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Worldwide Piano

Piano Care 

french leg baby grand piano in homeA piano is not only a magnificent musical instrument, it's also a beautiful piece of furniture--one that needs special care. This page provides some basic information about how to ensure that your piano ages gracefully.

Caring For Keys & Keyboard

Modern Pianos - The keys in modern pianos are made of a plastic material, which can be easily maintained with an occasional cleaning with a damp cloth. Be sure to dry the keys immediately. If necessary, you can put a small amount of mild dish soap on the cloth in order to remove dirt that will not come away with a damp cloth alone. Never use solvents or chemicals of any kind.

Older Pianos - The keyboard of an older piano with ivory keys should be kept open occasionally to minimize yellowing. With modern pianos, the keyboards should be kept closed to prevent the accumulation of dust.

Tuning & Tone

All acoustic pianos need regular tuning, but the stability of a new piano depends on a combination of factors: its initial factory tuning and the quality of the tuning pins, plate, back posts, and ribs.

piano with top open exposing strings, plate, and soundboardA standard piano has more than 200 strings, whose combined tension exerts a pull of over 40,000 pounds. If the strings are not kept at the tension required by the scale design, the piano will produce dissonant tones--in other words, your piano will be out of tune. When a key is depressed, a hammer strikes against the piano's strings. These strings are bound through bridges and bearings to the soundboard. As with any sound system, a superior speaker produces superior tone. The world's finest pianos are built using only solid spruce soundboards.

Your piano should always be maintained by a trained piano technician. In fact, during the first year, a technician should tune your new piano four times as it adapts to the environment of your home. In the years that follow, your piano should be tuned at least twice a year. Changes in temperature and humidity can cause wood to swell and contract. These changes alter the tension on the strings and ultimately cause your piano to produce dissonant sounds. If possible, try to keep the humidity constant in the room where your piano is. Your piano will show its appreciation by requiring less frequent tuning.

52" piano in mahogany polishThe Cabinet

The finish on your piano is like that of a fine piece of furniture, and if cared for properly, it will look like new for many years to come.

When cleaning your piano cabinet, avoid furniture polishes and oils. These products tend to leave residue on wood, affecting a cabinet's finish over time. The best way to provide regular care for your piano is to lightly dust the finish with a feather duster (or fine cloth), following the grain of the wood.
Don't set drinks or flowers on top of the piano. Liquids that spill into the case can wreak havoc, causing the strings and other metal parts to rust, and wooden components to stick to each other. It's good idea to have the interior of the piano case cleaned professionally every couple years.

Most importantly, read the manufacturer's information provided to you by your piano dealer. To ensure that you provide the best possible care for your piano, you must be fully informed about any special needs your piano might have.

Above all, play your piano often! Regular use is one of the best things you can do to keep it and your piano skills in good shape.

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