Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/pianos

Advertisement


Question
I often play piano together with piano tracks (audio with only the piano part). My piano often sound very different from the pianos on the recordings. Is this common? Would this because different pianos have different sounds/tembre or would it be more of a recording issue? Or could it be that all pianos are not tuned the exact way?
I've been told that some piano tuners will let the strings of the higher keys be a bit out of tuned (but not much) in order to get a better sound. Is that true?

Answer
Hi Hank...

Lots of issues:

1. was the piano on the recording tuned to A=440

2. Was your piano tuned to A=440

3. there are issues with voicing, that is the quality of the piano.

4. There are huge differences in the sound when size, age, manufacture, and preparation are factored in.

5. Usually, pianos in the US are tuned using the standard equal temperament. However, there are other methods but this is less likely to be an issue. I do historic temperaments for those using harpsichords, Piano Fortes, church organists, early music people...but again...not likely the issue here.

6. For your last question, professional piano technicians don't leave strings "out of tune" on purpose. We do tend to "stretch" the upper end of the piano, but that is a mathematical issue. We don't have much of a choice in that matter...the bass goes flatter and the upper treble goes sharper to get the entire piano to..."fit".

I hope that helped!

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ralph Onesti

Expertise

I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice

Experience

In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

Organizations
The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

Publications
The Piano Technicians Journal

Education/Credentials
Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

Awards and Honors
Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

Past/Present Clients
The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.