Some History on Antique Pianos
At what age do pianos merit this description?
The term Antique Pianos
refers essentially to upright & grand pianos built 100 years ago or more. An `Early Keyboard Instrument' usually refers to keyboard instruments of a more basic and dated structure, and would have been built before the Grand & Uprights had been introduced. Early keyboard examples would include early spinets, clavichords, square pianos, early harpsichords and the like. All such instruments would be over 125 years old, and are also classified as "Antique".
Early keyboards are not included in this definition, but still covers a large number of instruments built 100 years ago or more. Only a limited number of pianos are good musical instruments for two main reasons: First, at 100 years ago, piano quality was still being improved and only the better-known makes had produced excellent musical instruments. Secondly, many instruments have suffered over the years either loss of structural integrity, or had not yet reached the point in their development whereby the musical quality was good enough.
A Historical Timeline for Pianos
There is a great book that includes a very detailed timeline for antique pianos entitled "My Music Journal" by Hal Leonard. It also references music, art and literature as it relates to the piano. The timeline itself is four pages long and the book (if you can find it) is around $4.
Piano Time Line
A tiny sample on pre-piano instruments, music and the piano
Middle Ages & Medieval Music
the Baroque Period
First True Piano
the Classical Period
Liberace's Fabulous Piano Collection
The UK Vintage Pianos Page For all your Piano Tuning, History, Makers, Movers and Piano Teachers in the UK