Discover the Piano with Classic FM
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.
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
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.