Arthur A. Reblitz – Piano servicing, piano tuning, and rebuilding (#smlpdf)

Arthur A. Reblitz – Piano servicing, piano tuning, and rebuilding for the professional, the student, and the hobbyist (second edition) (#smlpdf)

sheet music pdf Arthur A. Reblitz - Piano servicing, tuning, and rebuilding for the professional, the student, and the hobbyist (second edition)

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The piano is a complex musical instrument
that uses mechanisms not found
in any other device. Therefore, the
piano technician must have specialized
knowledge and use of tools and techniques
unique to the piano servicing field.
Many piano servicing problems that look
difficult to the novice are really simple, given
the correct tools, knowledge of procedure
and some mechanical ability. Other problems
are more difficult, and you shouldn’t tackle
them in a fine piano until you gain experience
on lesser-quality instruments. This book
should give the mechanically minded student
the necessary knowledge of procedures and
tools, with the insight to distinguish between
those skills that may be put to use immediately
(like regulating the soft pedal in an old
upright) and those that should be practiced
first (like putting new hammers in a concert
grand). In addition, the author hopes that the
experienced tuner-technician will be
inspired to venture into new areas of repair’
and rebuilding that he or she has been avoiding
due to lack of knowledge.

Piano tuning is a skill that is not necessarily
related to musical ability. A professional
musician usually analyzes tone subjectively,
using a sense of relative pitch. to compare
one note to another: “That note sounds like
G and is a little flat.” The professional tuner,
on the other hand, usually analyzes tone
objectively, using mathematical rules to compare
tones: “Note #1 is eight beats per second
flat of note #2.” This doesn’t mean a fine
ear for music doesn’t help the tuner; the best

tuners use both types of listening to check
their work. The fact that musical ability is not
essential for piano tuning is only mentioned
as a bit of encouragement to those who think
they will never be able to tune a piano
because they were not born with perfect

This book is divided into eight chapters.
Chapter 1 introduces you to the various
types and sizes of pianos made over the
years. Chapter 2 describes the parts and
mechanisms and explains how they work.
Chapter 3 helps you to know what to look
for in evaluating a piano. Chapter 4 takes you
through the process of removing the action,
cleaning the piano, and making minor
repairs. Chapter 5 shows you how to regulate
the action and pedals, to adjust everything
to work as it should. Chapter 6 discusses
the theory of tuning, and Chapter 7
teaches you how to tune. Chapter 8 takes
you through the complete rebuilding of a

No single book can discuss every facet of
pianos and piano technology. This one takes
you to the level at which you should be able
to solve most problems associated with most
pianos. It doesn’t teach you how to alter the
design or change the geometry of actions,
redesign stringing scales, or make new
soundboards and bridges. You should
attempt these advanced procedures only
under the guidance of someone experienced
in these areas, after you have extensive experience
with more ordinary piano repairing
and rebuilding. Other books, listed in the

Bibliography, go into greater detail on action
design, stringing scales, piano history, music
theory, the science of acoustics, buying a
new piano, and other topics. The Bibliography
also includes books on cabinet refinishing.
Why a new edition of this book? When
the Vestal Press published the first edition in
1976, the piano servicing field – at least in
the United States – was one in which many
professional technicians were “experienced
amateurs;’ with little formal training or education.
Since then, there have been significant
developments in the field: several fine
residence and correspondence schools have
come into being. (The publisher and author
are proud of the fact that many of them use
this book as a text!) The Piano Technicians
Guild has featured the world’s leading independent technicians
and manufacturers’ representatives
in regional meetings, seminars,
and conventions. And many of them have
written extensive articles for The Piano Technicians
Journal, addressing topics ranging
from soundboard theory and construction,
action regulation, and improving tuning
skills, to running a piano servicing business.
Consequently, the level of piano servicing
has improved significantly. The author has
also had fifteen more years’ experience, from
concert tuning for the local symphony
orchestra to completely restoring some of
the most valuable orchestrions and reproducing
pianos in the world to brand new condition.
This new edition incorporates as
much of this additional knowledge and experience
as possible, while still holding the size
of the book to a manageable size and keeping
it within an affordable price range.
Throughout this book, most measurements
are given in inches with the metric
equivalent following in parentheses.

Often, the word “or” is used, as in 3/8″ (or 10
mm.). This use of “or” is intended to mean
that while the two dimensions are not
exactly the same, each one is convenient and
is precise enough for that application. When
the author wrote the first edition, the
spellings “whippen” and “wippen” were
both in common use by other technicians.
Since then, the Piano Technicians Guild,
most piano manufacturers, and most other
authors have standardized the spelling “wippen.”
To conform to convention, this edition
uses that spelling throughout, although
“whippen” will always seem correct to the

Every attempt has been made to indicate
designs, processes, or brand names that are
the trademarked property of specific companies
by putting these names in quotes, boldface,
or together with their manufacturer’s
names. Piano brands are obvious, so they are
not in quotes.
Always strive to improve your skills.
Study every book and videotape you can
find on pianos, piano technology, and repair

and woodworking too, if you are interested
in rebuilding. Join the Piano Technicians
Guild and read the Journal. Associate
with other fine technicians. Ask a lot of questions.
Try different methods and techniques,
and see which ones work best for you. As
you understand more and more about
pianos, you’ll become a better technician,
you’ll have more fun taking care of pianos,
the quality of your piano servicing will
improve, and everyone with whom you associate
in the field of piano servicing – piano
owners, musicians, and other technicians will

Art Reblitz
Colorado Springs, Colorado
March 1993

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