Parts of a Piano

The various Parts of a Piano

A piano can have hundreds of moving parts; in fact if you look at the keys as different pieces, then that itself comes to 88 pieces, and then there are many more parts.

We have already seen how acoustic pianos work, and if you want to refresh your memory, you could have a look at this post on how pianos work.

Here we will look at the various piano parts.

To get a better glimpse of the inside, just open the lid of any piano and you’ll see that in the inside each of the keys attach to hammers that strike the appropriate strings, when the keys are pressed.

The Parts of a Piano?

If it’s a digital piano, then the keys basically makes contact with the sensor, which detects which key has been pressed, and how hard. Depending on that the right sound is produced.

The pedals
This is another prominent feature of any piano, the pedals. On acoustic pianos, you’ll see three of them, but most digital piano have just a couple of them.

The one on the right is the sustain pedal, that sustains any notes.
The other one is used to make the notes sound softer.

On most uprights, the pedals already exists, but then if it’s a digital piano, you can always buy them separately and connect it to your piano.

As a beginner, usually, you don’t get to use the pedals in the first few months at least, but it depends on your teacher as well.

So in the list of the piano keyboard parts names, the pedals also feature in prominently. These come inbuilt in the real acoustic pianos, but may not be available in the digital versions. You have to buy them separately as accessories.

Usually, most keyboard payers go in for the single pedal accessory, but then three-pedal units, which look similar to the ones on real piano, are also available.

Various Inputs / Outputs
Besides the keys and the pedals, on most digital pianos, you will find several inputs and outputs that are used to connect with external digital devices, including a computer/laptop.

Keys / keyboard
This is your keyboard section and will come with your desired number of keys and key action.

In fact, the more expensive the instrument is, the more fine tuning is required to get this part as close as possible to the keys on a real piano.

The User Control
This is the user area were you have all the buttons, knobs, and slides arranged. You can use it to make all the selections, or make all the changes or do all the recordings (in case your keyboard has that feature).

You’ll also find a small screen, known as the LCD display, which shows all the selections, the music notations, lyrics and so on. You’ll also find built-in speakers.

Piano is a percussion instrument

Lot of people will find it difficult to accept this fact, considering that fact that most piano keyboards are capable of playing so many tones, and the acoustic ones use strings to produce the sound.

But then, if you look at the mechanism of a piano it is actually a series of hammers that hit the strings. And so that makes it a percussion instrument, though many musicologists like to classify it as a “keyed zither”!

Remember it’s a pianoforte

You need to remember that a piano is basically a “pianoforte” and that means it has the ability to play the notes softy as well as loudly.

So the hammer mechanism is built such that the hammers strike the keys harder when you press the keys harder, and softer when you play the keys softly.

Acoustic or Digital

On acoustic pianos, another important part is the cast iron frame, which supports the strings, and sits above the soundboard.

On digital pianos, it is usually the main-board and the chips that store the sound-bank.

Other Bundled parts
Depending on the offer, the dealer might also throw in things like stand, bags, power adapter. These are necessary accessories to get the most out of your keyboard.

What About Parts of a Grand Piano?

A grand piano is where you have the strings parallel to the floor, as opposed to the vertical ones on the upright ones.

The horizontal strings on a grand piano makes the sound waves travel up in the air and makes it easier to propagate the entire room. That is the reason a grand piano sounds louder and much better than any of the other types of pianos.

Parts of a Grand Piano?

So what are the basic parts of a grand piano?

Let’s start with the Piano Action

The basic parts include the 88 weighted keys, the various hammers and the wire strings.

These parts go through the maximum wear and tear as these are moving parts. They form a part of what is known as the piano action, which is one of the key factors that decide how good the piano is.

But then these are not the only parts.

You have the mechanism that amplifies the sound.

Cast Iron plate and soundboard
The strings in a grand piano are stretched across a heavy cast iron plate, and underneath that you have the soundboard. This, along with the piano action, forms the crux of the piano.

When a key is pressed, the hammer strikes the strings and the string vibrates, which in turn makes the entire soundboard/cast iron plate vibrate and the sound is produced.

The cast iron/soundboard is set on a foundation which forms the rim of the piano.

Does it all look simple — the various parts of a Grand Piano? Even if it seems so, it is actually a complex mechanism that involves so many piano parts, especially if its an acoustic grand piano.

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