the 88th day of the year (since 2015)
Nils Frahm in 2015
There are 88 keys on a piano, hence Piano Day takes place on the 88th day of the year. Created by Nils Frahm, a German pianist and composer, and celebrated by piano lovers of all ages and abilities, Piano Day celebrates pianos and everything in their orbit: composers, performers, listeners, builders, tuners, and movers. Additionally, "the aim of the day is to create a platform for piano related projects in order to promote the development of musical dimensions and to continue sharing the centuries-old joy of playing piano." Each year, piano projects are launched, piano events are held around the world, and there is an official Piano Day playlist.
Pianos have wire strings that produce sound when struck with felt-covered hammers, which are operated by a keyboard. Sound from the vibration of the keys is amplified by a soundboard, which also enhances its tone. The 88 keys on the instrument make up 7 octaves plus a few more keys.
The implementation of a keyboard in an instrument dates to the mid-fifteenth century, but it is Bartolomeo Cristofori who is credited with the piano's invention, with the debut of his 1709 handiwork, gravicembalo col piano e forte, "harpsichord with soft and loud." By 1726 his creation was even closer in build to the modern piano, which ultimately came from it.
Pianos were immensely popular in the mid-eighteenth century and became the preferred instrument for chamber music, concertos, accompaniments, and salon music. They remained the most important instrument in Western music for over 150 years. The style of the early harpsichord or wing-shaped pianos can be found in the grand pianos of today. Early on, the comparatively light and less expensive square pianos were preferred for home use, being followed by upright pianos.
How to Observe Piano Day
Some Piano Day ideas include:
- Check the official Piano Day website for projects created for the day, event listings, and playlists.
- Organize a Piano Day event, such as a concert or live stream. Send ideas you have for events or projects, as well as your videos, stories, photos, poems, or anything else inspired by the piano to the day's organizers.
- Follow Piano Day on Facebook and Instagram.
- Listen to and learn about some of the greatest pianists of all time.
- Listen to some essential piano recordings.
- Buy a piano or keyboard.
- Sign up for piano lessons.
- Donate an unused piano to someone in need of one.