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The Early Pianoforte (Cambridge Musical Texts and Monographs) Hardcover – October 27, 1995

ISBN-13: 000-0521417295 ISBN-10: 0521417295

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Musical Texts and Monographs
  • Hardcover: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 27, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521417295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521417297
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,626,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'... comprehensive in its coverage of the technological history of the piano, with a wealth of detail ...' Early Music Today

'... excellent ... an important addition to an excellent series.' Galpin Society Journal

Book Description

This is the first comprehensive historical and technological study of the pianoforte. It begins with the earliest manuscript sources and then focuses on the 'invention' of the piano in Florence in 1700. The text is illustrated with many photographs, measurements, line drawings and tables.

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More About the Author

Trained as a harpsichord, organ, and violin maker, Mr. Pollens is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on the history of musical instruments, including The Violin Forms of Antonio Stradivari (1992), The Early Pianoforte (1995; reprint 2009), Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (1998), François-Xavier Tourte: Bow Maker (2001), and Stradivari (2010). In 1997 he was the recipient of the American Musical Instrument Society's Nicholas Bessaraboff Prize for The Early Pianoforte, a study of the invention and early history of the piano. Mr. Pollens is a contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and writes frequently for The Strad.
In 1999, Mr. Pollens made a number of discoveries that led him to challenge the authenticity of the "Messiah" violin, which for over 150 years has been considered to be the best preserved example of Stradivari's work. His revelations about this instrument led to a storm of controversy that is still raging today. Among his recent activities was his analysis of Stradivari's violin varnish, which was published in the May 2009 issue of The Strad magazine.
Between 1976 and 2006, Mr. Pollens served as the conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2007 he formed Violin Advisor, LLC, a consulting firm that advises musicians, orchestras, conservatories, and investors on the purchase of fine violins.