Pearl River, the leading Chinese piano manufacturer, is introducing two new small-scale acoustic upright pianos at the NAMM show this month (January 2024).
The Pearl River UP95E has been specifically produced with younger children in mind, and the UP100 is aimed at the beginner/amateur pianist. Both instruments are extremely compact and designed to occupy minimal space in the home.
Pearl River UP95E
The UP95E is not a toy piano, but it does bridge the gap between said instrument and a standard upright. Pearl River’s designers created this acoustic piano primarily for preschool children, although it is still appropriate for children up the age of 10.
A traditional piano dwarfs a young child, so this piano is built small. It is just 39in high, and the keyboard is only 24in (600mm) from the floor, compared to roughly 29in (750mm) for a standard upright. The UP95E has just 61 keys (C to C), and to accommodate the smaller hands the keyboard has an octave span of approximately 5in (129mm). A traditional keyboard has an octave span of 6.5in.
But to enthuse the younger child a piano has to look fun and be fun. The UP95E is available in six different lively colours. Cleverly, the piano’s designers have used clear acrylic for the front panel, so the child can see the hammers actually striking the strings whilst they play. The panel is also etched with playful designs, and there are fun graphics on the end panels.
Safety is, of course, a prerequisite, so all the piano’s corners have been rounded to avoid incident. In addition, the UP95E comes with an anti-tipping device should the child decide to adopt a more extreme playing style! And a slow-close fallboard ensures no trapped fingers.
The UP95E is an “una corda piano”, that is to say there is only one note per string. This results in a softer sound suitable for young children.
Pearl River has done a great job designing a piano that will appeal to the younger child. It even supplies a special children’s music textbook with every piano. Perhaps, though, the company could have come up with a catchier name than UP95E for the piano. “Trunky” worked so well for that range of children’s luggage!
Pearl River UP95E Specifications
Keyboard; 61 note C-C.
Stringing; una corda (one string per note)
Pedals; one (sustain)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 39.4in (1000mm) x 38.5in (978mm) x 20.1in (510mm)
Weight: 176pounds (80kg)
Colours: White, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Pink
Website: Pearl River.
Pearl River UP100
The UP100 was developed by Pearl River in collaboration with Lin Gore (LIN GE ER), composer and professor at Sichuan Conservatory of Music. It too is designed to be compact and to fit into any home.
The piano is primarily aimed at beginners and amateur home pianists, although it may appeal to anyone with limited space not wanting to go down the digital route.
The keyboard has standard-sized keys, but its compass is just 69 notes (5-1/2 octaves, E to C). This helps to dramatically reduce the overall width of the instrument.
Each note has just two strings (save for the bottom 9 notes which have just one) giving the UP100 a richer sound quality.
The Pearl River UP100 is available in a range of five colours.
Pearl River UP100 Specifications
Keyboard; 69 note F-C.
Stringing; una corda (E-C), dua corda (C#-C)
Pedals; two (sustain, soft)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 49.6in (1260mm) x 41.3in (1050mm) x 23.2in (590mm)
Weight: 340pounds (154kg)
Colours: White, Red, Blue, Green, Brown
Website: Pearl River.
“Whether it’s a young family wishing to get their preschool child started on a life-long musical journey, or a retiree with learning to play piano on their bucket list, these two pianos fit into all lifestyles. And with their compact size, they also can fit into nearly any space.”Leng Tshua, Pearl River Piano Group Global Sales and Marketing Director
Instruments that encourage people, especially children, to take up the piano have to be more than welcome. And hopefully, these two new models will enthuse a whole new generation of pianists.