The grand piano is mostly used for stage performances, while the upright piano is suitable for family practice. The piano divides into the upright piano and the grand piano. Between them, the biggest difference is the piano size difference.
The tremolo and strings are placed vertically, so the higher the height, the louder the sound. The size of the room in which the piano is placed is also a key factor in achieving optimum sound effects.
Vertical pianos are about 150 cm long and 60 cm wide. Height is the core standard for vertical models, and many pianos, such as Yamaha “YU121”, use height as the model label.
The height of the general upright piano is 116cm, 118cm, 121cm, 125cm, 128cm, and 131cm.
- Vertical pianos below 116 cm are suitable for smaller rooms of about 10 m2.
- The 118 cm, 121 cm upright piano can be placed in a room of about 20 m 2.
- A 125 cm, 128 cm piano is used in rooms larger than 25 m2.
- The 131 cm piano is already big enough for small concerts and large enough for families.
The open space of the room, the resonance of the floor material, and the sound absorption effect of the decoration in the room will have an impact on the sound of the piano, so when the sound of the piano in the room is not ideal, you can skillfully use these arrangements to adjust.
The soundboard and strings are placed horizontally, so the triangle’s stringer is more sensitive to gravity than the upright’s.
The width of a grand piano is about 150 cm, and its height is about 100 cm. Its length (also called depth) is the key factor of the sound effect of a grand piano. The length of a grand piano is between 150 cm and 275 cm.
Grand pianos less than 170 cm are small grand pianos, generally used for large space family or small concert use.
The grand piano between 170cm and 230cm is a medium-sized grand piano, which can be used in concert halls, medium-sized theatres, and music schools.
Grand pianos larger than 230 cm belong to grand pianos, which are special instruments for large concerts. They are generally used in large-scale occasions such as Grand Theatres, concert halls, and stadiums. This kind of grand piano’s craft quality, performance, playing sensitivity, and acoustic performance all have extremely high request and belongs to the piano at the top level.
The above is the vertical piano and grand piano size difference. When buying a piano, you can, according to demand and space choose the model of the piano,
Other differences between Upright and Grand Piano
So apart from the size, what’s the difference between an upright and a grand？
Difference One: the structure of the hitting string machine.
After the hammer strikes the strings, it needs to return to its original position in time for the next stroke.
The soundboard and Strings of the vertical piano are arranged vertically. The hammer strikes the strings transversely and returns to its original position with the help of the spring.
The acoustic plates and strings of a grand piano are arranged horizontally, with the hammer striking the strings below and returning to their original position by gravity. The hammer rebound of a grand piano is more stable, labor-saving, and fast, while that of an upright piano is affected by the spring state.
As a result, the vertical piano has 7 consecutive hits per second for a single key, 14 for a grand, and even faster for a Steinway.
The Grand Piano’s interlocking design allows the keyboard to play repeated notes halfway back, making the repetition faster.
Difference Two: pedals.
The tremolo pedal on the right side of the upright piano and the grand piano is the same, but the pedal on the left side, of the upright piano, is the soft pedal, and the grand piano is the shift pedal.
The principle of the vertical piano soft pedal is to make the hammer strike the string position close to the string and soothing sound (reduce the hammer strike force) ;
But the shift pedal of a grand piano makes the piano key whole move to one side. It originally hit a three-string hammer, and now it hit two cans.
In this way, the vibrations between the struck and resonating strings are reversed and cancel each other out. In this way, not only to the volume but also to bring subtle changes in timbre.
The center pedal of the upright piano is a mute pedal that reduces the overall volume when necessary. But the grand piano’s central pedal is a Sostenuto, and when you press a key and tap the main pedal, it only prolongs the note.
Difference Three: volume.
Vertical pianos and grand pianos have the same volume. Still, they feel the triangle’s sound is richer, and this is because the very weak and strong between the dynamic area is wider, the sound intensity is very clear, and performance forms will be rich.
A grand piano cover can be propped up to act as a sound reflector and focus the sound, so most large concerts use grand piano over 9 feet.
Difference four: structural design.
The soundboard of the upright piano is inside the body and is box-shaped, so there is always some feeling of low.
But the triangle’s soundboard is underneath the cast-iron board, and there is no barrier between the strings and the soundboard. This design can reduce the loss of energy transmission so that the soundboard can absorb more energy to strengthen the vibration of the soundboard.
The structure of the triangle resonance cavity is reasonable, and the space is enough, which makes the triangle produce more sound.
To save space, the resonance cavity of the vertical harp is not very large, and the interlaced strings affect the resonance, to a certain extent, changing the timbre of the mid-range so that the dynamic range and timbre uniformity of the vertical harp is greatly limited.