Durante's Music Technical Services

Tom Durante CPT



DMTS

Durante's Music Technical Services offers many much needed services to a variety of clients. For the client with a piano at home, or at Church we are here for all your piano repair, tuning, and refurbishing needs. For the music store who needs a steady technician to refer to their clients, we are your reliable, courteous service to depend on. For the piano distribution warehouse we offer restringing, rebushing, and other rebuilding services to meet your needs in a timely fashion.

Services offered include:


Tuning-

The piano is a complex machine, at the time the modern piano was first introduced (mid 1800's) it was the most complicated piece of equipment around. A marvel of technology, this instrument is one of only a few string instruments that don't need to be tuned every time you play! (How amazing!) Compared to it's historical counterparts (harpsichords, clavichords, virginals, etc) which require tuning every time they are played to stay in tune where you put them, and were also serviceable by the owner, the modern piano holds a tuning much longer. The more stable the environment, the longer the tuning will hold.

In a stage environment, bright lights create heat which change the humidity levels around the soundboard which in turn change the pitch of the instrument slightly. In the home, the opening and closing of windows, and the seasonal switching on and off of A/C and heating systems cause fluctuations in the relative humidity which change the shape of the soundboard and cause the piano to go out of tune. In general when we say the piano goes out of tune, it stays relatively in tune with itself in the short term, so the lay-person would not perceive the change. But if this small change in pitch is allowed to settle further it only gets worse, which is why a regular tuning schedule should be maintained.

In order to increase the dynamic range and achieve a more complex sound, in the middle and top sections of the piano three strings per note are used. This creates the notion of the unison. Oftentimes, when a note sounds 'sour' or out of tune with itself it is one or more of these three strings that is slightly out of tune with the others in the unison.

Repair-

There are many things that can go wrong with any given piano, for any number of reasons. Any description of piano issues can never touch upon all of these various problems, but given the number of moving parts inside the piano it is no surprise that any number of things could go wrong. A pencil in the piano can create the appearance of a mysterious issue that comes and goes (as the pencil rolls around on the keys for example). In order for the client and technician to get to the heart of any issue, we should both use some common terms to describe problems.

Two most common problems include a key which doesn't move properly, usually staying down. This is called by many clients a sticking (sticky) key. It can be caused by the key stick not moving freely around the pins that it's on, or another lever not moving freely (hammer, whippen, jack) causing the key stick to stay down or not play properly otherwise. Another common problem is when a damper doesn't work properly, causing the string to continue sounding after the key is released. Clients may refer to this issue as ringing. With most problems that arise inside the piano, many things could be effecting the parts inside so even after a repair is attempted, the problem could arise again. Regardless of the issue, we are trained to handle all repair issues that arise with all makes and models of pianos. If no repair will fix the problem, then we will recommend a suitable replacement if one can be acquired.

Regulation-

Given that there are a number of different levers in play every time you push down a key, there are a number of different adjustments that need to be made to attain the best timing for all these levers to interact with one another. Just like your car needs periodic maintenance, your piano also needs to be maintained. This adjustment of levers and timings is called regulation. The need for this to be done is something difficult for the piano owner to anticipate, but nonetheless it is a very necessary one to prevent problems from arising later on. A well regulated piano feels consistent across the range of the instrument. There shouldn't be any keys that feel harder or softer to push than their neighbors.

Voicing-

Just as regulation evens out the touch of the piano, voicing strives to even out the sound of the piano across its range. A piano cannot be voiced until it has been properly regulated and tuned. Otherwise problems in touch and tuning could mislead the ear to think that there is something going on with how the piano sounds. Once a piano is in good regulation and tuning the technician can alter the voice (way the piano sounds) to be consistent. A consistent tone does not have any notes that jump out as being too loud or soft compared to their neighbors. Taking a worn hammer and shaping it properly will give it a more even tone. Also the use of needles and some chemicals are employed to either soften up a hard hammer, or harden a soft one. This is the final step in an expertly maintained piano. Only necessary for the very finest pianos in an auditorium, recording studio, or an extremely discerning piano owner.

Rebuilding-

Piano's are an heirloom instrument, that as well as their bulky size means they tend to stay around for a while. With every year they can deteriorate further if not maintained properly. Sometimes it is necessary in order to restore an instrument back to its former playable condition to remove the old parts entirely and replace them with new ones. This job entails differing amounts of rebuilding for each situation. Each job being a new challenge, we are able to handle rebuilds of antique instruments of all kinds. We use only the finest quality materials for your rebuilt instrument. Grand pianos are the most value worthy rebuilding canditates, but all historical instruments big or small will be considered. Harpsichords, Pianos, Player Pianos, Music Boxes, phonographs and various other musical devices are under the scope of things that we can take care of for your rebuilding needs. Give us a call or send us an email for more information!