Can playing successive, heavy chord clusters detune a piano?
I’ve heard that it can, but find it hard to believe that chord clusters could cause more problems than something like a Rachmaninoff or Liszt Etude.
It may seem amazing that playing chord clusters could de-tune a piano! However, it isn’t the particular sonorities that cause the detuning, it is the sheer force of sound that can flex the soundboard, thereby altering string tension slightly. In fact, one technique that concert level tuners will sometimes employ is after finishing the tuning of a piano, closing it, putting down the sustain pedal and playing as many keys as possible with the arms on the keyboard to generate huge sound. This will help to hasten the de-tuning of strings that may not be solidly set. The tuner can then re-tune the offending notes and have a piano that may endure the strength of a concert pianist’s performance without having the piano go out of tune quite as much since the most susceptible notes have already been corrected.
Hello Mr. Estrin,
Love your youtube channel! Thanks for the tour of those fabulous pieces of history. I have a few favorites.
Quick question. I have a near 100-year-old Nordheimer upright piano and I just adore the sound from it but the piano frankly looks like it was beaten with an ugly stick. I have some woodworking skills and was considering stripping off the old cracked glaze and spraying on a colored high gloss latex paint for some color cause it couldn’t look much worse than it does now. I know where the soundboard is so if spray all the other non-moving cabinet will this ruin my piano’s sound? I will not go anywhere near the soundboard.
Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer.
So glad you appreciate my videos! As for the piano, you shouldn’t underestimate the massive amounts of work it takes refinishing a piano. If a had a nickel for every half refinished upright piano I have seen, I could probably buy a nice Steinway! The piano has to be disassembled to a large extent. It shouldn’t hurt the instrument if it is done correctly.