How many keys does a piano have?
A standard full size piano has 88 keys if you count all of the white and all of the black keys. As there are 12 keys in each octave (7 white and 5 black), the piano’s range is 7 ½ octaves.
However, there are numerous variations:
The largest keyboards are found on the Bösendorfer Model 290 Imperial concert grand piano. This has 97 keys – a full 8 octaves. All of the extra keys are at the low (left hand) side of the keyboard and they are all coloured black so that the pianist can easily tell them apart from the normal keys on the piano.
Many digital pianos have fewer than 88 keys, typically either 61 – which is 5 octaves, 49 – which is 4 octaves or 76 – which is 6 octaves.
For most beginners a standard 5 octave keyboard is perfectly adequate as it will probably be a few years before they learn to play music which needs the higher or lower keys. An excellent model for a young beginner is the Yamaha PSRF51:
Occasionally, you find a very small acoustic piano, such as this one such as this cute 76 key piano which I came across in the church of St Mary Magdalen, Boveney (near Windsor).