Time For A Pitch Raise

What Is A Pitch Raise?

Your instrument’s overall pitch fluctuates with seasonal humidity changes. Contraction and expansion of pivotal wood components adds and releases pressure on the strings, making their pitch move up and down respectively. In Canada especially, cold and dry weather drops pitch flat, while warmer, humid conditions lift it sharp. On top of that, every subsequent year without standard tuning drops a piano’s pitch flatter than the previous year. In response, our Pitch Raise Tuning brings all strings back up to concert pitch so they sound as fresh as a new piano — even if the piano has not been tuned for over 10 years! As such, this service becomes a common necessity to keep heirloom pianos sounding their best.

Why Does A Piano Need To Be Tuned To Concert Pitch / A440Hz?

All pianos are designed to be tuned to A440Hz so that they will have the least possible inharmonicity. Tuning a piano to any pitch level lower than A440Hz subtly alters many aspects of the piano’s tonal signature. Strings that don’t exert enough force sound dull as their harmonics cannot fully sound. They will even appear out of tune sooner than they should, even if their pitch is “correct”. As such, modern piano stringing has been engineered at optimal high-tension to ensure the utmost stability, clarity and dynamism.

Is This Just A “Double Tuning”?

Pitch Raising is not simply tuning your piano twice. Extra time is spent at the beginning of the appointment to adjust string tension up across the board, sometimes two or three times before it is stable. Doing so allows forces to equalize during the standard piano fine-tuning that follows. In total, this service coupled with a standard tuning takes no more than 2 hours, for which we do not charge a “doubled” fee. The result is a full restoration of tone and stability for a neglected piano’s tuning.

Is It Possible For Strings To Break?

Strings can break at any time during any activity — ask other string musicians and you’ll hear it happens to them far more often! However, this is very unlikely in newer and well-maintained pianos. String breakage has 2 causes: quality of manufacture and corrosion/rust on string bearing points. Tension adds strain on these points and when raising the pitch there is considerable extra tension. The corroded string catches and over-stretches — SNAP! Understandably, we replace broken strings at cost. However, string breakage is an unpredictable event that we aim to avoid and mitigate at all costs. As such, we are not responsible for compromised strings. It is our mandate to provide professional service and proactively avoid damaging your piano with extra caution while raising the pitch.

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