Piano

The piano is a musical instrument played mainly by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal. Although not portable and often expensive, the piano's versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments.

Pressing a key on the piano's keyboard causes a material-covered (often felt) hammer to strike steel strings. The hammers rebound, allowing the strings to continue vibrating at their resonant frequency. These vibrations are transmitted through a bridge to a sounding board that more efficiently couples the acoustic energy to the air. The sound would otherwise be no louder than that directly produced by the strings. When the key is released, a damper stops the string's vibration. See the article on Piano key frequencies for a picture of the piano keyboard and the location of middle-C. In the Hornbostel-Sachs system of instrument classification, pianos are considered chordophones.

The word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte (PF), the Italian word for the instrument (which in turn derives from the previous terms gravicembalo col piano e forte and fortepiano). The musical terms piano and forte mean "quiet" and "loud," and in this context refers to variations in loudness the instrument produces in response to a pianist's touch on the keys: the greater the velocity of a key press, the greater the force of the hammer hitting the string(s), and the louder the note produced.

Read more about Piano:  History, Modern Piano, Role

Other articles related to "piano, pianos":

Piano - Role
... See also Social history of the piano The piano is a crucial instrument in Western classical music, jazz, film, television, and most other complex western musical genres ... of composers are proficient pianists—and because the piano keyboard offers an easy means of complex melodic and harmonic interplay—the piano is often used as a tool for composition ...
Digital Piano - Keyboard and Pedals
... Just like a traditional piano, a digital piano features a keyboard ... A digital piano's keyboard is weighted to simulate the action of a traditional piano and is velocity sensitive so that the volume of the sounds depends on ... actual hammers in order to better simulate the touch of a grand piano ...
Digital Piano - Sounds
... In most implementations, a digital piano produces a variety of piano timbres and usually other sounds as well ... For example, a digital piano may have settings for a concert grand piano, an upright piano, a tack piano, and various electric pianos such as the Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer ... Some digital pianos incorporate other basic "synthesizer" sounds such as string ensemble, for example, and offer settings to combine them with piano ...
Digital Piano - Other Features
... Most digital pianos implement a variety of features not found on a traditional piano ... Digital pianos usually offer a MIDI connection, allowing them to control or be controlled by other electronic instruments and sequencers ... also have a disk drive or other external media slot to load MIDI data, which the piano can play automatically, allowing it to function as a player piano ...
The Piano
... The Piano is a 1993 drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand ... It features a score for the piano by Michael Nyman which became a bestselling soundtrack album ... Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film, and also served as sign language teacher for Paquin, earning three screen credits ...

Famous quotes containing the word piano:

    Film music should have the same relationship to the film drama that somebody’s piano playing in my living room has to the book I am reading.
    Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)

    When you take a light perspective, it’s easier to step back and relax when your child doesn’t walk until fifteen months, . . . is not interested in playing ball, wants to be a cheerleader, doesn’t want to be a cheerleader, has clothes strewn in the bedroom, has difficulty making friends, hates piano lessons, is awkward and shy, reads books while you are driving through the Grand Canyon, gets caught shoplifting, flunks Spanish, has orange and purple hair, or is lesbian or gay.
    Charlotte Davis Kasl (20th century)

    I will tell you what Jeanne was like. She was like a piano in a country where everyone has had their hands cut off.
    Angela Carter (1940–1992)