As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD, Southern NJ and the surrounding areas, I’m sometimes asked how many parts are in a piano. The answer is dependent on your definition of “part.” There are parts in a piano that have numerous pieces glued together to make one piano part. For purposes of this discussion, we will define “part” as one assemblage of glued materials.
If we start with strings, there are 220-240 strings in a piano depending on the size and brand of the piano. Each of those strings requires a tuning pin, so we’re up to about 500 parts so far. The plate, lid, lid prop, piano soundboard, case, key cover, key blocks, and wheels, bring the total to 510. The lyre, or pedal box has approximately 10 parts, and the pedal levers beneath the piano typically have 10 parts, bring us to 520.
The action of the piano is where the totals really start to add up. There are typically 68 dampers made of 5 parts each, plus the lifter tray, sostenuto assembly for the middle piano pedal, and various connections, for an additional 350 parts. Added to the 520 from before, we have a total of 870 so far.
Then for each key, there is the key itself, locating piano pins, punchings to limit the travel, and punchings to locate the height of the key. That would run 13 times 88 piano keys for a subtotal of 1144. Added to the previous 870, we get 2014. Above each key there is a wippen and hammer assembly with let-off buttons and drop screws. Each of key has 9 of these. Multiplying by 88 and adding the supports, we get a subtotal of 808. Adding these to the previous subtotal of 870 yields 1678 individual parts.
That may seem like a lot, but remember we only counted parts that were separate. Most of those parts that we counted were composed of numerous smaller pieces that were glued together. If we counted original materials, that 1678 number would be multiplied by a factor of 5-9.
Knowing this, now you can begin to get a better sense of the amount of items that a piano technician must assess and evaluate in maintaining the condition of your piano. As your piano technician Wilmington DE, I enjoy the challenge of keeping your piano operating at its optimum so that you may have the most sensitive musical expression.