Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Do pianos get better over time?

Can you think of ANY manufactured item that gets better over time? When you buy a car, you are advised by the car manufacturer to set up a maintenance schedule because your car will require yearly servicing. That's because over time, parts will start to deteriorate. Using the car analogy again, if you drive your car constantly, the tires will eventually go bald and lose the tread to grip the road surface. In a piano hammer, the surface must be very smooth to produce a high quality sound. Over time, from constant use, the hammer becomes heavily grooved and the sound produced becomes very strident, loud and difficult to listen to. Only by re-shaping the hammer, can the surface be brought back to a smooth oval shape to produce the best sound possible. So far, I've only talked about the piano hammer. What about the thousands of other parts of the piano action that require yearly maintenance? Sadly, most piano owners almost never keep their pianos maintained. They usually call to have their pianos tuned (not realizing that they are actually calling the tuner to fix something!).