An extra dose of satisfaction for the tuner comes when we are able to listen to somebody - especially a professional - playing a piano we have tuned. At a public recital, the room becomes a place of intense emotion as the soloist fills the hall with wonderful, stunningly played music. The tuner hears every note, and listens carefully to be sure the tuning is holding up well. I love the sound of big, rich chords, held for a few seconds. The sustained harmonies hang in the air, like a choir trained to sing out their parts, loud and clear!
However, the tuner is never the main event. It is the same when we tune a piano in a small terraced house for a nine-year-old who is learning to play! Truly, the main event is what happens when we leave to get to our next job. Does the player, young or old, rush to the piano to relish the fresh, in-tune sound, and thereby be inspired to climb another rung of the great piano-playing ladder? Or, does the player notice a few octaves and unisons that are not quite right, and lose some of the enjoyment of playing? - And perhaps, lose a little of the desire to succeed!
Tuners often are, but should try hard not to be purists for the sake of it. Spending time fussing about minute details in one area of the keyboard is not always the best way to get 88 notes in tune. Our job is to restore structure and harmonic beauty to the full seven and a quarter octaves of the piano we have in front of us - or at least, as far as that piano will allow.
We should strive to excel but know there will always be room to improve our abilities further!
© Steve Burden