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Comment Re:Aack! Not on a piano again! (Score 2) 70

fast-moving detail in a piece gets mushed up and lost on the piano...

A compromise may be to use a "piano-forte", which is the word sometimes used to describe wooden-framed or early pianos. Some of the earlier pianos sounded half like a harpsichord and half like a modern piano because they were built out of harpsichord parts and designs.

You don't get quite the tinny sound of a harpsichord, yet have the familiarity of the piano sound. A clavichord is another alternative, but the sound rubs some the wrong way because of peculiar secondary harmonics of adjacent strings. Thus, an early piano (or a replica) is a good compromise.

Bach actually served as a piano-forte tester, helping early builders tune their designs. By some accounts he kept the industry alive. Pianos risked dying in obscurity because they were expensive to build by the standards of the day. (The harpsichord "plucker" mechanism is far simpler.)

Lack of momentum could have doomed pianos, but Bach actually helped promote them once they passed his tests. Having a reputation for his keyboard playing and publisher of training exercises, his recommendations carried weight. Thus, without Bach, we may not have the piano today, at least in the form we know it.

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