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Aural Piano Tuning

If you ask me what aural tuning is, I could give you a long explanation of the entire process: which might leave you scratching your head. Here is the short definition: 

Aural tuning is a method where the technician uses a tuning fork to tune a string to one note, then tune the other strings based on that note. There are three legs to the tuning method which uses only a tuning fork, and the technician’s ears. This is why so few technicians are aural tuners. 

Now here is the long explanation of what aural tuning entails: 

Aural tuning is a process where one tunes by using a method called equal temperament to tune by ear. It’s different from machine tuning because there are three legs in a temperament, where as machine tuning is all about looking at the spinner on the electronic tuning device (ETD).

For the 1st leg of the equal temperament, I set the 5th octave A string to the tuning which is usually A440. This means that the 5th octave A is at a frequency of 440 HZ per second. After that, the 4th octave A is tuned to the A440 as a pure octave. Next, I tune the bottom F as tempered major 3rd which is about 7 beats per second and the top F is tuned as pure octave. Then, I tune the middle C below the pure point which is called a contracted 5th. I next tune the 4th octave G above the pure point which is called expanded 4th. Finally, I tune the D note to the G note as a contracted 5th. 

The 2nd leg is the expanded A C sharp 3rd note. The A C sharp 3rd and C sharp F 3rd notes have to beat together. Afterwards, I tune the E note to the A note as contracted 5th so that C E 3rd will beat a little slower than the C sharp E sharp 3rd. Finally, I tune the B note below the middle C as an expanded 4th, so that the G B 3rd will beat the same rate as the F D 6th. 

The 3rd and last leg of the temperament is the G sharp C sharp 4th in order for the A flat C 3rd to beat a little slower that the A C sharp 3rd. Then, I tune G sharp note to fit the B D sharp 3rd to the C E 3rd. Finally, the F sharp C sharp 5th is tuned to fit the F sharp A sharp 3rd so that it beats at a rate between F A 3rd key and the G B 3rd key. 

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