While pianos come in various styles, sizes, designs and shapes, they have two basic categories: horizontal and vertical pianos.
Ranging from 36 to 60 inches, such pianos are called vertical pianos due to their height and position.
Vertical pianos have four different types:
Spinets are the smallest pianos having an approximate width of 58 inches and height around 36 to 38 inches. It’s a popular choice among those who live is limited space. Besides the good aspects, due to its size and construction, a spinet is called “lost motion” i.e. having less power and accuracy.
With height ranging from 40 to 43 inches and width approx. 58 inches, console is slightly larger than the spinet. Due to the various finishes and styles, console gives you a wide choice where you’re particular about complementing with your furniture. Its more enhanced tones are a result of the direct action.
Mostly seen in music studios and music schools, this type of vertical piano is approx. 58 inches wide and around 45 to 48 inches in height. Studio is known for being durable and producing a good tone quality due to its longer strings and larger soundboard.
Upright is the piano that your grandparents or great grandparents used to play. It stands the test of time and when cared properly it maintains its rich tone. This piano is the tallest among the vertical pianos with a height from 50 to 60 inches and the width of 58 inches.
Having the most responsive key action and being well-known to produce the finer tones, horizontal pianos are also called grand pianos due to their placement of strings and length.
Such pianos are available in six basic styles.
Small but still powerful, petite grand is the smallest of all the horizontal pianos. Its size ranges from 4 ft’ 5 inches to 4 ft’ 10 inches.
A popular choice due to its affordability, aesthetic appeal and sound quality, baby grand ranges in size from 4 ft’ 11 inches to 5 ft’ 6 inches.
Medium grand is larger than baby grand with size around 5 ft’ 7 inches.
Also known as a living room grand piano, parlor grand ranges in size from 5 ft’ 9 inches to 6 ft’ 1 inch.
Semi-concert or Ballroom
Approximately, 6 ft’ 7 inches to 7 ft’ tall, these pianos are next in size to parlor grand piano.
The largest of all the grand pianos is concert grand. It is around 9 feet in size.
Irrespective of the piano type, the pianos vary in the number of pedals and sometimes the number of keys. Where most pianos come with 88 keys, a few older have 85 keys. In addition, some manufactures include additional keys in the instrument. In contrast to European pianos that tend to have two pedals, contemporary American pianos have three. Many pianos older than grands have only two pedals. Some rare types of pianos have additional pedals or pedals that perform different functions like transposition.
In addition to the pianos mentioned above, there are also player pianos, electric pianos, practice pianos (smaller pianos with fewer keys) a great number of similar keyboard instruments and a wide variety of organs.