If you’ve ever savored the sounds of a Beethoven piano concerto or marveled at the delicate harmonies of a Mozart sonata, you may wonder how a piano works. After all, what’s inside the housing or case can seem like quite a mystery.
Pianos are ultimately about a lot more than tinkling keys. These percussion instruments are quintessential to music production today, from Elton John to Lady Gaga. But unless you’ve been educated in music, and more specifically piano, you may draw a blank when it comes to explaining how they produce such amazing sounds.
Fortunately, learning about what’s going on inside a piano is easier than you think. Keep reading as we explore the parts of a piano.
The Anatomy of a Piano: The Exterior
An exploration of the piano should start with a couple of prominent exterior components. They include the keyboard, featuring 52 white keys and 36 black keys. The white keys represent the “natural” notes of the musical scale, and the shorter black keys are the sharps or flats.
What about the parts of a piano keyboard? Each key is attached to an internal component within the piano known as a hammer.
Each of these hammers, in turn, strikes a specific string resulting in the desired pitch. You’ll also notice that pianos have pedals located near the floor under the keyboard. Pedals generally come in sets of two or three although this ultimately depends on the style of piano we’re talking about.
These pedals get manipulated by the player’s feet to provide distinct sound qualities. These include everything from a sustained, ringing tone to a short, staccato quality. Find out more about what each of these pedals does.
Different Parts of a Piano: The Interior
Now that you know more about the outside of a piano, let’s delve into interior piano parts. The largest component of the instrument is known as the housing or case, and it provides the piano with its instantly recognizable shape.
The housing has a lid that you can lift to gain an inside view of the piano’s internal workings. Here’s where you’ll find the series of hammers and strings associated with each key that we’ve already mentioned.
For the best view of a piano’s mechanics, peer under the lid of a grand piano. As you’ll see, the parts of a grand piano are laid out in full view. That said, it can also prove fascinating to peek into an upright piano to marvel at its compact, efficient design.
If you’re interested in finding out more about pianos, consider lessons at the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio.
The Parts of a Piano
Learning about the technical side of a piano is just the beginning when it comes to full appreciation of this marvelous instrument. But there’s nothing more exhilarating than learning how to play it for yourself.
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