Dictionary

1piano

adverb or adjective pi·a·no \pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō\

music : quietly or softly

Full Definition of PIANO

:  at a soft volume :  soft —used as a direction in music

Origin of PIANO

Italian, from Late Latin planus smooth, from Latin, level — more at floor
First Known Use: 1683

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

2piano

noun pi·ano \pē-ˈa-(ˌ)nō also -ˈä-\

: a large musical instrument with a keyboard that you play by pressing black and white keys and that produces sound when small hammers inside the piano hit steel wires

plural pianos

Full Definition of PIANO

:  a musical instrument having steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers operated from a keyboard

Examples of PIANO

  1. Do you play the piano?
  2. He takes piano lessons on Wednesdays.

Origin of PIANO

Italian, short for pianoforte, from gravicembalo col piano e forte, literally, harpsichord with soft and loud; from the fact that its tones could be varied in loudness
First Known Use: 1803

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

Piano

biographical name Pi·a·no \pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō\

Definition of PIANO

Renzo 1937– Ital. architect
PIANOS Defined for Kids

piano

noun pi·a·no \pē-ˈa-nō\
plural pianos

Definition of PIANO for Kids

:  a keyboard instrument having steel wire strings that make a sound when struck by hammers covered with felt

Word History of PIANO

When a harpsichord is played, pressing on the keys causes the strings to be plucked in such a way that loudness and softness cannot be controlled. Around 1700 an Italian instrument maker named Bartolomeo Cristofori invented a mechanism by which the strings of a harpsichord would be struck by felt-covered hammers. This device allowed the performer to play notes with varying degrees of loudness. In Italian this new instrument was called gravicembalo col piano e forte, harpsichord with soft and loud. The name was borrowed into English as pianoforte or fortepiano, which was eventually shortened to just piano.

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