Caring for Your Piano
We at Piano & Keyboard Centre have prepared this information page especially for YOU, the owner of a piano manufactured in Europe, Japan, China, Korea or North America. It will answer questions you may have on how to maintain your piano in its original beautiful condition. Your piano is an investment that will give you and your family many years of pleasure.
It can be the centre of your home, a lasting source of fun and entertainment. Your piano is an intricate musical instrument encased in a beautiful cabinet. It needs and deserves intelligent care.
Your piano is a complex blending of many diverse raw materials. There are more than 9,000 parts in the key and action combination alone. If you were to analyze the materials in your piano, you would find top quality wood of many species, iron, steel, copper, brass, plastics, wool, cotton, various adhesives, etc. Piano strings are known as the "Blue Chip" of the steel industry. They represent the highest development in steel wire and only a few mills are capable of manufacturing them. Remember that there are more than 200 strings in a standard piano and that their combined tension exerts a pull of better than eighteen tons! These strings bear upon the sounding board by means of wooden bridges and a system of reverse bearings that practically lock the strings and board together. Each of these strings must be kept at the proper tension or it will be off pitch and produce an inharmonious tone. In other words, your piano will be OUT OF TUNE!
It will take some time for your piano to become thoroughly settled and adjusted to the atmospheric conditions in your home. This is true of all makes and models. Therefore it is of special importance that your piano receive proper service during the first year after purchase.
During the first year it is advisable to have your piano tuned at least two times. In the following years have it tuned as often as necessary, but a minimum of once. For your information, a concert pianist has his piano tuned before each performance. The frequency of tuning depends on the use the piano receives and the conditions peculiar to its location. A piano will stay in tune better if atmospheric conditions remain consistent. Changes from moist air to dry air cause wood to swell and shrink, thus changing the tension on the strings. Keeping the humidity as constant as possible means your piano will need to be tuned less frequently.
Your piano's action must be checked and "regulated" regularly. Do not confuse the words "tuning", which has to do solely with the pitch of the strings, and ''regulating", which has to do with the adjustment of the mechanism by which the string is put into motion.
Cleaning the Keys
To clean keys, slightly moisten a soft white cloth with water, to which a very slight amount of mild dishwashing detergent has been added. This method can be used on both the black and white keys, with different cloths. (As black keys may leave some colour). Remember to dampen the cloth only slightly and rub gently. Dry with a soft cloth.
Placing Your Piano
Avoid having the piano directly under an open window or over a heat vent.