It is not known that music is the nourishment of the soul, but for some, it is a passion and a way of life that started in childhood. It is also a global language! It is the most direct way to express our joys, sorrows, happiness, rebellions, in short, all our emotions. Many different styles, many different instruments take us to other lands.
How much do we know about the piano, which is used in almost every style of music, but which has grown like itself in a virtuoso? The piano (or the rarely used Italian name Pianoforte) is a keyed instrument. In the piano, the sound is obtained through strings. When the keys of the piano are pressed, the wooden hammer inside creates the sound by hitting the strings. Piano percussion musical instrument is considered because of the wooden hammer hitting the strings. Piano is widely used in classical and jazz music. It is a very suitable instrument for solo performances, ensemble, chamber music, accompaniment, composition and rehearsal. Although the piano is not a portable instrument and is generally expensive, it is one of the most widely used instruments in the world with its versatility and the ability to be found in many places at the same time. Acoustic pianos usually have 88 keys (52 white keys, 36 black keys), although they usually consist of a wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings that also protect it. The piano makes a sound through the strings inside when its keys are pressed, and when the keys are released, the strings are silenced by the damper (part that reduces vibration). However, it is possible to prolong the sound even though fingers lift from the keys with the help of pedals. When we press any key on the piano, the felt-covered hammer hits the strings of that key, then comes back and the strings continue to vibrate even though the hammer returns to its original position. This vibration is transmitted through the bridge to the soundboard, and after the soundboard amplifies it, it radiates it into the air. When the finger is removed from the key, the damper (vibration reducing part) stops the strings from vibrating and cuts the sound. As mentioned above, an acoustic piano is classified as a percussion instrument, although it contains a lot of strings, because the strings sound by striking, not by pull (harpsichord or epinet). According to the Hornbostel-Sachs instrument classification system, the piano is classified as chordophone (instruments with strings and transmitting bodies). For example, the chordophone is an instrument that is played by pulling the harp strings, the guitar strings are played by strumming, the violin bow (arse) is played by rubbing the strings, and the piano is played by hitting the strings with a hammer. With technological advances, the piano, which is a chordophone instrument, has been developed into electric, electronic and digital forms as well as being acoustic.
The first piano was performed by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence, Italy in the 1700s. Cristofori’s greatest achievement is that he created a solution to the basic mechanical problem of the piano, that the sound is not damped by the effect of the hammer when the hammer hits the strings, and the hammer can be detached from the strings very quickly and the note can be played again. He produced around 20 pianos until his death in 1732.
Until the piano was introduced to plastic, its keys were made of ivory and elephants were hunted not only for piano keys, but also for billiard balls, buttons and jewelry. Today, piano keys are made of plastic and similar materials. The use of ivory has been banned in many areas and hunting of elephants is prohibited. In addition to producing solutions in many areas of our lives, plastic also contributes to protecting natural life.
Fazıl Say is not as beautiful as imagining elephants running in the harmony of the notes, instead of worrying about the elephants on the piano keys.