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Creator Name: Cristofori, Bartolomeo
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Dates/Places: 1655-1731
Creator Name-CRT: Made by Bartolomeo Cristofori
Title: Grand piano
Title Type: Object name
Creation Start Date: 1720
Creation End Date: 1720
Creation Date: 1720
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Chordophone/struck piano
Materials and Techniques: Various materials
Dimensions: L. of case perpendicular to keyboard 90 in. (228.6 cm); W. parallel to keyboard 37 5/8 in. (95.6 cm); D. of case without lid 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); Total H. 34 in. (86.5 cm); 3-octave span 19 1/2 in. (49.6 cm); L. of longest string 74 1/4 in. (188.6 cm); L. of shortest string 4 3/4 in. (12 cm); L. of c2 11 in. (27.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 89.4.1219
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Bartolomeo Cristofori was the first person to create a successful hammer-action keyboard instrument and, accordingly, deserves to be credited as the inventor of the piano. This example is the oldest of the three extant pianos by Cristofori. About 1700 he began to work on an instrument on which the player could achieve changes in loudness solely by changing the force with which the keys were struck. By 1700 he had made at least one successful instrument, which he called 'gravicembalo col piano e forte' (harpsichord with soft and loud). His instrument still generally resembles a harpsichord, though its case is thicker and the quill mechanism has been replaced by a hammer mechanism. Cristofori's hammer mechanism is so well designed and made that no other of comparable sensitivity and reliability was devised for another seventy-five years. In fact, the highly complex action of the modern piano may be traced directly to his original conception.
AMICA ID: MMA_.89.4.1219
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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