The pianoforte, commonly abbreviated to piano, is a musical instrument played using a keyboard. It is widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment and for composing and rehearsal. Although the piano is not portable and often expensive, its versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the world's most familiar musical instruments. A piano usually has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings, and a row of black and white keys (52 white keys and 36 black keys). The strings are sounded when the keys are pressed down, and are silenced when the keys are released. The note can be sustained, even when the keys are released, by the use of pedals at the bottom of the piano.
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