Currently viewing the tag Piano Tuning

According to the Piano Technicians Guild, piano tuning varies according to manufacturers:

“While pianos generally fall into vertical and grand model categories, each manufacturer selects its own materials and utilizes its own unique scale and furniture designs. Every piano requires a different level of maintenance, depending upon the quality of materials used and the design and level of craftsmanship. Manufacturers can provide general advice on tuning frequency but your technician can give specific recommendations based upon your usage and locale.” 

Here’s what some of the major piano manufacturers recommend:

Baldwin Piano Company (also Chickering, Wurlitzer)

Professional service is the key. In the first year, the National Piano Manufacturers Association recommends that you have your piano tuned four times. This is a period of environmental adjustment for a new instrument, and proper attention is important.

Chickering Grand Piano Rebuild 2016

Chickering Grand Piano Restoration 2016

After the first year, the piano should be tuned at least twice each year, depending upon the frequency of use and atmospheric conditions. Contact Artisan Piano Services to schedule an appointment with our professional technicians to perform this service.

 

 

 

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Boisselot et fils

Artisan Piano Services has recently have been given the rare opportunity to do some restoration work on a truly classic instrument: an 1840’s Boisselot et fils piano. This period instrument is very rare, and it is an uncommon thing to be able to see one of these pianos, let alone work on one. Restoring this piano is a great thrill!

The Boisselot et fils Arrives

 

We will be doing a partial rebuild of the ACTION, including: recondition the action parts to proper working condition, possible re-pinning, replacing key-bushings and key-bed felt as necessary, surfacing the hammers, lubricating the knuckles, and doing a touch-up regulation and voicing. Included is new damper felt and damper regulation.

Action Rebuild

Artisan has also been commissioned to provide a full restoration of the BELLY: replacing the strings, tuning pins, and pinblock. We will repair and recondition soundboard and bridges, as well as refinish plate and replace the plate felt and recondition plate hardware.

The Belly

Importantly, our technicians will provide numerous in-shop tunings before the project is completed, and another one when the piano is delivered to our customer.

Finally, to preserve the original beauty and integrity of the cabinet finish, we will simply touch up the case and re-install some loose decorative brass trim pieces.

Inlaid decorative brass wire trim

 

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HISTORY of the Boisselot & Fils

“Boisselot & Fils [i.e. & sons] was a French piano manufacturing company established in 1831 in Marseille, France, by Jean-Louis Boisselot and sons, Louis-Constantin and Xavier Boisselot. The rapid increase in the production capacity of the factory with 70 workers to 300 pianos per year from 1834 shows that father and son had prepared their plan carefully. The constant expansion led in 1848 with 150 workers for the production of about 400 pianos a year. Highlighting this success, he was awarded with a gold medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 (the 10th Paris Industrial Exhibition). Among other innovations Boisselot presented for the first time at the exhibition a mechanism by which individual notes and sounds were identified as Tonhalte or sostenuto pedal today.” (Wikipedia for Boisselot & Fils)

Awarded with a gold medal at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844

According to Pianos Romantiques, “Marseille turned out to be a good choice for setting up a piano factory: salaries were lower than those of the Parisian rivals, cheap exotic wood was [close] to hand thanks to the importance of the town as a port, and there was easy access to important export markets: Italy, Spain, and the colonies via the Mediterranean.”

First known photograph of Franz Liszt in 1843, at the height of his career

The famous pianist and composer Franz Liszt was a patron to the Boisselots. He owned and performed on a Boisselot Fils. According to Alan Walker, Liszt traveled in October-November 1844 in Spain with his lifelong friend, Louis Boisselot, for a series of concerts. “Liszt played on a Boisselot piano, a powerful instrument especially brought in from Marseille by Louis Boisselot, which accompanied him on his journey across the Iberian Peninsula.” (Franz Liszt: The virtuoso years, 1811-1847)

Finally – Enjoy a Chopin Nocturne performed on a 1842 Boisselot!

 

We were recently featured in a news segment on a local ABC news affiliate in Portland, Oregon. It highlighted our piano restoration and rebuilding efforts, and was entitled:

A labor of love: ‘Completely redoing a piano is kind of where my heart is’

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to involve one of our customer’s family story in the feature, which really helped to illustrate how important it is to us to help our customers “Continue The Story” of music in their lives. “We’ve had this piano in our family for 91 years, and my mother is 91 years old coincidentally,” explained the owner of this beautiful piece of history. After all these year, the piano is being given to the original owner’s grandson as a wedding gift!

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After weeks of refinishing, re-stringing, regulating the action, tuning and all manner of detailed attentions – we were privileged to have the whole family present for the unveiling. It was such a thrill to see how happy they are will their newly restored piano.

Woods Family

For more than 10 years we have serviced families, schools, students, teachers and professional musicians in telling their story of music in the world. In addition to our local piano tuning, repair, evaluation and appraisal work, we have a growing number of customers from all over the United States for piano rebuilding, refinishing and restoration. We just started work on a 115-year-old piano that was shipped to us from the United Kingdom!

Pianos In The Park

Artisan Piano Services is pleased to provide support this year for Pianos In The Park. Our very own Josh Mayfield has gone to several of the locations to tune and repair some of the various pianos.  Click here to see an video about the development of this exciting arts and culture project!

 

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Our customers often ask us why their piano seems to go out of tune when the weather changes. According to the Piano Technicians Guild:

“Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause its materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and action response or touch.

You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently. Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight. Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions neither too wet nor dry, optimally at a temperature of 68 degrees F and 42 percent relative humidity.”

To read more information on how to keep your piano maintained and sounding beautiful, see the Piano Technicians Guild article: How Often Should My Piano Be Serviced?

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Because Artisan Piano Services is always looking for ways to better serve our customers – We are pleased to announce that our customers can now schedule appointments online for piano tuning, repair, cleaning, appraisals or to estimate a full piano restoration!

Just press the button at the top right of every page of our website to be taken to an easy to use form. Our friendly staff will follow up with you right away!

To be sure – You can still just call or email us anytime!

Office Front Image 1

“Before”

The home office of Artisan Piano Services has been located for a number of years at

3030 SE 10th Avenue, Portland OR 97202.

Before The Remodel

Before The Remodel

From here our office staff has been able schedule piano tunings, repairs, cleanings and appraisals.

Before Inside Progress 1

Preparing the New Space

It has served us well, but it has become increasingly cramped for our needs. Over time it became clear that we needed more space for our technicians to spread out and make room for more repair work.

The New Doorway

The New Doorway

In October this year we were given the opportunity to enlarge our office and piano workshop area by almost 3 times its original size. Notice the sliding French doors made by David Hayes!

AFter Inside Office door 2We were able to knock out the wall to the office and open up the other space for our workshop.

After New Work Area

We now have four new work benches and a staging area for our customers to be able see their newly completed rebuilt and restored pianos.

From our remodeled office we are able to coordinate the activities of all of our piano technicians in both our Portland, Oregon and Bellevue, Washington locations, and better serve the needs of our customers with piano repair needs.

Welcome to our new Office and Workshop!

Welcome to our new Office and Workshop!

Come by and see what we’ve done to the place – We’ll have coffee ready for you!

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“After”

Artisan Piano Services In Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue-Skyline-low

In May this year, Artisan Piano Services opened its second location in Bellevue, Washington. Sometimes companies expand to new locations after long planning and preparation. Other times opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways. For us, that unanticipated blessing came to us in the person of Josh Mayfield.

Joshua-MayfieldJoshua Mayfield, a native of Bellevue, WA, comes to Artisan with a wide array of skills and technical abilities, having been trained by some of the Pacific Northwest’s industry leading technicians. Josh had his own piano servicing business, but was looking for an opportunity to serve more people throughout the Puget Sound region and to become part of and grow with a stable company in the industry.

Joshua has shown himself to be a true asset to our team with his love of pianos and working with people. He has always loved the piano because it blends music and mechanics in such a unique way. Joshua and his wife, Amanda, are true Pacific Northwest outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, and biking.

After six months now, our Bellevue locations is beginning to grow in significant ways, and provides Artisan Piano Services’ outstanding customer service to Seattle, Kirkland, and as far as Tacoma, Washington.

The New Artisan Piano Services Blog

With the unveiling of the new Artisan Piano Services Blog we want to celebrate over the next several weeks some of the new and exciting things that have happened in 2014.

At the beginning of 2014 we welcomed two exceptional piano technicians as new team members in our Portland, Oregon location: Michael Turano and Jonathan Valentine. Both of them are graduates of the North Bennet Street School of Piano Technology (NBSS) in Boston, MA. Both are Registered Piano Technicians (RPT) with the Piano Technicians Guild, and quickly became important to our success this year.

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Micahel Turano comes to us from Windsor, CA, having been highly recommended by his professors at the North Bennet School, which he finished in 2013. Michael is a fantastic technician, who loves the complexity of the inner workings of pianos. Michael is always surprising us with his wide range of interest which includes everything from weaving and Scottish country dancing to volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind in his spare time.

Look for Michael in the North Bennet School promotional video (at 28 seconds)

DO WHAT YOU LOVE EVERY DAY from North Bennet Street School on Vimeo.

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Jonathan Valentine is an accomplished Classical Concert Pianist from Bayport, NY. He is a gifted technician who loves to bring pianos back to life, and enjoys seeing the passion people have for music.  His attention to detail and inherent understanding of the customers’ needs and wants have made him an incredibly valuable addition to our team.  Along with a love of playing the piano, Jonathan also appreciates the great outdoors and has recently taken up rock-climbing and bouldering.

 

 

To learn about the rest of the team, visit “Our Team” on our website!

 

 

 

Services

Piano Tuning

 

Piano Restoration

 

Cleaning and Repair

 

Consulting & Appraisals

 

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