Electric Piano

An electric piano is an electric musical instrument.

Electric pianos produce sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electrical signals by pickups. Unlike a synthesizer, the electric piano is not an electronic instrument, but electro-mechanical. The earliest electric pianos were invented in the late 1920s; the 1929 Neo-Bechstein electric grand piano was among the first. Probably the earliest stringless model was Lloyd Loar's Vivi-Tone Clavier.

The popularity of the electric piano began to grow in the late 1950s, reaching its height during the 1970s, after which they were progressively displaced by electronic pianos capable of piano-like sounds without the disadvantages of moving mechanical parts. Many types were initially designed for home or school use including use in school or college piano labs for the simultaneous tuition of several students using headphones. Another factor driving their development and acceptance was the progressive electrification of popular music and the need for a portable keyboard instrument capable of amplification. Musicians adopted a number of types of domestic electric pianos encouraging their manufacturers to evolve them for stage use and then subsequently develop models primarily intended for stage use.

Digital electronic stage pianos have replaced most of the original electro-mechanical instruments in contemporary usage due to their size, weight and versatility. However, In 2009, Rhodes Music Corporation started producing a new line of electro-mechanical pianos, known as the Rhodes Mark 7 followed shortly by an offering from Vintage Vibe.

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