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Empire

| Square Piano |

Style of Christopher Ganer, piano and harp maker

Square Piano

Artist
Style of Christopher Ganer, piano and harp maker
Date
Late 18th century
Size
h. 51.8 x w. 81.7 x d. 15.4 cm
Technique
Wood, ivory and other materials
Location
Empire Gallery – Entertaining Culture
The main highlight of the ‘Entertaining Culture’ section of the Empire Galleries is the one and only musical instrument in the MUŻA collection. Known as a square piano, it is considered to be a transitional piece during the experimentation phase before the classical upright piano reached its fully-fledged stage in its development. Neo-classical in style, this instrument would have primarily been constructed by a furniture or cabinet maker, with its musical component consisting of a keyboard and a simple yet complex system of stretched horizontal strings, a sound board and a series of tiny tightly-knit hammers for its playability. As the sound that emerges from this square piano is low and soft, it was typically used only in domestic settings. Such a square piano as this one would have provided light entertainment for the family and during private party functions.

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