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Keyboard vs. Piano: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 31, 2024
A keyboard is an electronic instrument with various sounds and features, while a piano is an acoustic instrument with hammers striking strings.

Key Differences

A keyboard is an electronic instrument that can mimic various sounds, including piano, and offers features like recording and different rhythms. In contrast, a piano is a traditional acoustic instrument known for its rich, resonant sound produced by hammers striking strings.
Keyboards are portable and often used in modern music genres, featuring built-in speakers and headphone jacks for private practice. Pianos, especially grand and upright pianos, are larger and typically used in classical and jazz music for their distinct tonal quality.
The keyboard's sound is electronically generated, allowing for volume control and sound modification. A piano's sound is mechanically generated, offering nuanced dynamics and expressions based on touch.
Keyboards often have additional features like MIDI compatibility for recording and synthesizing, making them versatile for composers and producers. Pianos, with their acoustic properties, are preferred by musicians for live performances and recordings where natural sound quality is paramount.
Maintenance for keyboards involves basic care and occasional electronic servicing, while pianos require regular tuning and maintenance due to their complex mechanical structure.

Comparison Chart

Instrument Type


Sound Production

Electronic sound generation
Hammers striking strings


Generally portable and lightweight
Large and heavy, not easily moved


Variety of sounds, recording, MIDI support
Pure piano sound, nuanced touch sensitivity


Basic care, occasional electronic servicing
Regular tuning, mechanical maintenance

Keyboard and Piano Definitions


An electronic instrument capable of producing various sounds.
She played a melody on her keyboard that sounded like a flute.


A classical instrument known for its rich and expressive sound.
The jazz band's performance was enhanced by the warm tones of the upright piano.


A portable and adaptable musical instrument with keys.
She brought her keyboard to the gig as it was easy to transport.


An acoustic musical instrument with strings struck by hammers.
The concert pianist played a beautiful sonata on the grand piano.


A musical device with keys to play notes, offering digital features.
He recorded a song using the built-in features of his keyboard.


A large musical instrument requiring precise technique and touch.
Her skillful playing on the piano captivated the audience.


An instrument often used in modern music production for its versatility.
The keyboard was essential in creating the electronic track.


An instrument used in various music genres for its unique sound characteristics.
The piano accompaniment gave depth to the choir's performance.


An electronic device that can simulate the sound of a piano and other instruments.
His keyboard can mimic the sound of an orchestra.


A traditional instrument often used in concert halls and music schools.
The music school's grand piano is over a century old and has a remarkable sound.


A panel of buttons used for typing and performing other functions on a computer or typewriter.


A musical instrument with a manual keyboard actuating hammers that strike wire strings, producing sounds that may be softened or sustained by means of pedals.


A passage to be played softly or quietly.


Is a piano portable?

No, pianos are large and not easily moved.

What is a piano?

An acoustic instrument with strings and hammers.

Is a keyboard portable?

Yes, they are generally lightweight and portable.

Do keyboards need tuning?

No, they do not require tuning.

Can you connect a piano to a computer?

Only if it's a digital piano.

Can a keyboard imitate other instruments?

Yes, it can mimic various instruments.

Do pianos need tuning?

Yes, they require regular tuning.

What is a keyboard?

An electronic instrument with various sounds.

Is piano suitable for beginners?

Yes, but it requires more technique.

Are keyboards used in classical music?

Rarely, they are more common in modern genres.

Is the piano used in classical music?

Yes, it's a staple in classical music.

Can you use headphones with a keyboard?

Yes, most have headphone jacks.

Do pianos have weighted keys?

Yes, the keys are naturally weighted.

Does a piano have different sounds?

No, it has a distinct piano sound.

Are keyboards good for beginners?

Yes, they are versatile and user-friendly.

Do keyboards have weighted keys?

Some models do, to mimic piano feel.

Can you connect a keyboard to a computer?

Yes, most have MIDI capabilities.

What is the price range for pianos?

Generally more expensive than keyboards.

What is the price range for keyboards?

They vary, from affordable to expensive.

Can you use headphones with a piano?

Only with digital pianos.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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