Some Interesting Piano Facts

Here’s some piano trivia so you can impress your friends!

FACT: There are over 12,000 parts in a piano, 10,000 of which are moving.

FACT: The working section of the piano is called the action. There are about 7,500 parts, all playing a role in propelling the hammers against the strings when keys are struck.

FACT: Each note on a grand piano has more than 35 points of adjustment. Overall, there are more than 3,000 adjustments for the entire piano.

FACT: The range of the piano extends lower than the bottom 16 foot pedal note of an organ and higher than the top note of a piccolo.

FACT: The piano is complete and needs no assistance from other instruments, but almost all other instruments need the piano for accompaniment, including singers.

Interesting Piano Facts

FACT: There are 18 million non-professional pianists in this country. 79% are female, 21% are male. The average age is 28.

FACT: The first practical piano with an escapement mechanism for the hammers with the capability of being played softly and loudly was built circa 1700 by an Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731).

FACT: The name “piano” is an abbreviation of Cristofori’s original name for the instrument, piano et forte, meaning soft and loud.

FACT: One of Cristofori’s original pianos is still in existence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

FACT: Jonas Chickering was the first exporter of American-made pianos. The first shipment was in 1844.

FACT: Abraham Lincoln used a Chickering grand piano (serial #5070) while in the White House.

FACT: In 1869, the U.S. produced 25,000 pianos, valued at $7,000,000. In 1910, production was 350,000 pianos, valued at $100,000,000!

FACT: A quarter of a million new pianos are bought every year in the U.S., and nearly one million used pianos are sold.

FACT: The Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano is 9′ 6″ long and has 9 extra keys, stretching to a growling low C, well below a typical piano! (The Imperial grand sold for $55,000 in 1980!) The 9′ and 7′ 4″ grands have four extra bass keys, the lowest of which is F below bottom C.

FACT: The world’s largest piano is the Challen concert grand. This piano is 11′ long, has a total string tension of over 30 tons, and weighs more than a ton!

FACT: A grand piano’s action is faster than a vertical’s (spinet, console, upright) because it has a repetition lever. This allows the pianist to repeat the note when the key is only halfway up. A vertical piano’s action requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer.

FACT: The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C; it is actually the space between E and F above “middle” C.

FACT: The average piano has about 230 strings. Each string has about 160 pounds of tension with a combined pull of all strings equaling almost eighteen tons!

FACT: A drop of 1/2 step in pitch can equal a change of 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of tension!

For more amazing information on pianos

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6 Comments

  1. avatar

    thanks a lot for this super post

  2. avatar

    Greetings from Alaska!!

    This is a great post. Thank you Sue and Steve for this interesting collection of facts, as I now have a keener appreciation for this extraordinary musical instrument.

    I especially liked this one: FACT: The piano is totally complete and needs no assistance from any other instruments, but almost all other instruments need the piano for accompaniment, including singers.

    Great stuff!

    Bob

  3. avatar
    Vanessa

    AWSOME! Helped me with my homework, thanks! x

  4. avatar

    Thanks, this helped with my homework! :)

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