PianoHave you every wondered how a piano works?

There are 7,500 parts in every piano, and these parts work together to form a sound unlike any other instrument – a sound produced by both string and percussion elements.

When You Press a Key

The key is the short end of a much longer lever. When you press the key, the lever moves like a seesaw, forcing a small, felt-covered hammer to hit the piano strings. The vibration of the strings forms the musical note.

Just behind the hammer is the damper. When the key is pressed, the damper is forced upward. When the key is released, the damper comes to rest in contact with the strings, stopping the vibration and ending the note.

Playing the Piano Loudly

If a piano consisted of only the above components, it would be very quiet. To ensure that you and your audience can hear what you’re playing, there is something called a soundboard or sounding board.

The soundboard is a large piece of wood nestled below the strings. When the strings are hit, they vibrate, causing the surrounding air to vibrate too. The vibrating air molecules cause the soundboard to vibrate, amplifying the strings and making the piano louder.

Using Pedals

The soft, sostenuto, and sustaining pedals

The soft, sostenuto, and sustaining pedals

There are three pedals on a piano that help the pianist control the duration of each musical note.

  • The pedal to the left is called the soft pedal. When a key is pressed, the hammer hits two or three strings, producing a sound that is rich and strong. When the soft pedal is pushed, the hammer is shifted slightly so when a key is pressed, it only hits one string. This produces a softer, quieter note.
  • The pedal in the centre is called the sostenuto pedal. When this pedal is pushed, the dampers are momentarily deactivated, causing each note to last a little longer than usual.
  • The pedal to the right is called the sustaining pedal. When this pedal is pushed, all the dampers are forced upward, causing each musical not to last substantially longer than usual.

Learn to Play the Piano

The piano is a complex and beautiful instrument with an immensely varied repertoire. Playing the piano is a skill for life, and if you or your child is interested in learning how please get in contact with us. Give us a call on 02 9602 9774 or fill out the form on this page.