Bennett Piano Tuning
There’s an old joke the ends with this punch line: “You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish!” which causes most six-year-olds to erupt with laughter.
However, the truth is, you can’t tune a piano…unless you are especially trained to do so, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t. That’s where Bennett Piano Movers comes in. Not only can they safely move your heavy piano—it’s not called The King of Instruments for nothing!—they can make sure that it stays in tune throughout its lifetime.
Many people don’t realize this, but your piano has needs you may have been neglecting. A piano should be tuned, ideally, every six months. Tuning is accomplished by making tiny adjustments to the tension of the strings so that interaction of the notes is properly pitched…this is also called pitch adjustment. However, these adjustments are different for every piano, so there is no industry standard of tension requirements.
In addition to tuning, you may also want to explore an option called “tone voicing” which technically isn’t tuning at all. For instance, two pianos, both equally in tune, can sound very different from each other. One may sound rich and full, while the other may be described as “glassy” or thin. A skilled piano technician, or tuner, can adjust the tone of your piano to suit your personal sound preferences. There is a degree to which changes can be made, though, depending on the physical construction of the piano.
Pianos should only be tuned or voiced by professionals, piano rebuilders, technical personnel or independently certified piano technicians. Whoever you hire, it is ideal that he or she has had professional training and is certified by an organization such as the Piano Technicians Guild.
Pianos were invented in 1709, which naturally necessitated the evolution of piano tuning. There were several different methods and tuning theories, which changed throughout time.
For instance, one method that lasted until the 19th century, was called “Meantone” tuning, which tuned the intervals of a perfect third and a perfect fifth equally. Another type of tuning, perfected by Andreas Werckmeister and used in Mozart’s time, was called “Well Temperament,” which was a method of tuning so that all of the 24 musical scales would sound equally well when played. Other types of tuning were called “Just Intonation” which was considered to be acoustically pure; and “Equal Approach” which is the most modern approach and uses machines to calibrate the notes.
You can easily find videos or instructions on the internet regarding self-tuning your piano, but is it not recommended. There is a high risk of damaging your instrument, particularly if you do not have the proper tools, which include mutes, electronic tuners and tuning wrenches. In addition, even if you technically understand the mechanics of tuning a piano, there is no substitute for years of experience and an innate understanding of the subtleties of the job. This is truly a task that is best left to the professionals, like Bennett Piano Movers.
Next time you sit down at your piano, take a moment and really listen. Is it in tune? Do you like its “voice”? If not, call Bennett Piano Movers for a tune up. Because, remember, no matter what your six-year-old tells you, you can’t tune a piano or a fish!