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A piano is largely made out of wood and materials derived from wood, which are sensitive to any change in humidity. Humidity has the undesirable effect of putting a piano out of tune. This means that at regular intervals you have to call a service technician to retune the piano. 

Tuning involves tightening the strings to achieve the desired note. The service technician should not only tune the instrument, but also check the intonation, the adjustment of the action, and the instrument’s overall condition. One has to realise that the more a piano diverges from its optimal condition, the harder and costlier it is to restore it back to its proper state. Should a piano be seriously out of tune, it will usually go out of tune soon after tuning, so tuning must be carried out regularlly, before the instrument settles.

Set the frequency of tuning to the amount and style of use

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  • Every piano should be tuned at least once a year. If you are a very active player, you will need to tune it several times a year. A skilled service technician should be able to recommend the appropriate interval between tunings according to your requirements.
  • New instruments, or pianos that have not been tuned for a few years, are best tuned at shorter intervals, before the tuning stabilises.
  • Concert grands that are tuned before every concert are a different matter: they may neeed several tunings a day.
  • Even experienced pianists can get used to a slightly out of tune sound from their piano, and cease to notice its poor tuning.
  • Careful! Every time you move your piano, it should be retuned. However, it is best to allow your piano about six weeks to get used to new climatic conditions before tuning, so as to ensure that humidity in the instrument is equalised.

Tuning a piano normally takes 2 hours, depending on the instrument’s overall state. A skilled tuner should check the overall technical state of the instrument and if need be carry out a detailed adjustment of the action and the hammers. At least every two years a complete service should also be conducted for the action to be adjusted and the intonation checked.

Intonation involves the adjustment of the hammer felts in order to change the character of the tone. Intonation can to some extent adjust the bandwidth, tone colour, and similar. Regular playing compresses the hammer felts. The sound becomes harder and the shades of tone colour more difficult to distinguish. In very damp conditions, however, the felt will swell and the sound become softer, losing brightness and balance. The service technician must therefore balance out these changes by refashioning the hammer felts.
 

PROLONG ITS LIFESPAN TO 100 YEARS

Playing places the greatest strain on the action components and the keyboard, resulting in poor movement of the action. Typical signs of this are loose or grating hammers, unevenly efficient dampers, loose keys and similar. Therefore it is essential, now and again, to get experienced piano technicians to adjust the action and the keyboard. They can help you to draw up a service schedule, so that the piano may be kept in perfect condition for as long as possible.

It is always important to position the instrument in the most stable environment possible. We prefer a place indoors where the piano is away from any window and nit exposed to any source of heat or direct sunlight. In ideal conditions i.e. temperature of 19-21 °C and air humidity 40-55% an instrument can, with proper servicing, last for a hundred years.