| Aziz Idris |
IF YOU hire someone to tune your piano in Brunei, chances are good that it will be someone with a music background rather than a qualified technician.
Pianos are delicate keyboard instruments that requires meticulous care, especially with the high humidity levels experience in the Sultanate throughout the year.
“Being made of wood, your piano is greatly affected by humidity. Seasonal and even daily changes in humidity cause wood parts to swell and shrink, affecting tuning stability and touch,” said British piano technician Nicholas Bamber.
Hailing from Manchester, Nicholas or Nick in short, has observed the local market several years and now operates Florian Piano, the sole piano dealership in Brunei offering clients with the top piano brands and regular after-sales services.
His first and simplest precaution for piano owners can take is to position the piano away from areas where it would be exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity such as air-conditioning vents, stoves, doors and windows.
“Either you own an upright piano or grand piano, the room placement is important for the best sounds performance, and most of all, longevity.
“Direct sunlight is especially damaging,” he noted.
A very practical and effective answer to humidity problems in the climate is to have a humidity control system installed in the piano itself.
“The systems help preserve your piano through the years as wood and metal parts along with joints and the finish will all last longer, if not subjected to excessive humidity swings,” said Nick.
Due to the natural elasticity of piano strings, he recommended that piano instrument must be tuned two to four times the first year, twice the second year and a minimum of once per year thereafter.
He also advised that delicate parts inside the piano should be cleaned only by a qualified technician. “Tensions of the strings of an acoustic piano to properly align the intervals between their tones to prevent any lost motion.”
Nick explained that the cost can increase by several hundred Brunei dollars if the piano requires multiple tuning sessions or repairs.
Also available at the dealership are piano brands from Asia, especially China and Japan as well European brands from Germany.