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Word Count: 2,135
The piano has seen many sights and has been a part of countless important events in the past and present and is said to have dominated music for the past 200 years Welton Throughout history inventions come along that take art away from princes and give it the people Swan 41 Not unlike the printing press the piano made what was once intangible possible the poorest of peasants could enjoy the same music that their beloved rulers did The piano can be played by the rankest of amateurs and the greatest of virtuosos Swan 41 so even if a person is not very intelligent a simple tune can easily be learned In addition to being a key factor in almost all western music styles the piano has had a rich and eventful history The piano can be directly linked to two instruments of centuries past The first is the clavichord a box-like structure in which strings are stretched and struck by metal blades to produce notes and pitches The clavichord could be manipulated to produce different chords but even at its best could barely be heard by anyone other than the player Swan 42 Intent upon creating a superior to the clavichord musical engineers created the harpsichord The harpsichord used a frame similar to modern grand-pianos but utilized a wooden bar and a quill to pluck strings the jack which amplified the sound of a clavichord greatly Harpsichords were more expensive clavichords and became a fad in sixteenth and seventeenth century England Rice 185 The harpsichord was a particularly important development leading to the invention of the piano Its ability to project sound more loudly than its predecessors and refinements in the action of striking the keys inspired many more musicians to compose for the keyboard and thus to perform keyboard works Grover 128 However the harpsichord was limited to one unvarying volume Its softness and loudness remained the same while playing Therefore performing artists
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