Bruno Mars has a long list of talents on his resume, some of which include singer, songwriter, and producer. While he might be most known for his singing, he also dances and plays many musical instruments. Can Bruno Mars play piano?
Bruno Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, learned to play the piano, guitar, and drums at a young age. When he was 4 years old, he started performing on a regular basis with his family’s musical group.
Mars has stated that he was never formally trained to play the instruments, they were just always around him, and he came from a very musical family. He has incorporated all three instruments into his live stage act, in addition to singing and dancing.
Peter Gene Hernandez
Peter Gene Hernandez was born in Hawaii and received the nickname Bruno at a young age as he reminded his father of a wrestler with the same name. When he was 3 years old his uncle convinced him that he should perform as a young Elvis impersonator. A year later, young Bruno began performing with his family’s band, The Love Notes, five nights a week at the age of 4.
He continued to perform every night, while attending school during the day, up until he was 12 years old. At that time his parents divorced and The Love Notes stopped performing. He continued his interest in all things musical and moved to Los Angeles to pursue music as a career, after graduating high school at the age of 17.
It was after his arrival in Los Angeles that Bruno added the “Mars” to his stage name. He wanted to avoid being typecast as a Latin, Spanish singer, so he wanted to have something that was more generic. He was often told by girls that he was out of this world, so he figured he must be from Mars, and the moniker stuck.
History of the Piano
The piano was invented in Italy around the year 1700 by musician Bartolomeo Cristofori, who was unhappy with the harpsichord. He felt that musicians should be able to have more control over the volume that came from each note. Instead of plucking, as is done with the harpsichord, he turned to hammering the strings.
The instrument was initially named “clavicembalo col piano e forte”, which directly translates to English as a “harpsichord that can play soft and loud noises”. Three of Cristofori’s pianos that he built in the 1720s are still around today.
It wasn’t until 1711, after an article and diagram were translated into German, that anyone really took notice of the new instrument. Even then it took a few more tweaks, and an initial thumbs down from Johann Sebastian Bach, before it really began to flourish in the 18th century.
Since then it has continued to soar in popularity and has gone through more changes to what we now know as the modern piano. It has also split into different types, including Baby Grand, Classic Grand, Concert Grand, Upright, Specialized, Electric, Electronic, and Digital, as well as various hybrid mixes.
Benefits of Playing the Piano
Music, in general, has many benefits to it including lowering stress, reducing heart rate, increasing immune response, and lowering respiratory rates. Playing an instrument, such as the piano, also adds the benefits of improved cognitive function, increase in dexterity, memory, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
There are several other benefits as well when playing the piano and other instruments. The above benefits were mentioned with the piano player in mind, but there are also benefits to playing for others or listening to someone play. Sound is one of our main senses and we can almost be transported when we hear someone play live. Chances are, more than one person in the audience, will get goosebumps when watching Bruno Mars, and others play.