50 Interesting Piano Facts You Might Not Know!

Having grown up in the village in a remote part of Kenya, I was fascinated by the look and sound of this massive instrument with 88 keys when I first came across it as a teenage boy in High School. 

My chance encounter happened one morning as I walked across the lawn on my second day in school as I was getting acquainted with my surroundings far away from the comfort of the place I knew well as home but now had to leave due to my studies. 

At that time I was feeling homesick and resorted to looking for a place of solitude. I first saw this round shaped building and curiosity got the better hold of me. I quickly walked across the lawn and peered inside the glass windows and that’s when I saw this upright piano that was very beautiful and shiny.

I later came to know that this was one of the many pianos that the school owned and only the elite in the school were allowed to play it. 

This did not deter us from venturing into ‘plonking’ it when the teacher was away despite the fact that we were threatened with sanctions which included paying a monetary fine if we were caught touching the instrument.

We were careful not to be caught and ran away as fast as we could escape if there was any sign of trouble. The determination I had gave rise to my thirst for knowledge to learn more about this beautiful and timeless instrument, the piano.

Along the way, I learnt interesting facts about the piano, many of which might surprise you! So lets dive in as I share my top 50 Interesting Piano Facts You Might Not Know


1. The modern piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700

Bartolomeo Cristofori was an Italian Instrument maker.  His inventive spirit and deep understanding of musical instruments eventually led him to experiment with keyboard instruments. 

By the turn of the 18th century, he had developed a breakthrough instrument that would become known as the “gravic√®mbalo col piano e forte” or, in simpler terms, the “pianoforte.”

The pianoforte allowed musicians to control the volume of the sound by varying the force with which they struck the keys. This dynamic range, from soft to loud, was a game-changer in the world of music.

Cristofori’s creation featured hammers that struck the strings, as opposed to plucking or striking them with quills or tangents like earlier keyboard instruments. This innovative mechanism paved the way for the expressive capabilities of the modern piano. 

It was the dawn of a new era in music, where composers and performers could convey a wider range of emotions and musical nuances.

Interestingly, Cristofori’s invention wasn’t initially met with widespread recognition or adoption. It took time for the piano to gain popularity, but once its potential was realized, it quickly became an integral part of musical composition and performance.

His invention, the piano, became one of the most beloved and versatile instruments in the world, inspiring countless musicians and composers to create masterpieces that continue to enchant audiences to this day. 

2. The piano is also known as the "pianoforte," which means "soft-loud" in Italian, describing its ability to produce both soft and loud sounds

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