Bartolomeo Cristofori

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Bartolomeo Cristofori
Photo of a painting of Bartolomeo Cristofori standing next to a piano. The painting was lost in World War II.
Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco

(1655-05-04)May 4, 1655
DiedJanuary 27, 1731(1731-01-27) (aged 75)
Occupation(s)Inventor, instrument maker
Known forInventor of the piano

Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco (Italian pronunciation: [bartoloˈmɛːo kriˈstɔːfori di franˈtʃesko]; May 4, 1655 – January 27, 1731) was an Italian musical instrument maker. He invented the piano.

Life[change | change source]

Cristofori was born in Padua. Not much is known about Cristofori's early life. In 1688, he worked for Prince Ferdinando de' Medici in Florence as a musical instrument technician. He ook care of instruments for the prince. In 1716, he became the custode (steward) of the musical instruments. He made harpsichords and other keyboard instruments. He had his own workshop.[1]

He started to experiment with hammer mechanisms in 1700. His earliest known piano was called Arpicembalo, che fa il piano, e il forte (English: "A keyboard instrument which makes soft and loud sound").[2] The instrument became popular outside of Florence. He sold pianos to customers in Florence and Rome. Gottfried Silbermann learned of Cristofori's invention. He started to make his own pianos. Lodovico Giustini published 12 sonatas for the instrument in 1732. This was the first collection of music specifically for the piano.[1]

Cristofori died on January 27, 1731 at the age of 75.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Brien, Michael (2001). "Cristofori, Bartolomeo". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  2. Pollens, Stewart (2013). "Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence". The Galpin Society Journal. 66: 7–245. ISSN 0072-0127.