PIANO MANUFACTURER'S & MUSIC PROFESSIONAL'S STATEMENTS ON WHEN TO TUNE
(The following is from an article by Dr. Wm. Braid White, a musical professional)
"A fine piano is a work of art. Therefore, to treat it
roughly, carelessly or negligently is to commit a crime against a beautiful
piece of expensive craftsmanship. To pay a lot of money for a fine piano and
then allow it to go to ruin for lack of expert care is not merely aesthetically
wrong, it is bad business."
"No matter what any salesman may say, no matter how
finely the piano may be made, no matter, in fact, what the physical
circumstances or the price or the domestic conditions may be, there is no such
thing as a piano standing month after month in tune. The better the piano, the
more frequent and careful tuning it should have."
"In order to understand why a piano goes out of tune,
it is first necessary to remember that the whole instrument is always under
varying stress. The 230-odd strings are stretched at an average tension of from
150 to 200 pounds apiece, so that the iron plate, together with the heavy wooden
frame, carries a strain totaling from 18 to 20 tons."
"From the layman's standpoint, two tunings a year is
customary, however, three or four times a year is highly recommended. Tuner's
know, moreover, that if they had time to tune their own pianos as often as their
ears tell them, they would tune them once a month."
"From a strictly scientific point of view, it is a
probably true to say that no piano ever made has stood perfectly in tune,
without a drop or rise, for more than 24 hours, unless it were maintained at
constant temperature and at constant barometric and hygroscopic
Here's What The Manufacturers say.....
Baldwin Piano Company: "All new pianos require
frequent tunings and action adjustments during the first year as they adjust and
settle under the local climatic environment. For Baldwin pianos, we recommend
three or four tunings and inspection of the piano action in the first service
year. Thereafter, we recommend a minimum of two tunings annually by a competent
piano technician. It is expected that pianos in heavy commercial or artist use
may require more frequent service attention." (Williard Sims, Baldwin Piano
Kawai Piano Company: "Quality pianos demand quality care. Time, environment, use patterns and artistic sensitivity all contribute to the need for a customized maintenance schedule. We advise that the piano owner follow the recommendations of a qualified tuner-technician who knows the climactic conditions of the area and is responsive to the needs of the performer." (Jim Harvey, Piano Technical Manager.)
Kimball Piano Company:
"The regularity of service is as important as the frequency in keeping the piano in top
condition. We recommend four tunings a year, at regular intervals, for optimal stability
Steinway & Sons: "Your Steinway piano was tuned
many times before it left our factory. It was tuned to and should be maintained
at A:440 pitch. This is the internationally accepted standard and the standard
for which all Steinways are engineered. Unfortunately,
no matter how expertly a piano is tuned, atmospheric variations and the nature
of the piano's construction constantly conspire to bring it off pitch....We recommend that your tuner be
called at least three or four times a year. To put the
matter of tuning in perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before
every performance, and a piano in a professional recording studio, where it is
in constant use, is tuned three or four times each week as matter of course.
Tuning is an art practiced by skilled professionals and under no circumstances
should anyone other than a professional be allowed to tune your Steinway."
(Joe Bisceglie, Manager, Technical Standards.)
Wurlitzer Company: "In the first year, Piano Manufacturers Association International recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of adjustment for a new instrument and proper attention is important. After the first year, you should have it tuned at least twice a year depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions."
Yamaha Piano Company: "New pianos should be tuned a minimum of four times the first year to compensate for the normal settling that takes place. Subsequently, as a matter of standard maintenance, a piano should be tuned at least two times per year. Of course, some musicians will choose to have their piano tuned more often to satisfy their own personal musical requirements. When your piano needs tuning, call a skilled qualified specialist." (Yamaha Piano Service Manager.)
Young Chang America: "Piano owners will receive the longest life and optimum performance from a new piano if it is properly serviced during the first year and regularly care for subsequently. It is our recommendation that a piano receive at least 4 tunings during the first year of ownership, and a minimum of 2 tunings per year thereafter. We suggest that the piano owner follow the recommendation of his/her local piano technicians, who is most qualified to advise the owner about the needs of the piano in its specific location."
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