Piano History – The Different Types of Piano that now Exist

As you seek to learn more on piano history, you will realize that there is a lot of information to digest. However, on this page we will not explore the entire history of the piano, but we will be taking a look at the physical changes of piano that took place through its history and the types of piano that now exist.

Many composers and piano players of the 18th century would have though that the physical shape and mechanism of the piano would remain the same for many centuries, but this is not the case. As a matter of fact the pianoforte comes in many different sizes, shapes and designs since the 20th century.

There are two main categories of pianos (acoustic pianos) that now exist. They are the vertical and horizontal pianos. These two categories are so named based on the direction in which the strings are placed or aligned in the piano.

Now let us take a look at both categories in details.

Vertical Pianos

Vertical pianos are built in an upright position. They are referred to by many individuals as upright pianos because they almost look the same. However, each vertical piano is named based on height. There are four types of vertical piano; they are spinet, console, studio and upright. These types of pianos are used mostly in small halls such as a classroom, music studio and living room.

Here is a diagram giving basic information about each vertical pianos highlighted above.

Horizontal Pianos

Horizontal pianos are also known as grand pianos. These types of pianos are more popular and are mentioned often throughout piano history. Grand pianos are classified as horizontal pianos because the strings lay flat in the piano. There are six popular types of horizontal or grand piano. They are petite grand, baby grand, medium grand, parlor grand, ballroom grand and concert grand. Grand pianos are richer and louder than vertical pianos. They are used mostly in auditoriums and concert halls.

Below is a diagram showing estimated sizes of each horizontal piano listed above.

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