About the piano
Piano mechanics. The sound in the piano is extracted by hammering the strings. With the help of pegs, the strings are pulled onto the resonant deck (in the piano, the deck is in the vertical position, in the pianos – in the horizontal).
For each sound there is a chorus of strings: three for the middle and high ranges, two or one for the lower. Most pianos range from 86 semitones from a subcontract to a octave to 5 octaves (older instruments may be limited to a note of 4 octaves above; you can even find instruments with a wider range).
In the neutral position, the strings, in addition to the last one and a half to two octaves, are in contact with the dampers. When you press the keys, a device of levers, straps and hammers is called a piano mechanic. After pressing, the damper is separated from the corresponding choir of strings so that the string can sound freely, and a hammer studded with a fillet (felt) hits it.
Pedals. Modern pianos have two or three pedals. Earlier instruments used pull-out levers for the same purpose, which the pianist had to press with his knees.
The right pedal (sometimes called simply the “pedal” because it is used most often) raises all the dampers at once, so that after releasing the key the corresponding strings continue to sound. In addition, all other instrument strings also begin to vibrate, becoming a secondary source of sound.
The right pedal is used for two purposes: to make the sequence of sounds extracted inextricable (legato game) where it is impossible to do with fingers due to technical difficulties, and to enrich the sound with new overtones. There are two ways to use the pedal: direct pedal – pressing the pedal before pressing the keys that you want to hold, and delayed when the pedal is pressed immediately after pressing the key and before it is released. In notes, this pedal is indicated by the letter P (or the abbreviation Ped.), And its removal is indicated by an asterisk. In the music of composers of the epochs of romanticism and impressionism, these notations are often found, usually to give the sound a special touch.
The left pedal is used to attenuate the sound. In pianos this is achieved by moving the hammers to the left, so that instead of three strings of the choir, they hit only two (in the past sometimes only one). In the piano, mallets approach the strings. This pedal is used much less frequently. In notes, it is indicated by una corda, its removal is indicated by tre corde or tutte le corde.
The middle (or third, because historically it was added last) pedal, or sostenuto pedal, serves to selectively raise the dampers. With the middle pedal depressed, the dampers raised by pressing the keys remain raised until the pedal is removed. It, like the right pedal, can serve for playing legato, but will not enrich the sound with vibration of the other strings. Today, this pedal is absent on most pianos and is present on most pianos. There are pianos in which the middle pedal “moves” to the left and is thus fixed, while a special fabric is placed between the hammers and strings, due to which the sound becomes very quiet, which allows the musician to play, for example, at night.
Playing an instrument
The piano can be used both as a solo instrument and together with an orchestra (e.g. in concerts for piano and orchestra). Playing the piano is an activity that requires good technique, attention and dedication. Learning to play this instrument in children’s music schools in Russia takes 5 or 7 years, depending on the program, some students remain an additional one to two years after graduation before entering a music school. It is advisable to start learning to play the piano in childhood, because it’s much harder for adults to learn how to play it. You can continue your education in a specialty at a musical university. In the children’s music school of Russia, the general piano is also a compulsory subject for almost all specialties.
Piano requires careful handling and, from time to time, settings, as some strings are lowered and the sound produced becomes different (electronic instruments are much less whimsical in this regard and do not need to be tuned).
The predecessors of the piano were harpsichords and later invented clavichords. Their shortcomings were the rapidly fading sound, which interfered with the legato game, and a constant volume level, which excluded one of the most important expressive means of music – dynamics (volume change).
The mechanics of modern piano were proposed by the Italian master Christophori approx. 1709, in his design the mallets were under the strings. (The design was called gravicembalo col piano e forte, where the modern name comes from.) Similar systems were developed by Marius in France (1716) and Schroeter in Germany (1717-21). A system based on the principle of tossing a malleus attached to a key was invented by Zilberman and his pupil I. Stein in 1731. In 1821