Toward Automatic Tuning of the Piano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of the Arts Helsinki


The tuning of a piano is a complicated and time-consuming process, which is usually left for a professional tuner. To make the process faster and non-dependent on the skills of a professional tuner, a semi-automatic piano tuning system is developed. The aim of the system is to help a non-professional person to tune a grand piano with the help of a computer and a motorized tuning machine. The system composes of an aluminum frame, a stepper motor, an Arduino processor, a microphone, and a laptop computer. The stepper motor changes the tuning of the piano strings by turning the pins connected to them whereas the aluminum frame holds the motor in place. The Arduino controls the motor. The microphone and the computer are used as a part of a closed loop control system, which is used to tune the strings automatically. The control system tunes the strings by minimizing the difference between the current and optimal fundamental frequency. The current fundamental frequency is obtained with an inharmonicity coefficient estimation algorithm, and the optimal fundamental frequency is calculated with a novel tuning process, called the Connected Reference Interval (CRI) tuning. With the CRI process, a tuning close to that of a professional tuner is achieved with a deviation of 2.5 cents (RMS) between the keys A0 and G5 and 8.1 cents (RMS) between G#5 and C8, where the tuner’s results are not very consistent.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Sound & Music Computing Conference SMC 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSound and Music Computing Conference - E.T.S.I. Telecomunicación, Malaga, Spain
Duration: 28 May 201931 May 2019
Conference number: 16

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Sound and Music Computing Conferences
ISSN (Electronic)2518-3672


ConferenceSound and Music Computing Conference
Abbreviated titleSMC
Internet address

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