The Most Popular Keyboard Instrument, Ranked

Choose the keyboard instrument you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 17, 2024 06:58
Musicians and enthusiasts often find themselves in a debate over which keyboard instrument holds the crown for being the most favored. Varying in sound, complexity, and style, these instruments form a crucial part of many musical genres. Having a clear, crowd-sourced ranking helps clarify which instrument is currently capturing the hearts of players and listeners alike. By casting your vote in this live ranking, you contribute directly to a broader understanding of musical preferences. This dynamic tally not only reflects current trends but also influences fellow music lovers in their choice of instrument. Your participation shapes the outcome, making this an engaging community-focused activity.

What Is the Most Popular Keyboard Instrument?

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    A keyboard instrument of one or more pipe divisions or other means for producing tones, each played with its own keyboard, played either with the hands on a keyboard or with the feet using pedals.
    • Oldest: 3rd century BC
  3. 3


    A musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It produces sound by plucking a string when a key is pressed.
    • Peak Popularity: Renaissance to Baroque periods
  4. 4


    A European stringed keyboard instrument known from the late Medieval, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. It produces sound by striking brass or iron strings with small metal blades called tangents.
    • Characteristics: Soft, intimate sound
  5. 5


    An early keyboard instrument and a precursor to the synthesizer, the Mellotron uses a series of tape loops to generate sound, allowing musicians to reproduce the sound of choirs, strings, and other instruments.
    • Introduced: 1963
  6. 6


    An electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound through loudspeakers or headphones. Synthesizers can imitate traditional musical instruments or generate new timbres.
    • First Commercial Synthesizer: 1960s
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    A struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. It looks similar to an upright piano, but its keys connect to hammers that strike a graduated set of metal plates or bars suspended over wooden resonators.
    • Invented: 1896
    • Inventor: Auguste Mustel
  8. 8


    A portable box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person plays the accordion by pressing keys or buttons while opening or closing the bellows.
    • Invented: Early 19th century
  9. 9
    Digital Piano

    Digital Piano

    An electronic musical instrument designed to serve primarily as an alternative to a traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced.
    • Advantages: Portability, versatility, and cost
  10. 10

    Electronic Keyboard

    An electronic musical instrument that uses electronic circuits to generate sounds, which can mimic a variety of instruments and produce unique tones.
    • Popularity Surge: 1980s

Missing your favorite keyboard instrument?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular keyboard instrument. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or keyboard is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 138 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each keyboard once every 24 hours. The rank of each keyboard is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Keyboard Instrument

Rank #1 for the most popular keyboard instrument: Piano (Source)
Keyboard instruments have a long history. They evolved over centuries, adapting to musical needs and technological advances. Early versions were simple. They had limited keys and produced basic sounds. Over time, these instruments grew more complex. Craftsmen added more keys, expanding their range. This allowed musicians to play more notes and create richer music.

In the Renaissance, keyboard instruments gained popularity. Composers began writing music specifically for them. This period saw a surge in their use in courts and churches. They became central to many musical compositions. Their versatility made them a favorite among musicians.

The Baroque era brought further changes. Instruments became more refined. Builders experimented with different materials and designs. This led to improvements in sound quality. Musicians appreciated these enhancements. They could now express a wider range of emotions through their music.

During the Classical period, keyboard instruments became even more prominent. They were used in both solo and ensemble performances. Composers like Mozart and Beethoven wrote many pieces for them. These works showcased the instrument's capabilities. They also pushed musicians to develop new techniques.

The Romantic era saw the instrument reach new heights. It became a symbol of artistic expression. Composers wrote complex and emotional pieces. Performers dedicated themselves to mastering these challenging works. The instrument's popularity continued to grow.

In the 20th century, technology transformed keyboard instruments. Electric versions emerged. These offered new sounds and possibilities. Musicians embraced these innovations. They experimented with different styles and genres. This period saw the instrument become a staple in many forms of music.

Today, keyboard instruments remain popular. They are used in classical, jazz, rock, and pop music. Their versatility and expressive potential make them a favorite among musicians. They continue to evolve, incorporating new technologies and designs. This ensures they remain relevant in the ever-changing world of music.

The instrument's enduring appeal lies in its ability to adapt. Throughout history, it has changed to meet the needs of musicians. It has grown more complex and versatile. Yet, it remains accessible to beginners. This balance of complexity and simplicity makes it unique.

Keyboard instruments have a rich history. They have touched many aspects of music. From simple beginnings to modern innovations, they have always been at the forefront of musical development. Their journey reflects the broader evolution of music itself.

Musicians and composers continue to explore the possibilities of these instruments. They push boundaries and create new sounds. The instrument's future looks bright. It will likely continue to inspire and challenge musicians for generations to come.

In summary, keyboard instruments have a storied past. They have evolved alongside music, adapting to changes and innovations. Their versatility and expressive potential make them a favorite among musicians. They remain a vital part of the musical landscape, with a promising future ahead.

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