Among many piano owners, the common wisdom holds that grand pianos are ideal, and an upright piano is a concession to necessity rather than a preferred choice. This way of thinking neglects the unique virtues of upright pianos that make some music lovers actively seek them out for their homes. When you look at an upright piano on its own merits rather than seeing it as the poorer cousin of the grand, a whole range of possibilities become available that allow you to take advantage of the upright piano’s unique advantages.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a piano is the space that the piano will occupy. This consideration alone makes upright pianos perfect for home use. Many of us do not have a dedicated music room, meaning that the piano will likely be kept in one of the main living spaces of the home. A grand piano will stretch out across a significant portion of your living room, dominating the space and forcing you to decorate and design around it, potentially obstructing walkways and seating. This is one of the situations in which an upright piano is the superior option; regardless of its size, an upright piano is never much more than two feet deep. If you have a well insulated interior wall to tuck it against, your upright piano will stay neatly out of the way, contributing to the design of your space without completely taking it over.
Because upright pianos vary in size vertically, you can choose the size and style that best suits your artistic or family needs without changing the size of your piano’s "footprint." Upright pianos come in a range of sizes that break down into four distinct categories, with the larger models producing a deeper and more robust quality of sound. A larger upright piano has excellent acoustic quality, often comparable to a baby grand, which can be further enhanced by raising the piano’s lid to allow the sound to emanate and bounce off the surfaces in the room. Thus, you can choose an upright piano and save significant space in your home without sacrificing the beautiful sound quality you cherish.
Space isn’t the only concern when incorporating a piano into your interior design scheme. A grand piano is a huge piece of furniture, which means that it not only takes up much of your floor space, but it dominates the setting visually. You end up needing to choose your color, texture, and shape themes to fit the piano, rather than incorporating the piano into your existing aesthetic. Upright pianos offer an interior designer much more versatility with respect to the relationship between the instrument and the space. Choosing a larger piano with intricate cabinetry turns the instrument into a statement, drawing the eye to the beauty of the piano, whereas selecting a smaller instrument allows the piano to play a more unobtrusive role in the design of the room.
Some people enjoy the flexibility of being able to rearrange furniture in their living spaces occasionally, while others find themselves relocating for work on a frequent basis. Whether it’s across the room or across the country, it’s much easier to move an upright piano than to move a grand. Upright pianos weigh less, and their rectangular shape lends itself to the strategies movers use to navigate steps and staircases without the use of special piano frames.
For new piano students, upright pianos are often actively preferable to the larger and more intimidating grand pianos. The size of an upright piano is much less daunting for starting musicians – and especially children, to whom a grand piano would seem particularly huge. An upright allows a novice to learn the basic feel and fingering of the piano before trying to master the nuance and precision of a grand piano’s longer keys. The upright’s lower price tag is merely an additional advantage.