Piano Tuning: More than Routine Maintenance

Piano Tuning: More than Routine Maintenance
Few things are more enjoyable than owning a real, non-electric piano. Despite the advancements in electric and digital instruments, nothing comes close to the feel of piano keys hitting the strings under your fingers. All pianos are wonderful in their own ways. Grand pianos have the classic resonant sound that we associate with the instrument. An upright piano has a more contained, earthier sound. There's an intimacy in an upright that can't be replicated by any other type of piano, real or electronic.

Buying a piano isn't the last step in piano ownership. You'll have to get it tuned regularly to maintain both the sound and the integrity of the instrument. Pianos should be tuned twice per year for each of the first two years and once a year after that. A piano doesn't have to be heavily used or treated roughly to need a good tuning. An untouched piano will fall out of tune over time due to basic weather conditions affecting its wooden inner workings. For a good piano tuning Boston residents can look in record and instrument stores as well as music schools. Since many piano teachers also know how to tune pianos, you might want be able to cross two things off your list in one search.

Interestingly, it is impossible to tune a piano absolutely perfectly. Because of the increments between the decibels that designate the notes on a scale, the numbers eventually divide into fractions that are too small to be represented by the lengths of piano strings. It gets even more complicated when you have to start over on the next scale. In short, the decibel designations for individual notes are at odds with the sizes of the steps between notes that resonate meaningfully with each other. A gifted, intuitive piano tuner knows how to strike the balance between singular notes and scales that have the proper internal resonance. A freshly tuned piano will bring out new colors in the pieces you've played a million times before.

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