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  • Abigail Natnat

Is the piano a string or a percussion instrument?

The piano is one of the most-popular musical instruments in the world. But peek inside it, and you’ll quickly discover that it is also among the more-complex instruments. You might also begin to wonder what type of instrument it is—percussion or stringed?



Inside a piano, there are strings, and there is a long row of uniformly rounded felt-covered hammers.


On a piano, vibrations are initiated by hammers hitting the strings rather than by plucking or by moving a bow across them. So, the piano also falls into the realm of percussion instruments. As a result, today the piano is generally considered to be both a stringed and a percussion instrument.


If the string that is hit is long and thick, the pitch of the sound produced is relatively low; the key, in other words, was on the left end of the piano. If the string that is hit is thin and short, the pitch is higher, indicating that the key played was on the right half of the piano.


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