The short answer is yes, a piano should be tuned after moving. For more details, continue reading. Many people know that a piano needs to be tuned after moving, but not so many people know why or when.
First, you should understand what is considered “moving”. A move from one side of the room to the other, or even from one room to another, does not generally create a need for tuning. If the piano is moved with care in these situations, it is very unlikely to go out of tune. The piano owner must determine if the piano sounds different after the move and whether or not it needs tuning.
The types of moves that necessitate tuning are those in which the piano is moved from one building to another. There are several factors that contribute to the detuning of a piano during a move. The greatest factor is the change of temperature and humidity from one building to another as well as during the move itself (moving trucks often do not have climate control). Pianos are constructed primarily of wood and metal. Both materials are easily affected by changes in temperature and humidity. These changes cause the wood and metal to expand and contract which effectively detunes the piano. The longer the duration of the transport, the more it will be subject to climate changes.
Another factor that causes the need for tuning is how careful the movers are in moving the piano and how smooth the ride is from one location to another. If the piano is jolted a number of times, that will cause it to go out of tune.
It is also a good idea to have the piano tuned after moving so your piano technician can assess the piano and make sure everything was properly reassembled by the movers. As a technician, I regularly receive phone calls to repair pianos that have not been reassembled properly by movers. Most often the pedals are not reconnected properly and cause a number of problems. It is always wise to have a piano moved by professional piano movers rather than regular movers. Doing so will greatly decrease the likelihood of improper reassembly.
After moving, a piano should be allowed to acclimate to its new environment for at least two weeks prior to tuning. Otherwise, the piano will likely go out of tune very quickly and you will have wasted your money. If you have recently moved your piano and youreside in the Boise, Idaho region, contact us or book a tuning online.