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The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year the exact year is uncertain , in which the strings are struck by wooden hammers that are coated with a softer material modern hammers are covered with dense wool felt; some early pianos used leather. It is played using a keyboard , which is a row of keys small levers that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings. The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte , the Italian term for the early s versions of the instrument, which in turn derives from gravicembalo col piano e forte key cymbal with quieter and louder  and fortepiano. The Italian musical terms piano and forte indicate "soft" and "loud" respectively,  in this context referring to the variations in volume i. The name was created as a contrast to harpsichord , a musical instrument that does not allow variation in volume; compared to the harpsichord, the first fortepianos in the s had a quieter sound and smaller dynamic range. A piano usually has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings , which are strung under great tension on a heavy metal frame. Pressing one or more keys on the piano's keyboard causes a wooden or plastic hammer typically padded with firm felt to strike the strings. The hammer rebounds from the strings, and the strings continue to vibrate at their resonant frequency.
The piano is such a versatile instrument, that naturally everyone wants to write for it. Clara Schumann was one of the best known pianists of her time, but sadly she moved away from composing, saying " I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose—there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one? This beautiful piano concerto gives us an idea of her incredible pianism and musical imagination. Get it right, and it allows the most accomplished pianists to shine. Chopin composed his most well-known nocturne at the tender age of 20, which perhaps accounts for its youthful passion. The build-up from the main theme and waltz-like accompaniment to the dramatic trill-filled finale makes the Nocturne in E-flat Major a strong contender for the most beautiful piano work ever written. Her music is always thrilling, experimental and enormously powerful. Her Viola Sonata is considered one of the greatest pieces ever written for the instrument. And just listen to the power packed into her Piano Trio for piano, cello and violin.
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