The piano, abbreviated from pianoforte, is one of the world’s most beloved instruments. Its familiar tenor is found in a range of both classical and popular music. As the piano is often used for composition, any musician will benefit from learning to play this popular instrument.
Types of Pianos
Grand Piano: The beautiful grand piano is acoustic, and houses the frame and strings horizontally in a wooden case. Because grand pianos are large, the strings are much longer, which produces a rich, bold sound.
Upright Piano: The upright piano is much smaller than the grand, as the strings are upright (perpendicular) to the keys. Upright pianos are also acoustic, but do not have a bass sound quite as deep as a grand piano due to their shorter strings.
Digital and Electronic Piano: Digital pianos, which use sampling technology to replicate the sound of a piano, and electronic pianos, which are types of synthesizers that create a piano sound, can also produce sophisticated piano music. Digital and electronic pianos are cheaper and more portable.
The piano is a vital element of many classical compositions, although classical composers were writing music for an instrument quite unlike the modern piano – the fortepiano. From the clavichord and harpsichord evolved the fortepiano, and from there the modern piano we know today.
There is a huge range of classical piano compositions, from deep and moody to bright and cheerful. The piano is used in classical solo performances, ensembles and chamber music. Mastering a classical playing style is a great way to familiarise yourself with this stunning instrument.
Part of the piano’s appeal is its ubiquity. The instrument is played in pop, modern folk and even rock music, as a part of a band’s standard lineup, or as an accompaniment to vocals. The piano is a versatile, powerful instrument, and many contemporary pop musicians compose using a piano before transferring their melody onto other instruments.
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