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#1342766 - 01/06/10 10:07 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: pppat]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: pppat

Regarding the upper treble in UT tunings, in my opinion there's no problem if you stretch the octaves 'musically' (for example, using the 'mindless octaves' = 12th/15th equal beating idea... which to me translates into making the 12th and the 15th both sound as good as possible smile ).

But I guess Isaac's (AKA Kamin) thought sounds reasonable, too - a tuner who stretches an UT might very well subconsciously smoothen it out in the high treble/low bass, moving closer to ET.


The above is undeniably true. The way I stretch the octaves does, in fact tend to bring the extremes at least closer to what they would be if the temperament were ET. The outer octaves are not where the harmony occurs. It is a simple as that.

I double dare anyone to say or find that a piano I have tuned in the EBVT III is "out of tune" with any other fixed pitch musical instrument, with any orchestra, with any musical ensemble of any kind. Note for note, bar by bar, entire musical composition, regardless of style or era. No artist, no private customer, no orchestra, no music ensemble, no church, no school, no hotel or no restaurant has ever said so and the proof of that is that they keep calling me back saying that the way I tuned sounded best to them among any they had ever tried.

I always keep in mind the lady who more than 20 years ago did not like the clinically perfect ET I had tuned for her. To her, it was not "right". An HT by a colleague was what she found to be musically satisfying.

Go ahead, beat your brains out trying to perfect ET, you will keep just as many customers as those who tune reverse well. But if you really want a musically satisfying experience, you will discover that ET is not really the answer and never has been.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1342770 - 01/06/10 10:12 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
I wonder why the externally moderated tuning, practical and written examinations i took in England in 1988 are any less valid than those currently taken here in the USA.
My skills, from hammer fitting, re-stringing, action re-building, key bushing, french polishing, pin block fitting, piano history, harpsichord maintenance not to mention tuning were all exhaustively examined by specialists from London piano factories and the City and Guilds certification dept in London, England and moderated by those that who had been teaching us for the three year duration of the class........yes Bill.......three years FULL TIME....

I've also done my time at the Steinway and Sons factory in New York.

What a load of bombastic twaddle to even dream of asking me to take an exam in order to 'qualify' for something I need to subscribe to financially every year in order to stay qualified.

My qualifications didn't cost me anything apart from blood, toil, tears and sweat.

These lines say it all......

“An orotundity, which I define as Nobelitis a pomposity in which one is treated as representative of more than oneself by someone conscious of representing more than himself.”

William G. Golding
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1342772 - 01/06/10 10:14 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
I realized years ago that not all RPT's do good work. It would be nice if it was that simple and black and white but it isn't.
Simply taking and passing those tests does not prove that a tuner-technician will do good work.
This isn't a PTG forum last I checked. There is one of those too... and it is a good one, in it's own way. Just like this one is in it's own way. Why change it?

I personally like all of the different points of view here, even though I don't agree with all of them. You'll never find a place where everyone agrees.

And even if you did get your wish and every tuner-technician in the world took and past the tests to become RPTs, there would then be a whole new set of issues to fight about.

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#1342789 - 01/06/10 10:35 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: JBE]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21669
Loc: Oakland
I have tuned pianos and come back after several years and they have barely needed touch-up. You just never can tell, especially with Bay Area weather. Of course, there are tuners whose tunings will not last under the same conditions. That is a skill that is difficult to test.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1342791 - 01/06/10 10:37 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: JBE]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Peter, if you are really a PTG Associate member, you are already paying the same dues as any RPT with none of the benefits. Yes, the exams would cost you another $360 and you would, in fact, have to prove yourself all over again. Frankly, if I were you, with your experience, I would be itching to see if I could "ace" those exams, be the very first person who did. My prediction is that you would not even come close to that, in spite of the skills I know you have and respect you for what they are. Many of the skills you obviously have would not even be tested. But that does not mean that you are above the standards of PTG, no matter what your experience has been. No one, not one single person has ever been. So stop pretending that you are because I will never believe it and you will never be. You will not score a 100 on the written exam, you will not score a 100 on each of the technical exam scores and you will not score a 100 on each of the tuning exam scores. Don't place yourself above that until you can prove it and I already know you cannot. Nobody ever has!

Byron, no this is not a PTG forum but why tell the many PTG members who participate in it that they cannot say anything about PTG or suggest that people join PTG and take the exams when the owner of the forum clearly cannot stop PTG members from doing so? If he really did enforce such a rule, the forum would be diminished to mere trivia and the blind leading the blind.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1342794 - 01/06/10 10:40 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
You won't do it because you don't want to know and you are afraid to find out what the truth is.


3hearts

You love us. You know you do.

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1342805 - 01/06/10 10:51 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: RPD]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
You love PTG, I know you do smile
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1342807 - 01/06/10 10:55 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I have tuned pianos and come back after several years and they have barely needed touch-up. You just never can tell, especially with Bay Area weather. Of course, there are tuners whose tunings will not last under the same conditions. That is a skill that is difficult to test.


I have seen the same here when the piano had a humidity control system and even sometimes when it didn't. You're right, you never can tell but the most frustrating situations are those you expect to remain stable but go wildly off. Those are not a matter of pin setting.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1342817 - 01/06/10 11:09 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: RPD]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: RPD [/quote


3hearts

You love us. You know you do.

RPD


By Golly you're right, he does, I really really think he does! grin

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#1342828 - 01/06/10 11:21 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: BDB]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I have tuned pianos and come back after several years and they have barely needed touch-up. You just never can tell, especially with Bay Area weather. Of course, there are tuners whose tunings will not last under the same conditions. That is a skill that is difficult to test.


You also have to consider the fact that you don't always hear the truth from the piano owner. Someone may have tuned it two weeks prior to your arrival but for whatever reason they scheduled another one. But I know what you mean, sometimes they hold, sometimes they don't and like Bill said, if the tuner is good then the climate is most likely the problem.

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#1342868 - 01/06/10 11:51 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bernhard Stopper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 215
Loc: Germany
The discussions pro uneven temperaments (UT), (they must not necessarily be historical) today are usually motivated because of the benefit of coloring keys.

This has not always been the priority.
The main goal of UT was to obtain the highest degree of purity in the keys of most use.
Key coloring was nothing more than an unavoidable side effect.

We often read from defenders of UT about 'clinical perfect' ET. What is a clinical perfect ET? There are millions of solutions to tune a piano In ET. When is it clinical perfect?

It has been proved that it is possible to tune pianos in ET that they can have an extreme level of purity, and no more limited to certain keys. We are then way closer to the roots of UT, the initial goal of purity of UT, than with UT.

Bernhard Stopper





Edited by Bernhard Stopper (01/07/10 04:17 AM)
_________________________
Bernhard Stopper
www.piano-stopper.de

Salieri: "Mediocrities everywhere, now and to come: I absolve you all! Amen! Amen! Amen!"
(Amadeus, the movie)

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#1342879 - 01/07/10 12:10 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: JBE]
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Bill, I'm not a RPT either. Actually thinking about taking the test one of these days. I don't need it for the business or to prove to myself I can make a living out of piano service. I have a very full dance card, raised 4 kids, have 6 acres, 1200 sq ft shop, a log house with 1600 sq ft of deck and 2 new cars and all I've ever done is piano work. Don't need it to prove to others, including RPTs, that I can make as good, or better, living than they. Don't really need it for any validation at all. Like pointed out above, unfortunately in the real world of piano service the RPT is NOT a guarentee of quality, ethics or skill. It merely means that someone passed a test measuring basic skills in piano tech. The test is good and worthwhile thing. The PTG is a good and worthwhile thing. If and when I get around to the test it will be out of respect for the organization and what it stands for and all the good I've gained from it. However, ulitmately, as plainly seen a tech is judged in the marketplace upon his skills and ability to manage, market and conduct a profitable business. To characterize a knowledgeable non RPT tech, quite brutally, as incompetent or even cowardly is arrogant, without logical merit and damned rude. If your sentiments would represent the sole visage of the PTG it would not be a organization worth membership. Fortunately, from what I have seen, you are unique and extreme.

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#1342949 - 01/07/10 03:23 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Sam Casey]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21669
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
There are millions of solutions to tune a piano In ET.

I am not certain what you mean by "solutions." Do you mean tuning sequences, the method of tuning equal temperament? Or do you mean that there are millions of temperaments that can be considered equal temperament? I disagree with the latter concept. The definition of equal temperament is quite specific.

What is unclear is not equal temperament, but rather, what is the pitch of a note on a piano. The pitch is generally defined as being something related to the periodicity of the tone. However, a piano, like most instruments, does not generate pure periodic tones. It decays, and the waveform changes constantly. Each of those changes affects the periodicity minutely, so that you cannot say what the pitch is to an exact degree of accuracy. Beyond that, we are all human, and cannot judge things to an exact degree of accuracy, either.

I am content to say that I tune so that the temperament has the characteristics of equal temperament, and similarly, that the octaves have the characteristics of octaves and other intervals, including unisons, have the characteristics of those unisons. We know what those characteristics should be from the theory. This is as close to equal temperament as we can expect to get on a piano.

Quote:
When is it clinical perfect?

I think I have answered that. The real question is, when is an unequal temperament as perfect? This is a problem that I have with them. While I am reasonably certain that I do not like my thirds too pure, it is usually difficult to tell, because beyond the temperament, I am not certain whether the other intervals, like the octaves, are tuned well enough for me to give a honest assessment.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1342952 - 01/07/10 03:34 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: BDB]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7898
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: BDB
[quote]
What is unclear is not equal temperament, but rather, what is the pitch of a note on a piano. The pitch is generally defined as being something related to the periodicity of the tone. However, a piano, like most instruments, does not generate pure periodic tones. It decays, and the waveform changes constantly. Each of those changes affects the periodicity minutely, so that you cannot say what the pitch is to an exact degree of accuracy. Beyond that, we are all human, and cannot judge things to an exact degree of accuracy, either.


In some occasion, the pitch of an unison can be stable enough (for some time, a few seconds may be) at an accuracy that is under the human ear discerning (0.5 cts if memory serves)

it is generally effectively evolving (hence the interest for a strong fast stabilization probably when tuning unisons)

Seen with the VT100 display on some occasion.

Agreed that we give the "impression" of justness, hence the tight relation of the tuning with the ear of the tuner (old tuners often raise high treble more) because most of pro tuners are on "automatic mode" when tuning. Some rely more on beat rates for justness and they dont provide less just tunings that the ones that rely on their pitch perception plus beat rates.

Then the piano also accept to be more or less just (pure) and more or less tempered. So we really produce something that is personal and linked to our musical ear to some degree, in any case.




Edited by Kamin (01/07/10 03:35 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#1343022 - 01/07/10 07:55 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Horowitzian]
David Jenson Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2142
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: Bob
I had one tell me their 9 year old tuning still sounded good. Sometimes you have to bite your lip to keep from laughing.


Really? I can tell that mine is a bit stale at 3 months, and more than ready for a tune at 6 months, at which point the tech comes for a visit. smile


You can hear what you are using for an instrument, Howie, and most customers are in your corner. It's the exception that are amusing to the point of having to bite a lower lip. I usually assume a very solemn look and say, "Well, let's see if I can make some slight improvements."
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1343039 - 01/07/10 08:37 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Sam Casey]
Thomson Lawrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Grimsby ON Canada
Originally Posted By: Sam Casey
If your sentiments would represent the sole visage of the PTG it would not be a organization worth membership. Fortunately, from what I have seen, you are unique and extreme.


Here, Here,

I have been a member of the Guild for a long time. I was an RPT for 20 years , left because I was pursuing other interests and returned about five years ago. I will have to be tested again for RPT status and I will be tested just for my own sake.

I have a lot of respect for Bill for all that he has contributed to bringing young techs along over the years. I have never met Bill but I have to say I have also never met anyone like him in the Guild. He's just one guy. There is a lot of slamming the guild that goes on on this forum because someone gets mad a someone else. (One guy in particular).

As a Guild member I have felt unwelcome on this forum and that is why I seldom post here. I do agree with Bill on one thing. The post at the top of this forum is insulting to Guild members. I pretty much dropped out of the conversation here after that went up.
_________________________
Piano Technician
www.pianotech.ca
Piano tuners make the world a better place, one string at a time.

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#1343058 - 01/07/10 09:15 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Thomson Lawrie]
Silverwood Pianos Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4217
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
There are plenty of guild members who post here that do not feel unwelcome by the permanent posting at the top of this forum.

That posting is there for a reason. What, exactly would you think that would be? Could it be because a certain guild member acts in an offensive manner around here?

Two days ago both Jeff Deutschle, and BDB were singled out to be the bogeyman. Then yesterday both Peter and I are the bogeyman.

Who will it be today? And this is not offensive in some way?

Having a guild member, the very same member continually going after and singling out independents for criticism? Is this why we are here Thomson?

If the posting up there offends you Thomson you know what to do. There will be plenty of other members who are willing to take up your bandwidth.

And so another good thread turns into a train wreck, and here we all are not talking about the original topic but what certain guild members want to talk about.

And you have to ask why the posting up top? Really?
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1343063 - 01/07/10 09:22 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Thomson Lawrie]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Without regarding any specific comments above, I can say that I agree with Thomas L. that the Guild is, overwhelmingly, a welcoming organization....I attended part of the PTG event in Grand Rapids...and met lots of the good folks here...(the home office folks GAVE me a bunch of Journals that I didn't have after my subscription expired for a while)...and we generally had a blast.

At the event I met two very, VERY heavy technicians who really set the pace in the rebuilding industry...Chuck Behm, and also Alex Kapteyn (from Michigan, no less). These were both (mere) Associate members...and I will go on record as saying that both of these guys WAY outpace many other rebuilders I've seen within, and outside the PTG. Some of the work I saw at the event by these guys was just breathtaking in its detail.

Associate, RPT. or non-member...it doesn't really justify the arguments we see here, its a small matter by comparison with all the other GOOD things going on in the industry...

JMHO

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#1343067 - 01/07/10 09:31 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Thomson:

I have a little more mellow view of the situation than Dan.

When I put myself in Frank’s shoes, I think about how much simpler it is to say “Don’t do this…” than “Don’t do this… this way…” or “Don’t do this… for this reason…”

It is good that some kind of statement was made and some guidance was given. I think it would have been better yet if Bill’s fellow Guild members could have reined him in a bit, before the Forum Owner got involved.

But then this sort of thing is one of the reasons that I am not a Guild member. I would never belong to an organization that would have me as a member! smile
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1343078 - 01/07/10 09:53 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: RPD]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Dan, the topic title itself is what is offensive. It mocks those who choose to use historical temperaments. The person who wrote it has repeatedly mocked and ridiculed PTG as you have. So, it is OK to write posts that mock and ridicule PTG but it is not OK to suggest to someone that they join PTG and take the exams? The train wreck occurred with the very title of the topic itself.

"The main goal of UT was to obtain the highest degree of purity in the keys of most use.
Key coloring was nothing more than an unavoidable side effect."

With all due respect to you, Bernhard, this is not true and it shows that you really do not have any significant experience with non-ET's. Granted, it is what many people think. The spread of consonance and dissonance throughout the cycle of 5ths is an intended distribution.

I take the example of the use by one of my colleagues of the 7th Comma Meantone for romantic era music in particular. The so called "wolf" key of A flat is supposedly the "unusable" key but to those who know that temperament, it is exactly the opposite. It provides for a tremendous power and energy to that key which enhances greatly the music performed in that key. Dozens upon dozens of artists, many of whom have returned repeatedly have performed here using that temperament. There are dozens of CD's available. They often speak of the "magic" that has come to life in the music which they had never experienced before.

The more I start to think of just how completely wrong Peter is about what he thinks and how vulgarly he has broadcast his ignorance, the more I am determined to not let it go at that. The "bogeymen" Dan speaks of created their own situations. I write a strategy for someone to use a C fork to tune ET and both of them who really don't need to try some alternative to what they already know how to do, choose to trash it. Just who created that train wreck? The anti PTG, anti RPT people.

So, let's get real here. This topic is not about the merits or properties of historical temperaments, it is about one guy who chooses to insult and ridicule those who do. I am not about to let that go unchallenged. It would serve everyone best if this entire topic were deleted. If someone wants to discuss the merits of using non-ET's versus the merits of ET, then start a new thread but not with a title that calls everyone an idiot.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1343084 - 01/07/10 10:07 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: UnrightTooner]
Silverwood Pianos Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4217
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner

It is good that some kind of statement was made and some guidance was given. I think it would have been better yet if Bill’s fellow Guild members could have reined him in a bit, before the Forum Owner got involved.


Jeff,
I am sure it has already been attempted by other guild members.As you can witness though, this person simply refuses to stop. I am sure this person will not cease and desist with attacking other members until such time as he is banned.

Once again myself and Peter are singled out to be the bogeyman as you can read.

Mellow? I am a pussy cat. I am not even angry or upset. Just annoyed at the continuation of thread wrecking for the sake of one person, who just simply will not let the issue go. Everyone else is willing and able to see past this issue, and welcome each other whatever their background.

_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1343090 - 01/07/10 10:18 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: UnrightTooner]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
I'm not the least bit offended by the posting at the top of this forum and I'm an associate of PTG.

Controlling people need to be reined in. If they aren't, they will attempt to convert everyone to their ways.

Trying to persuade people to do something by using guilt and fear tactics, like someone on this forum does regularly is a huge turn off.


Edited by byronje3 (01/07/10 10:24 AM)

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#1343091 - 01/07/10 10:18 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bernhard Stopper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 215
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper

"The main goal of UT was to obtain the highest degree of purity in the keys of most use.
Key coloring was nothing more than an unavoidable side effect."

With all due respect to you, Bernhard, this is not true and it shows that you really do not have any significant experience with non-ET's. Granted, it is what many people think. The spread of consonance and dissonance throughout the cycle of 5ths is an intended distribution.

I take the example of the use by one of my colleagues of the 7th Comma Meantone for romantic era music in particular. The so called "wolf" key of A flat is supposedly the "unusable" key but to those who know that temperament, it is exactly the opposite. It provides for a tremendous power and energy to that key which enhances greatly the music performed in that key. Dozens upon dozens of artists, many of whom have returned repeatedly have performed here using that temperament. There are dozens of CD's available. They often speak of the "magic" that has come to life in the music which they had never experienced before.

Bill, i completely agree that this happened with the evolving use of UTs. But initially, it was seen as an unavoidable side effect.

Can you tell me one performer among string players or a university educating them, where a distinction is made to reach key coloring and use of wolf key A flat chords for example (Except playing along single notes together with a UT tuned keyboard instrument)?
The answer is no because they don´t need to, as they can always play pure, and that is what they prefer if they can.

And i agree with the offending character the thread name has.



Edited by Bernhard Stopper (01/07/10 10:18 AM)
_________________________
Bernhard Stopper
www.piano-stopper.de

Salieri: "Mediocrities everywhere, now and to come: I absolve you all! Amen! Amen! Amen!"
(Amadeus, the movie)

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#1343098 - 01/07/10 10:26 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Bill:

There is a saying that whoever raises their voice first has already lost the argument. Allowing yourself to show your irritation encourages the efforts of those that may try to “get your goat.”
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1343119 - 01/07/10 10:58 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: UnrightTooner]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Wish you guys wouldn't always do so much fighting!

I really need to learn about what good tuning is all about, because I think I'm getting taken for a ride by my technician/tuners! And I am trying to get educated by reading posts here on tuning. And all I find I'm doing is reading through argument after argument.

So would really appreciate you all just staying on a topic. Fighting isn't educating me!

Thanks! and can you all just stay on topic! Sincerely!
_________________________
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#1343126 - 01/07/10 11:23 AM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Diane...]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Hello Diane,
I'm sorry you feel that your technician/tuners are 'taking you for a ride'...

It is always a concern when professionals in any field do not meet our expectations.

Perhaps you can take it up with the 'home office' of the tuners professional organization if they are affiliated in any way.

I would also suggest you get a second opinion straight away by someone using an ETD so that any variance from acceptable could be demonstrated to you directly on the screen.

If it is stability or tone that is your concern you are completely making the point that my first post in this thread was attempting to highlight.

You may be in a 'piano tuning black hole' but I'm sure there are professionals who live not too far away from you who should be aware of the standards in your area.

If I can be of help please feel free to contact me directly.
Thank you for your contribution.
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1343342 - 01/07/10 04:38 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Diane...]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Diane...
Wish you guys wouldn't always do so much fighting!

I think I'm getting taken for a ride by my technician/tuners!


Sorry to hear that Diane.

Now, when you say technician/tuners, does this mean that you are using more than one?

If so, that might be part of the problem right there.
Find a good one and stick with him/her. Give them a chance to get to know your instrument and mould it, as only a professional can do.

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#1343374 - 01/07/10 05:34 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bernhard Stopper]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Originally Posted By: Bernhard Stopper

"The main goal of UT was to obtain the highest degree of purity in the keys of most use.
Key coloring was nothing more than an unavoidable side effect."

With all due respect to you, Bernhard, this is not true and it shows that you really do not have any significant experience with non-ET's. Granted, it is what many people think. The spread of consonance and dissonance throughout the cycle of 5ths is an intended distribution.

I take the example of the use by one of my colleagues of the 7th Comma Meantone for romantic era music in particular. The so called "wolf" key of A flat is supposedly the "unusable" key but to those who know that temperament, it is exactly the opposite. It provides for a tremendous power and energy to that key which enhances greatly the music performed in that key. Dozens upon dozens of artists, many of whom have returned repeatedly have performed here using that temperament. There are dozens of CD's available. They often speak of the "magic" that has come to life in the music which they had never experienced before.

Bill, i completely agree that this happened with the evolving use of UTs. But initially, it was seen as an unavoidable side effect.

Can you tell me one performer among string players or a university educating them, where a distinction is made to reach key coloring and use of wolf key A flat chords for example (Except playing along single notes together with a UT tuned keyboard instrument)?
The answer is no because they don´t need to, as they can always play pure, and that is what they prefer if they can.

And i agree with the offending character the thread name has.



Thanks for your reply, Bernhard. String players do not need to be specifically educated about keyboard tuning in order to play in tune with them. Remember that virtually all instruments except fixed pitched instruments will intone as they play. Most instruments use a vibrato and particularly for strings, that means that the pitch of each note they play varies constantly.

Indeed, some small ensemble string players will tell you that a piano tuned in ET "fights" the intonation they seek. I have seen how such ensembles respond to non-ET and playing in various key signatures. The intonation the piano provides in a well temperament more closely resembles what a string player desires than the same piano tuned in ET. A string player asked me once, "What did you do with the piano tuning!? For the first time ever, I felt I was able to play in tune with the piano! This has never happened before! What did you do!?"

A keyboard instrument is the only kind which must determine its intonation in advance because obviously, it cannot change it as it is being played. The concept of ET makes a lot of sense when viewed theoretically, outside of a musical context. Divide the scale equally so that each and every pitch will be somewhere equidistant from all other possibilities. Whatever a string player does, it is imagined that the pitch of the note from the violin, for example would oscillate above and below that of the piano.

That all seems plausible to a scientist and a mathematician. Also, what you say is true, that in the 17th Century, for example, the temperaments used at that time favored the top of the cycle of 5ths (the simple keys). Composers like Mozart even in the 18th Century did not write music in the remote keys.

However, as music progressed and temperament tuning progressed towards ET, composers like Ravel, Chopin and Debussy deliberately chose the remote keys for the energy they had. Research has shown that ET was not practiced in their time even though some people believe it must have been.

If you only look at how hard technicians struggle today to perfect ET, you can easily see that in the 19th Century, it could not have been possible. So, even though the keyboards were tuned in something fairly close to ET in the 19th Century compared toe the way they were tuned in the 17th and 18th centuries, there was still some distinction between one key signature and another. Why would these composers consistently choose those remote keys if there were not something there whose distinction they preferred?

You can also look at Brahms who seemed to love the key of A flat. The post Romantic composer, Rachmaninoff also seemed to prefer the remote keys. He lived well into the 20th Century but in Russia, do you really think the tuners there all read the Braide-White book and with its instructions were successfully tuning ET? There had to be something about those remote keys that Rachmaninoff preferred or he would not have chosen them.

There can be many more examples from other composers that all point to a choice of key signature for a specific reason. It is not all because of sweeter sounding harmony. Sometimes it is soaring melody, sometimes it is to find a dark and disturbing mood.

I'm afraid that too many piano technicians still think only in "on or off" terms. The temperament is either equal and therefore pleasing and correct or it is unequal with intolerable dissonances and therefore completely unacceptable. This ignores the possibilities there are in tuning of which the range is infinite.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1343380 - 01/07/10 05:48 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1682
Loc: Colorado
Well, Bill, yes - a very large grey area for me, at least. In my infancy of learning to tune, it appears that what I do is short of equal temperament (lack of skill/experience, etc), but I ensure the instrument can be played in all keys, and modulations provide a sense of color that might otherwise get lost, and especially putting my energies into good unisons and pin-setting.

Sure, there are lots of things to further consider as my skills mature and improve, like the biggie, consistency. But, I am improving. All these discussions, and all the hands-on experience I've been afforded thusfar is proving worthwhile.

I've already noticed a mini-pattern in my tunings. I suppose it is because I am listening for something in particular that applies to what I consider a good tuning. The 3ds, 6ths, 10ths, increasing beat rate checks help me ensure that I am, at least, in the ballpark, while making sure the 4ths/5ths are adequately tempered, (4ths slightly wider than the 5ths are narrow).

I've receive a few referrals at this early stage of my tuning journey, so something is going right.

Thanks again, for your assistance, and to Issac for the solid observations.

Glen
_________________________

A Bit of YouTube
PTG Associate Member

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#1343410 - 01/07/10 06:59 PM Re: Hysterical tunings etc... [Re: Inlanding]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1073
Loc: Sicily - Italy
..."Why would these composers consistently choose those remote keys if there were not something there whose distinction they preferred?"...

One of many possible answers (opinion): because musicians and composers sing and write and play the sounds they have inside. In other words, their ear/our ear is indulgent and somehow forced to be "easy going". Even if they get deaf, they still continue to play and/or compose. Then, which temperament would they be inspired by?

..."Indeed, some small ensemble string players will tell you that a piano tuned in ET "fights" the intonation they seek. I have seen how such ensembles respond to non-ET and playing in various key signatures. The intonation the piano provides in a well temperament more closely resembles what a string player desires than the same piano tuned in ET. A string player asked me once, "What did you do with the piano tuning!? For the first time ever, I felt I was able to play in tune with the piano! This has never happened before! What did you do!?"...

I can not share this experience of yours. Never had problems with ET, and if pro situations make sense (but just one would not), more than once I could see musicians thrilled with ET (sorry, I should say my ET version), some of them happy like never before.

In my opinion "vibrato" is recalling beats, nothing to do with sort of pure intervals here and there.

..."UTs. But initially, it was seen as an unavoidable side effect."...

I agree. it was Wolf, not birdcall. And what happens to a less "in tune" wolf interval? How many hours of playing before it turns into a dragon?

..."Trying to persuade people to do something by using guilt and fear tactics, like someone on this forum does regularly is a huge turn off."...

I agree. I like playing with words too and it would be quite sade without irony, and difficult without auto-irony. And thread-shut-down sounds like an alarm to me.

a.c.







Edited by alfredo capurso (01/07/10 07:06 PM)
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alfredo

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