The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument, in which the strings are struck by hammers.
A string is the vibrating element that produces sound in string instruments such as the guitar, harp, piano, and members of the violin family.
A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds.
It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
Invented in about 1700, the piano is widely employed in classical, jazz, traditional and popular music for solo and ensemble performances, accompaniment, and for composing, songwriting and rehearsals.
A piano concerto is a type of concerto, a solo composition in the Classical music genre which is composed for a piano player, which is typically accompanied by an orchestra or other large ensemble.
A rehearsal is an activity in the performing arts that occurs as preparation for a performance in music, theatre, dance and related arts, such as opera, musical theatre and film production.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name.
Although the piano is very heavy and thus not portable and is expensive, its musical versatility, the large number of musicians and amateurs trained in playing it and its wide availability in performance venues, schools and rehearsal spaces have made it one of the Western world's most familiar musical instruments.
An acoustic piano usually has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings, which are strung under great tension on a heavy metal frame.
In physics, tension describes the pulling force exerted by each end of a string, cable, chain, or similar one-dimensional continuous object, or by each end of a rod, truss member, or similar three-dimensional object.
A sound board, or soundboard, is the surface of a string instrument that the strings vibrate against, usually via some sort of bridge.
Most modern pianos have a row of 88 black and white keys (52 white keys for the notes of the C Major scale and 36 shorter black keys, which are raised above the white keys, and set further back on the keyboard.
This means that the piano can play 88 different pitches, going from the deepest bass range to the highest treble range.
Pitch is a perceptual property of sounds that allows their ordering on a frequency-related scale, or more commonly, pitch is the quality that makes it possible to judge sounds as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies.
The black keys are for the "accidental" notes, which are the sharp and flat notes, which are F#, G#, Bb, C#, and Eb, which are needed to play in all twelve keys.
In music, an accidental is a note of a pitch that is not a member of the scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature.
In music, sharp, dièse, or diesis means higher in pitch.
The strings are sounded when the keys are pressed or struck, and silenced by a damper when the hands are lifted off the keyboard.
Damping is an influence within or upon an oscillatory system that has the effect of reducing, restricting or preventing its oscillations.
The notes can be sustained, even when the keys are released, by the use of pedals at the base of the instrument.
Piano pedals are foot-operated levers at the base of a piano which change the instrument's sound in various ways.
The sustain pedal enables pianists to play musical passages that would otherwise be impossible, such as sounding a 10 note chord in the lower register and then, while this chord is being continued with the sustain pedal, shifting both hands to the treble range to play a melody and arpeggios over top of this sustained chord.
Unlike two of the major keyboard instruments that were widely used before the piano, the pipe organ and the harpsichord, the weight or force with which a performer presses or strikes the keys on a piano changes the dynamics and tone of the instrument's sound.
In music, the organ is a keyboard instrument of one or more pipe divisions, each played with its own keyboard, played either with the hands on a keyboard or with the feet using pedals.
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through organ pipes selected via a keyboard.
Pressing one or more keys on the piano's keyboard causes a padded hammer to strike the strings.
The hammer rebounds from the strings, and the strings continue to vibrate at their resonant frequency.
In physics, resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency.
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time.
These vibrations are transmitted through a bridge to a soundboard that amplifies by more efficiently coupling the acoustic energy to the air.
A bridge is a device that supports the strings on a stringed musical instrument and transmits the vibration of those strings to some other structural component of the instrument—typically a soundboard, such as the top of a guitar or violin—which transfers the sound to the surrounding air.
In physics, two systems are coupled if they are interacting with each other.
When the key is released, a damper stops the strings' vibration, ending the sound.
Although an acoustic piano has strings, it is usually classified as a percussion instrument rather than as a stringed instrument, because the strings are struck rather than plucked; in the Hornbostel-Sachs system of instrument classification, pianos are considered chordophones.
Hornbostel–Sachs or Sachs–Hornbostel is a system of musical instrument classification devised by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs, and first published in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1914.
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater ; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument.
A chordophone is a musical instrument that makes sound by way of a vibrating string or strings stretched between two points.
With technological advances, amplified electric pianos, electronic pianos, and digital pianos have also been developed.
A digital piano, also known as piano synthesizer, portable piano, weighted keyboard, or in the late 1980s, personal electronic piano, is a modern electronic musical instrument; a variation of electronic keyboard or synthesizer designed to serve primarily as an alternative to the traditional acoustic piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced.
A keyboard amplifier is a device containing an audio amplifier and loudspeakers, or a type of public address system used with electronic keyboard instruments to make it sound louder, mainly for live performances on a stage or a concert hall, as well as small venues and music studio.
Music technology is the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music.
The electric piano became a popular instrument in the 1960s and 1970s genres of jazz fusion and rock music.
Rock music is a genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Jazz fusion is a musical genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined aspects of jazz harmony and improvisation with styles such as funk, rock, rhythm and blues, and Latin jazz.
The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte, the Italian term for the early 1700s versions of the instrument, which in turn derives from gravicembalo col piano e forte and fortepiano.
A fortepiano [ˌfɔrteˈpjaːno] is an early version of the piano, from its invention by the Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700 up to the early 19th century.