Piano History Pages

This page is in three sections. The first section has pages on the history of the piano that are hosted by the UK Piano Page. The second section has links to piano history pages around the world. And the last section has books you can buy over the net on piano history.

Piano History Forum
If you can't find information about your piano on any of our history pages you can ask on our Piano History Forum

History of the Piano
This is done in chronological order like a calendar of events. The document is 16,000 words long so it may be slow to load. Includes some pictures.
by Barrie Heaton

A History of the Piano from 1709 to 1980
by David S. Grover, M.A. Cantab., F.I.M.I.T., F.R.S.A.
Includes some pictures.

The History of Piano Tuning
An insight into the history of piano tuners and their social standing The document is 20,000 words long so it may be slow to load.
by Gill Green

Historical Tunings between 1750-1825
A brief but very significant period in the history of keyboard composition.
by Edward Foote

Inventions and Patents from 1694
A list of patents for stringed keyboard instruments.
by Barrie Heaton

The History of Calisia Pianos
Includes serial numbers.
by Barrie Heaton

Keys and Keyboard Compass
A short history on keys and keyboard compass, plus lists of octave spans and keyboard compass.
by Barrie Heaton

A Brief History of Pitch
What is standard pitch or concert pitch and why do we need it? Also, a list of pitches used though the ages.
by Barrie Heaton>

The History of Bentley Pianos
Taken from the old Bentley catalogues with bits added.
by Barrie Heaton

A Letter from Beethoven to Broadwood

The History of John Broadwood
This is a different version from the one below; it is more like a history of the UK piano industry.
by Edward. Wilkins

The History of John Broadwood & Sons

Knight Piano History
History, photos of older models and seril numbers

Welmar Piano History
History, photos of older models and seril numbers
See how a Welmar piano was made

Visit the Welmar Piano Factory Tour a British Piano Maker

The History of John Brinsmead & Son's
Includes serial numbers.
by Barrie Heaton

The History of Sebastian Erard
Includes some of his patents.
by Barrie Heaton

History of Georgiana Kirkman
A potted history of Georgiana Kirkman, the last custodian of the Kirkman piano business. Includes some photos.
by Stephen Kirkman

The History of Chappell Pianos
Includes some of Chappell's patents.
by Barrie Heaton

The History of Johann Baptist Cramer
by Barrie Heaton

The History of John Hopkinson
Includes some of Hopkinson's patents.
by Barrie Heaton.

The History of Eavestaff Pianos
Includes some photos of the Eavestaff Mini-Piano.
by Barrie Heaton.

The Herrburger Brooks Piano Actions
by Barrie Heaton.

The Stringed Instruments Family Tree
by Barrie Heaton.

Other websites with piano related history

Piano Gen
A unique collection of historical articles on British and other piano manufacturers. Some to download for free, some to buy.
by Bill Kibby

German piano history
This site is in German, so you will need to use translator.

Antique and Vintage Piano Tools
Vintage piano tools, just as the pianos, generally reflect an old-world attention to detail.

Square Piano History
The Square Piano in England 1766 - 1866 by David Hackett

Antique Pianos - An Information Resource
General information source for antique and vintage pianos from antique-antiques.com. Also has information on other collectables, clocks, books and other items.

American Piano History
A useful site for information on American piano history, with some data on sales and piano production in the USA.
By Roy E. Howard, Ph.D.

Beale Piano
A history of the Beale piano in Australia, with some photos and serial numbers.

British Harpsichord Society
No pianos but lots of info on harpsichords. The site has some nice technical drawings of how the harpsichord works and more.

Cobbe Collection
There are some thirty-seven historic keyboard instruments. Worth a visit.

Data Dragon
Gives us "This Day In Music History." Nice colourful site, great for children.

Frederick Collection
This site has some nice pianos and useful detailed information on each piano, worth a visit. If you live in the US you can go and see the pianos.

Hammerfluegel .net
Here you will find pictures of various original parts of pianos and fortepianos just to look at - or to help you with your restoration. These pictures serve to shed light on both the history of the piano action as well as the instrument itself.

National Music Museum
The Museum is in the Lillibridge Wing

The Player Piano Page
Player piano history and development, from its invention in 1896 onwards. Nice site based in the UK, with lots of links related to player pianos.

Timeline of historic temperaments
A Timeline of historic temperaments with composers. Judge for yourself which temperament to use for a specific composer.
by Jason Kanter

(Sadly the charts are done in graphics with no text alternative so are not accessible to screen readers)

Medieval Music & Arts Foundation
This site has a wealth of information; the FAQ is particularly good. Also visit Pythagorean Tuning.

This Java applet demonstrates various historical tunings and temperaments and allows one to experiment with them.
by Pierre Lewis,

A History of Boogie-Woogie on the Piano
Boogie Woogie music, its origins, subsequent history and ongoing development by John Tennison

The Lute-Harpsichord: A Forgotten Instrument.
Learn about one of Bach's favorite keyboard instruments.

Gottfried Silberman: The Master Organ Builder
Pictures, historical detail, locations of thirty-one original instruments

The Galpin Society
An organisation devoted to the study of historical musical instruments.

Books on Piano History

The Broadwood Barless Piano
The Broadwood Barless Piano by Alastair Laurence The history of the Barless Piano including photos and drawings plus pre history of the Barless Piano and its development from 1895 to 1914. Paper back A5 47 page

The Piano-Forte
The Piano-Forte: Its history traced to the Great Exhibition of 1851., Gresham Books, 1978, second edition completely revised.,449 pages 8 appendices, 52 photos and diagrams ISBN-1 872150 00 4 Author: Rosamond E. M. Harding Hardback

Piano Dream
The book "Piano Dream" tells the history of the piano through the experiences, the joys, the concerns and the dreams of someone who has dedicated his life to searching for antique pianos.

Musicians Piano Atlas
A scaled down version of the Pierce Piano Atlas Coverage on over 300 brands from 23 countries. a very good buy

Five London Piano Makers
Five London Piano Makers - Brinsmead, Challen, Collard, Danemann, Welmar by Alastair Laurence

"Piano Roles"
by James Parakilas . Three Hundred Years of Life with the Piano, a stunning cultural history of the musical and social roles that the piano has played in its long and amazing career..

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