Why do pianos sound so drastically different from most other string instruments?

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Why do pianos sound so drastically different from most other string instruments?

In: Engineering
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A few reasons: the amount of space in a piano for the sound to reverberate is larger and the strings are different (usually thicker and longer). Also pianos interact with their strings differently from other string instruments.

When you hit a key on a piano, it makes a little hammer inside the body of the piano hit the string. Classical string instruments (violins, cellos, etc) run a bow across the strings which makes a different vibration on the string and thus a different sound. Guitars sound different from classical string instruments and pianos for the same reasons.

Pianos, or pianofortes as they’re sometimes called, are percussion instruments, not strummed, plucked, or bowed instruments. The unique sound comes from the fact that the strings are hit with felted hammers and then muffled with a damper (stops the string vibration).

Unlike the harpsichord, the pianoforte has a series of dampers that can be used to adjust volume and vibration time of the strings. This is where it gets its name, which means “quiet loud” in Italian.

Another factor that I haven’t seen discussed yet is resonance. Most string instruments have 4-6 strings, while a piano has 220-240. When one key is pressed, 2-3 strings are hit, but the vibrational energy of those strings can cause other strings to start vibrating. This effect is most pronounced on strings exactly one octave away from the note you played, but minor overtones are also created by strings a major fourth and a major fifth away.