Difference Between Keyboard and Piano (With Table)

Music has changed a lot in many years, earlier it was just limited for entertainment purposes, and there were limited instruments available for playing music. Also, some people do not use to consider playing music a good activity, but nowadays people are pursuing music as a career which is providing it financial support as well. Along with it, there are many instruments introduced for playing music. Some of them are different, while others can be a lot similar.

For example, keyboards and pianos are similar in many aspects and can be confusing for someone who does not acquire much knowledge about the music.

Keyboard vs Piano

The difference between keyboard and piano is that their keys are of different weights. Keyboard has lighter keys in comparison to the piano that has slightly hard and heavier keys. Although in most of the cases, both of these instruments have equal keys, i.e., 88, sometimes some keyboards have fewer keys than 88 depending on the models bought. Both of them differ in costs, this due to many factors such as piano require heavier maintenance, it is mostly used by professionals, it is vintage and require professional help for installment, and can be difficult to find, and due to all of these reasons its is comparatively more costly and less economical, and on the other hand, keyboards require less maintenance, can be used by beginners as well, easily accessible and can be placed without the help of any professionals, and therefore are less costly and more affordable.

Keyboards are musical instruments that have different keys, and the sound of them can be increased and decreased as preferred. They are electronic keyboards as well that require electricity to work. They resemble piano very much but can have a different number of keys. It is mostly preferred by beginners due to its more affordable and easier to learn feature. It can be easily bought on online websites or platforms.

A piano is a musical instrument invented in Italy. It is an acoustic string instrument. It is made of wooden mostly, and strings are attached or struck by wooden hammers. Most of the pianos are vintage and hold a great value in the music. It is mostly used by professionals, and hence it requires proper and regular maintenance. It can be difficult to find a piano as it is costly and require professional people to carry it and deliver it.

Comparison Table Between Keyboard and Piano

Parameters of ComparisonKeyboardPiano
EconomicalIt is more economicalIt is less economical
ProfessionalsLess preferredMore preferred
MaintenanceRequire little maintenanceRequire constant maintenance
SoundDepending on their volume knobDo not depend on such factor

What is Keyboard?

It belongs to the electrical instrument family. It is a lot similar to the piano and can produce different types of sounds that are usually played by different instruments. It is mostly recommended and used by beginners who are learning to play with the keys and not professionals. But there are some expensive elaborated keyboards used for performances by professional players. There should be at least 75 keys on every keyboard which depends on the model of the keyboard. 

They are lighter and easier to find. They are easily available in online musical stores. And the sounds of it can be controlled, i.e., it can be increased and decreased both with the help of musical nodes. 

Following are some of the features of a Keyboard:

  • Chord recognition.
  • Touch sensitivity
  • Demonstration songs.
  • Auto harmonizing.
  • Pitch bending, etc.

In some countries, it is known as an organ, while in others, it is referred to as a synthesizer. Some of the famous keyboard players include Billie Currie of Ultravox, Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic, Vadim Pruzhanov of DragonForce, Jan Hammer, George Duke, Tony Banks of Genesis, Steve Winwood, and Ray Manzarek of The Doors.

What is Piano?

It is used in both historical and modern music. It has created in 1700s by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. There are grand pianos, synthesizers, and digital pianos. It was called pianoforte earlier due to its ability to play notes quietly and loudly. It has more than 10000 parts while at least of this number of them can move. It consists of several small parts which need to work perfectly to play the instrument. To make it a full range instrument total of 230 strings need to be attached. 

The strings are made with the help of steel and hold about 170 pounds of tension each. And this is the reason why it is mostly preferred by professionals and not beginners. Its keys are referred to as ivories. But in reality, they are made out of plastic, not ivory, to save resources, which is a good initiative. They are mostly expensive and cannot be afforded by everyone. 

Main Differences Between Keyboard and Piano

  1. Both of them can be easily differentiated based on their keys. Keys of the keyboard are lighter and easier to press with a soft hand, whereas the keys of the piano are comparatively difficult to press due to their heavier weight.
  2. In terms of economical, keyboards are more economical due to their lower cost, it is because they are best suited for beginners who can easily afford them, whereas pianos are less economical due to their expensive cost as some of them are vintage while others are used by professionals mostly.
  3. In terms of maintenance also, piano, as mentioned above, is costly and one of the factors that add to its cost is their maintenance expenses, as it can fall out of its tune due to several factors it requires regular maintenance while keyboards require comparatively less or little maintenance, it can be cleaned to remove the dust mostly, which further reduces its cost.
  4. They can be differentiated on the basis of their accessibility. A piano is mostly heavier and is difficult to find and therefore requires professionals to carry out and place into the area, which also requires extra fees and keyboard is light and hence can be ordered online and also does not require any professional help and fees.
  5. Lastly, they are different when it comes to the different sounds they produce. Piano being an acoustic instrument, physically amplified and produced its sound. And keyboards are electronic instruments that come with several volume options; therefore, the sound of the keyboard can be increased or decreased, unlike the piano.


Therefore, with all of the above-mentioned differences, it will be easy for anyone to differentiate between a keyboard and a piano. Both of these instruments have identical key arrangements and require similar hand movements for playing them. Although keys in the keyboards depend upon the models and person who is purchasing them. Purchasing either of them should depend upon if it is going to be used by a professional player or a beginner, and the factor can be affordability (which is a good option as a buyer). Otherwise, both of them are great options and instruments for playing music.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/506443.506522
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1942-02623-001
  3. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.5009659
  4. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3679711
  5. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/scimed/mppa/2000/00000015/00000003/art00004
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