Piano Tuning, Regulation and Voicing
by Jack Houweling
There are three basic areas of piano maintenance: Tuning, Regulation, and Voicing
Tuning is adjusting the tension of the piano strings to bring them all to the proper pitch. The fourth A (the A above middle C) is a starting point on the keyboard, it is set to 440 Hz. or cycles per second. Every thing else is tuned in relation to the A. Proper pitch is important for ear development.
Regulation The piano keys and action (the mechanism inside the piano) are made of leather, wood and felt and will compress and change shape with wear. They need fine adjusting to bring back for proper function. This will improve the playability of the piano.
Voicing deals with the tone quality of your piano. From bright to mellow the tone can be changed with voicing. Softening or hardening the hammers is one part of the process to change the tone. A technician can voice and change the tonal personality. There are many words used by technicians and piano players to describe the sound of a piano. here are just a few ….dark, tinny, crisp, tubby, muddy, weak, metallic, woody, rough, and clean.
How does your piano feel? What does your piano sound like? The degree of changes is dependent on the piano design and condition. Talk to your piano technician she can bring out the best in your piano.