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#1364308 - 02/02/10 08:35 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Here is a young pianist who clearly enjoys playing in reverse well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQzRAaXxjek

The key contrasts are all there. A-flat sounds the best, G and C Major the most strident. It is painful to listen to, yes but I also clearly heard D-flat sound more harmonious than D.

Can anyone hear how with the backwards harmony, all keys just seem to be indistinguishable even though there is contrast? That is how people have learned to accept reverse well as being ET. Nothing sounds right. It is all just cacophony from an obviously talented young pianist. How I would love to hear this same music played in the EBVT III!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364320 - 02/02/10 09:00 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Here is an example of a very mildly contrasting well temperament instead of reverse well. The upper octaves are bad and the unisons throughout are not good but you can clearly hear the contrast in the keys and it is correct for well temperament. In spite of the poor octaves and unisons, I can actually listen to this piano without experiencing a sense of revulsion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8gUNGi3530&feature=related

Note that I have found good sounding pianos on YouTube which were apparently well-tuned in ET but I have not posted them. I have only posted what I heard was not ET so far and there is plenty of that. It was surprising to find this one example of a true mild well temperament.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364328 - 02/02/10 09:11 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Back to reverse well: Here the young pianist plays in the key of C Major and it sounds worse than the dominant G Major and subdominant F Major. Notice as he ends in the home key of C Major how strident it sounds. The contrasts are mild yes but each sounds harsher than they should in ET. You can hear that regardless of the bad unisons and octaves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv6Brwm230E&feature=related
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364333 - 02/02/10 09:19 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Here, for my final offering, (I really have heard quite enough!) is Mozart played in reverse well. It is the same young artist as the last. He must have had the piano tuned since last time because it does sound better. However, key contrast can still be heard and it is backwards.

I hope this all proves my point but if it doesn't, I surely can find some more examples of how America is tuned in reverse well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rZX4z-sCGA&NR=1&feature=fvwp
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364507 - 02/03/10 02:01 AM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Bernhard Stopper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Germany
Bill,

i am finding that the examples you have posted are pianos of amateurs gone regularly out of tune, doing hobby home recordings. I doubt that they are a result of an intended or unintended reverse well tuning process.

Bernhard Stopper




Edited by Bernhard Stopper (02/03/10 02:16 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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#1364568 - 02/03/10 04:17 AM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bernhard Stopper]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7482
Loc: France
Bill you should be ashamed to make us loose our time.

Do you consider those recordings as samples of the way pianos are tuner in your country ?

I am well persuaded that there are videos of tuned pianos availeable (dont tell me you did not hear the same as Bernhard)

most often I have find videos of freshed tuning pianos which had the treble way too flat, the basses too low and lack of global resonance.
_________________________
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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#1364663 - 02/03/10 09:38 AM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Olek]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Kamin & Bernhard, yes the pianos are out of tune in other ways besides being reverse well but each one I selected exhibits reverse well as the foundation except the one that I found which actually is well tempered. The third one I listed has good unisons but is clearly reverse well.

So, I am told by virtually everyone that they never heard of such a thing as reverse well. Rafael tunes a piano deliberately in reverse well and Mark from South Africa says he never heard anything like that. Indeed, reverse well is usually not so clearly defined. After all, it is done by mistake, not by design. Yes, there are such amateur and professional videos of people playing the piano where the piano sounds good or reasonably good. But what would be the point of showing that? I am told that reverse well does not exist. All I had to do was look at a few videos to find it. THERE IT IS! One after the other! And the response I get is still that reverse well cannot exist either intentionally or unintentionally.

So, my answer to you, Kamin is yes, this is the way pianos are often tuned in this country and elsewhere. You saw it, you heard it. Quite obviously, whoever tuned the temperament in reverse well never heard of reverse well but believed what they were doing is ET. Quite obviously, the people who played these pianos also never heard of reverse well and believed what they were playing to be ET. If what I showed you was not yet enough evidence of that, I can surely find more of it. It was quite painful and irritating for me to listen to as I am sure that it was for you.

If you still have any doubts, go back to the third example which has good unisons and octaves. Listen to how wide and strident the intervals are. It is NOT ET! But this is the way the piano was tuned and the person playing it has accepted the tuning as normal. He wished for the whole world to hear him play what he believes to be the beautiful music that he plays. Don't even try to tell me that you do not hear what I hear. It is reverse well and it is not that much different from the reverse well that Rafael posted.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364747 - 02/03/10 11:50 AM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT


So, my answer to you, Kamin is yes, this is the way pianos are often tuned in this country and elsewhere. You saw it, you heard it. Quite obviously, whoever tuned the temperament in reverse well never heard of reverse well but believed what they were doing is ET. Quite obviously, the people who played these pianos also never heard of reverse well and believed what they were playing to be ET. If what I showed you was not yet enough evidence of that, I can surely find more of it. It was quite painful and irritating for me to listen to as I am sure that it was for you.


If you are referring to the videos you have posted earlier you have offered no substantive proof to back up your claims, with the exception of your own opinion.
You offer no proof that this is the way all pianos are tuned in North America.
_________________________
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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#1364771 - 02/03/10 12:19 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
What would help me in understanding all of this is a good recording of scales, played slowly, first in a good ET, and then in a reverse well, on similar pianos with the same mic'ing. I do hear the harshness of the pianos in the videos, but trying to listen for the specific problems with the intervals is difficult, given the constant change of notes, the bad audio, and the problems with the unisons.

I do understand that a reverse well is accidental, and thus there will be no perfect reverse well, and that its variations will be almost infinite. But a slow scale in a few keys in both temperaments would be valuable--a methodical comparison. Ideally, it would be good to hear the same scales for an EBVT tuning, too.

If anyone could record these slow scales, we would have a valuable resource for comparison and discussion.

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#1364875 - 02/03/10 02:18 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Jake Jackson]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1074
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
What would help me in understanding all of this is a good recording of scales, played slowly, first in a good ET, and then in a reverse well, on similar pianos with the same mic'ing. I do hear the harshness of the pianos in the videos, but trying to listen for the specific problems with the intervals is difficult, given the constant change of notes, the bad audio, and the problems with the unisons.

I do understand that a reverse well is accidental, and thus there will be no perfect reverse well, and that its variations will be almost infinite. But a slow scale in a few keys in both temperaments would be valuable--a methodical comparison. Ideally, it would be good to hear the same scales for an EBVT tuning, too.

If anyone could record these slow scales, we would have a valuable resource for comparison and discussion.


I've been following links from the RollingBall Site and came across this...

http://pages.globetrotter.net/roule/js/acc.htm

Someone was kind enough to write a Java applet which might be of some use.



Edited by daniokeeper (02/03/10 06:35 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1364923 - 02/03/10 03:19 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: daniokeeper]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks a lot for posting that Joe. I had just a little time to play with it. I will see if it is possible to insert the EBVT III figures into it.

Jake, simply listening to scales probably wouldn't tell you much of anything, no even the difference between 1/4 comma meantone on one end of the spectrum and ET on the other. The difference lies in the harmony.

I will create a new post tonight about what reverse well is as I had promised to do before. Actually, the question was asked and answered long ago, so I can simply post a link to that.

I will also look for some examples of good piano tuning and put them with the bad, so that what I am getting at can be more easily perceived.

You would obviously know that a piano with bad unisons and octaves would sound bad. Every piano goes out of tune eventually and what we notice first is that unisons go bad, then octaves. Some people actually like slightly imperfect unisons. There is always debate about how much to stretch the octaves. If there is not enough stretch, the piano sounds "flat" to some people but if you stretch the octaves too much, the piano sounds strained or "cold", lacking warmth.

On the issue of temperament, what I have always encountered is this unwavering belief in ET and the belief that everyone tunes ET. Virtually anything else would be unacceptable. Yet, there is no provision for, no pondering whatsoever of what the effects may be if the temperament is not executed as intended, only the belief that if the temperament is purposefully unequal, it cannot work. So, if that is true, then a temperament that is unintentionally not equal, it also could not work. Fair enough?

Well, I have long noticed that many technicians do not really tune ET, even though that is what they believe they are doing and I have said why it happens and why they don't realize what is wrong and I will lay that all out again tonight. What I have also seen, however, is that just as people play on out of tune pianos and still enjoy them, people play on pianos with erroneously constructed temperaments and enjoy them too.

The fact that you have heard the harshness means that you already understand why reverse well sounds bad. It is bad. It is out of tune. An out of tune piano can have bad unisons, bad octaves and a bad temperament. I will try to find other examples like the third one I found where the unisons and octaves are good but the temperament is reverse well.

I have a lot of experience looking specifically for the reverse well error, so I do often find it. Not every time, of course. If someone tunes with an ETD, it would not likely happen. If they tune by ear and they really know how to construct an ET, it is not there then either but I do find it more often than most people would ever imagine possible.

Some of the videos I posted have the piano quite badly out of tune (at least from our perspective as piano technicians). None of us would care to listen to music played on them. But what I could clearly hear in the ones I selected was not only bad unisons and octaves but also reverse well temperament. Now, if anyone thinks it is possible for a temperament originally constructed in ET to somehow decay and morph into reverse well, that would explain why I often find pianos in reverse well but I do not think that is possible. There is one piano that has bad unisons but the temperament is actually truly well tempered.

For the piano to exhibit the reverse well characteristics, the temperament had to be reverse well from the outset. For so many pianos to have that characteristic, there has to be a reason for it. Why would so many tuners make the same kind of error and not know about it? I believe I have long known the answer to that question and I have explained it many times. Owen Jorgensen's book, Tuning also documents how and why it happened early in the 19th Century. The reasons it happens today are different. I know what they are but unfortunately, there are some people who take great offense to the explanation.

That is unfortunate because no offense to any particular individual was ever intended. I have only sought to identify a problem and provide a solution for it. Some have said quite explicitly that I was and am in the wrong for doing that but I am not concerned at all about what they may think and I will continue to teach novice and experienced technicians how to avoid the reverse well error regardless of whether they want to learn to tune any non-equal temperament or not.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1364927 - 02/03/10 03:23 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21454
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
Every piano goes out of tune eventually and what we notice first is that unisons go bad, then octaves.

That depends. Octaves go out of tune from changes in humidity affecting the soundboard, and that can happen before the unisons go.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1365014 - 02/03/10 05:19 PM Re: Does a "Let the piano tell you" ET 5ths/4ths sequence ex [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Quote:
Every piano goes out of tune eventually and what we notice first is that unisons go bad, then octaves.

That depends. Octaves go out of tune from changes in humidity affecting the soundboard, and that can happen before the unisons go.


Thanks BDB, I would not argue with that. I wonder how you think an ET would deteriorate? If the low tenor goes flat, would that not just stretch all the intervals out? Conversely, if the low tenor goes sharp, would that not compress all of the intervals? Is there any reason to think that the M3s would become uneven as they are in a WT or RW? If not, does that not mean that even in the instance of a somewhat deteriorated tuning, if the M3s are uneven, that they must have been uneven in the first place? (Just hypothetically speaking).

I suspect that at this point, you may still be unconvinced that I can find more clear examples of RW. But if it was as easy to find them as I discovered last night, it won't be difficult to find them at all. I do want to try to avoid pianos that are just plain out of tune if I can. I want people to hear that there are people playing pianos in RW and that it is fairly common.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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