Learning Precision in Piano Tuning w/ Mark Cerisano

Learning Precision in Piano Tuning w/ Mark Cerisano

In this podcast episode, we are joined by Mark Cerisano, a seasoned piano tuner and educator who’s making significant contributions to the field of piano technology. He is known for creating the Go Ape System for accurate and efficient piano tuning and has shared his expertise globally through publications and teaching at the International Piano Technician School (IPTS).

Mark's background includes engineering, teaching music in high school, being a professional musician, authoring four books on piano tuning, online content, and live lectures.

The discussion covers Mark’s journey from studying jazz at McGill University to becoming an engineer turned musical maestro. We delve into how he combines precision with musicality, the importance of clean unisons whether tuning by ear or using devices, auditory illusions that can deceive even experienced ears, and more about his approach to shaping sound quality.

We also explore advanced concepts like ensuring all partials decay uniformly without resurgence to achieve perfect harmony. Mark shares about tools like Oceanaudio, which allow for nuanced listening and analysis of sounds.

The conversation touches upon different approaches to tuning pianos—intuitive versus electronic—and emphasizes learning through exploration before choosing one’s tools. The importance of understanding physics in achieving musical stability is highlighted alongside embracing varied perspectives.

Looking ahead at the industry's future demands higher standards of tuning precision due to musicians' discerning ears. This necessitates training technicians capable of delivering such exactitude—an endeavor that Mark aims to address through IPTS which also focuses on providing employment opportunities post-education.

For new technicians or graduates seeking guidance, Mark aims to develop elegant and objective feedback mechanisms, using tools like band pass filters, to provide evidence of technical understanding. 

Listeners interested in following Mark's work can find free resources on https://internationalpianotechniciansschool.com/ as well as interactive content on his public Facebook group and YouTube channel.

About Mark Cerisano:
Mark Cerisano has been tuning pianos since 2000 and teaching people how to tune, repair, and regulate pianos since 2005, and most recently through the International Piano Technicians School found at https://IPTS.online. He brings to the job of training technicians his experience as a mechanical engineer, a high school teacher of music, math, and other subjects, his experience as a professional musician, and his experience as a professional piano technician.

Since developing his unique tuning system which he calls the Go A.P.E. System for more Accurate, Precise, and Efficient piano tunings, he has been published multiple times in the Piano Technicians Journal, given multiple online classes in over a dozen other countries around the world, and has had four books published on piano tuning. He has been a presenter at the annual PTG convention and technical Institute in Denver Colorado in 2015 and will be presenting two classes on his unique tuning system in Reno Nevada in the summer of 2024.


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Creators and Guests

Eathan Janney
Eathan Janney
Eathan has 20 years of experience as a piano technician. He studied with Dave Miller, the staff piano technician for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Dave Carpenter, the inventor of the Verituner electronic tuning device, provided mentorship for Eathan in Chicago. Eathan also worked with Ken Eschete and Bill Schwarts, the staff piano technicians at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2009, he founded Floating Piano Factory of New York, a company that allows piano technicians to move from Apprentice to Craftsman level while offering value pricing to clients as technicians progress toward mastery. In 2017 he founded Piano Technicians Masterclasses, an online project designed to offer cutting-edge instruction from piano industry masters to anyone on the globe with an internet connection.
Mark Cerisano
Mark Cerisano
I train people to get concert-level aural piano tunings.
2020 Piano Technicians Masterclasses