All pianos, to a greater or lesser degree, loose their proper pitch as a result of being moved and need to be returned. A surefire to inflict really serious damage on a piano, however, is to drop it. Not only its casework and wooden structure likely to be badly affected, but the frame itself can crack, rendering the instrument untunable and often beyond repair.
This point cannot be overstressed. Piano moving should always be done by experts. Avoid at all costs attempting to move piano by yourself-if it should fall, the piano may suffer irreparable damage.
Everyone knows that pianos are very heavy but few appreciate how that weight is distributed within the instrument. Understanding this ratio is the first technique in overcoming a piano’s weight and bulk.
- The back of an upright is far heavier than the front and the treble end is often heavier than the bass. A small tilt backward when lifting an upright may send the piano crashing to the ground. An upright piano in a school or public place, or one that is often moved, should be fitted with castors that protrude at the back to stop this from occurring.
- A grand, the keyboard end is heavier than the tail end and the treble end weighs more than the bass.
Any piano should be able to be pushed across a flat floor, as long as its castors are in good condition and of appropriate size. If it is to be moved any further, then it is essential to use a four-wheeled piano dolly, which is easier to push and turn and absorbs much of the vibration from the traveling motion.
With its cumbersome shape, heavy weight, and high value, a grand piano requires an experienced mover. Moving grands on their side limits any bending forces on their legs, and facilitates placement in most rooms.
Grand pianos that are too long for the available access can be hoisted through window openings by a crane. Specialized piano moving firms are able to carry out this nerve-racking procedure.