Tuesday, April 20, 2010

P-I-A-N-O oh oh!

Lesson Three

I know that there are plenty of marvelous musicians who read my blog but for those who are not as familiar with music, here are some quick facts and history about the very best instrument in the whole universe.

1. The piano gets its name from "pianoforte" - piano being interpreted as "soft"* and forte meaning "loud." This is because the piano was far more responsive to the touch of players versus the harpsichord or clavichord (which were the common keyboards at that time).

2. George Michael owns the piano on which John Lennon wrote the song Imagine.

3. The piano is a mishmash of an instrument: you strike a key which activates a hammer (making the piano a percussion instrument) which then strikes a string that vibrates and creates the sound (making the piano, in a way, a stringed instrument).

4. You know those pedals under the piano? Well, the most commonly used one is the one on the far right called the sustain or damper pedal. What it does is allows the strings of the piano to continue vibrating after they've been touched, sustaining the notes. This gives that romantic, more reverb-y sound.

My favorite thing about pianos has to be its versatility of sound- it can be romantic and elegant or Jerry Lee Lewis rock n' roll! It's also one of the few instruments that can really stand on its own.

I know I barely touched the marvelousness that is a piano. So if you have any questions, just let me know! And tell me what you love about pianos!

*Piano actually doesn't mean "soft" even though that's what it means now in music. At the time, it meant "on a plane or level" which would be "normal" sound. So a "pianoforte" could play both normally and loudly.


  1. I love the piano. I have very limited experience playing myself, but watching a good pianist always excites me!

  2. I use to play the piano when I was little and I wish they would have taught me some of these facts. Thanks for the lesson, I enjoyed it :)


  3. Thanks for this, it was very educational and fun!

  4. thanks for these fun facts, emma:) hope u have a wonderful week!


  5. Great post! :D I've always wanted to learn to play the piano, but I've never gotten around to actually doing it! This kind of makes me want to sign up for lessons!

    P.S. I'm giving away a dress on my blog if you'd like to enter! ;D

  6. Always wanted piano lessons as a kid but was not able to learn. Loved this lesson! :D

  7. This is such a great post! I always wanted to learn to play the piano. I'm trying to get my boyfriend to teach me!

  8. This is such a great post, I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but all I have managed is "hot cross buns". :P

  9. hi emma how are you after such a long time back i saw you

    this is cool post

    thanks for comment

  10. The piano is one of my favorite instruments! This is a great rundown of a wonderful instrument.

  11. Welcome back!! Wonderful post! I love pianos and I love their amazing versatility. Definitely my favorite instrument!

  12. Though I don not play I, too, love the versatility of the piano. It can be so soothing or exciting to listen to.

  13. Great post, and I agree on the piano, its truly the best instrument in the whole world..and i may add, violins too! I loved those facts, learn something new everyday! Take care! x

  14. Great post, Emma! I always wished I could play the piano.

  15. #2 is so interesting!

    Learning how to play piano is on my bucket list :)

  16. I'm very limited on piano, but I love to hear my dad playing! =)

    Marina J.G.


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