Documentaries about the Piano | Blog | Piano Lessons in London

Music Films and Documentaries about the Piano and its Predecessors


"The piano is a musical instrument - perhaps the greatest ever made. In its versatility and range, in the breadth and quality of its repertoire, in the subtlety of its imagery and the grandeur of its sound, it has no rivals. More great music, and more bad music, has been composed for it than for any other instrument in history, from Beethoven's 32 Sonatas to the Debussy Préludes and the piano works of Messiaen; from The Battle of Prague and The Maiden's Prayer to the worst of contemporary hymns and the inane jingles that came as standard issue with the cheap electronic keyboards (if we recognise these as a further stage in pianistic evolution)"
From Jeremy Siepmann's The Piano (Everyman's Library - EMI Classics Music Companions)

History of the Pianoforte
A Documentary in Sound by Eva Badura-Skoda



Piano Evolution
History of Keyboard Instruments
David Schrader, BaroqueBand



A short recording on a clavichord-pantalon, a predecessor of the piano. Invented by Pantaleon Hebenstreit, the pantalon became extremely popular in 18th-century social circles with its new tonal possibilities and acoustic effects making the instrument and its inventor legendary. Features of the pantalon were incorporated into the development of the fortepiano and later the modern piano through which every note could sound like a feeling. Expression of sentiments was not an inherent element of music-making prior to the middle of the 18th century which served either as decoration or affecting tool for spiritual and religious enforcement. "But Hebestreit showed that on an instrument such as his, feeling and emotional excitement could be captured and conveyed with hardly less vividness than on the operatic stage. It was this fact, perhaps, more than any other that led to the eventual popularity of the piano, which could do the same and more." (Jeremy Siepmann The Piano)




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