From Made-by-Hand to Industrial Manufacturing
In the 19th century, the piano industry made remarkable improvements and developments, and as demand increased, increasingly turned to mass production. In addition, as performance techniques evolved and developed, demands related to the touch of the piano keyboard grew. When pianists began competing with embellishments such as trills or fast arpeggios, or by repeating fast passages, they began to desire more sensitive piano actions. In response, a revolutionary new action that made it possible to repeat notes quickly was invented in 1821 by Pierre Erard of France.
Up to the end of the 18th century, the standard range, or compass, of the piano keyboard was five octaves (61 keys). However, in the years after 1800, the compass gradually extended. And, in the age of Chopin (1810-1849) and Liszt (1811-1886), it had grown to 82 keys.
Chopin moved from Warsaw to Paris at the age of 20, and for the next 19 years until the end of his life, his favorite pianos were those manufactured by Ignace Pleyel. Liszt used pianos by makers such as Carl Bechstein and Ludwig Bösendorfer. He was the first composer to make unrestrained use of the expanded compass and increased sound volume.
Meanwhile, in the beginning of the 19th century, a compact piano for home use was designed.
In the 18th century, many instruments known as clavicitherium were built in which the strings of a harpsichord where stretched on a vertical frame. The upright piano is regarded as being inspired by the clavicitherium. John Isaac Hawkins, an Englishman living in Philadelphia, succeeded in making the first true upright piano in 1800. Since it took up less space, the upright piano quickly became popular.
Upright (vertical) pianos that were elaborately decorated were also made. The so-called "giraffe piano" is a typical example.