John Broadwood & Sons, London, 1849

Mon, 06/01/2020

6 octaves


Beginning in 1837, Broadwood began making what they referred to as “bichorda” or “semi-grand” pianos. These were throwbacks in some ways, with only two strings per note, a shorter length than their concert pianos, and often very plain cases. The intent was to produce a smaller and cheaper piano that would allow them to compete better with their rivals. In the period 1850–60 they made up the majority of Broadwood’s production.

Despite the economizing, these pianos have a gentle, sweet, intimate tone that won them praise from many people, including Chopin, who is known to have tried and praised them at Broadwood’s showrooms in 1848.

Piano by John Broadwood & Sons (1849)