How Many Keys Does A Piano Have? (All Piano Types)

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  • Learn about the different types of pianos
  • Discover the number of keys across different piano types
  • Find the most suitable piano type and number of keys for you
  • Also, check out our guide to how much it costs to tune a piano

The piano is one of the most magical and popular musical instruments.

It’s played a significant role in music history for several hundred years as an irreplaceable part in classical music, operas, concertos, and symphonies. 

As it went through many different phases with different numbers of keys and overall sizes, many people wonder how many keys a full-size piano has and how many different types there are.

Since the late 19th century, the instrument has not changed a lot, as the number of keys remained the same with its fixed design.

Today, we will talk about different piano types and how many keys each type of piano has.

How Many Keys Does A Piano Have?

The short answer to the question is that a standard classical piano has 88 keys.

This is the traditional standard that was set around the 1880s. The Steinway family was the pioneer for this norm, as they developed mainly 88-key pianos.

Today, there are keyboards and electric pianos with fewer keys, often from 24 to 88 keys.

There are also some pianos with more than 88 keys, mainly grand pianos (check out list of the best ones here). Pianos can have as many as 108 keys, although 108-key pianos are very rare.

Keyboards and digital pianos often come with 25, 45, 78, 84, 101, 102, and 104 key layouts depending on their sizes.

So even though the short answer to the question is 88, today’s digital pianos come in different sizes and key layouts.

Types Of Pianos

Many people wonder how many keys a standard classical piano has, how many keys a full-size piano has, and how many octaves a piano has.

To answer all these questions, first of all, let’s discuss different piano types and learn about the standard key count on a classical piano.

There are 3 main types of pianos; Grand Pianos, Upright Pianos, and Digital Pianos.

Grand Pianos

Many people have wondered how many keys a grand piano has in comparison to other types of piano.

Grand Pianos typically have 88 standard keys. They’re around 4.5 to 9.5 feet long, and about 5 feet wide. Their weight varies between 500 pounds and 1,200 pounds. 

Grand pianos are the most expensive and the best-sounding piano type. They have horizontal soundboards and a broader soundboard area. Since they are the largest pianos out there, they have a fuller sound than other types of piano.

Petite Grand

The smallest member of the grand piano family, the petit grand piano, usually has 88 keys. They are around 4 feet 5 inches tall, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet deep.

Baby Grand Piano

Baby Grand Pianos are the second smallest instruments of the grand pianos. Like the grand piano types, they also have an 88-key standard layout. They’re usually around 5 feet wide and 5 feet long.

Medium Grand Piano

Medium Grand Pianos have 88 standard keys, just like the rest of the grand piano family.

They are around 5 feet 5 inches in length and are considered the standard size for grand pianos. They are also called classical grand pianos.

Professional Grand Piano

Professional Grand Pianos have  88 standard keys and are around 6 feet long. They are also called full-grand pianos and are considered the best choice for professional piano players. 

Parlor Grand Piano

Parlor Grand Pianos also come with the standard 88-key design, and they are 6 feet 5 inches long on average. They are called living room pianos due to their ideal size and great looks.

Semi-Concert Grand Piano

Semi-Concert Grand Pianos have 88 standard keys and are around 6 feet 11 inches to 7 feet long. They are the second-largest grand pianos and are perfect for large concert halls.

Concert Grand Piano

Concert Grand pianos are the biggest members of the grand piano family and usually come with the standard 88-key design.

Their measures start from 8 feet 11 inches and go up to 9 feet. They are the best sounding and loudest pianos, ideal for professionals, orchestras, and live performances in huge concert halls.

There are also concert grand pianos with more than 88 keys. Although they are rare, some grand pianos have up to 108 keys.

Upright Pianos – Vertical Pianos

Another acoustic piano model is the upright piano or vertical piano. They often have 88 standard keys.

The name comes from the instrument’s shape and strings, which are perpendicular to the ground. Upright pianos have vertical strings, and the hammer hits these strings to create the sound. 

Since the strings go against gravity, the player must exert more pressure on the keys to create sounds. Therefore, the keys on upright pianos are slightly harder to play than on grand pianos (in which the strings are aligned horizontally).

Upright pianos have shorter strings and smaller soundboards, making their sound quieter and less powerful than grand pianos.

Their height is between 3.5 feet to 4.5 feet, their width is around 5 feet, and their depth is around 2 feet. They weigh between 400 pounds to 500 pounds.

Spinet Piano

Spinet Pianos are the smallest and the shortest of the upright pianos. They have 88 standard keys and are around 3 feet long and 4 feet 8 inches wide.

As they are the smallest, they are the most suitable for apartments due to their mellow and quiet sound.

Console Piano

Just like most acoustic pianos, Console Pianos also feature 88 standard keys. They measure around 3 feet 6 inches in height and 4 feet 8 inches in width.

They are slightly larger and louder than Spinet Pianos and are ideal for beginners who want an upgrade from their entry-level pianos.

Professional Upright Piano

Professional Upright Pianos come in the standard 88 keys layout and measure around 4 feet in height.

They are suitable for professional use in concert halls and wider venues. Their sound is similar to the Baby Grand Piano.

Studio Piano

Studio Pianos are often encountered in schools and studios, as they have a balanced sound that’s ideal for small and large halls.

They have 88 standard keys and are around 4 feet tall and 4 feet 8 inches wide.

Digital Pianos

Digital Pianos take different approaches when it comes to key numbers. Since they use digital sounds instead of acoustic sounds, they can sound like grand or upright pianos, as well as other instruments with different effects.

There are many different models with 25, 45, 78, 84, 101, 102, and 104 key designs.

So if you are asking how many keys a piano keyboard has, you should be aware of the different piano models. With digital pianos, the number of keys heavily depends on the size of the piano.

Digital pianos can be either keyboards or electric pianos with different numbers of keys and key types, both of which are very important for a piano player.

When it comes to digital pianos, the key type is an important part of feeling like you are playing an actual piano instead of a toy.

Some digital pianos have non-weighted keys, which bear less resemblance to the feel of a real piano. Non-weighted keys are lightweight and do not resemble acoustic pianos at all. Most organs, synths, and entry-level keyboards have these types of keys.

Semi-weighted keys are similar to synth-action keys. They have a bit of resistance and better control and dynamics.

They slightly resemble the feel of an acoustic piano, and most portable keyboards and workstations use semi-weighted keys.

Finally, there are the fully weighted keys that are commonly used in professional keyboards and workstations.

Weighted keys feel very close to those of an acoustic piano. For this reason, they are also called hammer action keys. There are different types of hammer action keys with slightly different feelings, but they all mimic the acoustic piano.

So the answer to the question of how many keys a piano keyboard has, is not singular or simple. The keyboards can have between 24 to 108 key designs.

FAQs

How many octaves does a piano have?

It depends on the key count of a piano. A standard piano has 88 keys which equal to 7 octaves plus 3 extra notes below the bottom C.

The number of octaves a piano has can heavily affect the versatility of the piano.

How many keys does a full-size piano have?

Full-size pianos have 88 keys, which has been somewhat of a standard since the 1880s when Steinway started producing 88-key pianos. Classical pianos often come with 88 keys, although there are some exceptions.

Why are there 88 keys on a piano?

Classical pianos usually feature 88 keys because composers needed more keys to expand the range for compositions.

They added more keys until they reached the optimum number of keys for both versatility and comfort. This is why the 88 key layout has been the standard since the 1880s when Steinway started building 88-key pianos.

Almost all compositions can be played with 88-key classical pianos, except for contemporary and electronic music.

Below and above this range, it gets harder for the human ear to comfortably hear the notes, which makes the extra keys unusable.

This is why 88 key design is the optimum balance between versatility and comfort.

What are the 7 keys on the piano?

The classical piano has 7 white keys: the C, D, E, F, G, A, and B notes. These are all of the whole notes in an octave.

The 5 half-step notes are the 5 black keys: C#, D#, F#, G#, A# or Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb. So in an octave on the piano, there are 7 white keys and 5 black keys, which makes 12 notes (and 12 keys) in total.

What are the black keys on a piano called?

The black keys are the sharps and flats in an octave. According to the Western musical system, there are 7 natural notes and 5 sharps or flats in an octave.

White keys are natural notes on the piano, and black keys are the flats or the sharps.

According to the 88-key standard piano keyboard layout, a piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys.

Wrapping Up

The piano is one of the most magical instruments and has played significant roles in music history. Thanks to their fantastic sound and easy-to-control designs, most classical music composers have used pianos to compose, perform, and practice.

The number of keys on a standard acoustic piano is 88; however, there are different rare models with slightly more keys.

This has been the standard piano layout since the 1880s when Steinway discovered the optimal number of keys for a piano.

Digital pianos have many different designs with key layouts ranging from 24 to 108.