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#1599324 - 01/17/11 01:25 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Bill

One of the problems is that people expect a perfection to machine standards . . . and when they notice the temperament, although they say it's unacceptable, it's only unacceptable within the narrow tolerances of mechanical quality control and only unacceptable to people who do not want to see into a new dimension, for it is not understood, and who wish to stay within the safety zone of dark glasses that reduce everything to black and white! They are frightened of colour.

'Scuse haste

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1600601 - 01/19/11 07:39 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
(David: I hope you will not think that I'm wading into waters that are not mine to wade in, but I think you've already recorded Adolfo Barabino's new album in unequal temperaments. To me, the performances you have are absolutely ready to be released as they are. I can understand that he or his label might want to later do other recordings in a more controlled environment, but these stand on their own.)


Dear Jake

This is a great compliment both to Adolfo and to my live recordings - thanks - but the problem nowadays is that in order to have an impact on the musical scene one really does need a label with both distribution and marketing sewn up . . .

I wonder if any major brand would like to take up the challenge of Adolfo unequally tempered?

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1600834 - 01/19/11 01:20 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
A major label should.

Bill Bremmer's insight seems pertinent here---the term "unequal temperament" causes unease since it suggests something ragged or erratic. The term "well-tempered" tends to be more popular in the US, perhaps because of the historical precedent of Bach. Of course, "unequal temperament" is broader, since it encompasses meantone, etc. But if one is mainly playing a well temperament, the more limited term might be more appealing, suggesting "well-tuned" instead of "unequally tuned."

But to the larger point: Maybe the tail needs to wag the dog. In the US, at least, small independent labels are growing in popularity, since many large labels don't want to risk anything that doesn't sound like last year's music.


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/19/11 01:21 PM)

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#1601131 - 01/19/11 09:42 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

I think formerly in this thread I have referred to "rooted" and "unrooted" chords and possibly gave the wrong YouTube video: it's in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPvHq8HvTKg that hopefully I describe it usefully.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1601161 - 01/19/11 10:20 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1736
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
I wonder if any major brand would like to take up the challenge of Adolfo unequally tempered

Perhaps you can try the LaripS label. smile

Kees

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#1601311 - 01/20/11 06:51 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
I wonder if any major brand would like to take up the challenge of Adolfo unequally tempered

Perhaps you can try the LaripS label. smile

Kees


grin Yes - problem is that Hcab temperament doesn't show up anything approaching the Chopin colours!

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1601496 - 01/20/11 02:00 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Mind my asking how you expand the temperament to the bass and upper treble? Are there specific checks that you focus on--octaves or M3's or M5's or M12's, etc? One thing I notice is how much the treble sings without getting overly bright. The overall tone is very even but musical.

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#1601659 - 01/20/11 06:13 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2350
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Very enjoyable watching and listening to these videos David....I was particularly taken with this one....beautifully played...and I love the sound of Chopin with this temperament! Thank You for posting those.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zxNrQuxfNY&feature=related

You had mentioned you enjoyed the piano and the Rachmaninoff in D Flat on Bill's website. That was my piano...it's a rebuilt 1925 Mason & Hamlin 7ft Grand.

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#1601676 - 01/20/11 06:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

How very flattering your question is . . . as I'm not professionally trained but have been tuning now for concerts for approaching 30 years. As a result I'm not fully acquainted with professional terminology.

However, as you ask, the following is the methodology of how I came to be tuning as I do.

In my teens I rescued and rebuilt a pipe organ which I tuned by ear to Werkmeister III as it seemed to be easy to tune and good to experiment with. I was then a member of BIOS, the British Institute of Organ Studies and this was a time when unequal temperaments were being rediscovered and publicised. However I fell out of love with it on account of its rendition of A flat major.

For years since childhood I had watched our local piano tuner, Alex Godin, to whom I am most indebted and who taught me a lot whenever he visited in my teens.

Of course he tuned initially by ear but eventually for speed he'd bring a machine of a similar appearance to
[img:center]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31145314&l=298097e6c1&id=1265258549[/img]
It had a built in microphone and he explained the knobs, explaining about stretching the octave and told me that one increased the frequency of the octaves above treble C at one beat per second per octave, and that this machine did it automagically when one adjusted the knobs for 5, 6 and 7.

When we started concerts in Sussex, it was too far for Alex to travel and I started doing it myself, generating and measuring the frequencies for equal temperament and observing the waveforms on a dual beam oscilloscope. This gave me a visual impression of the behaviour of strings - and particularly the behaviour of exact unisons in the trichords. With the arrival of the Sinclair Spectrum computer I wrote a programme to generate the frequencies and I would work both by machine and by ear.

At that stage, I would probably have tuned bass to exact frequencies, although often I'd have aimed for a compromise with harmony with the 10ths.

The 1991 concert of Jan Pytel Zak
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jan-zak/
(I'd love to welcome him to England again but don't have contact details - his tours in Britain were arranged by the late Bob Maciejewski) would have been tuned in such a way.

The Bechstein came to me at 444 and over the years I have dropped to 440. It's a beautfully gentle angle of pull between the aggreff and the pin which is a great assistance to learning how to set the pin. I would have tuned treble A to 880 and then when reaching C gone back to A and set the computer to carry on the sequence as from 881. The octave above would have set the C as from A = 1763 and likewise upwards.

Progressing into electronic tuners when not using TuneLab97 on the computer, it being a pain to bother with a cumbersome laptop, I'd have simply switched from 440 to 441 upon hitting the C above Treble C and 442 in the octave above.

However, none of my work is done without using ears as well.

Before the Bechstein we were loaned a Steinway and I didn't have top octave problems in tuning by ear there, but I have always found the Bechstein top two octaves a challenge, preferring to use a machine or especially the computer to get an accurate frequency indication.

In recent years I progressed through a good tuner with a accurate LED display indicating cent measurements and more recently a Korg OT120 with which I usually set the scale. It's very helpful on harpsichords.

I normally tuned octaves downwards note by note from the central octave, sometimes seeking assistance with speed from a tuner. However bass responsiveness is not good and ears have had to be paramount.

The Hammerwood Bechstein has never given me problems of inharmonicity from the bass and my octaves and 10ths practice always worked. However, going to a Baby Grand Broadwood and the Emerson Bechstein, the short strings posed challenges and I had to start experimenting. Adolfo talked at some stage of specifically tuning to harmonics - so I experimented at Emerson in particular tuning to 5th based harmonics in the central octave where the temperament gives perfect 5ths and 3rd based harmonics falling in the central octave where the temperament gives perfect thirds or very near. This was intended to reinforce the effect of the temperament but the results I believe to be disquieting and on full forte, sounding akin to a square fortepiano. In desperation on the last tuning in November I used TuneLab97 having built up an inharmonicity curve.

Years ago I acquired a machine like Alex Godin's, the Vista, but of course this fell into disuse with the onset of unequal temperaments, although I had used it using the cent dial adjustments on a square piano - a pain.

Over the past month I have retuned the Vista to the unequal temperament, adding capacitors as necessary to the electronics
[img:center]http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31145938&l=24b88ebabc&id=1265258549[/img]
and am starting to test it again. Thermal effects on the variable capacitors are giving troubles, and I can't go down a full semitone for 415 when I need to . . . and am worried about putting in a switchable capacitor for C to take it down a semitone without seeing a circuit diagram as altering the basic frequency may make a proportionate change to the proportions for the other notes and put out the temperament.

This machine relies on the crystal mic to reject low frequencies and it has a phase locked loop to pick out only the central octave. This means that it automatically listens to the mid octave octave based harmonic of the bass overwound strings . . . and that is really just what is needed to create the most harmonious sound.

The upper octaves are switched in - so you get to the upper C, switch octave and turn the knob till the 1/4 phase rotating display is still - this means that it's tuned to the octave harmonic, and likewise the further octaves so it is properly adjusting for inharmonicity rather than my former cavalier addition of a beat or two per octave.

A friend was professional tuner to Glyndebourne Opera House and we banter about temperament. He loves his Steinway in perfect exact equal temperament but has kindly restrung the Emerlich Betsy
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/ (as it was before restringing and nearly a tone down)
and we're bringing it into Kirnberger as an experiment. I'm very green-eyed towards his TLA Cts5 . . . !

Perhaps I should apologise for the long winded reply to your simple question but in order to do what I'm doing now, I have come on a journey which, perhaps if you like aspects of what you hear, will make it easier for you to do likewise.

However, I have been blessed with a kind piano. Another secret, however, is that when local tuners came in from time to time, against my better judgement, it would always go out of tune quickly. Instead of setting the scale by ear and requiring every string to be altered on every tuning, using machine assisted tuning has enabled me to set the machine to the piano, keeping it anywhere and where it wants to be between 440 and 444, and thereafter for most tunings except annual tunings, to tune only those strings that needed attention, leaving the rest alone.

The importance of this was brought home to me after Jan Zak performed the Liszt and the Albeniz recorded in the link above remarked to me that he had rarely played that programme on a piano that had survived the programme in tune . . .

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1601709 - 01/20/11 07:53 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Grandpianoman]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Very enjoyable watching and listening to these videos David....I was particularly taken with this one....beautifully played...and I love the sound of Chopin with this temperament! Thank You for posting those.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zxNrQuxfNY&feature=related

You had mentioned you enjoyed the piano and the Rachmaninoff in D Flat on Bill's website. That was my piano...it's a rebuilt 1925 Mason & Hamlin 7ft Grand.


Hi!

It's a very real pleasure to know that these videos and Adolfo Barabino's playing is giving such enjoyment. Thank you for expressing it - I had believed that we are doing something special but have been very dispirited as our concerts are not always blessed with large audiences.

Listening to that clip suggested that there is something more to this - whereas as professional tuners you are tuning multiple instruments, the piano at Hammerwood and I have a near monogomous relationship 3hearts and over a quarter of a century I know every string and how it responds; it becomes a love affair with the instrument and this may influence what I'm listening for when I tune. Moving to the Emerson Bechstein gave me that similarity which then was skewed . . . and that has resulted in those recordings which are interesting but in some ways strange.

One of my favourite pieces in the UT is the raindrop prelude. The first two note chord rings like a drop of water on a tin roof and thereafter the chords shape shift, like the variations one sees in mist and the clouds moving in the sky, and then the sun comes through the dark clouds. etc etc .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA is at Emerson although I think I may prefer the tonality of the Hammerwood instrument.

However, the results should be repeatable, no matter what the instrument . . .

Your Mason and Hamlin is very fine and I think that although Bill's temperament is very charming and refined (and a truly universal substitute for equal temperament - certainly far from anywhere near objectionable even in the remotest key), you might start experimenting with the stronger flavours. Perhaps if I have demonstrated anything, it's to show that people can do so safely, throwing caution to the wind and leaving behind the groups of 4 and 6 cent curry . . . :-)

Incidentally, Ross Duffin tells me that Jonathan Bellman at Northern Colorado has been researching Chopin temperament and apparently thinks he has discovered Chopin's preference . . . It will be most interesting to find if he veers towards the sort of temperament I'm using or whether he's in a radically different direction.

My personal feeling is that the sort of strength of temperament we are hearing in my series of recordings is on the spectrum of a scale of success. Whether it goes towards meeting Schubart's descriptive report and whether the characteristics describe each of Chopin's 24 preludes is an interesting pair of questions.

Whether it be solved by scholarly academic research or by experiment in performance and assessment by our ears will be fun to experience.

It can be so much also a matter of interpretation but perhaps we need 100 students to listen to the 24 preludes in equal temperament and comment on evoked emotions. Then see if they match to Schubart . . . _If_ there is a link, we need to perform the set of 24 in each of the common varieties of temperament to see then which match best.

I'm very aware that the French spectrum of temperaments notably D'Alembert, Rameau and French Ordinaire may give rather different results to the Germanics. Certainly of http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/
whilst Mozart came through beautifully effectively, I felt no affinity of Rameau.

With French and Polish connexions, Chopin could have gone either way . . . ??

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1601712 - 01/20/11 07:56 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1664
Loc: Chicagoland
David! Sorry I missed out on this thread...

Words have meaning - meaning that can be used to one's advantage. I've used equal temperament on and off over the years - right now I'm in an "off" phase this last year or so. My temperament choice tends towards the stealthy - different from ET, but only by a few cents or so.

But back to words. It took me a long time and a lot of thinking, but it just flashed into my head one day - we tune TONAL temperaments, as opposed to the atonality of equal temperament... Think about it, if one is working on 20th century atonal music, there isn't anything better than the atonal tuning of equal temperament. Tonal music? It makes sense to use a tonal tuning.

Ron Koval (tonal tuner)
Chicagoland
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1601716 - 01/20/11 08:00 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

Sorry to post again in such a short time but EUREKA!

I had forgotten entirely and did not know I had a recording of the other Rosetta Stone beyond the Chopin 24:
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3

Whether or not the temperament is useful or not the recording may be of particularly musicologically historic status. Should anyone quote it or play it to others, I request that Jill Crossland and Hammerwood be credited with its origin.

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1601722 - 01/20/11 08:12 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: RonTuner]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: RonTuner

But back to words. It took me a long time and a lot of thinking, but it just flashed into my head one day - we tune TONAL temperaments, as opposed to the atonality of equal temperament... Think about it, if one is working on 20th century atonal music, there isn't anything better than the atonal tuning of equal temperament. Tonal music? It makes sense to use a tonal tuning.

Ron Koval (tonal tuner)
Chicagoland


Dear Ron

Of course I quite agree with you and _love_ your idea. Of course it makes sense.

But to my surprise and that of visiting musicians, the atonal work of Prokofiev and Berg works . . . :
Prokofiev 6
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jong-gyung-park-unequal-temperament/prokofiev.mp3
Prokofiev 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkXlvZR7Oc8
Prokoviev 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDwrF7xq5Q
Berg
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jong-gyung-park-unequal-temperament/berg.mp3
Debussy
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jong-gyung-park-unequal-temperament/debussy.mp3

Jong Gyung's comment after performing was that the temperament caused her to find threads and harmonies that she had not known were there before. Obviously beyond the intentions of the composer and quite wrong . . :-)

Best wishes

David P

Postscript: Yes - tonal tuning for tonal music - yes agree with what Bill says below - astute way of putting it. What I'm saying above is that atonal music played on a tonal tuning actually works. . .


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/21/11 06:11 AM)
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

Top
#1601894 - 01/21/11 12:19 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: RonTuner]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3237
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
David! Sorry I missed out on this thread...

Words have meaning - meaning that can be used to one's advantage. I've used equal temperament on and off over the years - right now I'm in an "off" phase this last year or so. My temperament choice tends towards the stealthy - different from ET, but only by a few cents or so.

But back to words. It took me a long time and a lot of thinking, but it just flashed into my head one day - we tune TONAL temperaments, as opposed to the atonality of equal temperament... Think about it, if one is working on 20th century atonal music, there isn't anything better than the atonal tuning of equal temperament. Tonal music? It makes sense to use a tonal tuning.

Ron Koval (tonal tuner)
Chicagoland


Very astute, Ron. Thanks for that. TONAL tuning. To me, it means "Cycle of 5ths based temperament" from mild to wild as one might prefer or as suits the situation.

I conversed often with Owen Jorgensen. He once said that temperament was irrelevant to the keyboard upon which it was applied. I had a problem with that. I said that the modern piano was different and that the music played upon it could be different too.

I have also had a problem with such statements as "music by Debussy, Gershwin, etc., seem destined for ET". Why? Based on what theory or analysis? (That the compositions were in remote keys or modulated frequently? What?)

It seems to me that nearly all music that is enjoyable, palatable (or whatever term you like) is tonal. Even such wild adventures such as those of Messiaen seem to return to the "home" key of C Major for resolution and absolution. Do we really have to defer to those composers of completely atonal music (none of which ever reaches the masses or the top 40 hit parade) so that we will have a piano which expresses no distinction whatsoever from one key signature to the next?

For more than 20 years, I have known the opposite to be true. People will like a piano which expresses key distinction (tonality)but everyone has their limit. The modern piano is unique with its own characteristics. When anything "sounds" out of tune, it is out of tune to whomever plays it.

It doesn't matter what may sound "good" or "pure", what matters is what does not sound good and is whatever description that may be applied to it.

It all leads to some sort of moderation in what may be done with temperament and modern piano tuning. I heard and read the comments 20 years or more ago, "When they notice the temperament, it has gone too far."

Surely, there can be temperament tuning which is very specific for certain performances. But the question still remains whether ET is really the best as a "one size fits all" tuning for all general piano tuning. I say, "No, it isn't the best solution". I have worked for over 20 years to find a better one. I like and earn my daily living on what I have cultivated. Johann Georg Neidhardt thought it might work quite well nearly 300 years ago. I can live with that.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1602026 - 01/21/11 06:53 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1664
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

I conversed often with Owen Jorgensen. He once said that temperament was irrelevant to the keyboard upon which it was applied. I had a problem with that. I said that the modern piano was different and that the music played upon it could be different too.


Hi Bill

You know as much as anyone else how "restless" of a tuner I've been over the years - experimenting, testing, changing, writing...

I recently had a chance to sit for a couple of hours with Owen's big book. There wasn't anything in there about tuning out from the temperament. Did he express to you any specific ideas he had? More and more these days I'm feeling that one of the most important aspects of the playability of the tuning can be attributed to the spreading of the temperament to both ends of the instrument. I added the octave to your "mindless octaves" method. (I balance octave/octave+5th and the double octave) I haven't been able to automate this for tonal tuning, but find it is a crucial component for the application of a tonal temperament to the piano.

Ron Koval
chicagoland
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#1602107 - 01/21/11 10:39 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: RonTuner]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

I conversed often with Owen Jorgensen. He once said that temperament was irrelevant to the keyboard upon which it was applied. I had a problem with that. I said that the modern piano was different and that the music played upon it could be different too.


. . . I'm feeling that one of the most important aspects of the playability of the tuning can be attributed to the spreading of the temperament to both ends of the instrument. I added the octave to your "mindless octaves" method. (I balance octave/octave+5th and the double octave) I haven't been able to automate this for tonal tuning, but find it is a crucial component for the application of a tonal temperament to the piano.


Dear Bill and Ron

Perhaps Jorgensen merely meant that the temperament should do the same things, achieve the same effects, whatever the instrument. Have you had the opportunity to listen yet to the 48 on the Emerich Betsy played by Jill Crossland?

This piano is particularly interesting as having leather hammers and having not been worn, this instrument is likely to be sounding as close to any piano can be as we would have heard new in 1856 . . .

Listening to this instrument, which is flavoured before one even considers a temperament, I reckon that the subtle 2-6cent shifted tuning schemes simply would not notice very much at all on an instrument of this period - meaning that perhaps we have to look at the stronger flavours of temperament before they start to become apparent. As I write, I'm listening to it and
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3
about 1/3 of the way through there is the most startling change of mood as a result of temperament which simply would not be heard at all in a milder tuning.

Ron: "octave/octave+5th and the double octave" in terms of which I have written earlier this is octave, nasard and superoctave as in organ language, the third above superoctave being "tierce" pitch.

Isn't the whole extent to which one has to stretch octaves simply a direct function of the exact inharmonicity of the instrument one is tuning?

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1602876 - 01/22/11 11:52 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3237
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Ron & Dave,

Yes, I did speak with Owen Jorgensen often about octaves and I liked very much my idea of making double octaves and 12ths beat equally. At the convention in Dearborn, whatever year that was, he gave a recital with two pianos, one in 1/4 comma meantone, the other in Thomas Young #1 Well Temperament.

He had me do the tuning for him. While I did the hard work of tuning the instruments, it gave him the time to practice the music on a keyboard he had in his hotel room. As everyone knows, the skills and muscles used for tuning are not conducive to performance, so this helped him prepare better for the recital.

I used the SAT II that I had at the time. It does not store temperament offsets and I didn't even know how to program or use the FAC program on it anyway.

For the Thomas Young, a temperament I did not know (and that was the first and last time I ever tuned it), Owen simply coached me through the steps until I had it right, aurally. This was on single strings but I don't recall now if it was the F3-F4 octave or not. When the temperament octave was correct aurally, I measured and stored each value in the SAT II so that it was locked in place and I could correct and re-correct it as often as necessary.

For the octaves up and down, I did as I have always described, comparing the octave with the 4th and 5th and striking a balance. I measured and recorded the results as each pitch was determined. Once a double octave was formed, I made an exact compromise between the double octave and octave-5th, recorded each of those values all the way to the top and bottom of the piano. This was all done with only single strings exposed with muting strips.

When tuning the unisons, I did them by ear, of course but I could run the program and tune the piano as many times as I had to in order for all whole unisons to match the program. That would have been a three pass job.

Owen had specified "optimum" stretch for the Thomas Young and "minimal" stretch for the meantone. Since I had two different pianos, I chose the Samick which had higher inharmonicity than the Kawai for the Thomas Young and the Kawai for the meantone.

Owen seemed to agree that my idea for the amount of stretch in the Thomas Young fit his idea of what "optimum" meant. After the performance, I asked him how he felt about those octaves and he said, "They were perfect!"

I didn't really know how to tune 1/4 meantone either but I had an idea and asked Owen to let me try it and once I had tuned a temperament octave, I called him to come down and check it. I simply programmed in multiples of 5.3 around the cycle of 5ths. 0.0, -5.3, -10.6, -15.9, etc., and on the plus side, +5.3, +10.6, +15.9, etc., leaving the untuned "wolf" interval between G# and E-flat.

The syntonic comma is 21.5. 21.5 divided by 4 = 5.37. I simply dropped the 7 and left 5.3 as the amount of tempering for each 5th. This allowed for a small amount of compensation for inharmonicity. I did this between C3 and C4, the entire octave being read on the 4th partial.
C3 was 0.0 as was C4 and that created a 4:2 octave within which the temperament was laid.

For the 4th octave, I simply entered the same values there were in octave 3 and that created perfect 4:2 octaves between octaves 3 & 4. For octave 5, I simply entered the same values again and that created 2:1 octaves.

For octaves 6 & 7, I had the note to be tuned in the display and played the note one octave below, stopped the pattern, entered the value and tuned to that value. I did equivalently for the bass. This gave the piano a minimal amount of stretch appropriate for 1/4 comma meantone. The piano sounded quite "dead". None of the usual resonance we expect to hear from a modern piano. It gave it an eerie "antique" instrument sound.

Dave, my earlier comment about the Thomas young being too "harsh" for general use was only about the Pythagorean thirds that when used with such composers as Ravel and Debussy, sound a little too strained. I recall that Owen played Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu in the Thomas Young and some music that he said was 300 years old that year on the meantone.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1602961 - 01/22/11 02:02 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Bill

Your experiment in tuning a piano in Meantone is so very very interesting. I'm sure that a lot of tonality comes from beating of the inharmonic third (tierce - 17th) harmonics with the tempered notes. Meantone is interesting for having 8 perfect thirds, so if you were possibly unconsciously making these harmonious, it would explain why the instrument felt flat - pure - calm.

Sounding like an ancient instrument - this is a sort of tonality one hears in loud passages on the Emerson recordings.

Quote:
recorded the results as each pitch was determined. Once a double octave was formed, I made an exact compromise between the double octave and octave-5th, recorded each of those values all the way to the top and bottom of the piano. This was all done with only single strings exposed with muting strips.


This is a very cogent explanation and technique and I'll look forward to being aware of it when I next tune. But possibly tunings which have bad fifths and perfect thirds might require different treatments

Whilst reading this thread I hope that people might click on http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3 to play in the backgfround and I'm looking forward to hearing comments. I drew it to the attention of Ross Duffin, who has not commented yet. He favours the so-called Bach temperament formerly mentioned above and this recording is likely to displease all those for whom a mild temperament for Bach has become what appears to be a religion . . . :-)

The piano used for that concert was with original strings, which could not be raised to much above 392 or so. It's just been restrung and we're up to 440 and looking forward to doing more experiment with concerts on this instrument.

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1603341 - 01/22/11 11:02 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
I would have tuned treble A to 880 and then when reaching C gone back to A and set the computer to carry on the sequence as from 881. The octave above would have set the C as from A = 1763 and likewise upwards.

Progressing into electronic tuners when not using TuneLab97 on the computer, it being a pain to bother with a cumbersome laptop, I'd have simply switched from 440 to 441 upon hitting the C above Treble C and 442 in the octave above.

However, none of my work is done without using ears as well.

David P


Thank you for discussing your method of expanding the octave. There was no flattery intended--only a desire to emulate the tuning.

I must admit that I need some assurance that I understand what you wrote, however, for I have no experience with using an electronic tuner. Am I correct in understanding that you:

1. Tune the notes in the octave above the bearing\temperament as straight octaves of the temperament range? No stretch to account for inharmonicity in the 2nd partial, unless the ear demands it. No checking on 2:1 or 4:2.
2. Then add a Hz to the tuning from the C two C's above middle C to the B natural above it.
3. Continue to add 1 Hz starting on each C, so that there is a gradual stretch that increases by 1 one Hz per octave?

Sorry if I seem to be a bit slow to understand. I've not seen the term "treble C," used before and I want to be sure that I understand where the stretch starts...

By the way, do these two Bechsteins use standard modern strings, or do they have the original strings, which might have lower inharmonicity and encourage or permit less stretch?

Thanks again for your insights and your generosity in sharing your films and audio recordings.




Edited by Jake Jackson (01/23/11 12:06 AM)

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#1603762 - 01/23/11 01:38 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

It is a pleasure for one's work to be appreciated . . . No point in doing it otherwise, and I hope that in publishing more people may be encouraged to have the confidence to know that experiments into the wider temperaments can give a lot of pleasure.

I do hope that the recording of the Bach 48 for well-tempered clavier is looked at as it really merits musicological analysis.

At the point when Adolfo Barabino's work is appropriately rewarded with a recording contract, I'll be very much more happy to discuss precisely which temperament I'm using, although I think that the general character of the results are not greatly dependant upon precisely using the particular temperment that I have used.

Whereas it has been assumed in the past that if people notice the temperament, it's too much, perhaps my recordings demonstrate that one can go beyond merely those bounds.

With regard to stretching, I refer to Tenor C as the C below middle C and Treble C as the C one octave above that.

Quote:

1. Tune the notes in the octave above the bearing\temperament as straight octaves of the temperament range? No stretch to account for inharmonicity in the 2nd partial, unless the ear demands it. No checking on 2:1 or 4:2.
2. Then add a Hz to the tuning from the C two C's above middle C to the B natural above it.
3. Continue to add 1 Hz starting on each C, so that there is a gradual stretch that increases by 1 one Hz per octave?


Essentially yes. I suspect that unequal temperaments as on harpsichords benefit from seeking purity between the fundamental frequencies and result in beat notes of which they are harmonics, as resultant bass, implied if not percieved directly. This results in the effect of rooted and unrooted chords that I have demonstrated in one of the videos.

I believe the ear to be fairly critical in tuning in the range to the point of the upper limit of the human voice - so requiring a "straight" tuning up to around 1000Hz, the C above Treble C.

Above that and certainly in the top octave pitch becomes increasingly arbitrary to the point at which the piano becomes little more than tuned percussion.

In the days of my youth, Alex Godin would always tell me that the stretch was simply to give brightness, rather than in any way a function of making inharmonic harmonics accord. This might have come about through, as you hint, possibly a change in stringing. For this reason I have always been happy to be fairly arbitrary about it, although clearly his machine that he came to use and which I have managed to a acquire another, requires tuning in the _three_ upper octaves above Treble C, clearly specifically to the inharmonics. I have not yet used this machine on unequal temperament, although I suspect that I have not observed much inharmonicity in practice in those middle octaves on the Bechsteins.

In TuneLab97 I have experimented with setting an inharmonicity curve on both instruments and can copy through the deviations if of interest.

However, instruments with shorter strings such as the Broadwood baby grand are much more challenging but I have not yet paid attention to it to recital standards yet.

In the bass, there may be significant differences between the requirements of tuning equal and quasi equal temperaments where balancing beats and achieving smooth progressions of beats are relevant and in unequal where one must either tune to the octave related harmonics (although with shorter strings there may be significant compromise necessary) and possibly listening to 17ths and 19ths - 3rd, 5th and 6th harmonics and it will be most interesting to hear of other experiments and experiences of this. Certainly the old Vista machine listened just to the octave related harmonics from the bass . . . and it will be very interesting to use this again now I have tuned it to UT.

However, there can be no hard and fast rules other than what sounds good. Where and when possible, I don't trust the machines - they are helpful sometimes for speed but when I'm being careful, I look at at least two machines, and use them more to confirm my ears than to take any machine for the answer.

Finally, however, when deriving frequencies by computer, I was able to insert 881 for instance when getting to 880 and likewise above. Modern machines only allow you to change the frequency in 1 Hz steps only in the central octave so, other than TuneLab where you can take it up by whatever you want at whatever stage, one has to go from 440 to 441 resulting in 880 becoming 882. Accordingly whilst I used to go up in 2 cent steps from 2 cents in octeave 6 and 4 cents in octave 7, use of the current machines causes one to stretch more, to 4 and nearly 8 cents respectively.

It would probably be interesting for you to hear the Jan Pytel Zak recital of 1991 (on the Jungleboffin archive also with the Bach 48 by Jill Crossland). At that stage I was certainly generating frequencies so going up in 1Hz. In the concerts in the last decade I was going up in 2 Hz.

The Bechsteins probably were restrung during the 20th century.

Have you heard the Bach recording on the 1856 fortepiano? That was certainly original strings, as you'll hear in the bass.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/23/11 02:12 PM)
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1604203 - 01/23/11 10:30 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Many thanks. I think much of the clarity of your tuning comes from staying with pure octaves in the octave above the temperament and not starting the stretch until the next octave.

But was there a typo in your last post? You wrote that "With regard to stretching, I refer to Tenor C as the C below middle C and Treble C as the C one octave above that." Did you instead mean that you "refer to Tenor C as the C ABOVE middle C and Treble C as the C one octave above that"? (The term "tenor" can be confusing since the vocal range of a tenor is from the C below middle C to somewhere above middle C--my impression is that people differ on the highest pitch in the range. I've heard the range from the C below middle C to middle C called "the tenor" on a piano.)

I will listen to the other recordings tomorrow. I must say, however, that I hope you are not led to experiment too much. The temperament and tuning that you now have is wonderful.

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#1604476 - 01/24/11 10:19 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

Sorry - I was distracted yesterday - yes I did mean the octave above _Middle_C as referring to Treble C.

It's great that you're enjoying the temperament I'm using. It's a tuning which has received significant disfavour from a theoretical point of view by people who most probably might not have tried or heard it but it's specificities are actually irrelevant, merely measuring on a spectrum of tunings.

However, in view of the local variations of fashion and of pitch and of preferences throughout Europe, possibly only starting to be brought together by for instance, Haydn travelling to London, Bach walking to Hamburg, and the musicologist Dr Charles Burney on his grand tour through Europe, temperament is a subject where multiple solutions fit the problem, possibly some better than others but which have some general characteristics in common.

It's for this reason that I take the point of view that those who recommend "this temperament is right and is the only solution" perhaps might well not be displaying the sort of academic rigour that as a trained Physicist I like to see when expressing such a certainty. The subject of temperament is much more like quantum physics in which multiple solutions can co-exist at the same time . . .

My criteria for musicality really starts from a thought of "here are the white keys which we use most often - let's make them a little better to give good intonation - great for accompanying singers"
"here are the black keys which we don't use so let's not care much about tuning them" modified into
"here are our black keys which we shouldn't be using so let's see if we can put them into our repertoire of special effects"
together with a vaguely progressive transition between the extremes.

Obviously in order to hear the special effects, we have to have a temperament strong enough to hear, not merely by the player but by also the listener with untrained ear. We should not imagine also that Schubart's descriptions were flights of fancy or psychically transcribed, and we should give credence to the possibility that he was describing effects clearly audible. Of course descriiptions of sounds are difficult - I describe sounds of slightly detuned strings below the tenor region as "brown" and when beating slightly "furry", but all such attempts at verbal descriptions of sound must be expected to veer a little like descriptions of the taste of wine with, for instance, hints of blackberry or chocalate. Attempts to make such descriptions must not be ridiculed - they are the best that perhaps one can express, and the only way to test is to try the wine - or try the key in terms of temperament, and to test correlation with Schubart.

It's for this reason that I regard the recordings of the Chopin 24 and the Bach 48 as being musicologically interesting and why I hope that people will comment in due course.

The other recording which I regard to be seminal is the juxtaposition of the Chopin 2nd sonata movements in unequal and equal temperaments. We have also the first two movements in addition, if anyone is interested.

Best wishes

David P

Postscript - Yes - I'm sure you're right about clarity achieved through keeping pure tuning in the octave above Treble C - and similarly down to Tenor C, so we have three pure octaves central to setting the scale and giving total coherence. Possibly another reason is that I understand that people possibly slightly detune trichords whereas from my oscilloscope watching days, I have always attempted to keep a laser-like pahse coherence in the vibrations of the three strings in the dynamic split-second after being hit through to the sustained sound. The power of the instrument is achieved with all three strings being in phase, absolutely, and this is lost if within half a second one string goes out of phase. In contrast with modern instruments with bell-like trebles, which need toning down, the softer upper register of the Bechsteins benefits from this detailed attention.


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/24/11 01:00 PM)
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1604626 - 01/24/11 01:31 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
The tuning of the octave above the temperament seems, to me, to be where many tunings cause an extremely important variation, since they may instead emphasize expanding or perfect fifths, or equal beating 4ths and 5ths or other intervals, or keeping 2:1 or 4:2 octaves.

I'm not knowledgeable or experienced enough to take a stand, but I find your argument persuasive--that the ear is attuned to that area. And the fundamentals are strong in that region, and the tenor and treble range are where chords, which need to be as consonant as possible in the fundamentals, are most often played.

Sometimes I wonder if the various ways of expanding the temperament arise, in part, from the demands of different music--that people who focus on chordal playing and accompanying singers tune for consonant fundamentals in the middle, while people whose focus is more on orchestral work and solo performances that range widely across the keyboard want a brighter sound that may be more consonant for harder playing that brings out the upper partials, and either let or force the stretch to start lower. For much solo piano, however, such as nocturnes like the Chopin Nocturne 1 played by Adolfo B, your octave tuning in the treble seems ideal, since the relatively soft cantabile lines tend to keep within the tenor to treble range.






Edited by Jake Jackson (01/24/11 01:52 PM)

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#1604656 - 01/24/11 02:13 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
About the recording of Jill Crossland playing the Bach 48 in a well temperament at http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3 :

I like the coloration of the chords in the slower sections. The harmonies are interesting. I must admit to the trivial fact that I'm not a fan of Bach's faster pieces and sections, however. That only shows my lack of appreciation and understanding, of course, but I always find his melodies and harmony more lovely when he slows down. Here, particularly, the colors of the intervals and chords seem to bloom best when there is time for the sound to stay in the air longer. But this is all subjective.


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/24/11 02:15 PM)

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#1604718 - 01/24/11 03:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1736
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Whilst reading this thread I hope that people might click on http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3 to play in the backgfround and I'm looking forward to hearing comments.

Apart from the wrong note in bar 2 of the C# major prelude I think the out of tune unisons overwhelm whatever temperament may have been used.

Kees

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#1604865 - 01/24/11 07:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

:-) Really I'd love to repeat the 48 on the Bechstein - or perhaps now this year that the Betsy Emerlich instrument is re-strung - but the Betsy fortepiano in this recording starts to hark back to the earlier age. The unisons are tuned to my usual precision within the bounds afforded by the instrument with old strings within a quarter tone of snapping . . . but in any event the instrument resonates in a different way possibly giving an illusion of ill-tuned unisons. It's a very different soundscape and perhaps one to which one has to attune our ears . . .

It's often said that "History is a Foreign Country" and just as we English might travel to Scotland and not be able to understand what they're saying without attuning, these pianos are our travel ticket to the land of that time and its temperament.

One has to use a pretty strong language (temperament) in order to shine through the innate colours of these instruments. It's my experience with them that has led me to the temperament chosen for the Bechstein and by the same token, those who prescribe upon temperament in terms of historical authenticity without having had the privilege of working with such instruments are viewing the tunings through the sterilisation that modern incarnations of the instrument have wrought.

It's my experience of instruments of the 1850s - this Emerlich Betsy, a Collard and Collard, a Broadwood grand of the same date and a cottage grand by Broadwood of 1873 - that I have considered the mild temperaments - (less than 4-6 cent maximum deviations) - as not working particularly effectively on these ancient instruments.

Of all the instruments, the Betsy is the most particularly enjoyable to hear and to work with.

Perhaps before hearing the 48, it's worth hearing the preceding very charming item of the concert -
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/mozart-fantasia.mp3
The initial appegiated chords shape-shift out of the darkness through the instrument and the temperament, followed by a mournful key change. Whether it be psychosomatic or actual, it's my opinion that the tuning temperament follows the spirit of each section of Mozart's writing here quite well.

This attuning for Mozart works rather well too in
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-cro...l-crossland.mp3
and
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/mozart-sonata.mp3 ,
here throughout, the pianist being greatly assisted by the Viennese action in performance.

So coming back to the Bach, it's worth hearing this more than once, perhaps in the background whilst doing something else, before listening more carefully:
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/well-tempered-bach.mp3

If you'd like shortcuts jump to the following timings to experience the key changes:
01:19
03:50 (quite strong)
05:24 (this is quite a coloured key)
06:35 (a marked key change)
07:46
09:09 (a real shift into a celebratory joyous happy key - perhaps one can imagine trumpets opening up this initial fanfare)
13:43
15:58 (these last chords feel flat spirited moving into something more excitable in tempo as well as temperament)
16:58
17:55
18:50 A move into a key that sounds really rather happy but with nice nuances as one moves into modulations.

For mid-points to jump to - 00:40, 02:36, 04:40, 06:00, 07:18, 08:30, 10:58, 14:45, 17:22, 18:27, 19:35

I don't wish to open up controversies touched on earlier in this thread about a candidate for the Bach temperament which I believe to be too mild to shine through at all on this instrument, but the temperament I'm using appears to me on this instrument to be enough to be audible without making the instrument sound unpleasant in the remoter keys . . .

:-) - Yes I can hear a clamour telling me that this instrument sounds unpleasant in itself - but perhaps that's merely what we are used to. What really excites us experiencing this instrument in real life is that it bears enough similarities to the modern piano for us to understand the idiom of what we regard to be the piano as an instrument, without screaming from the rooftops "I'm an authentic instrument" to the point of preventing us enjoying the music. It's that which for me has spoiled many a recording of this period of music on so-called authentic instruments and, for me, the 1856 Betsy is a wonderful bridge to our aural and historical understanding.

So if anyone has a real desire to grapple with the sound of temperament, I believe these Jill Crossland recordings to be worth listening to a number of times.

This year we are hoping to be working with an 1820s Broadwood square, yet another exploration into the dimension of the past . . . and testing Kirnberger on the 1856 Betsy.

Best wishes,

David Pinnegar
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1604948 - 01/24/11 09:51 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1736
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

The EBVT III that I am well known for was found, for example to be virtually identical to Johann Georg Neidhardt's Circulating Temperament #2 of 1721.

Bill,
I've spent some time this afternoon with temperament comparisons and with EBVT3 you are very close to Neidhardt 3 (big city) but Neidhardt 2 is quite a bit stronger.

The major differences between Neidhardt 3 and EBVT 3 are:
Ab major is better in EBVT3
F major is better in Neidhardt 3
A major is better in EBVT3
Bb major is the same as F major in EBVT3, unlike NH3

A good measure for the "strength" of a well-temperament is the cent difference between the largest and narrowest third.
These will be sticking out like "(un)sore thumbs".

For EBVT3 it is 7.3, for NH3 7.8. NH2 is 9.8. Bach-Lehman is 13.7, Werckmeister3 is 17.6, Kirnberger3 19.6. 1/4' meantone is 41.

Kees

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#1605101 - 01/25/11 05:48 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi Kees!

Thanks for that measure of temperaments . . . from the apparent difficulty that you had in discerning the temperament masked by the unisons of the Emerlich Betsy . . . perhaps one really does need to go to the strength of that 17 to 19 cent region in order to hear it on an historic instrument. . . ?

What have you thought of the Mozart? Hope that the fast forward points I've given for the Bach are useful.

Best wishes

David P
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
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#1605173 - 01/25/11 09:22 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 580
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
...Of all the instruments, the Betsy is the most particularly enjoyable to hear and to work with.

Perhaps before hearing the 48, it's worth hearing the preceding very charming item of the concert -
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/mozart-fantasia.mp3
The initial appegiated chords shape-shift out of the darkness through the instrument and the temperament, followed by a mournful key change. Whether it be psychosomatic or actual, it's my opinion that the tuning temperament follows the spirit of each section of Mozart's writing here quite well.

This attuning for Mozart works rather well too in
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-cro...l-crossland.mp3
and
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/mozart-sonata.mp3 ,
here throughout, the pianist being greatly assisted by the Viennese action in performance.


In the fantasia, I hear the way that the temperament suits the moods, too. Some lovely shifts, particularly around 3:19. (A pity about that low bass range on hard strikes. It seems fine on softish strikes, however. But I love the rest of the ranges on this piano. Wooden frame? A is below 440?)

I certainly hear strong shifts in the tonality in the variations on "twinkle," and the sonata, particularly in the fairly dramatic shift in the sonata at around 3:46. They bring out different senses of the theme and open this piano to a wide range of "timbres" and musicality.

I agree that there's no need to shout about the use of the early instrument. The recordings speak for themselves, with this temperament.

By the way, how does Ms.Crossland feel about all of this? A quick search on the internet shows that her focus is on Bach. Does she prefer older instruments and\or well temperaments? Should we expect an album from her using these?

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#1605516 - 01/25/11 06:25 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1736
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
David,

Nowadays there are so many professional quality recordings on historical instruments in perfect condition and in unequal temperament, that I'm not sure why I would want to listen to to an instrument in such poor condition.

Just my opinion of course.

Kees

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