Named for its ability to play forte (strong) and piano (soft)
Considered the “king” of musical instruments, the piano has proved a key vehicle for the genius of Frédéric Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven and many other composing greats, which is why today Google is celebrating the 360th birthday of the instrument’s inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori, with a new Doodle.
Already an accomplished musical instrument maker, Cristofori moved from the northern Italian city of Padua, then part of the Venetian republic, to Florence in 1690 at the behest of the famed Medici family. There he would eventually invent his masterpiece.
The piano was not a voilà ’invention — Cristofori’s first incarnation was built in 1709 but it took 17 more years before he created a version that encompassed all the elements of the modern-day piano.