The Basics 1 – The Piano

The Keyboard Family

The piano is part of a instrument group that produce sound by pressing keys. This group of instruments is called the keyboard family. The are several sub-categories in the keyboard family and the most common ones are acoustic pianos/grand pianos, digital/electric pianos, synths (short for synthesizers)/keyboards and organs. The following lessons will focus on the first two as our target instruments – acoustic pianos and/or full size electric/digital pianos. 

The keyboard family.

The piano in a nutshell 

The piano is an instrument that produces sound by hitting strings with hammers. The hammers are operated by a row of levers (the keys) which are pressed by the fingers. A digital/electric piano produces the sound digitally. A full size piano has 88 keys (36 black and 52 white keys). The lowest key is an A and the highest a C. The piano consists of 7 full octaves and one incomplete octave (4 semitones). There are 12 unique keys on the piano that are then repeated in different registers across the piano. There are 21 unique notes (17 of those are common) that can be derived from those 12 keys. More on that in the following lessons. 

A full size piano.

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