Dan Soper of Tupelo fell in love with pianos when he learned how to tune them at the age of 16, some 54 years ago. He now specializes in tuning, repairing, moving or selling pianos and organs. He also travels to Oxford every Monday to tune all the pianos across the campus of the University of Mississippi. He spends one to two hours tuning each piano on average, depending on the model. Pianos are constantly changing and never stay in tune, according to Soper. The strings change in density and length due to the temperature and humidity of the building they are stored in, thus changing the tone of the chords. Each piano has 88 keys and each chord has one, two or three strings per chord. Soper checks and adjusts each string, one at time, using a specialized tool and a pair of “mutes” that silence the surrounding strings and allow only the string being adjusted to be heard and tuned to the correct key.
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