Grand pianos and upright pianos are the two basic styles of pianos available. Both styles are available in different sizes. As a piano increases in size its strings lengthen and the area of soundboard increases. A grand piano increases in length and vertical pianos, or upright pianos, increase in height.
In general the tone of the piano improves as the size of the piano increases.
Both styles of pianos are available in a number of different case styles and wood finishes.
Most new pianos are manufactured in the United States, Europe, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and China. Manufacturers distribute their pianos under various brand names, and within each brand they offer different models which are usually assigned model numbers and names, and differ in style, size, furniture design, wood finish and price.
In addition, manufacturers may sell their pianos to other companies, usually other piano manufacturers, who will in turn distribute these pianos under their own brand names and trade marks. Popular “third party” pianos include Boston, Essex, Story & Clark and Cristofori.
When evaluating grand pianos and upright pianos distributed by companies other than the original manufacturer, it is only prudent and reasonable to assume that the quality of these pianos may equal but not exceed the quality of the pianos the manufacturer distributes directly under its own brand names.
Understanding where a piano is made is not as important as being comfortable with the piano you buy. If you find a piano with the right look, feel, sound and price, you should buy it.