MODARTT releases a cimbalom add-on, a new virtual instrument included in their KIViR (Keyboard Instruments Virtual Restoration) collection, offered for free to all Pianoteq customers. The cimbalom is regarded as the precursor of the piano. Precursor of the piano
Played with mallets, the cimbalom belongs to the ancestor psaltery, quoted in the bible. The psaltery was later developed into different variants which differed in sound but were similar in their constructive concept. One of these, the cimbalom, was a constant member of gypsy orchestras. Legs and a damper pedal were soon added to the instrument and it reached the status of concert instrument in the 19th Century, thanks to Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt. The modern cimbalom has 133 strings and a range of almost five octaves. Since 1897, cimbalom has been taught at the Budapest Musical Academy. Debussy and Stravinsky were one of the first non-Hungarian composers who exploited the sound and the interest of the cimbalom has increased in recent years among many modern composers. The Pianoteq virtual copy of the cimbalom behaves like the original instrument. Contrarily to the piano, pressing down a key does not lift the corresponding damper. Hence, unless the pedal is depressed, all notes are immediately dampened. The original cimbalom instrument, modelled in Pianoteq, belongs to the famous cimbalom artist Luigi Gaggero and was built in 2007 by Balázs Kovács, Opera Zongoraterem, Budapest.