A piano is similar to many other instruments in that it is designed to create beautiful sounds that are pleasing to our ears, either standing out during a solo performance or meshing with other melodies in concert, the piano has been a staple of musical artistry since its creation by Bartolomeo Cristofori in the early 1700s. Pianos have come a long way since then in terms of complexity and technical specifications, but the basic premise has remained the same; an instrument that has a more authentic sound than a clavichord but also allows for much greater control over influential expressive pieces than either the harpsichord or the pipe organ.
The shape and composition of the piano have also remained very similar to its historical ancestor, with the basic keyboard, housing case and lid, pedals, keys, hammers, and strings. With the exception of electric keyboards and certain piano styles, this design has stood the test of time and remained relatively unchanged.
The most obvious part of a piano is the keyboard. This is the part where most interaction between the piano and the pianist takes place. A standard keyboard consists of 88 keys in total. 36 of these keys are noticeably shorter and black, sometimes called "enharmonic" or referred to as "sharps" or "flats". The remaining 52 keys are white, referred to as "naturals".
These keys are set at different portions and attached to the internal components inside the piano case. Pressing each key creates a different tone by moving the "hammer" which in turn strikes a "string".
There are many more technical components that make up the inner-workings of the modern piano. These parts range from sets of moving mechanisms all the way to small fittings and bushings. Pianos can have upwards of 12,000 individual parts in all. If you would like more detailed information on some of those individual parts, you can check out this piano glossary for a little more insight into the intricacies of modern pianos.