Hello, my name is Malcolm. I am here at the Piano Workshop, in Reigate, Surrey, UK, for About.com to give you a general overview of the piano.The piano is generally accepted to have been invented by Cristofori Bartholomew in around 1700 and it is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. The piano works by pressing a key which moves the levers making the felted hammer hit the string. At the same time far behind at the back called the damper lifts off, which holds, allows the notes to sing. When it is released, the damper goes back onto the string, and stopping the noise.In most modern pianos have three pedals. On an upright piano the right hand pedal is called the sustaining pedal or the loud pedal, the middle pedal is called the practice pedal or the sostenuto and the left hand pedal is called the soft pedal or the half-blow pedal.The right hand pedal being pressed lifts all the dampers off the strings. Listen, the notes ring on, when it is lifted up it stops.The middle pedal is for people at home when they are practicing and do not want to disturb too many people. It brings a piece of felt down here between the strings and the hammers. So if I give you a quick demonstration, that is the noise without the celeste pedal. I bring it down and it dampens the sound.And the left hand pedal, which is the half-blow pedal or soft pedal pushes the hammers, so you have only got half the distance between the strings and the hammers as before. So that is how you do not play them so loud.Due to its versatility, it is one of the most popular instruments in the world and also one of the most identifiable. My name is Malcolm. I am at the Piano Workshop in Reigate, Surrey, UK for About.com and I have been giving you an overview of the piano.