Pianos are widely used musical instruments especially in western countries like USA, Germany, UK, and France. They are great accompaniments for performance and can also be used for training and rehearsals. It has its origins from stringed instruments that have been around since the middle ages.
A piano has five major parts:
- The frame: This is made of cast iron or any relevant metal that is durable and strong enough.
- The soundboard which reinforces the tone by means of vibration.
- The strings which are made of steel wire. The material for making the string wires should be light, inextensible, durable and not prone to rust.
- Action or mechanism for propelling the hammers against the strings.
- The pedals which act as levers and are pressed by the feet.
Modern pianos are classified into two major categories:
- Upright pianos (Vertical pianos)
- Grand pianos
Due to recent developments in the electronics technology there are also digital pianos which are smaller and much cheaper than the above pianos.
The grand piano has strings which are arranged horizontally. They are large and are mainly used in concerts.
As the name suggests upright piano has strings which are arranged vertically. The other parts of the piano are also arranged vertically. As a matter of fact there is no major difference between the two types of piano except in their shape and size. The upright piano is small and made for home use.
The smallest upright piano is about 0.85m in height and includes spinet upright pianos which are manufactured in the USA while the largest is about 1.5m tall. This results in longer strings which eventually produce a richer tone. The width of an upright piano does not vary a lot and is about 1.5m.The number of keys of the upright piano ranges between 85 and 88 though there are some small pianos which have 72 keys.
Before buying a piano you should ensure that there is enough space to accommodate it. There should be enough space for staircases, passages and doorways. An average upright piano weighs between 175kg to 235kg.