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Google honours inventor of the piano with a Google Doodle
4th May 2015
Google today used its iconic 'doodle' to celebrate Cristofori and his ground-breaking invention. On its front page, users can adjust the volume while a cartoon of Cristofori plays Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring on his new instrument.
Cristofori was born on 4 May 1655 in Padua and looked after the harpsichords of the Florentine court for the Grand Prince Ferdinando de Medici. By 1700 he had created a forerunner to the
If Cristofori had been born in the 20th century he might have dabbled in some SEO. Or perhaps he might have taken out some Google Adwords to increase his sales. Unfortunately his new instrument remained relatively unknown until an Italian writer Scipione Maffei wrote about it in 1711, diagramming its unique hammer mechanism. This article was later translated into German and widely distributed, heavily influencing
The development of the piano radically changed the musical landscape for
Cristofori's concept hammer action allowed gradual contrasts of volume (crescendo and diminuendo, for example) and these came to feature in the later music of the Classical period (1750-1827). Sudden changes (sforzando, sfz or fp) also featured especially in music by composers such as Beethoven.
One of Gottfried Silbermann's early models was viewed poorly by Bach as possessing too heavy a touch and too weak a treble. Silbermann refined these pianos to greater success, leading to the purchase of several by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia (r. 1740-86). Bach later praised Silbermann's pianos, going so far as to become a sales agent for his instruments, thereby extending Cristofori's influence in central Europe. Did he get a commission?
For more information about piano lessons in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and surrounding areas, please visit the pianoworks.co.uk site by clicking here.