In the early years of piano construction, keys were commonly made from sugar pine. Today they are usually made of spruce or basswood. Spruce is typically used in high-quality pianos. Black keys were traditionally made of ebony, and the white keys were covered with strips of ivory. However, since ivory-yielding species are now endangered and protected by treaty, makers use plastics almost exclusively. Also, ivory tends to chip more easily than plastic. Legal ivory can still be obtained in limited quantities. The Yamaha firm invented a plastic called Ivorite that they claim mimics the look and feel of ivory. It has since been imitated by other makers.
Source: Piano from Wikipedia
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