Piano tuning is the aligning of the musical pitch of the various notes of the piano, by adjusting the tension of the piano's strings, in order to achieve a desired musical effect. Preferences in desired musical effects and methods in achieving those preferences will vary. Piano "tuning" does not involve the functioning of a piano's key mechanism. (The "tune-up" of an automobile engine may involve keeping machinery running smoothly, but piano "tuning" by itself does not.)
Standard Tuning (with a minor pitch raise if needed) - $175
If a piano is tuned regularly (no less than once or twice per year), and the humidity of the piano environment is kept relatively stable, the piano will be out of tune by around 5 cents or less (100 cents in a half-step). This is a standard tuning and allows the piano to be very finely tuned and stabilized to hold the tuning relatively well.
How often should I tune my piano?
All piano manufacturers recommend that pianos be tuned at least twice per year, three or four times the first year. Detailed tuning suggestions from each manufacturer can be found here.
Major Pitch Raise - $150/visit
If the piano is more than 5 cents off, the string pitches will continue to change a bit as the piano is tuned. We use a computer program to predict how the strings will change based on how many cents off each string is. This is followed immediately with a touch-up pass to insure the piano will be pleasant to hear. The piano will likely be out of tune again faster than with a standard tuning, but after a 2nd tuning within a few months, the piano will be stable again.
If the piano is significantly out or tune because it has not been tuned for many years or has been subject to large changes in humidity, it will require a major pitch raise, usually accomplished over several tunings weeks or months apart. The result of each visit will be a piano that is much closer to pitch and more bearable than before, and slightly more stable. The exact results and the number of visits will vary from piano to piano