Is Piano A String Instrument? (Answered)

The piano is a unique instrument that is classified as both a percussion and string instrument. While many renowned musicians and experts in the field of music consider it a string instrument, its classification is more complex. There are three main categories of musical instruments: percussion instruments, string instruments, and wind instruments.

Piano’s Structure

A piano consists of many parts that play vital roles, making it challenging to categorize it solely as a string instrument. Unlike other string instruments, the piano’s strings are hidden inside a closed panel, contributing to its distinctive nature.

What is a String Instrument?

String instruments, or chordophones, produce musical sounds through the vibration of their strings. When these strings vibrate, they create sound waves that we perceive as music. Examples of string instruments include guitars, violins, cellos, and harps.

Is Piano a string instrument

Why Do People Think It’s A String Instrument?

The piano features a complex arrangement of strings fixed in its back panel. When a pianist presses a key, a small hammer strikes the corresponding string, causing it to vibrate and produce sound. People often consider the piano a string instrument because the tension and adjustment of these strings are crucial for producing accurate notes.

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What Are String Instruments?

String instruments are played using their strings, which can vary in number from a few to hundreds. These instruments can be played by plucking with fingers, using a plectrum, striking with a small hammer, or bowing with a soft bow. Examples include electric basses, violins, cellos, mandolins, violas, ukuleles, guitars, double basses, banjos, harps, and possibly pianos.

Why Do People Think the Piano is a Percussion Instrument?

On the other hand, some people classify the piano as a percussion instrument. Percussion instruments produce sound when they are hit, scraped, or shaken. They require the application of force to generate sound. Examples of percussion instruments include drums, tambourines, cymbals, and xylophones.

The pianist must strike the keys on the keyboard to produce sound, aligning the piano with percussion instruments. Without pressing the keys, no sound can be generated, leading to the belief that the piano is a percussion instrument.

Is Piano a string instrument

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The Verdict: String or Percussion?

Ultimately, the piano can be considered both a string and percussion instrument. The keys must be struck to produce sound, aligning it with percussion instruments. However, the sound is produced by the vibration of strings, linking it to string instruments.

The piano’s design is inspired by hammered dulcimers, which belong to the percussion family. Therefore, while it can be categorized as a string instrument due to its vibrating strings, it is primarily a percussion instrument because it requires the keys to be struck.


We hope this article has clarified the differences between string and percussion instruments and provided insight into the piano’s unique classification. The debate over whether the piano is a string or percussion instrument may continue, but it ultimately depends on which part of the piano is considered.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and family. Let us know your thoughts on whether a piano is a string or percussion instrument in the comments section. Thank you for reading, and check out our website for more informative articles.

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