Who Invented The Piano?

Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco


Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco is widely considered to be the man who invented the piano.

Wow. Think about that...

What an impact one man can have on the lives of so many generations of people! And, yet, we know fairly little about about this Italian maker of musical instruments.

Cristofori was born on May 4, 1655 in Padua (in the Republic of Venice), Italy. In 1688, when he was 33 years old, Bartolomeo was recruited by Prince Ferdinando de Medici as a technician to care for his musical instrument collection and, it is also believed, to act as a musical instrument inventor and innovator.

Did Cristofori Invent Any Other Instruments?

Before inventing the piano, Cristofori did invent two other instruments, both of which were variations of the harpsichord. One of these was called the spinettone, which was a large harpsichord with slanted strings to conserve space. The other was the oval spinet, which varied the placement of the harpsichord strings, which were also slanted (a spinet is a harpsichord with slanted strings).

Are Any Original Cristofori Pianos
Still Around Today?

Yes! In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, you will find one of the three remaining Cristofori pianos in the world today. This one was built in 1720. You can see a photo of it and find more information here.


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