The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. Widely used in classical andjazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also popular as a tool for composing and rehearsal. Although not portable and often expensive, the piano's versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments.
In grand pianos, the frame and strings are horizontal, with the strings extending away from the keyboard. The action lies beneath the strings, and uses gravity as its means of return to a state of rest.
All else being equal, longer pianos with longer strings have larger, richer sound and lower inharmonicityof the strings. Inharmonicity is the degree to which the frequencies of overtones (known as partials orharmonics) sound sharp relative to whole multiples of the fundamental frequency. This results from the piano's considerable string stiffness; as a struck string decays its harmonics vibrate, not from their termination, but from a point very slightly toward the center (or more flexible part) of the string. The higher the partial, the further sharp it runs. Pianos with shorter and thicker string (i.e. small pianos with short string scales) have more inharmonicity. The greater the inharmonicity, the more the ear perceives it as harshness of tone.
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