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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.