Also referred to as a tack piano, a honky tonk is a modified version of the piano. This musical instrument features hammers with nails or tacks. Once the strings are hit, they produce a more percussive tinny sound. Its design tries to emulate how a poorly maintained piano sounds. The felt hammers are described as hard and compact. This particular type of keyboard is used in various music genres including rock, pop and jazz. Furthermore, it is widely used to create classical music. In addition to these facts, it is also quite interesting to learn something about the honky tonk dimensions.
The Dimensions of a Honky Tonk
A standard honky tonk measures close to 155 centimeters or 61.02 inches long and 146 centimeters or 57.48 inches wide. It weighs approximately 252 kilograms or about 540 pounds. In terms of shape and size, it is not far from that of a regular piano.
Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details
Unlike regular pianos, a honky tonk is associated with a number of disadvantages. One of these problems is the use of tacks. These materials are discouraged in pianos because they can be lodged right onto the other parts once ejected accidentally. They may lead to jamming, which is one of the major causes of broken parts. Aside from this problem, the tacks create holes in the hammers, which can somehow affect the quality of sound being produced.
Today, a honky tonk is used for making classical music. For instance, an American composer named Lou Harrison created the elegiac Symphony No.2, the orchestration of which includes the use of this particular type of piano. In addition, it is also a very good musical instrument for jazz. The jazz fusion band called Weather Report released the music album entitled “Mysterious Traveller,” wherein lead members Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter played honky tonks.
In recent years, rock and pop musicians find this keyboard instrument very interesting, which is why they made use of it as part of their music releases. The American rock band The Doors made use of this piano in recording singles like “L.A. Woman” and “People Are Strange.” When Dave Matthews Band released the 1996 album “Crash,” a tack piano was used to record the song “Crash Into Me.”
One of the most popular songs that made use of a tack piano to play some of its parts is “Good Vibrations,” which was recorded by the iconic American rock band the Beach Boys. Aside from this, the highly popular music vocal group called the 5th Dimension used a honky tonk for the intros of two of its most successful songs, namely “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Sweet Blindness.”