ETYM Italian piano soft + Italian forte strong, from Latin fortis.
Term used in musical notation.Or pianoforte (originally fortepiano) Stringed musical instrument played by felt-covered hammers activated from a keyboard. It is capable of dynamic gradation between soft (piano) and loud (forte) tones, hence its name. The first piano was constructed 1704 and introduced 1709 by Bartolommeo Cristofori, a harpsichord maker in Padua. It uses a clever mechanism to make the keyboard touch-sensitive. Extensively developed during the 18th century, the piano attracted admiration among many composers, although it was not until 1768 that J C Bach gave one of the first public recitals on the instrument.
Further improvements in the keyboard action and tone by makers such as Broadwood, Erard, and Graf, together with a rapid expansion of published music by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and others, led to the development of the powerfully resonant concert grand piano and the mass production of smaller upright pianos for the home.1. A stringed instrument that is played by depressing keys that cause hammers to strike tuned strings and produce sounds; SYN. pianoforte, forte-piano.
2. (Music) Low loudness; SYN. pianissimo.