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Sébastien Érard was a French instrument maker of German origin who specialised in the production of pianos and harps, developing the capacities of both instruments and pioneering the modern piano.

Érard's grand piano action (English patent no 4,631, 1821) is the predecessor to those used in modern grands, the repetition lever in these "double escapement" actions allows notes to be repeated more easily than in single actions. It is just one of many Érard innovations still found on modern pianos - for example, Érard was the first maker in Paris to fit pedals on the piano, and his instrument had several pedals. There was the usual sustaining pedal, an action shift, a celeste, and a bassoon pedal (which put leather against the strings to make them buzz). A knee lever moved the action further than the action-shift pedal, making the hammers strike only one string. Other Érard piano patents deal mainly with technicalities of the keyboard action, soundboard, and tuning mechanism; virtually all of these innovations are retained in modern piano design.

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Sébastien Érard was a French instrument maker of German origin who specialised in the production of pianos and harps, developing the capacities of both instruments and pioneering the modern piano.

Érard's grand piano action (English patent no 4,631, 1821) is the predecessor to those used in modern grands, the repetition lever in these "double escapement" actions allows notes to be repeated more easily than in single actions. It is just one of many Érard innovations still found on modern pianos - for example, Érard was the first maker in Paris to fit pedals on the piano, and his instrument had several pedals. There was the usual sustaining pedal, an action shift, a celeste, and a bassoon pedal (which put leather against the strings to make them buzz). A knee lever moved the action further than the action-shift pedal, making the hammers strike only one string. Other Érard piano patents deal mainly with technicalities of the keyboard action, soundboard, and tuning mechanism; virtually all of these innovations are retained in modern piano design. More...

 
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