The presence of the multi-national Order of St John culturally aided and enriched Malta during the period 1530-1798. The building of Valletta coincided with the fashionable Baroque era in architecture, art and music, attracting an influx of innovative ideas and the migration of musicians and instruments. The great interest in theatrical performances and music led to the establishment of the first Teatro Pubblico in Valletta in 1732 – now known as the Manoel Theatre.
The massively important invention of the ‘fortepiano’ by Bartolomeo Cristofori in c 1700, did not immediately attract attention. Other keyboard instruments such as the spinet, clavichord and the harpsichord, that had also reached Malta, continued to hold their ground for many years.
When the Maltese Islands became a British Colony in 1814, there was an expansion of importation of goods from Great Britain, including pianoforti, strings, harps, and boxes of musical goods. Instruments also continued to reach Malta from France, Germany, Vienna and Italy. This period coincided with the popularity of the pianoforte in genteel society, and also the accessibility of relatively cheaper square and upright pianos. This led to the first of Malta’s specialised shops selling music and instruments.