What Is A Piano Pitch Raise

What Is A Piano Pitch Raise

When you invest in a piano, it takes more than dusting it occasionally to keep it at its best. 

Chances are, you’ve heard that pianos must be tuned regularly for it to create beautiful music. Piano tuning is simply the act of adjusting the tension of the piano strings to ensure that each interval between strings – notes – creates the proper sound. If you’ve ever played a scale and had one of tune, you know how important this process is. 

But if you have a piano tuner into your home, adjusting your piano regularly, you might hear her talking about a piano pitch raise. And depending on how well she explains it, it might leave you scratching your head, wondering if a pitch raise is really necessary. 

Let’s simplify the process. 

When you tap a piano key, it connects with the piano strings on the inside in order to create sound. Each of these strings has a certain level of tension applied to it to create a specific sound. If you increase tension, the pitch rises. If you loosen tension, the pitch lowers. 

If you take a look inside your piano, you’ll notice the strings are connected to the soundboard and held in place with a tuning pin and a hitch pin. If all strings were the same, they would all play the same note – the same pitch. But as the tuning pin is adjusted, each string plucks out a different tone. 

The piano itself has, on average, 88 keys. Depending on the model, it will have around 230 strings. That’s because three strings are used for each of the tenor and treble notes, while the base notes only require two strings. 

For a treble note, all three strings must be adjusted to bring the note in tune. Tension may be removed from one, while adjusted and tightened for the others. As the technician makes changes to the pitch, you can think of this as a pre-tune. It’s something that doesn’t have to be performed every time you tune a piano, especially if you have your piano tuned regularly. 

Why would your piano require a pitch raise? 

  • The tuning pins have come loose
  • There’s been a change in the environment, with temperature or humidity conditions affecting the piano
  • You’ve moved your piano
  • You’ve been playing your piano more. 
  • You haven’t tuned your piano in years

Tuning a piano isn’t like tuning a guitar. Each of the 230 strings can hold up to 200 pounds of pressure. Combined, that’s close to 22 tons of pressure. And because of their close proximity and dependability on each other for sound, one change can have a significant impact on the overall playability of your piano. 

If you haven’t scheduled a piano tuning in a while, now is the time. Contact us today, we can help you keep your piano sounding great for life.