A short history of the birth and growth of the instrument called piano

The planned lecture is dedicated to the birth of a new instrument called in its adulthood the piano, and the evolution of its construction in connection with the development of music for keyboard instruments. Mention will also be made of the position it occupied in the musical culture at various stages of his relatively short life (approx. 320 years). We will discuss first the most important inventions used in the instrument during the evolution of its construction. If time permits, we will look into the ranges of terminology relating to historic, historical and contemporary instruments.

Beniamin Vogel, Professor Emeritus of the University of Szczecin (Chair of Artistic Education) and Associate Professor at the Institute of Musicology, Lund University, Sweden. Specialises in instrumentology. A graduate in musicology at the University of Warsaw (1973), where he received his PhD in 1977 (Instrumenty muzyczne w kulturze Królestwa Polskiego 1815 1914, Kraków 1980) and habilitated in 1988 (Fortepian polski. The construction of pianos on Polish territory from the mid 18th century to World War II, Warsaw 1995), and where he was employed until 1994. He is also the author of Dictionary of violin makers active on historical and current Polish lands and of Polish violin makers active abroad until 1950 (Szczecin 2007; 2nd ed. Bydgoszcz 2019) and of catalogues: Kolekcja Zabytkowych Fortepianów im. Andrzej Szwalbe in Ostromecko (Bydgoszcz 2016) and Kolekcja Zabytkowych Fortepianów Muzeum Historii Przemysłu w Opatówku (Opatówek 2020); articles in professional journals in Poland (“Ruch Muzyczny”, “Muzyka”, “Rocznik Chopinowski”) and abroad (“Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society”, “The Galpin Society Journal”, “Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning”), dictionary and encyclopaedic entries (Encyklopedia muzyki, PWN; Encyklopedia muzyczna PWM; Polski Słownik Biograficzny; Encyklopedia Gdańska; Encyklopedia Szczecina; Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments, New York 1994; Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. 2, Bärenreiter 1999-2007; The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd ed., Oxford 2014). Co-author of the Institute of Music and Dance web portals Polish Folk Musical Instruments (2014), Piano in Polish Collections (2015) and Violin in Polish Collections (2016). Member of the Polish Composers’ Union, the Union of Polish Violin Makers, the American Musical Instrument Society and Svenska samfundet för musikforskning, as well as member of the Programme Council of the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute (2007-2011) and honorary member of the Association of Polish Piano Tuners.

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