Pipe Organ Cleaning, Tuning, & Repair Jim Shawhan, our pipe organ expert, has been involved in various projects within the industry for more than a quarter-century. A successful former pipe-organ builder, he is now passing on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation here at Handlin Piano. Let us come evaluate your [...]
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Restoring pitch to a piano goes by several names. Terms such as “pitch raise,” or “re-pitch” are the most common. No matter what it is called, it refers to raising or lowering the pitch to a standard frequency level, usually 440 cycles per second at note number 37 (middle A) on the standard 88 note [...]
The New Piano The piano is an instrument made mostly of wood. Depending on its style and design, it has approximately 1,200 working parts and is engineered to sustain a constant string-pull pressure on the harp-plate of some 32,000+ pounds. More than 1,000 pounds of this is triangulated through the harmonic tone bridges to “float” [...]
Pipe Organ Care The pipe organ is a mechanically motivated wind instrument which operates by pressing keys on a keyboard to allow slightly compressed air to flow through specially made tone generators know as “organ pipes.” Same as all other relatively complex mechanical devices, it requires extraordinary skills to operate and play, and it must [...]
Piano Tuning Care The piano is an acoustic stringed instrument. It usually has 88 different notes, each having one, two, or three separate strings. These strings are set into motion by felt faced hammers hitting each string or set of strings whenever a key is depressed. Most other stringed instruments such as the guitar and [...]
Piano Strings Piano strings are the wires which are stretched between the tuning pins and end pins on the harp plate. These wires are made from a specially formulated steel alloy which has been drawn through a die. Then, they are ground to the exact diameters required to generate and sustain the frequency of the [...]
Pitch, Temperament and Tuning of the Piano The pitch of the piano is its reference tone level. This is usually stated as the beginning note of the temperament system of tuning and carries a number indicating the frequency in cycles per second (c.p.s.) such as A=440 or C=523.3, and so on. A variety of [...]
Aural (ear) Tuning Standard aural tuning is often based on two, or at most three, specific tone intervals, viz., the dominant 5ths, sub-dominant 4ths and, occasionally, the sub-mediant 6ths in a single octave subset of twelve notes called the “temperament octave.” Then, this basic octave is expanded in octave intervals over the remaining scope of [...]
The Piano and Its Room Enclosure The piano is an acoustic instrument. That is, the instrument itself is energizing the room or other space in which it is located instead of being a substitute sound source such as a recording or electronic sound synthesizer. The amount of sound a piano produces depends on its scale [...]
The piano action mechanism In addition to considering the musical properties of the piano, we must also take into account its mechanical characteristics. The key-bed and other tray action parts, as well as the pedal trap mechanism and its related parts, are complex working assemblies. These impart the intentions of the pianist to the musical [...]