BROADWOOD SQUARE PIANOS
by Michael Cole

Published by Tatchley Books, 334 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham, GL52 3DD
Phone: 01242 517192
ISBN: 095517707


Book Cover

CONTENTS

1. Introduction
A brief history of the Shudi family, and the extraordinary circumstances in which John Broadwood came to be the successor to the Swiss-born harpsichord maker, inheriting the business, the house, and Shudi's portrait.

2. Broadwood's First Year in Business
The status of the harpsichord in the later part of the eighteenth century; John Broadwood’s success as a harpsichord maker; first signs of the pianoforte in London. Details of the documentary sources.

3. Design of Broadwood's Earliest Pianos
Broadwood’s earliest square pianos compared with his contemporaries. Expansion of the Piano Trade 1766-80; early sales as recorded in Broadwood’s Journal. Profiles of some of his early clients.

4. The New Man; Broadwood the piano manufacturer, 1782-1793
Broadwood’s marriage to Mary Kitson radically changed his personal circumstances. Conversion from craft-based workshop to new production methods. His design for square pianos patented exactly when his harpsichord patent ceased. Phenomenal increase in production of square and grand pianos.

5. Broadwood & Son 1794-1810
James Shudi Broadwood joins his father in business. Pianofortes with ‘additional keys’. Initiating a new system of record keeping; a period of frequent design changes.

6. Development of the Square Piano 1810-1850
Illustrating the use of square pianos; the domestic and musical context; how the tone was augmented; the desire for a more expressive touch; new furniture fashions; more robust square pianos, with extended keyboards; the steel string plate; decline of the square piano in England from 1850.

7. Epilogue
Post-production history of Broadwood’s square pianos; Elgar’s square piano; decline of the Broadwood company; public destruction of square pianos by American traders; collectors of historic pianos at the beginning of the twentieth century; recent interest in historic pianos.

8. Gallery
A pictorial overview of the progress of square pianos from Broadwood and his successors, 1780 to 1860.

Appendix 1
Transcript of the Indenture between Burkat Shudi and John Broadwood 1771/2

Appendix 2
Transcript of the Wills of Burkat Shudi (1773), and John Broadwood (1812) with some explanatory comments.

Appendix 3
Genealogy of the Shudi and Broadwood families.

Appendix 4
A bogus Broadwood square piano. An examination of the ‘John Broadwood 1774’ piano, formerly exhibited by the company.

Appendix 5
Square pianos by Charles Trute of London, compared with Broadwood’s patented pianos.

Appendix 6
An early piano by George Froeschle of London, 1776, using brass underdampers.

Appendix 7
Serial Numbers of Broadwood square pianos with their corresponding year of manufacture.

Appendix 8
Price lists from John Broadwood & Sons, 1817 and 1827.

Appendix 9
Technical data: strings, four action diagrams etc.

Bibliography

Index

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