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Music We Like

Tuning the Soul
by Hao

Calmly and quietly, a piano stands on the stage. No one else but a tuner notices it after the flash of applause and ovations. Compared to the artists’ splendid performances, the tuner plays few purely harmonic chords, but they are the soul of the piano.

With hundreds of steel strings and thousands of wooden action parts, the piano is the most complicated musical instrument. It is the tuner who touches the mint piano first. Later on, because of the attributes of wood and steel, the piano goes easily out of tune from the changing temperature and humidity during the four seasons.

With very basic tools—a bundle of tuning forks and a tuning hammer, the tuner sets the sound at a particular pitch.
Besides being born with perfect hearing, he also needs to complete specialized training. Responding to the idea of an electronic machine being used for tuning, piano tuner Peter Crosby said, “It will take the soul out of the instrument. That’s what I tune--the soul of the piano.”

The artists bring life to the piano, but the tuners give the piano its soul.