Most piano owners are unaware of exactly where the model and serial numbers are located. This article is for you if you want to know how to find the model and serial numbers on your piano.
What are model numbers, and why do they matter?
Model numbers are unique identifiers for pianos. Most piano manufacturers assign a different number to each model made. Each piano is also given a unique serial number, which is used to track the history of that particular piano.
What are serial numbers, and why do they matter?
The piano manufacturer will also assign a serial number to each piano. This serial number helps identify when the piano was built, how much it cost, who ordered it, and which factory or shipment originated. The piano’s serial number is often different than its model number.
Why should I care about my piano’s serial and model numbers anyway?
Piano owners should care about their pianos’ serial and model numbers for many reasons. Many people inherit old pianos, with the previous owner having no idea what piano it is or how much it was worth. It might be a family heirloom passed down for generations, and they may not be aware of the value.
To truly know the value of your piano, along with what year it was made, you need to have access to both the serial and model numbers. If either of these numbers is missing or erased, then there’s a good chance that you’ll never be able to find out what they were.
How do I find the model number of my piano?
This depends on the year of your piano’s manufacture. If it was a grand, upright, or electronic piano made before 2008, the model number might be found either on a plate attached to the plate rail or inside the bottom panel behind the pedals or storage compartment. Serial numbers can identify later pianos, and many have their manufacture date right on the keys.
The model number of later pianos can be found inside the piano frame, sticker, or attached booklet. The model number will usually start with “G-” for grands, “U-” for uprights, and “A-” for uprights with electronics.
How do I find the serial number of my piano?
The serial number can be found inside the bottom panel of most pianos, usually somewhere on the back wall. If you don’t see a sticker with a number on your piano, there may be a sticker (or two) on the metal plate rail, generally behind where the pedals are located. Because grand and upright pianos have so much wood to penetrate, they have an attached label on the side or under one pedalboard.
Why it’s important to have this information handy?
If you want to purchase parts for your piano, the model and serial numbers are essential. Every part that goes into a piano is assigned a number so that it can be traced back to the original manufacturer of the instrument. If there’s no record of your pianos’ serial number or model number, then locating those parts will be very difficult—if not impossible. Also, if you want to sell a piano and need to provide the information to an appraiser, you must know both your piano’s make and model number in order to get the most accurate corresponding price.
Even if you don’t plan on selling your piano anytime soon, knowing what brand and style of your instrument help make repairs or modifications, most parts are not interchangeable between manufacturers because each company designs their pianos very differently from one another. Also, they use different materials for their mechanics and action parts.
Where can these numbers be found on a grand or upright piano?
On a grand piano, the model number can sometimes be found somewhere on the plate rail, and some are also on stickers inside the case. On an upright piano with no electronics or moving parts (also known as a spinet), you will usually find both of these numbers inside one of two places—a tag attached to one of the pedalboards or a sticker inside the bottom panel behind the pedals.
What happens if you don’t know where these numbers are located and what you should do in that situation?
If you don’t know what brand or model of piano you own, your options are limited. If it has a sticker on the plate rail that gives information about the manufacturer, then start by contacting them for help with identifying your instrument. They may be able to provide you with additional information and possibly even replacement parts if you request them in advance (but again, this will depend on the make and model of your piano).
Final thoughts on how to locate your piano’s serial/model numbers
If you can’t find any numbers, a second option is to take photographs of your piano. They are pretty self-explanatory and telltale in terms of what brand or style it is. You may then be able to track down its model number with the help of an expert technician. Keep in mind that every piano is different, and many companies used the same name, but they can come in different shapes and sizes. Also, if your piano has been modified over time, the original number may be no longer discernible.
See also: Different Types of Piano