A concert grand piano, such as the famed Steinway Model D or the Kawai EX concert grand, typically measures approximately 9 feet in length. However, sizes can vary slightly depending on the piano maker and the specific model. Now, let’s dive into the fascinating world of grand pianos.
The Size and Sound of Different Pianos
Types and Sizes of Grand Pianos
The grand piano family comes in various sizes, each designed for a specific need and setting:
- Petite Grand Pianos: Ranging from 4.5 to 5 feet, these are the smallest grand pianos.
- Baby Grand Pianos: Measuring between 5 to 6 feet, they are perfect for a smaller room in a home or a music school.
- Medium Grand Pianos: Spanning 5.5 to 7 feet, these offer a balance between size and sound quality.
- Parlor Grand Pianos: Also known as living room or drawing room grands, they are around 7 feet long, offering improved sound quality.
- Semi-Concert or Ballroom Grand Pianos: Typically stretching 7 to 8 feet, these are a common sight in smaller concert venues.
- Concert Grand Pianos: These are the largest, measuring around 9 feet, and are the preferred choice of pianists for large concert halls.
The Power of Longer Strings
One of the main differences between smaller grand pianos and concert grands lies in their longer strings. The longer strings on a concert grand produce a dynamic range and tonal quality of a piano that is simply unparalleled. They deliver greater volume and a richer, more complex sound quality. This is why you will typically see a concert grand on a concert stage or in a large concert hall, whereas smaller grands and uprights are more suited to private homes, small rooms, or a music school environment.
The Size of the Soundboard
Another key factor is the size of the soundboard. Larger soundboards found in concert grand pianos allow for a more resonant sound. This leads to a larger space within the piano for sound to resonate, resulting in a transcendent tone that is both powerful and nuanced.
The Renowned Master Piano Artisans: Steinway & Sons and Shigeru Kawai
Steinway & Sons: A New York Legacy
Steinway & Sons, with their concert piano workshop in New York, has been a preferred choice of pianists since 1853. Their Steinway Model D, measuring approximately 9 feet long, is one of the most popular models in concert venues around the world, known for its superb technical prowess, incomparable touch, and formidable power.
Shigeru Kawai: Unmatched Japanese Craftsmanship
The Shigeru Kawai research and development laboratory has produced some of the world’s finest musical instruments. The Kawai EX concert grand, for instance, reflects the culmination of their renowned master piano artisans’ decades of effort. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, it delivers an unparalleled tonal quality and powerful resonance.
Selecting the Perfect Piano: The Concert Grand vs. Other Models
Whether you’re considering new pianos for a living room, a drawing room, a studio, or a performance venue, understanding the pros and cons of different sizes and types of pianos is crucial. Here’s a comparison of key features:
- Sound Quality: Due to their longer bass strings and larger soundboards, concert grand pianos have the upper hand in sound quality. However, smaller grand pianos or vertical pianos like studio pianos may be more than sufficient for a smaller room or for piano lessons.
- Space Requirements: A concert grand requires a larger room. If you’re purchasing a piano for a new home or small room, a baby grand or an upright piano like a console piano might be a better option.
- Budget: Concert grand pianos generally cost a great deal more than smaller pianos due to the scarcity of materials used and the time-tested methods of origin employed in their construction.
- Piano Use: For professional pianists playing in large concert venues with symphony orchestras, nothing beats the concert grand. But for home use, smaller grand pianos, upright pianos or even digital pianos can be the better option.
From the concert stage to the more intimate settings of a living room or drawing room, pianos fill our spaces with music and our hearts with joy. The concert grand piano, with its length of grandeur and its incomparable tone, reigns supreme in the world of pianos.
Its formidable power and tone quality are just part of the story. The story of the concert grand is also the story of the artisans who have dedicated their lives to perfecting it – be it Steinway & Sons in New York or Shigeru Kawai in Japan.
As a discerning pianist or music enthusiast, understanding the difference between a concert grand and smaller pianos provides peace of mind, ensuring that you select the right instrument for your specific needs.
And now, as you navigate the world of pianos, may you find the perfect piano, whether it’s an ex concert grand piano, a petite grand, or a top-notch upright piano, to fill your home or concert hall with music.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the average length of a concert grand piano?
A concert grand piano typically measures approximately 9 feet in length. However, sizes can slightly vary depending on the piano maker and the specific model.
Why does the length of a concert grand piano matter?
The length of a concert grand piano matters because longer strings produce a richer, more complex sound with greater volume. This results in a dynamic range and tonal quality that is unparalleled.
What is the main difference between a concert grand and other types of pianos?
The main difference between a concert grand piano and other types of pianos lies in the length of the strings and the size of the soundboard. Concert grands have longer strings and larger soundboards, which allows for a more resonant sound and greater volume.
Are concert grand pianos suitable for home use?
Generally, concert grand pianos are better suited for large concert halls or venues due to their size and volume. For home use, smaller grand pianos, upright pianos, or even digital pianos may be more appropriate.
What are some renowned brands for concert grand pianos?
Steinway & Sons and Shigeru Kawai are renowned brands that produce some of the finest concert grand pianos. Their models, like the Steinway Model D and Kawai EX concert grand, are preferred choices of professional pianists worldwide.