Piano Buyer's Guide
The piano has been a favorite of artists and music lovers since its introduction in the early 1700s. And it is the preferred instrument for introducing a student to music because of its appeal and versatility as either a solo or accompanying instrument.
A well-constructed piano adds beauty and elegance to your home and can provide a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Choosing the right piano can be a very pleasant and rewarding experience for an informed buyer. This guide will assist you in educating yourself on how to select and buy the right piano - based on your specific needs.
Whether the instrument will be played by an accomplished musician or a child just starting lessons, or will simply become a beautiful addition to your home, your personal objectives will help narrow the field of choices and make your selection process easier.
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Below is a few brief introductions you'll find in the Piano Buyers Guide.
How A Piano Works
When a player's finger strikes a key, it sets the key action (a series of levers connected to a felt hammer) in motion. The hammer strikes one, or a combination of metal strings, which causes them to vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted from the strings to the soundboard through bass and treble bridges. The soundboard converts the vibrations into what is known as piano tone, and amplifies the notes so that they can be heard.
There are over 12,000 specific parts in the typical piano, all of which must function with ease and accuracy.
Selecting A Piano
Along with your personal musical requirements, the size of the room where the piano will be placed is an important consideration when determining which size of piano is appropriate. Sound quality and volume is directly related to the size of the soundboard and length of its strings. Therefore, the larger the piano, the better it will sound. If you have the available space and budget, you will be happier with a grand piano. That being said, a high quality vertical is a better choice than a low quality grand.
The major difference between an vertical and a grand piano, other than looks and size, is the position of the soundboard. In a grand piano, the soundboard and strings are positioned horizontally; in a vertical piano, they are positioned vertically. For this reason, verticals are commonly called vertical pianos. Another difference is the key action in a grand piano the action works with gravity and is more responsive than a vertical.
Steinway designed vertical pianos range from 43-52 inches high and take up about the same amount of floor space (5 feet in width, 2 feet in depth) regardless of height. A vertical is a good choice where space is limited. However, a piano that is too small will look like an afterthought and will not fill the room with sound.
The Steinway-designed family of pianos is comprised of 3 complete lines of grand and vertical pianos able to meet any space and performance criteria. Whether you're looking for a vertical piano for a smaller space, or a grand piano to fill a concert stage, there's a member of the Family of Steinway Designed Pianos that's perfect for you.
Servicing Your Piano
Routine service is an important part of piano ownership, and you should consider it no more unusual than the maintenance program you would have for any other fine mechanical object you own. There are three basic steps in maintaining the sound of your piano: tuning, which brings the piano back to pitch; voicing, which affects the piano's tone, or quality of sound; and regulation, or the adjustment of the action mechanism which affects the touch of the piano.
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