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11 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Pianos

The “King of Instruments,” although versatile and approachable, contains an extensive number of moving parts. Check out these 11 facts you probably didn’t know about pianos.

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1. It’s Actually a Percussion Instrument

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The piano is oftentimes wrongly lumped in with string instruments like the violin. However, it’s actually a member of the percussion group because the piano sound only occurs when a hammer hits a string.

2. Its Tonal Range Is Greater Than Any Other Instrument

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With higher highs and lower lows than any other musical instrument, it’s easy to see how the piano earned its nickname, “King of Instruments.”

7. It Was Originally Called A Pianoforte

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The word “piano” is actually just a nickname. Pianoforte, which literally translates to “soft loud,” refers to the instrument’s large volume range.

9. Marie Antoinette Had a Piano Playing Android

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Built by two German clockmakers, a female piano-playing automation entertained Marie Antoinette’s court. It had 48 strings and two hammers, and it could play eight songs. It was recently on display at the Palace of Versailles.

11. It Can Have Enormous Value

Country Piano / Via countrypiano.com

Christie’s recently sold a Victorian Steinway grand for over a million dollars. The piano was bought by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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