the piano deconstructed

help | contact
welcome | credits
introduction | cristofori | harpsichord | clavichord | major developments
introduction | sound waves | tension | link
introduction | case | strung back | playing mechanism
home > construction

The Construction of the Piano

Form and Function

Explore the Piano

The grand piano is made of three major components. Move the mouse over the picture on the right to highlight each major part of the piano. Click on a highlighted part to learn more about it.

  • The Case, which is the wooden housing of the piano.
  • The Strung Back, which is made of the back frame, soundboard, cast-iron frame, and strings.
  • The Playing Mechanism, which is the complex system of levers that transmits the actions of the pianist to the hammers that strike the strings.

The modern grand piano must fulfill two roles - that of a musical instrument as well as a piece of furniture. As a musical instrument, the piano must be designed in a way that allows for the best possible acoustics. As a piece of furniture, the piano must have an attractive outer appearance. Over the years, piano designers and manufacturers have strived to achieve a balance between the proper acoustical functionality and a visually appealing form.

credits | help | privacy policy | contact | ©2004 christopher smit