| Your instrument is a beautiful piece of furniture, and is also a wonderful modern machine for making musical entertainment. It needs and deserves intelligent care. Your piano is a complex blending of many diverse and costly raw materials. There are more than 9,000 parts in the key and actioncombination alone. If you were to analyze the materials in your piano, you would find top quality wood of many species, iron, steel, copper, brass, plastics, wool, cotton, various adhesives, etc.
Piano strings are known as the “Blue chip” of the steel industry. They represent the highest development in steel wire and but few mills have the ability to manufacture them. Remember that there are more than 200 strings in a standard piano and that their combined tension exerts a pull of better than eighteen tons!These strings bear upon the sounding board by means of wooden bridges and a system of reverse bearings which practically lock the strings and board together. Each of these strings must be kept at the proper designed tension or it will be off pitch and produce an inharmonious tone. In other words, it will be OUT OF TUNE!
Tuning and your Tuner
In order to maintain your piano properly and to protect the major investment you have in it, it must be regularly serviced by a trained piano tuner-technician. There are many competent independent people in this field, the highest qualified technicians are RPT members of The Piano Technicians Guild (RPT=Registered member of the Piano Technicians Guild).Because of the complex make-up of your piano, it will take some time for it to become thoroughly settled and adjusted to the atmospheric conditions in your home. This is true of all makes and models. Therefore it is especially true that your piano should receive proper service during the first year after purchase. During the first year it is advisable to have your piano tuned four times. In the years that follow it should be tuned as often as you fell necessary however a minimum of twice a year as suggested by the National Association of Piano Manufactures. A concert artist has his piano tuned before each performance. The frequency of tuning depends on the use the piano receives and the conditions peculiar to its location. A piano will stay in tune better if the atmospheric conditions are uniform. Changes from moist to dry air cause wood to swell and shrink, thus changing the tension on the strings. Keep the humidity as constant as possible and your piano will need less frequent tunings.
As stated previously the piano action is a complex mechanism, and it is important that it be thoroughly checked during the first year after purchase, and then at regular intervals. Do not confuse the words “tuning,” which has to do solely with the pitch of the strings and “regulating” which has to do with the adjustment of the mechanism by which the string is put into motion.
It is good business to deal with a piano merchant in whom you have confidence, and it is also important to leave the care of your piano in the hands of a well qualified tuner-technician RPT member of the Piano Technicians Guild, whom you can trust.