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The earliest form of the piano dates back to the Middle Ages. These prototypes do not have keys but are struck by a felt hammer by hand similar to a modern piano. The keyboard designs for the piano were not introduced until the 1600s with the invention of the Harpsichord and the Clavichord which are the ancestors of the modern day piano. Although they are more playable than their medieval counterparts, these designs requires a foot pedal in order to produce sound. These pedals are different than those from modern conventional versions. As the system gradually becomes more complex with the advent of Industrialization, the design eventually becomes distinct to systems featured in modern pianos.
Types of PianoEdit
There are different types of pianos each with special characteristics. Some pianos have a different tambre or even have a different feel from other pianos due to manufacturing differences and varying techniques used by different piano companies.
The two main categories are upright pianos and grand pianos. Upright pianos are more compact and can be fit to a smaller room. Grand pianos are larger and more expensive but are used more frequently in formal occasions. Different types of grand pianos include concert grand pianos and baby grand pianos. Concert grand pianos are the most expensive given their quality and immense size. Baby grand pianos are more commonly used in homes and public spaces since it is more compact, but less so than an upright piano.
Piano Construction and ComponentsEdit
Tuning the piano requires special equipment that must be purchased by music stores since the material that needs to be adjusted are unique only to the instrument. To tune the piano, the user must aquire a socket wrench to adjust the pins of the piano that holds the strings. It is recommended to hire a piano tuner rather than tuning it yourself unless you are an experienced piano tuner.
The frequency of piano tuning largely depends on how much the instrument is used. It is regular for a pianist to tune the piano once every season since piano wires have a tendency to expand or shrink especially in extreme temperatures. Concert pianists and similar professionals who use the piano intensively on a daily bases may need to tune once per month.
There is no disadvantage for not tuning your piano on a regularly basis, other than being slightly off key. Some hobbyists, especially ragtime pianists prefer to remain the piano untuned since it gives a distinct flavor and tambre.