One of the most frequent questions I am asked as your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE is whether perfect pitch is required for a person to be a piano tuner. The answer is no. I think the question comes up because it is frequently believed that a tuner listens to each string and tunes it to a pitch recorded in the tuner’s brain. That is not how a piano is tuned. People who have perfect pitch, always have a range around the correct pitch. Some people have claimed to able to distinguish, for example, between A-440 and A-442, but when they are tested, they cannot make the distinction.
A concert piano technician must be able to tune a piano within two-hundredths of a percent of the target pitch, typically, A-440 or A-442. The difference between A-440 and A-442 is approximately 14 hundredths. A person cannot tune accurately enough by using their perfect pitch. In the past, tuning forks were used, but recently they have been replaced with electronic pitch sources. The reason is that tuning forks change pitch slightly with changes of temperature, as the metal will expand with increases in temperature, and contract in size with decreases in temperature. The slight change in size will change the pitch that the fork generates. The electronic pitch sources do not vary with changes of temperature.
Once the pitch is set to be either 440 or 442 on A4 (the A above middle C) the tuner tunes the rest of the piano using intervals from that one note. The first step is to set a temperament of 12 notes equally spaced, so that the piano will sound equally out of tune in every key. If the piano were tuned to be perfectly in tune in one key, then it would sound terrible in other keys. The tuning of a piano is a compromise, so that it will sound the same no matter which key the music is played in.
If you have other questions about the tuning of your piano, please call or email us, and we will be happy to help. As your Delaware piano, tuner I am ready to serve you. We also provide professional piano tuning services in the Philadelphia, Eastern Shore Maryland and Southern New Jersey areas.