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The Piano

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The Instrument


Songwriting Contest The piano (an abbreviation of pianoforte) is a musical instrument played using a keyboard. It is widely employed in classical and jazz music for solo and ensemble performances, accompaniment, and for composing and rehearsal. Although the piano is not portable and often expensive, its versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions.[10] Rock songs, since the late 1950s[11] and particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, often used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model.[12] Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock.[13] Because of its complex history and tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition. So-called "pure pop" music, such as power pop, which has been described as mixture of hard rock and melodic pop music[1] and tends to be more aggressive than pop rock,[2] features all these elements, using electric guitars, drums and bass for instrumentation. It is "not driven by any significant ambition except profit and commercial reward ... Typically, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse-chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted against the perceived overblown, inauthentic and overly mainstream aspects of these genres to produce a stripped-down, energetic form of music valuing raw expression and often lyrically characterised by social and political critiques. since the late 1950s, however, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus[ic], usually in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc".[11] Grove Music Online also states that "...

History


The piano was founded on earlier technological innovations. records for singles "revolutionized the manner in which pop has been disseminated" and helped to move pop music to 'a record/radio/film star system'.[19] Another technological change was the widespread availability of television in the 1950s; with televised performances, "pop stars had to have a visual presence".[19] In the 1960s, the introduction of inexpensive, portable transistor radios meant that teenagers could listen to music outside of the home.[19] Multi-track recording (from the 1960s); and digital sampling (from the 1980s) have also been utilized as methods for the creation and elaboration of pop music.[7] By the early 1980s, the promotion of pop music had been greatly affected by the rise of Music Television channels like MTV, which "favoured those artists such as Michael Jackson and Madonna who had a strong visual appeal". Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions.[10] Rock songs, since the late 1950s[11] and particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, often used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model.[12] Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock.[13] Because of its complex history and tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition. in the early 1960s [the term] 'pop music' competed terminologically with Beat music [in England], while in the USA its coverage overlapped (as it still does) with that of 'rock and roll'". Rock music has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major sub-cultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. Throughout its development, pop music has absorbed influences from most other genres of popular music.

Invention


The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua, Italy, who was employed by Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany, as the Keeper of the Instruments; he was an expert harpsichord maker, and was well acquainted with the body of knowledge on stringed keyboard instruments. It is not known exactly when Cristofori first built a piano. An inventory made by his employers, the Medici family, indicates the existence of a piano by the year 1700; another document of doubtful authenticity indicates a date of 1698. The three Cristofori pianos that survive today date from the 1720s.

Variations


Some early pianos had shapes and designs that are no longer in use. The square piano (not truly square, but rectangular) was cross strung at an extremely acute angle above the hammers, with the keyboard set along the long side. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions.[10] Rock songs, since the late 1950s[11] and particularly from the mid-1960s onwards, often used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model.[12] Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock.[13] Because of its complex history and tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break through into the mainstream in the form of grunge, Britpop, and indie rock. According to Grove Music Online, the term "pop music" "originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for rock and roll and the new youth music styles that it influenced ...".[10] The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that while pop's "earlier meaning meant concerts appealing to a wide audience ... Pop music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of "popular") is a genre of popular music, which originated in its modern form in the Western world during the 1950s and 1960s, deriving from rock and roll.