What is Piano Tuning?
"Piano tuning is the act of making minute adjustments to the tensions of the strings of an acoustic piano to properly align the intervals between their tones so that the instrument is in tune. The meaning of the term 'in tune', in the context of piano tuning, is not simply a particular fixed set of pitches. Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the vibration interaction among notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard. In all systems of tuning, every pitch may be derived from its relationship to a chosen fixed pitch, which is usually A440, the note A above middle C (261.626 Hz)."
Why Does My Piano Go Out of Tune?
"Many factors cause pianos to go out of tune, particularly atmospheric changes. For instance, changes in humidity will affect the pitch of a piano; high humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect. Changes in temperature can also affect the overall pitch of a piano."
How Often Should I Tune My Piano?
"New pianos should be tuned at minimum 4 times a year. After that, most piano manufacturers recommend two tunings per year as a minimum. You, however, are the final judge and should have the piano tuned as often as you think necessary. To put the matter of tuning into perspective, remember that a concert piano is tuned before every performance, and a piano in a professional recording studio is tuned three or four times each week! The type of use and the location of the piano will dictate the number of tunings required. Avoid placing your piano where it will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, moisture, or direct sunlight, all of which can cause unstable tuning, warpage, and finish damage."
What is Regulation?
"Regulation is the adjustment of the mechanical aspects of the pianos to compensate for the effects of wear, the compacting and settling of cloth, felt, and buckskin, as well as dimensional changes in wood and wool parts due to changes in humidity.
The systems involved in regulation are the action trapwork and damper system. The action is the mechanical part of the piano that transfers the motion of the fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings. It is comprised of over 9,000 parts which require adjustment to critical tolerances to be able to respond to a pianist's every command. The trapwork is the assemblage of levers, dowels and springs that connects the pedals to the action affecting sustain and dynamics. The damper system is the mechanical part of the piano that stops the vibration of the string when you release the key and is controlled by the key and pedal systems."