When was the first piano built/marketed/sold whose pedals were mounted on what we now call a lyre, instead of onto a harpsichord-like crossbar between the front legs?

1 Answer 1


The short answer is that it depends on whom you ask. This wikipedia article is a very interesting read on the subject of piano pedals and their history. Here's a quote of the material most relevant to your question:

Americus Backers' 1772 grand, his only surviving instrument, has what are believed to be original pedals, and is most likely the first piano to use pedals rather than knee levers. A square piano built by Adam Beyer of London in 1777 has a damper pedal, as do pianos built by John Broadwood, ca. 1783.

So, somewhere in the late 18th century.

  • Wikipedia quotes a coffee table book, regarded as unauthoritative two decades after publication. The article about Backers contradicts a lyre: "Americus's other innovation was to mount his instrument on a dedicated three-legged trestle stand. The two front legs of this stand incorporated linkages to the instrument from two pedals...." Nov 13, 2019 at 4:08
  • @CamilleGoudeseune Well, I guess you know more about it than me already. :) Have those authorities who regard it as unauthoritative written any more authoritative books of their own?
    – BobRodes
    Nov 13, 2019 at 6:58

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