Classical » Keyboard
Many people have their first encounters with classical music at the keyboard of a piano, but the keyboard genre covers more than just piano music. The organ is the oldest of keyboard instruments, dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Nearly all of the early keyboard music grew out of the tradition of accompanying church services with organ. The harpsichord came into wide use in the 15th century, but the instrument that dominates keyboard music, the piano, did not come along until the early 1700s. The capability of the instrument to produce both loud and quiet, controlled notes, as well as percussive sounds, opened the floodgates to a world of music that can be dramatic, lyrical, transcendent, or experimental -- almost as wide-ranging as music for any instrumental ensemble. The repertoire has a rich history of masterpieces composed by virtuoso performers.