Pianoforte is an Italian term which literally translates loud soft, is today what we simply call as the piano. Piano was invented in 1700 in Italy by a harpsichord maker Bartolomeo Cristofori and has been around for more than 300 years. During the 1800s, many improvements and inventions were made to the piano. The creation of the upright piano, modern piano action, cast-iron plate, extended the range of octaves, duplex scaling, cross-stringing and etc. Although many changes took place, pianos made today are not very much different than those in the past.
Piano is a complex machine and is made largely of wood with over 10,000 moving parts. Just as every person have a unique voice, different pianos have different sound qualities. This is largely due to 3 basic combinations of piano building; the scale design, the type of materials and the level of workmanship. Thus, no pianos are better than another in terms of tone and touch except that they are different.
When choosing a piano it is very important to pick based primarily on the tone and touch you like. So make sure you play as many pianos prior to purchasing it. A good purchase will end up giving you many years of enjoyment.
Highest Quality Prestige Performance-Grade Pianos
These pianos have everything and are for those who wants “the best” and can afford it. They are built to the very highest quality using the very best materials and emphasize high attention on hand work in the manufacturing and refinement details. Many of these piano manufacturers have very limited production in a year.
Larry Fine, author of the “The Piano Book” rates these pianos as “the highest quality performance pianos”.
There are only few pianos that fall in this category. Most pianos fall in this group are made in Europe.
Very High Quality Performance-Grade Pianos
These pianos are built to a standard promoting high-performance features, best selected materials and impeccable workmanship. Pianos in this group are excellent instruments, which perform and sound at very high level and made of enormous hand work set into refining the tone and touch.
The price different is substantial as compare to the “Tier I” pianos. Yet very small different in quality thus making this piano a great value for those who can afford for “almost the best”.
Most pianos fall in this group are made in Europe, America and selected models from Japan.
High Quality Consumer-Grade Pianos
These pianos are generally have premium components and better performance than entry-level instruments. Majority are mass-produced in Asia, with great attention on the detail and very consistent from start to finish.
These pianos are much suitable for most beginner and moderate level pianists right for home and institutional. Also, few selected Japanese and Korean models are in this group.
Most pianos fall in this group are made in Japan, Korea and selected brands from China and Indonesia
Entry Level Consumer-Grade Pianos
These pianos are built in view of more economy than performance, no-frills pianos suitable for beginners and can vary very much in quality and playability. They are basic and no essential features to keep the price low and competitive. Pianos in this group may outgrown by most beginner students in a few years.
Pianos in this category can be viable alternative to the recond pianos imported from Japan. Most pianos fall in this groups are made in China and Indonesia.