The Encyclopedia of the Piano was selected in its first edition as a Choice Outstanding Book and remains a fascinating and unparalleled reference work. The instrument has been at the center of music history with even composers of large symphonic work asserting that they do not write anything without sketching it out first on a piano; its limitations and expressive capacity have done much to shape the contours of the western musical idiom. Within the scope of this user-friendly guide is everything from the acoustics and construction of the piano to the history of the companies that have built them. The piano-lover might also be surprised to find an entry for Thomas Jefferson, and will no doubt read intently the passages about the changing history of the piano's place in the home. Uniformly well-written and authoritative, this guide will channel anyone's love for the instrument, through social, intellectual, art history and beyond into the electronic age.