What is a Piano?

Learn what is a Piano - Lessons and Tips

The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard, which produces sound by striking steel strings with felt hammers. The hammers immediately rebound allowing the string to continue vibrating at its resonance frequency. These vibrations are transmitted through the bridges to the soundboard, which amplifies them.

The piano is widely used in Western music for solo performance, chamber music, and accompaniment. It is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal. Although not portable and often expensive, the piano’s versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the most familiar musical instruments. It is sometimes classified as both a percussion and a string instrument (in a loose sense of that term).

The word piano is a shortened form of the word pianoforte, which is seldom used except in formal language and derived from the original Italian name for the instrument, clavicembalo [or gravicembalo] col piano e forte (literally harpsichord with soft and loud). This refers to the instrument’s responsiveness to keyboard touch, which allows the pianist to produce notes at different dynamic levels by controlling the speed with which the hammers hit the strings.

Most pianos are about 150 cm wide. Short grand pianos such as a "baby grand" are about as long as they are wide, but a Concert Grand can measure up to 3.08 m (10 ft 1 in) perpendicular to its keyboard.

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