The Industrial Revolution and Pianoforte

The industrial revolution was not an only event, but it was a serie of innovations and implementations that together radically changed the way in which material goods were produced.

Instrumental produce was one of the many industries to revolutionize. A profound change brought about the enormous amount of instruments that could be produced. In the 1770s, in Europe’s largest manufactures, the annual piano production was only of about 20 instruments per year, as each part had to be manually made. Starting from the  1800s, John Broadwood & Sons in London produced about forty pianos a year employing large and specialized labor employees. By  the year of 1850s the use of powerful steam machines and mass production techniques it was achieved to produce about a thousand pianos a year. This used to be a production one hundred times faster than that of the past eighty years. Many of them were great pianos,  most of them of vertical pianos. Due to the large amount of production, the purchase of pianos became generally affordable for middle-class families.

The construction of the piano was also improved through a number of innovations. To accomplish the the new piano effects it was added the supporting pedal, which, by pressing all the hammers on the strings, enabled the continuity of the sound after the keystrokes. This significantly increased the resonance as an imitation of the orchestra’s sound. The metal structure, first used in England in the 1820s, which allowed for a large strain of wires, enabled large volume growth, wider dynamic range, longer support and better legato..

All of these new possibilities were used by the pianists and by the composers making the piano an necessary instrument for musical performance at home and in public concerts.



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