Fascinating facts of note – The Piano Master

24 Aug 2021
Fascinating facts of note – The Piano Master

Pianos, we’ll have you know, are not only a source of endless musical ingenuity and infinite joy.  These sought-after instruments are also a veritable fount of fascinating facts.

Let’s take you on a musical journey of discovery…

  • The earliest pianoforte in existence is one built in Florence, Italy, in 1720 by Bartolommeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua and now preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
  • The word “piano” is the shortened version of the word “pianoforte”, which means soft (piano) and loud (forte).
  • The piano is an incredibly intricate instrument, consisting of 12,000 parts of which 10,000 are moving.
  • Pianos have a total of 88 black and white keys.
  • 230 strings are needed to produce a full range of sound.
  • The piano has the widest range of tones of all instruments. It produces a note lower than the lowest note on a double-bassoon and higher than the top note of a piccolo. That’s an entire orchestral range in one instrument!
  • Many people refer to piano keys as “ivories”, but actually they haven’t been made from ivory since the 1940’s. These days keys are made of plastic to protect endangered resources.

On this intriguing note, are you ready for more?

TEN OF THE BEST

1. World’s fastest pianist – most piano key hits in one minute …

Who? Portuguese-American pianist Domingos-Antonio Gomes

Where? Portugal, Lisbon

When? 4 March 2017

The record? 824 key hits in one minute (Guinness World Record). Bettering the previous record of 765, held by Hungarian pianist Peter Bence. Antonia Domingos achieved this record by playing the key B7 on a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano.

2. Longest marathon playing keyboard/piano by an individual …

Who? Mrityunjay Sharma

Where? New Delhi, India

When? 17 October 2015 (from 11 – 17 Octiber 2015)

The record? 127 hrs, 8 min, 38 sec (Guinness World Record). Mrityunjay Sharma completed this record on a Krong professional arranger PA300 keyboard.

3. Most people playing the same piano simultaneously …

Who? Music school Isidor Bajic

Where? Novi Sad, Serbia

When? 20 September 2019

The record? 23 people (Guinness World Record). The performance piece, named ‘Zora” (Dawn), was commissioned especially for this event and composed by Ivan Markovic, a young composer and former student of the Isidor Bajic music school.

4. Largest piano ensemble …

Who? Blüthner Piano Group

Where? Hengshui, China

When? 6 October 2018

The record? 639 people (Guinness World Record). Marche Militaire was played twice by 639 participants simultaneously, starting from 16h33 and ending at 16h39.

5. World’s largest and longest piano …

Who? Daniel Czapiewski

Where? Szymbark, Poland

When? 30 December 2010

The record? The larget piano measured 2.495 m in width, 6.07 m in length and 1.925 m in height (Guinness World Record). The piano was played in a concert at Szymbark, Poland on 30 December 2010. Piano usually have 88 keys, but this record-breaking behemoth has 156 of them!

6. Youngest musician to headline a solo concert tour …

Who? Ethan Bortnick

Where? Naperville, United States

When? 3 October 2010

The record? Ethan Bortnick (USA) who headlined his own show at the Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville, Illinoi, USA, on October 3, 2010, aged 9 years 9 months 9 days. (Guinness World Record). Ethan began playing a keyboard at the age of three and was composing music by the age of five.

7. Shortest professional pianist …

Who? Michel Petrucciani

Where? France

When? 1999

The record?  Michel Petrucciani stood 91 cm tall. He counted the prestigious French Prix Django Reinhardt among his awards (Guinness World Record). Despite his condition, and increasing immobility, Petrucciani worked tirelessly as an artist, performing 140 concerts in the year before his death.

8. Shortest professional pianist …

Who? Michel Petrucciani

Where? France

When? 1999

The record?  Michel Petrucciani stood 91 cm tall. He counted the prestigious French Prix Django Reinhardt among his awards (Guinness World Record). Despite his condition, and increasing immobility, Petrucciani worked tirelessly as an artist, performing 140 concerts in the year before his death.

9. Most expensive piano sold at auction …

Who? John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z upright

Where? London, United Kingdom

When? 17 October 2000

The record?  The highest price ever paid for a piano was established at an auction held at London's Hard Rock Cafe on 17 October 2000, when a Steinway Model Z upright, once owned by John Lennon (UK), sold for £1.45 million (then $2.1 million) to George Michael (UK) (Guinness World Record).

10. Largest building shaped like a musical instrument …

Who? Piano and violin building

Where? Huainan City, China

When? 2007

The record?  The Piano and Violin building in Huainan City, China, is around 16 m tall. It was designed by students at Hefei University of Technology in 2007. The entrance is through a great violin, and then via an escalator that lifts people into the main section of the building – the part shaped like a grand piano (Guinness World Record).


Are you playing the piano? 

Or do you want to play the piano, but not sure which one to buy?

Speak to the Piano Master – Johan Viljoen!

Phone: +27-12-752-4550

Visit the store - Piano Master

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