Foster Piano Tuning

Questions & Answers

Welcome to the frequently asked questions section

How is a piano tuned?

Overview of tuning a piano
Before starting to tune an instrument it is essential to check that it is in good working order first. Each note should produce an even amount of sound as you play up or down the piano keyboard chromatically. A check to make sure there are no broken or badly corroded strings should be performed. A tuning lever or crank with the correct size head for the tuning or wrest pin must be used otherwise damage to the pin may occur.
A check should be made to see how close the instrument is to pitch, using a tuning fork. For this overview we will assume that the pitch is on or very close to that of the fork. Our reference note is now tuned to the tuning fork. The most usual note to use as our reference is either middle C, C40 or the A below that A37. From the reference note another eleven notes can be tuned to produce a scale of twelve notes, known as the temperament. This is very critical and should be as accurate as possible as all the other notes on the piano will be tuned using these notes. Equal temperament is used for the basis of our scale, that is to say all the semitones are spaced equally. The major thirds and fourths are tuned wide and the fifths are tuned narrow to achieve this.
It is then a fairly simple matter of tuning up to the top and down to the bottom of the piano in octaves from the scale that has previously been tuned. As each note is tuned the strings are muted in a methodical manner so that the first string is tuned to the octave and the remaining string or strings of the note are tuned to the same pitch as the first that is to say in unison.

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