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How many strings are there on a standard grand piano and when correctly tuned, how many pounds of tension should these strings be under in total?

Question #63827. Asked by gmackematix.

Answer has 4 votes
19 year member
2173 replies

Answer has 4 votes.
Depends on the brand of the piano. There are normally about 230 strings (the lower register uses two strings per key, and the lowest octave or so has only one string per key). Each key when pressed exerts tens of thousands of pounds of pressure on the strings, and as there are 88 keys on the standard grand (Bösendorfer Imperial Grands have 100 keys), I am unable to do the arithmatic, but it is a very high amount of tension. Most of the tension is easily absorbed by the castiron frame.

Mar 23 2006, 4:39 AM
Answer has 6 votes
Currently Best Answer
20 year member
3324 replies

Answer has 6 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
According to the following site, a medium-sized piano does indeed have 230 strings with a combined tension of 18 tons.
In a concert grand, the total is nearer 30 tons.

Incidentally, in the unlikely event that you ever need to find middle C in the dark without playing the notes, it's usually just above the keyhole.

Mar 23 2006, 7:15 PM
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