Piano maintenance

A piano is made up of about 240 different lengths of highly tensioned wire at approximately 160 lbs. of pressure per string and, factoring in a 15% increase in the bass, this produces an overall strain on the frame of up to 21 tons. These lengths of wire go to make up 85 to 88 notes spread across the musical range and each note has its own individual mechanism, the combined total of which in the case of an upright piano adds up to 14,000 different parts. In the case of a grand the total reaches as high as 22,000 parts. The quality of the materials used, the design and construction, and the conditions to which the piano is subjected, will determine its lifespan.

On average a new piano is expected to last 50 years but this is affected by the regularity of maintenance, how much the piano is played and the climatic conditions in which it is kept.

Since the piano must be maintained at a specific tension to achieve a good musical sound, the matter of maintenance becomes an on-going process. A piano consists mainly of wood and iron, and both materials are subject to movement. The movement of the wooden sound board and the frame cause the wires to change tension without prompting by the user. Thus, it becomes necessary to set up a minimal schedule of tuning of the instrument to ensure reliable and pleasant results.