How to Tune a Piano Blog

Step-by-step procedure & proper tools

This piano tuning blog is a companion to our How to Tune a Piano Yourself tutorial. In this blog we expand on the tutorial with new information and perspectives on do-it-yourself piano tuning. If it is your first time here, visit the tutorial first.

Blog Home · Running this Website · On Piano Tuning and Wikipedia

On Piano Tuning and Wikipedia

If you came here from wikipedia, you may have noticed a rather peculiar page on this website, a text-only version of our main How to Tune Your Piano tutorial, with a "Welcome Wikipedia" message at the top. The reason why it is here is an interesting commentary on both Wikipedia and Piano Tuning.

The link has been in the article since 2006. In the days when wikipedia was young, I added that link myself. I learned later that adding links to your own sites is frowned upon. However, the link has remained on its own merits. The article itself is about the theory behind tuning, not the technique; as such, a link to technique was deemed by the editors to be important to have.

It was a close call, which is why I have the text-only version. There was some discussion among the editors of the site over the merits of the content. Ultimately, it passed the test. Since the rules state "Wikipedia is Not a How-to Manual," the Piano Tuning article itself could not go into the procedure of tuning. This site was best how-to web page available. Is it exhaustively detailed? No. But will it work? Yes, and you can see experienced tuners who corroborate this in our own collected comments.

However, the discussion was not over. When the content passed muster, the presentation came under fire. I have advertising on the page (you know, like 95% of active web pages these days), and that offended an editor. Advertising on linked sites is not expressly forbidden on Wikipedia as long as the content is valuable, but it can be a gray area for some. To silence that critic, I created a text-only version of the page. The editor accepted that concession; the link stands to this day.

This illustrative of the tightrope this site walks. Piano tuning is pretty involved, and takes a long time to master. Those who have mastered it can be deeply skeptical of attempts to explain it in simpler terms. Likewise, Wikipedia has run afoul from time to time of gatekeeping editors, who guard their articles on the basis of their viewpoint of the topic. For both parties, it is better to have nothing at all than to have something incomplete or less than perfect.

I have no problem with high standards among tuners or editors. I highly respect tuners in particular who in my opinion work magic with the tedious and exacting work of a good tuning. And editors who spend so much time working on wikipedia for free are a great help to me. But in either case, content should be judged on its own merits.

01/02/11