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Piano Tuning: A Simple and Accurate Method for Amateurs Paperback – Jun 1 1975


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (June 1 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486232670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486232676
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
This book is ancient, I think from the early 20th century, but still holds true and is an excellent and straight forward resource. As a pianist, it has been a revelation to understand how it is done, and even more fun to actually achieve a reasonable tuning myself (with a little help from my professional piano tuning friend.. OK, so I cheated a little...!). Highly recommended. To make life a little easier, I recommend getting a quality electronic (chromatic) tuner to tune the middle octave, after that use the octaves and 5ths to do the rest.
Full marks to Dover - again. They provide a great collection of classics on music, especially piano related stuff. I think I have perhaps 5-6 books by this publisher.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1973, after which I tuned--and tempered--a piano. What a kick! The book is old, but so are vibrations. I found the math to be un-necessary unless I chose to follow the author's logic or "play" with the figures. I recently re-read the book because I had forgotten the ideas behind "just" and "compromise" temperament. I found what I wanted, then continued to re-read the whole book again--though I skimmed over parts I remembered.
If you want to become a piano tuner, you should either apprentice with one, or take a mail-order course offered in a detective magazine. If you want to know how it's done--and might like to try tuning your old upright for the sheer joy of it--this is your book--but don't touch grandma's Steinway, okay?
Dover publishes a lot of old books, many of which have reverted to "public domain" and don't require royalty payments. That's no sin, and it's clearly reflected in their prices. As Will Shakespeare might say, "There are still a few old books worth reading." Thanks, Dover.
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Format: Paperback
This probably was a good book in 1907, but too much has changed for it to be valuable now. The author's repeated references to square pianos, "international" vs. "concert" tuning frequencies, and tuning to C-517.3 are comically antiquated.
I appreciate a mathematical approach to tuning, but the discussions in chapters 8-14 are a clumsy attempt to explain concepts that someone with a decent mathematics and music background can easily calculate -- that the ratio between adjacent notes is the 12th root of 2; and that chord, interval, and beat relationships can be derived from that ratio. A modern calculator makes much of this book completely pointless.
The author's math sequences are cumbersome, and his conclusions are sometimes wrong. His beat frequency calculations are not always correct. The beat frequency of his C-128 to G-191.78 combination should be .44 Hz., not .66 as he calculates. A simpler and more correct way to calculate the beat frequency of a 5th interval is to subtract the 2nd harmonic (2 X 191.78) of the higher string from the 3rd harmonic of the lower (3 X 128).
The discussion on where/how to place mutes is helpful, as are the points about taking proper steps to ensure the validity of piano hardware before tuning. Also, the method of setting temperament by 5th and octave steps is useful.
In summary, if you have enough math and music experience to see through the dated material, the cumbersome derivations, and the false conclusions, this book gives a few helpful tips. I would not recommend it to most tuning amateurs, however.
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By A Customer on March 8 1999
Format: Paperback
this book was not NEARLY informative as I thought it was going to be
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Format: Paperback
While I have not seen many other books about piano tuning, I was surprised how this book always comes straight to the point. It covers not only how to tune a piano, but also how a piano works (upright and grand), how to repair it and the theory of temprament.
The book has originally been written in 1907 for people who wanted to become piano tuner. In the recent edition, however, they removed the chapters on Business Hints and Charges :-)
If you own a piano and you want to maintain it yourself, this book is for you.
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