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#3096557 03/22/21 08:20 PM
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I was asked to tune a piano at A442 the other day. The request was made by a Russian violin instructor who had a piano. She said her violins were A442 and that that was standard in Russia and Germany also. I'm thinking I have a hard enough time making pianos stay at A440 let alone raise the pitch.

Is the standard changing away from A440? and I should ask "why" would someone want the pitch higher anyway? What is the reason obviously this lady's violins were there at A442 in her case....but why change from A440 in the first place.....it's a mystery to me perhaps someone can clue me in.


Duane Graves


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Duaner #3096560 03/22/21 08:29 PM
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I’d say that every European performer that I tuned for in 12 years of concert work wanted 442.
It’s always a pitch raise fee.
Putting it back to 440 is also a pitch correction fee.
I can’t explain the reasoning for the standard.
I do know that some piano stores will tune certain pianos they are pushing to 442 because it gives the instrument a little more power snd projection, makes it more noticeable.

Last edited by Gene Nelson; 03/22/21 08:30 PM.

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The violins (and maybe other strings) are supposed to sound better (brighter?) at 442.

My Suzuki chromatic harmonica is supposed to be tuned to A442. When I measured it with a guitar tuner, it was actually at A444, which is starting to be noticeably sharp, compared to A440.

I think this is a "Do what the owner wants" situation.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Duaner #3096736 03/23/21 08:57 AM
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In Japan, the standard for pianos in concert halls is almost always 442 HZ. Even in schools, most pianos are set at 442 HZ to match with percussion and wind instruments.


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Duaner #3096758 03/23/21 10:05 AM
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Some rebuilders start of initially at A=442Hz as it allows the strings to finish stretching/settling faster than A=440Hz does.

Duaner #3096769 03/23/21 11:02 AM
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Because violin players believe their violin sounds better at 442.

Many European orchestras tune to 442 or 443 and even 444.

Now that you will tune her piano, also pay close attention that fifths don’t beat too much at the low treble. Violinists generally will react to beating fifths around killer octave.

Hakki #3097115 03/24/21 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Because violin players believe their violin sounds better at 442.

Violinists don't believe this bullshit (I am one). A higher tuning makes the sound hard and unflexible.

Originally Posted by Hakki
Many European orchestras tune to 442 or 443 and even 444.

That's right. It comes from the conductors only. They want their orchestra to sound more brilliant than that from the neighbour town. A sad development...

Last edited by Andymania; 03/24/21 07:48 AM.

excuse my bad english, I'm not native. Corrections are always welcome!
Duaner #3097174 03/24/21 10:33 AM
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Quote
I think this is a "Do what the owner wants" situation.

Provided the owner is willing to pay!

Some people don't understand much about tuning, and think a pitch alteration takes no more effort than a standard tuning......

Duaner #3097242 03/24/21 12:59 PM
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I think the change to 442 happened after the Berlin wall came down and the eastern orchestras came over.
Their wind instruments were sized such that 442 was standard so the orchestras used that. There was a famous occasion at the Prom season (here in UK at The Royal Albert Hall) when they wanted 442 and the tuner refused to do it as he said it woukd never go back to 440 properly.
The concert was a piano concerto, I can't remember which one, which I was listening to. It was unbelievable!
The orch would finish and the piano came in sounding awful. Then, just as you got used to the piano the orch came back in sounding terrible. It was really laughable. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but I didn't know what had happened about the tuning till the next day. A memorable time!
Nick


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Duaner #3097276 03/24/21 02:31 PM
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Oh my! That's quite a story, Nick. I missed that!

Duaner #3097279 03/24/21 02:35 PM
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Reminded me of this:

Duaner #3097285 03/24/21 03:02 PM
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Maybe pro-Tac has some history on how 442 came into being in Japan and how much of the east??
I tuned for the Chinese national orchestra a few years ago and they wanted 440 if memory serves.
Can’t remember the titles of the pieces but it was an adventure into harmony, very serine and melodic, no contrasts.


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The Boston Symphony used to be higher than 440 for most of the mid-late 20c. Can't remember if it was 442 or 444. I don't know if that was a Russian thing (Koussevitzky) or a French thing (Monteux/Munch).

Now, of course, much of Central Europe is ticking above 445.

Duaner #3097307 03/24/21 04:17 PM
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It's more harmonic with the earth's frequency. 😁

I don't know. Just double your fee (or more) and do it.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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