The pianoforte is a word that means, basically, a piano. The longer version of the word is the original Italian, describing a seventeenth-century instrument having both soft (piano) and loud (forte) sounds. This percussion instrument has come a long way and is now a staple in most American homes. However, you might not know that there are different types of pianos for sale and that each of these has some unique features to it. Which will you purchase and/or learn to play?
The Upright Piano
This piano does not look anything like the rest of the types of pianos for one very obvious reason. Its soundbox is not horizontal, and the strings and hammers inside the soundbox are much shorter and smaller. Still, the upright piano is able to produce rich, quality sound that still sounds every bit like the other types of pianos you might see in a concert hall. It is less intimidating to play too since you can easily sit longer in front of it and not have to reach quite so far the expanse of the keyboard to play.
The Grand or Baby Grand Piano
The grand piano is the one that is most iconic to everyone. It is also the most costly of pianos because of how it is made. A slightly more affordable option is a baby grand piano, which does not have a full range of octaves but has everything most piano players need to play most sheet music. Both of these pianos hearken back to their ancestor, the harpsichord.
The harpsichord is a truly unique musical instrument. It is the instrument from which all other modern pianos sprang. Grand pianos and baby grand pianos model their iconic horizontal shape after their ancestor, the harpsichord. Yet, it does not stop there; you can still buy a harpsichord. It takes a little getting used to when you are learning it, and then it is a lot of fun to play.
The Pipe Organ
You might think that pipe organs are only for churches, but there are pipe organs small enough to fit in your living room or den. The pipe organ is the most difficult of all piano family members to play because it uses air to create sound rather than just hammers striking strings. If you have mastered all of the other piano instruments previously mentioned, give a pipe organ a whirl.