When a piano is tuned, the strings are set to the original tension the manufacturer designed the piano to sound its best at. The more you go years without tuning, the less pressure is exerted onto the wooden soundboard (the piano's amplifier). This damages the soundboard since each board is crowned at the factory to hold SOME of the string pressure. Without pressure, called "downbearing", the piano would have very little volume.
Regular tunings means just the right amount of downbearing on the soundboard. The soundboard is one of the most valuable parts of any piano.
Proper Pitch Development
All acoustic instruments (saxophones, flutes, clarinets, trombones, drums, etc) and stringed instruments (violins, guitars, pianos, cellos, etc) need to be tuned periodically.
With stringed instruments, the strings are stretched over bridges. Changes in humidity & pressure (photo 1) cause the pitch (tuning) to change at these points.
It's very important to tune to the correct musical frequency, A440, so that all instruments can be played in unison together. This also helps beginners to learn to identify correct pitches when they are playing keys or hitting positions on their instrument in order to play in-tune and develop a correct sense of pitch.
Optimal Key Performance
Pianos are built with precious metals and various wood species that allow them to become acoustic instruments, or that which need no electric amplification to produce pitch frequencies.
Various woods used in pianos, while not actually alive, act as if alive since they 'breathe' with changes to temperature & humidity, as well as transmit power with vibrations from the 200+ strings. The vibrations are carried directly into the air through sound-waves.
Inside every piano exists an "action." The action is comprised of over 5,000 parts (photo 2) that allow the key to accelerate a single hammer to a string or a series of strings. The action is built to withstand some seriously heavy use. Over time, the wear that will occur can be eliminated by reconditioning or refurbishing, through a series of adjustments called "regulation", resetting it back to excellent playing standards.
Pianos with the highest resale are those in the best internal & external condition, exhibit great tone quality, and great power delivered by the fingers.
Servicing your piano regularly means you are not only keeping the pitch at A440, but you are protecting your investment in the long-run between hearing the correct pitch, keeping it working correctly, and sustaining the resale value.
Check out the FAQ page for more information on how you can maintain your piano for generations to come.
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