Editors' Notes Coming onto the scene around 1700 and taking over the duties of the harpsichord, the piano has long been one of the most popular instruments used in what we now call classical music. Whether the keyboard works of Bach—which he composed largely as pedagogical exercises and chamber experiments—or those of Beethoven, which were written to advance the art of composition and form (and, of course, to sound beautiful), the piano's versatility has been integral in humanity's exploration of sound and space. By the 20th century, works by Debussy, Ravel, and Glass would challenge our notions of what was possible in music.

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