Piano Tuning eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about Piano Tuning.
" 2D[#] " 1D[#] octave below, " 1D[#] " 1A[#] fifth above, " 1A[#] " 2A[#] octave above, " 1A[#](B[b]) " 2F fifth above, " 2F " 1F octave below, " 1F try 2C fifth above.

You will observe this last fifth brings you back to the starting-point (C).  It is called the “wolf,” from the howling of its beats when the tuner has been inaccurate or the piano fails to stand.


    1.  What is the cause of the beats or pulsations?

    2.  Have you practiced tuning the unison?

    3.  Can you distinguish the beats clearly?

    4.  Have you practiced tuning the octave?

    5.  Do you thoroughly understand the system of setting the
    temperament as set forth in this lesson?



Pitch.—­It is a matter of importance in tuning an instrument that it be tuned to a pitch that will adapt it to the special use to which it may be subjected.  As previously explained, there are at present two different pitches in use, international pitch and concert pitch, the latter being about a half-step higher than the former.  The tuner should carry with him a tuning pipe or fork tuned to 3C in one or the other of these pitches.  The special uses to which pianos are subjected are as follows: 

1st, As a concert piano.—­In the opera house, music hall, and occasionally in the church, or even in a private dwelling, the piano is used along with orchestral instruments.  All orchestral instruments are supposed to be tuned to concert pitch.  The stringed instruments can, of course, be tuned to any pitch; but the brass and wood-wind instruments are not so adjustable.  The brass instruments are provided with a tuning slide and their pitch can be lowered somewhat, but rarely as much as a half-step, while the clarinet should not be varied from its fixed pitch if it can be avoided.  It is desirable, then, that all pianos used with orchestra should be tuned to concert pitch if possible.

2d, As an accompaniment for singing.—­Some persons use their pianos mainly for accompanying.  It may be that singers cannot sing high, in which case they are better pleased if the piano is tuned to international pitch, while others, especially concert singers, have their pianos at a higher pitch.  Where a piano is used in the home to practice by, and the singer goes out to various places to sing with other instruments, we have always advised to have the piano tuned as near concert pitch as it would bear, for the reason that if one practices with an instrument tuned to concert pitch he may feel sure of reaching the pitch of any instrument he may be called upon to sing with elsewhere.

The great majority of pianos are left entirely to the tuner’s judgment in regard to pitch.  The tuner knows, or should know, to what pitch to tune the piano to insure the best results.  The following suggestions will be found entirely safe to follow in deciding the question of the pitch to which to tune: 

Project Gutenberg
Piano Tuning from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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