There are two major reasons for the importance of regular piano tuning:
1) For the benefit of a student who is learning to play
2) To preserve the life span of your piano
This article will discuss the second reason: Preserving the life span of your piano. As you know, the investment you’ve made in your piano is significant, and preserving the life of the instrument is important since this helps to protect your investment. Your Wilmington piano tuner has the expertise to keep your piano perfectly tuned, thus providing the type of care that’s required for your piano maintenance and piano services needs.
We often think of a piano as simply a piece of furniture; however, an instrument is structurally different from a piece of furniture. An instrument is designed to resonate and project sound. To accomplish this, it’s structure is stressed in ways quite different from a simple piece of furniture. The main amplifier of sound in a piano is the soundboard. Without it, the piano would sound about as loud as an electric guitar with the amplifier turned off.
The soundboard is the large piece of wood behind the strings in a vertical piano and beneath the strings in a grand piano. It is usually made of Sitka spruce, a soft wood. It is typically 5/8” thick and designed to be a live resonant structure. That resonance is accomplished by gluing ribs beneath the soundboard in such a way that the soundboard is pushed up in the middle causing a convex shape with the bulge toward the piano strings. The strings are positioned so that they push back down on the soundboard with a combined pressure in the range of 500 pounds. The result is a highly compressed resonant structure which amplifies the sound of the piano strings.
When a piano is in tune, the strings are all at the tension for which the piano was designed. When a piano goes out of tune, the strings do not lose their tension evenly. Typically, the bass strings maintain their tension better than the middle range, and the middle range maintains its tension longer than the treble. If this condition is allowed to persist and continue, the soundboard will receive more torsional stress than it is designed for. Remember, the soundboard is a soft wood, only 5/8” thick, and under 500 pounds pressure. It is relatively fragile, so that it will be a live, resonant structure. If it were made thick and durable, it would not amplify the sound as successfully. Your piano tuner Wilmington DE, Kenneth Keith, knows that a piano requires proper care and regular piano tuning in order to have a long life. Replacement of a piano soundboard typically costs around $10,000, so this is not performed except on the most valuable pianos.
Every manufacturer recommends tuning your piano every 6 months, in order to preserve the piano’s life.