Tuning and Maintenance of Keyboard and Woodwind Instruments in the South

Frequently Asked Questions

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How long does a piano tune take and how much does it cost?

A standard piano tune takes around 2 - 2 ½ hours and costs a flat rate of £50.

What is "A 4 40" and "equal temperament"?

"A440" is the pitch of the not A above middle C. This is the note the Oboe plays for an orchestra to tune to. Standard "Concert Pitch" in the UK is this A being 440Hz, or cycles, per second. Most pianos are designed to be tuned to this pitch. "Equal Temperaament" is where the space between each note is equal, in terms of pitch. This website explains equal temperament very well!

How often does my piano need tuning?

It depends on the piano and where it is being kept. An instrument that is 150 years on with a wooden frame being kept in a conservatory will need tuning every couple of months, whereas a 5 year old Yamaha in a climate-controlled studio will need doing less often. Most pianos are every 12 months.

My piano is very old and out of tune. Can it be tuned?

Most likely, yes. There might be some repairs needed (larger pins, new strings etc.), but nearly always pianos can be repaired. I've only come across one piano that couldn't be tuned or repaired, and that was because the frame had snapped in half. The only limitation is usally budget!

My piano is very old - is it worth tuning?

In my opinion, yes. Every piano is unique and has it's own voice, and old pianos in particular have a lot of character. It's a joyous experience to play Debussy on a piano built in the 1880s!

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