Ideal Keyboard & Piano For You

What’s the Difference Between a Keyboard & Piano?

Sometimes, we use language that communicates effectively, yet it reveals a myriad of inaccuracies when held in the light of scrutiny. Take the word tea, for example. This word is often used to describe drinks that include nothing from a tea plant, the most common culprit being peppermint tea. And this same critical eye can be cast over the words keyboard & piano. Frequently, a keyboard is used to mean a digital piano.

The Keyboard, Piano, and Digital Piano

Having owned a few electronic pianos, I can assure you that keyboards are mechanical devices that create sound waves. While pianos use strings attached to a keyboard, many instruments nowadays use digital and even MIDI controllers instead. What do all of these terms mean? Digital piano is a device that reproduces a piano’s sound in a computer, precisely, in the form of MIDI, a musical signal file format. On a keyboard, music is created by waving your fingers across the keys, either by clicking your fingers or using a stylus. The piano was invented before the keyboard, in which the strings of a keyboard were connected to metal plates that vibrated against a wooden mechanism.

What’s the difference between a keyboard & piano?

This confusion has existed for quite some time and has spawned a few exciting speculations about the real difference between the two. While both keyboards & pianos play a stringed and percussive instrument, there are subtle differences between the two that I am going to examine. These distinctions can make the difference between an enjoyable piece of music and one that genuinely embodies art’s essence. Where did the word piano come from? The first clue to the nature of the word piano comes in the Italian word piano. Piano comes from the same root as “piano,” meaning to write. It’s a connection that most people will accept when using the word piano. However, it doesn’t fully explain the origin of the word.

What’s the difference between a keyboard and digital piano?

Over the years, a lot of confusion has been caused by the keyboard implying digital piano. And often, this misconception is perpetuated by the use of the word piano in the same sentence as the keyboard. If you’re to use either phrase in a sentence, it’s vital to ensure that you’re referring to a physical instrument. To understand the difference, you first need to understand how piano keys are constructed. Each note on a piano has several black “fret” marks, and these are connected to a horizontal, flat base made up of a layer of sheet metal. This base is then extended upward, where each note is constructed from a single metal rod and wire.


From a writer’s standpoint, we can apply a simple lesson to understand both of these terms: know that there are two distinct positions that keyboard players must play to perform the typical musical structure, both keys are technically functions of the hands, and while many composers have composed great works in both styles, the less joint movement of a piano in a specific key should not be assumed to be “typical” keyboard playing. I hope that this brief background has provided a deeper understanding of keyboard & piano and has proven helpful in your writing.