The piano tuner works in a quiet room just large enough for himself and one piano. The piano has already been "chipped," or very roughly tuned, before it is moved into that room.

He begins by tuning the A above middle C. This note will be perfectly in tune when each of its three strings vibrates at the rate of 440 vibrtations per second. To check the pitch, the tuner uses an A tuning fork, a specially shaped piece of metal that vibrates exactly 440 times per second when it is struck. He listens to the tuning fork, then plays the A on the piano and listens carefully to the sound. Then he uses a special tool to tune the tuning pin. If the note is too low, that means the string is vibrating too slowly, so he tightens it; if the note is to high, he loosens the string. He plays the note again and again, each time adjusting the tuning pin very slightly, until it sounds right. He tunes the other strings for that note the same way. Then the other notes are tuned one string at a time, by comparing them to the A and to one another, until all eighty-eight notes are in tune. Once the piano is tuned, the tone regulator. completes the adjustment process.


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