Concept

Social history of the piano

Summary
Early years At the time of its origin around the year 1700, the piano was a speculative invention, produced by the well-paid craftsman and inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori for his wealthy patron Ferdinando de Medici, Grand Prince of Florence. As such, it was an extremely expensive item. For some time after its invention, the piano was largely owned by royalty (e.g. the kings of Portugal and Prussia); see Fortepiano for details. Even later on, (i.e. throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries), pianos were financially beyond the reach of most families, and the pianos of those times were generally the property of the gentry and the aristocracy. Visiting music masters taught their children to play the piano. Pianos and women Both Parakilas and Loesser emphasize a connection during this period between pianos and the female gender; piano study was apparently more common for girls than boys. Despite this, women were discouraged from playing the piano professionally and were
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