Berean Bible Heritage Church
November 21, 2017; 5:30 pm
Jerusalem Time

Bartolomeo Cristofori

by Gideon Macomber

On May 4, 1655, Bartolomeo Cristofori was born. He died on January 27, 1731. He was born in Padua, Italy. Later he became known as a harpsichord and spinet maker. He moved to Florence in 1690 to work for Ferdinando de Medici. His invention of the piano of the piano is usually dated to between 1698 and 1708.

Calling the instrument the Harpsichord che fa il piano e il forte he had built four such devices by the death of Ferdinando in 1713. He remained in Florence as overseer of the 84-instrument collection of Ferdinando and continued to work on his piano design, by his 1726 design if held almost all the features of the modern device including the fast hammer action the escapement and check, excepting only the metal frame.

The lack of the metal frame meant the Cristofori’s instrument could not produce an especially loud tone; contemporaries found it heavy to use and with a weaker sound than the Harpsichord. Cristofori’s early piano had much of the stringing design of harpsichords and sounded much like them with the exception of the expression the player could now add to the music through the touch response.

Christofori’s designs were not used until later in the 1700’s when accounts of his piano designs were published. Later his designs were used and studied by different people. Two of the people that used Christofori’s designs were some men by the name of Christian Friederici and Johannes Zumpe. They began to develop the piano as a distinctive instrument from the harpsichord. In 1732, Music began to be written for the piano and in 1747 Bach approved of the new instrument and started to write his own music for it.

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