A440 is also known as concert pitch. When a piano is not tuned for a period of time the pitch of the instrument can change. That means that when someone plays a note, for example C, they may not be actually hearing what a C should sound like. They may be hearing a B or even Bb. This causes a problem for beginning students, singers and musicians playing along with the piano. Once a piano is tuned to A440, you know that you are hearing the notes correctly and will be able to be used in an ensemble setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your piano is an investment in your future. It can bring you and your family a lifetime of music, adding immeasurable joy and beauty to your home. Since it is also such a large investment, it should be maintained with the utmost care. Regular servicing by a qualified technician will preserve your instrument and help you avoid costly repairs in the future.
Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause its materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and action response or touch. To maintain optimal sound quality, your piano should be tuned every six months. This way your instrument is tuned before a major climate change. Both warm and cold temperatures effect the sound quality of your instrument.
The best way to protect your investment is to have it tuned regularly. When a piano is neglected it tends to fall out of shape faster. You can reduce the effects of climate change by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees F and 42 percent relative humidity.
Both vertical and grand pianos are very susceptible to dust. Because of their size and many crevices, dust can get trapped inside for years. If you wish to clean it, DO NOT USE WATER OR CLEANING PRODUCTS. This will damage both the wood and the strings. Simply take a vacuum with a soft brush attachment and go over the strings and deep corners until the dust is gone.