Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/735

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tasto, or d'astro, bar) and elsewhere.[1] There has been a recent revival of Mr. W. F. Collard's idea, patented in 1821, of utilising the back draught of the wires, between the belly bridge and the hitch pins, for sympathetic vibration, by means of what he called (Patent No. 4542) a 'bridge of reverberation.' This reappears, in idea, in Messrs. Steinway's 'Duplex Scale'; but Herr Blüthner of Leipzig has gone further in employing independent sympathetic strings of half length in his 'Aliquot' piano. By this he adds the octave harmonic throughout three octaves, and thus produces something of the shifting soft pedal timbre: the forte or damper pedal in the ordinary pianoforte is however an incomparably more efficient floodgate to these sympathetic, or more properly, Æolian reinforcements.

The last inventions we have to mention concern the pedals, and are due to M. Montal, a blind Parisian pianoforte maker, who, in 1862, exhibited in London (1) a 'Pédale d'expression,' diminishing the range of the hammers instead of shifting them, an expedient now employed by American and German makers, and (2) a 'Pédale de prolongement,' a third pedal, by using which a note or notes may be prolonged after the fingers have quitted the keys.[2] This pedal has been of late years re-introduced in Paris, Stuttgart and New York. Reference to Pedals will show the radical change that took place between 1830 and 1850 in 'instrumenting' the pianoforte, giving it what we may call colour of tone, divined by Beethoven, and perfected by Chopin and Liszt. By these parallel advances in technique and instrument, the masterpieces composed for the pianoforte by Beethoven have since 1850 found their fullest exposition.

It cannot be too emphatically urged that pianoforte makers, to truly excel, must ever be individual in their productions. They should be guided by care of proportions in every detail, and in equality of tension as far as the scale will admit; and by a fine discrimination of the proper striking place or point of attack upon the strings. The highly complex nature of the instrument offers inexhaustible facilities for choice in modification of these conditions, which, combined with tradition in working, an important factor, may be taken as the distinctive note of personality in a maker. But we must not forget that there is also a national taste in choice of tone which has an unmistakable influence.

A table of dates will be found a useful conclusion to this article.

1598 Piano e Forte. Name of a keyed instrument at Modena.
1709 Cristofori had made four pianofortes in Florence.
1716 Marius submitted models of pianofortes to the Academy in Paris.
1721 Schroeter submitted two models of pianoforte actions to the Court at Dresden.
1726 Gottfried Silbermann, of Freiberg, showed two pianofortes to John Sebastian Bach.
1731 Cristofori died.
1738 Schroeter wrote to Mitzler, claiming to have invented the pianoforte.
1747 J. S. Bach played on a Silbermann pianoforte before Frederick the Great.
1753 Gottfried Silbennann died.
1768–60 Friederici, of Gera, made the first square pianoforte.
1759 John Christian Bach came to London.
1764 Schroeter published in Marpurg's work his claim to have invented the pianoforte.
1766 Date of oldest Zumpe square piano known.
1767 A 'new Instrument called Piano Forte' announced at Covent Garden.
1768 J. C. Bach played a solo on the pianoforte in London.
1770 Muzio Clementi composed pianoforte music.
1772 The pianist J. S. Schroeter (not the organist) came to London.
1772 Backers about this time invented the English Direct Action.
1773 Burney praised Backers' pianofortes.
1777 Mozart played on Stein's pianofortes at Augsburg.
1777 Stodart adopted the name 'grand' pianoforte.
1777 Seb. Erard made the first square piano in France.
1780 John Broadwood re-constructed the square piano.
1782 Mozart and Clementi played upon the pianoforte before the Emperor at Vienna.
1783 John Broadwood patented loud and soft pedals.
1786 Gelb patented the square 'grasshopper' action.
1787 John Landreth patented the 'upright' grand piano.
1787 Walton patented a soft pedal with shifting hammers.
1788 John Broadwood about this time made a new scale grand piano, dividing the curved bridge.
1789 Stein, of Augsburg, invented a soft pedal with shifting action.
1790 John Broadwood made the first piano with five and a half octaves.
1794 William Southwell invented the 'Irish' damper.
1794 Andreas Streicher perfected the Viennese grand action.
1794 John Broadwood made the first piano with six octaves.
1796 Seb. Erard made his first grand piano in Paris.
1800 Clementi, in partnership with Collard, began about this time to make pianos.
1800 Isaac Hawkins patented an upright pianoforte.
1802 Thomas Loud patented a diagonal upright pianoforte.
1807 William Southwell patented the cabinet pianoforte.
1808 James Broadwood first applied tension bars to a grand piano.
1808 Seb. Erard patented the upward bearing and the 'celeste' pedal.
1811 Robert Wornum made the first cottage pianoforte.
1820 William Allen invented and brought out at Stodart's a compensating grand piano with metal tubes and plates.
1821 Seb. Erard patented his double escapement action.
1821 S. Herve invented the fixed stringplate (brought out at Broadwoods').
1822 James Broadwood adapted tension bars to the stringplate.
1824 Liszt came out in Paris on an Erard grand piano. Seven octaves, C–C.
1825 P. Erard patented bolts to tension bars.
1825 Alphaeus Babcock patented in America a cast iron frame square piano.
1826 B. Wornum patented the crank action. Improved 1828.
1827 James Broadwood patented tension bars and stringplate combined in a grand piano.
1827 James Stewart patented stringing without 'eyes' to the strings (in Messrs. Collards' pianos).
1831 W. Allen patented in London a complete cast-iron frame piano.
1833 Conrad Meyer patented in America a cast-iron frame square piano.
1835 Boehm had over-strung pianos made in London.
1838 P. Erard introduced the 'Harmonic bar.'
1840 Jonas Chickering patented in America a cast-iron frame with damper socket (square piano).
1843 A. Bord of Paris invented the 'Capo tasto' bar.
1847 H. F. Broadwood invented his 'Iron' grand pianoforte.
1851 Jonas Chickerlng exhibited in London grand pianos with frames in one casting.
1851 Lichtenthal, of St. Petersburg, exhibited in London overstrung grand pianos.
1853 Chickering & Son combined cast frame and over-stringing in a square piano.
1854 H. Wölfel, of Paris, invented an iron wrestplank with mechanical screwpins.
1859 Steinway & Sons patented in America a cast frame overstrung grand piano, and double overstrung square piano.
1862 Montal, of Paris, exhibited in London a third pedal for prolonging sounds after the fingers have quitted the keys.
1862 H. F. Broadwood patented the metal plnplece or wrestplank with screw tuning-pins (not mechanical).

[ A. J. H. ]

  1. The Capo Tasto bar recalls Schroeter's 'Widerstandseisen,' but was not taken from it.
  2. From the Report of M. Fétis on the Paris Exhibition ot 1855, it appears that the first idea of this pedal had occurred to Xavier Boisselot of Marsellles, who had shown in the 'Exposition Nationale, 1844, a piano 'à sons soutenus à volonté.'