The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys (small levers) that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
The word "piano" is a shortened form of "pianoforte", the Italian term for the early 1700's versions of the instrument. The Italian musical terms "piano" and "forte" indicate "soft" and "loud" respectively, in this context referring to the variations in volume (i.e., loudness) produced in response to a pianist's touch or pressure on the keys.
The Patchogue-Medford Library has a vast collection of piano music for you to play at home. There are books on piano methods, simple arrangements, and a very large collection of original classics, jazz, and more. Call the Reference Desk at (631) 654-4700 x. 152 or email us.