Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/pianos


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?

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!

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Ralph Onesti


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


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