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Frequently Asked Questions
How old is my piano?
To determine your piano's age, you will first need to locate its serial number.  This can usually be found inside the piano, stamped in the plate or the pin block, and it is usually 4-8 digits in length.  Using this number and your piano manufacturer's name, we can easily look up your piano's age.

Why does my piano go out of tune?
Seasonal fluctuations in temperature and humidity have the greatest influence on the stability of your piano's tuning.  As temperatures and humidity levels increase during the summer months, your piano's soundboard and other wooden parts swell.  This places additional tension on the strings, which causes its pitch to rise.  As temperatures and humidity levels decrease, these wooden parts shrink again, and the pitch falls.  These changes are not uniform across the whole piano, which is why tunings are needed.  With better regulation of temperature and humidity levels, your piano's tuning may be more stable.

How often should I have my piano tuned?
The best time to tune a piano is while it still sounds reasonably good.  For most pianos, this is approximately every six months.  This enables us to fine tune the piano without drastically changing its pitch.  Thus, a piano that is regularly maintained typically will hold its tuning better than a piano that is allowed to drift noticeably out of tune between tunings.  Piano manufacturers recommend yearly service as an absolute minimum, and for some, this is sufficient.  New England's extreme swings in temperature and humidity, however, present a more frequent need for tuning under most circumstances.

I don't play my piano often.  Should I still have it tuned?
Yes.  Regular tuning is an important part of your piano's maintenance and care.  Whether it is played regularly or not, it is still susceptible to the effects of changing temperature and humidity levels.  If tuning needs are neglected for an extended period, your piano's pitch will continue to fall.  We recommend having your piano tuned every six months.

Do you need to know about sticking keys or other problems in advance?
Whenever possible, we will inquire to be sure that you have not experienced any mechanical problems with the piano's performance (e.g. sticking keys, dead notes, etc.).  We will also sit and play the piano to identify any potential issues.  If you know of a problem, however, it would be helpful for us to know about it in advance.

How should I prepare for my appointment?
We will need to access your piano's interior.  Please clear everything from the top of the piano, and be sure that there is ample lighting in the area.  It is important for the room to be at a comfortable and stable temperature, as temperature fluctuations, including sunlight on the piano, will affect its tuning.  Minimal background noise is acceptable, but a quiet environment will allow us to provide a better tuning.  A routine piano tuning can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, so please plan accordingly.

Does it have to be quiet while the piano is being tuned?
Whether tuning aurally or with an electronic aid, it is important for us to be able to hear the piano clearly.  A minimal amount of noise noise is acceptable, but a quiet environment will allow us to deliver a better tuning.

How should I clean my piano's keys?
It is important to note that ivory is porous.  Excess moisture causes ivory keytops to warp, resulting in permanent and costly damage.  Mix 3-4 drops of a liquid dish soap in a gallon of warm water.  Start with two clean cloths, soft and white.  Soak one in the soapy water, and ring as much excess moisture from it as possible so that it is nearly dry.  Work with one white key at a time, gently scrubbing each it from front to back (not side to side), ensuring that you are not leaving any standing water and that water is not seeping between the keys.  After scrubbing each key, immediately dry and buff it with the other dry cloth.  As the stain is sometimes released from the black keys, it is generally a good idea to have separate cloths for the white and black keys.