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Piano: The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment. The piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal. The piano's versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments. Pianos have two basic configurations (with subcategories): the grand piano and the upright piano.
In grand pianos, the frame and strings are horizontal, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. The action lies beneath the strings, and uses gravity as its means of return to a state of rest. There are many sizes of grand piano. A rough generalization distinguishes the concert grand (between about 2.2 m and 3 m/9.84 feet long) from the parlor grand or boudoir grand (about 1.7 m to 2.2 m) and the smaller baby grand (around 1.5 m).
Upright pianos , also called vertical pianos, are more compact because the frame and strings are vertical. The hammers move horizontally, and return to their resting position via springs, which are susceptible to degradation. Upright pianos with unusually tall frames and long strings are sometimes called upright grand pianos. Some authors classify modern pianos according to their height and to modifications of the action that are necessary to accommodate the height.
- Studio pianos are around 42 to 45 inches tall. This is the shortest cabinet that can accommodate a full-sized action located above the keyboard.
- Console pianos have a compact action (shorter hammers), and are a few inches shorter than studio models.
- The top of a spinet model barely rises above the keyboard. The action is located below, operated by vertical wires that are attached to the backs of the keys.
- Anything taller than a studio piano is called an upright.
Acoustic piano: An acoustic piano is a traditional piano that uses specially designed strings that are stretched around a cast iron frame. Under extreme tension, the strings are struck by felt hammers when a key is played. The action of the hammers striking the strings produces the notes you hear. This is a pure, non amplified sound caused by vibration of the strings and is extremely pleasing to listen to. As a musical instrument and a beautiful furniture piece, there is no finer example of fine cabinet woodworking combined with the music maker's art than an acoustic grand piano. Acoustic grand pianos come in many sizes and colors, and can be adapted with a player mechanism to provide hours of musical enjoyment. Acoustic upright pianos employ the same principals to produce their sounds as an acoustic grand piano, but occupy less space. So whether you choose a grand or upright acoustic piano for your home, school, church or performing arts center, we're sure you will receive many years of musical enjoyment and entertainment from our line of finely crafted musical instruments.
Digital piano : The digital piano is a relatively new category of piano and incorporates micro chips and sound systems instead of strings and hammers to produce their sound. A digital piano is very versatile. Many have hundreds of sounds that have been sampled from authentic instruments making their sound incredibly realistic, and can play different kinds of rhythm styles together with these various instrument voices. Digital pianos have recording functions that allow you to record practice or performance sessions. Some are capable of playing pre-recorded music disks, even digital music files downloaded from the internet. The keyboards are designed to exactly mimic the feel and touch of an acoustic piano so there is virtually no difference between the two. As a digital piano does not incorporate strings or castings to produce the sound, they tend to be smaller, lighter and easier to move than an acoustic piano. They are perfect instruments for a smaller space, condo or apartment living. You can practice in silence and they never need tuning. Digital pianos come in both grand and upright models. Pianohouse Burlington is the authorized dealer for Kurzweil, Suzuki and Adagio digital pianos.
A make preferred by many professional pianists, there is no question that Yamaha pianos are world-class. They make more pianos than anyone else in the world, currently over 200,000 a year. Yamaha was the first piano maker in Japan, established in 1887 by Tarakusu Yamaha. Yamaha pianos typically have a "bright" sound.
Buying tips: While most Yamaha pianos are of excellent quality, buyers are often unaware that many new Yamahas are manufactured in Malaysia and China. These pianos can be perfectly good, but since the price point of new Yamaha pianos is usually quite high, it is important to as a consumer to know what you are paying for.
Older Yamaha pianos generally have higher production standards than many brand-new models as they were not usually manufactured in China or Malaysia.
Kawai was established in 1927 in Japan by Koichi Kawai and his partners. They produced their first pianos in the U.S.A. in 1988. Kawai pianos produced in the United States have the letter A preceding their serial number.
Kawai are second in Japan only to Yamaha, but are sometimes preferred as they have a mellower, richer sound than Yamaha. Because of this tonal difference, they are often preferred by Steinway users. Kawai now makes Steinway's Boston line of pianos for them.
A brand of pianos well-known to Canadians, Sherlock-Manning Pianos Ltd. was founded in 1902 by J. Frank Sherlock and Wilber N. Manning in London, Ontario. By 1920 Sherlock-Manning had the capacity to produce 1500 pianos per month; that number increased greatly as the firm purchased various other bankrupted, local piano manufacturers. The last piano manufacturer in Canada, Sherlock-Manning continued to make pianos right into the 1990s.
In 2005 the Sherlock-Manning trademark was bought by Pianohouse Burlington Inc. with the intention to build pianos of high quality in honour of the Sherlock-Manning reputation.
Perhaps the most notorious piano company in the world, Steinway & Sons was founded in New York in 1853 by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg Sr. (Henry E. Steinway Sr.). From the very beginning, this company grew quickly, and developed a reputation for high caliber pianos. Henry's oldest son, C.F. Theodore Steinweg stayed in Germany, where he operated the Grotrian-Steinweg piano company. In 1911 the entire Steinway manufacturing operation was moved to Long Island City, N.Y.
Steinway & Sons pianos have a well-known reputation for fine quality pianos and for setting high standards for their competitors.
Young Chang was established in 1956 in Seoul, Korea by three Kim brothers, Young, Chang, and Jai-Sup. This was the first musical instrument factory in South Korea. It was originally a factory for assembling Yamaha pianos, but began to produce its own lines in the late 1960s. In 1990 Young Chang purchased Kurzweil Music Systems, who is a major electronic keyboard manufacturer.
Young Chang also produces pianos under the names of Astor, Bechendorff, Cline, Essex, Ibach, Knabe, Nakamura, Wagner, Weber, and Wurlitzer. Essex is a line that Young Chang has made for Steinway, which demonstrates the increase in quality of Korean pianos.
Niemeyer pianos are a relatively new make of piano. In less than fifty years, Niemeyer has established itself as a quality piano manufacturer.
Niemeyer has recently developed a reputation as the Steinway coming out of China, and is built with extremely high quality German parts such as Roslau strings, Abel hammers, and a Renner designed action. These are all the same components you will find on the inside of a Steinway.
Niemeyer has a full resonant sound, and is fast becoming the brand of choice among piano teachers and students alike.
Samick was established in Korea in 1958 by Hyo Ick Lee. The Samick factory made pianos for Hyundai under the names Hyundai and Maeari. They also made pianos for D.H. Baldwin, Bernhard Steiner, Otto Altenburg, Horugel, Stegler and Schumann. Samick now produces the Wm. Knabe, Sohmer and Millenium piano lines. The U.S company (Samick Music Corp), and P.T. Samick in Indonesia are both wholly owned by Samick.