Facts and Stats

  1. That the piano is known as “The King of Instruments”? The piano earned this title for a number of reasons including its tonal range ( the piano covers the full spectrum of any instrument in the orchestra from below the lowest note of the double bassoon to above the top note of the piccolo), it’s ability to produce melody and accompaniment at the same time (try that on a flute) and it’s broad dynamic range. It is also the largest musical instrument (excluding the pipe organ), most versatile and one of the most interesting.
  2. That the average medium size piano has about 230 strings,
    each string having an average of about 165 pounds of tension,
    with the combined pull of all strings equaling approximately eighteen tons !
  3. The total string tension in a Concert Grand is close to Thirty Tons!
  4. That a boxed model D Steinway Grand Piano weighs 1400 Pounds !
  5. The working section of the piano is called the action. There are about 7500 parts here, all playing a role in sending the hammers against the strings when keys are struck. That is more moving parts than in an average car engine.
  6. A new piano should be tunedtwo times the first year, with the change of seasons, and at leastonce a year after that.
  7. There are over 10 MILLION pianos in American Homes, businesses, and institutions.
  8. The name Piano is an abbreviation of Cristofori’s original name for the instrument: Piano et forte or soft and loud.
  9. Spinet pianos were made by Samuel Blythe as early on as 1789 at Salem, Mass.
  10. The term Grand was 1st used in 1777.
  11. During 1869 the USA produced 25,000 pianos valued at $7,000,000, during 1910 production was 350,000 pianos valued at $100,000,000 !
  12. The term “Tickle the Ivorys” refers to playing the ivory keys of the piano, however, ivory has not been used to make piano keys since about the 1950’s (they are plastic)
  13. There are currently over 50 Brand Names of Pianos?
  14. During the past 100 years there have been approximately 5000 Brands of Pianos placed on the market. Most are still on display in homes or elsewhere.
  15. Pianos are made of thousands of pieces of wood glued together to form various parts of the playing mechanism as well as the cabinet. Felt, buckskin, paper, steel, iron, copper and plastic as well as other materials are also used.
  16. Independent studies show that children who learn Piano tend to do better in school. This is attributed to the discipline, eye-hand coordination, social skills building, learning a new language (music) and the pleasure derived from making your own music.
  17. It should also be noted here that anyone considering a career in any facet of music should consider studying the piano . Many music schools require at least one semester of Piano, regardless of your major.
  18. “You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”
    Answer: Sure you can, you just adjust it’s scales!.
  19. Jonas Chickering was the first exporter of American made pianos. First shipment to India 1844.
  20. Yamaha, established in 1887 was the first piano manufacturer in Japan.
  21. Pianos were the first meaningful brand names, the first Status Symbol, and the first major items sold on an installment basis, which was the cornerstone of several major banking institutions of today.
  22. A grand piano action is faster than a vertical (spinet, console, upright) because it has a repetition lever. This allows the pianist to repeat the note when it’s only half way up. A vertical action requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer action. This is true illimitable action. Bell pianos patented an illimitable action for uprights but unfortunately this idea was a difficult one to service and was soon dropped.
  23. The worlds largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand. This piano is 11 feet long, has a total string tension of over 30 tons and weighs more than a ton !! Thats more than 2000 pounds!
  24. The term A-440 Concert pitch refers to A above middle C vibrating at 440 cycles per second.
  25. The first note (on a standard 88 note keyboard) is A .
  26. The exact middle of the keyboard is not middle C, it is actually the space between E and F above “middle” C.
  27. The last note of the keyboard is C.
  28. The Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano is 9′ 6″ long and has 9 extra keys stretching to a growling C below bottom C ! (The Imperial grand sold for $55,000 in 1980!) The 9′ and 7′ 4″ grands have four extra bass keys, the lowest of which is F below bottom C.
  29. Paul Janko, Austria, constructed a keyboard of six tiers, one above the other — runs and arpeggios made less difficult than on regular piano keyboard.
  30. Silver, glass, gold and silk were used in making strings for musical instruments.
  31. Beethoven’s Studio Piano is in the National Museum, Vienna, AustrIa.
  32. Piano Row was located on 14th Street, New York. This was the headquarters of such fine pianos as Steinway, Steck, Behning, Bradbury, Sohmer and many others.
  33. Nickelodeon is a general term used to describe various electrical coin operated pianos.
  34. A drop of 1/2 step in pitch can equal a change of 3000 to 5000 Pounds of tension! (Now you know why it is important to keep your piano tuned).
  35. Pianists have more efficient brains!
  36. Each semitone is divided into 100 cent intervals
  37. The first patent issued to H. Steinway, New York, was May 5, 1857.
  38. Stein replaced knee pedals for foot pedals in 1789.
  39. The quickest time for smashing a piano and being able to fit it though a 9” ring was set in 1968 and they did it in 2 minutes and 26 seconds.

For prices or info please call Mike Klomp of Klomp’s Piano services at 519.802.5364 or by email, mikeklomp17@hotmail.com