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Will all the music played by piano work well in a keyboard?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Wheat Williams, Jason W, Sergio, Dr Mayhem Sep 5 '13 at 13:10

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Define "keyboard" and "well." What do you want to achieve? –  Carl Witthoft Sep 3 '13 at 11:33
I think the OP may mean "convincing" or "effective." Also, I feel like this question is similar to "what's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?" –  jjmusicnotes Sep 3 '13 at 13:58

1 Answer 1

Most music for piano will also be possible to play on a keyboard. How different the experience will be, really depends on your keyboard. It is also a question of your preferences and needs.

Here are some important differences to consider:

Number of keys

Many keyboards will have fewer keys than a piano. See this question for good answers to what you will lose with fewer keys (61-key keyboard vs 88-key piano). For most musical pieces this will not be a problem, but there are some composers that has written pieces that use the full extent of the 88-keys (see the previous link for examples).

Weighted keys

What you normally call "keyboard" will often not have weighted keys, which means you lose some dynamic in volume and intensity. You do have digital pianos that have weighted keys, which gives a natural feeling and dynamics control, but this is not so common in keyboards. A digital piano is designed to have a more natural sound and to feel like a real piano, but it is also more expensive. See this question for some good answers to how having weighted keys influences your playing and sound.


Keyboards come in all price categories, and of course you will see big differences in the most expensive vs. the cheapest. The more expensive, the better the sound is usually the general rule here. If you aim for the most natural piano sound and feel and are willing to spend money, you should go for a digital piano, which are more expensive than most keyboards.
If you aim at the low end, you will find a keyboard that has more computer-like sound and you will not have weighted keys.

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I'd just like to add here that almost any/all music up until the late Classical period should be performable on a 61-key keyboard. You really need the remaining keys to perform anything from the Early Romantic period onward. Also, I disagree with "awe" in that they often don't have weighted keys. That depends entirely on price range. If your range is more flexible, almost every keyboard you look at will have weighted keys. People purchase keyboards because they are portable - if you were going to spend the $$ on a digital piano, why not just get a real piano? –  jjmusicnotes Sep 3 '13 at 14:02
@jjmusicnotes because acoustic pianos are big, heavy, need tuning, and are more sensitive to humidity. I can't plug headphones into an acoustic piano at 2AM and practice. –  cornbread ninja Sep 3 '13 at 14:48
@cornbreadninja - yes, all good points; I forget about city considerations sometimes. –  jjmusicnotes Sep 3 '13 at 16:31

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