Voicing (tone regulation)

“Voicing” in piano technology refers to the process of changing the tone quality of the piano. Piano tone quality is a product of countless details in the construction of the instrument, from the elaborate design and construction of the soundboard, rim, and belly of the piano, to the minute differences in the density of the felt hammers that strike the strings.

Piano tone quality can change dramatically with seasonal changes in temperature and relative humidity, while at the same time deteriorating slowly and methodically simply from normal playing. Unfortunately, pianos never stay “voiced”, much like they never stay in tune forever. However, periodic voicing work, just like periodic tuning, is the perscription for the best possible sounding piano you can own.

In piano technology, the art lies in voicing. Voicing is the technical work performed by the technician to get the best possible sound from the piano. However, I believe voicing also involves the ability to play the piano... both to directly experience the piano’s capabilities in the acoustics of its location, but to fundamentally understand the musical perceptions of the piano owner. It requires extreme patience, experience, knowledge and skill, along with an intuitive grasp of the ideal sound heard in the mind of the pianist.