Effect of environment

Effect of environment

I recently inherited my Grandmother’s piano and, having moved it into my house, found it is not the same piano at all – the tuning is awful and notes are sticking – can moving a piano really have such a drastic effect on its condition?

This is actually quite a common problem and is partly due to the moving process but more to do with the change in environment to which the piano has been subjected. Moving a piano, even from one room to another, can upset the tuning just because the temperature might be different, or because it catches the evening sun, or it’s now sitting in a draught. It is quite possible that, if the piano has been kept in an unheated or barely heated front parlour for many years and is then moved suddenly into a warm centrally heated house, this type of problem will occur or indeed, be almost inevitable. Dampness and even mildew can lie dormant deep inside the piano without appearing to have any effect until it is moved into a warmer, drier environment where the piano will mysteriously develop classic symptoms of damp such as sticking notes or a sluggish action. The only solution is to wait until the piano has completely acclimatised to its new position before having it properly tuned and repaired which may possibly entail quite a major restoration.