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Keyboard vs. Piano: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A piano is a large acoustic instrument with weighted keys and hammers striking strings, while a keyboard is an electronic instrument with various sound options and may have unweighted keys.
Keyboard vs. Piano

Key Differences

Keyboards are electronic instruments capable of producing a wide range of sounds, including piano tones. Pianos, specifically acoustic pianos, create sound mechanically through hammers striking strings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023
Keyboards often have options to adjust volume and add effects, and they can mimic other instruments. Pianos provide a range of dynamics and expression based solely on touch and pedal use.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023
The keys on a keyboard can be unweighted or semi-weighted, making them lighter to the touch compared to a piano. Pianos have weighted keys, which require more finger strength and provide nuanced control.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023
Keyboards are generally more portable and space-efficient than pianos. Pianos, particularly grand pianos, are larger and often serve as focal points in rooms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023
Keyboards can be ideal for beginners due to their versatility and often lower cost. Pianos, offering a distinct feel and sound, are frequently preferred by professionals and serious students.
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Dec 11, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Instrument Type

Electronic with various sound options
Acoustic with mechanical sound production
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Key Type

Unweighted or semi-weighted
Weighted
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Sound Variety

Can mimic multiple instruments
Primarily produces piano tones
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Portability

Generally more portable
Less portable, especially grand pianos
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Cost

Often less expensive
Can be more expensive
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Keyboard and Piano Definitions

Keyboard

An electronic instrument with keys that produce various sounds.
She played a melody on her keyboard using a violin sound setting.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Piano

A large acoustic instrument with weighted keys and string mechanism.
The concert pianist performed on a grand piano.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Keyboard

It is portable and suitable for a variety of music styles.
He brought his keyboard to the gig due to its portability.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Piano

Pianos produce sound through hammers striking strings.
The rich tones of the piano filled the concert hall.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Keyboard

Ideal for beginners and home use due to its versatility.
The keyboard was perfect for her home studio setup.
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Dec 04, 2023
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Piano

Less portable and often a centerpiece in homes or concert halls.
The grand piano in the lobby was a beautiful focal point.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Keyboard

Keyboards often feature additional controls like volume and effects.
She adjusted the reverb effect on her keyboard for a unique sound.
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Dec 04, 2023

Piano

Preferred by professionals for its nuanced sound and feel.
The music school boasted several high-quality pianos for students.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Keyboard

A keyboard often has unweighted keys and can replicate different instruments.
His keyboard switched easily from piano to organ sounds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Piano

Offers a dynamic range based on touch sensitivity.
His expressive playing on the piano conveyed deep emotions.
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Dec 04, 2023

Keyboard

A panel of buttons used for typing and performing other functions on a computer or typewriter.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

A musical instrument with a manual keyboard actuating hammers that strike wire strings, producing sounds that may be softened or sustained by means of pedals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

A row of levers that are depressed with the fingers to produce or modulate the sound of an instrument, such as a piano or organ.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

A passage to be played softly or quietly.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

Any of various instruments, played by means of a musical keyboard, often connected to a synthesizer or amplifier.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

In a soft or quiet tone. Used chiefly as a direction.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

To set (copy) by means of a keyed typesetting machine
Keyboard a manuscript.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(musical instruments) a percussive keyboard musical instrument, usually ranging over seven octaves, with white and black colored keys, played by pressing these keys, causing hammers to strike strings
The piano in his house takes up a lot of space.
She has been taking lessons for many years and now plays piano very well.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

To enter (text or data) into a computer by means of a keyboard.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

To play the piano.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

(Music) To play (a composition) on a piano or keyboard.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(of or with fingers) To move (the fingers) up and down on, similar to the motions of a pianist playing the piano.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

A set of keys used to operate a typewriter, computer etc.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

To equip with a piano.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

(music) A component of many instruments including the piano, organ, and harpsichord consisting of usually black and white keys that cause different tones to be produced when struck.
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

To become softer and less intense.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

(music) A device with keys of a musical keyboard, used to control electronic sound-producing devices which may be built into or separate from the keyboard device.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(music) softly, as a musical direction (abbreviated to p. in sheet music)
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

(intransitive) To type on a computer keyboard.
Keyboarding is the part of this job I hate the most.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(music) Soft, quiet.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

The whole arrangement, or one range, of the keys{3} of an organ, piano, typewriter, etc.; that part of a device containing the keys{3} used to operate it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(in extended use) Gentle, soft, subdued.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

Device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

Soft; - a direction to the performer to execute a certain passage softly, and with diminished volume of tone. (Abbrev. p.
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Dec 01, 2023

Keyboard

Holder consisting of an arrangement of hooks on which keys or locks can be hung
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

A well-known musical instrument somewhat resembling the harpsichord, and consisting of a series of wires of graduated length, thickness, and tension, struck by hammers moved by keys.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

A stringed instrument that is played by depressing keys that cause hammers to strike tuned strings and produce sounds
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

(music) low loudness
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Dec 01, 2023

Piano

Used chiefly as a direction or description in music;
The piano passages in the composition
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Piano

Used as a direction in music; to be played relatively softly
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Dec 01, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a piano?

An acoustic instrument with weighted keys and hammers striking strings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Are pianos more expensive than keyboards?

Generally, yes, especially grand and upright pianos.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Can keyboards replicate piano sounds?

Yes, many can produce sounds similar to an acoustic piano.
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Dec 11, 2023

What's the key difference in feel between a keyboard and a piano?

Keyboards often have lighter, unweighted keys, while pianos have weighted keys.
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Dec 11, 2023

Do all keyboards have 88 keys like a piano?

No, keyboards come in various sizes, often with fewer keys.
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Dec 11, 2023

Can you learn piano on a keyboard?

Yes, but the feel and response will differ from an acoustic piano.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

What is a keyboard?

An electronic instrument with keys mimicking various sounds.
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Dec 11, 2023

Is a piano or keyboard better for beginners?

Keyboards are often more beginner-friendly due to cost and versatility.
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Dec 11, 2023

Can I move a piano on my own?

Moving a piano is a challenging task that is best left to professionals to avoid damage or injury.
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Dec 11, 2023

What is the purpose of the sustain pedal on a piano?

The sustain pedal sustains the sound of the piano by allowing the strings to vibrate freely after keys are released.
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Dec 11, 2023

Do pianos require tuning?

Yes, pianos need regular tuning to maintain their correct pitch and sound quality.
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Dec 11, 2023

Do pianos require regular tuning?

Yes, to maintain sound quality, pianos should be tuned regularly.
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Dec 11, 2023

How does a digital piano differ from an acoustic piano?

Digital pianos use electronic technology to replicate the sound and feel of an acoustic piano, while acoustic pianos rely on physical strings and hammers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

What is the lifespan of a piano?

With proper maintenance, pianos can last for several decades or even a century or more.
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Dec 11, 2023

Can you play classical and modern music on a piano?

Yes, pianos are versatile and can be used to play a wide range of musical genres.
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Dec 11, 2023

Are there different sizes of grand pianos?

Yes, grand pianos come in various sizes, from baby grands to concert grands, with varying lengths and tones.
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Dec 11, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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