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History of the Piano

Learn about the evolution of the piano and other keyboard instruments.
  1. Types of Keyboard Instruments

Early Musical Organs
Get to know the first organs and accordions, and learn the oldest-known keyboard instrument!

History of the Harpsichord
The harpsichord was among the earliest stringed keyboard instruments, and certainly the largest and most complex for its time.

Regional Varieties of Harpsichords
Harpsichord builders from different European regions added their own unique improvements to the instrument, which led to the distinct varieties we know today.

Profile of the Hurdy-Gurdy
Popular as a folk instrument, the hurdy-gurdy comes in many varieties; learn more & hear its timeless voice.

Organistrum: The First Hurdy-Gurdy
The organistrum is among the first keyboard instruments. Learn about this bulky 10th century instrument.

The Bizarre History of the Piano Pedals
While the modern piano was receiving its final touches, the evolution of the piano pedal continued; learn how they became what they are today.

Reverse Keyboard
One meaning of "reverse keyboard" is seemingly absurd; the other refers to something aesthetically intriguing! Read more.

Transposing Keyboard
Learn how transposing keyboards work, and why they were once very necessary.

Short Octave
"Short octaves" were found on many early keyboard instruments, but make modern musicians look back and cringe.

Broken Octave
The broken octave was a step up from the short octave, and was really rather innovative; learn more.

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