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Oh, the places we tune
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Poster Eric Gloo Offline
Posted 11/21/09 05:09 PM
Here are some photos I took while tuning at the Fort Herkimer Church on Friday. An ecumenical church service is held there each year on Thanksgiving, with usually 300 to 400 people attending. The wood stove you see is the only heat. The church is never heated when I tune there. This year it was a balmy 40 degrees (F) inside. Usually it's about 25 degrees in there for tuning day.

I've donated my tuning services there every year since 1996, as my father did for more than 20 years before that. The piano is a Vose upright, circa late 1880's, all original (except for bridle straps replaced once). The pitch is about 1/8 step above A-440, to try to match the pitch of the Estey reed organ. It's not a joy to tune. In fact, it doesn't get "tuned" as much as it gets "adjusted". I've learned that the less I fiddle with it, the better it sounds. This year, the pitch was dead on with the organ, so it was basically about 30 minutes of touching up unisons. Of course, when the temperature is different on Thanksgiving, the pitch of the reed organ will be different. They always tell me, "The piano sounded amazing!" I guess with 300 to 400 people singing, the piano, organ and some instruments all blasting away...who would really know?

I included a bad photo of myself. Usually, for this tuning adventure, I'm bundled up with a heavy winter jacket, wool cap, driving gloves...and you can usually see my breath due to the extreme cold. It was probably warmer in there this year than ever before.

I've threatened to double my tuning fee for this call...but you can do the math on that one.
Dimensions 640x480
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#1310106 - 11/21/09 11:10 PM Re: Oh, the places we tune [Re: Eric Gloo]
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5835
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Thanks for sharing Eric.

I've tuned in cold places before, but not that cold, ouch.

Beautiful old church though, and what history.
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#1310107 - 11/21/09 11:11 PM Re: Oh, the places we tune [Re: Piano World]
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
very interesting.. very different than my current neoCatholic church..

love the photos
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

#1310947 - 11/23/09 01:01 PM Re: Oh, the places we tune [Re: apple*]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
How quaint. And absolutely beautiful.

The church, the instruments, the service!

To think that 3-400 people show up for this yearly service.

How special is that?

The organ also intriques me. Do you have more pics of that as well?

You would find me sitting close to that stove, if not seated at the organ!



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