Many think that an upright piano is just a grand in a different format. Although they both have 88 keys, upright pianos are significantly more compact, making them ideal practice models for homes and schools.
How an Upright Piano Works
Acoustic pianos, in contrast to digital models, feature a series of strings, which are then struck by hammers when fingers touch the keys. The wooden soundboard helps project the sound, while dampers assist with muting it.
Within an upright configuration, the series of strings and the soundboard are arranged vertically from the top to the bottom of the case and are situated perpendicularly to the keyboard. This arrangement takes up far fewer square feet than the horizontal format of a grand piano. In turn, uprights deliver enough sound and authentic action for practice rooms in music schools and conservatories, apartments, and small homes.
As the player hits the keys, the hammer and damper both return to their position by springs. With a grand, gravity allows these mechanisms to fall back into place. This change often affects the touch and feel of uprights, with a grand piano allowing for smoother key repetition.
Within this arrangement, upright pianos also offer three pedals:
- The soft pedal, located on the left, places the hammers closer to the strings to lessen the sound.
- The muffler pedal, in the center, places a piece of felt over the strings to mute the sound even further.
- The sustain pedal, on the right, helps with holding pitches and is a feature that has carried over from the grand piano.
Types of Upright Pianos
In considering space, upright pianos are available in a number of sizes:
- Spinets, an older, significantly smaller version, is often no more than three feet wide.
- Console pianos situate the action nearly on top of the keys, with the hammers moving downward. These models are roughly 40 to 44 inches tall and usually five feet wide.
- Studio pianos are slightly taller than console models, standing 44 to 47 inches in height.
Among these options, you'll find studio and console pianos in standard, black or white-colored wood.
Browse Upright Pianos
Whether for your home or music school, Alamo Music Center offers a wide selection of new and used upright pianos from well-known brands like Baldwin, Steinway & Sons, Wurlitzer, Kimball, Yamaha and Kawai, including models for sale. We offer multiple financing and layaway options, including 12- to 48-month, no-interest options at times, plus trial lessons and an extended warranty.