Q:

Is a piano considered a percussion instrument?

A:

Quick Answer

According to pianoeducation.org, the piano is a hybrid, a combination of two instrument families: strings and percussion. The strings give the piano its musical tones, but those tones are produced by hammers striking the strings and causing vibrations.

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Full Answer

The piano was invented in about 1700 by Italian harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori. On the harpsichord, sounds are created by plucking the string when a key is pressed. Cristofori, looking for a keyboard instrument that could generate a more assertive sound with variable volume, fashioned a harpsichord with small hammers that hit the strings instead of plucking them. The mechanism allowed the instrument to produce a sound that could become louder or softer with the player's touch. The piano was first called the pianoforte, meaning soft-loud.

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