Travis Mitchell August 7, 2013 2 Min Read


Over the years it has been interesting to hear different definitions of what a “baby grand” is.  As inferred in its name, the designation has something to do with the size of any piano in question as to whether or not it qualifies to be considered a “baby grand”.

First off let’s eliminate some similarities it would have with a legitimately “grand” piano. They both would have 88 keys. Both would have pedals and a lid with a prop stick and be in roughly the same geometric configuration as one another. Both would have strings, dampers, hammers and a host of other internal parts (all of the names I don’t rightly know) which would roughly tally about 10,000 in number.

To complicate matters more I’ve heard piano specialists call horizontal pianos in the 4′ 5″ to 4′ 11″ range “Petite Grand” pianos. I would have to agree with this assessment in that pianos less than 4’11” in length look pretty darn small.  Besides it is a cute kind ’a “French” sounding label and I think it fits well for these more diminutive grand piano designs.

Now here is where the water gets murky before we reach the bottom of the piano definition pond. I’ve been told by many ‘a piano person that anything from 5’0″ – 5’6” is the length range in which baby grands reside. I personally think of anything over 5’3″ as a grand. Why?  More than likely it is because when I hear a 5’3″ plus piano it sounds grand.  The smaller rooms where length is an issue usually will not take that much piano so this is my pragmatic approach which leads me to believe that less than 5’3″ is the cut off length. I also would include the 4’11″ length as well because I have seen quite few that size and very few of less length than that. If I were to see one less than 4’11″ I would be inclined to say, “Wow! That looks like a really petite grand piano”.

In summary, 4’11″ – 5’3″ should be deemed the appropriate and proper length range for a piano to be categorized a baby grand piano.

Why should the piano world accept my window of length as the definition gospel? For two reasons: one, although I am a guitarist, I know a lot of piano players who would agree with me and the second and final reason is: Because it doesn’t really matter that much!  

If you have a Miller Piano Specialist assist you, we will help you find the perfect piano for your room, with the perfect sound and finish inside your budget. After that it doesn’t matter if Aunt Margaret calls it a baby grand and Uncle Thurman calls it a grand piano.  It will look, feel, and sound just as great!

Miller Piano Specialist – Jack Klinefelter

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