By Rose Adams

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How Pianos Work

Pianos can produce very complicated music, but the instrument itself is relatively simple. Though it is not common knowledge, “Pianos consist of five main parts: the frame, soundboard, strings, hammers and keys” (How It Works 2). The strings are struck with a hammer when the corresponding key is depressed. Because there are many different levers and movements, they all work together to insure that the hammer hits the string as the key is pressed (Grieshop 17). There is a lot of precision involved in the complex inner workings of a piano.

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Types of Pianos

There are many different types of pianos, each with their own characteristics. As written by Jeffrey Chappell as he describes the collection of pianos found at the Smithsonian Museum in their exhibit titled Piano 300: Celebrating 300 years of People and Pianos, “Here you will find a player piano, a miniature piano, and a piano built into a sewing table, complete with scissors and thimble “(3). But those are the extraordinary. Two main categories for common pianos are vertical and horizontal (Estrella 1). While in a professional setting such as a church or a concert, the large grand piano which is considered a horizontal piano, is common, whereas a typical home contains the vertical piano, an upright, a smaller piano that stands taller and takes up less space.

Brands of Pianos

There are many brands of pianos out there and they are made in countries all over the world. Piano production began in Germany and in the united States, so pianos from those two countries can be counted on as reliable (Living Pianos 1). As stated in the article by Living PIanos, “The United States only has 3 manufacturers left although there used to be hundreds of piano companies in America “(2). America’s top pianos include the Steinway, the Mason and Hamlin, and the Charles Walter, while Germany’s best pianos include the Bechstein, and the Bluthner, and the very popular Yamaha from Japan which is the largest piano manufacturer in the world (Living Pianos 6). For a hobbyist pianist who is looking for a piano for their home, they would consider three things, “Pianos come in two basic designs (upright or grand) and there are big differences in cost, quality and practicality between them” (Buying a Piano;What you need to know 2). Piano manufacturers produce varying sizes, styles and colors at different price ranges to appeal to everyone’s needs.

Works Cited

Chappell, Jeffrey. "High-Strung & Keyed Up." Piano & Keyboard. Nov./Dec. 2000: 40-42. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 31 Oct 2013.

Barnett, LeRoy. "Let the Good Times Roll." Michigan History. March/April 2000: 10-15. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 31 Oct 2013.

"See inside a Grand Piano." How It Works Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

Chappell, Jeffrey. "High-Strung & Keyed Up." Piano & Keyboard. Nov./Dec. 2000: 40-42. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 31 Oct 2013.

"Guide to Piano Brands." About.com Music Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

"Living Pianos." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.

"Welcome." Piano Technicians Guild. Piano Technicians Guild, 2006. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.

Grand Piano. Digital image. Piano Man - Musical Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013

French Studio Upright. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

Piano Keys. Digital image. Titan Movers. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.