The piano as we know it today (not counting any of that harpsichord crap) was invented sometime in the late 17th or early 18th Centuries. Since then, we haven’t seen a whole lot of innovation. There’s the grand, the baby grand, and the upright. Also, we shouldn’t forget the player piano, a piano that plays by itself (to the chagrin of laid off pianists). We saw the piano finally get fully revised in the 20th Century with the invention of the synthesizer. This all led up to the latest and greatest innovation at all (if you liked to rock out in a New Wave band in 1985), the keytar.
Yes, the piano has been a muse for master musicians and composers since it’s introduction: Mozart, Thelonious Monk, as well as the guys in Devo and Depeche Mode.
French car manufacturer Peugeot decided to top the keytar as the piano innovation of the last century.
No, they didn’t decide to create a drivable piano. But the keyboard they came up with looks like it is built for speed.
Peugeot has always dabbled in industries other than the auto world. They got their start making bicycles and coffee mills (that doesn’t make sense to me, either). They recently founded the Peugeot Design Lab to create products that aren’t automobiles but crafted with a car designer’s eye.
Peugeot Design Lab’s first product is this futuristic-looking baby grand piano. They created the instrument in collaboration with French piano maker Pleyel.
Pleyel knows a thing or two about tickling the ivories. They have been producing high-quality pianos for over two centuries. The French company holds the honor of the oldest piano manufacturer in the world.
The instrument Pleyel and Peugeot came up with is sleek and aerodynamic, looking almost like the wing of an airplane. Why a piano has to be aerodynamic is lost on me. Maybe the French race them when they get bored of the Tour de France?
Engineers from both companies came up with the device. The biggest feature is that the cover and the keys are on the same level, accomplished by lowering the strings and other inner workings of the instrument.
The creators claim that the streamlined design will allow audiences to better see a pianist striking the keys. It will also allow the sound to travel further and faster from the instrument.
Constructed of wood, steel and carbon fiber, the new Pleyel/Peugeot piano is a beauty. Unfortunately, there is no price currently available nor has the company said they would actually put the instrument into production.