About Pianos

How many octaves (notes) does a piano have?

Usually 7 octaves (85 notes) or 7 1/4 octaves (88 Notes). Some smaller pianos have only 6 octaves (73 notes).

What are the main differences between an upright and a grand piano?

An upright piano has a vertical cabinet and the strings are strung vertically inside, whereas a grand has strings strung on a horizontally positioned frame, and has a more open case. For information, please take a look at Types of Grand Pianos & Types of Upright Pianos.

What is meant by the term ‘upright-grand’?

This is a term which is not heard very often today but refers to an antique or traditional piano with an unusually high structure. It is of course not a ‘grand’ piano at all, but a higher than average upright piano.

What is meant by a ‘Spinet’ piano?

Most small pianos built in the U.S.A. have a bureau or writing-desk style often with cabriole legs at the front and are referred to ‘spinets’. A true Spinet is a plucked early keyboard instrument.

What is a Yacht piano?

A small 5-octave upright piano built with a folding keyboard that can be used in boats or small vessels. Now very rare, most were built before the 1930s.

What is a ‘Pianola’ or ‘Player Piano’?

This is a standard upright or grand piano with a built- in self-playing mechanism powered by bellows from two foot pedals. Music is created by air-pressure controlled special rolls with perforations which allow specified notes to be played automatically.


H Burniston

I am delighted to have the piano back at home. It is superb, the tone and touch are superb and the case looks magnificent. I am very pleased to have such a good friend returned to such beautiful condition and am grateful for your efforts of craftsmanship and professionalism.

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Specialists in piano restoration since 1977

Call Courtney Pianos on

01865 790400

Showroom and workshop at 43 Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0BN