Main Piano Components and Parts

Traditional mechanical pianos are made from over 10,000 parts, often reaching number of 12,000. All those parts are needed because of the large number of tones that one piano needs to create and the complicated way the keyboard is connected with the stringed wires and the hammers that are hitting them. Because of this complexity, grand pianos are often very heavy, with vertical pianos being more economical with space, weight and their price.

Inside Upright Piano

Basic Components of Piano


Keyboard – All pianos have 85 keys, 52 white and 36 black, arranged in seven octaves between A0 and A7. Rare grand piano models extend that range with one more octave in one or both directions. There also exist smaller vertical pianos that sport only 65 keys. Those models are delegated to the pianos that were made to be easily moved and are usually used only by traveling musicians.

Pedals – Most modern grand pianos in US have three pedals, Soft pedal (una corda), Sostenuto and Sustain pedal, while European pianos have two (Soft and Sustain only). Almost all vertical pianos have all three pedals.

Frame – Most traditional pianos are created from hardwoods and strong materials that can sustain a lot of punishment and strain. Outer rim of the piano is usually made from the strongest wood possible, which is important because that frame need to contain all the vibrations that will happen inside of it.

Piano Guts

Hammers - After key is pressed, a complicated chain reaction happens which lifts the hammer, allows it to hit the wire and then immediately retracts it back to the original position. This procedure requires very precise mechanical elements that need to be tightly packed and set to work in perfect condition from first to last key on the keyboard.

Strings – There two closely placed strings per each key on keyboard. By themselves they are not very loud, but the vibration of the air around them and shape of the wooden frame around them amplifies the sound multiple times. Wires need to be precisely selected, taking in consideration their material, length, mass and tension. All those factors determine the pitch and color of the vibrating wire.

Look at the Piano Keys