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Piano Servicing, Tuning, and Rebuilding
by: Arthur A. Reblitz (2nd Ed.)

The Reblitz book is THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE HOW TO BOOK on the subject, and covers everything thoroughly, with hundreds of helpful up-close photos (I neeeeed pictures!), written so that anyone can understand it (in other words, informative and not boring. . .)

I recommend only one book on the subject -- and this is it!

- If you do not find it to be as outstanding as I say it is, you can return this book, and I will even credit your card for the return postage, no questions asked. How's that for endorsement!

-- Dr. Rein Peter Vaga, D.M.A., Head Honcho Guy at Sheet Music Online.

An email I received from someone that is familiar with this comprehensive book, used with his permission:


I have gone to piano guild meetings and read alot of piano tuning books. I have to say, I've never come across anything as cool as Reblitz. Piano tuners for some reason cannot communicate things well. Reblitz is the best. I read his book a few years ago and with his help I was able to tune a piano within reason. Of course it took me 12 hours but it was fun. After reading his book, I know excatly what's wrong with my piano and how to fix it. Please let him know I sent this note. By the way, I have 3 cracks in my soundboard. And they have negligible affect on the sound. Have a good 'un.

Karl (last name withheld) Denver, Colorado USA

From the back cover:

"All the information needed for restoring and maintaining pianos is contained in this clearly written volume. Mr. Reblitz provides the ultimate reference book and instruction manual for both the professional and the amateur.
Professional piano technicians have relied on Piano Servicing in their daily work, yet its instructions and the hundreds of clear drawings and photographs are so easily understood that any person handy with tools can quickly grasp the fundamentals of piano servicing and rebuilding work. At least twenty-five schools where piano servicing is taught use it as a text.
Having sold over 45,000 copies of the first edition. . . Vestal Press. . . is especially proud of the book's endorsement by the House of Steinway. This greatly enhanced and enlarged second edition has a lot of new material to benefit owners of the earlier edition. . ."

Complete Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Piano: Styles, Shapes, and Sizes Over the Years
(antique pianos / victorian pianos / 20th century pianos / player pianos / contemporary trends / electronic pianos)

Chapter 2: Inside Information: The Names of the Parts and How They Work
(major parts / details of construction / soundboard and bridges / pinblock / plate / downbearing / tuning pins / strings / stringing arrangements / keybed / key frame / keys / hammers / vertical action / how upright action works / dampers / upright action variations / console action / drop action / vertical piano pedals / grand action / how grand action works / grand hammer rest or rail / grand pedals / grand action variations / square piano / how square piano action works)

Chapter 3: Evaluating an Old Piano: Is It Worth Buying or Repairing?
(selecting a type and size / recognizing quality / importance of age / how to tell the age of a piano / evaluating the condition / player pianos and empty player pianos / mirror pianos / where to find a used piano / myths vs. reality / summary)

Note: the real Meat-and-Potatoes begins next - RV

Chapter 4: Cleaning and Minor Repairs: Fixing Worn and Broken Parts
(basics of tools and woodworking / glue joints / types of glue used in piano repair / repairing loose screw holes / removing broken screws / safety precautions / cleaning a piano - opening the vertical cabinet, removing vertical action and keys, opening the grand cabinet, removing the grand action, cleaning out the dirt and debris, cleaning the action, cleaning the keys, reinstalling the keys and action / evaluating the condition / wooden frame / plate / pinblock and tuning pins / soundboard / bridges / strings / string repair tools / key frame / keys / action / action rails and screws / flanges / wippen assembly / hammer assembly / damper assembly / sluggish action parts / clicks, buzzes, rattles, and other foreign noises / squeaks of all sorts / pedals / cabinet / taking care of a piano / protecting a piano from environmental changes / controlling insect damaga)

Chapter 5: Regulating: Adjusting the Action, Keyboard, and Pedals to Work As They Should
(basic regulating concepts / what to do with worn hammers / regulating tools / preparation for regulating / vertical action regulating / special procedures for spinet pianos / vertical regulating check list / partial vertical regulating / changing the touch weight of a vertical / preparing to regulate the grand action / grand action regulating / grand regulating check list / changing the touch weight of a grand / square piano action regulating / action regulating problems / action problem check list / tone regulating / preparation for hammer voicing / hammer voicing tools required / hammer voicing procedure / making hammers more brilliant)

Chapter 6: Tuning Theory and Terminology
(musical tone vs. noise / vibration of wire / simultaneously vibrating wires / what pitches form the musical scale / musical terminology / mathematics of the theoretical scale / tuning theory / theory vs. reality)

Chapter 7: Tuning Procedure
(tools / tuning exercises / using the tuning lever / defebaugh f-f temperament / potter f-a temperament / finishing the midrange of the piano / tuning the high treble / tuning the bass / raising the pitch / lowering the pitch / tuning problems / tuning the back duplex scale / tuning the mason & hamlin screw stringer piano / tuning two pianos together / tuning a piano to an organ / tuning a piano on a bandstand / tuning victorian pianos / electronic tuning devices / why does a piano go out of tune / improving your skills)

Chapter 8: Complete Restoration: Rebuilding a Piano in the Shop to Perform and Look Like New
(preparation / disassembling the cabinet / measuring downbearing before removing the strings / recording the stringing scale / lowering the string tension / removing the wound strings / making a pattern for the wound strings / removing the treble strings / measuring downbearing after removing the strings / removing the tuning pins / removing the plate / ordering parts and materials / resoration cosmetics / rebuilding the cabinet and frame / soundboard / bridges / refinishing the soundboard / installing the soundboard decal / replacing the soundboard / the pinblock / making and fitting a grand pinblock / adjusting the downbearing in a grand / making and fitting a vertical pinblock / adjusting downbearing in a vertical / marking locations of tuning pin holes on a new pinblock / refinishing the cabinet / drilling the tuning pin holes / drilling an open face pinblock / the plate / refinishing the plate / final installation of the pinblock and plate / restringing / the key frame / the keys / rebuilding the action and installing new hammers / rebuilding the vertical action / rebuilding the grand action / finishing touches)

If you have read carefully all of the above contents. . . you must have enough time to work on a piano (grin!).

Now, the important points - PLEASE read the following, my opinions:

  • If you have a beautiful piano and you hope to start tuning it yourself -- forget it!! I guarantee you will mess it up so bad, your technician will have to arrive in an ambulance. If you have an old piano you want to start to learn how to tune, fine! If you go through the process 10 times, you will get proficient enough to reasonably tune the instrument.
    But, by reading up on tuning, you will know what the process is, what to expect, and what questions to ask your technician as he/she tunes the piano. Yes, it is very possible to deliberately tune a piano so it does not hold the tune as long as it should! And yes -- if you know something about tuning a piano, and your technician knows it, your piano will undoubtedly receive a better tuning (a technician might well deny this would make a difference in their work, but I'll bet you it would!)
    Finally, on the tuning subject -- you will certainly come to appreciate the fact that the cost of piano tuning by a professional technician is not expensive!
  • Take the above paragraph very seriously! Other than that. . . this book will help you thoroughly understand what to do for most any given problem/situation, and will lead you through the process of fixing the piano, step-by-step, with plenty of pictures and tons of good advice.
Every serious musician with a piano will benefit immensely from this classic Art Reblitz text on the subject. Whatever your question or problem is over the years, you will undoubtedly find the answer in this huge book!
(327 pages, weighs over 3 lbs. shipping weight).

Arthur A. Reblitz
In Stock . . . $29.95

Arthur A. Reblitz
In Stock . . . $39.95

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