The modern piano has undergone a great evolutionary journey throughout the centuries. From around 1600, the harpsichord was one of the leading instruments of the era. It resembled the piano with its appearance, and its system of strings and soundboard. But the harpsichord had its restrictions - it did not give the player freedom to control the instrument's volume, to play notes loud or soft. It was Bartolomeo Cristofori of Italy who, in around the year 1700, set out to create an instrument with which a player would have more control. He invented the piano by replacing the harpsichord's plucking mechanism with a hammer. The first piano started out with only 54 keys, but this number gradually increased over the centuries until it finally reached the standard 88 keys following the First World War.
Pianos were mostly limited to the aristocracy, until the French Revolution occurred in 1789. Subsequently, they became more popular with the general public, and demands for these instruments increased. Music that had also been previously appreciated by aristocrats in their exclusive courts was now being performed in large concert halls that seated up to 2,000 people. This created a greater demand for instruments that had a louder sound and carried further.
Many famous composers fell in love with the piano and its music, composing stunning masterpieces and performing in public concerts. The piano has been a part of our lives from the beginning, and our love for it has only continued to grow. From grand concert halls to the privacy and comfort of one's own home, the piano belongs to everyone. It was created to be without limits. It became an instrument to be beheld and enjoyed by all. There was no barrier between rich and poor, amateur and professional. People from all walks of life were united by music. The piano is an expressive instrument, almost alive, with every single note it breathes.
Rich with soul and feeling, the piano captivates us all. Even today, in our fast-paced, modern world, we can still find the time to slow down, sit back, and appreciate its rich and vibrant music. There are so many ways we can now enjoy our music, but nothing is quite so powerful as the melody of the piano. It can be poignant and full of sadness, soft and dreamy, sharp and intense, joyful and uplifting. Like a living creature, the piano possesses soul. It owns laughter, it owns heartbreak. Every string murmurs with feeling, tearing down unbreakable barriers, and we reveal a side of ourselves to others in a way we were unable to before.
Strengthened by the piano's exquisite voice, it heals us, whatever our emotions, our hardships, our fragility. There is very little out there that can move us the same way a piano can. It will never be antiquated, a timeworn fossil. It has influenced us for many lifetimes, and it will continue to influence us for many more lifetimes to come.