Monday, June 26, 2017

CHARACTER COUNTS: The Music of Life



The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano
By Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017. Biographical Picture Book.

This book fascinated me. I had no idea how the piano was invented. It turns out that there was a brilliant man with a job title that told the world just how gifted he was (the job title of “Master Instrument Maker and Tuner”). This man was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Apparently before the piano was invented people could play a harpsichord and play loudly (or forte) or they could play the clavichord and play softly (or pianissimo). Musicians couldn’t do both. So Cristofori went about experimenting and inventing something he called the new instrument (that could play both loud and soft notes) the pianoforte (piano=soft; forte=loud). And with this invention musicians all over the world started creating new melodies that could handle all sorts of different dynamics. I liked how this book was a story that had little facts thrown in on the side (like the different names for musical dynamics or extra quotes and bits about Cristofori’s life). And seeing how most people around the world have heard of or have played (or banged the keys of) one of these instruments—it is great to know about the person who invented it. And it turns out he was a pretty neat inventor.

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