was named “throwing” (Prellmechanik). The more common name is “German” or “Viennese”. It was invented by the Viennese masters G. Zilberman (1731) and I. Stein.
Over time, the English mechanics and its numerous modifications took a leading place in piano engineering.
Simultaneously with the creation of the English and Viennese mechanics, ways of eliminating the string hum using damping mechanisms were also created. However, they became mandatory for piano construction only around 1770. Until that time, quite a few pianos were produced without damping mechanisms. They were improved in three main directions. As a result, three damper systems were formed: the German (Viennese) system, the French (Erar system), and the Irish (English) system.
The German system was used by masters of Germany and Austria. Small wooden strips, the ends of which were glued with pillows (a thick layer of elastic material), were attached by leather or parchment hinges to a bar set to the full width of the instrument. Rods were mounted on the rear ends of the keyboard levers and when a key was pressed, lifted the strips, the pillows on which up to this point touched the strings.
A peculiarity of the French system was fastening the strips with pillows under the strings. On pressing a key, the corresponding strip was retracted from the string.
The Irish system was invented in 1794 by V. Southwell for English pianofortes. Both in the German, in the Irish system, dampers were located on the strings. They consisted of weighty wooden rams of a hemispherical shape with soft pillows, mounted on metal rods. The pillows released or damped the strings by pressing or releasing the keys.
The German and French systems shortly became a thing of the past, and the Irish system proved to be promising. Its modifications are used universally to this day to equip modern pianofortes.
The ways of simultaneous raising and lowering all dampers also have its own history. In the past, there was a manual (using a lever), a knee (a pedal pressed by a knee), and a foot (a pedal pressed by a foot) ways. The foot pedal of a modern design (left pedal) was first applied to the pianoforte, presumably, in England around 1770.
The most important (“natural”) property of these early mechanics was that they ensure to the musician, who was touching keys with different force applied, hammer blows on strings of adequate force. Thus, they made it possible to play piano and forte, crescendo and diminuendo. The generations of masters who succeeded Christophory and his followers could only improve the work of these mechanics.
For example, early mechanics did not allow the hammer to re-strike (all the more, instantly) the string until the key was completely released by the musician. It was impossible to play really fast in this situation... Many masters worked on eliminating this obstacle. Lucky was S. Erar (1752–1831) who founded factories in Paris and London.
In 1823, at the Paris exhibition, he was the first who presented a grand piano with English mechanics modified by a device, later called the “double rehearsal” (a duable èchappement). This device allowed the hammer after hitting the string and rebounding from it not to fully return to its original position, but first to hit the rehearsal lever, with which the hammer could strike the string again as many times as needed without any delay. In this case, the musician did not need to expect a full raise of the key, but only half of the move, without removing the finger from it.
This innovation was accepted everywhere and later it significantly influenced the development of the virtuoso playing the piano. Modern piano without double rehearsal is nonsense.
The keyboard has also made its evolutionary path. Its main idea, i. e. the return of keys after pressing into the initial position, was brought to life, as it is believed, approximately in the 13th century. Currently, virtually every key on the keyboard is a highly sophisticated lever-spring mechanism consisting of 70–80 parts. The craftsmen created and still create keyboards of experimental design. However, the widely known traditional design still does not give up its positions.
It has long been observed that the sound of the pianoforte depended on the material, length and weight of the strings. At the same time, long and thick metal strings deformed the wooden body of the instruments. What was to be done? Gradually, by numerous experiments which involved the installation of metal spreits (struts), metal armor-shell and lightweight cast frames etc., the body of the pianoforte was strengthened with a powerful metal frame. So, in 1847, I. Chickering from Boston was one of the first to use cast-iron frames. They were installed above the deck and, undertaking the load of the strained strings, protected the casing against imminent deformation. Mind that the string tension force reached 14 tons by that time.
The cast-iron frame finally made it possible to solve the problem with pulling powerful strings. This was facilitated by the fact that, starting in 1812, Krupp in Germany started producing cold rolling strings from crucible steel. They significantly surpassed the strings, previously made of soft metals, in elasticity and strength.
Increased string tension caused the deck to thicken from 5–6 mm at the beginning up to 9–12 mm – at the end of the 19th century.
Trying to make the body of the piano as compact as possible, especially with regard to its length, from 1830, the craftsmen began to use crossed strings. As a result, the strings of the bass and partly of the middle registers were lengthened without extending the body.
Experiments with materials for coating hammer cores were also carried out. Christophory, like many craftsmen who followed him, for example, pasted the wooden cores of the hammers with chamois leather and all sorts of other leather. Good results were obtained with the use of... tree fungus (tinder). Finally, at the end of the 1820s, specially compressed felt was employed. Felt turned out to be the best of all the materials tested so far that it has proved to be indispensable up to the present.
Few of us know what materials are used to manufacture the pianoforte – it is a multi-level, separate topic. Here, we can only briefly list the basic materials a modern piano consisted and (mostly) consists of: these are softwood and leaf-bearding wood (hornbeam, maple, beech, oak, birch, alder, pear, walnut, poplar); plywood (maple sawn, nut knife, birch peeled and sawn); metals (carbon steel for strings, ductile gray cast iron, iron and steel wire, iron and steel, brass, nickel silver); felt (technical felt); cloth; leather; glue; ivory; artificial ivory; ordinary bone (horse, bull, deer); chemicals (nitrocellulose lacquers, solvents, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, acid acetate, amyl acetate); acetone; thinners; ethyl (wine) alcohol; benzene; plasticizers (camphor, triphenyl phosphate, tricresyl phosphate, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, castor oil, linseed oil); resins; paints (letopon, zinc white, soot, nigrosine); spirit varnishes; oil varnishes; felt and textile materials.
The museum collection disposes of all five (see above) varieties of the pianoforte, reflecting the peculiarities of domestic and foreign piano engineering of the 18th to 19th centuries.
Thus, the collection of table-like pianofortes of the 18th–19th centuries includes 12 instruments made by domestic craftsmen, workshops and factories, four — of English origin, and only one, presumably, from Germany.
All these instruments to a certain extent reflect the former instrumental and musical wealth of Saint Petersburg. They are rightly considered the rarities.
A tiny piano attracts attention: “very advantageous for travel and for the beginners to learn to play”, as well as “mute” instruments, that is, keyboards not equipped with strings or hammers. They were designed for the musician's silent sessions — for example, to keep in trim while travelling.
As to the table-like piano, exhaustive information can be obtained about the English mechanics. The German mechanisms can be judged only by a single instance of the tool number 100.
The desktop piano is represented, inter alia, by orphic, which is not available in other national museums.
The pianos date from the 19th to 20th centuries. These include rare experimental designs: the rarest instrument with the Yanko keyboard, the piano mounted in one case with the harmonium. The museum has three vertical pianofortes – predecessors of the piano.
The pianofortes made at once famous in the USSR (now non-existent) Leningrad factory Red October are of particular value. The factory drew the line under the long-term experience of pre-revolutionary Petersburg piano making...
The devise invented by the Viennese master M. Miller, dated 1800, which he named “ditanaklasis”, was the closest in design to that of the modern pianoforte. Appearance of this novelty in Saint Petersburg was mentioned for the first time by “Vedomosti” no later than on February 4, 1808: “various musical instruments, 2 Viennese pianofortes with 5 and a half and 6 octaves, and the Viennese titanoclasis made by Miller [are sold]...” (“Vedomosti”. February 4, 1808. No. 10).
Thereafter, it was mentioned twice: “In the V. O. ... new Viennese fligel-fortepianos and a newly devised musical instrument called the Ditana Classis are sold at a reasonable price” (“Vedomosti”. December 22, 1808. No. 102); “In Voznesenskaya Street ... a double standing fortepiano (Dittanaklasis) is sold, devised and made in Vienna by Miller...” (“Vedomosti”. March 27, May 1, 1823. Nos. 25, 35); “In Voznesenskaya Street... they sell... a double standing Viennese fligel-fortepiano is sold...” (“Vedomosti”. May 1, 1823. No. 35).
The body of the ditanaklasis was distinguished by its height, almost equal to the height of the modern pianoforte. The height of the instrument suggested that the strings are arranged low. Another feature of the instrument was that the hammers hit almost the middle of the strings. This made the sound even more beautiful. The newspaper called ditanaklasis “double”. This means that there are two keyboards tuned in an octave. The players were divided by the body of the ditanaklasis. And only its small height and cut-out in the upper part let them see each other while playing. Later, Miller abandoned the design of the double ditanaklassis. This gave the instrument the status of a valid prototype of a modern piano.
The word “piano” (English: upright piano; Italian: piano; German: pianino; French: Piano droit) is a diminutive form of the Italian “piano” and literally means “a little piano”.
The name “piano” has assimilated into Russian. Newspapers of the 18th and 19th centuries over the period under examination give only indirect information about the appearance of the term “piano”. We suppose that in those times the foundation was barely laid for the formation of a term in literature and everyday Russian. Which instrument was hidden under the name “pianissimo” in 1805 could not be found out.
1805: “[With the Viennese instrumental master I. Brel] ...you can find... completely in the Viennese manner, a comfortably arranged ... small pianos and pianissimos...”
Early designs of vertical pianofortes are a thing of the past, but the interest the masters experienced in the development of the basic idea embodied in them did not fade. It seemed that everything in the early instruments looked unsatisfactory. The body and the deck warped even after a short use. The height of pitch “slid down”, the blow of the hammer on the strings was weak, providing only a thin, rattling, timbre-less sound... Nevertheless, it is safe to say that, starting from the 1820s and until the 1950s, no modification of the piano other than the vertical one was exposed to so many changes and experiments. As a result, almost all of the listed design deficiencies were eliminated or reduced to a minimum...
Below, the main milestones of the evolution of the tool are listed.
In 1800, D. Gawkins of Philadelphia made a piano with a metal frame. In 1802, the English master T. Loud equipped the piano with cross strings. By 1807, the English master Southwell expanded the range of the instrument to 6 octaves. In 1826, R. Warnum, who also was an English master, improved the work of the damper mechanism, etc. Russian instrument makers also made a significant contribution to the development of the piano.
All these complex processes resulted in the mass production of the piano, first, in England, from 1835 – in Germany, from 1860 – in North America, from 1867 – in France, and from the middle of the 19th century – in Russia. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the piano, having turned into the most popular educational and household musical instrument, became the main component of the world piano engineering.