Plink Plink Plink
I’m sitting here in my office hearing the plinkity plink of my baby grand being tuned in the other room. It’s been going out of tune for the last few weeks, so I finally decided to have it tuned. I also decided this time to have it revoiced. I hadn’t known much about revoicing until the last time I had it tuned when the tuner mentioned that it could make the tone a little less harsh. My piano is pretty old (about 32 years) and to my knowledge has never been revoiced. As the work was being started, I learned a bit about how revoicing works and what it’s all about and it really got me to thinking…
The hammers that hit the strings in a piano are covered with felt. Over time, from hitting the strings over and over, the felt begins to compress and get harder, causing the tone to get brighter and harsher. It’s an inevitable result of being used as intended.
The process of revoicing starts with sanding down the hammers to get rid of the grooves in the felt. Then a solution of alcohol is added which causes the felt to loosen up. The process takes several hours to complete, but when it’s done, the sound should be much better – more refreshed and dynamic.
So here’s what I was thinking about. The one phrase above that set the whole thought process moving was that the wearing out was an “inevitable result of being used as intended.” My piano hasn’t been abused or used incorrectly (quite the opposite) – but it still wore out. Even with regular maintenance it still needed to take some time to get restored.
I’ve always thought of myself as one of those people who doesn’t really ever need a vacation. I love what I do and will probably rust out before I burn out. But I’m starting to think otherwise. I’ve always been certain that I’m right where God wants me – that I’m being “used as intended.” But all the time not realizing that being “used as intended” is still having an effect on me. I’m slowly wearing out and will soon need to take some time to step back and get restored. It’s one of those things that I’m always encouraging those around me to do – just not myself. Maybe I should start to listen to me!
Having heard the difference that the revoicing is having on the piano, maybe it’s time that I get myself revoiced. The sanding doesn’t sound fun, but the alcohol…