Why do Pianos Need to be Tuned? December 21, 2012 01:58
In piano tuning school you will obviously learn how to tune a piano but it is very important to understand why pianos need to be tuned. At the Piano Technician Academy we feel that knowing how a piano falls out of tune is the first step in learning how to tune a piano.
The average piano has around 230 strings, each pulled to around 50 -100 pounds of pressure. This pressure totals around 18 – 20 tons and is placed on the Iron Plate and the Wood Frame. This alone is enough to make a piano go out of tune but the atmosphere also plays a role as far as tuning is concerned.
As you may know, wood is dramatically affected by changes in the atmosphere. In most parts of the country, the summer brings a large amount of moisture to the air and causes the wood in a piano to expand. In the winter, the heater dries out the air causing the wood to shrink. These changes in the wood’s density cause the strings pressure to fluctuate. This is why it is recommended that the average piano should be tuned every time the owner turns off the air conditioning and turns on the heat and vice versa (about every 6 months). Since The Piano Technician Academy is an online piano tuning school, our students are located all over the world and work in all diffident types of climets so it is important to research how the weather in your area effects your piano tuning client’s piano.
Another factor that causes the piano to go out of tune is vibrations caused by continuous play or the piano being moved. When the hammer strikes the string it obviously affects the pressure of the string. In addition, the vibrations in the soundboard, cause even more fluctuation in the strings’ pressure.
Fortunately for us piano tuners, there is no such thing as a (real) piano that doesn’t need to be tuned. At our piano tuning school we believe that if you understand how and why the piano goes out of tune, you are better able to tune it and keep it in tune.