Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former good article nomineeFortepiano was a Music good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
February 27, 2007Good article nomineeNot listed
WikiProject Musical Instruments (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Musical Instruments, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of musical instruments on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Good Article[edit]

This article is one of the finest, most thoroughly researched and well written I've come across on wikipedia. Many musical articles tend to be mediocre or even quite bad, and this one's exceptional. I am not really familiar with the behind-the-scenes of wikipedia, but I think this article should be nominated for a Good Article status. John Holly 15:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Italian we call it the "pianoforte"


One thing this article lacks, I think, is a brief list of notable pieces written for the fortepiano. Basically all the lieder and "piano concerts" by Mozart were written for the fortepiano, as were all piano works by Beethoven. But I'm not familiar with these works and cannot list them. John Holly 18:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name Reversal[edit]

I thought that the fortepiano was the original name for the pianoforte, and someone had accidentally reversed the name. In Italian we call it the "pianoforte".

"Hammer piano"[edit]

I made this stub a redirect here. It mistranslated the German Wikipedia article Hammerklavier: "The hammer piano was the earliest form of what is now known as the piano, which was first produced in the 18th century. It is a keyboard instrument. The instrument gave its name to Ludwig van Beethoven's Hammer Piano Sonata. (sic)" I also linked to the German Wikipedia article, which has information that would improve this article. --Wetman 21:02, 30 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just happened to be doing my musical theory, and was checking out of curiosity to see what was on wikipedia, and was horrified to find that the meaning as a musical term wasn't listed anywhere! Carl Turner 09:15, 27 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move it![edit]

This article would provide a valuable paragraph in the main fortepiano entry. It doesn't have enough distinctness to be an entry on its own.

Rconroy 18:11, 8 June 2006 (UTC) RonánReply[reply]

Take it you meant to post this on the article mentioned for merging. If so, please delete both this message, and yours. :-)

Carl Turner 16:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Key colour inversion[edit]

I reverted this edit, pending a source: [1]. While I've seen some with the key colours inverted, there are others that most certainly were not. Would the editor please cite a source? For a counter example, here's a picture with the white keys clearly visible: [2]. Thanks, Antandrus (talk) 06:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've seen harpsichords with the colours inverted, and ones without. I haven't seen many fortepianos, but those that I did see were the regular colouring. I don't think there's any grounds to support the removed statement. - Rainwarrior 16:07, 13 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for this information Antandrus, I see now what you are saying. I still recon i should put "most fortepianos have inverted keys", but i will wait & do some more research as to whether it was just a certain era that had this difference or whether it is just a few that have the standard colour of keys as this is the only one I've seen.

ps. Note to Rainwarrior: we are talking about fortepianos so kindly leave harpsichords out of it as they are a completely different instrument.

thanks, daffy_elmo

You know, if you do a google image search for fortepiano, there's a great deal of pictures of the instrument with both colourings. I was surprised that so many of them had inverted colours, but after looking at about 10 pages of this, I didn't really see any tendancy either way. It looked about 50/50. - Rainwarrior 14:21, 27 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Fail[edit]

This article has no references, some form of inline citation is required for Good Article. Also external jumps which should be converted to references, one sentence paragraphs, don't wikilink solo years like 1777, and too many external links. M3tal H3ad 09:49, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The sound of the fortepiano" subhead[edit]

I was going to add a sentence to the effect that a fortepiano sounds kind of out of tune, like a piano you might hear in a church basement. But I thought better of it. 01:09, 3 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:100-DEM-REV-154x74.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:100-DEM-REV-154x74.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 01:23, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of articles (the,a) from titles[edit]

The Wikipedia Manual of style page on Section headings says "Avoid restating or directly referring to the topic or to wording on a higher level in the hierarchy (Early life, not His early life)." As such, I am removing the uses of the word "fortepiano" in the subtitlesNazamo 21:21, 30 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hello, this article was written primarily out of the books by Stewart Pollens and Edward Good (both cited in the bibliography), before in-line references had become common on Wikipedia. It should be possible to footnote virtually everything the article says on the basis of these two references, but this could take me a while, given other current WP projects ... Opus33 (talk) 18:28, 23 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No huge hurry but, as you say, the standards have changed. Those citations would be much appreciated.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:52, 24 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History section[edit]

Hello Cbrodersen, I've rewritten (rather than re-reverted). The goal is to give Arnold Dolmetsch due credit, but avoid creating the unintended impression that the 20th century pre-1970 was a particularly good time for fortepiano building, which I assume you'll agree it wasn't. I hope this works for you. Cheers, Opus33 (talk) 01:40, 29 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, that works--thanks. Above all, I wanted to avoid giving the impression that the period instrument revival started in the second half of the 20th C, which is certainly not the case. Cbrodersen (talk) 20:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Etymology and usage[edit]

Hi Opus33, my 2008 OED defines fortepiano as "a piano especially of the kind made in the 18th and 19th centuries", so the authoritive OED does actually now record this usage of fortepiano. The point being made in this article, it appears, is to underline the recent use of fortepiano to refer to early pianos, which is a perfectly valid one. Perhaps, as the current sentence referring to OED is now out of date, it should be reworded to reflect this. What do you think? StantonCarlisle (talk) 18:10, 13 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello Stanton, Well if I recall, you were using the compact OED, which is not the same thing. As of one minute ago, the full-scale OED (on line edition) was still defining "fortepiano" as "an early name for the pianoforte".
Second, the point that we're trying to make is just as you say: "fortepiano" as used to mean "early piano" is a recent usage. In order to demonstrate this point, we need to give a currently-available and prestigious dictionary that doesn't include the recent meaning. Citing a dictionary, such as the Compact OED, that actually is up to date wouldn't help. I hope this makes sense. Yours truly, Opus33 (talk) 19:33, 13 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hello, Pianogen's edits are unsourced and don't read very well as prose, but (s)he is basically right, I think, in that the scholarly literature doesn't use "fortepiano" to refer to Cristofori's instruments. I suggest retitling this article "the early piano" and shifting some terminology, but would like to get feedback from other editors before trying it. Thanks, Opus33 (talk) 12:46, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm only speaking off the top of my head, but my memory is that the usual early term was "pianoforte". Because this word continues in use down to the present day (or nearly so), for hammered-string keyboard instruments as they evolved over time, and therefore does not distinguish between on the one hand an 18th century instrument by, say, Stein, and a more recent model such as a Bösendorfer Grand Imperial, the historically much less frequently encountered variant term "fortepiano" was adopted by scholars and performers, beginning in the late 1960s, to distinguish early forms of the piano (including Cristofori's) from later ones. A source or two to confirm this would be nice, and a quick online search turns up Edwin M. Ripin's very brief article "Fortepiano" from the New Grove ("A term sometimes used today for the piano of the 18th and early 19th centuries in order to distinguish it from the 20th-century instrument"), and a glance at the New Grove article "Pianoforte" (also by Ripin, with contributions by others) yields the information that "The instrument’s modern name is a shortened form of that given in the first published description of it (1711) by Scipione Maffei where it is called ‘gravecembalo col piano, e forte’. … 18th-century English sources used the terms ‘pianaforte’ and ‘fortepiano’ interchangeably with ‘pianoforte’; some scholars reserve ‘fortepiano’ for the 18th- and early 19th-century instrument, but the cognate is used in Slavonic countries to refer to the modern piano as well." As to what Cristofori himself may have called the instrument, I don't believe there is any direct evidence at all (such as a treatise—hardly surprising, since he was an instrument-maker, and not a scholar—or letters, or invoices in his hand). (If modern makers are anything to go by, he probably referred to his invention on a bad day as "questo dispositivo dannati", or something similar.) Michael O'Brien's New Grove article on Cristofori says that "The earliest known reference to a Cristofori piano is the anonymous Medici inventory of 1700" which uses the word "arpicimbalo". It seems to me that the issue here is the modern use of the term "fortepiano" (to distinguish all early pianos from the more recent, post-1840 instrument with one-piece metal frames, etc.), as opposed to what terms may have been used at various times and in various places in the 18th and early 19th centuries.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:52, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

request to add a link to my site[edit]

Please add a link to my site: it has much information on instruments build by Conrad Graf and on the construction of early pianos in general. (talk) 11:32, 6 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Mr. Tuinman: I just entered the link. The site is useful and the mp3 files are especially nice. I have a request for you: could you perhaps modify the site to identify the work and performer on each sound file? Thanks very much, Opus33 (talk) 22:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name clarification: "or"[edit]

In the italicized "gravecembalo col (or di) piano e forte", is "or" supposed to be the English word, meaning "col" can be replaced by "di"? In the article, "or" is italicized, along with the rest of the name, so I'm not sure if it's part of the name or not... – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 19:17, 30 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well spotted! The round brackets were misleading, as well—especially because they were italicized along with the rest. I have corrected this to what I hope is now a clear (if somewhat fussy) presentation.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:24, 30 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wonderful, much clearer. Thanks! – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 19:48, 30 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Fortepiano. Please take a moment to review my edit. You may add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it, if I keep adding bad data, but formatting bugs should be reported instead. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether, but should be used as a last resort. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 04:12, 29 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Needs clarification of terms[edit]

Maybe the etymology section as-is isn't a good candidate for first section, but the intro should provide a brief clarification of how fortepiano differs from pianoforte. The {{Distinguish}} template is unsuitable here as it would only further confuse readers. Paul_012 (talk) 15:25, 25 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Etymology and usage: Gravicembalo or clavicembalo?[edit]

Is harpsichord translated as Gravicembalo or clavicembalo? Google Translate seems to indicate that it is clavicembalo, and that gravicembalo means 'gravity'. It also appears that this incorrect translation has spread far and wide across the internet. OTOH Google Translate accepts user submissions, in which case the whole internet may be wrong. Family Guy Guy (talk) 01:10, 15 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

= edit: it appears that google translate is wrong: Family Guy Guy (talk) 01:17, 15 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe both were in use. Clavicembalo is directly descended from the Latin words for "key" and "cymbalum"; Gravicembalo is a folk etymology based on the word for "heavy". The "gravi" error took place centuries ago (e.g., Cristofori used the word) and is not contemporary internet nonsense. So no need to worry here. Opus33 (talk) 03:33, 16 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Gravi" in this context means "severe" or "serious", so "gravicembalo" = "serious harpsichord".
"Clavi" means "keyboard". Depending on context "cembalo" can also mean "cymbal", so while "cembalo" alone was often used to mean harpsichord (in the same way "fortepiano" got shortened to "piano"), the more formal and less ambiguous name was "clavicembalo". Literally "keyboard cymbal" = "harpsichord".
Moot now, because as you say, the switcheroo happened centuries ago.

Incorrect usage of pianoforte vs fortepiano[edit]

According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and academic standards, the words pianoforte and fortepiano are synonymous. The assertion this article makes to distinguish the difference between the two is not correct in any means. The article itself back-pedals with multiple sources proving that it's quantification of the words are incorrect. It also begins by saying "A forte piano is an early piano" despite also saying "not to be confused with pianoforte." So the article cannot even decide which is it? Is a fortepiano it's own instrument unrelated to the piano or is it a piano?

So how do musicologists quantify older pianos? Generally, it's accepted that the pianoforte developed into the modern grand in ~1850 with the addition of a cast-iron frame. However, today's piano action has improved significantly since 1850. Prior to 1850 many historic pianoforte's from a variety of manufacturers began production sometime after 1770. Creating a separation between pianoforte and fortepiano does not contain a single benefit and instead makes discussions more confusing. The correct manner to substantiate a specific pianoforte is to include the date of manufacturer (or suspected date if in question) and the brand-name.

In practice: Erard 1866, Fritz 1816, Conrad Graf 1835, Hofmann 1790

Also consider that this article is calling all pianos from 1850 to present a "piano." ~180 years. But the time-frame from 1770 to 1850 is only eighty years. The piano was not popular from 1700 to 1770 and the main research in that time region is Cristofori's pianos. iirc Between 1808 and 1816 a form of double-escapement action was developed allowing it to perform similar virtuosic material to the modern grand. This begs the question whether or not this articles decision regarding "piano era's" makes sense.

Another issue is that the piano article shares similar if not near identical content, sources, and photographs. It makes much more sense for piano to mean 1850 to present and pianoforte or fortepiano to mean 1700 to 1850. (Although, there are likely some pianos before 1850 that could be argued fit into the modern piano category.)

I suggest the following:

1) Merge fortepiano into piano which would benefit its fortepiano section, Removing the unsubstantiated differences between pianoforte and fortepiano.

2) Think deeply regarding what this article is trying to communicate and the focus or feature of the content. Then how to separate the two articles in a manner that makes sense and solves it's problematic aspects so that this article has a clear direction.

According to wikipedia merge guidelines I believe this article fits into all five of Wikipedia's reasons for merging. Fortepiano is a duplicate of piano. Both articles contain overlap. This article is fairly short. Readers may benefit from the content of the piano page prior to reading about the pianoforte. I also don't think it meets any of the reasons for not merging. Adding the fortepiano article to piano will not make piano too long. Many articles such as WW2 or Donald Trump are much longer than piano would be. They aren't really stand-alone articles and are not discrete subjects as one must comprehend the modern piano prior to learning about historic pianos. Merging also allows discussion of the development of piano pedals from 1770 to the modern day. (talk) 20:15, 16 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]