This unique and authoritative book will be treasured by anyone who owns, or aspires to own, a piano and by all who enjoy piano music and are interested in knowing more about the history and characteristics of the instrument. It describes the evolution of the piano from its invention at the end of the seventeenth century up to the modern concert grand, and discusses the relationship between the music of composers from J C Bach to Debussy and the instruments for which it was written. There is comprehensive, worldwide directory of piano makers from the nineteenth century onwards with describing the history of each firm and illustrating the models they produced in the past, including charts of serial numbers by decade, as well as the range of instruments currently available. The author provides invaluable advice on choosing a new piano and expert tips on what to look out for when buying a second-hand instrument. A chapter is devoted to the perils and pitfalls of restoration while another gives step-by-step instructions on the care and maintenance needed to ensure that your piano is kept in peak condition. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and cut-away diagrams, The Piano is every bit as elegant and desirable as the many fine instruments it describes.