All About The Piano Pitch RaiseIf it has been over a year since your piano was last tuned it may require a pitch raise. This procedure may also be called a pitch correction. In general when pianos are left in disuse and are not serviced regularly the tension in the strings will gradually drop. This is also more likely to happen in the winter when the relative humidity level is low.
Your piano’s tuning pins are driven into a piece of hard-rock maple called a pinblock. Changes in relative humidity will affect the moisture content of this wood. When this happens the pinblock will expand and contract with the humidity changes and cause the piano to go out of tune.
There is approximately 18 tons of pressure being exerted by the stretched steel piano strings. In a concert grand, it is close to 30 tons of pressure. The average string having about 160 pounds of tension. There are 230 strings inside a typical piano. All this tension will not hold forever and so the pitch in your piano will eventually decrease. During a pitch raise there is an very large increase in the string tension or your piano.
What To Expect During A Pitch Raise TuningIf your piano does require a pitch raise this will be done first before any fine tuning of the piano will begin. It typically takes an additional 30 minutes to get all 240 strings back up near the target pitch. This process can exert more wear on some of the components of the piano and it sometimes can cause strings to break as they are stretched again up to pitch. A broken string is more likely in older pianos where the steel strings are rusted and corroded. For this reason, among others, it can end up costing you more to have your piano serviced infrequently than tuned and serviced regularly. If you any questions about tuning and pitch raising please contact us.