The keyboard piano is a musical instrument: one of the most popular worldwide. The benefits of using it are in creating music. It was invented in the late 17th century by Bartolomeo Cristofori. It can be used for solo playing, accompaniment, chamber music and ensemble performances. The piano is also common in musical rehearsal and in composing. This instrument is not easily portable and is somewhat expensive; however it is also quite ubiquitous and versatile.
Keyboard Piano Operation
The keyboard piano works via a keyboard. When the player of the piano presses a key on the keyboard, a hammer covered in felt strikes a spring made of steel. The rebound of the hammer lets the spring vibrate at its resonant frequency. A bridge transmits vibrations to a sounding board that couples to the air the acoustic energy, in order to increase the volume of the sound. Releasing a key causes a damper to stop the vibration of the spring in question.
The word piano in the term keyboard piano is short for pianoforte, which translate from Italian into English as a compound word combining quiet and loud. This term is used because the velocity of the piano player’s pressing of a key on the keyboard changes the volume of the sound, with more velocity meaning more sound. This is because pressing a key faster results in the hammer attached to that key striking the string harder.
The keyboard piano is often used in Western classical music, jazz, television and film music. It has been popular as an instrument since the late 18th century. The first piano was produced around 1700 for Ferdinando de Medici, a wealthy patron of music. Playing the piano increased in popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Classification as a Musical Instrument
A keyboard piano is classified as a chordophone instrument using the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system. This means that is makes sound by vibrating strings. Pianos include a keyboard, which is a set of depressible keys or levers that are adjacent to one another and that play various notes, with each key playing a different note.
The keyboard piano is often used for composing music. This is the process of creating original music. This keyboard provides a sandbox for harmonic and melodic interplay for a composer testing out a new piece of music. Composers often use either memory or musical notation to aid in their producing music.
Piano playing also has various non-musical benefits. Musical skill is correlated with skill in math, science and language. This is especially true for spatial-temporal ability, a subset of mathematical skill. Musical skill is also correlated with academic achievement and with emotional health, plus achievement in standardized test scoring. Piano playing has also been used traditionally for centuries to teach discipline, dedication and hard work. Playing the piano can also be very fun.
A common kind of piano playing is called accompaniment. In accompaniment, the piano player plays along with an ensemble of other musicians or with a vocal soloist. Examples of ensembles are a string quartet or a symphony orchestra in Classical music, a rhythm section or a backing band in popular music and an organ trio or a Big Band in jazz music. The piano is a popular instrument for this type of musical performance. Learn how to play your first piece here!