Tuning and Voicing
Tuning is the mainstay of my business, and it often surprises me how differently people interpret the process of and reasons for adjusting the tension of the strings in their pianos.
To the amateur pianist, tuning usually means keeping the old family upright sounding and feeling pretty much the same from one year to the next. I help accomplish this by scheduling and performing periodic service calls, the frequency of which are based on the environment in which the piano lives, the amount and type of use it receives, and its age. For residential pianos, annual service calls are the rule - not the exception.
The professional pianist is at the opposite end of my client spectrum. For this individual, tuning often means service calls as frequently as is necessary to ensure instrument stability and performance readiness. It also means being aware of a client's voicing preferences and responding to changes that occur in the piano's timbre.
Because of my geographic location and its related swings in temperature and humidity, it's normal for local piano owners to find that their instruments go out of tune, even when not played, over the course of a year. When these shifts in pitch occur, I almost always return instruments to their reference frequency (440Hz) rather than allowing them to remain at current pitch.
And finally, I occasionally hear from pianists who want to explore the subtleties of historical, rather than modern equal, temperaments. I have the means to tune pianos, harpsichords, clavichords and concert harps to almost any historical temperament and reference frequency.
Regardless of the instrument I’m servicing or the nature of its special requirements, I will always attempt to utilize my skills to produce the most pleasing result.