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Forerunners of a piano, or Where at a piano bother ? Part 1

do not consider me as the finished bore and the graphomaniac, but the main questions in numerous okolomuzykalny forums most often rise from - for the fact that people absolutely have no idea about ancestors modern musical instruments (both acoustic, and synthesizers, digital pianos etc.) .

Naturally, the story about rather specific subject demands understanding at least of of a minimum special terminology which, I believe, will be quite clear advanced to fans and professionals, and the interested will push on need to guide insignificant references. So...

Historically as the earliest prototype of a modern piano it is possible to consider so-called of polychords . Traditionally it is considered that of a monochord (single-string plucked tools) invented and used for the musically - theoretical and acoustic researches Pythagoras. It was even not the musical instrument, but physics - the acoustic device representing a rectangular box from tense of one a string. So far Pythagoras successfully continued by

the experiences (connected directly more with mathematics - he studied influence of division of a string on tone height), resourceful musicians created similar musical instruments with many strings and called them, respectively, polychords ( multistrings ) .

Polychords were designed differently, played on them in also various ways: clung strings fingers, struck strings with sticks, clung strings special plates (mediators), as on a mandoline or a guitar. But the keyboard mechanism became one of cardinal steps on the way to creation of a modern piano, of course. The keyboard of the master was borrowed from body, and the mechanism transferring the movement from keys to strings was created anew, partially borrowing at a polychord. Silent lamellar multistrings received the name a clavichord , and more sonorous plucked polychords in which the string was pinched by a feather or a catch from rigid skin (the sound resembled a lute sound), - a harpsichord ., the clavichord and a harpsichord became already direct predecessors of a piano.

Clavichord appeared approximately to Χ Ι V - Χ To the 5th century. Originally in Western Europe exclusively vagrant musicians (from what we draw a conclusion about originally low cost of tools) used small and easy figurative clavichord. In a small desktop wooden box the set of metal strings and the narrow keyboard were located. As strings were one length, clavichord had a rectangular shape.

After the master were convinced that strings of one length create a set of problems and inconveniences (including - in control) and began to create tools with a different length of strings, ó the lshy sizes, on legs. Thanks to mechanics, similar to a piano, the clavichord possessed, speaking the modern language, dynamic the keyboard - that is sound intensity depended directly at most blow to a key . For a clavichord such composers as Handel, Bach, Tieliemang, Mozart, Haydn created the masterpieces and even early sonatas of Beethoven intended for this tool.

By the way, for a clavichord on the basis of which masters, at last, resolved an issue of artificial equalizing of half tones, equalities of sharps and flats (for example, fa - sharp = " salt; - a flat, though in acoustics " salt; - the flat is lower fa - a sharp), I. S. Bach created the whole 48 unprecedented invaluable preludes and fugues under widely famous name Wohltemperierte Klavier .

And still the sound of a clavichord was rather soft and silent in order that on it is mute it was possible to play in halls before a large number of people. Therefore subsequently its steel widely to apply to house playing music.

The second look strunno - the keyboard instrument which played in XV, 16th and 17th centuries is a spinet . In fact, the spinet is the small (slightly simplified) harpsichord with one or two keyboards of four in size - five octaves. And, as a rule, was richly decorated.

But much bigger popularity the third enjoyed and, perhaps, the most unusual tool - a harpsichord . It even had some more names: klavichembat, chembat, vyordzhinet. If art of game on a clavichord blossomed in Germany, then the harpsichord and its versions widely extended mainly in France, England and Scandinavia.

The harpsichord is similar to a spinet, has the same plucked mechanics, but the sizes are larger than it. In the case strings of one thickness, but different length stretched: from here such characteristic form - appearance it reminds a modern grand piano. The sound was elicited by a pinch for strings of elastic uvulas from the horny tips of the bird`s plumelets or pieces of skin strengthened on the special tangenta set in motion by keys.

Harpsichords were two types: wing-shaped (vertical or horizontal) and square or pryamougolnoy it is less big size. The tool was very popular during a baroque era when magnificent dresses with frills and crinolines were fashionable, and even in architecture and painting the preference was given to saloon art in any manifestations. It was already real concert tool.

First could play music on a harpsichord only in secular salons and drawing rooms. In big halls its ringing voice was lost as well as at a clavichord. The sound of a harpsichord is rather specific - slightly dryish, as if glass not differing in slowness (which the clavichord had). However it was good, rather sonorous tool on which at sufficient level of proficiency it was possible to play a light music (that time), mobile plays and the accompaniment accompanying singing and a recitative. Short sounds of a harpsichord and the smooth lasting sounds of a voice, viols or violins well were in harmony and supplemented each other. The harpsichord turned into the remarkable ensemble tool.

He played a double role in an orchestra: party of maintenance (the conductor sat at a harpsichord - the left hand played chords, and right directed an orchestra), the general - a bass, and at the same time - party zvenyashche - rustling percussions. To these properties of a harpsichord we are also obliged to the fact that practically in all music of baroque the harpsichord duplicates party of a viol (later - violoncellos).

Over time the harpsichord became accessory of all rich houses. For production of tools there were most precious grades of a tree. The harpsichord was inlaid with an ivory, bronze, gold, on its walls and wing-shaped covers fashionable saloon painters painted various pictures. Keys covered with plates from semi-precious stones. Never earlier the musical instrument was such road esteemed and valued a toy.

Thanks to a magnificent view of a harpsichord, court grandees learned to appreciate also music, on it executed. Klavesinny music reached blossoming, on an equal basis with Germany, in France (Rameau, Couperin, Lully) and in England (Pyorsell, Handel).

Masters, of course, could not reconcile with the fact that the harpsichord sounds so monotonously, and thought out various " devices; to diversify sounding of the tool. For example, installed several parallel keyboards (on a sample of organ manuals) with different sound intensity; adapted a pedal when which pressing the sound became more silent, - but all of them were not really convenient. Despite falling of the popularity, a harpsichord did not disappear for ever - it can and be heard at concerts of ancient and modern vanguard music today.

We will directly address a piano in 2 parts.