Why do people love baby grand pianos?
When we think of the grand piano we have an image of this gleaming instrument that dominates the space. Beautiful and powerful as it may be it comes in size variations that are suitable for many different spaces and don’t require a separate ballroom or a stage. Enter baby grand piano. And while ‘baby’ makes it sound like ‘mini-me’ type of ‘twin’ sidekick it is anything but. People love their baby grand pianos not only for the beauty of the grand piano shape and grace it lends to any room it is in but also for the superior sound it delivers.
Superior Sound and Action
The reason being is that horizontally resonating soundboard of the baby grand piano still produces a richer, more over-tone laden sound than that of most uprights. Those are simply the physics of the sound production. While upright pianos of today are infinitely superior to their older siblings and in particular circumstances are a perfect choice the grand piano will always sound better. Period. There is also an issue of a keyboard action mechanism that strikes the key and transfers the velocity and energy from the pianist‘s finger to that key and subsequently to the string. In the upright piano the action is perpendicular to the key – another words the energy of the key strike is bent about 90 degrees before the hammer strikes the string. The escapement of the hammer to its original position is aided by jacks and springs on the upright action while on any grand piano this is the function of gravity. That naturally affects the sound that instrument produces and its action‘s ability for fast repetition.
Another aspect to consider is the resonance. The upright piano has the most resonance in the back, which is its soundboard. Typically upright pianos are standing against the wall wherefore the sound remains “in the box” of the upright‘s body, its resonance being blocked by the wall. Conversely grand piano‘s soundboard, which is the “bottom” of your grand piano‘s body is resonating above, below and laterally with no obstruction resulting in richer, fuller and more resonant sound.
So if your space dimensions allow for a grand or a baby grand and the sound of the piano is an important factor your only right choice is to go with a grand or a baby grand. Given the variety of piano sizes available today you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit. However if the choice is purely aesthetic and the look of the upright piano is what you are looking for than there are some truly remarkable and beautiful upright pianos made today from completely transparent Made by Bluthner Lucid to the minimalist ones made by Sauter with unique butterfly lids.
How to measure a grand piano?
A grand piano is to be measured from the keys to the very back, a so-called tail of the piano.
Make sure to use a firm measure device and keep it absolutely straight running lengthwise all the way to the end of the piano rim at the peak of the tail. That will be your exact length dimension.
The width of the piano almost never fluctuates – though some larger concert grand pianos have slightly thinker rim and larger frame to accommodate the weight and strength distribution. The main sizing parameter of the grand pianos and baby grand pianos is length which determines each category any given piano belongs to.
Baby Grand Dimensions:
Length: Baby grand pianos begin at 4’11 in length to 5’11.
Width: 5 feet.
Note: as the width of the piano is predetermined by its 88 keys of the standard piano keyboard most of the baby grands’ to concert grands’ widths will be essentially the same. The exception is being extra wide keyboards (Bosendorfer Imperial) which expand the width of the piano to 5.9 to accommodate for extra keys at the base. Also worth remembering that a largest concert grand pianos will have a little thicker body to support the frame and therefore may be somewhat wider than the standard 5 feet of the standard 88 keys keyboard.
What is the smallest baby grand piano?
So running with the idea of ‘mini-me’ there is a grand piano baby category. This micro grand baby piano starts at as small as 4’5″ to about 4’10″ feet long. Bear in mind that in this category the piano is shorter than it is wide as the keyboard remains at standard 88 keys. While the horizontal action and soundboard still are attributes of these mini baby grand pianos the hammers have to be shorter to scale down the proportions of the instrument and at those sizes the distance the hammer travels to the string is in fact shorter than that of the upright piano. The mini grand piano dimensions still represent the aesthetic of the baby grand piano but placement will have to be very wise to optically make up for the disproportion of the width to length ratio. If the size of your piano is determined by your space very strictly and you are adamant about having a micro baby grand versus upright than we would suggest choosing the largest size possible within this category. If your home permits we recommend getting the baby grand of at least 5 feet which will create a dimensional square between the length and the width and is the best option in that size. But if at all possible the mid-5-feet length is ideal for the baby grand piano to truly justify its name and provide a compact experience of excellent sound and visual grace.
How much does a baby grand piano weigh
The average baby grand piano will weigh about 600-700 pounds. The micro baby grands weigh-in at approximately 500-660 pounds. Much depends on the materials such as the type of wood used, hardware and the use of acrylic. There will be an insignificant fluctuation of weight between different piano brands but it should not be substantial. Not all pianos are made exactly the same way so different sizes will not always affect the weight of the piano accordingly. For instance designer pianos that have acrylic elements will weigh more. Certain alloys have different weight properties hence the fancy designer baby grands may end up with different weight parameters than the average.
What is the size difference between a baby grand and a grand piano?
Ordinarily grand pianos are 6’ to about 7’ feet long while baby grand pianos are 4’11 to 5’11 feet long.
Since different manufacturers craft unique pianos sometimes there are a few inches give-and-take based on specific dimensions of a specific piano. Concert grand pianos are made as large as 10 feet long – and with that length the dimensions of the body, rim and frame are adjusted accordingly to allow for the most advantageous resonance and design.
The larger the grand piano is the longer are the keys. Keys are in essence leavers and longer keys allow for finer, more nuanced control of the touch and the double escapement action, which is the reason concert grands always feel and sound better than smaller pianos.
We hope this article is helpful to you. If you have any further questions or would like guidance in your piano selection our dedicated team is here to help and make this the most enjoyable and exciting experience for you.