The Different Types of Pianos

When it comes to purchasing your next piano, perhaps the most important consideration will be what type of piano you want. There are three main categories of piano: grand, upright, and digital. With this helpful guide, we hope to show you the ins and outs of piano designs to help you find the perfect type to fit your home.

Piano Light

A baby grand piano equipped with our 22" Grand Piano Lamp

Grand Pianos

For maximum volume, grand pianos house the strings horizontally with the hammers lying underneath. Utilizing the wide area afforded by their design, these pianos contain longer strings, which produce a richer, clearer sound, and in general have keys that are more responsive. Indeed, they are the standard in concert halls, where space is not a limiting factor in the way of tonal quality. Homes, however, aren’t quite as roomy, but most can still accommodate baby grand pianos, which provide a similar sound quality at a slightly smaller size (generally around 5 feet). Grand pianos lighting is a bit tricky, as they don’t really have a surface for a lamp to stand on, due to their horizontal style. Most grand piano lamps are designed to actually clip onto the piano’s music board to allow for a bit of space, or alternatively sit next to the pianist as a taller floor lamp.

Piano Light

A classic black upright piano accented by our 14" Piano Desk Lamp

Upright Pianos

An upright or vertical piano is designed with the strings facing upwards instead of horizontally. In this style, the hammers move horizontally to strike the strings and return to rest via a system of springs. Uprights are great for their compact design, something even the smallest of grand pianos cannot match. Their rectangular form means that they can fit snuggly against a wall or corner, making them perfect for most homes with smaller sized rooms. Although uprights may have a reputation for having slightly inferior quality to grands, they are often the best choice for a music lover outside of the concert hall. Similar to the convenient compactness, upright pianos are the easiest to light, as they usually have a flat surface at the top of the piano. This space allows for a piano desk lamp to sit in enlightening style, but clip-on and floor lamps are also well-suited for this type.

Piano light

Virtually identical to an upright piano, digital pianos feature modern sound systems

Digital Pianos

Similar to an electric keyboard, digital pianos contain no strings, but instead use circuitry to produce the sounds. Although they cannot match the rich tones of a stringed instrument, they have several features that make them worth consideration. They are often smaller than even the tiniest of uprights, allowing them to fit in even a one-room apartment, and cost much less to maintain, as they never need to be tuned. And in a modern twist, some electronic models can even utilize the timbres of different instruments to sound like a grand or upright piano, or even an entirely different instrument like a guitar or flute. You do not need to sacrifice the elegant design of a stringed piano either, as many digital models take on the form of an upright piano for aesthetic reasons. Likewise, they can be light by just about any style of piano lighting, so long as there’s space.

9th Jul 2015 Max Villarreal

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