As your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE , I find that piano owners are often not aware of the importance of regular piano tuning. Our last few blog articles began an explanation that may help with understanding the importance of regular tuning of your piano.
To review, there are two major reasons to tune a piano regularly:
To benefit the player
To benefit the piano, so it will last longer
Our previous articles discussed the importance to the player, and began the discussion as to why your piano will last longer if it is maintained properly. We talked about the stress to the strings of raising the pitch if the piano had not been tuned within the past year. This post will conclude the discussion by explaining the stress to the soundboard when a piano is not maintained regularly.
The piano soundboard is the large piece of wood located below the strings on a grand piano, and behind the strings of an upright piano. It is usually made of spruce, which is a soft wood, and it is only 3/8″ thick. It is constructed to have a convex, or crowned shape during construction, so that it will be a live, vibrating surface. It is the structure which amplifies the sound of the piano strings by vibrating sympathetically when the strings are struck. Each string of the piano has a slight downward force on the soundboard, so that the sound of the strings is transferred to the soundboard. The accumulated pressure of all the piano strings on the soundboard is around 500 lbs.
When the piano is tuned properly, that pressure is distributed in a particular pattern that is sustainable for the soundboard. When a piano has not been tuned in more than a year, however, that pattern of force distribution is changed, stressing the soundboard. The reason for the change, is that the piano treble strings fall in tension more than the strings of the tenor section, which is more than the strings of the bass section. The result is a torsional stress on the soundboard, making it more likely to crack. Since the soundboard is an integral structure of a piano, the piano is significantly compromised when the soundboard fatigues.
This concludes our series of articles explaining the importance of regular tuning for your piano, whether it is used, or not. Our next blog post will summarize the last few articles.
If you have any question about pianos or their care, please let us know. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning service. Kenneth Keith Piano Services also provides piano services in Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.