Since the piano is made of wood, felt, iron, etc., it is constantly in motion due to temperature and humidity changes in the environment. These changes in climate and the resulting movement affect the Tension of the strings and, for that matter, all areas of the piano – whether the piano is being played or not. The amount of tension on the strings affects the pitch. The piano may go ‘flat’ in the colder months and ‘sharp’ during warmer months. Insulation in todays homes greatly limit the severity of these changes.
If the piano has been regularly maintained, a qualified technician can normally ‘tune the strings’ to today’s accepted A440 pitch. In the situation in which the piano has not been serviced for some time, or it has been exposed to climatic extremes, it may be necessary to perform one or more additional procedures to achieve A440 pitch.
Most piano builders recommend a minimum of two regularly scheduled tunings per year - or every six months - is required for basic stability.
•Tuning with the change of seasons - or four times per year - is highly recommended.
• More frequent tunings may be necessary if the piano is new or if it is played several hours each day.
• New instruments have ‘new’ strings that will continue to stretch over the first year.
While tuning your piano, a qualified technician will be attentive to the needs of the entire instrument and will advise you of what it needs and why.