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garee

Piano Florida State University Piano Technology

Piano Technology at

Florida State Univerity FSU

This is a terrific series about Piano Technology at Florida State University ( F S U ) a comprehensive public University containing it’s own College of Music in Tallahassee Florida U S A.

Anne Garee is the current Program Director, Piano Technology Department Head College of Music Florida State University Tallahassee Florida U S A . http://music.fsu.edu/garee.htm

The following Florida State University Piano Technology thread was started December 2006 to February 2008.

FSU Piano Technology Program Director Anne Garee begins by saying –

This piano was on its side for many years waiting patiently for it’s moment and the moment was fall semester 2006.

Anne felt it was a good candidate and very interesting journey. It had served in the College of Music actually since it was purchased in 1954.

Each project is totally unique and presents its own specific challenges which makes it a very interesting journey.

(Anne continuing)

My mother was a pianist and a professional musician. She was a theory professor at Oberlin Conservatory before she married my physicist father.

My father the physicist, my mother the musician is actually a synthesis of what I do now. It is really the unique combination that we bring to piano technology and was fortunate to have these two forces in my life. they were so supportive in choices we made in career path because obviously you don’t grow up to be a piano technician. Those of us in this field typically come to it by accident and sort of fall into it.

In the field there is a real shortage of training opportunities. Typically people get their information in a very patchwork fashion, um, a bit like here and a bit there and it was always my dream to provide some, a cottified way to accelerate peoples training so that they didn’t have the circuitous route than most of us have taken and because of the comprehensive nature of our music school and the breadth of the program material it was an ideal setting for a program such as this.

Jennifer Roberts

(Jennifer Roberts is a graduate student in the Florida State University FSU College of Music, Piano Technology program) said

I heard about the program when I was studying in Canada. I did my primary training at the University of Western Ontario and we were all looking for options after we left, we either worked in our own business or we worked for somebody else and I heard about this program down here as being really structured and intensive training program.

Amy Porter

(Amy Porter isa Graduate Student at the Florida State university (FSU) College of Music, Piano Technology) continues saying

It’s very much like a job. We are graduate assistants here in the College of Music and so we have (both Jenifer and myself) um, look after about fifty pianos, each year, each semester, we run through our list of instruments, um, some are in practice rooms, some are in faculty studios, halls, um, we have our own assignments that we look after and as well as tuning a harpsicord on a weekly basis.

Jennifer said

One thing that I found particularly challenging on this piano was the fact ,uh, that it had a lot of problems straight from the factory, so when it came to us it had a lot of geometrical flaws, and in that sense it’s been a great piano to learn the restoration process.

(alternating), Amy said

We brought it in the shop and got to play on it. It was terribly out of tune it was very heavy (the touch was very heavy.)

Jennifer-

The first thing we noticed was that the action was extremely heavy. It was hard to play. If you think of a teeter-totter you know – the hammers on one end and the keys on the other and, you know, you want a certain relationship between these two in order for it to perform properly, it’s going to be, i f you have to much weight on one side it’s going to be not pleasant to push on the other.

The pin block

The pin block is quite a thick piece of wood at the front of the grand piano and it is what the tuning pins are embedded into. It is the secure anchor.

The strings were rusty and quite decrepit.

The bridge needed some restoration, the soundboard was pretty ugly, the plate needed refinishing.

One thing that we spent a lot of time on was the lettering of the plate. It’s a part that some people just use a marker to paint them we actually decided to use some black lacquer and a paint brush and do it the old fashion way.

Anne finishes up saying-

The ultimate goal is of course that they are confident that they can go anywhere.

The world needs wonderful piano technicians, The piano is a cornerstone instrument. There are not enough people doing it well.

Jennifer-

There are a lot of opportunities hat have come other from the contacts I have made through this program. I would like to be able to work in a University to have the access to talented faculty members and to be able to work with students.

Amy-

The program has really taken me to a different level of technical ability and I’m hoping that will open a few more doors, more opportunities to practice my craft.

Amy-

As often as I can I like to play and keep my fingers moving and remember why I’m restoring pianos in the first place.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

contact

http://music.fsu.edu/pianotech.htm

[fve]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpBnlRMklPA[/fve]

stretch

STRETCH

Stretch

Matching The Verituner ‘Box’ To The Piano

A simple method to pre-test and adjust your Verituner to the piano presented in a short presentation, in Chicago land by Dr Woodwind

Watch this video on YouTube.

If you’re an electronic tuner how do you know that the electronic tuning you have calculated fits the piano in front of you?

Let’s consider for a moment how we tune a unison. Pick any note here in the middle we are going to mute off one string till we are satisfied with it. Pick the next string,we may go over we may go below and we try to find the best place for that unison.

I’m going to apologize for competing with the percussionists today, this is like practice room row!

We’re going to look at tuning octaves the same way we tune a unison, so the idea is you go ahead however your machine asks you to do it calculate the tuner to the best of your ability, taking your samples, we are gonna tune A4 of course. Now we have muted off so we only have one string to clear the string you can set that string as best you can allow that string will let you tune in it on the piano in front of you and then lets go down and see A3 where the machine wants us to set A3 which will be our temperment octave, again tune that as well as you can, and then just play it as you can, and just play it as an octave.

That’s pretty good but let’s see if we can do a little better. I want you to just treat that as a unison we are gonna go a little lower and then a little higher and try to find the pocket.

So we’re not gonna worry about 4/2 octave or 6/3 octave 2/1 octave just how does it sound the best place where it sounds this is about the best I can make it.

So now we are using the Verituner as a bookmark now. You notice that I have my ear has told me, one, two, three cents sharper that what the machine says.

What you need to do is understand your own machine well enough to know how to change the tuning parameters.

Um, these are

stretch parameters

style parameters

OTS parameters

these are different things you can do to alter the tuning on your Verituner you match what the tuning is on your ear. Now on the Verituner I’ve gotta go find a different style that will match, more closely. I have them all numbered so seven is a fairly wide style need to go up closer, um, to find something closer that might work for this piano and once you have pianos under your belt you’ll know before hand you know if I see a Baldwin upright I know what style to pick that will work for it.

And again A4 just double check it, that’s good. Drop down to A3, and there we go we are right on the money. Go ahead and go down to A2, tune it the way the machine says, and drop down the octave and then check it, that’s got a roll to it, don’t really like that either (more tuning) that’s a little better. We need to go a little flatr, we need to find a style that will have a little lower section in that part of the piano, there we go and then just work your way, as far as you feel comfortable as far as you (pause, more tuning)

So basically what we are doing is setting up bookmarks, setting up a road map for the machine to fit the tuning in between, because if you give it endpoints it can calculate in between fairly well. And then it’s up to you to find out how to manipulate your own machine. There are forums on line that can help you, you can ask questions on line of people how to set that.

But, the key concept here is to know you can tune a unison and tune two strings together simply by ear with no checks, you can also do two strings an octave apart by ear, double check with the double octave or triple octave as you work your way up to find the pocket so you can build a good ladder an appropriate ladder for this particular instrument

If you really want to get picky you may check Eb which is half way between the A’s, and also check some of those.

Again it is a trade off between how much time you want to spend before you actually start tuning the piano.

Hopefully this will help you, this approach as you work with it, will help you shorten the tune time so that you don’t have the entire piano tuned and then say well- I need to change this, I need to change that, I need to change that.

It should start you off with a tuning that should at least fit your A’s and that everything in between should be a lot closer than if you just picked an average tuning or the default tuning that comes with the box

(starts tuning again)

end

VERITUNE …A BETTER WAY…

VERITUNE …A BETTER WAY…

VERITUNE …a better way…

This is a terrific series presented from Chicago land by Drwoodwind

Part one (one of six) is a video using the Verituner to tune a piano in the confines of a practice room somewhere in ‘Chicagoland’.

Drwoodwind said it’s January outside of Chicago, it’s a Mason & Hamilton upright, indoor humidity is 21% so naturally it’s pretty flat

Today I’m going to try and pitch raise and fine tune as efficiently as possible using the Verituner. I will display all three over pulls, so it’s roughly 10% in this area, 25% in this area and 35% overpull in this area

The goal is to, after the first pass, be as close to a fine tuning as we can be so there is minimum adjustment left to be done for that final pass

The Verituner needs to get some information, it will update it’s information as we go (in real time)

so…..

it’s about 20 % err- 20 cents flat, I’m working to fill the [ I ] (Inharmonicity) I’m on the medium ‘zoom’ right now and I’m actually going to start these about half way between the first two arrows. I only have the needle displayed A3 A4 is in the ‘bracket’ for the temperment. I’ll go ahead and give it A5 so it knows about what (Inharmonicity) is there

And now it’s a matter of going through the piano giving it the information it needs to fill those [ I’s ]

Notice how I sound the note first to let the VERITUNER start calculating before I even move the hammer

starting at about twelve o’clock over here taking my time in this temperment section to try and fill the [ I ]

This should work for any style even the built in styles or one of my custom styles (one for all)

I’m measuring the right string, when I come back and tune this piano for good, I’ll be working on the left string over-pull

Again

this isn’t so much a ‘tuning’ pass as a ‘measuring’ pass until we reach the bass strings, just while I’m working I might as well get something done.

If you are ‘close’ you can use the ‘ zoom ‘

I’ll go ahead and pull the unisons for these three strings (in the bass section) here

Notice it was a miss measure over-pull but I know that I was just over pulling the previous note less than a cent.

Watch this video on YouTube.

VERITUNE ...A BETTER WAY... Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 6 reviews
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