Fun Fact: Grand pianos have been called the “purest” form of the piano we have today.
The original, if you will. Yes, the grand piano resembles the original pianoforte. The strings of a grand piano are strung horizontally. This gives the grand piano more potential for expression. Because the piano hammers return to their rest position using gravity (i.e. their own weight), the pianist has more control. Keys can be played faster. Repetition, when you’re playing trills, is much smoother as a result. Key repetition for a grand piano can be as fast as 14 times per second. That’s twice the speed compared to an average upright piano.
Fun Fact: Upright pianos are also known as “vertical” pianos.
That’s right. An upright piano’s action mechanism is vertical. This vertical stringing makes upright pianos more compact. Which makes the upright piano ideal if you have a limited space. Or a limited budget.
Yamaha and Kawai produce many upright pianos. You probably know of the Yamaha U1 and U3 series. These are just some of Yamaha’s basic upright piano models. For higher-end Yamaha pianos, there’s the UX-1 in the U1 series, as well as the YUA, YUX, just to name a few, in the U3 series.
Yamaha and Kawai are household names when it comes to pianos. What you may not know is that many of their great pianos hail from the 1960s and the 1980s. That’s right, new doesn’t always mean better.
Up until the 1980s, Yamaha and Kawai made all their pianos in Japan. For Yamaha, many of these were well-built pianos with high quality soundboards, hammers, wooden pedal mechanisms (for upright pianos), and mostly wooden action parts. As for Kawai, the piano maker has always been known for its modern take on the piano art form, pioneering the idea of new materials and designs for the piano.