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Electronic piano

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Title: Electronic piano  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Piano, Keyboard instrument, Keyboardist, Margie Alexander, Keytar
Collection: Electric and Electronic Keyboard Instruments
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Electronic piano

The keys of an electronic piano

An electronic piano is a analog circuitry.

Electronic Piano was also the trade name used for Wurlitzer's popular line of electric pianos, which were produced from the 1950s to the 1980s, although this was not actually what is now commonly known as an electronic piano. Electronic pianos work similarly to analog synthesizers in that they generate their tones through oscillators, whereas electric pianos are mechanical, their sound being electrified by a pickup and then amplified through an internal or external amplifier.

The first electronic pianos date from the 1970s and were mostly made in Tony Banks, quoted in Reid 2001).

The first electronic grand piano was produced in 1979 and patented in 1981 by Wil Decker of St. James, NY. (Piano Nova Co.) It contained the first full touch sensitive keyboard and working pedals (Decker 1981).

Electronic pianos became less popular in the 1980s when the digital piano and polyphonic synthesizer became available and affordable enough for both professional and home use as an inexpensive, smaller and lighter alternative to an acoustic piano.


  • Davies, Hugh. 2001. "Electronic Piano". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Decker, Wil. 1981. Electronic Baby Grand Piano patent.
  • Reid, Gordon. 2001. "Prog Spawn! The Rise and Fall of Rocky Mount Instruments (Retro) Gordon Reid". Sound on Sound (December) (Accessed 21 June 2011).

Further reading

  • Tünker, Helmuth. 1975. Electronic-Pianos und Synthesizer. Nach industriellen Gesichtspunkten entworfene, jedoch für den Selbstbau geeignete Schaltungen. Munich: Franzis.
  • Weyer, Rolf-Dieter. 1973. "Typical Sound Characteristics of Piano Sounds, Analysed on the Basis of Piano Sounds and Piano-Like Sounds". In Papers of the 44th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, Central Europe Section (1973): Rotterdam, edited by O. H. Bjor. New York: Audio Engineering Society.
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