In case you are wondering about how many keys on a piano, the standard one would be 88 keys. But such a thing isn’t written on the stone, which means that the numbers are pretty flexible – and they are possibly changing.
Based on the history, pianos had gone through stages where they had 60 and then 72 keys, but 88 keys are considered standard. It’s because most musicians feel that the keys are already enough. Any note beyond those 88 would be too low or too high for humans.
If the keys are less than 88 keys, then composers won’t have enough notes to create perfect result. But if the keys are more than 88, it would be too much. In short, the 88 keys are considered ideal.
The full-sized and modern acoustic piano consists of 88 keys, along with 7 octaves. It has a minor third span, starting from A0 to C8. The (musical) notes are do – re – mi – fa – sol – la – si. In English, it is C – D – E – F –G – A – B.
One octave usually consists of DO (from the left) to DO (to the right). The notes themselves are repetitive, toward treble or bass. And each of the notes would have specific hertz. If you notice it, some keys may be called DO but they have different sound.
White and Black Keys
A modern and full-sized piano have 52 keys for the white. Within each octave, you will see 7 white keys, do – re – mi – fa – sol – la – si. The 7 white keys are tuned to major notes within a row.
It also comes with 36 keys for the black. If you see, there will be one black one located between two white ones. Within every octave, you should see 5 black keys. They are considered ‘accidental’ notes of C#Db, D#Eb, F#Gb, G#Ab, and then A#Bb.
Black and White Keys Difference
When you are learning piano, the distance of two keys are semitones and also whole tones. The last one is 2 semitones. The keys may look similar but they don’t have the similar distance. If you notice it, there is one semitone distance between the white keys with the closest blackone.
For example, the black key located between FA and SOL (both are white keys) is F# (also called F sharp). It means that the distance between FA and F# is a semitone. The same thing also applies for between F# and SOL – also a semitone. Since there is no black key to find between FA and SOL, it is called the semitone.
In white keys, the distance of 2 white keys is called the whole tone. For instance, the distance of DO and RE is called the whole tone, even with C# separating both.
Basically, white keys consist of natural tones – making it easy for beginners to start and play. The black ones are known as sharps and flats. It’s the reason why the piano has 12 notes patterns – 7 whites and five blacks (for the keys).