Piano is one of the classic musical instruments that is recognized and played all around the world. They are quite the thing of art as they are built in a very complex manner that calls for a lot of elements to work in sync to make up the final product. There are over 12000 parts in a full-sized piano that work in sync to create the beautiful music that reaches our ears and the number of keys in a piano may differ depending on your choice od variation.
Knowing how these wonderful instrument works is surely a fascinating and complex experience but we will not go into all the details that make up a piano in this article. We want to focus our attention on an overlooked yet highly important aspect of how the piano works which are the keys.
We have a range of pianos available these days. You can find an acoustic, digital or portable piano easily if you search these days and all of them are made up of various key configurations. The term “keys” is strictly adhered to when mentioning the piano keys as they hold a musical significance. In music theory, key refers to the scale or pitches that particular composition is made up of. Each piano key is associated with a note. The whole piano is like a collection of notes that can be navigated by the fingers of the player.
How Many Number Of Keys In A Piano
The standard number of keys in a piano is 88. 52 of those are white and the remaining 36 keys are black. A standard keyboard on the other hand has a total of 61 keys and 36 of them are white while 25 of them are black keys. Home-use keyboards may have 49, 61 or 76 keys. A typical low-end synthesizer will have upwards of 25 keys.
People familiar with piano will already know that black keys sit a bit higher than the white keys and they also tend to be a bit shorter. They are laid out in such a manner that for every seven white keys we will have five keys placed in between. The black keys also follow a certain pattern in how they are presented. They are put in a pattern of two and three which means two of the black keys will be placed together and will be followed by one key gap after which three of the black keys will be placed together followed by another one key gap. This pattern continues across the keyboard.
Notes And Keys In A Piano
Notes are specifically assigned to white keys. Remember that there are seven musical notes that are denoted by the letter A, B, C, D, E, F and G. These seven notes are represented by the seven white keys that a single block consists of. Their placement is also of importance to piano players as they need to remember where a note starts to play the instrument effectively.
The two black keys are dubbed as chopsticks and the three black keys that are placed together are dubbed as forks. The note C falls at the beginning of the chopsticks (the two black keys that fall together) and the F falls at the beginning of the fork (the three black keys that are placed together. This is a good and easy way that piano players can initially remember where the notes on a piano are before they get used to finding them instinctively.
Finding the middle C in a full-sized piano is an easy task. There are basically 3 chopsticks in a piano and two forks. Two chopsticks are placed at both ends and the third one is placed right in the middle of the two forks. The chopsticks that are present in the middle is where the C is. The first white key that is in touch with the middle chopsticks is the middle C of the piano.
From here on you move to play the seven notes. When named in the sequence that it will be played it will seem something like this: C D E F G A B. If you continue to play the C that will immediately follow this sequence then you will be playing it one octave higher.
The black keys are identified as sharps and flats. Sharp is the key to the right of a white key while flat is the key that is placed to the left of a white key. Note that piano keys are laid out following the pattern of 12 keys. Although a number of notes can be hit on a piano, it is actually the 12 key patterns repeating itself again and again up to 88 keys. The twelve notes in a piano are as follows
4. D Sharp (E Flat)
7. F Sharp (G Flat)
9. G Sharp (A flat)
11. A Sharp (B Flat)
Pianos have become a sophisticated instrument not only because of how they are associated with class but also because of how they are built and the complex nature of their mechanism. However, the concept of piano keys goes far back to the times when water organs were played with the use of levers. This mechanism coincides with the use of a piano as it also uses its keys like a lever to produce music. Organ keys can be dated back to 226 AD.
However, the keys that were used for water organs were much heavier back then and the players of these instruments were called organ beaters for that. Since then we have come a long way and made the piano much more sensitive to touch which allows musicians great maneuverability today. The future might bring even more pleasing changes to this classic instrument. For us musicians and music lovers, we can simply enjoy this beautiful instrument and marvel at this wonderful creation by mankind.