With the Broadway debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s much anticipated opus Hamilton coming up on July 13 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Great White Way is abuzz with praise for the new musical. Ben Brantley of The New York Times, the paper itself a bastion of restraint and the last word in theatre reviews, gushed, “HISTORIC. HAMILTON is brewing up a revolution. This is a show that aims impossibly high and hits its target. It's probably not possible to top the adrenaline rush. A MARVEL.” Fellow Gray Lady mainstay David Brooks similarly decreed, “BRILLIANT. HAMILTON is one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in a theater. Bold, rousing, sexy, tear-jerking and historically respectful — the sort of production that asks you to think afresh about your country and your life.” And the reviews gush on, and on, and on.
The following is a guest post by Kevin Maddox.
The history of the West’s relationship with music is a fascinating story and one that continues to be added to. The French horn, the double bass, the accordion, the saxophone and the guitar are all thought to have been invented in Europe. The same can be said for that most dramatic and diverse of instruments — the piano.
Invented by Cristofori Bartolomeo during the early years of the 18th century, the piano or ‘pianoforte’ as it was then known, has become one of the most essential, most enduring instruments of modern times. There’d be no Coldplay without Bartolomeo. No Bruno Mars either, but let’s not blame him — he couldn't have known. So, where did it come from and why was it invented in the first place?
Just how did the pianoforte grow to become as iconic as it is now?