You may have heard this term before and might be familiar with the concept of an upright grand. At first it might sound like an oxymoron, but the term actually makes a lot of sense once you learn exactly what it means.
So what is an upright grand? Is it an upright piano or a grand piano?
The short answer is that it’s an upright piano. However, it’s not just any upright piano. At the turn of the 20th century, countless American piano companies manufactured very tall upright pianos. These instruments offered the sound of a grand piano because of the long strings and large soundboard area. They coined the term upright grand to describe these type of instruments.
There was a time when these full size upright pianos were extremely popular. They could fit into the smaller homes of that time without compromising sound. Many of them had ornate wood with intricate carvings like this Schubert Upright Grand we currently have. It was common for these instruments to have player systems as well – the original home entertainment center!
Are these pianos as good as grand pianos? I suggest watching another video Uprights Vs. Grand Pianos to get a better idea of the differences between the two styles of pianos.
Thanks again for watching and feel free to send all your comments and suggestions to us directly: Info@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729
You’d think that finding the right size piano for your home would be an easy thing to figure out. You might assume that the room size dictates what size piano you should get. There is actually quite a bit more to it.
Two issues to deal with when buying a piano are who will be playing it and whether it will disturb other people in your household or neighbors. Beginning players will not generate a great deal of sound out of any piano. However, generally speaking, the larger the piano, the more volume it produces. You probably don’t want to buy an instrument that is going to be a nuisance for people in your home or next door; it’s something important to consider. Fortunately, there are silent piano systems you can add to pianos to mute the sound and hear sampled piano sound in headphones – making the size and volume of the piano less of a concern. Although this will compromise your playing experience.
It’s important to take note of the room you are going to put your piano in. Not only does the size of the room matter, but many elements affect the volume and tone of the instrument. For example, if you have carpet rather than hardwood floors, the piano will be somewhat muted since the carpet absorbs sound. Half of the sound comes out the bottom of grand pianos. Sometimes a room with hard floors can produce too much sound in which case you could consider putting a rug under the piano.
The floor is not the only aspect of acoustics of a room. Drapes, soft furniture, and other absorbing objects can dampen the sound of the piano. A large piano can sound much quieter in an acoustically dead space.
Naturally you must consider the physical space needed for a piano. A small baby grand piano is typically 5 feet in length and about 5 feet wide (as all pianos are because of the 88 keys). Concert grand pianos are usually around 9 feet long. The length of a piano is measured from the key slip (the piece of wood in front of the keys on the keyboard) to the very end of the lid. You should also allow for an additional 2 feet for when the bench is pulled out in front of the piano.
Upright pianos can be a good choice for smaller rooms, but they are less flexible in placement since the backs are unfinished. Therefore, they generally go up against a wall whereas grand pianos and baby grands look good from all angles and can even be tucked into a corner.
These are the main factors in determining what size piano is best for you. Thanks again for joining us here at Living Pianos. If you have any questions about this topic or any others, please contact us at: Info@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729
I really want to get a piano, but of course their expensive, take up space, and are loud. The expense is not what I’m worried about. What kind of piano should look for?
You should try to get the best piano you can afford. All students eventually outgrow even the finest upright pianos. Here is a video on the subject:
The minimum instrument you can utilize to learn the piano would be an 88 key weighted action digital. An upright would be a step up from that. A baby grand is better yet. And large grand pianos in excellent condition would be the ideal instrument for you.
Placing a piano in an optimal spot in a room is vital for the overall sound of the instrument in your home. With the right placement, you can make a smaller piano sound much richer and fuller.
When it comes to upright pianos, the obvious selection would be to put it against the wall; after all, the back is flat – and it’s not very attractive to look at. If you were to put an upright piano in the middle of a room it might look odd.
Even though the placement of an upright piano might seem limited, there are some things you can try to make the sound much better. The best thing to do is place the piano a few inches away from the wall – don’t place it directly on the wall. This will allow the sound of the piano to reverberate off the wall and fill the room with music. If the upright is flush against the wall, a lot of the sound will be muffled. This is because most of the sound from an upright piano comes out the back because that is where the soundboard is.
Another thing you can do to improve the sound is to place the upright in a position where it would divide the room – so it would not be against the wall; but essentially in the middle of the room. To get away from having the back of the piano exposed, you can install attractive fabric on the back of the piano to match the decor of your room.
Generally you will have an upright piano against a wall, but it is worth experimenting to see what sounds best. The sound of your piano is dependent not only on the condition of the piano but the room it’s in.