Pianos are very popular in recent years among all the other instruments in the market. There are many different types of pianos available. However, if you’re thinking about pianos being too big, then that’s where this type jumps in! You’ll get pianos with various key numbers and all work almost the same. Isn’t it amazing!
So, amongst all those types, you definitely should be wondering, how many keys on a piano keyboard are! You’d find different numbers on them depending on the models and types. In this article, I’m going to discuss it in detail so you can understand even if you’re a complete beginner.
Did You Know…?
- Piano Keyboards for beginners differ from the keyboard for those who plan to compose electronic music. An action of a key in a piano describes how well the keys respond when they are pushed down. Each piano keyboard’s model differs in firmness and resistance.
- Almost all the best piano keyboard brands offer computer connectivity, it’s a good option for those who want to create their own music with the help of music composition programs.
- The full-sized piano keyboard, which you can also know by weighted piano is probably the best piano for adults to learn. But piano keyboards like that have fewer sound options. However, if you’re a beginner, it’d be best if you practice on a small and less-weighted keys piano since weighed key responds like a traditional piano. However, it might not be comfortable for you to start learning to play the 88-key piano right off the bat. So, it’s better if you consider starting with a 61-note keyboard at first.
- Other characteristics of a modern piano include Input/Output, storage, sampler, MIDI compatibility. However, the piano keyboards can be expensive depending on namely-brands. Nonetheless, non -namely brands can offer you pianos at an affordable price.
What Is the Type of Pianos and How Many Keys on A Piano Keyboard?
As I already mentioned before, you’ll find many types of pianos in musical instrument stores nowadays. Some types are based on how many keys they have on the keyboard. This number of keyboard types can help you train at different training levels. But for a start, I’d like to let you know that earlier, pianos of 85 keys were more popular. However, that type of piano is not available anymore.
Now that I’m done explaining the basics, I’ll write in detail how many keys on a piano keyboard has and what are their uses!
Number of Keys on a Piano Keyboard and Their Uses
The number of keys on a keyboard affects what is played on a piano. Unlike earlier pianos, which had 85 keys – nowadays piano keyboards commonly come with 66, 72, or 88 keys. Here are some examples: –
Composers today generally work on a full-sized modern acoustic piano that typically contains 88 specific keys. The main advantage of this is, it adds up to seven octaves and a minor third spanning from A0 to C8. When you’re going to play it, you can generate a variety of notes without changing the tuning to make it right.
Normally, when you play the piano, knowingly or unknowingly you use different parts of octaves. Each of the octaves has like seven white keys which music specialists named using letters, such as – C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. These are mainly the notes of the C-major. A piano consists of 52 white keys and 36 black keys.
There are pianos that have less than 88 keys. In the past, pianos have had 85 keys in total – fifty white keys and thirty-five keys made up the manual that spans seven octaves from A0 to A7.
Electric Pianos is one of a kind that utilizes the pickup instead of using a soundboard to pass on its sound. Electric pianos have both a grand piano and upstanding models, just like acoustic piano types.
To this date, you’ll find three brands in the market which people consider to be the most reliable brands. Those brands manufacture top-quality electronic pianos. For example, Yamaha, Kawai, and Helpinstill, all of which manufacture pianos with 88-key models.
The Yamaha offers 73- and 76- key piano models, on the other hand, Kawai offers both 75- and 76-key piano models. Here, the Kawai 75-key model has 44 white keys and 31 black keys spanning over six octaves from F1 and G6.
Helpinstill on the other hand offers a model with 64-key as well as 88-key upstanding electric piano models. The model with 64-key consists of 38 white keys and 26 black keys spanning five octaves from A1 to C7.
Even though the name’s pretty similar to electric piano, trust me when I say this, it’s not the same at all! If you notice carefully, you’ll find the uniqueness between them and other pianos.
The electronic piano only gives out the piano’s tonality. A common example is the RMI Electra. Usually, this piano has a 61-key keyboard which consists of 36 white and 25 black keys. The instruction spans five octaves that start with the 1st F key and ends with the 6th F key. So, that’s about the effectiveness of an electronic piano that you can use!
I don’t know about other pianos, but you’ve definitely heard about digital pianos. Didn’t you? because digital Piano currently is one of the most popular alternatives to acoustic types.
The keyboard of a digital piano is designed to mimic the sound and feel of a piano. But this keyboard will provide you with a limited number of keys. Moreover, the price range can vary depending on the number of keys and brand name. So, you better know about them properly before buying.
As for the number of keys on a digital piano, you can find them with a number of keys varying from 32-keys to 88-keys. And the arrangement can vary from brand to brand. For example, there are 23 white and 13 black keys, in a 32-key manual. Besides the manual can start with either C or F note. The case is also the same for the 36- and/or 37-key manual. The key starts with a C-note for the 49-, 54- and 61- key keyboards. Manuals with 76 or 88 keys, start with an A note.
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Also, don’t forget to check my piano buying guide and piano apps article What is The Digital Piano Yamaha P115 – Full Review and Complete Buying Guide for Beginners on 2021 and The Yamaha DGX660 Reviews – Best Digital Piano For Beginners on 2021 and piano Buyer Guide: Yamaha P71 Reviews – A Killer Piano Reviews and Buying Guide
Some More Examples of Pianos with Different Number of Keys
As you already know, nowadays composers usually compose their music with pianos within the standard 88 key model. But there are some exceptions to it.
– Stuart & Sons created a nine-octave piano with 108 keys in 2018.
– Imperial Bosendorfer markets a keyboard with 97-key pianos, with 9 extra black keys so that the pianist can differentiate them from the standard 88 key piano. Even though the extra bass strings add a harmonic vibrancy, the keys are rarely used.
– Emanuel Moor Pianoforte has a total of 164 keys in two rows, the lower manual of the keyboard consists of 88 keys and the upper manual has 76 keys. However, the keys present on the upper manual produce a sound that is an octave higher than that of the keys on the lower manual. How to Clean Piano Keys? – Simple Steps to a Cleaner Piano!?. That can give you, the pianist, an opportunity to play two octaves with one hand. Pretty convenient, isn’t it?
So, these are the things about how many keys on a piano keyboard might have. You’ll get advantages according to the experience level you might have. If you’re a beginner, a piano with 61 keys and five octaves is perfect for you. Even though 76-keys piano is more common nowadays, but it can’t beat the simplicity of a 61-key piano.
However, if you’re not afraid of complicacies, then by all means go and get an 88-key keyboard. even though they’re complicated, but no piano can beat the level it has when it comes to leveling up your piano playing skill to advance and further polishing them.
Hi. I’m Saif Khan, a music enthusiast. Over the years, I have been passionate about playing musical instruments of different kinds, including guitars, drums, piano, and many more, and writing about them.
I am a professional writer and the founder of bestmusicinstrument.com – where I write about musical instruments, equipment, and other music-related articles. In addition, I’m a full-time blogger who loves to share useful content on playing musical instruments, and I have been writing about musical instruments since early 2019. When I started my site, I never thought it would become this big. I also run a Facebook page for my website.
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