The harpsichord is particularly effective in performing contrapuntal music—that is, music that consists of two or more melodies played at the same time, such as that of the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Construction and Mechanism The harpsichord usually has a wing-shaped body, or case, like a grand piano; however, its proportions are narrower and longer, and the case and its inner bracing are normally lighter. Harpsichords have also been built in other shapes. These include the virginal, or virginals, a small oblong instrument; the spinet, a small polygonal harpsichord; and the less common clavicytherium, an upright harpsichord. From the 16th to 19th century the terms spinet and virginal were often used interchangeably, and in England during that era any harpsichord was called a virginal.
Even Queen Elizabeth herself played the Virginal. Next came the Spinet, which, similarly to the Virginal, used quills to vibrate the strings. The idea of a square pianoforte was likely to have been come from the Spinet, The Harpsichord, which was of a slightly similar shape to the modern grand piano, came after the Spinet. It used crow-quills connected to a key by means of a “jack” to play the strings. It had two keyboards; with one an octave higher than the other.
He called it a “piano forte” (Italian for softloud) and was similar to the harpsichord. The piano used better materials and used a hammer to strike the strings, which improved the volume, intensity, length and emotion of the pieces. The Modern piano has seven octaves, 88 keys, made from ivory or plastic, wool covered hammers and cast iron frames. There were several styles of piano before the pianos used today. The square piano was invented in 1777 by Sebastian Erard in France.
History of Harmony In the words of British composer Thomas Beckman the harpsichord is, "The sound of harmony in composition." At onetime or another most everyone has heard the piano, not so with the harpsichord. In comparison with the piano hardly anyone has heard the harpsichord or could recognize it. A question begins to form—what role did the piano orchestrate in the curtain call of the once popular harpsichord? To begin, a harpsichord is an early keyboard instrument that vaguely resembles a piano—the resemblance between the two ends there.
Batrolomeo Cristofori brings the piano into the musical arena around 1709 in Florence, Italy. One of Cristoforis previous instruments, the harpsichord, actually brought about the idea of the piano. Cristofori wanted to develop a more dynamic instrument, because the harpsichord had such a small dynamic range. His answer to that problem was the ‘gravicembali col piano e forte,’ which meant harpsichord with soft and loud. This long name was shortened to pianoforte, and then eventually forte was dropped, and now these modern instruments are known as pianos.
The vibrations from the strings cause the sound board to vibrate which makes the sound come through the harpsichord. There can also be different sounds produced depending on the lengths of the string on the instrument. If the harpsichord has multiple variations of strings the player has more availability to create different tones while playing. Since the harpsichord has multiple keyboards, it is easier for the player to choose which ones to play to produce the desired sound. The harpsichord has no dynamics though, so the loudness of the instrument stays the same no matter what string is plucked.
The piano—originally known as the fortepiano or pianoforte—is one of the most globally recognized instruments in history. Its unique timbre distinguishes it from preceding keyboard instruments and even from modern keyboard instruments that attempt to imitate it. The pianoforte has made many changes and contributions to music, which can be seen through how it came to be, what composers first thought of the instrument, and how it affected orchestral music. Before the pianoforte was brought into existence, the keyboard instrument of the orchestra was the harpsichord. The timbre of the harpsichord was much different than that of the pianoforte, this being primarily because of the harpsichord’s strings being plucked, whereas the piano’s strings
concert middle C, on a piccolo clarinet), though some B♭ clarinets go down to E♭3 to enable them to match the range of the A clarinet.  On the B♭ soprano clarinet, the concert pitch of the lowest note is D3, a whole tone lower than the written pitch. Most alto and bass clarinets have an extra key to allow a (written) E♭3. Modern professional-quality bass clarinets generally have additional keywork to written C3.  Among the less commonly encountered members of the clarinet family, contra-alto and contrabass clarinets may have keywork to written E♭3, D3, or C3; the basset clarinet and basset horn generally go to low.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (1756-1791), was a creative composer of the Classical era. Wolfgang Mozart’s piano sonatas present a particularly neat picture. During the Classical Era, the type of piano which was the fortepiano was extremely different than today’s modern piano. That being said, the use of dynamics was crucial and affective in the classical period. I noticed that each of his sonatas has its own character, story line, dialogue, and meaning.
Consider that Gottfried Silbermann, an organ builder, constructed the piano with a small, yet important, personal touch-a foot pedal. For todays pianos, the foot pedal is standard and often very important. By 1747, Silbermann pianos were even accepted by the famous Johann Sebastian Bach. By the late 1700’s, pianos were growing even more popular. Viennese makers produced wooden pianos that had what we know to be opposite key colors (black for the primary keys, and white for the accents).