PROOF OF MASTERY, Document 4 The Piano The piano has endured extraordinary long lasting popularity and it is still going strong. In 2003 Steinway & Sons the venerable piano manufacturer celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding. A museum is dedicated to the history of the piano it is located in New York City. The museum’s collection of European and American pianos goes back 200 years it even includes a player piano from the 1920s. Upon walking through the museum collection the observer can follow the evolution of the piano. The number of keys on the individual piano ranges from 61 to 68. One can see keys of mother-of-pearl foot pedals in different positions and piano shapes that do not resemble today’s piano. Few piano manufacturers exist today however there were hundreds during the 1800s. Piano manufacturing was a major provider of factory jobs for immigrants. The industry also created jobs for piano salesmen tuners movers and of course music teachers. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York also has a large collection and it houses the oldest piano in existence an Italian instrument built in 1720. The collection varies from ornate to simple. A satinwood grand piano which was built in 1840 has hand painted flowers and gilt trim but there is also the upright. In the late 1800s the piano gave the middle class a sense of refinement and the upright piano can be noted in several of the museum’s Renoir paintings. As one can see the piano is an instrument with a long interesting history.
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