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Bartolomeo Cristofori

Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco (May 4, 1655 - January 27, 1731) was an Italian maker of musical instruments, he is famous as the inventor of the piano.

He was born in Padua and became known as a harpsichord and spinet[?] maker. He moved to Florence in 1690 to work for Ferdinando de Medici[?]. His invention of the piano is 1698 and 1708. Calling the instrument the harpsichord che f il piano e il forte he had built four such devices by the death of Ferdinando in 1713. He remained in Florence as overseer of the 84 instrument collection of Ferdinando and continued to work on his piano design, by his 1726 design it held almost all the features of the modern device including the fast hammer action, the escapement and check, excepting only the metal frame. The lack of the metal frame meant that the Cristofori instrument could not produce an especially loud tone, contemporaries found it heavy to use and with a weaker sound than the harpsichord.

The idea was adopted and extended by German inventors, such as Gottfried Silbermann[?], from the 1730s. Later developments were often re-inventions of Cristofori's work.



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