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pianoforte (pee-AN-uh-fort, pee-an-o-FOR-tay) noun

A piano.

[From Italian, literally soft-loud. The term pianoforte is a contraction of Italian gravecembalo col piano e forte (harpsichord with soft and loud).]

The piano was invented by Florence instrument-maker Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), as an improvement over its precursor, the harpsichord. Invention of the piano allowed a player greater expression with precise control over the volume, duration, etc. of a note, as compared with the unvarying tone of the harpsichord.

"Recital program with violinist Rachel Barton, pianist Valentina Lisitsa, David Schrader on pianoforte and sopranos Jonita Lattimore and Elizabeth Norman." Wynne Delacoma; Grant Park Trumpets New Home With Top-notch Concert Season; Chicago Sun Times; Mar 18, 2004.

"Classical instrumental performances dominated the day, featuring pianoforte, saxophone, oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon and guitar." Stacey Shackford; Tempo Rises at Music Festival; The Press and Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland); March 16, 2004.

This week's theme: Words that appear contradictory.


It (marriage) may be compared to a cage, the birds without try desperately to get in, and those within try desperately to get out. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)

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