Pianoforte

Pianoforte. This instrument derives its name from two Italian words, piano, soft, and forte, loud. It differs from the harpsichord mainly in the use of hammers, which strike the strings, instead of quills, and thus enable the performer to produce a loud or a soft sound, according to the force with which he strikes the keys. The soft and loud pedal form the second distinctive feature of the pianoforte; the first of these pedals, on being pressed, keeps the leathern or woollen dampers used to soften the sound of the instrument, permanently on the keys. The loud pedal, on the other hand, raises these dampers, and thus again softness and loudness of sound may be produced. The pianoforte first began to be popular in England and France" at the close of the last century, though it was invented in Germany at a much earlier date. The great firm of Erard, in London and Paris, began its career in the latter city about the year 1780, the first member of the firm having obtained a patent for various improvements from King Louis XVI. Clementi's pianos used to be famous in London. The chief firms at present are those of the Broadwoods and Collards. The pianoforte is one of the most perfect musical instruments we possess, in its power of giving variety and completeness of effect.

Harmonium

Harmonium. This is an improved form of an instrument for some time popular in England under the name of seraphine ; it is in fact the principle of the organ simplified and reduced so as to be suitable to the limits of a chamber or a small chapel. The harmonium is made like the organ, with a certain number, of registers, or stops, each producing a different effect. It is played by means of a finger-board, like a piano, and the wind is supplied by bellows worked by the feet. This instrument is particularly adapted for the performance of church music, as it possesses the power of sustaining the notes.

Trumpet

Trumpet. A musical instrument, the most noble of ail portable ones of the wind kind, used chiefly among the cavalry to direct them in the service. The word is formed from the French trompette. The ancients had various instruments of the trumpet kind; as the tubas, cornua, litui. When the sound of the trumpet is well managed, it is of a great compass. Indeed, its extent is not strictly determinable, since it reaches as high as the strength of the breath can force it. A good breath will carry it beyond four octaves, which is the limit of the usual keys of spinnets and organs. There are two notable defects in the trumpet, observed by Mr. Roberta in the Philo. Trans. The first is. that it will not perform certain notes within its com-pass, commonly called trumpet notes: the second, that four of the notes it does perform are not in exact tune. The same Is are found in the trumpet-marine.