Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/piano questions

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Hello, I am involved with the Legacy 2000 program in Broomfield, Colorado. This program is designed to challenge kids with enthusiasm in the topics of math, science, and technology, along with fostering studentsí passions in these areas by allowing students to research ideas, come up with new ideas, and implement those ideas into reality. Furthermore, a key component of L2k is learning to network and communicate with people.
I am currently researching  the topic of pianos and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. If this is acceptable, please let me know by e-mailing me back at .

1. I read you worked in the building of pianos, what was that like?

2. What things could happen to a piano if unkept?

3. What things should be done in order to help maintain pianos and keep them in good conidtion?

4. What is the most common complaint you get in regards to piano care/music?

5. I read that you also do work on organs, what are the main differences between those and pianos?

6. You said that each piano model is unique in itself,despite the brand, why is that?

7. How do the musical capabilities of pianos compare with other instruments?

Answer
Hello Leon,  I will provide abbreviated answers to your questions since there are so many.  I hope the information will be useful!

1. I read you worked in the building of pianos, what was that like?
A)  Initially, the apprentice is assigned to various technicians to job shadow over the course of a year, then the hands-on begins with tasks such as piano chipping which involves the initial tuning of a piano fresh off assembly.  As proficiency improves, the apprentice is then moved into various aspects of production as deemed appropriate.  
2. What things could happen to a piano if unkept?
A)  Pianos are tuned dozens of times in the factory.  It takes a lot of tunings to assure a piano's tune will stabilize.  If the tuning, set at A=440, is not regularly maintained, the initial efforts are lost and the process begins again.   
3. What things should be done in order to help maintain pianos and keep them in good conidtion?
A)  Regular tuning: Ideally, every 6 months or at least once a year.  The tuner will monitor for any action, voicing or regulation issues.
4. What is the most common complaint you get in regards to piano care/music?
A)  Regulation issues: the relative volume of each key to every other key, i.e., unevenness.
5. I read that you also do work on organs, what are the main differences between those and pianos?
A)  Pianos are percussion instruments, organs are not.  The playing techniques are opposite each other.  The pianist studies the art of "attacking" the keys while an organist studies the release of the key.  
6. You said that each piano model is unique in itself,despite the brand, why is that?
A)  Piano retailers will typically offer many identical models of a piano to allow a client to pick out which piano they like best.  This suggests each piano develops its own characteristics over the course of production with piano voicers injecting their own personalities into each instrument.  These unique characteristics become more pronounced as the instrument begins to age.    
7. How do the musical capabilities of pianos compare with other instruments?
A)  A piano is capable of playing an entire score while the typical orchestral instrument is capable of playing only one or two notes at the same time.

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Thomas Britanyak

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics. If you need a piano's date of manufacture, please go to http://www.pianoexchange.com/howold.htm or http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html I am happy to answer musical or technical questions, however, I CANNOT offer appraisals on pianos or organs. Please do not ask what an instrument is worth. For this service please contact an experienced local appraiser or try the following links: https://mmm1100.verio-web.com/blueb1/appraisal.html or http://www.57piano.com/questions.htm

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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