History of the piano – Its immediate predecessor was called a clavichord. The volume of a clavichord, like a harpsichord, cannot be controlled, the loudness of each note is the same. However, the pitch of the notes of a clavichord change depending on whether the player presses the keys hard or light. Hit a key hard and the pitch goes up! The forte-piano was a considerable improvement, because the volume was adjustable depending on how hard the player hits the keys. Later the name evolved to pianoforte, which in Italian means “soft-loud,” and finally piano.