An electric piano is an electric musical instrument.
Electric pianos produce sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electronic signals by pickups. Unlike a synthesizer, the electric piano is not an electronic instrument, but electro-mechanical. The earliest electric pianos were invented in the late 1920s; the 1929 Neo-Bechstein electric grand piano was among the first. Probably the earliest stringless model was Lloyd Loar's Vivi-Tone Clavier.
The popularity of the electric piano began to grow in the late 1950s, reaching its height during the 1970s, after which they were eventually replaced by synthesizers capable of piano-like sounds without the disadvantages of moving mechanical parts. Many models were designed for home or school use, or to replace a heavy and un-amplified piano on stage, while others were conceived for use in school or college piano labs for the simultaneous tuition of several students using headphones.
Due to their size and weight, digital stage pianos have replaced many of the original electromechanical instruments in contemporary usage. However, In 2009, Rhodes Music Corporation started producing a new line of electro-mechanical pianos, known as the Rhodes Mark 7.
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