Placement of your Piano


Where is the best place for my piano?  This question comes up when the piano is moved for some reason.  Maybe it’s a new piano, or perhaps you would just like to rearrange the room and put the piano in a different location.  Is there any consideration as to the effect on the piano?  The answer is yes.

Pianos, especially grand pianos, are vulnerable to changes in temperature and humidity.  They work together to enable me to stay busy!  When the weather changes, and temperatures rise or fall, there is a change in the tension on the strings.  If you were to measure them, you’d find that when it’s hotter, the pitch of the strings is lower than when it’s cold.  If you rub on a string with your finger for 10 seconds, you can actually measure a change of the pitch.  So, to keep the piano in tune, ideally one should try to keep the piano away from drafts, open doors and windows, fireplaces, heating vents or radiators, sunlight, or other sources of humidity and temperature change.  Ideally, a piano should be kept in a closet!  It’s kind of stuffy in there, and you might not fit very well.  Loud too…

In addition to the stability of the tuning, the sun’s rays are extremely powerful, and can cause fading of the finish and stain.  Often I find pianos, especially grand pianos, that are faded where the lid flap was folded back , and underneath the color is much deeper.  Often there’s nothing that you can do, except for getting a protective cover.

A string cover, for grand pianos, is a very good investment.  It lays inside the piano just above the strings.  Made of wool, it absorbs moisture and keeps the temperature and humidity constant so the tuning will be much more stable.  Especially in humid areas, it will also keep the strings from rusting.  And of course, it will keep the inside of the piano very clean (assuming it was clean to begin with!).

Often, there isn’t anything one can do, and so the piano has to be placed where it needs to be.  Just be aware that it may not hold a tuning very well if the conditions are not ideal.  I’ll be glad to retune it more often for you!

So, that’s it for today.  If you have any questions, please let me know.