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Tuning

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**The Tempered Scale:**

An *equal temperament* refers to the intervals between notes on the musical scale within an octave. It may also be a term used to refer to a system of tuning. When a piano has been tuned using an *equal temperament*, the octave intervals have been divided into smaller equal steps, each having equal frequency ratios between the adjacent notes. These are the smallest interval in the tempered scale that is used in common classical and Western music. Each of these intervals are 1/12 the width of the octave and are referred to as a *semitone* or *half- step*. The tempered scale is commonly used today with the frequency between each interval being perceived as the same distance apart.

Each piano is somewhat unique due to something called "inharmonicity". In addition to the full string length (the fundamental frequency), strings vibrate in a number of shorter sections separated by "nodes". The nodes divide up additional related frequencies that may be referred to as overtones, partials or harmonics. (We won't present an argument here regarding which term is correct.) These related frequencies may not match up exactly with the mathematically determined harmonic frequencies due to a number of issues relating

The "scale" of the piano, the design that includes string length, diameter, materials, and tension, also impacts the inharmonicity and tuning approach. The tuner must deal with this unique "inharmonicity" in each piano. Therefore, the technician does not simply match the strings to a given set of pitches. The inherent inharmonicity is different in each acoustic piano. Your tuner assesses this, via listening to the interaction among notes, and a slight variation is applied from the theoretical standard to make your piano sound its best.