Posted: May 11, 2020
Good morning. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and were able to spend time honoring their mom or mother figure. I know I look forward to visting my mom when restrictions for travel between NB and PEI are lifted.
We have 3 more instruments to look at in the keyboard family; the harspichord, pianoforte and grand piano. Again, refer to the following website to have a look at these instruments. https://www.classicsforkids.com/music/instruments.php?family=Keyboard. For some reason, they did not show a pianoforte. Perhaps because it is very similar in appearance to the modern day grand piano?
Harpsichord- This instrument was invented (16th century-1500's) prior to the pianoforte and has a very unique sound; largely due in part to the fact that the strings inside of the piano are plucked each time a key is pressed on the keyboard. We've heard a similar sound when learning about pizzicato in the string family. Take a look at this video and you will see the harpsichord in action.Warning: the presenter is a little boring but the visuals for the instrument are really good! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7jWYiQz1cA
I actually found this next video interesting1 We are able to see the pianoforte (1700's) - which allowed the pianist to play softly (piano) or loud (forte). One of the models even has a built in drum! You'll have to watch and see! The video ends with a brief look at the modern day grand piano. Very similar to the first pianoforte, except with modern time came better design-better wood- materials for the keys etc. I did not even realize that it takes one year to build this instrument. A lot of care and detail go into building this instrument. I wonder how many homes can be built in one year? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMxqAKxWMYA. Many of you may have seen a grand piano in a hotel lobby. Next time; take a look (without touching) inside this instrument. You will see that it looks like a harp lying down. You should also see the hammers that strike the strings when the player presses on the piano key. This very same action also happens inside a baby grand piano (a slightly smaller sized grand piano) and an upright piano (body of piano is vertical). Maybe your grandparents or great grandparents had an upright piano in their home?. These pianos were built so people in apartments and smaller homes could enjoy the piano without taking up their entire living room! Here are samples of these pianos: Grand pianos/Baby Grands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uGDgPgakWM. In this video, the pianist plays the same piece of music on three different sized grand pianos. Can you hear the difference in tone quality between these instruments? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_j6KQRrEA The last example is the upright piano. This is the same piano that I learned to play on when I was a child. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaGOyzlbiO0. Bonus part to this instrument? The bottom board comes out with the pull of a lever so the piano tuner can get at the bottom section of the instrument. I used to hide my Capt'n Crunch cereal in there so my brother wouldn't get at it! Forgot it was there until we found it about 20 years later when a technician was repairing the pedal! Breakfast anyone?!