An average piano has 230 strings. Each string has about 160 pounds of tension with a combined pull of all strings equaling approximately eighteen tons.
The total string tension of a concert grand is close to thirty tons.
The working section of the piano is called action. There are about 7,500 parts here, all playing a role in sending the hammers against the strings.
There are over 10 million pianos in American homes, business, and institutions.
One of the piano moving companies I work with moves an average of 39,000 pianos and organs a year, for a total of over 1.7 million moves to date. Each piano mover handles over 1 million pounds of pianos and organs each year, with a company total of over 50.5 million pounds yearly!
The first practical piano with an escapement mechanism for hammers and capable of being played softly and loudly was built in 1726 by an Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731).
The name "piano" is an abbreviation of Cristofori's original name for the instrument: piano et forte or soft and loud.
Spinet pianos were made by Samuel Blythe as early as 1789 in Salem, Massachusetts.
The term "grand" was first used in 1777.
During 1869 the U.S. produced 25,000 pianos valued at $7,000,000. Production during 1910 was 350,000 pianos valued at $100,000,000.
During the past 100 years there have been approximately 5,000 brands of pianos placed on the market. Most are still on display in homes and elsewhere.
Independent studies show that children who learn piano tend to do better in school. This is attributed to the discipline, eye-hand coordination, social skill building, learning a new language (music), and the pleasure derived from making your own music.
Only three Presidents have not had pianos in the White House: Gerald Ford, George Bush, and William Clinton.
Jonas Chickering was the first exporter of American made pianos. The first shipment was in 1844.
Yamaha, established in 1877, was the first piano manufacturer in Japan.
The world's largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand. This piano is 11 feet long, weighs more than a ton, and has a string tension of over 30 tons.
The Bosendorfer Imperial concert grand piano is 9'6" long and it has 9 extra keys stretching to a growling C below bottom C. The 9' and 7'4" grand pianos have four extra bass keys, the lowest of which is F below bottom C.
Did you know that there is a Piano Moving School?
For proper care of your piano avoid placing the piano near a window, keep the piano away from sources of heat, do not place objects on top of the piano, and keep your piano tuned and regulated.