Piano/Types of Pianos
There are three primary types of pianos: Grand, Upright, and Electronic. These types are often resized and combined to incarnate other styles, such as the "Electric Baby Grand Piano", "Electric Upright Pianos", and "Baby Grand Piano".
Grands are the largest piano type, and frequently the most majestic (as well as expensive). Grand pianos are characterized by horizontal soundboards, which sometimes stretch up to 4 ft. (front to back). The soundboard is encased in a supportable opening platform that lifts upwards on the right. Dampers lie on top of the strings, adjacent to the hammers (also horizontal). The internal construction is braced with form-holders, usually made of wood, as well as the small equipped metal reinforcements. The casing is essentially "bottomless", allowing one to see the soundboard support base, also of reinforced wood, which technically acts as the base. Keys consist of wood coated in ivory, or sometimes pure ivory, depending on the piano's manufacturers and classification. The grand piano has the standard 88 keys. Most of these pianos have sheet music stands. A retractable cover slides over, or folds down on the keys.
The baby grand piano, as the name implies, is essentially a smaller version of the regular grand piano. It has an 88-key set up, just like the regular grand does, but generally has a smaller soundboard and thus is not as loud as the regular grand.
Uprights are the most common type of acoustic piano, and are a popular addition to a living room or parlor. The upright piano has been a favorite because it costs less, is more compact and offers a warm sound. The soundboard is vertical, with strings that stretch downward and horizontal hammers and dampers. The hammers strike horizontally and are returned to resting position by springs, taking slightly longer than a grand piano's hammers (which are vertical and returned by the force of gravity). The support base of the soundboard is visible on the backside, as well as wooden reinforcements. Uprights usually cost less, depending on the model; however some can exceed grands in total value. Although uprights often get depicted as inferior to the grand pianos, a five-foot upright can rival a typical grand in terms of tone quality and loudness. Like the grand, upright pianos vary in material construction.
Suitable for beginners or moving performers, electric pianos are usually the most affordable, and although they do not have the qualities of an acoustic, sound continues to improve for the high-end and mid-range instruments. They vary greatly in quality, some have hollow keys, while others try to replicate the feel and weight of acoustic keyboards. In addition to the features of an acoustic piano, electric pianos have a variety of sounds and settings such as organ, guitar, string, choir, and percussion. The numerous sounds on some keyboards make it virtually a portable band. Other pianos have limited functions, but this is better for someone who is trying to replicate an acoustic and save money. True electric pianos (compared to the plain keyboards) have a professional appearance and good materials (most consist largely of plastic), as well as touch sensitive features and sometimes equipped frames. Most have connectors for pedals and computer interactive abilities. They never need to be tuned, and rapidly becoming more popular in modern bands. The electric piano also has the advantage of allowing the user to practice silently with headphones at times when doing so would otherwise disturb people. The few drawbacks include technological infancy and the requirement of a power supply.