Keyboard Musical Instruments Evolution from Clavichord to Electric Piano

Music is something that is present everywhere, across cultures, traditions and regions. As time passed, music has seen many stages of evolution in terms of musical instruments, musicians, forms of music, etc. Its history can be found 55,00 years back in Africa and now it is evolved to be one of the most important aspect of human existence. Anciently, there was prehistoric music which was also called as primitive music which was found in Europe. It was a mixture of folk and traditional music and had many other forms blended together. By middle of 15th century, Indian classical music, Greek music, Renaissance music, Medieval music all started evolving simultaneously. Musical instruments are an important part of music and when it comes to keyboard musical instruments, its evolution from the first Clavichord to modern digital pianos is described below.

  • Clavichord
  • The clavichord is a stringed instrument that was greatly used in the period of late Medieval. It was initially used as a mere practice keyboard as it is not very loud for any musical performances. This keyboard produces sound through striking bass with small blades of metal that are called as tangents. Vibrations are then transmitted to the soundboard by the way of the bridge. The first clavichord was invented in the start of the 14th century after which it was very popular till the 18th century in the German speaking areas. The clavichord got attention in a lot of genres of music, especially in the structure of the Clavinet which is basically an electric form of the clavichord.

  • Harpsichord
  • A harpsichord is another musical instrument played in the form of a musical keyboard with a row of levers that is pressed by the player. When the player moves his fingers and presses one or more then one keys, it triggers a mechanism plucking one or more then one strings with a quill. Harpsichord actually designates virginals, spinet and muselar constituting the whole family of keyboard instruments. It was widely used during the time of Baroque and Renaissance music but then it eventually disappeared with the introduction of the piano.

  • Organ
  • The Organ is a musical tool that is made up of pipes or other means to produce music which are all played by a separate keyboard. The organ is a really old musical instrument which started being used due to Ctesibius of Alexandria who was the one to invent the water Organ which was played throughout the time of Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek. There are many different type of Organs like the Harmonium, The American Reed Organ, the Melodeon and different mechanical organs.

  • Fortepiano
  • Fortepiano can be the one related to the instrument that was invented by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristoforio who is very popular as the maker and inventor of the very first piano keyboard around 1700. It looks quite a bit like the harpsichord, as Critoforio was also the maker of the harpsichord. However, the fortepiano actually started evolving in the late 19th century along with the modern grand which was another form of a piano keyboard. The fortepiano is capable of varying the sound volume of every note depending on the touch of the player. Its sound and tone is softer and it tends to have quite different tones every time.

  • Accordion
  • The Accordion is a freely vibrating and a portable instrument. It consists of a bass and a keyboard that are attached together by collapsible bellows. Within this tool there are metal reeds that creates sound when air is generated by the movement of those bellows which flows around and causes it to vibrate. Accordion is known for its hand assembled structure and is known to be first invented in the early 19th century. Its development is inspired by the tool known as the Chinese Cheng which was the first musical instrument to make use of a free vibrating reed for creating sound.

  • Digital piano
  • Over the last 6 centuries, pianos have evolved tremendously and now we have entered in the era of digital pianos. The first digital pianos were evolved in the 1980’s wherein they were used to aid musicians with the old piano problems. The most important and significant improvement is the capability of these electronic keyboards to mimic the three dimensional tones that are created from acoustic pianos. Digital pianos are undoubtedly the best and the most convenient ones to use now in the 21st century because of the fact that they have merged with the old age traditional pianos. In 1983, the Yamaha YP-40 Clavinova was offered for sale in the market and is known to be the first ever electronic keyboard, a piano making use of digital technology and are now the most widely used keyboard instrument of the 21st century.