The piano is a keyboard-based music instrument. Its versatility and pervasiveness, together with its polyphonic capabilities have made it one of the world's most employed instruments, and a crucial piece in the development of the Western musical tradition. It's name is a shortened form of 'pianoforte', terms which in Italian respectively mean 'soft' and 'loud', referring the fact that the pianoforte had the capability of producing variations in volume which previous keyboard instruments could not.
Standard pianos have 52 white keys and 36 black ones, for a total of 88. They are chordophones: pressing any key activates a mechanism which makes a hammer strike a set of strings. The sound produced is amplified via the soundboard and body of the piano.
Being one of the most influential instruments in the history of music, the piano has undergone many changes and technological innovations, from the insertion of the damper and tonal pedals, to the creation of electric, electronic, and digital pianos.