A. Professional pianists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
B. The influence of the piano on music and society
C. A comparison of the piano and harpsichord
D. A comparison of musical styles before and after the invention of the piano
NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a music history class.
MALE PROFESSOR:Up until now in our discussions and readings about the Baroque early Classical periods, we’ve been talking about the development of musical styles and genre within the relatively narrow social context of its patronage by the upper classes.Composers, after all, had to earn a living, and those who were employed in the services of a specific patron, well—I don’t have to spell it out for you—the likes and dislikes of that patron—this would have had an effect on what was being composed and performed.
Now, of course, there were many other influences on composers—uh such as the technical advances we’ve seen in the development of some of the instruments—uh you remember, the transverse flute, the clarinet, and so on.But I think, if I were asked to identify a single crucial development in European music of this time, it would be the invention of the piano… which, interestingly enough, also had a significant effect on European society of that time—and I’ll get to that in a minute.
Now, as we know, keyboard instruments existed long before the piano—the organ, which dates back to the Middle Ages, as do other keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, which is still popular today with some musicians.But none of these has had as profound an impact as the piano.
Uh the piano was invented in Italy in 1709.The word “piano” is short for “pianoforte”, a combination of the Italian words for “soft” and “loud.”Now, unlike the harpsichord, which came before it, the piano is a percussion instrument.You see, the harpsichord is actually classified as a string instrument, since pressing a key of a harpsichord causes a tiny quill that’s connected to the key to pluck the strings that are inside the instrument, much the same as a guitar pick plucks the strings of a guitar.But, pressing the keys of a piano causes tiny felt-covered hammers to strike the strings inside the instrument, like drumsticks striking the head of a drum.This striking action is why the piano is a percussion instrument instead of a string instrument.Okay, so why is this so important?Well, the percussive effect of those little hammers means that the pianist, unlike the harpsichordist, can control the dynamics of the sound—how softly or loudly each note is struck—hence the name pianoforte—“soft and loud.”
Now artistically—for both composers and performers—this was a major turning point.This brand-new instrument, capable of producing loud and soft tones, greatly expanded the possibilities for conveying emotion.This capacity for increased expressiveness, in fact, was essential to the Romantic style that dominated nineteenth-century music—uh, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Uh, before we get back to the musical impact of this development, I want to take a look at the social impact that I mentioned earlier.Now, in the late 1700s and the early 1800s, the development of the piano coincided with the growth of the middle class in Western Europe.Of course, folk music—traditional songs and dances—had always been part of everyday life.But, as mass-production techniques were refined in the nineteenth century, the price of pianos dropped to the point that a larger proportion of the population could afford to own them.As pianos became more available, they brought classical music—the music which previously had been composed only for the upper classes—into the lives of the middle-class people as well.
One way in particular that we can see the social impact of this instrument is its role in the lives of women of the time.Previously, it was uh, quite rare for a woman to perform on anything but maybe a harp, or, or maybe she sang, but suddenly, in the nineteenth century, it became quite acceptable—even, to some extent, almost expected—for a middle-class European woman to be able to play the piano… partly because, among upper-middle-class women, it was a sign of refinement, but it was also an excellent way for some women to earn money—by giving piano lessons.And some women—those few who had exceptional talent, and the opportunity to develop it—their lives were dramatically affected.Uh, later we’ll be listening to works by a composer named Robert Schumann, but let’s now talk about his wife, Clara Schumann.
Clara Schumann was born in Germany in 1819.She grew up surrounded by pianos; her father sold pianos,and both her parents were respected piano teachers.She learned to play the instrument when she was a small child, and gave her first public recital at age 9.Clara grew up to become a well-known and respected piano virtuoso—a performer of extraordinary skill—who not only gave concerts across Europe, but also was one of the first important female composers for the instrument.
钢琴的产生，对于作曲家和演奏家的音乐表现都是一个转折点。这种全新的、能够发出强度大、音色柔软的调子的新乐器，大大地扩展了音乐家的情感传达力。这种更高级别的表现力，实际上，对于 19 世纪占统治地位的浪漫主义音乐而言，是必不可少的。不过我现在要回答我之前提过的话题。
嗯，在继续钢琴对于音乐界的冲击这个话题之前，我想粗略地谈谈钢琴的社会影响力，之前也讲过一些。在 18 世纪晚，19 世纪初期，钢琴的发展与西欧中产阶级的壮大不谋而合。当然，民谣，传统歌曲和舞蹈那时都是日常生活的一部分。但是，随着 19 世纪工业大规模生产能力的改良，钢琴的价格一路下跌，越来越多的人买的起它了。随着钢琴的日渐普及，它们将古典音乐这种先前只流行于社会上层的音乐形式也引入了中产阶级家庭中。
钢琴在当时妇女的日常生活中的地位，可以特别有效地帮助我们窥探它的社会影响力。之前的时候，它对于西欧妇女而言还是很稀有的，女性在进行演奏时很少能用到它；一般的妇女要么会弹奏竖琴要么会唱歌。但是，事情到了 19 世纪就突然发生了很大变化—钢琴变得非常受欢迎，甚至绝大部分中上层阶级出身的妇女都被要求拥有弹奏它的能力。之所以形成这种局面，一部分是因为中上层女性把弹奏钢琴看成是优雅的标志，但这也是一些妇女通过钢琴课挣钱的极好方式。并且，那些为数不多的、在钢琴演奏上颇有天赋且对钢琴演奏的发展做出了贡献的女性，她们的生活因为钢琴的流行而发生了很大的变化。稍后我们会播放作曲家罗伯特?舒曼的作品，不过我们现在要讲一下他的妻子克拉娅 舒曼。
克拉娅于 1819 年生于德国。她的成长经历都与钢琴不无关系，她的父亲是钢琴商人，并且她父母都是颇受尊敬的钢琴教师。她在幼年时就学会了钢琴演奏，9 岁就第一次登台演出。克拉娅长大后成为一名备受尊敬的钢琴演奏大师。演奏技巧非常棒—不仅她的演奏技巧风行全欧，而且她还是音乐史上第一位重要的钢琴曲作曲家
题干分析：be mainly about又是上来就概括主旨了同学们
音频定位：But I think if I were asked to identify a single crucial development in European music of this time, it would be the invention of the piano, which, interestingly enough also had a significant effect on European society of that time.
选项分析：前面说了很多，but I think终于引出话题了，piano的影响。