Humidity and wear are the two primary reasons, although small creatures can also be to blame. Soundboard fractures and rib separations may occasionally be neglected, but when the piano is experiencing many problems, it is time to cease ignoring this issue. The humidity and heat cause the strings to expand and contract, which stresses them out over time.
Pianos are made of wood, just like other musical instruments, and so they suffer from the same problems - the wood will dry out over time, causing it to lose its tone. This can be fixed by keeping up with cleaning and repairing the instrument, but if it isn't played regularly it will need replacing. Wood is very sensitive stuff - even slight changes in temperature or humidity can have an effect on its quality and lifespan.
Also, much like other wooden instruments, a piano's soundboard needs to be kept clean for it to produce good tones. Any excess moisture or dust will settle on the board and cause problems for the next player.
At the end of its life, a piano will likely need some sort of restoration before being sold as a new instrument. This is because wood is used to repair other wood, and over time it will become warped due to all the previous repairs needed. During this process it loses its tone, so it is important to have someone who knows how to restore pianos do any work on them.
Though most motions are rapid, a piano's reactions to unexpected humidity and temperature changes are also. If there isn't enough moisture in the air, the piano's wood will shrink and its pieces will move, fracture, and loosen. When this occurs, it is nearly unavoidable for an instrument to get out of tune. However, if you are planning on moving the piano, then you should know that this will put it out of tune.
The best way to keep your piano in tune is to have it tuned regularly by a professional pianist. The technician checking it over will be able to tell whether any parts need replacing and will be able to advise you on how to care for your piano so it stays in good condition.
If you don't have the time or money for regular maintenance, however, there are some things you can do yourself. You should clean the exterior of the piano with a soft brush at least once a year; use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the interior. It is important not to expose the piano to high temperatures or direct sunlight because this could damage the finish.
Moving a piano is not recommended unless you have extensive experience of dealing with heavy items. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to prevent injury to you or others. Start by getting in touch with a reputable mover and make sure they have experience with pianos before you hire them.
Temperature and humidity variations are the most common causes of piano tuning issues. The basic acoustic components of a piano are the strings, hammers, and soundboard. The soundboard is the piece of wood that supports the strings and vibrates with each note, producing that deep, lovely sound. The soundboard isn't quite flat. It has peaks and valleys because it's curved to fit against the body of the piano. Each string has one end attached to a hammer breastplate. As the string is pressed by the player's hand, it will vibrate at its natural frequency. That means that if you play a string at its natural frequency, it will sing.
The other ends of the strings are held by a bridge. The bridge is used to control how high the notes are struck when played by the pianist. A soft pedal lowers the entire bridge, causing all the notes to be flattened into the keyboard. A hard pedal raises the bridge slightly, allowing only the required notes to be played.
A key is used to activate each string, thus producing a musical note. There are 88 keys on a standard piano, although some are split into two separate keys for easier playing in certain positions. The black and white keys on the piano are called the melody notes, while the red notes are called the bass notes.
Pianos are very sensitive instruments that can be damaged by moisture in the air or heat from a radiator.
Repairing Soundboard Cracks Fixing cracks in the soundboard of a grand or upright piano is one of the most typical soundboard repairs. If this is the case, the break may have divided the soundboard into several parts. Consult a competent piano technician in this instance.
A split soundboard can cause buzzing and other unpleasant noises. The crack will usually appear near the center of the board. If the board is removed, a skilled technician can see the cause of the crack and suggest a fix. The technician may be able to glue the pieces together or provide another permanent solution.
An old nail can also cause a soundboard crack. If not removed, these nails can work their way loose over time and cause more damage. They should be taken out by a professional piano tuner before any further work is done on the piano.
If your piano has no soundboard repair history, it's best to have it restored by a reputable dealer or builder. The cost of repairing a damaged soundboard can be less expensive than replacing it. However, if the damage is severe, there's no point in repairing the board; instead, you should consider getting a new piano.