Piano Tuning

Make the most of your piano by enjoying its full potential with an accurate and precise piano tuning provided by Rob Harley Piano Forte.

I tune pianos by ear, striving to achieve the sweetest sound possible from your instrument. Whether you are a beginning student or a professional musician, you will appreciate the sound quality of your well-tuned piano.

Generally pianos should be tuned twice a year, preferably in winter and summer. It is best to allow your piano a few weeks to acclimatize itself to seasonal changes before having it tuned. Depending on the use of your piano, you may decide to have more or less frequent tunings.

Piano Tuning
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Why does a piano need tuning?
Tuning procedure
Why does a piano need tuning?

The strings of a piano exert thousands of pounds of pressure on the structure of a piano. This constant pressure, combined with changes in humidity and temperature, results in changes of tension on individual piano strings over time. Any change in tension in a string will change the pitch of its corresponding note. Also, tuning pins (the pins around which piano strings are wound and which are adjusted during a tuning) can slip over time, especially in older instruments. This slipping results in the flattening of the pitch of the string.

When a piano goes out of tune it is often described as sounding tinny or “honky tonky”. On occasion pianos can be so out of tune that a beginning student has difficulty knowing if they are playing the correct note.

Tuning procedure

I tune pianos by ear after having established both electronically and with a tuning fork the starting position for the A above middle C at 440 Hz. This is known as Concert Pitch which is the agreed upon standard for all musical instruments. All other notes on the piano are tuned by ear relative to this starting position in such a way that the piano sounds equally in tune when played in all keys. A tuning hammer, which is actually a specialized socket wrench, is used to manipulate the tuning pin in order to increase or decrease tension on a piano string. This results in an increase or decrease in the pitch of the note created when the key on the piano is played. While a piano only has 88 notes, it has over 200 strings and each string must be accurately tuned individually. Tuning usually takes approximately 2 hours and requires a quiet room with little or no external noise sources.

If a piano has been allowed to go too far out of tune it may require more than one tuning, or a “double tuning”, in order to restore its pitch to Concert Pitch. Sometimes it is not possible to restore a piano to Concert Pitch without extensive repair. In this case, the piano can be made to be in tune with itself but pitched somewhere below Concert Pitch.

A quick evaluation of your piano can determine its current pitch and its ability to be tuned and to hold a tune. In the case of older pianos, I will advise you on the options and the best strategy for tuning your piano.

Piano Repair

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Piano Repair

I have had over ten years experience servicing and repairing many makes of pianos. In all cases, an estimate of the cost of the repair and the effects and benefits the repair will have for the piano are provided to the piano owner. Most often, repairs can be quickly and efficiently performed on location. Even larger jobs such as restringing a piano can be accomplished at your site. More rarely, part of the piano or all of the piano may need to be relocated in order for repairs to be properly administered. On occasion specialized restoration work such as pinblock or soundboard replacement may be required and for this I would refer the piano to colleagues in the industry who have the facilities to undertake these more extensive repairs.

Piano Life Saver System

Previously known as: Dampp-Chaser Climate Control System

Complete sales, installation and service of Piano Life Saver System for upright and grand pianos.

Help protect your piano from the damages caused by fluctuations in humidity and temperature with a Piano Life Saver System professionally installed and maintained by Rob Harley Piano Forte. Piano Life Saver System are custom fitted for each piano.

A climate control system will dehumidify during periods of high humidity and will humidify during periods of low humidity. A Piano Life Saver System will also maintain proper humidity levels during temperature variations, particularly in situations where the piano is regularly exposed to varying temperatures. Fluctuations in humidity and temperature can result in cracked soundboards and bridge caps, sticky keys and can also affect tuning stability. A Piano Life Saver System will maintain proper humidity levels within the piano’s environment and will soon pay for itself with less frequent tuning required. In addition, by protecting the important wooden components of your piano the life of your piano can be extended considerably.

Avoid potentially costly repairs and extend the life of your piano with the installation of a Piano Life Saver System.

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Image © Dampp-Chaser - www.pianolifesaver.com

Starting At
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Includes Installation