How wide are pianos: Grand and upright dimensions

Kevin Busse Feb 08, 2024
37 People Read
Piano keyboard width

When shopping for a piano, there are many factors to consider, such as price, brand, age, size, and of course, sound quality.

However, one aspect that often gets misunderstood is the width of pianos, whether it's the largest piano or the smallest piano.

Many people assume that larger pianos must be wider than smaller pianos, but is that really the case?

In this blog post, we will explore the truth about piano widths and clear up any confusion.

As a piano tuner, I've encountered many curious people who ask about the differences between various piano models, including their width.

But here's the thing, pianos are generally the same in width, or at least within a few inches of approximate width.

Across spinets, console pianos, studio pianos, large uprights, baby grands, grand pianos and concert grands, the width of the piano is practically the same.

So, in this blog post, I will delve into this topic, explain the facts behind piano width, and what actually matters.

Do pianos have different widths?

Measuring width

The first thing to understand is that the width of a piano is primarily determined by the number of black keys and white keys that it has.

Some pianos have 44, 61, 72, and 85 keys, which is not standard and will definitely effect the width of the piano.

However, most conventional pianos have 88 keys, with the exception of some rare models that have additional/fewer keys.

This means that regardless of the size or style of the piano, the key sizes and hence the width of conventional pianos are practically the same even for pianos with longer strings or a larger soundboard.

In other words, a concert grand piano and a spinet piano have essentially the same width, give or take an inch or two.

It’s worth noting that this uniformity applies to acoustic pianos, meaning those that use hammers and strings to produce sound, as opposed to digital pianos or electronic keyboards, which may have different sized cases and structure which make them more compact.

Therefore, if you’re considering purchasing an acoustic piano, you can rest assured that piano dimensions like the width will be consistent across pianos of different sizes and different types.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the width of a piano is not necessarily correlated with its sound quality or the piano playing experience.

While larger pianos may produce a fuller or richer sound, they have the same keyboard size which does not require wider keys or a wider cabinet.

Do Spinets and Concert Grands have different widths?

Spinet Piano

It’s also worth debunking a common misconception that spinets are significantly narrower than other pianos.

Some people may assume that smaller pianos are less wide and larger pianos are wider.

While it’s true that spinets are generally smaller in height than other pianos, their width is not significantly different.

For example, a typical spinet piano measures 58 inches in width, while a concert grand piano measures 60 inches in width.

While this may seem like a big difference, the reality is that the largest width difference is only 2 inches, which is not a significant difference when it comes to determining space requirements based on width.

Grand piano width

Are the widths of piano keys the same across sizes?

The Main reason all main types of pianos are the same width is due to the consistent width of the keys.

Again, the width of a piano is fundamentally determined by the number of keys it has, and the keys come in a standard size across modern pianos.

It is very important that the keys are the same width so that those accustomed to playing keyboard instruments can easily switch from piano to piano without having to work very hard to maintain their ability to play well.

Width of the Keys of the piano

This means that regardless of whether you’re playing on a large concert grand or a compact spinet piano, the size of the keys and width of the piano are practically the same.

While there may be slight variations in width of the case of the instrument, the difference is negligible, making it one of the most significant similarities between all different styles of acoustic pianos.

It is quite interesting that width between different pianos around the world are just about exactly the same across all standardized modern pianos!

Which pianos have different widths?

The compact digital piano keyboard, smaller size mini pianos, and/or oversized concert grands.

Tiny Piano

Despite what you may have assumed, there is, in fact, no significant difference in width among acoustic pianos.

The only exceptions are when pianos have less than 88 keys, which is incredibly rare for acoustic pianos but more popular for keyboards.

If a piano has 61 keys or so, it will have a much smaller footprint especially if it is a digital musical instrument.

This is because digital pianos do not have to store strings, action parts, soundboards, bridges, ribs, pedals and trapwork inside of its case.

All that is included are the digital circuit boards, wires, and weighted plastic keys that have extremely compact mechanisms that do not require the space of a piano cabinet.

This decreases the space needed for compact digital pianos, which is why digital keyboards with less than 88 keys on the keyboard can be extremely compact when compared with acoustic pianos.

Digital piano

It’s essential to remember that the measurements of the width of a piano are not the only thing to consider when purchasing a piano.

Other factors such as tone, touch sensitivity, and the overall playing experience should also be taken into account.

In my personal experience, when I compare between different pianos they sound and feel completely different from one piano to the next, which is why I would prefer to go and play a piano that I'm buying instead of ordering it online. This is unless I have previous experience with that exact same model and know exactly what to expect.

Having this knowledge that the differences in width between a compact upright piano and a grand piano are insignificant will help guide you on what is more important to consider.

Pianos with less than 88 keys will be smaller in width proportionally to the number of keys and pianos with additional keys like this Bosendorfer will be wider!

The extra keys in this piano below adds roughly half a foot of extra width just to be able to play extra low bass notes in the bass section which can be somewhat of a challenge to tune, but makes for substantial musical affect!

Bosendorfer extra keys

This is the only larger exception for rare Concert Grand pianos that have these extra keys in the bass section.

By and large, the standard with of a grand piano and the standard width of an upright piano are the same.

When considering a piano to purchase, the width should not be a concern for the piano buyer whatsoever.

A better idea is to concern yourself with factors such as sound and touch, which are more critical since the width of pianos does not vary all that much.

It's far better to focus on these other details when investing in a high-quality piano that you will enjoy playing rather than obsessing over insignificant details like the width.

Conclusion:

The width of pianos is generally the same across all standardized models, with the exception of rare models that have fewer than 88 keys.

Regardless of whether you’re playing on a spinet or a concert grand, the key sizes and hence the width are practically the same, give or take an inch or two!

A 5 foot width is what you need to consider in order to get a piano in your house. Keep in mind that the movers will turn the piano whichever way it needs to in order to fit the piano into the home.

Therefore, don’t let the width of a piano be a deciding factor when shopping for an acoustic piano.

Instead, focus on the sound quality, touch sensitivity, brand reputation, and price range that suit your needs and preferences.

By knowing the truth about piano widths, you can make an informed decision and enjoy playing the piano to its fullest potential.

How-to Articles:

How Often Should You Need to Tune Your Piano

How Tall is a Piano Bench and Adjustable Benches

How Tall is an Upright Piano: Types and Dimensions

How to Tell if Piano Keys are Ivory or Plastic

How to Quickly Sell a Piano

How to Clean and Whiten Key Tops

How Many Strings a Piano Has and Why

How Long does it take to tune a piano