The Piano Time Line: A Chronological History.

Go To: 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000
1700
1700
Bartolomeo Cristofori's "new invention" of the piano e forte recorded, Florence, Italy
1711
Scipione Maffei publishes a journal article about the piano
John Shaw invents the tuning fork
1716
Jean Marius submits hammer-keyboard designs to Royal Academy of Sciences, Paris
1721
Christoph Gottlieb Schroter submits hammer-keyboard designs to the Saxon Court, Dresden
1725
Translation of Maffei's article into German stimulates widespread interest
Pianos advertised, Vienna
1730s
Gottfried Silbermann experiments in Dresden, Germany with pianos derived from Cristofori
Pianos known to be in Portuguese and Spanish courts
1730
Fickert advertises hammer-keyboard instrument in Leipzig, Germany
Kirkman piano makers founded in London, England
1732
First published piano music, by Ludovico Giustini
1739
Domenico del Mela builds earliest known upright piano, Gagliano, Italy
1740s
Christian Ernst Friederici makes upright pianos, Gera, Germany
1745
Franciso Perez Mirabal begins making pianos in Spain
1740
George Frederic Handel plays on a piano, London, England
1747
J. S. Bach plays a Silberman piano at the Prussian Court, Potsdam, and composes Musical Offering
1750s
Pianos advertised for sale in France
1753-62
C. P. E. Bach: Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments published
1760s
Pianos derived from Cristofori built in Spain and Portugal
Pantalons, small hammer-keyboard instruments, made in Germany
1763
Reports of earliest public performances on pianos by Johann Baptist Schmid, Vienna
1766
Probable invention of the square piano by Johannes Zumpe, London
1767
Early public piano performances, one by Johann Christian Bach, London
1768
First public piano performance in Paris
1771
Americus Backers produces the English grand piano, London;
Earliest reported public piano performance in North America by David Propert, Boston
Robert Stodart takes out a patent using the name "Grand" to describe his instrument. This was the first know use of the word "Grand" in a patent
1772
Johann Andreas Stein, a former apprentice of Silberman from 1749 -1750, develops the Viennese action in Augsberg, Germany
1773
First public piano performance in New York
Broadwood Company established, London
1774
John Joseph Merlin comes to England in 1760 Introduced the "Una Corda Pedal" which moved the action to one side just hitting two strings instead of three, making the piano quieter
1775
John Behrendt makes and advertises a square piano in Philadelphia, PA
1777
Sebastien Erard makes his first square piano, Paris
Robert Stodart patents the English grand action, London
1779
Muzio Clementi publishes his first piano sonatas, London
1780s
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach publishes series of sonatas and fantasias for piano
Haydn takes up the piano
1780
Anton Walter making pianos, including one for Mozart, Vienna
1781
Mozart and Clementi 'duel' in Vienna
1783
Paris Conservatoire founded
Broadwood introduced a sustaining pedal, Broadwood is credited with the invention of the sustaining pedal. However, there is a Backers Grand of 1772 in the Russell Museum, Edinburgh with 2 pedals. It has 2 pedals 1 on each front leg pointing inwards. The right is a sustaining pedal, the left a una corda. Americas Backers was probably the first to use the sustaining pedal and the una corda,
1784
William Southwell makes a 5 1/2-octave square piano, Dublin
1784-6
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 14-25 composed
1786
John Geib patents the "grasshopper" square action, used for 70 years, London
Erard establishes piano manufacturing in London
1794
John Broadwood makes 5 1/2-octave grand piano, London
William Stodart patents a large upright piano, a grand set on its head, London
Matthaus Andreas Stein and Nanette Streicher, children of Johann Andreas Stein, move to Vienna
Ibach established, Schwelm
1794-5
Haydn: 'London' piano sonatas and trios composed
1795
Johann Jakob Konnicke makes a 6-octave, 6-keyboard piano, Vienna
Beethoven: 3 Piano Trios, Op. 1 and 3 Piano Sonatas, Op. 2 published
1796
Broadwood makes a 6-octave grand for the Queen of Spain, London
1797
First piano magazine, The Pianoforte, London
James Hewitt: The Battle of Trenton published
1798
Francois-Adrien Boieldieu named professor of piano at Paris Conservatoire

Go To: 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000

1800
John Isaac Hawkins, Philadelphia, and Matthias Muller, Vienna, make small uprights
Alexander Reinagle: Piano Sonatas completed, Philadelphia
1801
Edward Riley obtains a patent for a transposing piano, in which the keyboard moved laterally, allowing keys to work on different notes
1802
Nanette Streicher separates from her brother, Matthaus Andreas Stein, to make pianos in her own name
1803
Erard Brothers of Paris present Beethoven with a piano
1804
Jan Ladislav Dussek plays a concerto with his profile toward the audience, Prague
Challen Pianos London were established. Their clam to fame is that they made the worlds largest grand: twelve feet long
1807
Pleyel established, Paris
The sticker action was invented by William Southwell
1808
Erard patents the agraffe, a metal stud through which strings pass from the tuning pin
Bracing bars of metals were used to support the wooden frame in Broadwoods grands
1809
Erard patents pinblock bushings, used to strengthen pinblock from string pressure on tuning pins
Erard introduces the "Roller Double Escapement" or compound escapement action
1810
English and Continental makers design 6-octave pianos, English from C-c, German from F-f
"Upright grands" made in England and "giraffes" in Germany and Austria
1811
Robert Wornum patents small upright, London
Conrad Graf established, Vienna
Prague Conservatory founded
1816
Nanette Streicher makes 6 1/2-octave grands, C-f, Vienna
1817
Thomas Broadwood, London presents a grand piano to Beethoven, Vienna
Vienna Conservatory founded
1819
Carl Sauter Company established, Spaichingen, Germany
1820
First successful use of metal in grand piano frame by Thom and Allen, London
Freres Aucher, of France was one of the first piano makers with a folding keyboard, came to be know as a ship's piano
1821
Sebastien Erard patents the double-escapement "repetition" action, basis of modern grand action, Paris
1822
Erard makes a 7-octave piano
1823
Jonas Chickering begins making pianos in Boston
Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Piano Sonatas Nos. 31 & 32 published
1825
Alpheus Babcock patents first single-piece metal frame for squares, Boston
1826
Henri Pape patents use of felt for hammer covering, Paris
Robert Wornum patents tape-check action, the basis for modern uprights, London
Clementi: Gradus ad parnassum published
Benjamin Carr: Analytical Instructor for the Pianoforte published
1828
Ignaz Bosendorfer making pianos, Vienna
Henri Pape first uses cross-stringing in small "console" uprights, Paris
Schubert: Last three piano sonatas composed
Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instruction on the Art of Playing the Piano Forte published
1833
Chopin: Etudes Op. 10 published
1835
Grotrian-Steinweg pianos established by Friedrich Grotrian
1837
Knabe Company established, Baltimore
Schumann: Carnaval, Davidsbundlertanze, and Symphonic Etudes composed
Liszt and Thalberg 'duel' in Paris
1839
Moscheles: Methode des methodes published
Czerny: The Compete Theoretical and Practical Pianoforte School, Op. 500 published
Liszt establishes the solo recital, performing from memory without assisting artists
1840
Herz modifies Erard's "repetition" action
1841
Becker Company established, St. Petersburg
Liszt: Norma, Don Juan, and Robert le Diable Fantasies published
1843
Chickering patents one-piece metal frame for grands
Antoine-Jean Bord invents capo d'astro bar (downbearing bar at tuning-pin end of strings)
Leipzig Conservatory founded
1844
Schwander opens his piano action making factory in Herrburger, Germany
1845
Leopold De Meyer tours U.S.
1846
Henri Herz tours U.S.
1847
Gaveau Company established, Paris
1848
Debain invents an automatic mechanical piano, Paris
1849
Ed. Seiler Company established, Liegnitz/Kitzingen
1850
Heintzman Company established, Toronto
1851
"Great Exhibition" displays state-of-the-art pianos, Erard favored, London
1852
Mathushek Company established, New York
Weber established, New York
1853
Steinway & Sons, New York established
Chickering builds new factory, second largest building in U.S., Boston
Liszt: B minor Sonata composed
Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 composed
Louis Moreau Gottschalk returns to U.S. as a touring virtuoso
Bluthner piano company established in Leipzig, Germany
Bechstein established in Berlin, Germany
1854
Mason & Hamlin established in Boston
1855
William Mason establishes chamber music series in New York
1856
Wurlitzer Company established, Chicago
Thalberg tours U.S.
Lebert & Stark: Grand Theoretical and Practical Piano School published
1857
George Steck Company established, New York
Peabody Conservatory founded, Baltimore
1859
Henry Steinway, Jr. patents cross-stringing for grands
August Forster Company established, Lobau, Germany
1860
Julius Feurich established, Leipzig
Broadwood & Sons make their last square; uprights dominant in European homes
1862
At London Exposition, Steinway wins a medal with cross-strung grand
DH Baldwin established in Cincinnati, Ohio
1864
Petrof Company established, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
1865
Grotrian Company established as successors to Theodore Steinway, Braunschweig, Germany
Oberlin Conservatory founded, Oberlin, Ohio
1867
Chickering and Steinway win the top prizes at Paris Exposition
New England Conservatory founded
1869
Balakirev: Islamey composed
1872
Theodore Steinway patents the duplex scale to enrich the tone
Steinway presents Anton Rubinstein's U.S. tour
Sohmer established, New York
1874
Albert Steinway patents the sostenuto pedal (miDTle pedal on modern grands)
1874
Musorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition composed
1875
Chickering presents Hans von Bulow's first U.S. tour
1877
British Piano Manufacturing Co. established in London
1878
A Japanese square piano is exhibited at Paris Exhibition
1880
Wurlitzer Company begins making pianos
Theodore Steinway develops the laminated grand piano rim
1881
Mason & Hamlin Company begins making pianos, Boston
1882
Louis Renner Company founded to make piano actions, Stuttgart, Germany
1885
Schimmel Company founded near Leipzig
Aeolian Organ & Music Co., later Aeolian Co., founded to make automatic organs, later automatic pianos
1888
Steinway & Sons makes its last square piano; other Americans continue making them
1891
D. H. Baldwin Company, Cincinnati, begin making pianos
Steinway presents Ignacy Jan Paderewski's first U.S. tour
1893
Estonia Pianos opens in Russia
1895
Story & Clark Company making pianos, Chicago, later Grand Haven, Michigan
Aeolian Company making automatic pianos, New York
1896
Kohler & Campbell Company established, New York
Edward MacDowell: Woodland Sketches composed
1899
Torakusu Yamaha begins making pianos, Hamamatsu, Japan
Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag published
Eubie Blake: Charleston Rag composed
First competition of pianists, Russia

Go To: 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000

1900
E. S. Votey, Aeolian Company, patents pneumatic piano player, the "Pianola"
Baldwin wins grand prize at Paris Exposition
1901
Welte-Mignon invents a player-piano mechanism, Freiburg, Germany
Debussy: Suite pour le piano composed
Ravel: Jeux d'eau composed
Piano Manufacturers Association founded, later PMAI
1903
Winter & Co. established, New York
Rachmaninoff: Ten Preludes, Op. 23 published
1904
American piano manufacturers make bonfire of square pianos, Atlantic City
Chickening produced a quarter grand, said to be the smallest of its kind, it was 5-foot long, and only 50 inches wide.
1905
Hupfeld makes the "Dea" reproducing-piano mechanism, near Leipzig
The Juilliard School founded
Octavius Beale started making pianos in New South Wales Australia
1906
Gulbransen Company established, Chicago
1908
American Piano Co. founded, incorporates Chickering, Knabe, Weber, Haines Brothers, and others
National Association of Piano Tuners founded
1909
Albeniz: Iberia published
1910
Steinway & Sons moves its factory entirely from Manhattan to Astoria, Long Island
Broadwood among the first British piano maker to make player pianos
1911
Bartok: Allegro barbaro composed
Granados: Goyescas published
Kemble piano company established, England
1912
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 composed
Eastman School of Music founded
1913
Aeolian Co. patents "Duo-Art Reproducing Piano," New York
American Piano Co. makes "Ampico" player mechanism, New York
1915
Charles Ives: Concord Sonata composed
1916
Mannes College of Music founded
1917
Manhattan School of Music founded
San Francisco Conservatory founded
1918
Hector Villa-Lobos: Prole do bebe composed
1919
156,000 pianos; 180,000 player pianos manufactured in U.S.
1923
Jelly Roll Morton's first recordings, Chicago
1924
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue premiered
Curtis Institute founded
1925
Henry Cowell: The Banshee composed
1927
Kawai Company making pianos, Hamamatsu, Japan
1928
Earl "Fatha" Hines records Apex Blues, Weather Bird
1928-30
Neo-Bechstein, electric piano with electromagnetic pickups to amplify struck strings
1929
Great Depression seriously limits piano manufacture everywhere
1930
Koichi Kawai leaves Yamaha and starts his own firm, Japan
1932
American Piano Co. and Aeolian merge to form Aeolian American Corporation
Tobias Matthay: The Visible and Invisible in Pianoforte Technique
1933
Art Tatum's first professional solo recordings
Challen Company makes the largest (11-foot-8-inch) grand ever made, London
1935
Alfred Knight Company founded to make uprights in Essex, England
1939-45
World War II effectively halts piano manufacture everywhere
1940
John Cage: Bacchanale composed
American Association of Piano Technicians founded
1945
Mary Lou Williams: Zodiac Suite composed
1947
Conlon Nancarrow begins Studies for Player Piano
1948
Pierre Boulez: Piano Sonata No. 2 composed
1953
Liberace wins 2 Emmy Awards for network television programs
1955
Guangzhou-Pearl River Company established, Guangzhou, China
1958
Samick Company established, Inchon, S. Korea
Shanghai Piano Co. established, Shanghai
Beijing Piano Co. established, Beijing
Van Cliburn wins Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow
Piano Tuners and Piano Technicians Associations merge as Piano Technicians Guild
1960
Harold Rhodes develops the electric piano (Fender-Rhodes)
1961
Pleyel, Erard, Gaveau merge
1963
Kawai America established; followed by Kawai Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia.
1966
Bosendorfer, Vienna, acquired by Kimball, Chicago
1968
Young Chang begins making pianos, Inchon, S. Korea
1969
Japanese piano production exceeds that of all other countries
Yamaha is Japan's largest producer
Astin-Weight patents larger soundboard design for uprights, Salt Lake City
1971
Schimmel acquires Pleyel, Erard, Gaveau
1972
CBS buys Steinway & Sons
1973
Steve Reich: Six Pianos composed
1974
Baldwin buys Bechstein, Berlin
1975
Frederic Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated composed
1977
John Adams: Phrygian Gates composed
1980s
Development of computerized player pianos, Bosendorfer, Yamaha, Baldwin, and others
1980
Fazioli pianos presented, Sacile (Portenone), Italy
1985
A group of Boston businessmen buys Steinway & Sons from CBS
Aeolian Corporation disbanded
Wurlitzer buys Chickering name
1987
Baldwin sells Bechstein back to employees
1988
Klavins builds a 12-feet-high experimental upright, Bonn, Germany
1990
Young Chang buys Kurzweil Music Systems, American maker of electronic keyboards
- PianoDisc (Music Systems Research) established, Sacramento
Chavanne Pianos established in France
1991
Boston Piano Company established as Steinway subsidiary, New York
1993
Darrell Fandrich patents new upright action design, Seattle
1995
Steinway and Selmer merge into Steinway Musical Instruments
Baldwin buys Wurlitzer and Chickering names
1996
Piano Disc takes control of Mason & Hamlin, Sohmer, and Knabe
Young Chang opens factory in Tianjin, China
Kimball ceases piano manufacture
1997
Broadwood barless grand piano design patented and launched
Dietrich Heinrich Dotzek of Sweden, takes out a patent for a magnetic assisted upright piano action
1998
The U.S. International Trade Commission starts an investigation into the competitiveness of the US piano industry due to piano imports from China, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea - released in 1999
Steinway acquires Kluge, Europe's largest manufacturer of piano keys
Broadwood celebrates their 270th anniversary
1999
Deutsche Bank announces purchase of Baldwin retail financing units at a cost of 35 million dollars, helping Baldwin Pianos to clear some of it debts and concentrate on piano production.

Go To: 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000

2000
The year 2000 marks the 300th year of piano manufacturing
Piano300 exhibition opens at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Ron Overs (Australia) presents a revoutionary new grand piano action design, offering pianists a level of control, responsiveness and speed unrivalled in grand pianos to date
Kawai launches Shigeru custom grand piano
Pearl River Piano Group announced they were to begin production of the old German make, Ritmuller
Whelpdale, Maxwell & Codd Ltd. and Woodchester Pianos merge into The British Piano Manufacturing Company Ltd.
Schaff Piano Supply Co. buys American Piano Supply Co. (USA)
2001
Steinway begins distributing their Essex line, manufactured by Young Chang
Baldwin files for bankruptcy
2002
Gibson purchases Baldwin Piano Co., including the Chickering and Wurlitzer names.
Bosendorfer purchased by BAWAG - PSK GROUP, Austria's third largest banking group.
Bosendorfer releases Porsche Design 7 foot grand
2003
Steinway celebrates its 150th anniversary at Carnegie Hall in New York
Inter Music (England) purchases the stock of the British Piano Manufacturing Co Ltd., also acquiring the piano names of Bentley, Knight, Welmar, and Woodchester
Bluthner releases its "left-handed" or "backwards" grand piano - with the treble keys, hammers and strings on the left and the bass on the right.
Grotrian (Germany) introduces its Duo Grand Piano - 2 grand pianos placed side by side with keyboards at opposite ends, as in a duo piano concert, with connected soundboards and a common lid.
The British Manufacturing Co. ceases operations in April
2005
Steinway announces to move production of some of the Essex models to the Pearl River Factory in China.
2006
Steinway & Sons' New York factory announces the return in production of the Model O grand with its characteristic round tail, curved bass bridge, and rear duplex scales. The Model O was originally introduced in 1902. By 1923, the last of the Model Os were produced in New York (although the model has since been made at their Hamburg factory).
Schulze Pollman partners with Ferrari Motor Car to launch limited edition pianos based on the Ferrarl 612 Scaglietti series.

Go To: 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000
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This information was found at Concert Pitch Piano