How does a piano work?


You might have heard that certain instruments (like guitars and violins) are "string instruments" while others (like drums) are "percussion instruments."

But because of the special way a piano works, it's actually a little bit of both!

If you've ever seen the inside of a piano, then you might have noticed lots and lots of strings and a whole bunch of wedge-looking hammers that were waiting to strike each string. When a key on the keyboard of a piano is pressed down, it activates one of these little hammers so that it strikes against a string! Because the strings are stretched a certain way, each one is set to make a specific sound!

The cool thing about the piano that made it such an awesome invention was that unlike other similar instruments that came before it (such as the harpsichord, which relied on strings that were plucked), the piano had keys that were struck, instead, and so it was able to play both soft and loud notes! In fact, that's where its name came from the full name was originally "pianoforte," which means "soft-loud" in Italian!


Kool Keys!

Do you know how many keys a piano has? You might think the answer should be "lots," but in fact the exact number is 88!Have you ever learned about some of the notes on a piano, and which keys represent which notes? If not, find out if you know someone who can teach you some of the basics!


Piano. Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Online.Howard, Roy E., Ph.D. Parentage of the Piano. Piano History.