Different Types of Piano – 2023 Expert Guide

The piano was invented in the year 1700 in Italy by Francesco Cristofori a harpsichord maker. Since this invention, the pianos have undergone tremendous changes and improvisations and there are more than tens of piano brands available in the market now. It is important to learn the different types of pianos available in the market so that we buy the best-fit appliance to enjoy the piano playing experience. Most pianos have the signature 88 keys to play and some manufacturers have added many additional keys to open up to new melodies and new sounds. Based on the styles of the pianos that are available, we can classify the pianos as follows.

Different Types of Piano

Different Types of Piano

Pianos are the best instruments to start your music journey and they are also easy to play with, mainly due to the ease of identifying the chords and locating the notes. The pianos also vary in size, sound, and the type and they offer a great feel while playing the instrument. The different types of pianos available in the market are as follows.

1. Vertical pianos

These pianos are called vertical pianos, as they are tall and their height is greater than their width. There also have variations in the position of their strings. The following pianos are classified under vertical pianos.

a. Upright Pianos

The upright pianos are the most popular and common types of pianos that are available in the market. These pianos are not necessarily small, but they are not as big or wide as the grand acoustic pianos. These pianos don’t require much space and they can fit a medium-sized hall pretty conveniently. 

These pianos are capable of recreating the sounds of the grand acoustic pianos, but still, they are not desirable for live stage performances. The pianist will be having trouble being seen by the crowd. These pianos are best used in church services, in schools, and in homes. They are great in teaching piano lessons, and the biggest difference between a grand piano and the upright piano is that its strings and its actions are vertical in the upright version of the piano. 

This piano functions and feels different from the grand piano and the keys also feel unique when the player hits the keys. These upright pianos are available in different sizes, designs, and price ranges in the market and are slightly more affordable than grand pianos.

b. The Spinet

The spinet pianos are smaller than the upright pianos and they have a maximum height of only 38 inches and a width of around 58 inches. These pianos are a great choice for those who have limited space in their home and they are compatible with apartments and small living spaces as well. The sound from this piano creates a dropped action when the key that is stroke strikes the underlying hammers string. But these pianos are known to deviate from their accuracy point and have less power, thanks to their construction. They are also costly to repair. 

The Spinet pianos are the smallest types of pianos that are available in the market. Though they are of small size, they are no way less impressive than other types of pianos. These are complex and lovely pianos that are capable of creating sophisticated music. They are not expensive as most pianos and can be purchased on a budget.

c. The Console

The console pianos are bigger than the spinets and their size could vary from 40 to 43 inches in height and 58 inches in width. The piano’s console varies in a range of styles and finishes, which aids in their enhanced popularity as well. The sounds from this piano are known to create direct action, as its hammers are in the upright position and are located directly over the keys. The piano creates a more enhanced tone, as when one of its hammers comes down, a string pulls the hammer back to its position, getting it ready to be stroked again. 

Console pianos are the most common types of upright pianos that interest most people. These pianos are just the right size for people who wish to get maximum enjoyment out of their instrument and they are also great for small and compact spaces. The console pianos are available in different acoustic options and they are capable of producing great music and are great instruments for someone to learn piano. 

This is a high-quality instrument and will be useful for budding musicians to progress as developing pianists. They are also available at affordable price options and they will look compact and elegant in the home. They can be set against the wall and can be accessed whenever possible to play music and compose great tunes. 

d. Studio pianos

These pianos are large and are generally found in music studios where quality music is being composed. People who are accustomed to the feel and the size of these pianos will also buy them for their homes. These are upright pianos and will interest professional musicians who are accustomed to the upright style of the pianos. They are great for music composition and are ideal for people who come up with their music composing ideas.

There are two types of studio pianos, namely the acoustic model and the digital studio model. The Digital model is affordable for the two options. These pianos have a height of about 45 to 48 inches and they have a width of about 58 inches. these pianos have a large soundboard and string, to create rich sounds with ambient tone quality. Most of the studio pianos that are available in the market are similar to grand pianos. 

2. The horizontal or the Grand pianos

Owing to an original, genuine and grand acoustic piano is a special privilege for piano enthusiasts. It could cost a fortune and most people save money for years to buy pianos. The cost of this piano is nothing before its amazing craftsmanship. They are a luxury item and are perfect for music composing and live performances and are thus perfect for serious musicians. 

The grand pianos are further classified into baby grand pianos, medium grand pianos, concert grand, and parlor grand pianos depending on their size and music composition qualities. 

a. The baby grand pianos

The baby grand pianos are the smallest of the three options and are generally found in people’s homes. They take up a lot of space at home and are pretty big. In most homes, they are also decorative pieces of instrument and are known for their elegance and sophistication. They are costly and the cost is worth the quality piano sounds they render.

Acoustic baby grand pianos are quite rare and are not generally available at the local music store. We have to customize the order to get one. The digital baby grand pianos on the other hand are quite common and are also convenient options for pianists. 

b. Medium grand pianos

The medium grand pianos are a step better than baby grand pianos. You can expect the medium grand piano to be of length 5’6” and 6’6”. The medium grand pianos are quite larger and are also highly expensive. Do not opt to buy these pianos unless you have a very huge living space, else they will make the place look cumbersome. 

The medium grand pianos are for professional musicians and they look really impressive as well. They are great at emulating impressive music and composing tunes. You will be able to create great music on these pianos and prove yourself to be a great musician.

c. Parlor grand pianos

Parlor grand pianos are pretty hard to place in the home and are common for serious musicians. These pianos were ideally found in the parlors in the past and they look exceptionally gorgeous. They are also compact to fit in most homes and they also sound exceptionally perfect. The concert grand pianos are the largest of all the pianos and they could be between 7’ and 7’6” in length.

d. Concert grand pianos

These are the largest of all the concert grand pianos that we can find and they are available in sizes 9’ and up. These pianos are a must for musical performances in the yesteryears and are exceptionally impressive to look at and are capable of producing rich and beautiful sounds. 

The grand piano has several advantages over the upright piano but is an expensive piano that appeals to all pianists. The pianist can make use of its double escapement mechanism to play its keys in rapid succession. These grand pianos are handcrafted and they look exceptionally stunning. They are also capable of creating the most emotional tones possible and are thus worth the money spent on them. 

e. Ballroom grand pianos

The ballroom grand pianos are similar to the semi-concert grand pianos and they have the same specification as the concert grand pianos. They are widely used in music parties and ballroom dances to create authentic music of the past. The size of these pianos ranges from 6 feet and 2 inches wide to 6 feet and 7 inches tall.

3. Electronic pianos

Digital or electronic pianos are available since the 1980s and they make use of digital sampling technology to recreate the sounds of the piano notes. The digital pianos have become highly sophisticated and they feature weighted keys, standard pedals, MIDI interfaces, and multiple voices. The digital pianos are also the best acoustic pianos that feature exceptional tone quality. In modern times, these pianos are widely used, as they are compact and portable and they also do not require much tuning. They are also less expensive than most acoustic models and they work great with loudspeakers and computers as well.

Electronic pianos are the improvised versions of the grand acoustic pianos and most kids play the electronic piano to learn piano lessons. It works great and these digital pianos have their role to play in the piano world. These pianos work differently from the traditional pianos and they have a similar sound. These electronic pianos are also referred to as keyboards, and they are also great for replicating the tones and the feel that is being produced by the traditional piano. Digital pianos have come a long way in recent years, and they are a great example of high-quality digital music instruments. 

A high-end digital piano replicates the hammers hitting the keys quite perfectly. The keys of this piano are designed in a way, that weight is a height to them, to make them feel very close to a grand piano. These pianos are different from traditional pianos and they are also highly affordable, which makes these pianos a great option for many pianists. 

Most digital pianos come with connectivity options with an array of smart devices. This offers them access to a range of certain functions in the piano. It is also possible to record the music sessions in these pianos to listen to them back to learn how well one is doing. Several conveniences come along with owning a musical instrument at home. It is possible to port them to the coaching classes and develop one’s skill in the equipment.

Bottom Line

A piano is a chordophone that produces sounds while vibrating the strings. These strings react to the keystroke and run across a soundboard available inside the instrument. When the piano player plays the keys, they trigger a hammer inside to strike a string. The hammer strikes the string and gets them to vibrate, creating modern piano sounds. These are exceptional percussion instruments and have been improvised over the years transferring the authentic grand acoustic piano sounds in the digital and electronic piano models available of late. 

There are also toy pianos available for small children, to inculcate and grow their interest in music. Parents generally opt for these pianos to help their children learn before opting to buy costly digital pianos

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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