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#1612910 - 02/04/11 10:03 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 Kees

You are a STAR! Absolutely brilliant - this is great research which is most intriguing.

Obviously one must beware of drawing conclusions . . . but certainly the graph shows little sign of equality of favour.

The most striking thing is the very low usage of thirds in F second only to B flat. The fact that it's not just F that's low but B flat also gives significance for the reason that in the Werkmeister family of temperaments, F and B flat thirds are closer to pure and it may mean that Chopin was really wanting some spice possibly considering purer intervals to be inexpressive . . . ?

In F# the ratio of 17ths and 17ths and 10ths to 3rds might be on account of the 3rds being less useful in terms of being strained within the temperament.

Keys where 3rds are less than 10ths are
E, F, F# and B suggesting possibly that A flat and D flat either had particularly expressive appeal . . . to which E flat attractively veers with one of the greatest peaks of the graph whilst E, B and F# were either less useful or unattractive.

Possibly one might re-run the graph for only the 12 major keys . . . and certainly one might also beware of a purely mechanical interpretation without running through instances of use of intervals musically for context and musicality.

In one of my videos I explained how the unequal temperaments result in "rooted" and "unrooted" chords where the "Tartini note" or heterodyne frequency resulting from hearing two notes together is either a fundamental note of which the two other notes relate as harmonics, or where it's so far removed that it's not heared or percieved as part of the concordance of the resulting sound, therefore without a root or "unrooted". Chopin's funeral march demonstrates this and thirds in A flat and D flat, which ordinarily in these temperaments one would assume to be pretty spicey would be useful in generating such offputting sounds . . .

Certainly very interesting graphs which indicate that there is possibly a picture to be perceived, possibly by someone with detailed musicological knowledge of the scores . . .

Further to re-running on just, for instance, the major key preludes, is the algorithm you're using picking out examples where there are only 2 concurrent notes in the sound or is it including 3rds, 10ths and 17ths in chords of 3 or more notes? Is there a reason why such a distinction might be relevant?

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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#1612962 - 02/05/11 12:08 AM 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: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

The most striking thing is the very low usage of thirds in F second only to B flat. The fact that it's not just F that's low but B flat also gives significance for the reason that in the Werkmeister family of temperaments, F and B flat thirds are closer to pure and it may mean that Chopin was really wanting some spice possibly considering purer intervals to be inexpressive . . . ?

In F# the ratio of 17ths and 17ths and 10ths to 3rds might be on account of the 3rds being less useful in terms of being strained within the temperament.

Keys where 3rds are less than 10ths are
E, F, F# and B suggesting possibly that A flat and D flat either had particularly expressive appeal . . . to which E flat attractively veers with one of the greatest peaks of the graph whilst E, B and F# were either less useful or unattractive.

Or they may be incidental consequences of the particular pieces. Keep in mind we just have 24 preludes, whereas with Bach we have 48 preludes and 48 fugues. As a physicist you will realize the variance will be much higher for Chopin.
Quote:

Possibly one might re-run the graph for only the 12 major keys

Here it is:


Quote:

Further to re-running on just, for instance, the major key preludes, is the algorithm you're using picking out examples where there are only 2 concurrent notes in the sound or is it including 3rds, 10ths and 17ths in chords of 3 or more notes? Is there a reason why such a distinction might be relevant?

I just tabulate all intervals present at any given time, so if there are N distinct notes there will be N(N-1)/2 intervals, labeled according to the bottom note. The graphs I put up shows just the M3,10,17.

Intriguing isn't it? I haven't found the 24 Schickhardt sonata's for instrument and continuo in all keys in midi, would be interesting. I have played them all on a meantone recorder with a harpsichord in WM3. Very touch to get it in tune in the remote keys!

Cheers,
Kees

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#1613040 - 02/05/11 07:05 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 Kees

What a baffling graph - it demonstrates the dangers of this sort of analysis in which any correlations of possible temperament preferences are obscure.

I didn't spend time on it yesterday but Dr Miller's dissertation does explore this sort of ground and correlations with temperaments and is worth a serious read. It's frustrating that it's presented on the web in Flash rather than any format in which one can seriously peruse hard copy . . .

Thank you so much for doing these analyses - I wonder if any players on the forum with these works in their memory might be able to help us further?

Even if we can't pinpoint anything statistically I hope you're continuing to enjoy the charm that you might be experiencing in your chords shifting shapes on your Well Tempered instrument.

(This thread should come with a Health Warning - you might never enjoy boringly tuned music that you hear on the radio ever again. Some Brahms, beautifully played, on the radio the other day started to annoy me as I recognised some chord progressions in which I was expecting the shapes of the chords to change excitingly, and it did not happen . . . )

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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#1613424 - 02/05/11 06:55 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
cubop Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 28 2012


Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 368
Loc: Norway
I definitely agree with Jake Jackson. I have found two CDs with Barabino playing Chopin, but I understand these are in equal temperament. I have listened to Raindrop Preludium, and that is awesome. Chopins 2nd sonata even goes beyond that (the unequal version). It sounds so much better than the equal version that I will have to wait for the unequal version.
Equal temperament should be fine for anything later than Lizt, but I will probably never again listen to anything earlier in equal temperament. I have been familiar with music played in unequal temperament for thirty years, but Chopin is new to me, and so is Barabino.
cubop
Edit: I have made a mistake here. The Post I have commented on is at the bottom of page one. But anyway, the important point is Barabino playing Chopin in unequal temperament on CD.


Edited by cubop (02/05/11 07:11 PM)
Edit Reason: Mistake.

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#1613546 - 02/05/11 09:47 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: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

What a baffling graph - it demonstrates the dangers of this sort of analysis in which any correlations of possible temperament preferences are obscure.

I think it's just more subtle than statistical occurrences can reveal. One thing is interesting if you take for example Bach's art of fugue and do interval counting for CP1 and CP11 and look at the M3/10/17 distribution the graph immediately shows CP1 is not very adventurous and stays close to home whereas CP11 modulates all over the place. As a fellow physicist I'm sure you'll appreciate the advantage of objective measures to quantify something. However I think key characteristics is quite subtle and may not yield to such crude statistics.
Quote:

I didn't spend time on it yesterday but Dr Miller's dissertation does explore this sort of ground and correlations with temperaments and is worth a serious read. It's frustrating that it's presented on the web in Flash rather than any format in which one can seriously peruse hard copy . . .

Yes it's unreadable, I sent him an email asking for a normal copy, otherwise Houston Univ. should have it in their library.
Quote:
Even if we can't pinpoint anything statistically I hope you're continuing to enjoy the charm that you might be experiencing in your chords shifting shapes on your Well Tempered instrument.

Actually I got fed up with WM3's Pythagorean thirds on my piano, and I don't even get a perfect M3 in return. So I tuned it in 1/4' meantone and I didn't break a string! It's already drifted off (we need a new kind of overpull method to change temperaments drastically) but if I touch it up tomorrow I'll enjoy Sweelinck as was intended. My kids piano teacher is going to get a nasty surprise when she comes over, one of my kids is playing a piece with Ab in it. smile

Kees

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#1613557 - 02/05/11 10:00 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: cubop]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
About key character: It's quite possible to have different keys exhibiting different character even in ET. If I play a piece in C major I'm relaxed and happy, no need to worry about accidentals to much. But if I play a piece in D# minor I have to remember all the time the 6 accidentals, worry if a natural symbol carries over, etc. etc., so it adds tension to the mind of the performer. I prefer keys with flats as the flat symbol looks more pleasing, all those sharps look like a barbed wire fence sometimes.

So even in ET these subjective considerations could affect composers and performers, and this will eventually affect the performance and mood of a piece.

On a non-keyboard instrument like a recorder playing in remote keys involves difficult cross fingerings and other obstacles to playing smoothly. This could also contribute to the key "characteristics" idea.

So I would argue it is a reasonable point of view (which is not mine) that keys have different characteristics, yet be in favor of ET.

Cheers,
Kees

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#1613774 - 02/06/11 08:55 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 Kees

I urge you not to give up! 1/4C meantone on piano WOW! What fun - it would be great if you could do some recordings of that because coping with harmonics on that to make the instrument sound nice might be a challenge and educational to all of us . . .

However, I was mildly hinting at predicting that you would want to give up on UNmodified WIII and would urge you to try all and any of the variations of WIII that are known, whatever their provenance and however you might revulse against them at first sight.

Your graphs are consistent in identifying F as a key in which Chopin seems to have had little interest in the sound of thirds. So the temperaments which give a leaning flatwards rather than sharpwards, to F rather than C or G might be indicated, however tentatively one might look at the interval frequency methodology.

As a matter of amusement, I have an organ unit which switches smoothly between a number of temperaments from Equal to WIII, Kirnberger, Kellner, Vallotti, Chaumont, Meantone and Pythagorean, with possibly another couple interspersed. It's amusing to find that the keys that Chopin liked most are _purest_ in Pythagorean! It's amusing to see how our obssession for wanting to like the purest or most inconspicuous of temperaments might so easily lead us into entirely wrong conclusions.

Your observation about the stress which five accidentals puts on the performer, whatever the temperament, is interesting and valid . . . save when one is of the standard and fluency of top performers memorising the whole repertoire to whom a black note is just another note without any mental gymnastics that the rest of us mere mortals as amateur players have to endure . . . So please don't use this as your excuse to give up in your quest!

After 1/4C Meantone, you might find Pythagorean rather intriguing before you revert to the modifications of Werkmeister . . .

Best wishes

David P

PS - cubop - thank you so much for your kind comments and interesting observations. I have been vaguely passing on news of this thread to Adolfo and your encouragement to him will be very greatly appreciated.


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/06/11 02:25 PM)
Edit Reason: intended to write UNmodified WIII - wrote modified by mistake
_________________________
_______________________________
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
#1614103 - 02/06/11 06:53 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
cubop Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 28 2012


Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 368
Loc: Norway
Unequally Tempered, I must thank you. And what is already available with Barabino will keep me occupied for a long time. Especially the 2nd sonata.
cubop

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#1614242 - 02/06/11 09:48 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: cubop]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cubop
Unequally Tempered, I must thank you. And what is already available with Barabino will keep me occupied for a long time. Especially the 2nd sonata.
cubop


Dear Cubop, and anyone else likewise,

All these recordings and performances have come about through now nearly three decades of persistence on behalf of my family and I, and all sorts of people who have helped -
http://www.hammerwood.mistral.co.uk/ - to small and large extents along the way since my youth - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv46YsUQAcM and, musically people inspiring us to champion the unusual such as Martin Eastick, one of the early collectors of music by such composers as Hummel, Spohr, Moscheles, Mrs Amy Beach (?Beech), Scharwenka - now names much more familiar than they were 30 years ago and who you can see playing at the end of
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_F2H2qJOGc

We run concerts rarely making much profit given by musicians willing to join in the Hammerwood spirit of enthusiasm and it is this series of recitals, probably now around 300 or so over the years, that has led me to an idea of what the music wanted in terms of tuning, brought to life so brilliantly by Adolfo.

The first concert in Unequal Temperament was accompanying a 'cellist who threw a fit and almost refused to come to play - "I'm advised that my music is unsuitable for an Unequal Temperament" . . . Undeterred, as usual, we got over that problem . . . and this series of recordings have resulted.

From all the concerts before, I knew upon embarking on the temperament experiment that we were about to create something possibly very special and it is a GREAT reward to know that they have brought and bring the pleasure you express.

We like to promote and encourage young musicians too -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjgcEaZ44SY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE70ZKBOnpI
and
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jerzy+Owczarz
who started performing at Hammerwood also at the age of 12 . . .

We achieve what we do without any government support or grants and musically against a backdrop of indifference in terms of support for concerts and physically against the bottomless pit of the endless requirements of the maintenance of a Grade I listed historic house, with 100m of gutters imminently needing replacing just for a start.

Given more resources, I'd like to be doing more for musicians such as Adolfo and for encouraging young musicians in particular. My aim educationally is to try to captivate young people especially in the 8-14 age range so that firstly they might show discernment when it comes to the choices of going to nightclubs and all they entail as well as inspiring them to a greater life after teenage follies have subsided.

It is a project that has succeeded entirely with the private help and support of people who understand and believe in what we are doing. Of course we hope that people will help us, and we depend on it, but also I hope that what we do encourages and inspires others to do the same and to support such projects within their local community.

Over the years I have seen local music societies disappear - both performing societies and gramophone socities - to be subsumed by a rat-race of money making in which people have not had time to study or greatly appreciate music so resulting only in "shows" surviving at whatever local arts centres or theatres there might be, supported by marketing hype telling the rat-racers what they should approve of rather than discernment and recognition of talent guided by erudition.

Apologies for apparently taking this into a realm way off-topic, but to me this is the importance of making music as more interesting as it should be, and rescuing it from the greyness that is certainly not the sole cause of indifference towards classical music but which . . .

On another note,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwpBSHEHEek
is a performer totally at the opposite musical spectrum to Adolfo who needs no temperament . . . he is his own! I heard him at a charity concert in a private house in Antibes, South of France, raising money to build and support schools in Vietnam.

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
#1614385 - 02/07/11 01:59 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
cubop Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 28 2012


Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 368
Loc: Norway
Hi David. The best things in life are off topic. I have checked the links in your post, and had a look at your homepage. Impressive is an understatement! And there are lots of stuff to dig into. Concerning the topic of unequal temperament, an important aspect of that should be how modern performers have handled that in their interpretations of historical music. There are some fine examples in this thread, but I have not found anything by Bach and earlier. Bach is reasonably well documented on Youtube, but the actual use of temperaments in earlier music remains a mystery to me. There are lots of fine interpretations of medieval and and renaisance music, and the temperaments that were used are known, but I must admit I have no idea of how temperaments are handled in my collection of early music (Machault to Bach), and I have not been able to find examples of early music performed with what is now considered to be correct temperament. Probably lots of different opinions on that, but all opinions and information will be appreciated.
Hope I have not made myself too unclear.
cubop

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#1614439 - 02/07/11 05:46 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 cubop

For many years Vallotti has been used as standard for Baroque music but groups in England are now doing a lot even in Meantone. However increasingly younger groups of musicians such as http://www.lesvisionnaires.com are using unequal temperaments for Baroque.

However from my limited perspective, France seems to be the home of unequal temperament appreciation and erudition celebrating repertoire including Marchand, Balbastre, De Grigny, Corrette, Lasceux, Charpentier etc with celebrated organs in France such as at Albi, St Maximin, L'Escarene, Villefranche Sur Mer and Saint-Martin de Seurre, Côte-d'Or. A new organ in Italy at Rieti has been built recently by the Formentelli firm, who rebuilt Albi. These organs are in various degrees of unequal temperament going back to Meantone and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxPooeWo64k is one of my favourite recordings. Meantone enables wonderful biulding up of the chorus (this is used in the organ terminology of building up sound with aliquot stops) solidity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYz-THxDT6A
including the Tierce stop - the 17th http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1YcEjz8Xro
and I try to encourage its use:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8m2ok1Hlh0
and even exploring Bach with Meantone too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbwXpBcGm6Y
People who don't understand the purpose of what I am doing with such explorations leave hilariously horrid comments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uj9MORwoF0

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
#1614676 - 02/07/11 02:48 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 Kees

We might be starting to get to the bottom of the problem of uncomfortable chords in UT - I put the statistical problem to the highly respected UK musicologist Nigel Allcoat who replies

Quote:
I have always found that music lies under the fingers and the patterns change because of the positions.

I would argue that music from improvisers is slightly different because of this and certainly those exotic moments in Chopin that take the... breath away are in fact most carefully written down improvisatory moments, I believe.

They have been painstakingly reproduced on paper and I am sure his spontaneity in improvising would have been even more ravishing.

Keys/tuning might have something to do with it, but I find that one easily adapts to changes, just like pitch. Schubert in Gb might be thought of as being rather catastrophic in something other than a good version of equal temp. The same with Schumann and an F# Major Romance. The actual fingers and sonority to be outweigh tuning issues.


This goes towards your observations of the stress (distress!) that the black notes on the keyboard cause to the player - whatever the temperament.

However it also rings true with Bill Bremmer's observation of the reaction of performers to temperament and his quotation of a wonderful performer that one should:
Quote:
"touch the keys the way you would touch a wound to see if it is healing, with gentleness, reticence, expecting pain from it"

- and this might be the way in which composers such as Chopin writing for a Good Temperament would be expecting their painful chords to react and achieve effect through the performer.

So the temperament should be enough to cause the performer enough pain to take notice - the stronger the temperament the more sensitive the performance?

(How did the lesson go with Meantone? Look forward to any experiments with the Pythagorean and the WIII variants . . . )

Best wishes

David P

Postscript: Adolfo says in an analogous way that one should touch the keyboard expecting that it might bite you, that one should touch the keyboard in such a way that you can discern a change of temperature between the keys, some warmer than others in the course of playing and that sometimes this also requires a shape of the hand which is not the conventionally taught bird-foot shape . . .


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/07/11 02:55 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!

Top
#1616366 - 02/09/11 06:39 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 have just bought Di Veroli's book
http://temper.braybaroque.ie/
and it's a truly brilliant resource.

In certain matters of taste I don't always agree with his opinions - the proof of those puddings are in the eating, as they say but the following table, with which I don't entirely very slightly agree on the mid-point, but again that's a matter of taste, is of interest:

Table 21.10 - Circular Temperaments and their degree of inequality for Bach’s WTC

Temperament Min. Max. Conclusion for the WTC
(Min Max refers to the sizes of thirds)
Standard French 0 30 Far too unequal
Kirnberger III, Neidhardt Ex. 2 0 22 Decidedly too unequal
Homogeneous French 4 24 Slightly too unequal
Schlick 6 25 Slightly too unequal
Werckmeister III, Kellner’s Bach 4 22 Very slightly too unequal
Vallotti, Vallotti/Young 6 22 Ideal inequality
Barnes’ Bach, WTC Optimal/+ 6 22 Ideal inequality
Lehman’s Bach 6 20 Very slightly too equal
Broadwood’s Best 7 18 Slightly too equal
Neidhardt’s 5th-circle #8 8 18 Slightly too equal
Neidhardt’s 3rd-circle #4 10 18 Decidedly too equal
Almost-Equal 13 16 Far too equal

Certainly this table sets out an interesting spectrum.

In listening to the Jill Crossland recordings in this thread including some of the 48, the Emerlich Betsy piano is actually a decade earlier than memory had recalled, and is actually 1845, a fascinatingly on the cusp 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!

Top
#1618414 - 02/12/11 04:38 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
Hi!

Is anyone carrying out experiments in this area or have I uttered some unmentionable taboo?

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
#1618767 - 02/13/11 07:20 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3885
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Hi!

Is anyone carrying out experiments in this area or have I uttered some unmentionable taboo?

Best wishes

David P


No unmentionable utterance, David! Not at all! grin There is just so much to consider and digest! I will add two cents, though, about playing in a Good Temperament...

Most people here know I am somewhat of an EBVT III evangelist because I enjoy playing in it so much and want performers to know that they have options where tunings are concerned. So, to add to Bill's friend's comment and Adolfo's comment, here is how I look at it:

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
[...]But that's what I mean about the temperament--it CAUSES you to listen! It's like the piano has a kind of life to it, and so with each phrase or chord, you are communicating with the piano! Like, the player saying to the piano, "Did I hear you right? Did you say?..." and the piano saying, "Yes! In fact,....! How's that grab ya?" And so, after a few times around the block with the piece, as you listen and shape and anticipate, the piano is collaborating in a very alive way with what you are doing!


I wrote that over in Pianist Corner a few weeks ago, before discovering this thread!

Also, last spring, Patrick Wingren (pppat) did an experiment where, over the course of 48 hours, he tuned his grand to ET and played two pieces, then tuned to EBVT III and played the same two pieces. Then, we asked people in a blind test what they thought. Could they tell the difference in temperaments? Which ones did they like best, and why? That experiment was introduced to performers in Pianist Corner, here: Listening Exercise post in Pianist Corner, May 2010 and to technicians in in the "My Piano in EBVT III" thread. Here's how Patrick put it:

Originally Posted By: pppat
[...]
To me, during the recording weekend, Equal Temperament (ET) was like a beautifully calibrated machine. I could bring ideas to it, and they where executed in orderly fashion. I can in no way complain on what the piano did with what I asked it for. It reproduced and gave tone to what I felt inside.

But, aah, the dialogue i experienced with the EBVT III smile Sometimes I pushed it and it refused, other times it happily went with me, even pushing me on. In one place I was going to do a rallentando, but It kicked me on forwards. Then, instead, it it seemed to be willing to stay on certain following resonant chords forever.

I've never been riding horses myself, but a few of my friends do. I finally start to get a grasp of what they are talking about in the constant communication giving a surprising result that often seems to exceed the abilities of either part.

My main point is that I hope that as many of you pianists as possible would get the chance to play a piano like this, because it really is something else wow

[...]


Thank you so much, David, for sharing your recordings, and for pressing forward with your work! I just finished listening to the Bach Dorian Toccata in Meantone, and it was fabulous!

--Andy Strong
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1618924 - 02/13/11 11:06 AM 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: 577
Loc: Atlanta, GA
May I ask a more commonplace question, David, related to another thread here on this forum? When you set temperaments do you work from A to A, C to C, or F to F?

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#1619277 - 02/13/11 07:27 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: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Here's a nice recording of the Gotenburg organ in Sweden. Currently the largest 1/4' meantone tuned organ in the world.

Kees

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#1619563 - 02/14/11 07:27 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 Andy, Kees and Jake

It's great to hear that clearly the recordings have sparked some enthusiasms. The comments on the influence of the tuning as a conversation between the instrument and the performer are spot on, so I hope that readers from the playing section of the forum will head over to see and hear what's happening in the technicians' world on this thread.

Not much time to discuss as I've got my time cut out raiding my recording archives to prepare CDs for a live interview and playing recordings on WEDNESDAY 8pm to 10pm UK TIME, GMT, on http://www.meridianfm.com/

I've dug up some recordings going back as far as 1991 and possibly before, instrumental as well as keyboard and I will be leaving unequal tempered examples to the second half to show where our programme of concerts and recordings is going. I have dug out the last Chopin recitals in Equal temperament of 2003 which gave to me the particular cues to use Unequal Temperament. Going back to these recordings they are utterly sublime in the conventional sense but one realises how very boring they are compared to what we now experience. Some of the performers have passed on, so there will be some very rare music including in particular the last performances of a virtuoso violinist in her late 80s before she stopped playing when her accomanpiist died. She's still going strong in her 90s but has not played since.

On the piano I usually set the scale with a machine - but I have often done my son's harp very quickly following the WIII tradition. As an amateur, the advantage of WIII and close variants over even Vallotti is the pure fifth C-F. Whether by machine or ear I start with C. A workable temperament can be set out with C-F pure, setting the A as a pure third from the F - or tempering the A just very slightly if you like. Then go around F Bb Eb etc with the pure fifths as far as whichever variation of WIII you're using and do the tempering of A-E A-D D-G G-C evening out the beats. The organ at Villefranche sur Mer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qqWNNlwV2U is described as having a Pythagorean temperament
http://www.orgues-cabourdin.fr/orgues-cabourdin.fr/Villefranche.html
but when I went through the keys they had a significantly familiar character to the nature of the temperaments I'm used to . . .

A rough and ready look at the tuning gave
CF pure
CG pure
GD fast beat
DA pure
F#B pure
F#C# pure
AbEb 60 per min
BE 90 per min

Perfect 3rds or near:
FA
EG#
GB
BbD
CE

I recorded that exploratory session and will YouTube it sometime to check out the accuracy of those jottings.

Clearly these temperaments thrust all in the same directions, the differences merely changing nuances in some of the more flavoured keys.

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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#1620386 - 02/15/11 05:10 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
Hi!

Digging out old recordings I found a recording last year of one of Adolfo Barabino's masterclass students playing the Liszt Sonata -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buDzqBuwm3I

This is a piece where perhaps the energy of the piece exceeds that of the temperament . . . ?

At Villefranche I made a recording of the temperament outlined above:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwoglLif3ps

Hope it's useful

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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#1621055 - 02/15/11 11:07 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: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

On the piano I usually set the scale with a machine - but I have often done my son's harp very quickly following the WIII tradition. As an amateur, the advantage of WIII and close variants over even Vallotti is the pure fifth C-F. Whether by machine or ear I start with C. A workable temperament can be set out with C-F pure, setting the A as a pure third from the F - or tempering the A just very slightly if you like. Then go around F Bb Eb etc with the pure fifths as far as whichever variation of WIII you're using and do the tempering of A-E A-D D-G G-C evening out the beats.

That is a good (maybe better!) temperament, but not WM3.
To set WM3 get your A3 and tune F3 pure to A3. Err on the narrow side(*). Now fit in the notes CDG to make all the fifths and fourths about equal, with the fourths beating a bit faster. (If you worry about the exact beat ratios you don't need these instructions anyways.) Now from C tune the circle of fourths (C->F->Bb...->F#) pure. (Yes, F will change.) Then from A tune AE pure and EB pure. Now check F#B. If it is wide by the same amount as GC you are done. If not adjust F# and B untill it's like GD and sweep your error under the carpet by fixing the notes you tried to tune as pure 5th/4th's. I usually get away with just fixing B and let EB absorb my error.

Done.

Kees
(*) If FA is pure you will create 1/4' syntonic fifths instead of Pythagorean fifths. The difference is academic.

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#1621596 - 02/16/11 06:11 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 Kees

Thanks so much for those very good instructions - and hopefully they will encourage people to experiment . . .

What is really interesting is how quickly one can set the scale with this genre of tunings with perfect 5ths - especially as an amateur with confidence and accuracy.

Ease, speed and accuracy might possibly have been an attraction which might have led to the degree of general use which I suspect.

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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#1623180 - 02/18/11 06:41 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!

Interest in mild but audible unequal temperament is clearly growing:
http://www.mander-organs.com/portfolio/cranleigh-school.html

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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#1625028 - 02/21/11 10:05 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Lorenzo Lacovara Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 10
I don't understand the history of this "equal temperment". Why, pray tell, would you tune an instrument such that there is no real difference between the keys a piece in written in ??

It's like dumming evreyone down to some sort of glat kultur.

How did this horrible convention come about ??

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#1625152 - 02/21/11 12:09 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Lorenzo Lacovara]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: Lorenzo Lacovara
I don't understand the history of this "equal temperment". Why, pray tell, would you tune an instrument such that there is no real difference between the keys a piece in written in ??

It's like dumming evreyone down to some sort of glat kultur.

How did this horrible convention come about ??


I guess it came about because the greatest pianists of the 20th century had no taste. More likely it is a conspiracy of a secret society of piano tuners. During their secret occult meetings they discuss how to brainwash influential pianists, and how to get their members in key positions at major performing arts centers and recording studios.

If they knew I was sharing this information on a forum like...wait! Someone is breaking into my house at this very moment! OMG! It's a group of masked men! One is wielding a tuning wrench like a baseball bat and another is coming towards me with a length of piano wire stretched between his hands!! Tell my piano teacher I love her....AHHHGGHHGhhahg...aghh....

_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1625208 - 02/21/11 01:59 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: rysowers]
Bernhard Stopper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Germany
*knock* *knock* *knock*...

PTG: (Piano Tuners God)
"Here is piano tuners heaven, who is knockin´on the door?"

RS:
"It´s me, Ryan, please let me in"

PTG:
DRIVE TO HELL, TRAITOR!!!
AND SCORCH FOREVER IN UNEQUAL TEMPERMENTS!!!!!!!
_________________________
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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#1625230 - 02/21/11 02:32 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bernhard Stopper]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Oh dear!

How the sound of a Good Temperament is driving the Equal Tempered tuners to panic, horror and terror!

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
#1625424 - 02/21/11 06:20 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Ironically, I have EBVTIII on my Steinway "O" at the moment! I'll probably put it back in ET next time I tune it.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1625670 - 02/22/11 12:27 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: rysowers]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3208
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Put it back, back, BACK!!!, Ryan!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1626234 - 02/22/11 08:08 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Put it back, back, BACK!!!, Ryan!


Hi Bill! Not sure what you mean! Are you saying that experiments into audible Good Temperament should be abandoned?

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
#1626291 - 02/22/11 09:46 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: 1711
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
David:

Note sure if you're interested in harpsichords but I just got Ton Koopman's recording of Bach's WTC which is all in Werckmeister 3. To my ears there are a few spots where it hurts the ear, esp. the C# minor from book 2.
By contrast Gustav Leonhardt's recording sounds just fine, he used a "modified" Young temperament, though I've never been able to find out exactly how he tuned.

I didn't keep my piano in 1/4' meantone very long, just enough to play through some 17th century pieces. It doesn't work as well on piano as on (baroque) organ or harpsichord I think.

I have it now in Persian "Segah" which is basically Pythagorean with E and A, and B 60 cents flat, and F 20 cents flat.

Kees

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