Upright and grand piano
The piano was invented by Italian Barolomeo Cristofori in 1726. The word piano is an abbreviation of ‘piano et forte’ which means ‘soft and loud’. The black keys represent sharps and flats. The white keys are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet. Starting at the left, the first white key is A, with the lowest tone. The second is B, and so on through G, and starting with A again at the eighth key. The distance between any piano key of the same name is an octave. The highest tone on the piano is the eighth C. A piano covers the full spectrum of all orchestra instruments, from below the lowest note of the double bassoon to above the top note of the piccolo – which span the frequency range 27.5 Hz (A0) to 4186 Hz (C8). A grand piano can be played faster than an upright (spinet) piano because it has a repetition lever that allows the pianist to repeat the note when it is only half way up. An upright piano requires letting the key all the way up to reset the hammer action.