The piano is a highly developed, complicated piece of equipment. It contains about 240 different lengths of highly tensioned wire. (Approx. 160lbs per note and a 15% increase in the bass giving you an overall strain on the frame of 21 tons approx.) These lengths of wire go to make up 85 to 88 notes spread across the musical range. Plus, for each note, there exists a mechanism, which in the case of an upright piano contains up to 14 different moving parts. In the case of a grand up to 22 per note.
Since the piano must be maintained at a specific tension to achieve a good musical sound, the matter of maintenance becomes an on-going process. Since a piano consists mainly of wood and iron, all of this is subject to movement. The movement of the wooden sound board, framework, cause the wires to change tension without prompting by the user. Thus, it becomes necessary to set up a minimal schedule of
tuning of the instrument to ensure reliable and pleasant results. Of course, this schedule can't be, nor is it a hard and fast one. But, we can make recommendations and set out guidelines. You should evaluate your piano usage in terms of your own experience.
Robin Foster MABPT
UK Piano Page Copyright 1999 - 2004
A collection of FAQ's and informative articles on pianos
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