Is Piano a String Instrument or a Percussion Instrument?

Music is a vast field, and music connects people regardless of any boundaries of any language. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who was a great poet and a professor once said, ~ “Music is the universal language of mankind.” 

And he is not alone. Millions of people around the globe connect through music. Music allows them to feel and express their emotions without any language barrier. Music has it’s own language. Music is a language of spirit, an expression of peace, a world of emotions. Music empowers people to connect to like-minded people. 

There are so many musical instruments that are divided into different families. They are divided on the basis of how the instruments are played. There are primarily four families, String, Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion. 

String Or Percussion

String instruments have, guess what? Strings. When a string is hit, It vibrates and produces sound. For example, when you play the guitar, You hit the strings either with your fingers or with the help of a pick, This helps the string to resonate and produces its harmonic sound. 

The sound in Brass instruments is produced by wind. But these types of instruments are made with brass and that’s why they fall under Brass family. Similarly, in the woodwind type of instruments, the wind is the primary source that produces sound. But the woodwind instruments are made of wood, for example, a flute, that’s why these type of instruments falls in a different category. 

Lastly, Percussion instruments, These instruments produce sound when something hits them. You can play them either by your hands or with the help of a stick. Many orchestral instruments like Drums, cymbals, triangles fall into these categories. Even instruments which produce sound when shaken or scraped falls under this category.  

Is Piano a String Instrument or a Percussion Instrument?

Now I think you got the idea, Flute, which is played with the help of wind and is made up of wood falls under woodwind types of instruments. Similarly, Guitar made up of stings falls under string instruments. Its very simple, isn’t it?

NO, When it comes to the most versatile instrument, “The Piano“, It becomes difficult to classify.   

Is Piano String or Percussion?

A piano is both, A String instrument and a Percussion Instrument. Yes, It is correct, But Why and How? 

Well, Have you ever think about how a piano is being played? Do you know what happens behind the scene when a pianist presses the key on the keyboard? Well, if not, I’ll explain it to you. 

There are many strings behind the keys. These strings are stretched between two points and are attached to keys. Above these strings are small hammers. When a pianist presses a key, The hammers above the string hits the particular string to which the key is attached. Due to this, the string resonates and produces the sound. 

So this is where the confusion arises. If the sound is produced with the help of strings, then it should be classified under the string instruments. But the string resonates when the hammer hits the string, these types of instruments are classified as percussion instruments. This is a never-ending debate as both sides have valid points. So because of the confusion, a piano is considered as both: Percussion and a String instrument. 

Is Piano a String Instrument or a Percussion Instrument?

Today, Many people consider that there should be a different category for piano. “The keyboards.”  So any instruments which are played by key and which produces sound by when hit; falls under this category. This category includes Piano, Organs, and harpsichord. (Harpsichord is an instrument which is very similar to a piano, but it produces sound by plucking and not by striking) But A guitar or any other string instruments which produce sound when plucked will not fall under this category because the sound is primarily played by string, and not by keys.


Keyboard instruments have an extensive range when it comes to producing sound. For some people, it is a matter of “perspective,” but making a whole new category of the same type of instruments makes more sense. What’s more important is how you’re using a keyboard to show your creativity. Keep playing music and stay tuned for more such interesting articles.

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