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A piano is a stringed instrument. The strings are made of steel and are under considerable tension. Most pianos have about 200 to 235 strings and each string exerts about 165 pounds of tension. This translates to about 18 tons of string tension throughout and average size piano. The strings are wound around tuning pins that are driven into the pin block. When a tuner tunes a piano, he increases the tension on the strings by turning the threaded tuning pin tighter.
Ideally, pianos should be tuned to concert pitch or A440. This means that A above middle C on the keyboard should vibrate at 440 cycles per second. If you don’t have your piano tuned regularly, you are neglecting an extremely sensitive, expensive instrument. Not to mention the fact that it COULD sound better.
If it has been several years since your piano has been tuned, a knowledgeable tuner is required. Much damage can be done to a piano that hasn’t been tuned regularly if the tuner tries to pull it up to pitch incorrectly. A neglected piano must be brought to pitch gradually and then repeatedly. This could mean two or more weekly tunings before the strings stabilize. Since this could run into costly tuning bills it pays to keep your piano in tune even if you do not play it every day.
In the average home a piano should be tuned once a year. If the piano is used every day and is in good condition it should be tuned every 4 to 6 months.