Types & Sizes of Grand Pianos


Grand Pianos:  The reasons for the preference which most people show for a Grand to an Upright piano are probably aesthetic and psychological. A Grand looks better in a room, and the pianist is more favorably impressed by the “view” when he sits down to play a Grand, compared with an Upright, which usually stands with its back to a wall. Another advantage is that the top, when raised, deflects the sound to player and room. Unfortunately, this preference brought about the production of miniature Grand pianos which are inferior in tone and touch to a good Upright and are described in the trade as “Small Grand Pianos”. The action in such models was cut down in size and price, and the strings are too short; in fact, the minimum size for a Grand seems to be 4 ft.10 in. if the instrument is to be considered as a serious rival to a good Upright.

Sizes and Types: The standard width of a grand piano is also about 5'. The length varies from 4˝' to 9˝'. The total floor space allowance for the smallest grand should be at least 5' wide by 6˝' long, including bench space. Grand pianos are measure by the length from the very front of the keyboard to the farthest end of the piano along the spine, with the lid closed. The smallest Steinway is 5 ft. 1 in. (The size stated is always the over-all length of an instrument.) There are several types of grand pianos, based on piano length.  Click on image for example of size and specifications:

Tonal Quality - The soundboard and strings of a grand piano are positioned horizontally inside the piano case. When you press down a key, the hammer of the key hits the strings from below to produce the sound. The movement of the hammer falls back with the help of gravity, which makes the sound of repetitive notes crisp and allows the pianist better control of the keys. The size of the soundboard and the length of strings influence the tonal quality of a piano. Larger soundboard and longer strings produce greater volume and resonance of tone.

Small Grand under 4˝' to 5’| Baby Grand 5’ to 5’5”| Medium Grand 5’6” to 5’9”|Living Room Grand - 5'10"|Professional Grand - 6' 

Drawing Room Grand - 6'4" |  Parlour  Grand 6'8"   |  Semi Concert Grand  7'4"  |  Concert Grand - 8' 11' and larger


European and Asian Grand Pianos are measured by length in cm.
(Size is reflected in Model Number at times)

Grand Piano Size Conversion

Including Asia, Europe, Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia
Compliments of the "Original" Bluebook of Pianos

Recommendation: Since the tonal quality and the volume of the piano depend mainly on the size of the soundboard and the length of the strings, you want to start from the largest vertical or grand piano you can afford. You also need to consider the space you have. The sound of a Small Grand can get lost in a large open room where a Medium Grand in a small room can be too loud.


Copyright © 2011 Bluebook of Pianos