What Kind of Instrument is the Piano?

As many who read my articles may already know about I am what could be called a true opera fan, as not only do I attend performances on a regular basis but have even written a book about the subject called “New York’s Opera Society”. A lot of my knowledge however about the subject started when I was a student at New York’s Hunter College, it was there were I learned many things about music such as the four kinds of instruments, with the first being the human voice. In other words singing which all those who hear me know I have absolutely no talent for but yet it was this which came to be man’s and woman’s first instrument.


It was after the voice was discovered for the purpose of making sounds of harmonies beauty that other instrumented followed suit to imitate it, such as those that contain strings which came in form of guitars, violins but basically any which we stroke the strings with either our fingers or a vow; as the case is with the violin. I mention strings second, when in reality it might have been the kind of instrument known as percussion which followed directly after the human voice.


Percussion being those that can be just about anything and everything from a table which we tap to a beat we hear to a set of drums as the kind that is played in most rock bands. As an added factor we could say that percussion instruments for the most part do not have notes to go along with the instrument as they limit themselves to setting the rhythm and tempo.


The last and fourth kind of instrument man or better put humanity came up with was winds, meaning those instruments that require us to blow in to, such as the saxophone, (an instrument which I once saw Bill Clinton play on a late night show), trumpet, clarinet and others. It is now after having explained so much that I will ask in to which category would one place the piano?


I once put this question to a tenor, I met in Poland who told me that the piano was what could be considered as a percussion instrument, though many a piano player detest the idea of being referred to as a percussionist even if that is what they are. This due to the fact that one does not actually stroke the strings on the piano but tap them through a key which one strikes which makes a pad do like wise to the strings. Actually, one has to corner a piano player specially classical trained ones, to admit to being those who play an instrument of percussion as I did once to a pianist lady friend of mine. This by saying, in the piano; there is no singing, no blowing but strings which are being hit.


By: Gianni Truvianni

About the Author:

My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York’s Opera Society” which is now available on Amazon.