Friday, February 18, 2011
Maintenance is a very important in order to produce the best sound from the piano. There are various forms of maintaining your piano from tuning, voicing and regulating your piano.
Piano tuning is to make adjustments to the tensions of the strings of a piano. This is to properly align the intervals between their tones so that the instrument is in tune. Pianos need regular tuning to keep them up to the internationally recognized standard concert pitch of A4 = 440 Hz. Once every six months for domestic pianos and always just before a performance is enough.
Piano voicing is to soften the felt hammers of a piano using a voicing needle. Over time these felt hammers tend to harden. The harder hammers produce a brighter tone quality, which may ultimately become harsh and undesirable. Therefore voicing is needed to restore the pianos tone.
Regulation of the piano can range from turning a small screw to sanding down a wood surface. The goal of regulation is to make the piano's touch and sound consistent across all notes, allow it to achieve the widest range of dynamics, and also make the keys responsive to the motions of the player.
Pianos do have a limited lifetime, which is usually measured in decades. For example the hammers might last less than ten years while the soundboard might last up to fifty years. Regular replacement of worn parts can therefore extend a piano's lifetime by decades but can be very expensive. Restoration of the piano is then only done if the original piano was of high quality or the instrument has historical or sentimental value.
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