Types of Pianos

Pianos come in all different shapes, sizes, designs, and styles. They are either categorized as vertical pianos or horizontal pianos. They are broken down into these two types based on their height and position of the strings. Here are a few key differences between the two you should know about to purchase the right piano.


Vertical & Horizontal

Let’s begin with vertical pianos which include spinet, console, studio, and upright. Their heights range from 36 to 60 inches with the spinet being the smallest of them. The largest vertical piano available is the upright. This is the tallest with a height ranging from 50 to 60 inches and width of approximately 58 inches.

Horizontal pianos, on the other hand, are also known as grand pianos because of their length and string placement. They produce finer tones and offer the most responsive key action. They are made up of six basic types: petite grand, baby grand, medium grand, parlor grand, ballroom, or concert grand. The largest of all grand pianos is the concert grand while the smallest is the petite.

Other Differences

In addition to size and dimensions, different types of pianos differ in the amount of pedals and sometimes the number of keys. While most have 88 keys, older ones have 85. Most contemporary American pianos have three pedals while European ones tend to only have two.

Keep in mind we’ve only covered contemporary acoustic pianos. The main use of these are for performance and are used by many well-known pianists. Aside from these, there are also player pianos, electric pianos, and other types of similar keyboard instruments.