How many keys on a piano keyboard? You should know it.

No matter what Every of us  like tolisten the ‘Happy birthday’ tune in our birthday, right? If your answer is Yes then let me tell you that the time is the creation of piano keyboard. A piano is an amazing musical instrument. Every musician has a fascination to compose their lyrics with piano. If you are one of them then do you know how many keys on a piano keyboard?

Well, I know most of the musicians take it for granted. They don’t bother about it. But today in this article I’ll  try to give  you a details and how many keys on a piano also. So be with us to make your confusion clear.

Piano is a musical instrument which comes with a keyboard. It is not like a computer keyboard. You can say it is a fairy tale which can tune your words with her magic. The piano keyboard consist of Both Black and white buttons. These buttons are called piano key. In an average piano there are 88 keys. But that doesn’t mean piano has only 88 keys. You may found different pianos which have 57 or 121 keys.

Every key has some different notes and they create different sound. Actually every keys are important. If you miss one there maybe

Before giving the answer let’s get some idea about how the piano comes into music industry, how they become so famous and why THERE are so many variations and some other insights about pianos. That’s why keep reading till the last to make your confusion clear.

The Piano, a musical fairy, is mainly a keyboard based musical instrument. The keyboard comes with a wooden case. This keyboard is mainly designed for keeping the surrounding of  the soundboard safe from any kind of damage. Also, there are a host ofkeys which usually  strung under a massive  tension on a metal structure and create a rhythmic sound.

There is more than one or two phases for this stage. First one is:The strings is attached with a pad and the pad is struck by a pad which is made of  wooden hammers. Besides the pads have a responding  key. The piano is actually a  keyboard, there is a  considerable row of keys or small levers. To make sound from these key you need to press the key. When you do it the keys  directly touch the hammer and it makes sound.

At this stage  thestrings start to make sound at their pre ready madefrequency. And then  this state  start changing  to go with the soundboard and finally, it creates a rythm.The rythmwill come to an ends when the performer remove presses from the particular responding key.

From the ancient time most musician treats  the piano as a “percussion instrument” because it has a striking base or action. It is evident that, the keyboard keeps  an active role in  playing a piano. So, if you want to work with it then a basic knowledge about how many keys on a piano is a fundamental needs.

Light on the History

Are you curious about the origin of a piano.If so, then it is the time to take  a short trip about piano’sorigin. Actually piano came into the musical industry in the early  17th century. It was the era of Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach, some prominent figure in music.Till then  the modern piano was not in the history. Thoughmusicians  were busy with  different types of keyboard instruments but they were in search of a melodic instrument which can flourish their words exactly in the tune they want. So they started to use some new instruments. They weren’t like the today’s piano.

One of the most used instruments  among them was a harpsichord, which has only 60 keys. The harpsichord was popular because, the early musicians liked to compose songs that  were limited to a only five octaves.

Well you might be thinking that what is octave?Octave is a musical interval between two chords. Octave has a twice high note frequency wave compared to its low note

Then after a lots of struggle Bartholomew Cristofori made a dramatical change in the industry. He made the first structure of modern piano

The History on Light

He reshaped  the lacking features of an initial  harpsichord and created the first pianoforte. That piano was basically for creating the actual waves  by using a brand-new hammer mechanism. But the only limitations of the new piano was that, ithad only 49 keys.

Moreover, it can cover a range of four octaves where maximum musicians crate lyrics of five octave. So the main debate remained the same.

Despite the piano has  limitations in both quality and sound sector it could make both soft melodies and hard lyrics. Besides this advantage  the instrument producer started to bring  trendy innovation in the old harpsichord board and it started to being popular among the users again

At the same period famous instrument producers like, Broad wood and Stein took the next step to solve the problem. They tried to meet the demand of musical composers of that time and it was to make a ultra modern piano which can cover Tje five octave lyrics.

At the late 18th century, the newmade  pianos used to have 72 keys with close to six octaves. Musicians got the facility in Beethoven period.

After going  through  a lot of replacement and change  the piano gradually its full-form and another music instrument creator, Chopin and Liszt,take the  first attempt to create a  88 keys pianos with seven and a quarter octaves.

You can say it was the most privileged piano of thethen time.  The composers could  fully express their lyrics  with a 88 keys piano.From that time 88 keys piano has become the standard one.

How many keys on a piano keyboard

As mentioned, the modern, full-sized acoustic piano has 88 specific keys with seven octaves. There is also a tiny  third spanning from Ato C8.Tess are called musical notes. You need to Have a clear idea about the notes. Theseare: DO-RE-MI-FA-SOL-LA-SI or you can remember it like:  C-D-E-F-G-A-B (in English).

The starting point is Do. For your information, from the first  DO on the left to the DO on the right, there is an one octave length distance. These notes are repetitive according to the bass or treble. All of the notes  have a specific range of wave. One should not miss  while playing.

Don’t get confused because  the first left DO will have some hertz, and a more specific will have some other range of  hertz. The interesting fact is that inspite of being same form, they both are called DO, but they sound different. It happens because the first one indicate s a totally different note than the last one.

Additionally, you need to know about one more thing about piano. And That is, a full-size piano will not  have a  fixed amount of keys and  keys all the time. They can vary with shape and category. Moreover an usual piano has some black and white keys. There is a specific reason behind it.Let’s know about them.

How Many White Keys Does a Piano Have?

As a newbie with piano you will get confused because some of them can be of 88 keys /72 keys or many other options. Usually A full-sized piano will undoubtedly have 52 white keys. There are also seven and a half octave. Inthese  octave, there are seven several  white keys.

It means all the musical notes (DO-RE-MI-FA-SOL-LA-SI) are the white keys. Here think of the DO or C major scale. The keyboard will have seven white keys in a row that are tuned to major notes.

How Many Black Keys Does a Piano Have?

A full-sized piano will have 36 black keys among 88 keys. You will find There is one black key in between two white keys. It means every octave has around five black keys. These five black keys are tuned to “accidental” notes C#/Db, D#/Eb, F#/Gb, G#/Ab, and A#/Bb.

The Difference between White Keys and Black Keys

Now you know that a piano generally has both white and black keys for a specific reason. In a typical piano the distance between two keys indicates  as semitones. And you can call it as whole tones.Dont be confused. Whole tones is consist of two semi tones.

On more thing, not all  the 88 keys don’t have the same distance between them. You will find that, There is always one semitone distance between any white keys with its adjacent black key.

For instance, the black key between two white keys FA and SOL is called F# (F sharp). So the distance between FA and F# or F# and SOL is a semitone. That’s because there is no other black key between FA and SOL.

But you will find a difference in the case of white keys. The distance between two white keys is a whole tone. For example, the distance between DO and RE is a whole tone, even if C# separates both.

The white keys consist of natural notes. These keys are easy to play. That’s why most of the piano teachers instruct the beginners to play with the white keys. These are quicker to make an initial tune.  Conversely, the black keys are used for having effect the all keyboards in half-step intervals.

These black keys are physically shaped as flats and sharps. Mainly the keys are designed based on these black keys.There are 12 notes pattern in a key board. There you will findseven white and five black keys in the octaves.

Why Do Pianos Have 88 Keys?

It is not any actual rule to have only 88 keys in a pianos.But most of the time you may find that maximum pianos are off 88 keys nowadays, but in the ancient time,  from the history, there were pianos with 60 keys and 72 keys. So now you can ask why is it limited to 88 keys are considered standard or Why not there is 44 or 212keys in a piano.

Actually after the 88 keys piano was created, very few sophisticatedmusicians find that it has limitations. They are in  the need for a piano with more keys.

The problem occurs due to Many composers  started to believe that the notes beyond those 88 keys are either too high or too low for humans. The listeners has  possibilities to not to understand the lyrics which are not Covered in 88 keys.

In fact, they do not write music beyond these 88 keys. A full-sized piano has a full seven octaves along with a few other notes.

Beyond this range, it could be challenging to realize individual notes. Also, that being said, the lower and higher notes are not necessary for most songs. That’s why it confines within 88 keys. But you may find some pianos which have 97 keys though. They are highly designed ones only for rhythm. Musicians do not use it for composing songs in general.

Do all Piano Have 88 Keys?

No, there are a lot of variations. They varies according to size and specifications. But most of the pianos will have 88 keys.

Pianos with Additional Keys

Though there are huge 88 key pianos in market but some piano manufacturing companies are trying to change the stereotypes. They are broaden the  boundaries of the piano’s capabilities.

Some music instrument makers like An Australian piano manufacturer, Stuart, and Sons are making a “super” grand piano with 102 keys, including nine octaves. It will the most upgraded piano in the musical area.

There are more who make pianos with a large number of keys. The Imperial Bosendorfer is another piano manufacturer. They manufacture a piano with 97 keys, including eight octaves. All of the extra nine bass keys are coloured black.

Both of these two new pianos are basically for Professional use. And here the confusion is pretty clear that,  pianos with 88keys  are best for both beginner and an intermediate player. They can easily  choose one for  them from the standard one.

They shouldn’t start with the sophisticated one at the first stage. Because these options are longer and more substantial than the regular ones. So, it can impact the practicality of the piano to some if the first time user.

Pianos with Shorter Keys

Don’t thing that pianos only have long keys. However, the smaller piano also does exist.

You may know that the most piano has 73 keys, these are designed to us e in the stage performance. These shorter keys can create more bass compare to the other one. This piano has a slight over 6 ½ octaves.

The 73 keys pianos are enough to make a lot of music. Moreover, there is some entry-level piano with just 41 keys Both of them are good for parties or stage programme.

A synthesizer, is an electrical musical instrument. Thiswill have just 25 keys. Those instruments are designed for lead playing or bass playing. Overall, beyond these options, a full-sized piano has 88 keys.

Piano, Piano Keyboard, or Virtual Keys: Which One is good?

Well there are virtual pianos nowadays. So you might get puzzled with all of these. However at this stage , you know what a piano is usually like. Now you may want to know how they sound in real. Undoubtedly, a real piano sounds thousands of times better than others. But, it cannot own a piano; you can try a piano keyboard.

The piano keyboard imitates the sound of an acoustic piano. This keyboard has a minimum of 61 keys. However, they are not as sensitive as piano keys. So using a piano keyboard with hammer action can help to make sounds close like a real piano.

If you don’t have a piano keyboard, you can try virtual keys or a piano keyboard stimulator. Using a tablet could be the best option, as its wide touch screen will suit your fingers. You can try the app like Perfect Piano in your Android.

Most of all, the virtual piano keys are great for testing chord and understand how they sound. As a beginner you should not try it. But if you are an intermediate player or a professional, a real piano or piano keyboard could be the best option for you

What to Look For In a Piano Keyboard?

There are different categories of keyboards available with many features. As a beginner, You may not be familiar with all the features and terms. But before start to use a piano it is  essential to understand the keyword-related terms. Here are a few features you should look into a before purchasing a keyboard.

Number of Keys

As you already know, how many keys on a piano. Actually the you can say the key numbers of a piano is like a variable. Usually number of keys is ranging from 25 to 88 full-sized. It varies from the type you choose to use. Moreover, keys actually depend on your skill and criteria of music you’ll be playing, you have to consider the number of keys.

Key Action

A piano wont be a piano without its key And as you know most of the keys play the main role  in terms of the piano mechanism. In a simple word, piano key generates sound. Though if you go for A digital keyboard, there you  will not have this like a typical acoustic piano. There are different types of key actions. Each offers a different feel than others. Lets have a look of these:

  • Weighted action: Weight action keys are mainlybuilt into the keys. It gives a response similar to a real piano.
  • Semi-weighted action: It mixes the weights which are attached to the keys with spring-loaded action.
  • Hammer’s action: Hammer action is the main force behind creating music. It has a massive quality. well as it has an expensive price. Here each key moves with the signal from a mechanical hammer. So, it provides a response similar to an acoustic piano.
  • Synth-action: Synth action is the cheapest option among all the other one. It is more like an organ than an action key. You can play the keys quickly as there is no resistance. Synth-action could be your option if you play fast lead passes.

MIDI Compatibility

Midi Compatibility is  a  protocol that allows communication between the  electronic instruments and computers. The surprising fact is that instruments can talk to each other through MIDI messages. So if you want to use your piano with computer then a midi compatibility is a must.

Computer Connectivity

Computer connectivity is another issue while you think about pianos. As a beginner it will be beneficial for you if you have  computer connectivity with  your piano keyboard. It will prompt your learning. You can easily connect the  piano keyboard with your computer by USB, MIDI, FireWire, mLAN, etc. So give it a try to give a new dimension to your learning.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1.How many types of pianos are there?

3 types

Well pianos can be categorized on the basis of size, functionalities and shape. Mainly there are three kinds of piano. Such as:

1.Vertical Piano

2.Grand Piano

3.Digital piano

2. How long a piano will stay tune in

Basically it depends on user and maintenance. But a typical one lasts for six months.

A usual piano will tune in at home for about every  six months and it is good to tune in the piano before every stage performance.

3.How many strings does a piano have?

It depend on the piano mechanisms. If it is a tenor then there will be two strings. On the other hand treble will have three strings Besides these, there will be a very low bass.So you need to look your piano first than count the strings.

Final word

Well that’s all about how many keys on a piano keyboard. We have tried our best to give all the details information about piano keys. So we hope now you understand  the reasons behind how many keys on a piano. A piano with 88 keys is standard for all.

But There will be a lots of alternatives If you find  a piano which has less than 88 keys, it will be considered more like a digital instrument. Beginners shouldn’t try with this These options are for industrial use only.

On top of that the pianos which have f ewer keys they are also appreciatable.They make the piano more portable and less expensive. So if you are finding something lightweight and obviously in your budget then you can surely go for 55 keys pianos.But keep in mind the octave limitations.

In short we will suggest you that, there are more or fewer keys available. If you are a newbie than depends on your skill level. A piano with 61 keys and five octaves are suitable for newbies.

Practice it with more diligence, Whenever you get the mastery on it then go for a toy piano. And then try to compete with the skilled players. So choose according to your level and make a blast. Happy tuning. I think so You have the whole idea about How many keys on a piano keyboard?