The keyboard of a Concert Grand Model D
New York, UNITED STATES: The keyboard of a Concert Grand Model D piano is pictured in the final inspection room at the Steinway & Sons factory 26 July 2005 in Long Island City, New York. Steinway, founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft, sold his first piano for USD 500. A Concert Grand today sells for USD 99,900. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

How do pianos work?

Behind every piano’s polished exterior are thousands of parts. From keys to strings, they work together to produce a sound. In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC FIGHTING BATTLE to discover how sound travels.

Steinway & Sons Piano Factory
Hammers and keys on display as a piano is assembled at the Steinway & Sons piano factory in New York. Christopher Payne
A piano may seem simple — 88 black and white keys that you just press with your fingers. But what you might not know is that each time you press a key you’re engaging a complicated machine. There are thousands of parts inside every piano.

When you press a key, a felt-covered hammer inside the piano strikes metal strings. It is the vibration of these metal strings that make that familiar piano sound. But the most complicated part is the action, a Rube Goldberg-looking series of parts and levers that work together to make the hammer strike the strings.