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Piano Trivia

A piano has between 10,000 and 12,000 parts in it, many of which move.

The sound from a piano is created by hammers striking the strings. When a key is pressed down, a hammer is thrown at the string and the damper lifts off to allow the string to vibrate freely. When the key is released the hammer falls back to its normal resting spot and the damper presses back on to the string to stop the vibration, ending the sound.

A concert grand piano is over 9 feet long and can weigh over 1,500 pounds.

A standard piano has 88 keys. There are 52 white keys and 36 black keys.

Some concert pianos have an additional 8 bass keys on them, bringing the total number of keys on the piano to 96.

Itís believed the piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Italy in 1709.

A typical piano has 220 strings.

It takes about an hour for a technician to tune a piano if it is kept tuned on a regular basis. If the piano has not been tuned in a long time, the tuning process will take longer.

Humidity is the main cause of a piano going out of tune.

A piano should be tuned at least once a year, but depending on the climate and how much the piano is used, your piano tuner may recommend tuning two or three times a year.

A piano string has approximately 165 pounds of tension on it.

The word piano is short for piano el forte which is the name given to the instrument by the inventor, Cristofori.

Even though Bartolomeo Cristofori was the inventor of the piano, he did not make very many of them. His main occupation was harpsichord construction.

There are over 10 million pianos in homes, businesses, and institutions in the United States.

The well-known term tickle the ivorys refers to playing the ivory keys of a piano. Ivory however has not been used to make piano keys for about 50 years. They are now made of plastic and are sometimes referred to as Ivorine.

The first player piano was created in 1863. It had wooden felt covered fingers that depressed the piano keys.

Pianos are constructed from thousands of pieces of wood glued together to create the various parts of the cabinet as well as the playing mechanism. Some of the other materials also used in the construction include felt, wool, buckskin, paper, steel, iron, and copper.

Yamaha was the first piano manufacturer in Japan. Yamaha was established in 1887.

Pianos were the first major items sold on an installment basis.

A grand piano is faster than a vertical piano because it has a repetition lever. The lever allows the pianist to repeat the note when the key is only halfway up. A vertical piano needs to have the key all the way up to reset. The key has to be all the way up on a vertical piano before it can be replayed because the hammer action has to reset.

The largest piano in the world is a Challen Concer Grand. It is 11 feet long and weighs more than two thousand pounds.

The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C. It is the space between E and F, above middle C.

The first note on a standard 88 note keyboard is A.

The last note on a standard 88 note keyboard is C.

The first piano built in America was built in 1775 in Philadelphia by Johann Behrent.

If you are wondering if your piano has real ivory keytops, look at the keys. If they are in one piece they are plastic. If they are in two pieces, a head and a tail piece, they are probably real ivory. The piano would have to be over 50 years old though for it to have real ivory keys because that is when real ivory keytops were discontinued (something about killing elephants becoming frowned upon).

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