As your Piano Tuner Wilmington DE , one of the most frequent questions I am asked is “Why is it that every piano tuning is not the same price?” The answer requires a little background on the structure of a piano.

Pianos typically have over 200 strings, each of which are pulled to a tension about 150 lbs. If you multiply 200 x 150, you get 30,000 pounds of tension on a wooden structure. Even though the structure is reinforced by cast iron, the tension is constantly dropping on a piano. If the piano is not tuned at least once a year, the tension may drop too much for the piano to be tuned properly in a single piano tuning.

The reason that a single tuning may not work, is that because of the overall high tension, the entire instrument flexes as the pitch is raised. Research has shown that various sections of the piano flex different amounts. For example, ten minutes after the pitch is raised on the bass section, that pitch will fall 10-15% of the amount the pitch was raised. When the tenor section is raised, it falls 19-29% in ten minutes. In the mid-treble area, the pitch can fall as much as 38%. Those percentages stay the same for every tuning, but are relatively insignificant when the pitch is changed very little, as in an annual tuning. When the pitch is raised a great deal, however, the amount the pitch falls after a tuning can be significant and unpredictable.

When the pitch of a piano needs to be raised, the process that is used by the piano technician is to rough tune the piano close to the proper pitch, and then to tune it a second time at the proper pitch. This process takes more time and effort, so will cost more. Occasionally, when a piano has not been tuned in a number of years, it will require three tunings, instead of two. The reason for that is to minimize the chance of breaking piano strings, which are expensive.

If you have any questions about piano maintenance services, please consult us. We are Kenneth Keith Piano Services, your Wilmington DE Piano tuning service. We also provide piano services in Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.