the piano deconstructed

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The Construction of the Piano

The Case

Explore the Case

Move the mouse over the picture of the piano on the right to highlight different components of the case. Click on a highlighted part to learn more about it.

The Wooden Housing of the Piano

The case is the wooden cabinet that houses the strung back and playing mechanism of the piano. The case must balance both proper acoustics and attractive looks. The purpose of the case is primarily decorative, but the wood also plays an important part in the resonant characteristics of the instrument.

Different Sizes

Grand pianos are produced in a variety of sizes. The case of a modern grand can vary in length from five feet two inches to nine feet ten inches, but different sizes, both smaller and larger, can be special ordered direct from the manufacturer. The different sizes of the grand piano are given their own individual names. The largest pianos (nine feet and larger) are referred to as “concert grands” and are normally found in performance areas. The “living-room grand” or “parlor grand” is about six to seven feet long and can be found in smaller performance venues as well as private rooms that have adequate space. The “baby grand” is about five to six feet long, and is usually found in private homes, teacher studios, and practice studios. The sound of a nine foot grand is generally of better quality than a smaller piano, due to its larger soundboard and longer strings. The Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand is featured in the images of the piano case and its components.

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