Tuning and Maintenance of Keyboard and Woodwind Instruments in the South


Pianos should be tuned regularly - every 6-12 months depending on the piano and it's location. A standard piano tune takes about 2-2½ hours. A 2 rank harpsichord takes 1-1½ hours, with an additional 30 minutes per extra rank.

Whether an instrument is in tune or not makes an obvious impact on the quality of the sound. Generally in the UK, instruments are tuned to "equal temprament" with a pitch of a'=440Hz (a'=445Hz in Germany, for example). a' is the note 'a' above middle C. "Equal tempermant" (spacing between notes) is the best for most music.

When playing earlier music, particularly on harpsichord, other temperaments and pitches are used. For example, "quarter-comma meantone" or "Valotti" at a'=415Hz.

If you would like to have an instrument tuned in a different temperament other than equal temperament, or at a different pitch other than a'=440Hz, please let me know when booking the tune.

All timings are approximate. If a piano is very out of tune or the pitch needs adjusting, it may take longer (up to four hours). To see an example of a piano service where the piano needed longer to tune, please click here.

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