Some Interesting Information About Pianos

    There are over 35 points of adjustment for each note in a grand piano (remember, there are 88 notes), adding up to over 3,080 adjustments for the entire piano.
      The name "piano" is an abbreviation of the original name for the instrument: piano et forte or soft and loud.
        There are over 5,000 moving parts in the average piano.

        The Piano was invented in 1726 by an Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori.

        The strings in a piano exert between 15 and 20 tons of pressure across the instrument.  The larger concert grands realize about 30 tons of pressure.  The average string having about 160 pounds of tension.  There are approximately 230 strings inside the average piano.

        If all of the strings on a piano were of the same diameter and under the same tension, the string of the highest note would be the usual 2 inches in length and the string of the lowest note would be over 30 feet long.  This is why copper is wound around the low strings and the steel strings and steel core of the low strings vary in diameter.

        A key on a grand piano can be repeated much faster than on a vertical piano.

        If the hammer of a key’s mechanism were attached directly onto the end of the keylever, when the key was played the hammer would strike the string and shut it off at the same time.  Also, striking it hard would break the key.  This is why there is always some kind of escapement mechanism employed, carrying the hammer almost to the point of striking the string and then releasing it, allowing the hammer’s momentum to complete the strike.  Once the key is released, the entire mechanism returns to a rest position resetting itself.

        In 1788 a grand piano was built with two keyboards, one at each end, sharing the same strings, by Bosch, France.

        The origional "upright", or vertical, pianos were built exactly like a grand standing on end with an attached keyboard in the middle.

        The piano is a development from the harpsichord.  Instead of plucking the strings as does the harpsichord, the piano has hammers which strike the strings.  The development of the cast iron plate allowed the piano to carry the tremendous tensions it does today, providing the familiar tone and volume.

        The largest piano ever built was eleven feet long.

        A square grand is built on a smaller scale than the normal grand with the strings running acoss the instrument instead of its length, and is rectangular in shape.

        The average piano weights about 800 pounds.  However, depending upon the particular piano, that can vary by 30%.

        There have been over 5,000 brands of pianos.

          Pianos have two or three pedals:
            • The right pedal is the sustain pedal (damper pedal), it raises all of the dampers at once, allowing all notes which are played to continue sounding after the keys are released.
            • The left pedal is the soft pedal.  In most grand pianos, depressing the pedal shifts the action to the right slightly.  This allows the hammer to strike only two of the three strings in its unison, thus reducing the total volume.  This type of pedal is called the una corda pedal.  In vertical pianos, and some grands, depressing the pedal shifts the hammers closer to the strings, thus decreasing their traveling distance and the total force with which they can strike the strings.
            • The middle pedal is called the sostenuto pedal.  This pedal is found only in better grand pianos.  Depressing this pedal will sustain only notes which are already depressed, freeing your hands to play any other notes.  However, notes played after depressing this pedal will not be sustained by it.  Many vertical pianos, and some grands, delegate various other functions to this middle pedal.  It can be used as a “practice pedal”, muting the overall volume of the instrument, or as a sustain pedal for just the bass area of the piano, or as an effects pedal, lowering a strip of metal studs between the hammers and strings, creating a honky-tonk type of sound.