Piano Tuning eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about Piano Tuning.


    1.  What is meant by the term “equal temperament”?

    2.  What is meant by the term “unequal temperament”?

    3.  Webster defines the term “temperament” thus:  “A system of
    compromises in the tuning of pianofortes, organs, etc.”  Explain
    fully what these compromises are.

    4.  In testing chords to ascertain if temperament is correct, what
    is the main thing to listen for as a guide?

    5.  In what three chords would you try the tone A, in testing your

    6.  With what results have you demonstrated the experiments in this
    and the previous lesson?



At this juncture, it is thought prudent to defer the discussion of scale building and detail some of the requirements connected with the technical operations of tuning.  We do this here because some students are, at this stage, beginning to tune and unless instructed in these things will take hold of the work in an unfavorable way and, perhaps, form habits that will be hard to break.  Especially is this so in the matter of setting the mutes or wedges.  As to our discussion of scale building, we shall take that up again, that you may be more thoroughly informed on that subject.

Some mechanics do more work in a given time than others, do it as well or better, and with less exertion.  This is because they have method or system in their work so that there are no movements lost.  Every motion is made to count for the advancement of the cause.  Others go about things in a reckless way, taking no thought as to time and labor-saving methods.

In spite of any instruction that can be given, the beginner in piano tuning will not be able to take hold of his work with the ease and the grace of the veteran, nor will he ever be able to work with great accuracy and expedition unless he has a systematic method of doing the various things incident to his profession.

In this lesson, as its subject implies, we endeavor to tell you just how to begin and the way to proceed, step by step, through the work, to obtain the best results in the shortest time, with the greatest ease and the least confusion.


It may seem that the tightening of a string by turning a pin, around which it is wound, by the aid of an instrument fitting its square end, is such a simple operation that it should require no skill.  Simply tightening a string in this manner is, to be sure, a simple matter; but there is a definite degree of tension at which the vibrating section of the string must be left, and it should be left in such a condition that the tension will remain invariable, or as near so as is possible.  The only means given the tuner by which he is to bring about this condition are his tuning hammer and the key of the piano, with its mechanism, whereby he may strike the string he is tuning.

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Piano Tuning from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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