An Introduction to Grand Pianos
Believe it or not, the grand piano was the basic original shape of the first pianos that were invented. The models for these shapes were the harpsichord and clavichord, two instruments of an earlier time.
Here are some of the more commonly known quality brands: Bosendorfer (Viennese, founded in 1828), Steinway and Sons (American, founded in 1853), Baldwin Company (American, founded in 1862), Bechstein (German, founded in 1856), Yamaha (Japan, founded in 1887, first piano in 1900), Heintzman and Co. Ltd. (Canadian, founded in 1866).
The list of reputable piano manufacturers can go on and on, but even quality brands are not a guarantee of a good piano. Even the best brands can suffer the wear and tear of time and abuse.
In a grand piano, pinblocks (the wood that holds the the tuning pegs) and bridges (the wood holding the pins that support the strings and their transfer sound to the soundboard) are often damaged and cracked. Get a reliable technician to assess the value of a potential purchase verses the cost of rebuilding certain components of the piano in question. In other words, make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Here are some of the different lengths of grand pianos. Concert Grand Pianos are generally 8 feet 11 inches in length or greater. Half or Semi Grand Pianos are 7 feet 4 inches long. Parlor Grand Pianos have a range of 6 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 10 inches. The Drawing Room Grand Piano measures in at 6 feet 4 inches. The Professional Grand Piano has a length of 6 feet even. Living Room Grand Pianos are slightly less long at 5 feet 10 inches. Finally, Baby Grand Pianos are 5 feet 8 inches or less. Although those are the most common names used to describe grand pianos, you will occasionally come across others such as the Conservatoire Grand, the Boudoir Grand and the Petite Grand.
The last paragraph is interesting, but not overly useful. Let’s face it. Most people couldn’t care less about the exact name or categorization of their piano. They care if it sounds good, looks good, and is the right size for the room that they are going to be putting it in. And yes, it helps if the piano is easy on the wallet. Shop around! By the way, if you happen to get a sweet deal on a grand piano, why not make up your own name for it? How about: Steal a Deal Grand, My Line of Credit Is Still Not Too Overdrawn Grand, or The Color is Perfect And I’m On Top Of the World Grand.
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