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Cynthia Adams Hoover and Edwin M. Good

A keyboard instrument, the strings of which are struck by rebounding hammers. It was originally called pianoforte (It.: “soft-loud”) or fortepiano, because the loudness of its sound could be varied by the player’s touch. The piano has played an important role in American life since the late 18th century, when learning the instrument was considered a genteel occupation for young ladies; by the late 19th century it had become an essential item in many homes. American piano builders, seeking to satisfy the taste of American musicians and to meet the challenges of the American climate, developed manufacturing and sales techniques and new features, such as the one-piece metal frame, which by the 1870s enabled them to dominate the world piano trade....


Richard Widdess and Laurence Libin

Small bellows-pumped Reed organ of India. It provides a drone in popular and, sometimes, classical music, assuming the function of the Tambūrā; nowadays it sometimes also functions melodically. In Indian music theory, śruti (sur in north India) is the smallest audible interval, a microtone; especially a microtone as opposed to a scale degree (...