Is Your Piano in Tune?

piano-tuning

 

When it comes to tuning, every piano is different, even two pianos of the same style and make are different, and the humidity of the room makes a big difference, he said.

High humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.

In Minnesota, humidity can easily range from 80 percent in the summertime to 10-15 percent in the winter, if the home doesn’t have a humidifier. Wood-heated homes tend to be especially dry, he said.

“Pianos like it between 40 and 50 percent humidity in the house,” he said.

Even places that are supposedly “climate-controlled,” aren’t always. The heat might get turned down substantially evenings and weekends, for example.

A new piano needs a few weeks to settle into its new home before tuning, Fry said.

“If they get a new piano, generally they call us the day before it gets in the house,” he said. “It should sit in the house a couple weeks just to acclimatize it to its new surroundings … brand new pianos stretch for a while. They go out of tune quicker. The wire stretches and they settle into themselves.”

Some people think they have to let a new, or recently moved older piano, sit six months or a year before it gets tuned. That’s not true, Fry said, but it does need a few weeks.

He recommends that pianos be tuned at least once a year (he tunes his own piano once a year, even though he no longer gives lessons) and the busiest time for him is before the holidays — September through December.

“Piano-tuning is something people can put off,” he said. “We noticed a real drop in tuning when gas got over $3 a gallon. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.”

Fry said he is looking for some kind of work to do in the summertime when his other businesses are slow.

He doesn’t give piano or guitar lessons anymore, but does enjoy tuning all types of pianos.

“It takes me a couple of hours. I have time,” Fry said. “I’m going to do the job that I like to do, and do it right.”

Read the entire article at Keeping pianos, life in tune | Detroit Lakes Online.

Keep Your Piano in Tune

piano-tuning

When it comes to tuning, every piano is different, even two pianos of the same style and make are different, and the humidity of the room makes a big difference, he said.

High humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.

In Minnesota, humidity can easily range from 80 percent in the summertime to 10-15 percent in the winter, if the home doesn’t have a humidifier. Wood-heated homes tend to be especially dry, he said.

“Pianos like it between 40 and 50 percent humidity in the house,” he said.

Even places that are supposedly “climate-controlled,” aren’t always. The heat might get turned down substantially evenings and weekends, for example.

A new piano needs a few weeks to settle into its new home before tuning, Fry said.

“If they get a new piano, generally they call us the day before it gets in the house,” he said. “It should sit in the house a couple weeks just to acclimatize it to its new surroundings … brand new pianos stretch for a while. They go out of tune quicker. The wire stretches and they settle into themselves.”

Some people think they have to let a new, or recently moved older piano, sit six months or a year before it gets tuned. That’s not true, Fry said, but it does need a few weeks.

He recommends that pianos be tuned at least once a year (he tunes his own piano once a year, even though he no longer gives lessons) and the busiest time for him is before the holidays — September through December.

“Piano-tuning is something people can put off,” he said. “We noticed a real drop in tuning when gas got over $3 a gallon. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.”

Fry said he is looking for some kind of work to do in the summertime when his other businesses are slow.

He doesn’t give piano or guitar lessons anymore, but does enjoy tuning all types of pianos.

“It takes me a couple of hours. I have time,” Fry said. “I’m going to do the job that I like to do, and do it right.”

Read the entire article at Keeping pianos, life in tune | Detroit Lakes Online.

Eight-Hour Lullaby

Anyone who’s ever dozed in the middle of a concerto will appreciate the sweet sound of this news: A composer has created a piece for doing just that.

British artist Max Richter has written an eight-hour “lullaby” called “SLEEP.” The piece is not only meant to facilitate slumber, but the premiere audience is set to listen from the comfort of actual beds. The performance will take place in Berlin this September, and will last from midnight until 8 a.m.

For those who can’t make it to Germany, an eight-hour digital version was released on September 4, 2015. It will be the longest piece of classical music ever recorded and the piece itself is the longest single piece of classical music ever written. An hour-long adaptation will also be released, should someone wish to have a conscious experience engaging with the music.

“SLEEP” is scored for piano, strings, vocals and electronics. While writing it, Richter consulted with American neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn about how the brain functions during sleep.

In a teaser for the piece on YouTube, Richter says, “It’s a piece of nighttime music and I’m hoping people will actually sleep through it.” He goes on to describe it as “an eight hour place to rest.”

via Sleep Through this Piece of Classical Music—It’s What the Composer Wants | Mental Floss.

A Different Piano Design

Renowned pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim has unveiled a new type of piano, which he says is a “sound alternative” to the standard concert grand piano that has not undergone much change over a century.

Barenboim, 72, launched the instrument at the Royal Festival Hall here on Tuesday, in advance of his Schubert recital series.

Declaring the new piano a “sound alternative”, Barenboim said: “I’ve fallen in love with it and I want to spend as much time with it as possible.”

The exterior of the new piano looks much the same as any other modern concert grand piano, but inside, there are some dramatic differences, The Guardian reported.

Designed by the Belgian instrument-maker Chris Maene, the Barenboim has straight parallel strings instead of the diagonal-crossed ones of a contemporary piano. The wooden soundboard veins go in different directions. The bridges, ribs and bracings are specially designed and the hammers and strings have been repositioned.

Barenboim, currently heading Berlin’s flagship opera house, the State Opera, said he intended to perform the entire series on the new piano.

Modern pianos have become highly standardised, with few changes to their fundamental design over the past 100 years.

They are largely cross-strung, with the bass strings crossing over the middle and treble strings in an “X” pattern, allowing the sound to be concentrated on the centre of the soundboard.

He developed his idea with Belgian instrument maker Chris Maene, with support from Steinway & Sons.

via A different music from this piano.

As well as the straight strings, the Barenboim-Maene piano features a double bridge and horizontal soundboard veins.

According to a press release, the piano “combines the touch, stability, and power of a modern piano with the transparent sound quality and distinguishable colour registers of more historic instruments”.

Pianist Gwendolyn Mok, who plays an 1875 straight-strung Erard piano, has said that such instruments possess superior clarity.

“If you look inside your own piano, you will notice that the strings are all crossing each other,” she told the San Francisco Examiner in 2013.

“With the straight strung piano you get distinct registral differences – almost like listening to a choir where you have the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano voices.

“It is very clear and there is no blending or homogenizing of the sound. It therefore gives you huge opportunities in experimenting with colour.”

Via http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-32885683

Happy Birthday Bartolomeo Cristofori!

The inventor of the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori, is celebrated in last year’s Google Doodle.

Born on 4 May, 1655 in Padua, northern Italy, Cristofori initially worked making harpsichords and clavichords and was employed by Prince Ferdinando de Medici, son of the duke of Tuscany.

He is believed to have started work on what would become a piano in the 1690s and the first one is thought to have been made in 1709.

In a harpsichord the strings are plucked, so it is not possible to play the notes softer or louder. Cristofori managed to design a mechanism that transferred the pressure placed on the keys to the hammers that hit the strings.

He called his invention a “gravecembalo col piano e forte” – a clavichord with soft and loud. The name was shortened to pianoforte and then simply piano.

Francesco Mannucci, a musician at the Medici court, described one early version as “a large ‘Arpicembalo’ [the name of a type of harpsichord] by Bartolomeo Cristofori, of new invention that produces soft and loud, with two sets of strings at unison pitch, with soundboard of cypress without rose”.

Bartolomeo Cristofori

Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco was an Italian maker of musical instruments, generally regarded as the inventor of the piano.

While other musical instrument makers had attempted to solve the same problem with the harpsichord, Cristofori’s invention is generally regarded as the first real piano.

However, the piano was not popular at first and many felt it was too difficult to play. Cristofori died largely uncelebrated for an invention that would later change the musical world in 1731 – a year before the first sheet music for the piano appeared.

via Who invented the piano? Bartolomeo Cristofori’s birthday celebrated in today’s Google doodle – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent.

Keeping Your Piano in Tune

piano-tuning

 

When it comes to tuning, every piano is different, even two pianos of the same style and make are different, and the humidity of the room makes a big difference, he said.

High humidity causes the sound board to swell, stretching the strings and causing the pitch to go sharp, while low humidity has the opposite effect.

In Minnesota, humidity can easily range from 80 percent in the summertime to 10-15 percent in the winter, if the home doesn’t have a humidifier. Wood-heated homes tend to be especially dry, he said.

“Pianos like it between 40 and 50 percent humidity in the house,” he said.

Even places that are supposedly “climate-controlled,” aren’t always. The heat might get turned down substantially evenings and weekends, for example.

A new piano needs a few weeks to settle into its new home before tuning, Fry said.

“If they get a new piano, generally they call us the day before it gets in the house,” he said. “It should sit in the house a couple weeks just to acclimatize it to its new surroundings … brand new pianos stretch for a while. They go out of tune quicker. The wire stretches and they settle into themselves.”

Some people think they have to let a new, or recently moved older piano, sit six months or a year before it gets tuned. That’s not true, Fry said, but it does need a few weeks.

He recommends that pianos be tuned at least once a year (he tunes his own piano once a year, even though he no longer gives lessons) and the busiest time for him is before the holidays — September through December.

“Piano-tuning is something people can put off,” he said. “We noticed a real drop in tuning when gas got over $3 a gallon. I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it did.”

Fry said he is looking for some kind of work to do in the summertime when his other businesses are slow.

He doesn’t give piano or guitar lessons anymore, but does enjoy tuning all types of pianos.

“It takes me a couple of hours. I have time,” Fry said. “I’m going to do the job that I like to do, and do it right.”

Read the entire article at Keeping pianos, life in tune | Detroit Lakes Online.

Sleep Through this Piece of Classical Music—It’s What the Composer Wants

Anyone who’s ever dozed in the middle of a concerto will appreciate the sweet sound of this news: A composer has created a piece for doing just that.

British artist Max Richter has written an eight-hour “lullaby” called “SLEEP.” The piece is not only meant to facilitate slumber, but the premiere audience is set to listen from the comfort of actual beds. The performance will take place in Berlin this September, and will last from midnight until 8 a.m.

For those who can’t make it to Germany, an eight-hour digital version will be released on September 4. It will be the longest piece of classical music ever recorded and the piece itself is the longest single piece of classical music ever written. An hour-long adaptation will also be released, should someone wish to have a conscious experience engaging with the music.

“SLEEP” is scored for piano, strings, vocals and electronics. While writing it, Richter consulted with American neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn about how the brain functions during sleep.

In a teaser for the piece on YouTube, Richter says, “It’s a piece of nighttime music and I’m hoping people will actually sleep through it.” He goes on to describe it as “an eight hour place to rest.”

via Sleep Through this Piece of Classical Music—It’s What the Composer Wants | Mental Floss.