Piano facts

piano keyboard

The piano, short for pianoforte, is a keyboard instrument made up of 52 white keys and 32 black keys.

As well as being a solo instrument, the cello can be found playing a range of music in the symphony orchestra - from soaring tunes to grumbling basslines.

Piano history

The piano is a keyboard instrument descended from early instruments like the clavichord and harpsichord, which used strings inside the instrument's body which were plucked or struck. But it's thought the inventor of the modern piano was Bartolomeo Cristofori, who created an instrument capable of a large dynamic range.

Range of notes played by a piano

Piano range notes

Almost every modern piano has 88 keys, giving the instrument a range of seven octaves plus a minor third, from A0 to C8. Older pianos often have fewer keys.


How to play the piano

When you press one of the piano's keys, it causes a felt hammer to hit the tuned strings inside the instrument. The strings vibrate to create a sound.

Did you know?

Grand pianos usually have three pedals, known as the soft pedal (una corda), sostenuto, and sustain pedal.

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