There is no musical instrument so extensively used as the piano forte, and there is certainly none so little understood by the player, in the construction, or the legitimate treatment according to the construction. It would be more intimately known if the performer had to tune it, but the difficulty Of tuning renders the employment of a specialist in that art necessary. Few piano players know more about a piano than that the sounds are caused by hammers striking against wire strings. There has, however, arisen in our leading music schools a desire to know more, and students are not now satisfied to remain unacquainted with the nature of their instru ment. TO assist those who are curious about its construction is one of the Obj ects for which this book is written. I have chosen to start from the introduction of iron in the construction of the pianoforte, about 1820, as convenient for my purpose, regarding the entirely wooden framed piano as appertaining to an historical division, in which the precursors Of the piano, the clavichord, virginal or spinet, and harpsichord will be found.