Piano tuning is both a science and an art. All pianos should be tuned at least once a year to maintain a high standard of musical playability, although some pianos will stay in tune longer than others. By leaving a piano untuned for any longer than a year the piano will, by its nature, begin to slowly unwind. Left long enough, it will find its equilibrium way below concert pitch. Many people don't realise the huge difference a fine tuning can make to an ordinary-sounding piano.
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There are three main categories of piano tuning:
This category of tuning generally refers to the 'family' piano. Typically most pianos in this category need at least one tuning a year, if not two, dependent on the age and quality of the instrument.
Most houses are centrally heated which makes older pianos more unstable and, in turn, in need of a bit more attention.
Modern pianos are generally constructed with central heating in mind but will still need a regular annual tuning.
Generally speaking, I have found piano teachers require more tunings per year. This is simply due to the fact they use their instruments on a daily basis for lessons, putting more demands on the piano and its tonal output.
This tuning category refers to the large concert hall pianos or any piano engaged in a professional capacity for an audience, including church and school pianos.
Most of these pianos are of the highest quality and require to be kept in optimal conditions for regular performances.