Widely hailed for its flexibility as a watershed instrument in the development of classical music, the piano (complete name: pianoforte) can serve equally as either a melodic or percussive instrument, and yet is ideal for both solo performances and rhythmic backing. Upon its creation in the late seventeenth century, it became the most favored of compositional tools for its ability to facilitate orchestral arranging. As a solo instrument, almost all the great masters wrote extensively for the piano; many of these composers were virtuosos as well. And fame has followed: it seems that in the classical world, concert pianists are (along with opera singers) generally the best-known performers. Pianists Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Van Cliburn, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and Vladimir Ashkenazy have achieved immortality similar to that of the great composers.