The Marvellous World of Pianos: What is a Piano Made of?

Picture this: a grand concert hall bathed in soft, golden light, hushed anticipation filling the air as the stage stands adorned with a majestic instrument—a piano. Its polished wood glistens, and its keys seem to beckon with the promise of a symphony waiting to be born. 

Yet, have you ever wondered what lies beneath the elegant exterior of this iconic musical marvel? Join us on a journey of discovery as we unveil the secrets hidden within the craftsmanship of the piano. 

From the resonance of its soundboard to the intricacies of its keys, we'll explore the fascinating world of Pianos

Casing and Lid

Definition and Purpose

The casing and lid of a piano are not just about aesthetics; they house the sound-generating mechanism, serving both functional and visual purposes. 

The elegant allure of acoustic pianos, whether cabinets or grand pianos, is largely attributed to their beautifully designed casing and lid.

Construction Details

Constructed meticulously by gluing several sheets of fine wood, the casing undergoes cutting and sanding until it achieves a smooth surface. 

A glossy finish is then attained through a polyurethane coating, enhancing its visual appeal.

Legs and Wheels

Supporting the substantial weight of the piano, the legs are crafted from solid wood, often birch or maple, ensuring stability and the right height for a comfortable playing experience. 

Wheels attached to the base facilitate easy movement, a thoughtful addition to the design.


Central Interaction Point

The keyboard stands as the central interaction point between the musician and the piano, a gateway to the rich and unique sounds that the instrument can produce. 

It is here that the magic begins, with each key playing a pivotal role in sound production.

Details of a Typical Keyboard

A standard piano keyboard houses 88 weighted keys, a harmonious blend of 52 white and 36 black keys, spanning seven octaves. 

While modern keyboards feature plastic keys, older versions boasted keys made from ebony and ivory, adding a touch of luxury to the instrument.


Source of Sound

Strings are the heartbeat of a piano, the primary source of its sound. A typical piano houses approximately 230 strings, crafted from steel and wound meticulously within the casing, creating a harmonious blend of tenor, treble, and bass sections.

Tuning and Hitch Pins

Ensuring the perfect sound involves a delicate balance maintained through tuning and hitch pins, integral in tuning the strings to the desired note. The bridges play a crucial role here, connecting the strings to the soundboard and maintaining the right tension.

The Hammers

Heart of Sound Creation

At the heart of a piano lies the hammers, covered in felt and responsible for striking the strings to create sound. 

This mechanism categorizes the piano as a percussion instrument, a unique characteristic in the world of stringed instruments.

Detailed Breakdown of the Hammer Mechanism

The hammer mechanism is a marvel in itself, comprising several parts, including the knuckle, shank, and flange, working in harmony to translate a key press into a beautiful sound, a testimony to the intricate engineering behind pianos.

The Soundboard

Sound Amplification

The soundboard of a piano works like a natural amplifier, enhancing the sound produced by the vibrating strings, a crucial component made from glued pieces of Sitka spruce, working in harmony with the strings to produce a rich sound.

Working Principle

Understanding the soundboard is delving into the physics of sound. It takes the minimal sound produced by the vibrating strings and amplifies it, creating a resonant and full-bodied sound that is characteristic of pianos.

The Pedals

Different Types of Pedals

Modern pianos come equipped with three pedals, each serving a unique purpose in sound modulation, offering musicians a range of sound expressions, from soft and sustained notes to resonant and prolonged sounds.

Modern Pianos

The design and materials of pedals have evolved, with modern pianos offering a range of functionalities, adding depth and nuance to the music produced, a true reflection of the advancements in piano technology.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published