What are the Parts of an Upright Piano?

Posted by Steve Howard on Jan 28, 2020

    The main sections of parts in an upright piano are:

    1. The case
    2. The keys
    3. The action
    4. The strings
    5. Soundboard
    6. The pedals and pedal assembly

    Within each of these sections are various individual parts. The case will include:

    1. Top lid
    2. Sides
    3. Back and backposts
    4. Bottom board
    5. Keybed
    6. Kneeboard
    7. Music desk
    8. Keyslip

    The Keys section will include the keys and the keyframe which has the front rail, balance rail and back rail. The front rail and balance rail both have a set of pins which include one pin on the balance rail and front rail for each key. There is a strip a cloth on the back rail called the backrail cloth. The front rail and balance rail pins also have paper, cardboard and felt punchings for adjusting the level of the keys and adjusting the level of the key dip which is the amount of travel that the key can make as it is pressed down. The keys themselves will include the part of the key that you see, but also has the rest of the keystick which is not typically visible when the piano is assembled. The back of each key has a part called a capstan that pushes up on the bottom of the action to make the keys play. Of course the keys themselves will include both the white keys and the black keys which are called the sharps. (Even though they also serve as flats)

    The action of the piano has various different parts which are all designed as a system to make the piano play.  Here is a list of the different parts of an upright piano action.  Keep in mind that there is one of these parts for each individual key in most cases.

    • Whippen (Includes these individual parts)
      • Whippen body
      • Whippen flange
      • Jack flange
      • Jack
      • Jack spring
      • Bridle wire
      • Backcheck
    • Bridle strap
    • Hammer butt
    • Catcher
    • Hammer shank
    • Hammer head
    • Action brackets
    • Hammer rail
    • Action rail
    • Damper flange
    • Damper lever
    • Damper head
    • Damper felt

    The strings section of the piano includes the strings, which include the plain wire strings which are called the treble and tenor strings, and the bass strings.  

    The soundboard section of parts would include the soundboard which is the resonator of the whole piano, the plate which is typically made from cast iron, the bridges, the hitch pins and agraffes.  We can also include the pin block in this section as it sit under the plate and is what the tuning pins go into.

    The pedals section includes the pedals, the pedal brackets, the trapwork and the pedal rods which attach the trapwork to the action.

    As you can see there are many different piano parts that make an upright piano action work.  You can find most of these parts available here in our online store.