The Early Pianoforte

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Cambridge University Press, May 7, 2009 - Music - 320 pages
This is the first comprehensive historical and technological study of the pianoforte based on important primary source material. Most histories of the piano begin with its invention by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence in about 1700: this study begins with the earliest fifteenth- and sixteenth-century manuscript sources and extends over Cristofori's rediscovery of the principle of the hammer action, the early exportation of Florentine pianofortes to prominent European courts, and the building of copies of these instruments in Portugal, Spain and Germany. Technical information is presented in a comparative format and the text is illustrated with many photographs, measurements, line drawings and tables. While written primarily for the technical specialist, there is much here of significance for the history of the piano and performance practice.

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