Who Invented the Piano? Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Italy is widely established as having invented the piano. Piano and musical instrument manufacturer Yamaha reported on its website: "Cristofori was unsatisfied by the lack of control that musicians had over the volume level of the harpsichord. He is credited for switching out the plucking mechanism with a hammer to create the modern piano in around the year 1700. The instrument was actually first named "clavicembalo col piano e forte" (literally, a harpsichord that can play soft and loud noises). This was shortened to the now common name, 'piano.' " Homestyle Music's own Katie Hester is on video here teaching the classical piano piece "Für Elise" by Beethoven.