Piano Basics

How Do The Keys Of A Piano Work

working of piano keysIn the last post we promised that we were going to take a more in-depth look in to the crucial components of a piano. This post is about the piano keys and how they work.

There are 88 keys in a full piano keyboard. There are black and white keys and the full keyboard is similar with what you find on a digital key board as well. Now on the outside of it, the whole process seems pretty straight forward. You press a piano key and the piano makes a sound. However, the whole progress that happens when you strike a key on the piano keyboard is actually very complicated.

The keys are levers that trigger off a complex action that ends up in a set of felt covered hammers striking the right string inside. This action starting with the pressing of the piano key that ends up with the hammers striking the strings is called Piano Action. Piano Action is one of the more precise and delicate part of the entire piano. It consists of several precisely made parts coming in to play made out of wood, plastic and even leather. Some of these parts are delicate as well and are more easily damaged and spoilt than others. Between the pressing of the piano key and the strings being played there is a complex system of levers and gears that makes the entire action happen.

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The piano action of the piano determines how smoothly the piano keyboard keys get pressed and how responsive they are to touch. A piano technician and tuner must know how the piano action works in order to maintain the piano and ensure proper functioning of the piano keys. The entire piano action can be taken out of the piano to repair and fix. Also, whenever there is a problem with the piano key such as the key getting stuck or one key not being as responsive as others, it is generally something wrong with the piano action.

The way the piano keys work in the piano has become more complex over the years. The piano action is now more sophisticated than it first was. And with it so is the piano playing experience. It was not so many years back when the piano was first made. But then, the piano action or rather the keys were not so smooth to play with the earlier pianos.

One another thing that you should know about the piano keys is that when you press the key, the hammer strikes the strings inside and immediately bounces back even if you keep the key pressed. This is the Escape Mechanism that every piano has. So now that you know how the keys of a piano work, you will get more pleasure out of playing them to your favourite tune!. All the best.