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A piano is a musical instrument with a keyboard. It has strings which are stuck by hammers when one or more of its 88 keys are depressed.

It is said to have been invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori, who originally called it a "gravicembalo col piano e forte" -- a large harpsichord with soft and loud. "Pianoforte" stuck as the name for the instrument.

Early pianos had wooden frames, two strings per note, and deerskin-covered hammers. The development of the modern piano owes much to the collaboration between Beethoven and the English firm of Broadwood: as Beethoven grew progressively more deaf, the instruments that Broadwood sent him grew progressively larger, louder, and more robustly constructed -- iron frames, three strings per note, the modern felt-covered hammer.

Much great music has been written for the piano...

A person who plays a piano is known as a pianist.