There is, on the other hand, pressure that is, well, sheer music.
A piano has 88 keys. A piano has 228 strings (give or take). Those strings are under tension. They are built that way. That’s how the noise becomes music.
When a pianist presses a key, a felt-covered hammer hits the one, two, or three strings that are tuned to the same pitch, and there is a note.
There is pressure on the strings. There is pressure on the tuner to get the pitches precisely right. There is pressure on the pianist to get the notes right.
The result is music for the rest of us to delight in.
- Sometimes we have to bring the tension down. Tim Walker talks about throwing away times from your to-do list.
- Sometimes we have to bring the tension up.
- Sometimes we have to find an outlet for the pressure before the strings break.
- Sometimes we have to ask for help. (What becomes clear to everyone but us is when the strings or the tuning or the notes aren’t working.)
- Sometimes we have to talk to the Piano Maker about why there needs to be so much pressure.
- Sometimes we need to relax into the music. Nancy Swanson talks about letting go.
I’m not sure what the answer is for your piano right now. But between now and the end of the year, I pray that you’ll have time for tuning and practice and delight.