We are now offering virtual and in store appointments at our Lancaster, PA and Timonium, MD piano galleries to view our selection of acoustic pianos.

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If You’re Serious About Playing, a Grand Piano Is the One

Piano originally referred to a grand piano. The grand piano offers a wide dynamic range, rich resonance, diverse tonality, and responsive touch. Only when all of these features are combined are pianists able to fully convey the rich sound expression that composers incorporate into their works.

Features of the grand piano include:

  • More rich and varying sonority with wide dynamics-from pianissimo to fortissimo
  • Smoother sustain
  • More substantial tone
  • Higher ability to add subtle expression to notes
  • Sound is uniform and well balanced
  • Higher ability of note repetitions

Because these features merge to create “good sound,” playing a grand piano enables the pianist to add more vibrant emotional expression to the music than when playing an upright piano.

Compare & Contrast: The Grand Piano vs. The Upright Piano

The action mechanism of a grand piano is significantly different than an upright piano.

Grand Piano: Horizontal Action

Because the hammers return to their rest position under their own weight, repetition, in which the notes are repeated quickly such as when playing trills, is smooth. Key repetition as fast as about 14 times per second is possible on a grand piano.

Upright Piano: Vertical Action

The hammers on an upright piano rely on springs to return to the at-rest position. Because of this, there is a limit to fast repetition such as is used when playing trills. Key repetition as fast as about seven times per second is possible on an upright piano.

The pedals have different functions in a grand piano and an upright piano.

Grand Piano: Shift, Sostenuto, and Sustain Pedals

Shift Pedal (Left Pedal)
The shift pedal is also called the soft pedal or una corda pedal. It shifts the entire action assembly to the right, changing not only the sound volume, but also making minute changes to the tone.

Sostenuto Pedal (Middle Pedal)
The sostenuto pedal keeps the dampers raised and away from the strings of any keys played just before depressing the pedal. This makes it possible to sustain selected notes.

Sustain Pedal (Right Pedal)
The sustain pedal is also called the damper pedal. Dampers remain lifted even if the fingers are taken off the keys, sustaining all played notes.

Upright Piano: Soft, Muffler, and Sustain Pedals

Soft Pedal (Left Pedal)
When this pedal is pressed, all of the hammers are moved closer to the strings, reducing the sound volume.

Muffler Pedal (Middle Pedal)
The muffler pedal is also called the practice pedal. A thin piece of felt is dropped between the hammers and strings, greatly muting the sound.

Sustain Pedal (Right Pedal)
 The sustain pedal is also called the damper pedal. Dampers remain lifted even if the fingers are taken off the keys, sustaining all played notes.

Stop in or schedule an appointment at our Piano Galleries in either our Timonium, MD or Lancaster, PA locations.

Both locations carry a large selection of Yamaha upright and grand pianos.  You will be able to sample them all to decide what is the right choice for you!  The following is a list of the Yamaha  acoustic pianos we currently stock at these locations.

Upright Pianos:

B1, B2, B3, P22, U1, U3

Grand Pianos:

GB1K, GC1M, GC2, C3X

If you are interested in Yamaha pianos with technology, information can be found here.

If you are interested in the Disklavier Enspire Player Piano, information can be found here.

If you are interested in Clavinova Digital Pianos, information can be found here.