Difference Between Organ and Piano

Differences of piano and organ.

Piano and organ are two of the most widely used keyboard instruments in the modern age. Both of them are pretty comparable, but there are a few significant distinctions that distinguish them from one another.

What are the most significant distinctions between organ and piano? Classical organs produce musical pitches by moving air via pipes. In comparison, pianos depend on hammers hitting the strings and transmitting the sounds through the soundboard. In contrast, pianos possess 88 keys, while an organ only has 61 keys.

These are only a handful of the fundamental distinctions seen between the two instruments. In this article, I’ll go over them in detail, along with several other points you may be interested in knowing while comparing the organs to the pianos. 

The Distinctions Between a Piano and an Organ in Precise Contexts

Instrument Classification

The organ and the piano are two distinct types of musical instruments that are classified differently. The organ is considered a woodwind instrument, whereas the piano is regarded as a percussion instrument.

Woodwind Instrument: Organs are classified as woodwind instruments in a similar category as flutes, clarinet, saxophone, and baritone. Essentially, such instruments are made up of pipes with an aperture at the bottom, and they are tuned by blowing air via the pipes.

Woodwind instruments got their name as they were originally made entirely of wood. Modern instruments are constructed of various materials, including plastics and metals, or a blend of the two. 

Percussion instruments: The piano is a stringed musical instrument, yet it falls into the percussion category of instruments. Whenever a percussion instrument being hit, it emits a loud, distinctive sound. Pianos are regarded as percussion instruments because of the hammer action, which entails hammer hitting strings.


Whenever you press a piano key, a miniature hammer strikes a string, which creates the sound you can hear on the instrument. The pianist must keep pressing the keys for the music to play. Since this sound disappears rapidly, it is crucial to pay close emphasis to the dynamics.

While pressing an organ key, a complete electrical connection is established. The key being struck does not hit anything. Its keys are tuned to particular frequencies, and after the circuit is set, it may retain the sounds for an arbitrary duration of time. In short, the sound keeps going as the key is hold down! Nevertheless, this also implies that it must significantly focus on the timing of the notes’ release.

Another distinction is the number of distinctive sounds that each instrument can produce. A piano sound precisely like what it is a piano! However, on the other side, an organ is more adaptable, and it can create a sound like several different instruments with a handful of simple adjustments. The organ has various ranks, each of which may be utilized to develop a range of effects. 

Tone Production

A piano act by hitting the keys, which causes a hammer to strike a string in the piano, resulting in emitting the sound, and every hammer strikes either two or three strings, each of which must be attuned to the proper pitch to produce the desired note. The firmer they are, the louder the pitch. Whenever a note is struck and held back, the sound barely lasts a few ticks before it gradually disappears.

Having a constant supply of air is essential for an organ to function correctly. After pressing the key, this pressurized air is pushed via the pipes, and creating the sound. The pipes have a definite form, and each has a specific circumference, which allows for the various pitches to be produced. Since there is constant airflow, the sound may last as much as the key is pressed down on the organ.

Moreover, the mechanisms whereby the organ and the piano generate sound are very distinct. When playing the piano, the pianist’s intensity hits the keys significantly impacts the instrument’s sound. While playing the organ, it makes no difference whether the organist hits the key forcefully or gently; the overall tone will be the same.

Whenever a player takes their finger away from a key on an organ, the sound comes to a halt. Whereas playing on the piano, the pianist may use the middle pedal to keep the sound going for a long time once they have pushed the key.

The hammer action of a piano is responsible for the instrument’s tone during such a recital. On the other side, the kind of ranks of pipes selected by the organist affects the tone produced by the organ.


A conventional pipe organ is very costly and costs more than $195,000 for a start-level organ, and highly sophisticated pipe organs price a million dollars. It relates to the kind of metal used to create the pipes, the number of stops the organs possess, and the instrument’s overall dimensions.

Acoustics piano can cost substantially. A fresh new Steinway may price up to $171,000. A digital piano such as the basic level would price just approximately $200 to $1000.

Whereas digital and electronic antecedents are significantly cheaper, some are not comparable. Certain digital piano sets are superior to others. In comparison, several electronic organs are more remarkable.

For someone who wants to recreate what an acoustic instrument can produce genuinely, they have to spend on the high-quality edition of this instrument.


The construction of the piano and the organ differ considerably from one another in significant respects.

The piano has only one level of keyboards, each of which has 88 keys. The grand staff serves as the pianist’s primary reference point throughout the piece.

An organ has two tiers of keys, which are referred to as manual. Every manual has a particular number of keys determined by the number of octaves that the instrument possesses. The greater the number of octaves, the greater the number of keys on the organ. A pedalboard is also included with the organ. The organist uses their feet to push the pedalboard, which results in a variety of sounds coming from the pipes.

There are several distinctions between the organ and piano keyboards, even though they both appear and function the same. The organ’s keys are noticeably shorter and thinner than those of a piano, and they generate sound with the lightest tap.


When utilized as accompaniments, the two instruments have pretty distinct roles to play. It is practical to use the piano as a leading instrument since the force of percussion instruments is derived from their first hit. The piano can also generate rhythms and melodies considerably more quickly than an organ, making it an ideal item for beginners to learn to play. In the same way, it is an excellent instrument for directing the melodic progression. If you have a big crowd and want to sing in unison, an organ can fill the room with music and support them. While the notes are being held in place, it gains in strength. It is the leading job of an organ to fill in the gaps between notes and produce the necessary chords.


Depending on the instrument, various levels of manual dexterity and knowledge of musical analysis are required. Even though a keyboard controls both instruments, there are significant distinctions between them whenever it comes to executing. Playing bass notes on a pedaled keyboard while simultaneously manipulating a volume pedal is essential for organist musicians. Pianists must master complicated chords and fingerings to perform well.


The primary distinction between an organ and a piano is the sounds that they create when played simultaneously. The piano is classified as a percussion instrument, whereas the organ is classified as a wind instrument. The sound of an organ may be changed to sound like a variety of other instruments, whereas a piano can only provide the sound for which it was designed.

The piano and the organ are nearly identical and function, which may confuse someone who is not musically oriented. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of distinguishing features that distinguish them from one another.

Suppose you want to figure out how to play the organ. In that case, an essential preliminary step and the key is to be confident in your abilities and mastery of the more straightforward equivalent instrument, the piano.

A learner who has a strong foundation in piano will be more equipped to concentrate on specific problems to the organ. For somewhat skilled pianists, it may be worthwhile to look for an organ on which they might perform! 

A pianist’s ability to improve skills on the organ will provide them with a fresh viewpoint on playing keyboard instruments, which will indirectly impact their piano abilities!

Is It Possible for an Organ to Sound Like a Piano?

Several electronic organs may have a piano-like sound to them. Organs, namely the Hammond B3, include settings that it may use to create various instruments. Brass and woodwind instruments are included in this category. Unlike a piano, a classic pipe or reed organ will not sound the same as one.

Is It Possible for a Pianist to Play the Organ?

Yes, but piano playing is more difficult to master than organ performance. Organists must also pedal notes with their feet in addition to their hands. It is also necessary for organ players to customize their stops and acquire a particular touch for different types of repertory.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *