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10 Design Tips for Where To Put a Piano in a Small House

10 Design Tips for Where To Put a Piano in a Small House

A few months ago, I had space issues in my house.

I had just gotten a grand piano and I was excited to start playing it but the problem was space and fitting it in my small house.

So while looking for designs and solutions that other people had used, I decided to write this article.

If you have a small house and you are wondering where to put a piano in a small house, then I have some awesome design tips for you.

Having a small house comes with lots of issues that you have to deal with and the major one among them is space.

A piano, especially a grand piano is a big instrument and finding the space to fit it in a small house with small rooms can be a big issue

In this article I will be showing you some designs I found on how some people are actually fitting their pianos into their houses.

Hopefully you get some inspiration from these.

1. Near a White Curtain

I really like this aesthetic and the feel of this design.

It gives off this grandiose look and feeling of royalty everytime you sit to play the piano.

Setting this up near a white curtain and just by the window will also ensure that you have a spectacular view and get some sunlight while playing the piano.

I will definitely recommend this and you should too if and when you have the space in your house to fit it in.

Also if you can get the stool, as this gives you the required height to effectively play the piano and make beautiful music.

2. Alone in a Room

Where To Put a Piano in a Small House

Having a dedicated room where you can fit and play your piano is awesome.

One thing I like about this design is that you have your privacy and there are no distractions.

It’s just you and the piano so you can actually block off time and focus while playing the piano.

In a small house, this might be difficult to come by but if you can, you definitely need to fit this in.

One thing you need to note is that you want to ensure that the temperature and humidity in this room are regulated.

3. Near Windows

This is one design that really caught my eye.

I like the red color and the way it pops. This really catches the eye and creates makes it very pleasant.

One thing you should also note here is the curtains and the white color – the way it also pops and makes the place really beautiful.

Also looking at the ceiling top, it is really beautiful and just makes the playing experience very awesome.

I really like this design and if you look at it, you will find out that it does not require much space.

So this can perfectly be fitted in a small house.

Absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. I love it

4. By A Mirror or Wall

This is another design that works really well and will fit into a small house.

It can be placed just by the corner of the house and does not requires much space.

One thing I like about this design is the flowers just by side.

It gives this very welcoming atmosphere and lively home experience…and then with the picture of the tree just by the corner, it’s all a very nice feeling and experience.

This is one design that I will definitely like to try…and I suggest you give it a try too if you have the chance.

5. By A Green Plant

This is simply magnificent and beautiful.

One thing I like about this is that it does not take up much space. It is just by the corner of the room and does not cause any interruptions.

Also the finishing on the floor is breathtaking and very smooth.

I really like this design and I will suggest you get it if you have to deal with space issues in your house.

6. By The Christmas Tree

If we are in the festive season, then there is no better place to place a piano than by the Christmas tree.

This feeling of togetherness and warmth in this design will ensure that you and your family have awesome memories playing the piano.

I totally love it and will suggest you get this for your small house.

7. By The Corner

This is another corner design that I absolutely love.

It just makes sense having your piano by the corner because it does not take up much space being there.

And for me, this is what I always look out for.

Placing my piano just by the corner or in some cases by the windows is ideal.

8. By The Couch

This is a beautiful design with the couch and the flowers.

I like the way it is placed with the right amount of light just coming in.

I strongly suggest you get this design.

9. Under the Chandelier

If you have a chandelier, then flaunt it.

No stories here. This is a beautiful design and I bet you will play good music playing under your gorgeous chandelier.

10. In the Library

Does A Piano Have Any Scrap Value?

Does A Piano Have Any Scrap Value?

Do you have an old piano that doesn’t play, but you don’t want to keep it either?

Do you wish there was some way to get rid of it and get a profit too?

Most people resort to scrapping the instrument, but does a piano have any scrap value?

A lot of people indeed have the knack for collecting vintage instruments.

If it’s not valuable or vintage enough to auction, you can always scrap to get a profit out of it.

For that, there are a few things that you should know and remember.

Let’s take a more in-depth look into it. 

What Does Scrap Value Mean?

Does A Piano Have Any Scrap Value

If scrapping is an entirely new concept for you and you have no idea what it means, here’s some basic information: 

The scrap value of an instrument, a piano, in this case, is how much its physical assets are worth.

In other words, it determines how valuable the individual components of your piano are and whether you can resell them for a reasonable price. 

When an instrument is no longer functional and usable for the owner, it doesn’t mean that the individual components are worthless.

Sometimes, only a single asset is the cause of the problem and is unusable.

The rest of the parts are okay, functional, and resalable. 

The scrap value of an instrument doesn’t depend on how old or how usable it is.

Instead, it depends on the demand and importance of the materials that your tool comprises.

Are they valuable?

Are they expensive?

All of such questions play a significant role in determining the scrap value of a product.

The higher the demand, the larger the scrap value.

Another way to calculate and this value is by subtracting the total depreciation from the asset’s cost.

Using this formula will give you a quick average idea of what your instrument might be worth. 

Sometimes, people refer to scrap value as residual value, salvage value, and break-up value.

Thus, know that all of these terms mean the same thing. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on whether a piano can be stored in a garage?

Does A Piano Have Any Scrap Value?

Now that you know what an instrument’s scrap value is let’s talk about your old, unusable piano.

Does your piano have any scrap value at all?

If yes, how much?

Remember, pianos are machines.

Thus, naturally, they mainly consist of metal, strings, and wood.

Whether your instrument has a scrap value depends on these three major components. 

  • Wood and Metal

As discussed earlier, the more the demand, the higher the scrap value.

The wood of your piano doesn’t have a lot of resale profit.

Similarly, the metal components of the instrument aren’t very in-demand either.

The scrappers usually don’t accept it.

Even if they do, the metal could be worth $30 to $50 at max for the entire piano.  

  • The Keys

The ivory keys and tops give a lot of people false hope.

Since it’s illegal to purchase or sell ivory in many parts of the world, many people assume that a piano’s keys might have a lot of value and demand in the international market.

That, however, is far from reality.

The piano keytops have very little raw ivory in them.

They’re prone to discoloration and breakage since they’re very brittle.

Plus, stores, technicians, and tuners already have an abundance of these keys from the free, useless instruments they receive.

Thus, keeping your hopes high for the ivory keys is a wastage of time. 

  • The Strings

Lastly, strings can be tricky.

Piano strings are prone to rust.

It means that, if not cared for, they might get ruined over time.

If such is the case, your strings will be of no value for scrapping.

Interestingly, brass strings have a higher value in the market.

They have a better resale price because of all the labor involved in manufacturing them and the fact that they don’t rust.

However, it would still be impractical to expect hundreds of dollars in return for brass. 

Note: remember that tackling strings can be tricky.

If you’re scrapping the piano, ask a professional to take care of the strings for you.

If they snap, they’ll damage themselves and possibly injure you too. 

How Much Can You Get By Scrapping A Piano? 

While it is hard to give an exact amount, it would be fair to expect an average of $80 to $200 for scrapping a piano.

Remember, this is only an average, and you might be able to make more or less than these values.

It depends on the piano’s condition and its components.

If the instrument looks good and has brass strings, you might make a few more bucks than a rusty, scratched, unappealing instrument.

Plus, the kind of scrapper you find significantly impacts how much you can make out of it.

Some people can get quite lucky!

What Else Could You Do With An Old Piano?

If your piano doesn’t have a scrap value and you don’t want to throw it away for free, don’t worry.

There are a bunch of other ways that you can creatively use your beautiful instrument for other purposes.

Here are a few ideas to spark your innovative skills and abilities:

  • Turn it into a piano tool bench or a piano front desk
  • Create a piano minibar out of it
  • Build a piano computer desk for your study
  • Plant herbs and spices on your instrument and turn it into a majestic planter 
  • Cover it with glass and create a coffee table
  • Attack the keys and different parts along your staircase
  • Create a wall hanging and shelf out of the keyboard
  • Use it as a garden ornament and even as a waterfall

In Conclusion 

Overall, a piano doesn’t have a lot of scrap value.

If you find an enthusiast who likes to collect old pianos or its pieces, you might get lucky.

However, in the general market, it’ll be hard to find a suitable buyer for your old instrument.

The strings hold the most value and, if they’re in good condition, they may help you get a few good bucks.

But as far as the keys, the wood, and the rest of the instrument’s concerned, there’s not much you can expect. 

Should Piano Keys Be Covered?

Should Piano Keys Be Covered?

When it comes to taking care of my piano, I am very deliberate and intentional about that.

Which is why I get really angry when I see most people using the piano lids to cover their piano keys.

When you invest in a new musical instrument, you want to ensure that you take care of it in the best possible way.

And an expensive piano is one instrument that you can actually mess up the sound if simple maintenance rules are not followed.

One question I keep getting all the time is Should piano keys be covered?

And the answers is NO – using the piano lid to cover your piano keys is actually bad for the piano

One thing you should know is that the keys need to breathe and keeping them closed with the lid is not good for them and can cause the growth of mold and humidity

Humidity and molds usually affect the wooden structure of the piano and if care is not taken can also affect the sound of the piano.

One thing you can do for yourself is to use piano covers that are made from proper materials and designed to protect and keep your piano from suffocating

Many piano covers you can get today come in a range of luxurious velvet and besides the functional benefits also look really beautiful.

Why you need a dust cover on your piano

Should Piano Keys Be Covered

Dust is actually a huge enemy of digital pianos and generally digital equipments overall

But digital pianos are susceptible for two reasons

  1. It has electronic components that do not do well with getting dried out or caked with dust and can over time cause corrosion on those components
  2. Dust actually causes the mechanics and the key action to get clogged up over time.

Think about how thick dust can collect on surfaces and the ground in your homes or offices, then you can imagine how that will feel like in between the keys of your piano. 

This will cause the mechanics of your keyboard to become less fluid and sticky and not work as good as you want

The solution to all these problems is using a dust cover

This is especially important if you are using an acoustic piano or slab pianos which do not come with any covers.

Dust covers come in a variety of shapes and sizes

There are the ones that are a little bit longer so they drape down over the instrument or the ones that are only 3 or 4 inches in height that only cover the height of the instrument itself.

You can get generic dust covers and in some cases manufacturers also make dust covers themselves to fit the shape and size of your piano

But the easiest way to deal with this is to simply take the measurements of your piano keys and then get a generic one which is just slightly larger than the dimensions of the piano that you have.

In my opinion, I will highly recommend that you do this if you have the digital piano that is of the slab nature

Do this even if you are not moving it around and even if the room you have it placed in is not a particularly dusty one.

One thing you can count on is that over the course of many years, the accumulation of dust will definitely shock you and will work it’s way between your keys and cause issues with the electronics or the fluidity of the mechanical action.

So here is my one tip, if you own such a piano or even if your piano does not come with it’s own dust cover.

Ensure that you get one to help keep your piano working smoothly for a long time

How To Lengthen The Life of Your Piano

Now we have determined that you need dust covers to ensure that your piano does not pack up on you.

Here are some other tips to keeping your piano running smoothly and perfectly for a very long time.

1. Leave the key lid open on your piano

Keeping your piano closed when not in use is a good habit to have … 70 percent of the time. Dust and air particles can build up into a sticky mess between piano keys, causing mobility issues. 

However, if the lid remains closed for too long, mold growth can occur inside the piano. This is especially true if your piano is kept in a dark or humid room.

  • Keep the keylid up a couple times each week during daylight hours. Indirect sunlight and proper air circulation will discourage mold growth inside your piano.
  • If you have a keyboard, invest in a properly fitted cover. Mold is generally not an issue here.
  • A gentle once-over with a vacuum cleaner attachment can help fight off dust buildup.

2. No drinks or liquids at the piano

Do I really need to stress this point?

Fluids and liquids are a big NO around digital instruments such as pianos

If liquid spills and seeps into the piano keys and reaches the interior then it might cause a major fault.

Also it can mess with the piano’s exterior and finishing

Make sure you use a dry cloth and wipe up excess liquids from the keys surface.

Also ensure that you do not press the keys while doing this

If the amount of liquid spilled is too much, then contact a professional technician as soon as possible.

If it is an electric piano, make sure you unplug from the power immediately.

Do not attempt to shake the keys dry as this might push the liquid farther into the components and cause more harm than good.

3. Ensure the humidity is at an ideal level

Pianos are very sensitive to fluctuations in humidity levels.

High humidity will cause the wood to warp and low humidity will cause cracking in the wood.

So what do you do?

Try to keep the humidity at a balanced level

  • Monitor your indoor humidity levels, and regulate them with a humidifier or dehumidifier. 40% humidity is ideal.
  • Keep the piano away from heater vents and windows, and close the door of your piano room if it is near a kitchen or bathroom.
  • Close any windows in your piano room to prevent condensation. This is especially important for your electric piano.

4. Regulate the temperature around your piano

Like humidity, temperature is another enemy of your piano

Cold climate can weaken certain parts of the piano and if you continue using it during these conditions, the parts might snap and break

High temperature also can affect the strings and can loosen the felt on the hammers.

In my opinion, the ideal room temperature should be between 20 – 22 degrees centigrade

Here are some tips to ensure that you regulate the temperature

  • Make sure your piano is not close to any exterior walls. It should be at least 2 feets away from the walls.
  • Regulate the room temperature with an air conditioner or a heater
  • Make sure all doors and windows are closed and never allow direct sunlight to fall on the piano. This can damage the interior and also cause discolouration or cracking of the piano’s finish.

Conclusion

Piano keys should not be covered as this can cause the growth of mold and humidity issues on the keys.

What you want to do is to ensure that you regulate the temperature and the humidity

This will ensure that your piano lasts for a long time and the keys do not get clogged up with dust.

Can You Place A Piano On An Inside Wall?

Can You Place A Piano On An Inside Wall?

One of the first confusions people have when they receive a new piano is to place it.

The most common placement of pianos is on an inside wall, and no one really knows why.

Do you have to place a piano on an inside wall?

Why, and are there any other options too? 

Everyone wants to be creative with their interior design and do something unique.

However, it’s essential to know the logic behind a common trend and understand why it’s so popular.

Sometimes, rebelling against the norm can be more harmful than fun.

So let’s discuss whether it’s essential to place a piano on an inside wall and, if yes, why. 

Related: Check out this article I wrote on whether pianos are part of an orchestra

Do You Have To Place A Piano On An Inside Wall?

Can You Place A Piano On An Inside Wall

The short answer is, yes, you do. 

For ages, it is a norm to place your piano on an inner wall.

However, only a few people know that there are specific logical reasons behind this trend.

  • In an upright piano, the majority of sound comes from the backside of the instrument. The soundboard is open and exposed from its back. So, being against an inner wall ensures that the sound reflects. 
  • Inner walls usually keep your upright pianos away from air vents, windows, doors, and direct sunlight. This way, your instrument, a machine, stays away from everything that could damage it or reduce its lifespan, i.e., humidity, temperature fluctuations, and direct exposure to the sun. 

Can You Place A Piano On An Outside Wall? 

It is not common to find pianos on an outside wall.

An outer wall is generally the warmest area of your house because it is the closest, most exposed to the sun.

It means that if you place your instrument, made of wood and metal, next to this wall, you’re putting it in a danger zone.

Not only will your piano be exposed to the sun, but it will also face significant temperature changes throughout the day. 

As a result, here are a few side effects that you might notice if you place your piano on an outside wall: 

  • Lost tuning
  • Mechanical failures
  • Cracking and ruined color and finish
  • Swollen wood 
  • Expensive tuning and repairs

The primary reason why inner walls are preferred is keeping the piano away from the outside environment and changing temperatures.

However, if you can ensure the same safety on an exterior wall, you are more than welcome to place it there.

Besides, an outer wall is better than no wall. 

How Far Can A Piano Be From A Wall? 

Placing your piano on an inside or outside wall doesn’t mean that it should be completely attached to it.

There are several reasons why there should be some distance between your piano and the wall. 

One: If there is some leakage in the wall and rainwater leaks inside, it won’t trickle down to directly contact your instrument. 

Two: any sudden temperature changes on the outside will not directly or quickly affect your piano. 

On average, you want to keep a distance of at least 3 inches between the wall and your piano. 

Tip: When you are about to place your piano next to a wall, feel the wall with your hands, and if it feels significantly cold, don’t put your instrument there. If it feels warm or near room temperature, go ahead. 

Can You Place A Piano Near A Window?

Absolutely not! Windows are a direct opening for sunshine, wind, humidity.

You want none of these things coming anywhere near your piano.

When it rains, snows, or it’s generally humid outside, the moisture enters the room and contacts your piano directly.

Since the exterior is wooden, humidity stimulates wood to swell up, changing the shape of the material and the pitch your piano produces.

Similarly, direct sun exposure and changing temperatures can, directly and indirectly, affect the instrument’s wood and metal.

As a result, you will notice all the side effects we discussed above. 

Even if the window is shut, it is still glass.

It allows sunshine and fluctuating temperatures to impact the room.

So, there is no way you can make it work by placing your piano next to a window. 

Can You Place A Piano In The Basement?

The good thing about basements is that there is not much of a temperature problem, and it doesn’t have direct sunlight incoming either.

Thus, the temperatures remain somewhat stable and safe for your piano.

However, basements can be too humid sometimes.

If not high, the moisture levels are very unstable and significantly impact the instrument from the outside and the inside.

As mentioned earlier, the wood swells up, the strings change their tension, and the tones start to change. 

Furthermore, continuous exposure to moisture can also ruin your instrument’s finish and slowly destroy the wood.

Moreover, if the humidity gets to the metal elements, they are prone to rust as well.

Overall, the lifespan of your piano will decrease dramatically. 

Also check out this article I wrote on Can playing the piano make you smarter?

Can You Place A Piano On A Carpet Or A Rug? 

People are usually tempted to put their pianos on centered rugs and carpets.

Why wouldn’t they?

It’s a beautiful, aesthetic way to place your majestic instrument, right?

However, as pretty as it looks, it has its drawbacks, and it’s not the best way to set and play your piano.

Carpets and rugs absorb a lot of sounds that come out of your instrument and dampen it.

Hard flooring is the ideal, most recommended way to place your piano to hear its most natural sound output. 

However, if you’re living in an apartment or want to dampen the sound on purpose, placing the piano on a carpet or rug would make sense. 

Conclusion

So, do you have to place a piano on an inside wall?

Yes, and no.

The primary reason to do this is to protect the piano and get the maximum sound output.

If you think you can accomplish both of these goals in any other place in your house, you’re more than welcome to rebel against the trend.

However, there are a few do’s and don’ts of placing a piano, as mentioned above, so make sure you keep them in mind while experimenting with placements. 

Are Pianos in Orchestras?

Are Pianos in Orchestras?

Pianos are a key and integral part of an orchestra.

They are one of the main instruments that is needed when setting up an orchestra and if you look at an orchestra layout, which I will be discussing about below in this article, you will notice that there is a designated space for pianos and keyboards in an orchestra.

The most common type of piano used in orchestras is the grand piano which is an instrument that stands on 3 legs

It has a row of 88 black and white keys and comes with an extreme wide range of playing possibilities because of it’s seven octaves.

With it’s many possibilities, the piano is simply like an orchestra within an orchestra

What this means is that, using the piano or the grand piano in this case you can easily simulate the sounds of different instruments

And when you look at this critically, you discover that it has the makings of a full blown orchestra

The keyboard instruments that have been used with orchestra are the harpsichord, organ and piano. 

Each instrument is vastly different from the other, but they are all related as keyboard mediums.

Within the orchestra they take on different roles than their solo function, some cases have them interchangeable with one another for the same purpose.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on if playing the piano can make you smarter?

What is the Role of the Piano in an Orchestra

Are Pianos in Orchestras

The piano is one instrument that has the largest range of any instrument in the orchestra

It is a tuned instrument and you can play many notes at once using just one hand

One of the major roles of the piano in the orchestra is that it supports harmony.

If you have watched classical shows such as the ones put out by Yanni, then you definitely would have seen some really great pianists supporting the harmony of the overall presentation

In my opinion, if there is no piano then the presentation lacks that awesome harmony that makes classical music nice to listen to.

It also has another role which is as a solo instrument (an instrument that plays by itself) and plays both melody and harmony.

While keyboards are often thought of as solo instruments, they can and do play supportive roles within a large ensemble. 

In fact, most composers discussed here treated the instruments as another member of the symphony rather than as a featured instrument. 

The piano tends to be an instrument used more as a feature than support, though this may be more due to the nature of the instrument itself rather than the composer’s desired use. 

The harpsichord was only used as a continuo instrument, though its sound could easily penetrate the early developing orchestra. 

The wind power of the organ allows it to hold its own within an orchestra and be heard in a supportive role. 

With the modern size and range of the orchestra, the piano struggles to be heard with full ensemble, begging it to be used in sparser textures or solo. 

If the composers did not have to worry about projection of sound within the group itself, maybe the keyboard instruments would serve a different purpose. 

If that were to be the case that would likely change the style of writing for all orchestral instruments.  

Also here is an article I wrote on how to change the pitch of a piano

What section is the Piano in an Orchestra?

Now for this question, we are going to be grouping the piano as a percussion instrument.

Now I know there is a major debate on whether this is true or not but bear with me here and just go with the flow.

So as to what section the piano is in an orchestra, I will say it is in the percussion instruments section.

The percussion section usually has the highest members in an orchestra.

Percussion instruments basically are any instrument that makes a sound when it is hit, struck or pressed down.

And this is where you have the most dedicated set of musicians because learning to play a percussion instrument is really difficult and not many people go through with it.

Some percussion instruments are tuned and can sound different notes, like the xylophone, timpani or piano, and some are untuned with no definite pitch, like the bass drum, cymbals or castanets. 

Percussion instruments keep the rhythm, make special sounds and add excitement and color. Unlike most of the other players in the orchestra, a percussionist will usually play many different instruments in one piece of music. 

The most common percussion instruments in the orchestra include the timpani, xylophone, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, maracas, gongs, chimes, celesta, and piano.

How many Pianos are there in an Orchestra?

While trying to come up with a specific answer for this question, here is what I found out – it really depends on the composer and the kind of sound they want to achieve.

Generally a modern full scale symphony consists of approximately one hundred permanent musicians, most often distributed as follows: 16–18 1st violins, 16 2nd violins, 12 violas, 12 cellos, 8 double basses, 4 flutes (one with piccolo as a specialty), 4 oboes (one with English horn as a specialty), 4 clarinets (one with bass clarinet as a specialty, another specializing in high clarinets), 4 bassoons (one with double bassoon as a specialty). 

Furthermore 5–8 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones (one with bass trombone as a specialty), 1 tuba, 1 kettledrum player, 3–4 percussionists (of whom at least one must also play kettledrum), 1–2 harps and a keyboard player (piano, celesta, harpsichord, etc.).

What this means is that a percussionist (in this case a pianist) is needed in just one place – meaning only one piano is needed.

But I have seen cases where there were as much as 4 to 5 pianos in the orchestra and the harmony was simply beautiful

So like I said earlier, it totally depends on the composer and what they want to achieve.

As a composer, you can go for as many pianos as you want as long as you get the right kind of music that you desire.

What Instruments are not used in an Orchestra?

While we have seen that the piano is a key instrument in an orchestra, there are other instruments that are not used as much.

Here they are

  • Harp – This is one instrument that is rarely used in an orchestra. This is because it is considered as being awkward and a bit difficult to master.
  • Glass Armonica
  • Saxophone – The saxophone is quite popular and widely used in several music genres; particularly jazz. However, very rarely will you hear it or see it used for a classical composition. It wasn’t until recently that some composers began to add the sax in some of their works.
  • Wagner Tuba –Not to be confused by the Tuba, the Wagner Tuba is a totally different instrument. The instrument was created at the behest of the famous German composer Richard Wagner. The Wagner tuba combines both the trombone and French horn tonal elements. Although called a tuba, it is considered sort of a horn by many. Even though you may not hear it or see it used too often, it is still used as an alternate doubling instrument.
  • Alto Flute – From the woodwind family, the alto flute is a type of Western concert flute. It gives out a mellow, distinct and deeper tone like the Piccolo. One way to think of the alto flute is that it’s much longer than the traditional flute. Throughout history, there have been many famous composers who used the alto flute in some of their works.
  • The Organ – while this is one of the oldest wind instruments known today, it is rarely being used in orchestras these days. This is because the modern day pipe organs and it’s likes are much more sophisticated and have a wide range of uses. Still when it is used, the organ provides really impressive and beautiful music.

Conclusion

Pianos are used in an orchestra because they provide harmony to the presentation.

They can also be used as a solo instrument to play the melody or harmony.

I hope this answers your question clearly.