Interesting Facts about Piano History: The Renaissance Period

Interesting Facts about Piano History: The Renaissance Period

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Interesting Facts about Piano History: The Renaissance Period

 

Piano history dates as far back as ancient Biblical times where the earliest piano was mentioned in the Book of Genesis. It was a harp. However, the first instrument in piano history that had a keyboard like features was the Hyrdaulis. It was first made in Greece in 220 B.C, and by the second century AD, it had gained popularity in the Roman Empire and Greece. This early keyboard was played using knees, feet, hands, and wrists. Unlike the modern day twelve-tone chromatic scale, the early keyboard used the diatonic scales (GABCDEF) up to the 13th century. It is from the technology of the early keyboard that the modern piano was developed.

 

There Were Varied Keyboard Types In the 14th And 15th Centuries

The 14th and 15th centuries marked the development of various types of keyboard stringed instruments. Some were plucked including the harpsichord, the virginal, and the spinet while others such as the clavichord, checker, and Dulce Melos had hammers.

The Harpsichord and the Clavichord Are the Earliest Modern Pianos

These two looked almost the same as the modern day piano with the only difference being the sound produced by each. The harpsichords’ strings were plucked using quills while tangents struck those of the clavichords. In the harpsichord, it was hard for the musician to control the dynamics of the notes and hence unable to evoke emotions. The clavichords, on the other hand, helped solve this shortcoming by allowing the strings to vibrate as long as the key was pressed.

 

The Modern Piano Was Invented Around 1698 Or 1700

The piano, invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua who was an expert in making the harpsichord, was different from the modern piano in that the blacks were natural while the whites’ keys served as the accidentals. This layout was later changed following the suggestion of Sebastian LeBlanc. Since the piano allowed playing of more than one key at once, they became quite popular especially during the emergence of polyphonic music.

Keep reading: “Interesting Facts About The Piano That You May Not Know”>>

Read on: “Inspiration from the Life of Ludwig van Beethoven”>>

 


For more questions, contact us at info@willanacademy.com or 646-838-3990. Willan Academy of Music offers violin lessons, guitar lessons, and more in NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Interesting Facts about Piano History: The Renaissance Period

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Inspiration from the Life of Franz Liszt

Inspiration from the Life of Franz Liszt

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Inspiration from the Life of Franz Liszt

 

Adam Liszt taught his son, Franz Liszt, how to play the piano. These lessons paid off as Franz turned into a promising child prodigy. His talent and knowledge in music grew exponentially. In fact, Franz became so good at playing the piano that he started composing when he was eight years old. Moreover, Franz performed in concerts by the time he was nine years old.

 

The Paris Conservatory Denied Him Admission into the Institution

Adam traveled to Vienna with his son so that Franz could explore his talent. In Vienna, Antonio Salieri, a music director at the Viennese Court, offered to train the young pianist. He would train Franz without charging his father a single cent. After several months of training, Franz Liszt became an outstanding piano player. He even played for Kings, wealthy nobles, and his fellow musicians. When Franz was twelve years old, his father decided to move to Paris. He took his son with him. Unfortunately, the Paris Conservatory rejected Franz’s application to join the institution. The reason given by the Conservatory for the rejection was Franz’s status as a foreigner.

 

 

The Death of His Father Left Him Hopeless

Adam Liszt, Franz’s father, died in 1826. His death devastated Franz. The budding pianist turned his back on his music career. Instead, he buried his head in books that dealt with religion and arts. Fortunately, these books had a great impact on his music career at a later period. At the age of twenty-two years, Franz met Comtesse Marie d’Agoult. She became the love of his life. In fact, she inspired him to write several impressions in his work titled, ‘the Years of the Pilgrim.’ It is important to note that most of the proceeds from his concerts went to various charities and humanitarian works.

 

Inspiration from the Life of Franz Liszt

Doing what you love makes it possible for you to win the hearts of the many people including prominent personalities. Remember, Franz came from a simple background, but he performed before world leaders and nobles. He did so with great passion and enthusiasm. Additionally, you can learn something else from Franz Liszt i.e. the death of a loved one is not the end of the world. Yes, it is devastating, but you can overcome it. Find your inspiration so that you can get back on your feet.

 

Keep reading: “Interesting Facts About The Piano That You May Not Know”>>

Read on: “Inspiration from the Life of Ludwig van Beethoven”>>


For more questions, contact us at info@willanacademy.com or 646-838-3990. Willan Academy of Music offers violin lessons, guitar lessons, and more in NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Inspiration from the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Inspiration from the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Inspiration from the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756, to December 5, 1791) is one of the greatest composers of all-time. He composed over 600 works during his lifetime. Many of them were piano concertos in addition to operas and symphonies among other works. Interestingly, Mozart started composing music at the tender age of five years old. In fact, he was so good at what he did that he composed his first symphony was he was eight years old. His father, Leopold Mozart, supported him as he embarked on his musical career.

 

Mozart Participated in Musical Tours at a Young Age

His first tour began in mid-1763. The family toured Munich, Stuttgart, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Mainz, Paris, Mannheim, and London. Additionally, the family visited other cities such as The Hague, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Finally, they arrived back home in 1766. Mozart was only ten years old at this time. He performed as a child prodigy during these tours.

 

Mozart Responded Quickly To the Music He Encountered

As he embarked on his first trip, Mozart’s performances were good, but the texture of his music was not as perfect as it could be. Fortunately, tours in musical centers such as London and The Hague opened his eyes to endless possibilities. Subsequently, his music improved remarkably in terms of texture enrichment. Therefore, you can say that Mozart was a fast learner.

 

Inspiration from the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Parents should support their kids as Leopold supported his son. As you have seen, Mozart passion in music started to show when he was three years old. His dad sacrificed his time and ambition to take his son on tours. Similarly, musical students should make their parents proud. Remember, Mozart did not waste his dad’s time and energy. Instead, he worked hard on his music. Moreover, adapting to prevailing circumstances and trends is an excellent idea. For example, Mozart’s exposure to different styles of music during his European tours helped him to improve his musical talent.

 

Keep reading: “Interesting Facts About The Piano That You May Not Know”>>

Read on: “Inspiration from the Life of Ludwig van Beethoven”>>


For more questions, contact us at info@willanacademy.com or 646-838-3990. Willan Academy of Music offers violin lessons, guitar lessons, and more in NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

The Piano Versatility

The Piano Versatility

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The Piano Versatility

 

 

It’s not the most portable of instruments, it’s difficult to tune, and its notes can’t be bent, given vibrato or sent into feedback, but the piano has been an enduring feature of many genres of music. Listen to a few bars of a well-played tune, and it’s easy to see why – it has a warmth, a rhythm, a range and a level of control, unlike any other instrument. Let’s take a trip around some musical styles to show just how versatile the piano is.

 

Classical Music

The music of Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin might be what springs to mind when many people think of the piano; and indeed, it’s hard to imagine the world of classical music without it. Interestingly, though, it’s not particularly old as instruments go. JS Bach (1685-1750) did experience the piano in his lifetime, but wasn’t overly impressed with the early models; he preferred his harpsichords and organs. In fact, classical composers though the ages will all have played slightly different versions of the piano as innovations were invented. Modern piano music would sound most unusual to its original composers if they came back to life. That’s if you could drag them away from the TV, anyway.

 

Blues Music

With its roots in the final throes of American slavery, it’s no surprise that Blues is often associated with small, portable and inexpensive instruments like the guitar and the harmonica. But the piano did find a place in the genre, with notable names like Fats Domino, Blind John Davies, Lucky Roberts and Ray Charles making blues piano world famous.

 

Jazz Music

Since the birth of jazz in the early twentieth century, the piano has played a key role. The nature of jazz made it playable on practically any instrument, from the trumpet to the violin, but the piano was never far away. Think Scott Joplin, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Rowles, Herbie Hancock – and let’s not forget Jamie Cullum – and you’ll have traced the history of this rhythmic, elastic musical form.

 

Rock and Roll Music

As rock and roll were a development of the blues sound, the guitar, drums and double bass were naturally the most prominent instruments, especially once bands started touring from venue to venue seeking fame. But if there’s any doubt that the piano has a place in rock and roll, look no further than one of its pioneers, Little Richard, whose playing style was as over the top as his technique was accomplished. He double-handedly changed the face of music by influencing Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and countless others. Roll over, Beethoven.

 

Pop Music

Like rock and roll, pop music is associated more with instruments other than the piano, namely the guitar, bass and drums and eventually synthesizers, sequencers and digital music. But let’s not forget how many hit singles have prominent pianos in them: Rocket Man;Let it Be; You Are The Sunshine OF My Life; Imagine; Hey Jude; Bohemian Rhapsody; Your Song; What A Fool Believes … and the complete back catalog of Billy Joel.

 

No doubt the piano will play a part in future types of music, particularly now that the sound can be digitized and reproduced well enough to fool the most astute ears. But that wooden aroma will never be replaced.

 

Keep reading: “Interesting Facts About The Piano That You May Not Know”>>

Read on: “Inspiration from the Life of Ludwig van Beethoven”>>


For more questions, contact us at info@willanacademy.com or 646-838-3990. Willan Academy of Music offers violin lessons, guitar lessons, and more in NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

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