July 30, 2006


I'm of the mind that by keeping instruments in tune, you contribute to the general orderliness of the universe. Yes, the idea is as verifiable as the existence of a higher being, but I believe it all the same. At the very least, I can verify that my own mood and musical productivity took a swing up once I got my piano tuned.

In addition to getting it tuned, I had the technician regulate the action. For any non-pianists in the house, this means making a number of refinements that improve the mechanical efficiency of the instrument. When you depress a key, you are not directly forcing the hammer to attack the strings. The energy gets transferred through a few different components before the hammer goes anywhere (if the key and the hammer were attached, holding a key down would instantly dampen the sound). The regulation process gets energy losses to a minimum. Other refinements are also involved, but as I understand it, that's the bulk of it.

In musical terms, this means gaining precise control over dynamics, tone color, phrasing, and all the other nice things that help make a great performance. One other thing I noticed was that I could really feel the interaction of these components under my fingers. Definitely a neat sensation.

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