Doug arrived in Lima just shortly after midnight. He spent the day in Lima; visiting with a cardiologist, picking up medications for both of us, and running various errands. Our friend, Mariana, spent most of the day with him. He boarded the bus for Mancora at about 4:30 this afternoon.
I spent much of the day working on my piano. Friends of ours have guests; one of which is a very talented and accomplished piano player. This is the first tuning it has received since it left Oregon! It spent 7 months on its side in the maid’s quarters as it was the first room to have a floor and walls. Even then, it didn’t have windows or much protection from the elements. I’m sad to say, it shows the effects of the neglect. The strings are seriously rusted, but fortunately only the bass tuning pins show any rust. There are several distinct and deep scratches along the side it was sitting on. So today it received some TLC. I cleaned it and did a pitch raise and fine tuning.
I was trained to tune a piano by ear at the School for Piano Technology for the Blind in Vancouver Washington. I passed all the necessary tests and even passed the PTG (Piano Technician Guild) test to become a registered piano tuner. Even so, I lacked confidence…especially in the extreme upper range and extreme lower range. So, shortly after graduation, I bought an electronic tuning device to help me. For most of my tuning career, I’ve used a tuning device. I used my ear to tune a musical tone, and the machine to check myself.
Somehow in our move to Peru, the hand-held computer I used with the tuning program went missing. I did finally order another program…at great cost…mostly because I didn’t trust myself in those upper extremities. It isn’t like there is a local piano tuner in the area. As a matter of fact, I suspect, my piano is the only one within 100 miles. This newly acquired program didn’t arrive until today.
Yesterday, I sat down at the piano to do an aural tuning. I was scrambling at first; not remembering the sequence or all the rules for tuning. I did finally tune a temperament (the first octave and a half used to tune the rest of the piano) that I thought was reasonable. Then I finished tuning the rest of the piano from that by ear. I am proud to say, that when I checked this temperament with the machine today, I was spot on with the tuning.
I know for most of you this is no big deal. However, tuning a piano by ear is probably the most difficult thing I have ever tried to learn. It didn’t come easy to me. So, long story not so short…I was pretty proud of myself!