Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Professor Geoffrey Lancaster


During the late eighteenth century, the piano was the dominant musical instrument for musical composition, performance and instrument making. There were many innovations in the design, sound and touch of the piano, fuelling the emergence of a large body of idiomatic repertoire. Two distinct traditions of piano design emerged at the same time during the late eighteenth century, one in England and the other in Austria. The focal points of these traditions were, respectively, London and Vienna where resident composers in each of these locations wrote for the instruments made in these cities. Traditions of grand piano design in London and Vienna were exemplified in the instruments of John Broadwood (in London) and Anton Walter (in Vienna). This study focusses on the design principles underlying the scaling, striking points and dampers in late eighteenth-century grand pianos together with technical data associated with these design elements. Furthermore, the sonic result of the realisation of these design principles in grand pianos by Broadwood and Walter are discussed, and the compositional response of selected late eighteenth-century composers in London and Vienna to the grand pianos of John Broadwood and Anton Walter

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