upright piano

a piano with an upright rectangular body and with its strings running vertically. Cf. spinet (def. 1).

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 musical instrument in which the soundboard and plane of the strings run vertically, perpendicular to the keyboard, thus taking up less floor space than the normal grand piano. Upright pianos are made in various heights; the shortest are called spinets or consoles, and these are generally considered to have an inferior tone resulting from the shortness of their strings and their relatively small soundboards. The larger upright pianos were quite popular in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. The action (hammer and damper mechanism) of the upright differs from the grand-piano action mainly in that upright action is returned to a resting position by means of springs rather than by gravity alone, as in a grand. This, in part, accounts for the characteristic “touch” of uprights, which is distinct from that of grands. The chief advantages of upright pianos lie in their modest price and compactness; they are instruments for the home and school, not for the concert stage.

      The majority of upright pianos have strings running upward from the bottom of the case, near the floor; this design is owed to John Isaac Hawkins, an Englishman who lived in the United States in about 1800 and became an important piano maker in Philadelphia. Earlier, the strings started upward from near the level of the keys; these instruments were necessarily much taller and lent themselves to various decorative designs, among them lyre-shaped; round; the “pyramid” model (Pyramidenflügel; 1745) of the Saxon organ-builder Ernst Christian Friderici, with both sides sloping upward to the flat top; and the “giraffe-style” design (Giraffenflügel; 1804) of Martin Seuffert of Vienna, with one side straight and one bent, as on a grand piano.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Upright piano — Piano Pi*an o, Pianoforte Pi*an o*for te, n. [It. piano soft (fr. L. planus even, smooth; see {Plain}, a.) + It. forte strong, fr. L. fortis (see {Fort}).] (Mus.) A well known musical instrument somewhat resembling the harpsichord, and consisting …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • upright piano — upright pianos N COUNT An upright piano is a piano in which the strings are arranged vertically, rather than horizontally as they are in a grand piano …   English dictionary

  • upright piano — n. a piano with strings set vertically in a rectangular body …   English World dictionary

  • upright piano — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms upright piano : singular upright piano plural upright pianos a tall narrow piano with the strings inside stretched from bottom to top. A long wide piano with strings that go from one side to the other is called …   English dictionary

  • upright piano — upright pi ano noun count a tall narrow piano with the strings inside stretched from bottom to top. A long wide piano with strings that go from one side to the other is called a grand piano …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • upright piano — upright pi ano n a piano with strings that are in a ↑vertical position →↑grand piano …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • upright piano — piano with strings that are hung vertically …   English contemporary dictionary

  • upright piano — noun a piano with a vertical sounding board • Syn: ↑upright • Hypernyms: ↑piano, ↑pianoforte, ↑forte piano • Hyponyms: ↑spinet …   Useful english dictionary

  • upright piano — up′right pian′o n. mad a piano with an upright rectangular body and with its strings running vertically …   From formal English to slang

  • upright piano — noun Date: 1857 a piano with vertical frame and strings compare grand piano …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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