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What Type Of Piano Do I Own?

Do you know what type of piano you own?

When a new customer calls to schedule a piano tuning, I usually ask them what type of piano they own. While no one should ever be embarrassed because they do not know their type of piano, I wrote this article to assist piano owners discover what type of piano they own. It is not an ironclad rule, but a general guide to help customers and piano owners discover their type of piano.

The piano comes in many different styles, designs, shapes and sizes and a piano tuner has to learn to service them all. Pianos have two basic categories: the vertical and horizontal pianos.

Vertical Pianos – They are called vertical pianos because of their height and the position of the strings.

Spinet Piano ~ 36" to 39"

Spinet Piano ~ 36" to 39"

  • Spinet – With its height of 36 to 39 inches, and an approximate width of 58 inches, spinets are the smallest of the pianos. Given its size, it is the popular choice of many people who live in limited living spaces, such as apartments. One noted downside of spinets is the shortened strings and drop or indirect action, which means it has less power and accuracy due to its size and construction.
Console ~ 40" to 43"

Console ~ 40" to 43"

  • Console – The console is slightly larger than the spinet. Its height ranges from 40 to 43 inches and is approximately 58 inches wide. The console is usually manufactured with a direct action which produces more enhanced tones than the indirect “drop-actions” in spinets.
Studio ~ 44" to 48"

Studio ~ 44" to 48"

  • Studio – The Studio piano is often used in music schools and music studios. It is 44 to 48 inches in height and has a width of approximately 58 inches. Because of its larger soundboard and longer strings, it produces good tone quality and is very durable.
Upright ~ 49" to 60"

Upright ~ 49" to 60"

  • Upright – This is the tallest among the vertical pianos, with a height ranging from 49 to 60 inches and an approximate width of 58 inches. This is the type of piano your great grandparents used to play, though there are modern uprights still in production today.

Grand Pianos – Also known as horizontal pianos. They are called horizontal pianos because of their length and the placement of their strings.

Petite Grand ~ 4'5" to 5'4"

Petite Grand ~ 4'5" to 5'4"

  • Petite Grand – This is the smallest of the horizontal pianos. It ranges in size from 4 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 4 inches; it is indeed small but still powerful.
Baby Grand ~ 5'6" to 6'7"

Baby Grand ~ 5'6" to 6'7"

  • Baby Grand – A very popular type of piano ranging in size from 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet 7 inches. Baby grands are a popular choice because of their sound quality, aesthetic appeal and affordability.
Semi-Concert Grand ~ 6'8" to 7'6"

Semi-Concert Grand ~ 6'8" to 7'6"

  • Semi-Concert Grand – Next size up from the Baby Grand piano is the Semi-Concert Grand, it is approximately 6 feet 8 inches to 7 feet 6 inches long.
Concert Grand ~ 9' or longer

Concert Grand ~ 9' or longer

  • Concert Grand – At 9 feet or longer, is the largest of all the grand pianos.
Fazioli Grand ~ 10' 1/25 inches

Fazioli Grand ~ 10' 1/25 inches

  • The Fazioli Grand – The largest of modern concert grands is the Fazioli Grand measuring just over 10 feet.
Challen ~ 11'8"

Challen ~ 11'8"

  • The Challen Grand – The largest grand ever made is the Challen at 11 feet 8 inches.

5 Responses to What Type Of Piano Do I Own?

  • I have a 41″ Lester (Besty Ross Spinet) piano with Serial number 179946.
    I am just trying to find out the value of it.
    Can you help me?

  • i have a piano it has a mirror across front of it its a upright you can tell its old but i dont see any name on it any ideas on what kind and its worth?

  • I have opened this topic for discussion because there is much debate when categorizing pianos. And if you look around or ask other piano tuners you will discover some who disagree with the above sizes, types, styles as described above.

    For example; the term “Baby Grand” is a term some piano technicians dislike and have tried to steer people away from using. I believe, that is like fighting gravity, it is a loosing battle. People are always going to describe smaller to mid-size grands as “Baby Grands”.

    While others use even more categories than myself, putting grands into five or six categories, sizes, types and / or styles.

    One pet peeve of mine, is calling any piano with a drop or indirect action anything other than a spinet. Some piano manufacturers have created pianos that measure and inch or two taller than what generally is described as a spinet and yet left the inexpensive, less responsive drop / indirect action in such a piano, simply so they can label that piano a console and sell it for more money.

    I think, that is a deceptive practice and any piano with a drop action, no matter how tall should be called a spinet. And all consoles should have direct actions installed in them. But I guess I am fighting gravity on this point because manufacturers have successfully persuaded the public that some consoles do have indirect actions. I think that is a shame.

    This is just one more reason you should never, never, never buy a piano without first having a piano technician assess the piano before you buy. You might get stuck with one of those consoles with indirect actions. You should at lease know what you are buying.

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