2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
54 members (Carey, 3B43, Beemer, Beowulf, bobrunyan, Badger1966, 14 invisible), 485 guests, and 430 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
question on tuning
#2519037 03/09/16 03:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
I
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
I
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
 Hi!
I recenty had my piano tuned by a professional tuner. But I am a bit confused. I have a an app on my phone which gives the pitch of certain sounds. When I play the key of A it says something like 435hz (even if my ear hear that the piano was in tune but my listening skills are poor). It doesn't say 440hz. I am aware of other strings vibrating due to something called overtones but shouldn't it be 440hz? What is going on with my piano?
Doesn't piano tuners go by the exact pitch that a note should be? The standard is A=440 aftar all. Is this actually a problem? My ears couldn't hear that it was slightly out of tune so why even bother about this?

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519045 03/09/16 04:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 28,907
If your tuner tuned your piano to something other than A-440, you should have been told. Usually that is only done on really old pianos where pulling the strings to 440 runs the risk of breakage, or by request.

However, you should make sure your tuning app is calibrated properly. You could try a different app, or compare the note on your piano to a known pitch.


Semipro Tech
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519078 03/09/16 07:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646


I agree with BDB that risk of string breakage is a probable reason for tuning the piano flat and that you should have been informed. There are a couple of other possibilities, firstly there are a few pianos around which were made to an older tuning standard and it might be that your tuner was being punctillious about this, secondly he may have found that the piano was roughly in tune at about 435Hz and decided to save time by tuning it where it stood. Which is very naughty.

I don't know if this is universal or only in France, nor do I know where you are, but here the dialling tone on telephones is set to 440Hz so you could test A natural on the piano against that or even test your tuning app. with it.


Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519082 03/09/16 08:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
W
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,511
One way to answer the question is to ask the tuner.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519088 03/09/16 08:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Originally Posted by BDB
If your tuner tuned your piano to something other than A-440, you should have been told. Usually that is only done on really old pianos where pulling the strings to 440 runs the risk of breakage, or by request.

However, you should make sure your tuning app is calibrated properly. You could try a different app, or compare the note on your piano to a known pitch.

+1 smile

Rick

P.S. if you still have a telephone land line in the US, the dial tone should be A440. Plus, there is a US government number you can call at certain times of the day where they broadcast certain sound frequencies (but I don't have that number handy)


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519130 03/09/16 11:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,668
E
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,668
You can find plenty of A-440 sources on YouTube. And other websites have reference tones available on-line.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519237 03/09/16 04:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646


I just found an A 440 on You Tube, it goes on for 5'57". I wonder if there is any significance to 5'57"? Anyway I got fed up with it after about 17 secs which probably means that I'm a very shallow person.

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519246 03/09/16 04:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
I
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
I
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
Well, the piano tuner did not say anything at all. Piano tuners just do their job and then leave. This is how they work, I guess!
Anyway, do you think it matters if it is 440 or 435 since normal people don't have absolute pith?
Could there really be any problems at all? Is this even a problem?

But please explain this to me: a piano has overtones and thus you will hear other pitches than 440hz when depressing down the A (tuned to cocert pitch). So I will hear 440hz and 880hz and so on instead of just a single pitch. This what all the piano tuners on youtube say. How then would a tuning app be able to hear one single pitch?

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519247 03/09/16 04:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 528
G
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 528
Dial tone in North America is a combination of two tones: 350 Hz and 440 Hz


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519248 03/09/16 04:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 646


440 Hz is the fundamental and almost by definition the loudest component of the note and this is what your telephone 'hears'.

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519253 03/09/16 05:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,392

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,392
The A in the temperament octave should be exactly 440. The other A's (and other notes as well), higher and lower on the keyboard, may be "stretched" due to inharmonicity, but that won't effect the issue that concerns you: whether or not your piano was tuned to 440, and it sounds like it wasn't.

5 cents is not the end of the world (but the tuner should have told you). It'll only be an issue if you're accompanying other musicians, and even then only if they can't adjust their instruments accordingly, or trying to match something that was recorded at A=440).

If your piano sounds ok, meaning this A is not 5 cents flat relative to the notes around it, then it's not a really big deal.



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519262 03/09/16 05:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,435
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,435
435 hz is more like 19 to 20 cents flat. The tuner should of advised you.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-centsratio.htm


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519266 03/09/16 05:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 461
C
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 461
There are some really interesting YouTube videos about this. But YouTube doesn't often cooperate for rural folks, and today it's throwing a fit.

How does the app determine if a piano is out of tune? Is there a way that I can evaluate my piano on my own?

A=440 is for a specific A key, then? Are the others scaled up and down from there?

This is so intriguing to me.

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519289 03/09/16 06:54 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,147
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,147
Originally Posted by iamanders
Well, the piano tuner did not say anything at all. Piano tuners just do their job and then leave. This is how they work, I guess!
Anyway, do you think it matters if it is 440 or 435 since normal people don't have absolute pith?
Could there really be any problems at all? Is this even a problem?


Will the piano be played with other instruments?
There have been a couple of occasions where I haven't set A4 at 440 Hz (speaking as an apprentice tech, not an expert, so take this with a grain of salt): I tuned one piano at 436 (where it was already), because it was so old that I was worried about string breakage. Another, I didn't have time (nor was I being paid) to do a multiple-pass tuning to "pitch raise/lower" the piano to 440, so I didn't pitch raise the piano that much in the hopes of providing a stable tuning in one pass. Also, it was a 45+ year old spinet and I didn't want to deal with string breakage/replacement on it... So far, I've only popped one string when pitch raising a piano significantly, though I've probably only performed about 70 tunings.

Both times the piano wasn't brought up or down to 440, I communicated with the piano owner clearly during my visit.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519308 03/09/16 07:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Originally Posted by MooseNotes
A=440 is for a specific A key, then? Are the others scaled up and down from there?

MooseNotes, I'm petty much an amateur, but the note A-4 (5th A up from A-0, first note to the left on the 88 key keyboard) is supposed to be tuned to 440 hertz, to be considered concert pitch; unless the piano is tuned a bit higher. Some pianists have their piano tuned to a higher A-442 or even A-443. But I think A-440 is the most common.

From the left/bass side of the 88 key piano, you've got A-0, A#-1, B-1, C-1, C#-1, D-1, D#-1, E-1, F-1, F#1, G-1, G#-1, A-1; that's the first octave. Then, the notes go all the way up to C-8, the last note on the 88 key keyboard.

My piano tuning software uses all sharps for the black notes.

And, yes, it is very interesting! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: question on tuning
accordeur #2519313 03/09/16 07:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,392

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,392
Originally Posted by accordeur
435 hz is more like 19 to 20 cents flat. The tuner should of advised you.

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-centsratio.htm

Oops. You are correct. Still not the end of the world (imo).



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: question on tuning
Coyotewoods #2519320 03/09/16 08:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,460
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,460
Originally Posted by MooseNotes
A=440 is for a specific A key, then? Are the others scaled up and down from there?

This is so intriguing to me.

Moose, the pitch to which pianos are tuned has historically been very variable, and was only standardised as late as the 1930s. Traditionally, the A above middle-C has had the honour of being taken as the reference point. According to the modern standard this A should have a frequency of 440 vibrations per second ("Hertz"). This is conveniently referred to as "A=440". As you say, the frequency for the other notes will be taken from there. So for example, A3 will be 220, and A5 will be 880. Period-instrument ensembles generally use a lower pitch, frequently A=415. The history of the pitches to which instruments have been tuned is complex and fascinating, see for example this page.

My piano (an antique Bluthner) has the words "TIEFE STIMMUNG" printed on the plate, near the tuning pins. This means "low tuning". I still have not got to the bottom of this, but I think this refers to the Paris convention of 1859, which specified A=435. Before WW1, the wording for such Bluthner pianos was "PARISER STIMMUNG" (Paris tuning), but the wording was changed during the War for obvious reasons.

It has been suggested to me that this 435 was "low" not with reference to 440 (which was not the standard then), but relating to common pitches at the time, which were typically higher still.

Originally Posted by MooseNotes
Is there a way that I can evaluate my piano on my own?

Traditionally this was done using a tuning fork. You might enjoy getting one!

Re: question on tuning
accordeur #2519375 03/10/16 12:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
J
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
Originally Posted by accordeur
435 hz is more like 19 to 20 cents flat. The tuner should of advised you.


Yes, if it really is that the tuner used 435. The other possibility is that this app on a cell phone isn't all that reliable and accurate. What does the app use as a frequency reference?



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: question on tuning
JohnSprung #2519421 03/10/16 03:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
I
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
I
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 265
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by accordeur
435 hz is more like 19 to 20 cents flat. The tuner should of advised you.


Yes, if it really is that the tuner used 435. The other possibility is that this app on a cell phone isn't all that reliable and accurate. What does the app use as a frequency reference?


The app I'm using says 440hz for my digital piano and 435 for the acoustic upright. I don't know how accurate this is but way better than my ears.
And what do you mean by frequency reference?

Re: question on tuning
iamanders #2519532 03/10/16 01:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,469
Originally Posted by iamanders
And what do you mean by frequency reference?
John is pretty piano smart, and I can't speak for him; but I think he means "calibration benchmark". A reference point is like a cornerstone or benchmark where things start and are built from that point, beginning at the benchmark.

For example, an A440 tuning fork can be "off the mark", i.e. A438 or A442, if the atmospheric pressure and temperature surrounding the tuning fork are above or below standard conditions. Or, a low quality A440 tuning fork may be off a bit due to quality variations.

At least I think that is what he meant by frequency reference. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
New DP Buyer Needs Help :-)
by Badger1966 - 10/21/20 09:12 AM
Kawai es920 - record onto Android Smartphone
by big-vern - 10/21/20 04:51 AM
MP11SE in stock at bhphoto.com
by mivaldes - 10/20/20 10:35 PM
most common non ET temperaments in 2020?
by MartF - 10/20/20 08:56 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,334
Posts3,015,668
Members98,964
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4