Learn about Piano
The forte piano (literally 'loudsoft') as it was first called, was invented in the early 18th century, but did not become popular until after about 1780, when it displaced the harpsichord as the main keyboard instrument.
Early pianos were rectangular in form, supported by a trestle base, though they were later given detachable screw legs. In the 1830s parlour pianos began to adopt the contemporary upright form, although at first the soundboard cases were very high and the fronts often decorated with pleated silk panels or fretwork.
The earliest known Australian piano, made by John Benham in about 1835, is of this type, and on public exhibition at the Mint Museum in Sydney. From around 1835 upright pianos assumed their modern form. The horizontal 'grand' pianos of course continued to be made, in form really not differing greatly, except in size, to the earlier harpsichords.
Until the middle of the 19th century, piano frames were made of wood which may shrink or warp, resulting in loss of tension on the strings and thus causing the pianos to go easily out of tune. more...