How Many Keys Are There On A Piano

For over seven hundred years, the first piano was invented, and what surprises people the most is how the number of keys on a piano has managed to stay the same.

These keys have been the same since the 1980s, and this has led to several questions popping up like will the number of keys on a piano change? How many keys are there on a piano? What has made the number of kills stable for so many years?

Surprisingly, all of these questions have been left unanswered, but this interesting piece will provide all the answers to these questions and tell you other things you should know about the piano.

A standard acoustic piano is designed to have eighty-eight keys, and the number of keys has remained this way since the Steinway family first developed the piano in the 1800s. Interestingly, there have been numerous pianos designed and sent to the market.

And you will find it interesting that all the pianos designed come in various shapes and designs over the years. For example, the keys on a piano might range from twenty to forty-eight keys depending on the size of the piano, while grand pianos are designed to have one hundred and eight keys on them. Surprisingly, these piano types are rarely found on the market.

How Many Keys Are There On The Piano

how many keys are there on a piano

On every piano, you will find black and white keys. People have also been asked to know the number of black and white keys present on a piano, and this article will show you a little visual representation of the total number of black and white keys present on the piano.

On the eighty-eight key piano, you will find thirty-six black keys, so take a look at the visual representation below that tells you how many black and white keys are on a piano.

Keyboard – White Keys – Black Keys

36 Keyboard – 21 -15

32 Keyboard – 19 – 13

49 Keyboard – 29 – 20

76 Keyboard – 45 – 31

61 Keyboard – 36 – 25

54 Keyboard – 32 – 22

97 Keyboard – 57 – 40

92 Keyboard – 54 – 38

88 Keyboard – 52 – 36

108 Keyboard – 63 – 45

How Many Octaves Will You Find On The Piano

An octave comprises about twelve notes, and dividing these number of notes with the number of keys you have on the piano will provide you with the total number of octaves that are present on the piano. Take for instance, 88 divided by 12 = 7.33.

When you round off, the value you get is the number of octaves you have on a piano, and from the example, we have given, 7 is the number of octaves on the piano.

It doesn’t matter whether you are working with a small or a large piano; you can use the same method to determine the number of octaves present on the piano. Interestingly, the eighty-eight key’s piano wasn’t the first piano to be designed.

History has it that the forty-four keys piano was first designed before the eighty-eight key’s piano, and let us show you how the world was able to move from the forty-four keys piano to the eighty-eight key’s piano.

Switching From Forty Four Keys Piano To Eighty-Eight Key Piano

Bartolomeo Cristofori designed the first piano designed in 1720, and this type of piano was designed to not only sound different but have forty-four keys present on it.

As time went on, pianists started demanding an increased number of keys on the piano but designing a piano to have more keys presented manufacturers with a logical challenge.

  • Designing a piano will an increased number of keys meant double stringing when going down an octave, and designing a piano to have more keys also meant an increase in the size of the piano.
  • Increasing the number of keys on a piano will create more tension; the present piano has about eighteen tons of tension. This amount of tension has the ability to damage the wooden frame of the first piano types ever designed, and an increased amount of tension will cause the piano to go out of tune when playing. This will require players to tune pianos constantly before having the opportunity to play them.

Combating the issue of low strings was dealt with by making piano strings thicker, and the only way to ensure that there wasn’t a decrease in sound quality was by coiling a piano string with another chord.

On the other hand, moving from a wooden frame to a metal frame was the best way to deal with the increased tension that an increasing number of keys on a piano will bring. However, increasing the tension capacity of a piano-led to;

  • Creating More Keys On Piano – Increasing the tension ability of the piano made moving from forty-four keys to eighty-eight keys very easy.
  • Every Key Had Multiple Strings – You will find just one string on the lowest piano note; higher notes made use of three strings, while middle notes made use of two strings. As a result, people could obtain louder and richer notes by adding more strings to higher notes.
  • Increase In Tension In Every String – Inharmonicity, when a string resonates, was reduced thanks to increased tension present in every string, and the pianos of old were designed to have 65 newtons tension in every string. Nowadays, present piano models are designed to have about six hundred newton tons of pressure in every string.

Every factor we have pointed out so far is why pianists obtain warm tones when playing, and trust this article when it says there are more warm tones obtained today compared to the warm tones obtained in the early times the piano was first designed.

Let us move on to another question, so many people struggle with when it comes to learning how to play the piano.

How Many Keys Should Be Learnt On The Piano

Acoustic pianos are designed to have 88 keys, but have you considered smaller keyboards? Will practicing with a 49 keys piano be enough?

Have you considered a 66 key piano? When deciding how many piano keys you want to learn how to play, having an answer to these questions will make the entire process easy for you.

Weighted Keys

Keys should be able to provide loud tones and some form of resistance when pressed down and hard and doing this provide pianist with the freedom to express themselves when playing the piano.

It also provides pianists with this feeling of joy pianists get whenever they hit a key on the piano.

Full-Sized Keys

A pianist will battle internalized finger problems when they play narrow keys on any keyboard, but the process will be a lot easier when you practice using full-sized keys.

Good Sound

Every piano is designed to produce good sounds, and even on an extended practice session, you should be able to hear good sounds each time you sit to play the piano.

Should Have Up To 49 Keys

Keyboards with forty-nine keys are excellent options, as the keyboard below this number of keys will appear very small. You can learn any song or music on any device, but a 60 key piano remains the best if you are an intermediate music performer. The keyboard quality will decline soon if it has less than forty-nine keys.

Conclusion – How Many Keys Are There On A Piano

Since Bartolomeo Cristofori designed the first piano, several other pianos have been designed in various shapes and sizes. However, the standard piano is believed to have up to eighty-eight keys, and trust me when I say the world is looking forward to a piano with a new design very soon.

Who knows, we might have a piano with an ultra-lightweight design coming soon or a piano designed to have durable carbon fiber.

Anything is possible in this world because of the advancements in technology, and so many people are thankful for the joy and happiness they feel when they listen to or play the piano.

It doesn’t matter what design a piano might have, but the joy it has brought to the lives of many cannot go unnoticed. When selecting a piano to play, make sure you do not compromise on size. It is one of the factors that will make playing the piano easy for you.

Related Posts

How To Sing Like Frank Sinatra

Wireless Vs Wired Surround Sound System

What Size PA System Do I Need

Leave a Comment