There are various heights, finishes, and cabinets in
Upright Pianos to meet your needs. The height of a Upright
Piano is measured from the floor to the top of the piano.
The size (height & width) of the piano is probably the
single most important factor influencing its tone quality
and the volume. The taller the piano means the strings are
longer and the soundboard is bigger producing louder sound.
A spinet piano is the shortest of all the uprights and the
low costing piano that is between 36" to 39" tall. The next
size is the console piano which is 40" to 43". A step up
from the console is the studio piano which stands 44" to 48"
tall and, for its sturdiness, most often found in schools,
studios and living rooms. Then there are professional
uprights or so called full size upright pianos in which the
heights range from 48" to 52" tall. Some of these taller
uprights may have larger strings and larger soundboard than
some smaller Grands.
Grand pianos also range in various sizes (width) and
finishes. The length of a grand piano is measured from the
very front of the keyboard end to the very back of the piano
all with lid closed. Grand pianos have become more popular
over the years and is enjoyed by the families and owners for
generations. The smallest grand is called the baby grand and
can start under five feet to 5'2". The baby grand is very
popular for its small size and usually fits into many of the
family's living rooms. The next size up is the medium grand
which runs from 5'3" to 7'2" and has much larger soundboard
with longer strings. The medium grands are the favorites of
piano teachers for the tone it produces and the volume.
Music schools, universities and serious amateurs also favor
the medium grand. The largest grands are the concert grands
which runs from seven foot to nine foot. These pianos are
mostly used in concert halls, auditoriums, public
performances, and churches.
Upright vs Grand
Both the grand and the Upright Pianos come in various
finishes and decors. Whether you choose the finish and decor
to match your furnishings at home or simply get a
contrasting one, it will look just as beautiful. What are the main differences between the
upright and the
grand? Other than shape, size and cost difference, the most
important aspect is the action of the piano.
In grands, the strings are held horizontally and hammer hits
the string from below and drops right back. This means the
movement of the hammer is in the same direction as the
gravity. This allows faster repetition and better tone and
expression control. In Upright Pianos, the strings are held
vertically and the hammers hit the strings from the side.
So, the hammer movement is across the gravity. Therefore, in
general, Upright Pianos produce slower repetitive notes.
If you decide to purchase a grand, we recommend that you
purchase the high quality grand if possible. Buying a lower
quality grand can disappoint your higher expectations. If
high quality grand is not feasible, purchase a tall upright
that has longer strings and a bigger soundboard.
Digital pianos are bought for various reasons; it does
not require tuning, it can easily be moved from place to
place, it has bells and whistles that you can have fun with,
some have recording and playback devices, and most of all
you can get one as low as $1000.00. However, digital pianos
cannot replace the traditional acoustic pianos in tone and
touch. Although, digital piano sounds have been recorded
with the real instruments, it cannot compare with the good
quality acoustic pianos. For musicians who enjoy getting
different instrumental sounds (strings, woodwinds, etc...) a
digital piano might be the one for you. A musician who also
play in bands and in other musical groups might get a full
use out of digital pianos.
Here are some basic piano words that are frequently
encountered. These terminologies will help you to understand
more about the piano.
Action: Any kind of mechanism used in instruments as a means
of transmitting the motion of the fingers to the sound
Dampers: A small pieces of wood mechanism that is covered
with felt to terminate the vibration of the strings.
Hammers: A mechanism that strikes the strings to vibrate and
Pedal: An action that is operated by the feet.
Pinblock: Many layers of wood that holds the tuning pins
which holds the strings.
Resonance: The transmission of vibrations from a vibrating
body to another body (two tuning forks of the same frequency
with the same pitch)
Resonator: A hollow Chamber that permits to serve to
reinforce sounds by resonance.
Soundboard: The wooden surface over which the strings are
stretched, which serves as a resonator.
Tone: A sound of definite pitch and duration, as distinct
from noise. A beautiful tone on the piano means a beautiful
Tuning: Adjustment of strings in the stringed instruments.
Tuning Pins: Made of steel and anchored into pinblock,
tuning pins hold strings.
Touch: Force and weight of the finger when it is in contact
with the key.