Robert Estrin - piano expert

What is an Upright Grand Piano?

Learn how an upright piano can also be a grand

In this video, Robert talks about pianos that are undoubtedly upright, but their large size allows the production of sound comparable, or even greater, to sound produced by grand pianos.

Released on April 13, 2016

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to and I'm Robert Estrin with a viewer question today. What is an upright grand piano?

You may have heard this term. When you first hear it, it sounds like an oxymoron. Is it an upright, or is it a grand? Well, that's what we're going to explore today for you and cut through all this clutter.

Behind me, you can see this enormous upright piano. Yes, indeed, a hundred years ago, a piano like this may very well have been talked about as being an upright grand. What this meant at that time when these instruments were so popular is a full size upright that indeed has a soundboard area larger than most baby grands. The bass strings are as long or longer than most baby grands and rival the sound of a grand piano.

You see, at that time, there were over a thousand companies making pianos in the United States. Many people could not fit grand pianos in their homes. Homes were much smaller back then. People who wanted to have the rich sound of a grand, they'd get instruments like this. It coined the term "upright grand." It truly is just simply a large upright.

You might ask yourself. "Is it as good as a grand piano?" Well, for that, I have another video you can check out, uprights versus grand pianos. There are many things about grand pianos that indeed are superior in the way they respond mechanically on the action, as well as how the pedals function and other aspects of grand pianos that are preferential to uprights. For those who don't have the space for an upright, indeed you can get the sound of a full grand piano if you have a soundboard that's as massive as an instrument like this beautiful old Schubert upright grand. Yes, I've used the term myself.

If you're ever wondering is it an upright or a grand, this is indeed an upright with a grand size soundboard and strings. That's exactly what an upright grand is.

Thanks for the great questions. Keep them coming in. We'll shoot a lot of them for future videos. You may even hear yourself on our podcast coming soon. Thanks for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

00slevin * VSM MEMBER * on April 14, 2016 @3:23 pm PST
Is that what used to be called an upright overstrung?
Robert - host, on April 15, 2016 @12:28 pm PST
Overstrung pianos have been the standard type of design of pianos since the late 1800's in which the bass strings cross over the tenor strings. Older pianos were straight strung - the strings did not cross over each other.
Oluwaseun Collins on April 14, 2016 @3:37 am PST
This is so educative, thanks.
Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on April 13, 2016 @6:03 am PST
I have owned one that could be considered an upright grand. It took 4 strong men to bring it in the house. I had to use a step stool in order to dust all the way back of the top. Made in Chicago, but I don't remember the brand name, real ivory keys. There was only one issue, also the keyboard was exceptionally high, even with a rotary stool, I had to sit on its edge to rest the feet on the ground. But a great rich sound.
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