My piano technician says that my piano needs voicing. What does she mean?
Good question. First off, never be afraid to ask your technician what something is if you don’t understand. We piano techs, like many other people who work in a specific industry for a long time, sometimes fall into the trap of using too much lingo. I will try to explain “voicing” a bit for you.
Voicing is the process of changing the quality of the tone that the piano produces. Voicing is an important step in the care and maintenance of any piano, and one that is often overlooked. Many piano players incorrectly assume that how a piano sounds now is just the way it is. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is not the same thing as tuning, which is adjusting the pitch. Pitch refers only to the frequency with which a string vibrates and is completely empirical. It’s essentially a math issue. A note is either in tune or it’s not. A440 is a pitch which means that the string is vibrating at 440 Hz or cycles per second. On a piano, A440 is the A directly above middle C. If that note is not vibrating at 440Hz, it is out of tune. A lower number, means that it is flat, while a higher number means that it is sharp.