CLASSIC PIANO DOC
Southold • New York
Typically takes1-2 hours
Typical cost is $100-150
The additional cost is if the piano needs a pitch raise
Tuning your piano involves adjustment of the pitch of the piano, usually to A-440. This means adjusting the A above middle C to 440 cycles per second and then adjusting all of the strings to their relative pitch to that note. This also includes the appropriate temperament for your piano and the appropriate stretch. The stretch is the raising of the last two octaves to make them progressively sharper, thus sounding better to the human ear. When done correctly, all the chords will sound good. This was all worked out by J.S.Bach in his book, "The Well Tempered Clavier". There are other historical temperaments That are used for special music. If you are performing early music requiring a special temperament, I can accommodate this also.
If a piano has not been tuned recently or has been exposed to repeated changes in temperature or humidity, and is more than a half step flat, it will require a pitch raise. This is a quick tuning to bring all the strings up to approximately normal pitch before doing the fine tuning of the piano. This helps equalizes the tension on the soundboard so that the tuning will be more stable. The added pitch raising will add about 50% to the time and cost of tuning.
Do you need two pianos tuned precisely alike on the same stage for a concert. I do this regularly and can make them a perfect match even when they are different piano brands or sizes. I have even matched a Bluthner upright to a Steinway baby grand and you could not hear the difference.
Since piano strings are made of spring wire and have some "memory", they will try to return to their former length after a pitch raise. After another tuning or two, they will usually stabilize and the piano should hold pitch well as long as there are no serious problems such as loose tuning pins.
Many tuners just tune the strings and go. As a piano technician I will often make some adjustments at every tuning. When I tune a piano, I evaluate many aspects and I often do a number of minor adjustments for free at the time of tuning. I will always advise you about the condition of the piano and if it should get some preventive maintenance. This often avoids bigger problems down the road.
Some pianos need more than just tuning the strings. This is the realm of a piano technician and restorer, which is something in which I'm very experienced. Read more about how I can perform this advanced work on your piano under my repairs section.