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#1590814 - 01/04/11 11:02 PM Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I use the phrase "unequal temperament" because I can't find on the site what temperament was used. Reminds me of Bill Bremmer's EBVT a bit, but it may be a personal well temperament. Schumann's "Des Abends." played by Adolfo Barabino on a less than perfect old Bechstein, I think, at Emerson College, in Park Row, England:

http://www.youtube.com/user/latribe#p/search/9/Q9vbJxPhN3Y

Several hundred videos on this site, but only ten or so using this temperament. Thought some people here might enjoy it.



Edited by Jake Jackson (01/05/11 12:32 AM)

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#1591526 - 01/05/11 11:29 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Johnson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 84
After I asked in the comments section of YouTube, the poster replied:

"It's a well temperament slightly less strong than Kirnberger III and near to Werkmeister."

Not sure what less strong and strong mean, though. In any case, the tuning was apparently done by David Pinnegar, who had previously tuned a piano at Hammerwood Park to the same temperament. There are more of these videos using this tuning than I first thought on this Youtube\subscription site. Around ten using this piano, and many others using the Hammerwood Park piano, which is a newer Bechstein.

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#1594099 - 01/09/11 04:30 PM 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: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
"Stronger" or "Milder" simply implies how unequal the temperament is. Generally, the earlier the temperament, the more unequal it is but that is not always the case. Some of the early 18th Century temperament theorists who were known for temperaments that most people would consider "too strong" today also at least theorized about milder temperaments, approaching Equal Temperament ET) but never quite getting to what we know of as ET today.

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. Neidhardt, however did not write explicit instructions for it, only theoretical values.

Non-equal temperaments can range anywhere from an extreme that nearly no one would want to use for anything to just having a mild effect upon the music as does the EBVT III.

I was quite pleasantly surprised to see the number of people and examples on You Tube of exploration of non-equal temperaments. When I began using them as full time practice 22 years ago and dared to write about it on the Pianotech forum, other technicians found the very notion to be unthinkable. The practice is now far more often found to be acceptable and of interest to many people whose curiosity leads them to explore different possibilities.

This statement, "It's a well temperament slightly less strong than Kirnberger III and near to Werkmeister." leads me to believe that the technician indeed created his own composite design. That is not at all unusual for today nor was it unusual in past centuries for each person who tuned a keyboard instrument to effectively put their own signature upon it.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1595222 - 01/11/11 09:29 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: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thanks. I was confused by thinking of "strong" as meaning a stronger departure from a just tuning or a meantone of the era, as opposed to a stronger departure from our more recent ET.

It's an interesting tuning, in any case, particularly for the Schumann and Liszt pieces. I think I prefer the sound on the older Bechstein.


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/11/11 11:28 AM)

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#1595583 - 01/11/11 07:34 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!

Thanks for inviting me into this forum . . . and it's GREAT to see the enthusiasm for unequal temperaments on the piano across the pond. Here in England, it's a matter of curiosity, madness indeed, and some people won't come to our concerts because they say the piano is out of tune!

I use a very standard unequal temperament which I believe is the strongest I can get away with in presenting classical music in all keys - and even Prokofiev doesn't mind it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH5LgMHBW30

Both the Hammerwood piano (1885) and the Emerson instrument (1895 or so) are tuned to the same temperament but the Emerson instrument being smaller has troubles with inharmonicities that I have never experienced on the longer instrument at Hammerwood. This has caused some of the recordings at Emerson to sound jangly, more like a fortepiano, and on
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=emerson+unequal+temperament
you'll see that I have labelled items where I am not satisfied by my tuning as "Experimenting" "Audition" "Testing" etc.

I first twigged that perhaps Chopin was writing for an unequal temperament when hearing Rose Cholmondeley playing the 2nd Sonata around the year 2000 and thereafter took the plunge and tuned the instrument unequally. I'm wondering if the 24 preludes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdsFLIo9l88
support the idea that UT is right for Chopin, especially the raindrop:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA

I'm not sure about Schumann in UT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwSMX1s9HNc

You might find
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=chopin+ballade+unequal+temperament
and
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=chopin+scherzo+unequal+temperament interesting.

I have only been tuning the Emerson instrument for 6 months or so and it took a few concerts to understand how it behaved harmonically, so from preference I prefer the Hammerwood recordings.

I've finally tuned my trusty ancient machine
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31145314&l=298097e6c1&id=1265258549
to the temperament . . . and with this expect to have no further inharmonicity troubles. It picks out the middle octave partials of all lower strings and when I used to use this beast in equal temperament never had any troubles . . . I love the rotating phase display . . . which works like the TLA tuner. One day perhaps I might find a TLA tuner second hand - it would be so much easier to try different temperaments!

Schubert is really beautiful in UT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTGka9jFUCU
and there's beginning to be a significant corpus of repertoire to hear from Hammerwood in UT:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hammerwood+unequal+temperament
and
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hammerwood+piano

The recent concert by Paul Austin Kelly and Martin Isepp was interesting. They felt it worked very well with Haydn, Britten, and possibly Schumann but not Richard Strauss . . . (what a surprise!)
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=paul+austin+kelly+martin+isepp

In any event, whilst the musicians were not so happy with Strauss, the temperament did not cause discomfort to the audience. . .

I hope that as a result of the work that I'm doing in England with such concerts, people will enjoy performances of classical music more.

As Adolfo Barabino says, Equal Temperament is really communism among the keys . . . !

Perhaps even more interesting is a concert on an Emerich Betsy viennese instrument of 1856 with leather hammers:
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-crossland-unequal-tempered-fortepiano/

The change from major to minor in
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jill-cro...l-crossland.mp3
is possibly much more emotionally effective than in Equal Temperament.

There's an interesting corpus of work here all with the Hammerwood piano in unequal temperament, recordings of items one would hardly expect to be able to hear in UT:
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/joanna-powell-cello/
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/julia-o-riodan-jennifer-carter/
http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jong-gyung-park-unequal-temperament/

I hope that these recordings might stimulate debate . . .

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/11/11 07:53 PM)
Edit Reason: Added information on recordings of Schubert and Haydn
_________________________
_______________________________
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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#1595605 - 01/11/11 08:13 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: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thanks for joining. And for the links. Several hours of listening, there.

I like the sound of the Emerson piano. Lots of wood in the sound. Not a modern piano sound, but that's not what Schumann wrote for.

You say that the temperament is a very standard UT. Is it a well-known temperament, or did you start with Kirnberger III or Werkmeister and then work from there, or did you just find yourself creating something that you later discovered was close to these?

A shame to hear that people sometimes object to the tuning. I'm not sure one can say that unequal temperaments are extremely popular in the US, but as people come to understand that ET wasn't the temperament used for composing most of the music in the "canon," and as people hear how the music sounds when played in a pre-ET temperament, there is more and more interest, more sharing of information, and often dispute, all of which you may find if you do a search in this forum for "temperament." Good to find you here. Looking forward to learning about your insights. I must add that I am one of the least knowledgeable and skilled people posting here, and ask that you bear with me at times.


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/12/11 12:38 AM)

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#1595710 - 01/12/11 12:17 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

I use a very standard unequal temperament which I believe is the strongest I can get away with in presenting classical music in all keys - and even Prokofiev doesn't mind it:
David P

There is of course no such thing as a "standard equal temperament", let alone a "very". So what is it?

Kees

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#1596390 - 01/12/11 10:41 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!

I was talking to the head of Broadwoods at Finchcocks the other day generally about temperaments. They have been through many temperaments over the years and seem to think that England was veering early towards equal, although this is not my personal opinion. He quoted Handel in particular as requiring a wide variety of keys, but in truth I think that there is a lot of confusion between the contrast between Meantone and a well-temperament unequal, and the difference between well-temperament and equal. I think that many people meant by "equal" a temperament which was more equal than Meantone . . . so in fact a good well-temperament in which all keys are playable but still have an effect.

This is where building up a corpus of recordings is the only way to research - to ascertain what was written for unequal and what was not, and if not what is damaged by playing in unequal.

It's a surprise to find that Debussy, clearly written for equal, works really beautifully in unequal and this is the case for many composers. The only piece to which I have personal objections is the Brahms Waltz in A flat . . .

At Finchcocks, one recitalist doing a recording specified the Bradley Lehman so-called "Bach" temperament. In my personal opinion, this so-called authentic temperament has done a great deal of damage to the cause of unequal temperament. The Broadwood man said that at points it turned his stomach . . . .

It's not just that, it's plainly wrong - shall we say . . . misguided. Mr Lehman turned Bach's famous squiggle on the manuscript of the 48 upside down to interpret it, and the result was a solution that gave greatest key colour to the mid circle keys with 3 and 4 accidentals, which makes no musical sense.

Dr John Charles Francis has examined the squiggle the right way up and I have a lot of respect for his work:
http://www.eunomios.org/contrib/francis1/francis1.html
http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/fr/Well-Tempered_Clavier
. . . but finally I have found the original work:
http://sites.google.com/site/bachtuning/bach'sharpsichordtuning
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Das_Wohltemperirte_Clavier.htm
http://www.eunomios.org/contrib/francis5/francis5.pdf

In one of his writings I saw that his derived scheme accords broadly with the tuning I use - but that's irrelevant.

One can spend a lot of time splitting hairs in unequal temperaments . . . the tunings are broadly similar but vary in degree rather than greatly in effect . . . the odd man out in this being the Lehman.

It doesn't really matter what tuning one uses as long as it fullfils a few criteria of good behaviour:
(1) The most used home, white note, keys are the purest and most harmonious
(2) The least used, remotest, black note keys are the most coloured (criteria not obeyed by upside down interpretation of Bach's squiggle)
(3) The keys present some sort of ordered kind progression from purest to coloured

Of course regional variations of preferences existed and so no one single tuning is a "right" tuning but one has to find something that behaves well and presents music nicely.

Of historical precedent of key behaviour, there are some documentary sources of which Schubart's of 1806
http://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/courses/keys.html
is relevant to well temperaments and it's said that Mahler was familiar with these key characteristics.

So an unequal temperament should veer broadly in the characteristics suggested.

When one hears the Chopin 24 preludes, do the keys correspond to Schubart's descriptions?

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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#1596606 - 01/13/11 09:10 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: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Well, Schubart's descriptions go into mystical realms that may be out of my limited reach.

I had to look up Finchcocks to learn what it is. I wish their web site had more pictures of their collection.

I notice that Broadwood, on their web site, includes Finchcocks as part of their mailing address. Is the museum connected in some way with Broadwood? Does it house their records?

(Most of my limited knowledge of Broadwood comes from reading Ellis's addenda to his translation of Helmholtz. Given the discussion there of their research, and their history as a designer of instruments that maintained an army of tuners sent to all parts of the country, I can't help but guess that their archives might be enormously valuable for "primary sources" in studying the history of temperaments. A lifetime of study, there. Five lifetimes?)

You never told us more about the temperament you're using.


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/13/11 09:12 AM)

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#1596616 - 01/13/11 09:38 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!

Schubart and mystical realms?

Not so sure - I think that many effects are audible . . .

Here are the recordings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdsFLIo9l88
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A34K-fj5nHs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqrynlohR4

This is the list of keys and key suggestions from Schubart:
1. Agitato ­ C major
Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, naivety, children's talk.
2. Lento ­ A minor
Pious womanliness and tenderness of character.
3. Vivace ­ G major
Everything rustic, idyllic and lyrical, every calm and satisfied passion, every tender gratitude for true friendship and faithful love,--in a word every gentle and peaceful emotion of the heart is correctly expressed by this key.
4. Largo ­ E minor
Naive, womanly innocent declaration of love, lament without grumbling; sighs accompanied by few tears; this key speaks of the imminent hope of resolving in the pure happiness of C major.
5. Molto allegro ­ D major
The key of triumph, of Hallejuahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing. Thus, the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.
6. Lento assai ­ B minor
This is as it were the key of patience, of calm awaiting ones's fate and of submission to divine dispensation.
7. Andantino ­ A major
This key includes declarations of innocent love, satisfaction with one's state of affairs; hope of seeing one's beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God.
8. Molto agitato ­ F-sharp minor
A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language
9. Largo ­ E major
Noisy shouts of joy, laughing pleasure and not yet complete, full delight lies in E Major.
10. Molto allegro ­ C-sharp minor
Penitential lamentation, intimate conversation with God, the friend and help-meet of life; sighs of disappointed friendship and love lie in its radius.
11. Vivace ­ B major
Strongly coloured, announcing wild passions, composed from the most glaring coulors. Anger, rage, jealousy, fury, despair and every burden of the heart lies in its sphere.
12. Presto ­ G-sharp minor
(A flat minor . . . ?) Grumbler, heart squeezed until it suffocates; wailing lament, difficult struggle; in a word, the color of this key is everything struggling with difficulty.
13. Lento ­ F-sharp major
A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language.
14. Allegro ­ E-flat minor
(D sharp minor . . . . ?) Feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor. If ghosts could speak, their speech would approximate this key
15. Sostenuto ­ D-flat major ("Raindrop Prelude")
A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key.
16. Presto con fuoco ­ B-flat minor
A quaint creature, often dressed in the garment of night. It is somewhat surly and very seldom takes on a pleasant countenance. Mocking God and the world; discontented with itself and with everything; preparation for suicide sounds in this key.
17. Allegretto ­ A-flat major
Key of the grave. Death, grave, putrefaction, judgment, eternity lie in its radius.
18. Molto allegro ­ F minor
Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.
19. Vivace ­ E-flat major
The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God.
20. Largo ­ C minor
Declaration of love and at the same time the lament of unhappy love. All languishing, longing, sighing of the love-sick soul lies in this key.
21. Cantabile ­ B-flat major
Cheerful love, clear conscience, hope aspiration for a better world.
22. Molto agitato ­ G minor
Discontent, uneasiness, worry about a failed scheme; bad-tempered gnashing of teeth; in a word: resentment and dislike.
23. Moderato ­ F major
Complaisance & Calm.
24. Allegro appassionato ­ D minor
Melancholy womanliness, the spleen and humours brood.

I have deliberately avoided naming the temperament I use as it's so important for people to experiment.

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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#1596739 - 01/13/11 01:41 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Mr Lehman turned Bach's famous squiggle on the manuscript of the 48 upside down to interpret it, and the result was a solution that gave greatest key colour to the mid circle keys with 3 and 4 accidentals,

Indeed, esp. the E major third is a bit much. Still many people like it.

Kees

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#1596869 - 01/13/11 05:19 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
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Mr Lehman turned Bach's famous squiggle on the manuscript of the 48 upside down to interpret it, and the result was a solution that gave greatest key colour to the mid circle keys with 3 and 4 accidentals,

Indeed, esp. the E major third is a bit much. Still many people like it.


Hi!

Yes - they might like it but it has no musical or historic precedent in the corpus of historic temperaments, nor, in the logicality of moving from most used to least used keys, any musical sense.

Sometimes discovering a "new" "revolutionary" "unique" solution to a problem merely means that it is merely the odd-man-out.

It's for this reason that the spectrum from Vallotti to Kirnberger offers a range of safe tuning schemes which, from Schubart's descriptions of keys, would not be unknown to 18th and 19th century musicians. However, I have not yet really experimented with Kirnberger yet on the fortepiano and suspect that it really might be too strong in the wilder keys.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/13/11 06:07 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
#1597055 - 01/13/11 11:20 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Mr Lehman turned Bach's famous squiggle on the manuscript of the 48 upside down to interpret it, and the result was a solution that gave greatest key colour to the mid circle keys with 3 and 4 accidentals,

Indeed, esp. the E major third is a bit much. Still many people like it.


Hi!

Yes - they might like it but it has no musical or historic precedent in the corpus of historic temperaments, nor, in the logicality of moving from most used to least used keys, any musical sense.

Sometimes discovering a "new" "revolutionary" "unique" solution to a problem merely means that it is merely the odd-man-out.

It's for this reason that the spectrum from Vallotti to Kirnberger offers a range of safe tuning schemes which, from Schubart's descriptions of keys, would not be unknown to 18th and 19th century musicians. However, I have not yet really experimented with Kirnberger yet on the fortepiano and suspect that it really might be too strong in the wilder keys.

Best wishes

David P

The Lehman-Bach tuning favors flat keys over sharp keys, and I think it could be argued that that is a good thing (sharp key being associated with natural trumpets for example), or a bad thing as you seem to do.

The BL tuning seems to push the music towards flat keys, which I like quite a bit, purely personal. For Bach's music it seems appropriate. The BL can certainly not be dismissed easily.

Regarding key signature characteristics, of course there are as many opinions on this as there are musicians.

Generally I disagree with any strong opinion about which unequal temperament is "right" or "wrong". Along the line of your statement that you should "experiment yourself", so I think we agree.

I dislike Kirnberger 3 as it is too uniform (too many keys sound the same). It is however very easy to tune.

I look forward to the days when every piano tuner has a home grown temperament and the market will decide which is best. (Tongue in cheek of course.)

Kees

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#1597212 - 01/14/11 08:40 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


The BL tuning seems to push the music towards flat keys, which I like quite a bit, purely personal. For Bach's music it seems appropriate. The BL can certainly not be dismissed easily.

Regarding key signature characteristics, of course there are as many opinions on this as there are musicians.

Generally I disagree with any strong opinion about which unequal temperament is "right" or "wrong". Along the line of your statement that you should "experiment yourself", so I think we agree.

I dislike Kirnberger 3 as it is too uniform (too many keys sound the same). It is however very easy to tune.



Hi!

I understand what you are saying - but bearing in mind that

  • the BL temperament was derived by turning the cypher the wrong way up, and that
  • in contrast Dr Charles Francis has derived from the cypher a very logical understanding in terms of beats per second in a practical manner very available to 18th century musicians, and that
  • such a result accords with the general principles of strongest colour in the remotest keys,

whilst the BL temperament might be "nice", it should not be regarded as any more than an interesting if pleasant curiosity.

As a physicist, one finds that generally the simplest explanations tend towards more helpful or "correct" views of the universe. The fact that a solution has been derived from turning a cypher upside down, which does not correlate to a pattern of any other established results, and that a better solution has been derived from a simple explanation of the cypher the right way up should speak for itself in the spirit of Galilleo's view of the solar system required less explanation than the view of the heavenly bodies revolving around the earth.

The "test" should be in setting out a group of pieces in each key, which both Bach and Chopin did, and to see if they "work" broadly in the spirit of the results expected as recorded by contemporary accounts, of which the best to my knoweledge is Schubart.

It would be very interesting therefore if forum members and others might be able to listen to the Chopin preludes with the Schubart descriptions in mind which I have set out above and see whether a broad correlation emerges. . . .

Of course, there being many tuning schemes with minor variations of degree, but a general thrust of increasing key colour from plain white home keys to accidentillated black remote keys we cannot expect a precise fit of exact description, but perhaps a broad thrust of correlation can be perceived?

For the reasons outlined above, the BL tuning cannot be part of this research, but any of the commonplace tunings from Vallotti to the dreaded Kirnberger are valid and I note that Dr Willis http://www.millersrus.com/dissertation/ conducted his research in a modified Werkmeister. It appears that, whilst I dislike unmodified Werkmeister for its dreadful C# G# intonation, the temperament has provided a basis for more than one researcher to approach the 19th century repertoire in this spirit.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar
_________________________
_______________________________
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
- East Grinstead, Sussex, UK -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
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#1597448 - 01/14/11 03:12 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

  • the BL temperament was derived by turning the cypher the wrong way up, and that
  • in contrast Dr Charles Francis has derived from the cypher a very logical understanding in terms of beats per second in a practical manner very available to 18th century musicians, and that
  • such a result accords with the general principles of strongest colour in the remotest keys,


You of course don't really need to turn it upside down, just make the fifths go right to left. Sorry to disagree but the Francis writings smell like crackpottery to me, at the level of deriving Bach's tuning from the mordents of that C major prelude.

Regarding your third point (that I agree with), one could argue Bach was hardly a typical figure, so maybe he really wanted A and E major to sound bright.

I've read quite a bit about Lehmans interpretation, but have never seen the objection you brought out (that E is the worst key, rather than C#) discussed anywhere. If you are aware of such a discussion I'd be grateful for a pointer.

And thanks for all those interesting recordings!

Kees

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#1597674 - 01/14/11 09:52 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Regarding your third point (that I agree with), one could argue Bach was hardly a typical figure, so maybe he really wanted A and E major to sound bright.

I've read quite a bit about Lehmans interpretation, but have never seen the objection you brought out (that E is the worst key, rather than C#) discussed anywhere. If you are aware of such a discussion I'd be grateful for a pointer.



Hi!

I think Bach wanting three and four sharps to sound worst would be _extremely_ unlikely.

I have trialled LB and rejected it in early course for the reason that it doesn't do what a temperament should do in terms of providing purity where required, excitement sometimes and downright discomfort in the right ways, nor give preference to the most used keys and least to the least used keys.

A graph of Dr Francis showing thirds does demonstrate the way in which LB peaks in the mid circle keys rather than the other end.

When you look at Bach's cypher and allow the eyes to traverse the loops, at a constant speed, one does get a sense of rhythm which is indicative of the concept of beats per second in each fifth. For this reason Dr Francis makes perfect common sense.

Often one will find something that gives hints but the mordents are hardly a central plank of Dr Francis' methodology or thesis.

Having said this, I have yet to tune Dr Francis' scheme - has anyone done so?

The relevant thing however is not necessarily how Bach tuned in particular but the sort of genre of tunings which were commonplace during the history of the development of the piano and its repertoire. . . . It's this that I have tried to explore. How does it sound to critical ears?

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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#1597690 - 01/14/11 10:22 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered


I think Bach wanting three and four sharps to sound worst would be _extremely_ unlikely.

I have trialled LB and rejected it in early course for the reason that it doesn't do what a temperament should do in terms of providing purity where required, excitement sometimes and downright discomfort in the right ways, nor give preference to the most used keys and least to the least used keys.

A graph of Dr Francis showing thirds does demonstrate the way in which LB peaks in the mid circle keys rather than the other end.


The thirds look like this:

Quote:

When you look at Bach's cypher and allow the eyes to traverse the loops, at a constant speed, one does get a sense of rhythm which is indicative of the concept of beats per second in each fifth. For this reason Dr Francis makes perfect common sense.

That's just speculation way beyond the facts. Traditionally the size of 5ths was specified never in beats, but in comma (Pythagorean or synthonic).
Quote:

Often one will find something that gives hints but the mordents are hardly a central plank of Dr Francis' methodology or thesis.

Well Francis seems to come up with a new crackpot tuning theory every 6 months.

I found some interesting articles regarding our objection to Bach-Lehman: the worst M3 is EG#. It was brought up a lot by Lindsey in particular but Lehman's answer is that it has historical precedence in 5 of Neidhardt's published tunings.

Maybe the drawing by Bach on the cover of WTC I just meant you have to temper some fifths, some more than others, according to your personal taste.

Cheers,
Kees

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#1597999 - 01/15/11 12:20 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I have kept mostly quiet about the Lehman temperament even though there has been much interest and fanfare about it. More than anything else, I have always found my own solutions. Also, it failed to get the endorsement of Professor Owen Jorgensen ROT, the leading researcher into the use of historical and Cycle of Fifths based temperaments. For this reason, I never looked into it. I seem to have found other ideas which at least work for me in my practice and which have caught the attention of many people in many places. The EBVT III will be presented at the next PTG convention.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1598011 - 01/15/11 12:41 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
[quote=Unequally tempered]


Maybe the drawing by Bach on the cover of WTC I just meant you have to temper some fifths, some more than others, according to your personal taste.

Cheers,
Kees


Some fifths tempered more than others is the distinction between a "regular" and "irregular" WT. The word, "irregular" has an unappealing sound to it, just as "unequal" does. Ask anybody, "Would you like your tuning to be nice, equal and regular or would you prefer it to be unequal and irregular?" and take a wild guess as to what the response would be. cool

I've explored and experimented with non-equal temperaments on modern pianos since 1985 and have made them my usual practice since 1989. Strange as it may seem, the irregular WT's (of which the EBVT III and Neidhardt's Circulating Temperament #2 are) provide far more appealing gradations of color than the regular temperaments do.

Thomas Young's #1 is often suggested as a model WT and looks great on paper with its perfect symmetry. It is, however too harsh in the remote keys for general use on the modern piano. There is also not a good and easy way to tune it which can be remembered and performed on the spot. Instead, if I want to tune an 18th Century style WT, I simply use the same sequence that I use for the EBVT and skip the step of tempering the B-flat/F fifth and leave it pure. Instead of the initial 4 rapidly beating intervals set at 6 beats per second, they are set at 4 beats per second.

It has six pure fifths and six tempered fifths as the Young does but the tempered fifths are irregular while Young's and Vallotti's are all tempered alike.

The result is quite similar color to Young's but it ends up being a Young/Werkmeister composite and is irregular rather than regular. It is so easy to tune that I can whip it on a piano, F3-F4 in about 2 minutes with perfect consistency from one attempt to the next every time. I never forget the sequence, so I never have to look it up. I can do it literally at the drop of a hat.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1598278 - 01/15/11 08:52 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
David,

If I follow your reasoning and read the Bach scribble left to right, assuming the double loops are twice as tempered as the single, and placing them between the "white keys fifths" FC CG GD DA AE (necessary to get the best M3's there) I indeed get a much nicer temperament, somewhat like a milder version of Werckmeister III. Below the interval diagram. Now C# major is the worst key, not E major, as it should.

I tuned my piano in it, it's somewhat similar to Bach-Lehman without the offensive M3's on A and E. (And just as easy to tune aurally.)

Great suggestion, I'm convinced, thanks a lot for bringing it up!

Best,
Kees

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#1598279 - 01/15/11 08:53 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

Dr Francis and beats - well whilst one might express a tuning in commas, but writing a wiggly mnemonic on top of a piece of music looks as though it's written to and for a musician, who'd hear beatings per second rather than commas.

So I'd rather go with Dr F than LB and I'm familiar with Prof Jorgensen's researches and work . . . Perhaps Francis should not be so easily dismissed. However I have not tuned the Francis temperaments - has anyone done so?

Bill - thanks for joining in - I have read some of your writings before. It would be great perhaps if you might be able to write out the EBVT tuning sequence or link to further details. I've been tempted towards recommendations for Young and am intrigued you say it's too harsh. How harsh compared perhaps to Kirnberger?

I like Kirnberger on the harpsichord but it's one step harsher than the tuning I usually use and on the piano in my mind it's got a big label "approach with care"! However, it has a flavour approaching Meantone without being so critical.

One problem is that audiences don't notice the milder temperaments and say they can't hear the difference . . . so it's that delicate balance to be achieved in being harsh enough to hear but soft enough to tolerate . . .

My explorations into temperaments started with Padgham's pink book in the early 80s - it's a brilliant book but so useful that I keep losing it . . .

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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#1598305 - 01/15/11 09:57 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

Dr Francis and beats - well whilst one might express a tuning in commas, but writing a wiggly mnemonic on top of a piece of music looks as though it's written to and for a musician, who'd hear beatings per second rather than commas

I've tuned harpsichords for 30 years without ever counting beats. You usually start with a "good" third, then fit in the fifths to be "similar". E.g., for Kirnberger III, probably the easiest WT to set, you tune a pure CE, fit in the 4 fifths it spans, and you're done, the rest are pure 5ths.

I think beat counting is a modern piano tuning thing. A big improvement in accuracy of course, but still modern.
Quote:
It would be great perhaps if you might be able to write out the EBVT tuning sequence or link to further details.

If you search for EBVT you'll find incredibly detailed instructions posted here by Bill on how to tune like that.
Quote:

I've been tempted towards recommendations for Young and am intrigued you say it's too harsh. How harsh compared perhaps to Kirnberger?

Young's has 2 Pythogorean thirds, KB3 has 5 (3 of them a little narrower, but still quite harsh).
Quote:

I like Kirnberger on the harpsichord but it's one step harsher than the tuning I usually use and on the piano in my mind it's got a big label "approach with care"! However, it has a flavour approaching Meantone without being so critical.

What I don't like about KB3 and Young is its symmetry, mentioned also by Bill. It looks good on paper but symmetry means more keys will sounds alike. If you take the WT route you might as well enjoy the differences in key colour to the max and make them all different. I think this is why Werckmeister III sounds better than KB3 even though both have 4 fifths narrow by 1/4 comma, but KB3 is "regular" in that the 4 tempered fifths are consecutive, whereas in WM3 3 are consecutive but the 4th is placed asymmetrical in a strategical position.
Quote:

One problem is that audiences don't notice the milder temperaments and say they can't hear the difference . . . so it's that delicate balance to be achieved in being harsh enough to hear but soft enough to tolerate . . .

It depends on the audience of course. What I like about Bill's EBVT is that I really can't tell the temperament is unequal, but the piano just sounds better.

Kees

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#1598505 - 01/16/11 09:25 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
This is veering off in another direction, David, but could you tell us a bit more about the pianos? I at first thought that the Emerson piano was older, but then I saw the video in which Adolfo Barabino mentions that the Hammerwood Park Bechstein is from the 1880's, so now I'm not so sure. (Both sound great. The aspects of the Emerson piano that some people might want to improve, to me, give it character.) Do you find that the scaling, or other aspects of the design, on older pianos makes them sound better in a well temperament than a new piano sounds in a well temp?

Part of the motivation of the videos seems to be spreading the word and sound of well temperaments. Might I make a suggestion--that you film yourself or another player with two pianos, side by side, with one tuned to ET and another to a well temp? This arrangement would open up all kinds of possibilities: you could demonstrate the difference between specific intervals, the difference in the key colors, and even play a brief piece in the well and in ET for a fuller demonstration. I think my favorite of these videos, after having seen\heard more of them, is of Adolfo Barabino playing the Chopin nocturne at http://www.youtube.com/user/latribe#p/search/10/ZH2IXOfnBqw . I can't imagine anyone seeing this video and not wanting to play the piano in this temperament. (And have a cd of these recordings...) On the other hand, seeing this performance along with a discussion in which specific intervals, and passages, were compared in ET and the well, would be still more revealing. One can of course find another recording of the piece in ET and immediately hear the difference, but that's not the same thing as having someone demonstrate the specific changes in sound on similar, side by side pianos.

I might be accused of selfishly asking you to create such a video under the guise of suggesting its educational value. Such an accusation would have a hint of accuracy. However, the video, or videos, would still have an enormous value for musicologists, for people wanting to demonstrate the difference in the tunings in a classroom, for tuners, and for players. Not a small task to request, or course. I only suggest it because you seem well-versed in and well-equipped for filming such performances. Could you do this tomorrow?



Edited by Jake Jackson (01/16/11 09:35 AM)

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#1598721 - 01/16/11 03:32 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
David,

Thank you for your comments. My primary consideration has always been that I tune and service pianos as my daily living. If people did not like what I do for them, I would not be in business. So, for me, any historical authenticity has never been a priority, except perhaps the general rule of what a well temperament is supposed to be.

Do my clients like the sound of what I do or do they not? If they don't, then whet can I do that would change that? If they do, then give them more of the same. The process to the EBVT III which I now use almost exclusively has been a long one but I have been using it nearly always for about four years. To me, it is the "one size fits all" that only ET is thought to be by most people.

You can easily access a wide variety of music performed on a nice piano from my website. It isn't all of the material I have and more will be added as I am able but there are many examples of many kinds of music there and it costs nothing to download or just listen to any example.

http://www.billbremmer.com/ebvt/

The basic aural tuning instructions can also be found on that page along with graphs by Jason Kanter of the basic properties.

Thanks for your interest!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1598769 - 01/16/11 04:55 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

A lot to answer! But to get Adolfo back from Italy and film him on a piano tomorrow and then tune it to equal temperament and film him again, tomorrow, and then retune it as it should be . . . is a tall order . . . and essentially I tune the instrument so that it can withstand Liszt or Prokofiev http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDwrF7xq5Q without going out of tune during a performance . . . ! My leg is stretching to painful lengths . . .

However, I have put together two recordings by Adolfo that we did a fortnight apart which I hope may be illustrative and interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgA1-I5MfNY Sometimes its easy to think that one cannot hear the difference but the effect on the live audience was significant.

Pianos - I'm not entirely sure that the age of the piano makes a lot of difference - it's the length that inclines to the purity of the harmonics. I have never had great diffilculties with the long Bechstein at Hammerwood which is 1885 or so - the Bechstein showroom in London opening in 1886 may be something to do with the quality of the instrument, whilst the Emerson College (the Rudolph Steiner facility in Forest Row) instrument is a decade later. A 1905 Broadwood sounds much more like a modern instrument but has shorter strings too, and being unused to short strings, initially had great difficulty tuning the bass having experimented with harmonics. Like many, I have often tuned 10ths in the bass but this is possibly more valid in equal temperament. On the Hammerwood Bechstein I have been listening to Nasard and Larigot harmonics - 12ths and 19ths for pitches relating to perfect 5th intervals and Tierce harmonics - 17ths - for notes with perfect or near perfect 3rds. This has been quite successful at Hammerwood and I suspect that one can then get the instrument's harmonics to support the character of the tuning -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz0B0SwKpww
but this has failed miserably with short string instruments but interestingly giving more of the spirit of the fortepiano or square piano -
sounding charming at times
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPLIanjtWlk
( - a concert where Adolfo deliberately trialled all the "worst" key)
but where the instrument jangles when all the strings are resonating -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGJAzBK5x84 (08:06 onwards in particular) Listen however to the beautiful accordance of the last note.
The Emerson piano is also very difficult to tune in the top two octaves on account of "Bechsteining" as a friend puts it, the strings emitting two notes very very close together instead of one.

Adolfo says that he does not like the Hammerwood instrument as he says it sounds nasal when overdriven - but this is probably more a matter of my tuning of odd harmonic accordances than the piano.

On the next tunings, I'll be using standard middle octave harmonics.

The inharmonicities of short strings certainly cause problems and probably cause rules to be rewritten in unequal tunings. Today I was tuning an old upright for a friend and the short bass strings caused the tuning of the mid octave harmonics of the bass strings to be at least a comma sharp over the tuning with the octave string. Were I to have flattened the bass string tuning (was it Rubenstein who said he liked bass strings tuned flat?) to accord with the immediate octave above, the middle keyboard harmonics would have jangled inutterably horribly.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar


(As a footnote, whilst trying to track down some Schubert in unequal temperament that I had recorded, I turned up http://temper.braybaroque.ie/ which I know from a friend's enthusiasm to be excellent, and was highly amused and not surprised to find that a particular tuning had been blinkeredly pushed by its originator yet again and resulting in http://temper.braybaroque.ie/lehman.htm. http://em.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/4/613.abstract is interesting - and this is why after a brief flirtation and trial I paid no further attention to it . . . and why wiser men didn't bother at all. A good idea is generally readily accepted and does not need such pushing. Something about "protesteth too much" comes to mind)
_________________________
_______________________________
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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#1598981 - 01/16/11 10:58 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

You can easily access a wide variety of music performed on a nice piano from my website. It isn't all of the material I have and more will be added as I am able but there are many examples of many kinds of music there and it costs nothing to download or just listen to any example.

http://www.billbremmer.com/ebvt/

The basic aural tuning instructions can also be found on that page along with graphs by Jason Kanter of the basic properties.

Thanks for your interest!


Dear Bill

Very very interesting. I have just listened to the D flat Rachmaninoff and the final chords are elegantly interesting and utterly delightful.

I'm sure that your clients probably don't notice they're not getting Equal Temperament - it's a very refined and sophisticated tuning you're doing - possibly similar to the 1880s "Broadwood's best"?

However for my purposes of introducing key colour to audiences I have needed something a little spicier (to say the least) so that people really notice . . . but of course not quite . . . I suspect that were I to have used EVBT, no-one would have noticed the difference.

It's a great pleasure to hear your examples - very beautiful piano and a very smooth effect.

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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#1599016 - 01/16/11 11:52 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
It's wonderful to have these two temperaments (EBVT and what you're doing) discussed, not as competitive temperaments, but simply as different ways to approach what can be done.

(You can't drag Adolfo Barabino back to England on a moment's notice? A shame. Did you by any chance record what we hear in the videos to audio with a higher sampling rate?)


Edited by Jake Jackson (01/16/11 11:54 PM)

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#1599166 - 01/17/11 08:01 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

Have you had time yet to hear the two halves of
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgA1-I5MfNY ?

At the root of many of these recordings, however, is a very great and sensitive performer who tonally works with what he hears coming out of the instrument. I had the pleasure and privilege to sit in on a tutorial Adolfo gave to Miena Senada for the 4th Ballade
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKOSVih7tls in performance
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJT5Q6HooyA
the next day as I had been unsure of my tuning at Emerson . . .

What was interesting was the effect of the temperament in coming to understand the music as I pointed out on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJT5Q6HooyA
Quote:
The experience of playing in unequal temperament makes the chords at 10:09 suddenly more potent and important, the focus of the whole composition, and otherwise capable of being glossed over in the arpegiatted chromatic fury that surrounds them


During the tutorial, the progression of these chords through their temperament colours suddenly became obviously significant. When a performer has practiced in such a way noting changes given by the temperament resulting in emphasis either by dynamics or speed, those characteristics of emphasis can be carried through to work on playing in equal temperament so that the experience in unequal temperament can have a benefit in perception in performance in an equal temperament venue.

When one looks at a temperament and sees departures of between 6 and 12 cents from equal, one knows that the effect will be interesting.

I hope that Adolfo will do some commercially released recordings with unequal temperament before long. His existing recordings however, http://www.adolfo-barabino.com/recordings_en.htm, are well worth tracking down.

His masterclasses are a truly exceptional opportunity for musicians - he does not teach how to play the piano - he teaches musicality. However, it's a matter of great regret and frustration that Steinway will neither tune their hire instruments to an unequal temperament nor allow another tuner to do so - and it's for such reason that Adolfo often brings students to my piano and to Emerson College in Forest Row nearby.

Whether the musical world is missing something greatly by concert Steinways always having to be in equal temperament is a matter perhaps for readers of this thread to judge.

Or just as I criticise the LB temperament for its uniqueness among temperaments as being the oddball, can I be criticised likewise for promoting the concept that piano music certainly up to the mid 19th century can be played on the more adventurous temperaments . . . and that such temperaments can do surprisingly little harm to subsequent musicality?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sboyVManGAk

Incidentally I tried to explain the effects of temperament upon composition in terms of rooted and unrooted chords
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPvHq8HvTKg

For some time I have wanted to work with an organist with comprehensive knowledge of the repertoire in various temperaments less shocking than Meantone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54mE1hxAvyY
to see how far one can go
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teVlrYJGKAE
to see what commonly loved organ repertoire might be precluded by specifiying an organ in an unequal temperament. Certainly the EBVT temperaments are excellent candidates . . . but can one go further into the temperament spectrum without precluding too much? If anyone knows an adventurous organist, it would be great to do something.

Quote:
Did you by any chance record what we hear in the videos to audio with a higher sampling rate?


The recordings are all in CD quality but of course video compression mangles a lot of sound whatever the original quality.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/17/11 08:20 AM)
Edit Reason: additional question answered about recording quality
_________________________
_______________________________
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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#1599205 - 01/17/11 09:36 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
[quote=Bill Bremmer RPT]

However for my purposes of introducing key colour to audiences I have needed something a little spicier (to say the least) so that people really notice . . . but of course not quite . . . I suspect that were I to have used EVBT, no-one would have noticed the difference.

It's a great pleasure to hear your examples - very beautiful piano and a very smooth effect.

Best wishes

David Pinnegar


Thank you, David,

I could not argue in the least with your statement. In fact, my experience with those who would scrutinize what I do, poised for attack, has been that as soon as the temperament was noticed, that is the point where it became unacceptable. Then, when people said they couldn't really tell what the difference was, they asked, "Why bother? Why not just tune ET?" Well, Kees answered that quite well.

There certainly is a difference, as subtle as it may be. Some have even said that it still goes too far but I am quite satisfied at this point that it goes about as far as it can go without going too far for all but some of the most squeamish of performing artists. For them, I have yet an even milder WT that I designed myself but have not yet published anywhere.

Consider this post and follow up that occurred some time back about Ravel's "La Vallé des Cloches". Ron K., who is interested in Non-ET's seemed to be bothered by what he considered to be an excessive amount of beats. I really think this had to do more with the amount of stretch I used, especially in the Bass than it did with temperament.

To me, it is the most stunning and moving example of the piece I could find anywhere. It is stunning because of the beats and the other examples are mediocre to downright bland and lifeless because of lack of clarity and beats.

Please tell me your impressions. I plan to get this example on my website soon but you can experience it here and now:

(See the 9th post on this page and follow the links therein.)

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1387799/109.html
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1599296 - 01/17/11 12:32 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
(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.

They are live performances, so there may be a cough here and there, but that's to be expected in a live performance. They don't seem to have any compression or normalizing, and that's to their advantage. They sound as the performance would sound in a small hall if the listener was sitting close by, so there's no need for compression, etc. 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.)

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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
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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
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
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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!

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#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
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Registered: 02/17/09
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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
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Registered: 01/11/11
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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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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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!

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#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
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
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
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Registered: 03/12/05
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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
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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!

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#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
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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!

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#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
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
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!

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#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
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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!

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#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: 3036
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
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
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: 3036
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
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
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: 568
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: 568
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: 568
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: 1540
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: 1540
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 -
- http://www.organmatters.com -
_______________________________
Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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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: 568
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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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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#1605527 - 01/25/11 06:45 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

Aren't they absolutely exquisite? It's great that you've enjoyed them and for my part I think these recordings in this sort of temperament start to reveal the music in just the same way that we have seen art galleries clean paintings to reveal their virgin colours.

The piano was something like a tone and three-quarters or more down and was impossible to pull up - so that would have been around 395 or so. Jill did valiantly and hampered by perfect pitch in these circumstances found it very difficult to play!

Possibly the recordings are starting to show that the 18th and 19th century piano and its repertoire were really a very different beast from the instrument as we perceive it today. Our concentration is focussed nowadays in obtaining mirror glistening smoothness in which nothing must upset the glassy sea, whilst formerly being able to see the rocks on the seabed an to batten down in a squall were events to be celebrated in the music.

In view of the fact that I gained the concept of only stretching the top two octaves from an English tuner, I wonder if there is a difference of approach between US and English methods? Perhaps the modern method of applying continuous octave stretch to paper over the cracks of inharmonicity has tuned out an aspect of the piano similarly masked by the inharmonicity of equal and pseudo-equal tunings? Aiming for areas of purity and letting the impurities take care of themselves for special effect in the black keys possibly allows harmonies to be reinforced . . .?

To my mind, the Mozart Fantasia is the very most interesting in the way in which those opening appegiated chords shape-shift as they emerge out of the darkness into a joy . . .

Certainly attempts at authenticity have been made before but, to my limited knowledge, I have not come across ones with audible temperament and, in the strive for real authenticity, earlier instruments tend to be used about which I find myself less able to relax into the music.

This is an iron frame straight strung instrument and, Viennese, has the hammers back to front and covered in leather.

Best wishes

David P

Postscript - just looked at the Betsy TuneLab file which is labelled -179cent . . . So that's the pitch!

Whilst looking at the files - here's the Hammerwood Bechstein inharmonicity measurements:
IntervalSel 0 0
IHCon E1 0.169
IHCon A1 0.073
IHCon D2 0.101
IHCon A2 0.145
IHCon D3 0.152
IHCon A3 0.366
IHCon D4 0.448
IHCon F4 0.546
IHCon A4 0.941
IHCon A5 2.065

Here are the Emerson inharmonicity measurements:
IntervalSel 1 2
IHCon C#1 0.735
IHCon D1 0.329
IHCon A1 0.304
IHCon A#1 0.261
IHCon D2 0.254
IHCon A2 0.285
IHCon A#2 0.263
IHCon C#3 0.228
IHCon D3 0.158
IHCon A3 0.357
IHCon D4 0.523
IHCon A4 0.936
IHCon D5 0.204
IHCon A5 2.598
IHCon D6 3.114
IHCon A6 5.473
IHCon C7 6.223


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/25/11 07:05 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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#1605616 - 01/25/11 09:39 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Certainly attempts at authenticity have been made before but, to my limited knowledge, I have not come across ones with audible temperament and, in the strive for real authenticity, earlier instruments tend to be used about which I find myself less able to relax into the music.

Thanks for the clarification. Now i understand what you're trying to do. A lofty goal! Indeed all recordings I know of of JSB are either on a harpsichord close to what he would have had (authentic), or on a modern piano (modern).

What you're trying to do (apart from the temperament issue) is to reconstruct how Schubert (say) heard Bach when he played it on his piano. It seems an original idea and definitely interesting.

I think you need however a rebuild or replica of an 1850 (say) piano that sounds like a new one did at the time, to get the desired effect. Temperament is a rather subtle part of the sound, and really comes out once everything else is as it should. Otherwise it's like an exquisite paint job on a car with rust holes. smile

Kees

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#1605642 - 01/25/11 10:17 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
For my entire adult life, I have noticed that all recordings I have been aware of, of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier music on the modern piano have been in ET. I quit my membership with Musical Heritage Society over that issue when I received some publicity that stated that Bach "invented ET and it has been universally accepted ever since".

Actually, I sent a letter disputing this information but MHS interpreted it as a request to terminate my membership, so I let it go.

I, for one, would welcome some piano recordings of this music in a true WT, whichever it may be.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1605826 - 01/26/11 08:10 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Bill

I agree with you so much on your stance - I was hearing something by Handel yesterday - perhaps the Harmonious Blacksmith - and as I was listening I became increasingly annoyed at not hearing the shape shifting of the chords that I knew from experience to be hidden within the intentions of the music. The result was trite - it was boring - and I believe equal temperament has been responsible for so much of the lack of interest in classical music.

Kees:
Quote:
I think you need however a rebuild or replica of an 1850 (say) piano that sounds like a new one did at the time, to get the desired effect. Temperament is a rather subtle part of the sound,


In fact, this piano unrestored is as close to the sound of a piano of this period as one can get - the leather hammers are in good condition, unworn and in a very fresh condition.

Academically it was important to have done a recording with the original strings and we are looking forward to further concerts this year on the new strings and at 440 pitch to see the difference. After much consideration we opted for Roslau steel and after experiencing French organs at 390 pitch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSf7-4t_SWc

it will be interesting to experience the change of tone as we raise the instrument to 440.

Nevertheless, listening to these recordings I find them refreshing and certainly able to display the temperament. Whilst the modern fashion is to stay as close to hiding the temperament and to make it interesting as close to equal as possible, I beleive that temperament was a colour that was intended to be heard, which was enjoyed as such, celebrated and relied upon by composers to add dramatic effect. From the recording of some of the 48 on this piano in my opinion there is a correlation between the character displayed by the temperament and the energy of the writing. For this reason, despite the different idiom of the 1850s piano to which we are not accustomed, I regard the recording as musicologically valid for consideration.

I do not think that temperament is or was intended to be a subtle part of the sound, rather in contrast that it was intended to be pretty obvious to all.

Best wishes

David P

(PS We have also experimented with what Bach would have experienced hearing Bach on Meantone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uj9MORwoF0)


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/26/11 09:31 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!

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#1605848 - 01/26/11 09:11 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
David and all,

Take a look at this piano dealer's website. He never tunes any piano in ET. If you click on the pianos with the musical notes icon, you can hear samples of them being played.

The new Shigeru Kawai I know is in Marpurg which is a quasi ET and the other new Kawai just sounds a little out of tune t me, so the restored pianos are the most interesting. Although these are older pianos, they are mostly re-manufactured or rebuilt to like new condition.

These are probably all tuned in 1/7 Comma Meantone or this technician's favorite version of that, 1/7 Comma Meantone with one pure 5th between B and E. He uses this temperament as anyone would use a Well Temperament. It became Steinway artist, Perter Serkin's favorite temperament.

http://www.farleyspianos.com/pages/gallery.html
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1605863 - 01/26/11 09:39 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Mark R. Offline
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Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1864
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Bill, in identifying that temperament as 1/7 Comma Meantone (or some variation on it), can you give me some pointers what to listen for?
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1606111 - 01/26/11 04:01 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Bill

It's great to find a dealer steering away from pure ET . . . and hopefully I might inspire you to encourage some of your more adventurous clients to get you to try the more interesting temperaments for them.

They can seem frightening at first, perhaps, but from all that we've experienced in the Hammerwood experiments, the 18th and 19th century composers steered away from anything directly nasty, inverting chords or dropping notes from close triads anywhere in anything with lots of accidentals where they wanted to use the remote keys for special effect.

The first chord of the Chopin Raindrop Prelude is just such an example where, in the key, that interval should sound awful, but doesn't: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA

More remarkably is that we have not found any late century or C20 music which is at all upset by playing in the temperament - you'll probably have heard some Debussy among the corpus of recordings.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/26/11 04:51 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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#1606343 - 01/26/11 09:28 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
I do not think that temperament is or was intended to be a subtle part of the sound, rather in contrast that it was intended to be pretty obvious to all.

I used to think that too but have been told so many times in my life that I'm completely wrong on this that I don't believe it anymore.

Do you have any historical justification for this nice idea besides your own (and mine too, for all that matters) taste?

Cheers,
Kees

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#1606373 - 01/26/11 10:25 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

(PS We have also experimented with what Bach would have experienced hearing Bach on Meantone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uj9MORwoF0)

I think you'd get a better idea by playing one of the many real organs in the Netherlands tuned in 1/4' meantone temperament.

Unequally tuned organs

I have played Bach on the meantone organ in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. Some of his very early works fit quite well.

I am pleased there are only a few tuned in the horrible modern Kellner unequal temperament which seems to have infected North American baroque organs for some reason.

Kees

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#1606410 - 01/26/11 11:28 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Mark R.]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Bill, in identifying that temperament as 1/7 Comma Meantone (or some variation on it), can you give me some pointers what to listen for?


It sounds very much like any Well Temperament in that each key has a distinct color. The key of C major is really not as mild as many WT's would have it but because of equal beating 3rds & 6ths, it often sounds milder than it really is. This is the same acoustical trick found in the either version of the EBVT.

They key of A-flat, however is quite distinctive. It has a wide Major third and a wide and beating 5th. It gives that key a kind of energy that is not found in any WT. It would seem to be the key that is not useful but instead, performers of Romantic era music have used it and all the power it has to their advantage.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1606424 - 01/26/11 11:51 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Dear Bill


The first chord of the Chopin Raindrop Prelude is just such an example where, in the key, that interval should sound awful, but doesn't: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA

Best wishes

David P


David, I can hear the very rapid beats but I also notice how extremely delicately the performer plays the interval. One performer I know used to say that you touch the keys the way you would touch a wound to see if it is healing, with gentleness, reticence, expecting pain from it.

It is in this way that the temperament influences the way a performer interprets a piece. I can remember from early discussions of this matter in another forum, someone saying blatantly, "I would not want the way the piano is tuned to influence my playing!"

There was no way to say anything to that person or all who chimed in to agree with him. ET was the "neutral palate" and any further discussion was unwanted. As in a court of law, the question had been asked and answered; stop trying to bring it up again!

Yet, only 10 or so years later, I find you with some very astute observations and an incredible amount of interest on You Tube of which I certainly had no part.

I have heard that same piece any number of times performed by professional artists in the 1/7 Comma Meantone. Most of them were not aware that the piano had been tuned any differently, yet they sensed a certain power from the piano. It was a sense like one may feel when driving a large and powerful automobile when one is used to driving a small, economy car. One takes it easy on the accelerator or the vehicle will lurch ahead. Easy does it and you will go for a smooth ride.

Of course, none of this is possible with any of the player piano recordings I have done. They are all played just as the original performer executed them, yet we do hear the contrasts of dissonance and consonance in them.

The live performers in the list of recordings I have did, however respond more sensitively to the piano. I recall one Czech artist who remarked after playing Chopin in the 1/7 Comma Meantone, "I have never dared to play a piano so softly, yet it beckoned me to do so".
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1606539 - 01/27/11 07:44 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 do not think that temperament is or was intended to be a subtle part of the sound, rather in contrast that it was intended to be pretty obvious to all.

I used to think that too but have been told so many times in my life that I'm completely wrong on this that I don't believe it anymore.

Do you have any historical justification for this nice idea besides your own (and mine too, for all that matters) taste?

Cheers,
Kees


Dear Kees

I recall reading somewhere that more than one composer complained of lack of key colour but the reference escapes me. We are dealing with a timeline of changing fashions and opinions accordingly viewed through spectacles of modern sound so removed from the time period and through so many changes of fashion of musical taste and of instruments, that we can only have as our guide the musicological evidence and our ears - but our ears wide open without the blinkers of the modern lenses that we see with.

Of documentary evidence attuned to our ears, I believe that

heard in our stronger than fashionable (barely audible) range of temperaments demonstrate clearly audible emotional effects on a spectrum of correlation or sp with the musical subject matters or spirit of the music. Other recordings - the Haydn songs for instance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzlvFcYdVjs are more merely pleasant than demonstrating scale of correlation.

Those correlations I take to be an indication that the composers would have written expecting the temperament to be clearly heard and contributing to the musical effect of the composition.

Certainly a Haydn contemporary, Christian Ignatius Latrobe was writing songs which when accompanied in strong UT correlate well. Latrobe and Haydn when he was in London were part of the erudite social city scene at the time including Dr Burney, who on page 157 of his book
http://www.organmatters.co.uk/index.php?topic=229.0
records the writings of Walter Evesham who mentioned discordant thirds and issues of what was to be called temperament.

You mentioned in your second post European organs in Kellner: the organ is so much more difficult in many ways to find any one particular temperament to settle upon. Much music was written for the more complex more modern instrument in equal temperament that some things sound awful in any temperament. A good test is the Boellman Priere a Notre Dame in A flat - which turned me off Werkmeister for life . . . and Kirnberger would have been even worse . . . and no doubt would be bad in any temperament of the German family of that scale of strength. In contrast, playing it at St Maximin worked fine - a French temperament possibly close to D'Alembert, although I'm not sure.

It's for this reason that whilst I have experience of temperaments for piano, strong enough to hear but hopefully within the bounds of good taste and pleasantness on the ear, I'd like to work more with organists in experimentation. Certainly Kirnberger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgFQGHBpUqw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GyFn7Wmps8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V140SVz0_xg
worked well for Bach.

I'm not sure what
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOgX69-aLZg
was in
but we tried a number of temperaments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teVlrYJGKAE
but we have to take off our spectacles and not wince when we hear a temperament effect. But a lot more research and trials are needed with a whole range of repertoire. The period of Mendelssohn and Cesar Franck is so interesting - so much on the cusp of Equal Temperament that I suspect few have explored the effects of a UT and the effects that they would have expected their audiences to have heard. The organ is so much purer in tone than stringed instruments that tuning criteria may be different and finding a temperament which does what one wants a good temperament to do that fits everything quite well is a challenge. The St Maximin temperament is a contender, however.

In seeking a good temperament, one of my requirements is being "well behaved", giving purity in the commonly used white keys and letting the rarely used black keys look after themselves . . . for when one wants to go there . . . for fun!

:-)

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (01/27/11 08:15 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!

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#1606556 - 01/27/11 08:34 AM 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

David, I can hear the very rapid beats but I also notice how extremely delicately the performer plays the interval. One performer I know used to say that you touch the keys the way you would touch a wound to see if it is healing, with gentleness, reticence, expecting pain from it.

It is in this way that the temperament influences the way a performer interprets a piece. . . .

I have heard that same piece any number of times performed by professional artists in the 1/7 Comma Meantone. Most of them were not aware that the piano had been tuned any differently, yet they sensed a certain power from the piano. It was a sense like one may feel when driving a large and powerful automobile when one is used to driving a small, economy car. One takes it easy on the accelerator or the vehicle will lurch ahead. Easy does it and you will go for a smooth ride.

The live performers in the list of recordings I have did, however respond more sensitively to the piano. I recall one Czech artist who remarked after playing Chopin in the 1/7 Comma Meantone, "I have never dared to play a piano so softly, yet it beckoned me to do so".


Dear Bill

I think you're spot on with these thoughts and without doubt Adolfo Barabino and his students would agree with you wholeheartedly.

There is a breed of musicians who fear the challenge that UT brings as perhaps it creates and demands the sensitivity of the masters. The result can be exquisite and performers experiencing it can then go back to ET and perform with the same dynamics if not the colours themselves.

Your name has cropped up from time to time when I have dipped into internet references to temperament and I had recognised that you had been rather ill treated elsewhere on account of fear of your superior knowledge and intolerance to its implications.

Quote:
touch the keys the way you would touch a wound to see if it is healing, with gentleness, reticence, expecting pain from it


This must be one of the most profound statements of technique and musicianship.

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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#1607575 - 01/28/11 02:53 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

I have remarked upon the St Maximin temperament and have just looked it up . . . it worked well for Couperin and de Grigny but suprisingly well for remote keys.

It appears to have been devised by Dr Raber together with the organ builder Yves Cabourdin - a meantone modified comprising 7 quints altered by 1/5 comma and two quints augmented by the same amount. This appears to be based on Rameau "Nouveau systeme de musique théorique" 1726 para section 24 on temperament.

However, from the examples I head on Bill's website, I mistakenly thought that he was recommending something fairly mild. However, perusing http://www.rollingball.com/ I note that http://www.rollingball.com/EBVT17.htm looks interestingly spicey but
http://www.rollingball.com/EBVT15.htm appears to be well balanced and reasonably coloured. It's not a million miles from
http://www.rollingball.com/images/BroadwoodsUsual.gif
and
http://www.rollingball.com/images/BroadwoodsBest.gif which is of the same spirit:
http://www.rollingball.com/images/TunersGuide1.gif
and
http://www.rollingball.com/images/PrinzT.gif
together with the Jorgensen variations and the famous Stanhope:
http://www.rollingball.com/images/StanhopeT.gif
.

So in short to the question "would temperaments have been _heard_?" the answer based upon so many historical precedents must be a resounding "Yes".

So although it might be a shock to the system, if it's too subtle for an audience to be aware of, it's not working as it should . . .

Of course, there is a difference between being aware of and noticing . . . but perhaps we might explore that further?

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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#1609906 - 01/31/11 10:14 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Today I bought Johnny Reinhard's book "Bach and tuning". See here.
Interestingly enough he argues WM3 is the best tuning for Bach, and other (later) music, for reasons (you should hear it's unequal) similar that you mentioned.

(Context: usually one argues WM3 is too strong for Bach, let alone later composers.)

Apparently Bill Bremmer had some customers that requested "EBVT classical" (quite strong) instead of EBVT3, presumably too so they could hear more clearly the tonal differences.

Kees

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#1610365 - 02/01/11 02:44 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Kees

It's a great relief to see your post! I had referred to some people appearing to follow the Lehman tuning as a religion and feared that you might be a member . . . !

As a scientist I don't like the concept of the temperament on the academic principle that it is presented as the _only_ solution to the squiggle problem, and that in the context of having turned it upside down without looking at possible solutions the obvious way up.

As a scientist I ask the question "does it fit into the pattern of other results", (results being known temperaments) and if it doesn't, I have to give low weight to the evidence that it provides.

I find that discussing an issue on a forum like this concentrates the mind . . . and thoughts have been circulating, recently more inspired by the article by Claudio Di Veroli in the latest Harpsichord & fortepiano magazine, subscription to which I heartily recommend.

Di Veroli writes on the title "Vallotti" as the ideal German Good Temperament. He details Werkmiester III and in his researches pays particular attention to the circle of errors of major thirds, the primary indicator of key colour and acceptability and points out that Vallotti tempered Werkmeister's A-E-B. This favoured keys with flats and Young shifted it one sharp to the right to give C as purest rather than F.

Personally I have no objection to the validity of a slight preference to F and B flat as playing with brass instruments - possibly a feature of use of organs with trumpets - would enable the perfect pure harmonics of the brass to accord with the keyboard. Why would brass instruments favour B flat? Is this a function of pitch from France, so that brass instruments originating in France at around A=390 or so would cause the C to be everyone else's B flat. A conjecture irrelevant here . . .

Veroli's thesis continues by grouping temperaments into Meantone (broken by wolfs), Good ("circulating") and Equal. He takes groups of temperaments, looks at the thirds in their deviation from pure in each key, averages all of the group and presents the graph of deviations of Vallotti's thirds against the Werkmeister temperaments, III, IV, V and VI. Vallotti follows the average of Werkmeisters very very closely. He does the same for Neidharts circulating temperaments 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,10,11 and two more. Three of these circulating Good temperaments (Well Temperaments in the Bach tradition), Neidhart lables "suitable for a Big City" (8), "suitable for a Small Town" (1), "suitable for a Village" (2). One must observe these to be strange associations (I wonder what the differences are?) but indicative of the generality of the use of Good Temperaments as opposed to suggesting any universality of the quasi equal experience.

Di Veroli compares the Vallotti variations against the Neidhart's temperaments and finds a similar correlation of Eb Bb F C G D A E leaving B F# C# G# only as coloured as E at the expense of making F and G slightly more coloured than C, unlike Vallotti which gives similarity to F C G alike. It's for the reason that Lehman does not accord with any of the Good Temperaments, or the generailities that Di Veroli demonstrates with averaging them that, like others, I have given little attention to it. However, this thread is not about how questionably wrong LB might be but how right the Werkmeister tradition may possibly be . . . Certainly following Di Veroli, any explanation of Bach's squiggle which accords with the generality of Good temperaments known and used generally has a high probability of being what Bach intended. (As an aside, was Bach demonstrating how uniquely clever he was or teaching a pupil the generalities of good musicianship of which tuning was a part? Not the thrust of this thread but clearly a pertinent consideration).

Certainly the Di Veroli averaging process, showing a general accord between the circulating Good Temperaments in providing harmonious home keys leaving black keys to look after themselves to which one goes if one dares, and no doubt for special effect, demonstrates the validity of taking any of the Werkmeister family temperaments as a start for experiment, without necessarily being too "precious" about which _one_ might be "right". It suggests that Reinhard is certainly on the right track, but which particular side-road one might take in choosing any one particular variant for any one composer, might be flawed or might take an awful lot of performances to decide the relevance of the smidgeon of differences between any of them in particular.

Di Veroli comments that "some influential musicians of the mid-18th century, like Gottfried Silbermann and Telemann (1742) advocated 1/6 Syntonic Comma meantone instead, supported in modern times by Professor Duffin. Those proposals were misguided" and he explains that they had equal thirds and a wolf, with 4 thirds intolerably wide, in contrast to the circulating temperaments.

(One might observe that it might be in the struggle between Silbermann and Werkmeister philosophies that Bach wrote his 48 and the squiggle, representing a general Werkmeister family temperament rather than any intention to require or create a special interpretation)

De Veroli points out that "Vallotti" was used on at least one Italian church organ before the Trattato was published in 1754 - suggesting that it was simply recording a tuning in common use rather than in any way inventing anything new.

My thesis is that, all roads leading to Rome, tunings within the Prussian, Medici and north Italian realms may well have been spread with the travelling of musicians. This may have been associated with Protestantism in Germany and Prussia and Calvinism in Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy being east of the Savoie and that there may have been a different dissemination of tunings in France which may have remained religiously more aligned to the Meantone families, and differing circular temperaments such as Rameau and D'Alembert.

Fine for Baroque. Probably entirely accepted ground . . . What evidence is there for the 19th Century? I have none, other than the experiments I've been doing with a continuous series of concerts and recordings . . .

With Polish origins, this _might_ put Chopin within the Prussian traditions in terms of requiring a circular tuning in which all keys are playable, effects of tunings and preferences and use of keys. Certainly one should also experiment with Schubert, Moscheles and the other Prussian/Austrian composers.

I believe that the tuning profession may have gone through a significant change of perspective, looking at the piano now as a discordant percussion instrument which has to be tamed like bells, producing creamy smooth progressions of beats rather than an instrument capable of expression through pitch beyond dynamics. This occurred a long time ago from the change of fortepiano in the drawing room to PianoFORTE in the concert hall and my experiences of visits to the piano collection at Finchcocks, as well as my own instruments of which the Emerlich Betsy is an interestingly preserved sound, reinforce a view of the very different soundscape that the 19th century experienced.

This has also led to a change of playing technique.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAhbLlXFdaA and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubjdT41PH5g are very much in the tradition of the percussive view of the instrument and Beethoven, whilst Adolfo Barabino and his circle are more in the orchestral and tonal view of the instrument which can produce different results. Somewhere I have recordings of Adolfo and Michele D'Ambrosio playing the Beethoven sonatas but have yet to put them on YouTube.

Adolfo grew up listening to the orchestral records played by his father and tried as a child to imitate the orchestral tonalities on the piano . . . Impossible, one might think, but Adolfo can play a passage of Beethoven and say "now hear the violins coming in . . . " and in the spirit of what is attainable on the instrument, one does.

I believe that hearing the tonalities produced by effects of temperament, as Bill has pointed to already, cause musicians to listen more carefully to the music that they are making, and possibly thereby to make music rather than a mere performance. Certainly the tonal evidence for making these experiments is strong, even if we don't have the written documentation or instructions to lead us. There are clear benefits of the audible Good Temperament to be heard and explored and perhaps we are seeing hints that the Good Temperament (Well Temperament as opposed to Equal Temperament) was in much wider universal use both geographically and temporally than general musical scholarship gives credit for.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/01/11 03:48 PM)
_________________________
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David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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- http://www.organmatters.com -
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Restoring life to music . . . and music to life . . . and a good deal more!

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#1611057 - 02/02/11 10:10 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
... Three of these circulating Good temperaments (Well Temperaments in the Bach tradition), Neidhart lables "suitable for a Big City" (8), "suitable for a Small Town" (1), "suitable for a Village" (2). One must observe these to be strange associations (I wonder what the differences are?) but indicative of the generality of the use of Good Temperaments as opposed to suggesting any universality of the quasi equal experience.

David P


I've never read that he distinguished any temperaments by the size of the town. I wonder if the distinction was based on the size of the instrument, with village churchs having relatively humble organs with fewer octaves and shorter pipes compared to those in cathedrals in large cities? But I'm not sure how, in reality, the difference would play out in the temperaments. The larger instruments would have less inharmonicity, given the longer pipes?


Edited by Jake Jackson (02/02/11 10:10 AM)

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#1611106 - 02/02/11 11:38 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
... Three of these circulating Good temperaments (Well Temperaments in the Bach tradition), Neidhart lables "suitable for a Big City" (8), "suitable for a Small Town" (1), "suitable for a Village" (2). One must observe these to be strange associations (I wonder what the differences are?) but indicative of the generality of the use of Good Temperaments as opposed to suggesting any universality of the quasi equal experience.

David P


I've never read that he distinguished any temperaments by the size of the town. I wonder if the distinction was based on the size of the instrument, with village churchs having relatively humble organs with fewer octaves and shorter pipes compared to those in cathedrals in large cities? But I'm not sure how, in reality, the difference would play out in the temperaments. The larger instruments would have less inharmonicity, given the longer pipes?

The 4 Neidhardt temperaments were called by him as such, with the 4th (ET) for the Court. It was purely a marketing branding. They are decreasing in strength,
the idea being that simple folks in a village will not play very sophisticated music and will use mainly the keys with few if any accidentals so we can get away with remote keys being rough as they won't be used much. In his branding scheme he then imagined musicians get smarter depending on the size of their city and Court musicians he imagines so smart they move through all keys at will.

Nowadays good names would be "1 - baroque", "2 - Bach-baroque", "3 - Victorian", "4 - equal".

2 is very close to Bach-Lehman (reverse), 3 is very close to EBVT 3, and 4, well we all know what 4 is...

Kees

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#1611124 - 02/02/11 11:59 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
I had referred to some people appearing to follow the Lehman tuning as a religion and feared that you might be a member .

I am neither a religious follower of Bach-Lehman temperament, nor a religious basher of Bach-Lehman temperament. I'm still not convinced you are not a member of the latter cult.

Anyways as a scientist you probably know you should keep an open mind and not deny the facts. And a fact is that Bach-Lehman and its left-right interpretation are very nice baroque temperaments.

Kees

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#1611208 - 02/02/11 02:15 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: DoelKees


Nowadays good names would be "1 - baroque", "2 - Bach-baroque", "3 - Victorian", "4 - equal".

2 is very close to Bach-Lehman (reverse), 3 is very close to EBVT 3, and 4, well we all know what 4 is...


Dear Kees

:-) To be perfectly honest I put low weight on evidence from Neidhart as he identifies so many possibilities that it's clear that he is theorising rather than in any way documenting practical existing systems. The evidence of Di Veroli is that Werkmeister / Vallotti variations were in widespread use over a very large region. In view of their geographical penetration they may have held sway for a much longer period than has been thought and my thesis is that it is only the attraction of the modern Concert piano and the new "atonality" as a correspondent here identified which led to a change.

(As an aside if any temperament deserves the title of Bach, it is Barnes on account of its Werkmeister - Vallotti heritage as modified on just one note by study of Bach's frequency of use of thirds. Another contender for the Bach title I understand was also based on Werkmeister but I have not examined yet that connexion.

The Lehman solution is one solution to the Bach Squiggle equation, but it is not the unique solution. Bearing in mind that other solutions are possible, and that other solutions are possible with the higher liklihood of interpretation of the quiggle the correct way up, I believe that it is academically sloppy to give the LB temperament the "Bach" title especially as
(1) LB temperament does not fit the generality of Good Temperaments in common use, as shown by Di Veroli
(2) The probability was that Bach was addressing the Meantone vs Good Temperament issue current at the time rather than distinguishing any Good Temperament from any other Good Temperaments . . .
)

If the LB temperament was peculiar to Bach, it was certainly not in common use nor does it relate to those in common use, and is therefore in my opinion irrelevant to the issue of the range of temperaments that we might explore in which to perform Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert.

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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#1611254 - 02/02/11 03:08 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
I wonder if the distinction was based on the size of the instrument, with village churchs having relatively humble organs with fewer octaves and shorter pipes compared to those in cathedrals in large cities? But I'm not sure how, in reality, the difference would play out in the temperaments. The larger instruments would have less inharmonicity, given the longer pipes?


Dear Jake

I think that Kees has correctly identified the reason here but as an aside, organs to my knowledge don't have the inharmonicity issues common to pianos, save in baroque reed pipes which have an excitement all of their own -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPGDiA3fidA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSf7-4t_SWc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxPooeWo64k

In general in contrast to strings the fatter the flue pipe in proportion to lenth gives bigger sound and the thinner pipes more of the higher harmonics. Pipes are largely one dimensional vibration whilst strings, as iron bars, are two.

This is one reason why unequal temperament in remote keys may be less offensive with music not written for it on the piano rather than the organ, which is why I would not hesitate to recommend audible unequal temperaments on the piano but on the organ I believe serious experiment to be needed throughout the repertoire . . . which I am looking forward to doing with an adventurous organist!

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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#1611508 - 02/02/11 09:35 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
As an aside if any temperament deserves the title of Bach, it is Barnes on account of its Werkmeister - Vallotti heritage as modified on just one note by study of Bach's frequency of use of thirds.

The Barnes study is flawed. I performed a full automated analysis of the 48 including M10 and M17 as well as M3, included the fugues too, and included the minor key pieces. The result is that here is no evidence whatsoever of certain intervals being avoided and hence no data to deduce any temperament from. I should really publish these results if I get some spare time.

Kees
Added in Edit:
Comment 1: I do like the Barnes temperament, but it has 2 Pythagorean thirds which I do not like. It does not improve on Werckmeister 3 in any way, just like Kellner. If you just spread the B-F# 1/6 comma 5th over 3 consecutive fifths you practically have Bach-Lehman reversed (one of the alternative solutions).
Comment 2: Lehman deserves to have his name attached to the tunings because he was the first to recognize the loops as indicating proportional size of fifths; previous stuff about beatrates is really nonsense (IMHO I should say).
Comment 3: The worst M3 in Lehman tunings is 1/12' smaller than Pythagorean, whereas in Neidhardt the worst M3 is 1/6' narrower; hence somewhat milder (more equal).
Comment 4: I've had my piano in WM3 for a couple of days now and start to like it more and more. You can get used to Pythogorean thirds! smile


Edited by DoelKees (02/02/11 10:22 PM)
Edit Reason: Add comment

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#1611656 - 02/03/11 04:55 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
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Dear Kees

Thanks so much for your detail - especially on the Barnes variation. We are at so much of an advantage nowadays with computer analysis.

On the Lehman issue, having tried Werkmeister and begun to like it, I think after a while you'll find that being milder does not necessarily help the music. Whilst I acknowledge Lehman's inspiration that the squiggle was not a random doodle, the problem is in the ascribing of _that_particular_temperament_ to Bach and, bearing other possibilities into account, it's misleading to present this temperament to novices to the subject as _the_ Bach solution.

If you're getting used to Pythagorean thirds . . . then perhaps I can see you going towards Barnes. Kellner is of course another possibility, as you say, but I'm intrigued that you say that it's as flawed as Barnes . . . Your analysis there would be much appreciated.

Whatever variation of Werkmeister you use, you'll find that Chopin in particular avoids the juxtaposition of nasty thirds.

What really needs research is the effect on key colour of the shift of Werkmeister from favouring F to favouring C . . .

(What also is curious is why Bach chose A flat especially with which to annoy the organ tuner as one might have expected C sharp and F sharp to be similarly severe . . . or was it simply the A flat E flat wolf? Jorgensen ascribes the phenonomen to A flat being the last note to come into any use on the keyboard in the history of music . . .)

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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#1611856 - 02/03/11 12:18 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
On the Lehman issue, having tried Werkmeister and begun to like it, I think after a while you'll find that being milder does not necessarily help the music.

I learned to play (pipe) organ on an instrument tuned in WM3. For 3 years I tuned the harpsichords here at the University in WM3 (except one for earlier music in 1/4' meantone).

When Lehman's article came out I gave his tuning a try and have not gone back. In fact for piano my favourite tuning is an even milder temperament of myself. Indeed, why would you not tune according to your personal taste on your own instrument? My ears have now adjusted and it will take a while before getting at ease again with the Pythagorean thirds.
Quote:

If you're getting used to Pythagorean thirds . . . then perhaps I can see you going towards Barnes. Kellner is of course another possibility, as you say, but I'm intrigued that you say that it's as flawed as Barnes . . . Your analysis there would be much appreciated.

My take is that WM3 is great, its only disadvantages are these Pythagorean thirds. Kellner and Barnes still have these, though fewer of them. If you're willing to put up with Pythagorean thirds, I prefer to get maximum payback which WM3 delivers. Kellner and Barnes I called "flawed" as historical temperaments, they are modern inventions. Kellner was a nut (IMHO) and Barnes had a good idea but he should have been less lazy and count more M3's than just the major key preludes.
Quote:

Whatever variation of Werkmeister you use, you'll find that Chopin in particular avoids the juxtaposition of nasty thirds.

Do you have any particular piece in mind? I do have most of Chopin in MIDI and can easily check such claims.
Quote:

(What also is curious is why Bach chose A flat especially with which to annoy the organ tuner as one might have expected C sharp and F sharp to be similarly severe . . . or was it simply the A flat E flat wolf? Jorgensen ascribes the phenonomen to A flat being the last note to come into any use on the keyboard in the history of music . . .)

The reason is simply that wolf fifth of course, which is the price you have to pay for nice M3's everywhere, and which is the signature of meantone which the organ tuner in question (Silberman) tuned.

Cheers,
Kees

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#1611887 - 02/03/11 12:55 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
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Dear Kees

Your research on Chopin's avoidance of direct major thirds in possible nasty keys could give us a most important clue as to any F-C bias of tuning possibly in use. Not sure about sixths, but certainly at the beginning of the Raindrop, those two notes are more than an octave apart - and that's what I mean but avoiding nasties. I hope I have explained the idea intelligibly . . . !

Of course one must be aware that sometimes nasties were intended, but as yet in experiencing Chopin in this family of temperaments, none have jumped out and bitten us yet . . .

You may have the proof at your fingertips . . . !

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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#1612507 - 02/04/11 07:55 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

I have just received a PM (which I'd taken ages to recognise with just the flashing envelope) . . . :

Quote:
I am not sure I will have much to contribute to the discussion except for a comment about heightened sensitivity to the music while playing in a "tonal temperament". smile About this, I have much to say and, in fact, started a discussion thread about it in Pianist Corner. After I have taken my time to read the Sweet Videos thread (not just skim it, as I have) and to study your recordings, I might post my thoughts. I have noticed that my shaping of phrases is much more nuanced when I listen carefully to the way the beats of certain chords affect my timing and tempo.


He's using Bill's Equal Beating temperament and I have replied suggesting that he might ask Bill to tune his instrument to a stronger tasting curry . . .

On that, I'm wondering if Kees might tire of unmodified Werkmeister's unrelenting harshness. . . ? Proposals of toning it down in whatever ways may not at all have been misguided whether by Vallotti, Young or more recent analysis. I note that like myself, Dr Miller's experiments with Chopin used a modified Werkmeister.

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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#1612603 - 02/04/11 11:31 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Posts: 149
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Dear Kees

I've finally found the article I had been looking for before:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Bach_Seal.pdf

The comparison of thirds is interesting so far as the results Francis derives there from Bach's seal differ with Kellner only in A flat . . . which is interesting bearing in mind Kellner's reputed similarity to Werkmeister which is something I have not yet properly examined . . .

So perhaps the line between being a nut and genius is thin?

It's no wonder Kellner has the reputation of being a "nut" trying to digest
http://www.harpsichord.org.uk/EH/Vol2/No8/matharch.pdf
until one reads:
Quote:
Certainly such games were even even described in Johann Gottfried Walthers Musicalisches Lexikon of 1732 7 and by his teacher Werckmeister in Musicalische
Temperatur^, 1691, chapter VI.


One has to bear in mind that before television and now the length of time we spend communicating through the internet, there wasn't much else to do and so such intellectual games and, to our minds, nonsenses occupied the mind amusingly. "History is a foreign country", as they say.

http://allaindu.perso.neuf.fr/publications/TEMPERAMENT-Bach-Lehman-Jobin.htm shows another possible interpretation of the Bach squiggle (demonstrating again that Lehman should not be purporting to _be_ _the_ Bach solution) and relevantly this solution veers in the direction of Kirnberger III and accords to Rameau . . .

Diagrams on Wikipaedia show nicely the progression of the derivations and similarities of the Werkmeister temperaments:









However, the bottom line relevant here is "what was in the spirit of a broad fashion of geographical common use" and that might be indicated by your analysis of thirds in Chopin. . . . Beethoven and Schubert might be interesting too. . .

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/04/11 12:42 PM)
Edit Reason: Added temperament images
_________________________
_______________________________
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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#1612620 - 02/04/11 11:52 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered

I've finally found the article I had been looking for before:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Bach_Seal.pdf

The comparison of thirds is interesting so far as the results Francis derives there from Bach's seal differ with Kellner only in A flat . . . which is interesting bearing in mind Kellner's reputed similarity to Werkmeister which is something I have not yet properly examined . . .

So perhaps the line between being a nut and genius is thin?

Well, I think Kellner and Francis are both crackpots.

WM3 has a group of 3 consecutive 1/4' 5ths, then 2 pure ones, and one more 1/4' one at BF#. Kellner has 5 1/5' 5ths in the same place + the extra one at FC. The extra 1/5' removes Ab from the list of Pyth M3's. The price for this is payed by all the other thirds except Db and F# which remain Pyth.
Quote:
However, the bottom line in this is what was in a broad fashion of common use and that might be indicated by your analysis of thirds in Chopin. Beethoven and Schubert might be interesting too. . .

I looked at Chopin Op15 (raindrop) as you suggested. It's in Db major and 90% of the M3,10,17 occur on Db and Ab. Pretty harsh in WM3.

Kees

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#1612636 - 02/04/11 12:28 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Kees

You might have seen I have added to the post to which you've replied already.

I'm not surprised that you're finding unmodified WIII harsh - I came to hate it in my teens.

However, it provides a start:
http://www.millersrus.com/dissertation/

Modified WIII need not be harsh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA

Best wishes

David P

(Postcript - Miller's dissertation makes interesting reading - he claims that Barnes's starting point was Bach's aural tuning instructions that he gave his son . . . so Barnes should not be discounted . . . ! Miller's study recommends Werkmeister or Rameau as the best starting points. My view is that certainly WIII needs amelioration of some kind, as has been applied on the instruments I've tuned for these concert recordings . . .)


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/04/11 01:18 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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#1612829 - 02/04/11 07:01 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
DoelKees Offline
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Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Here are the relative occurrences of M3,10,17 in the 24 preludes in all keys of Chopin. I don't see any conclusions to be drawn about a temperament, do you?




On another note "modifed WM3" is not WM3, but another temperament (e.g. Neidhardt 2).

Kees

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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
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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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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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!

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#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
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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!

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#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
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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!

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#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
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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!

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#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
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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!

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#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!

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

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3721
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
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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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
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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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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
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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
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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
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
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
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Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 204
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
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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!

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#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
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
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
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
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!

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#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
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
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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#1626471 - 02/23/11 06:51 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/23/11 07:11 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!

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#1626560 - 02/23/11 10:09 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I didn't know that the rollingball site had added mp3's of chords played in the temperaments. Thanks, David.

EDIT: I see now that only a few temperaments have been given this treatment, and that an electronic keyboard was used. Alas...


Edited by Jake Jackson (02/24/11 10:25 AM)

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#1627595 - 02/24/11 06:39 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Cinnamonbear Online   content
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Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3721
Loc: Rockford, IL
Following the motif in this thread regarding the way in which Good Temperaments assist the performer in creating a sensitive interpretation of a given piece, adding color intended by the composer and such...

...I recorded this Chopin Prelude today (Op. 28, No. 20, Largo). What you tuners out there call "beats," well, I noticed many of the chords in this prelude resulted in a nice slow "wah-wah-wah-wah" pulse, so I set the tempo based on this pulse at 4 wahs per chord.

This is a 1940 Lester spinet recently tuned by Bill Bremmer to the Equal Beating Victorian Temperament III. Please see if you can tell what I mean about setting the tempo based on the pulse of the beats. smile

Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 20
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1627643 - 02/24/11 09:02 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Chris Leslie Offline
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Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 452
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I am sorry Cinnamonbear, but to me the performers interpretation and the tone of the instrument is far more important than the temperament. In fact, I am insensitive to any concept of key color and I prefer the least amount of beating possible across the entire piano averages out across all possible keys (i.e. ET). I do not get anywhere near appreciating how the piano's beats match the tempo because the tone, i.e. timbre, of the Lester spinet in the Chopin Prelude dominates. In the original thread, the pianist's beautiful interpretation and the gorgeous tone of the old Bechstein is what I appreciate.
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#1627659 - 02/24/11 09:46 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Cinnamonbear]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Cinnamonbear, this sounds perfect. The piano has a nice character. It doesn't sound like a concert grand, it has it's own unique voice. I understand you love this piano.

Kees

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#1627667 - 02/24/11 10:09 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Chris Leslie Offline
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Registered: 01/01/11
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Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Quote:
Poster: DoelKees
Subject: Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp

Cinnamonbear, this sounds perfect. The piano has a nice character. It doesn't sound like a concert grand, it has it's own unique voice. I understand you love this piano.


Yes, I agree about the character of this piano. I am also impressed by the dynamic range and the evenness of the chord playing in the soft sections.
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#1627792 - 02/25/11 05:03 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Chris Leslie]
Cinnamonbear Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3721
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
I am sorry Cinnamonbear, but to me the performers interpretation and the tone of the instrument is far more important than the temperament. In fact, I am insensitive to any concept of key color and I prefer the least amount of beating possible across the entire piano averages out across all possible keys (i.e. ET). I do not get anywhere near appreciating how the piano's beats match the tempo because the tone, i.e. timbre, of the Lester spinet in the Chopin Prelude dominates. In the original thread, the pianist's beautiful interpretation and the gorgeous tone of the old Bechstein is what I appreciate.


Ah, Chris! I agree with you about the importance of interpretation as well as to the beauty of the Bechstein and the wonderful interpretations played on it! laugh

My point in posting the Chopin prelude above was to contribute to the discussion what I have learned from playing in an un-equal temperament...that is, that it affords the performer clues about how to shape an interpretation. I know my phrasing was rather flat in this one, but my demonstration was meant to point to tempo, and the clue that I derived from the pulse of beats given the chords of the composition itself.

Thanks for listening!
--Andy

P.S. Thank you, Kees, for your kind comments. grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1627852 - 02/25/11 09:22 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Chris (Leslie)

I'm intrigued that you say that you're not aware of the temperament. I suspect that most of our audiences at our concerts aren't either, although a singing teacher refuses to come to our concerts on account of the piano being "out of tune". However, whether or not one hears the temperament there is a depth of emotion and an added interest arising from the subtle shape-shifting of chord sizes between keys. This may be apparent in the unequal-equal temperament recording of the Chopin 2nd sonata.

Your comment that you're not aware of the temperament is most encouraging as it demonstrates to all of us brought up to equal temperament possibly how far one can go in shifting to the limits of unequalising temperament, and arguably to good musical effect worthy of experimentation.

Whilst closing down more windows on my overloaded computer,
http://www.sequenza21.com/lauten/2009/09/what-kind-of-tuning-did-bach-really-use/
http://harps.braybaroque.ie/
http://temper.braybaroque.ie/
http://temper.braybaroque.ie/spread.htm (in which I note our David Pitches Krebs in F sharp is quoted)
http://photo.fortepiano.eu/fortepiano.eu_gallery/
http://organ-au-logis.pagesperso-orange.fr/Pages/Abecedaire/Vacances/Grignan.htm
may be of interest.

In our sound archive I have a recording of violin and pipe organ in equal temperament of the famous Albinoni adagio. It uses significant chord shifts in the accompaniment which are, with my experience of unequal temperaments, rendered flat by the temperament. I will try to put this on YouTube before long and encourage a performer to play it with an instrument in meantone or a Good Temperament, to hear the contrast.

Andy - I hope that when Bill next comes to you that you will ask him to dare to use a stronger temperament as I think you'll enjoy it.

Finally, Chris, you're very tuned in to be remarking on the evenness of chord playing in soft sections - whether it be a joke or a comment based on truth, it is said that Adolfo Barabino is known for exploiting ten levels of expression between p and mp . . .

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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#1627866 - 02/25/11 10:02 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
RonTuner Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
Andy - You may be overdriving the piano in that first section. Every instrument has a unique dynamic range - the limits of loud to soft that it can play and still maintain its tone.

I think if you experiment, especially in the bass, with playing with a little less power, the tone will hold together better and the music will sound even better.

That is one of the clear advantages of a larger instrument - the string scale/soundboard/action/hammer combination allows for a wider dynamic range while still keeping the sound of the piano true to itself.

It is up to the performer to adjust to each instrument - to push the limits of the piano without venturing beyond, except for special effect. (Sadly, there's a lot of "banging" that gets taught and accepted as appropriate technique.)

Try it, I think you'll like it!

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

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


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#1628417 - 02/26/11 10:03 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

I have just finished tuning a modern Yamaha C3. Compared to the instruments I'm used to the tone is so dull, with predominant fundamental note and not brilliant harmonics, that simply running up the keyboard in 3rds and 5ths it would not strike you as not being in equal temperament . . . until . . .

What is really interesting is that whilst on superficial hearing the temperament is benign, the contrasts between chords are as striking as "usual".

It goes to show that the efforts that equal temperament piano tuners have gone to to ensure intruments are in perfect ET, is both wasted and musically wasteful. I suspect that in the past Equal Temperament may have referred to Good Temperament in contrast to Meantone. I suspect that when "Equal" started to be taken literally, then achieving it became an academic exercise and a matter of great prowess . . . and the colours of music in which some keys were more equal than others were lost.

The reason for this apparently absurd assertion is the Helmoltz quotation
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=o6YSpMn-h3UC&pg=PA548&lpg=PA548&dq=St.+Jacobi,+Hamburg+organ+temperament&source=bl&ots=55mxxxW9Jn&sig=hD4xxlgBnCnVl125tsnmzLCfwTs&hl=en&ei=4fpnTYzoDIuEhQfguPChDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=St.%20Jacobi%2C%20Hamburg%20organ%20temperament&f=false that a significant Hamburg organ was tuned to "equal temperament" and claims that Werkmeister could only recommend "equal temperament" . . .

It looks as though we are seeing the beginnings of the Good Temperament confusion as http://mypipeorganhobby.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-jacobi-kirche-hamburg.html gives:

Quote:
Tuning: Upon the restoration in 1993, a tuning system was chosen which stays close to the historic original, but still allows for a broad band of music to be played. It is a modified-moderate tuning of the type 1/5 syntonic comma. This system offers a relative purity of thirds in the basic keys. In the peripheral keys F-sharp major and C sharp major, some hard contrasts have to be put up with.


The bottom line is that tuners can go on right ahead and tune modern pianos to Werkmeister family temperaments . . .

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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#1629577 - 02/27/11 09:28 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Hi!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating . . .

Arvo Part:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7v5jYkw13w

Who said that unequal temperament was unsuitable for 20th century music?

Bach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs7wDeDSQiI

Beethoven
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiX5Xjtb7-E

Chopin nocturne:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFHivVjAmBA

Chopin Study in A flat !!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhNf3zRd5cs

Chopin 2nd sonata 1st movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7k3Vck-XZ8

Chopin 2nd Sonata Scherzo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaYEmQgY_xU

Chopin 2nd Sonata 3rd & 4th movement extracts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8in_RJYbjGM

Tuning the bass strings was interesting here. In Equal temperament one simply goes for something that sounds "nice" with the octaves and the tenths . . . However, here I looked for the harmonic 2 octaves up in the tenor C to middle C region and then the third interval for F, C and G strings in the middle C to treble C octave and the fifth interval for most of the other notes, ensuring a correspondence whilst ensuring the unison in the tenor C octave sounded nice. Doing this reinforces the key colour of the temperament.

After auditioning this tuning someone mentioned that they thought the bass octave was tuned flat - some pianists are said to like the bottom octave tuned flat, but in this case of course it's on account of the harmonic tuning to the sharp inharmonicity of the strings, causing the fundamental note to sound flat.

I used the top octave inharmonicity stretch provided by my 1980s tuning machine rather than simply applying my standard empirical stretches, and I'm note sure that the top octave is stretched enough.

Anyway, I hope from this that people with modern pianos will be adventurous in applying the _audible_ historic temperaments as I believe the key contrasts and chord shape shifting that perhaps you might be able to hear adds so very much to the dimension of the music.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (02/28/11 06:05 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!

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#1632371 - 03/03/11 11:03 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!

A friend has just asked me about Liszt on unequal temperament and Venezia e Napoli . . . and it happened that I remembered a fine pianist playing it here:

http://www.jungleboffin.com/mp4/jong-gyung-park-unequal-temperament/liszt.mp3

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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#1636291 - 03/08/11 03:37 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
These all sound very good, David. The Yamaha came out well with this tuning. (I suspect that both the temperament and your tuning contribute to the good sound.)

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#1637175 - 03/09/11 06:57 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

Glad you liked the Yamaha recordings. I was completely blown away by the beauty achieved.

Over the past weekend I've been distracted by organ:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPqoorLguj0 in equal temperament and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHOcCLvUeH4 in meantone. The Fugue doesn't work and possibly lends credence to the theory that the piece, or possibly one part or other was not by Bach! It's in this way that temperament can show musicological light on composers . . . !

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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#1637966 - 03/10/11 04:16 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Alas, I'm afraid we'll lose you if you venture too far into the forest of organs. Much to be said for air pumping through big brass tubes, but there's something about felt hitting a set of strings...

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#1637980 - 03/10/11 05:45 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Dear Jake

Sorry for that - the organ experiments demonstrate the way in which temperament experiments can be an x-ray into the music. In this particular case, the contrast in agreement with Meantone between the Toccata and the Fugue contrasts with the Dorian Toccata and Fugue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uj9MORwoF0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbwXpBcGm6Y The way these reacted was interestingly different.

These results can't be predicted: they have to be tried - so I hope that they will encourage more to start experimenting with pianos and the piano repertoire - and post the results.

There may be another recital soon by Miena Senada on the Yamaha which I may or may not be able to get to or record - Schubert - 4 impromptus op 142, Liszt - Schubert Staendchen von Shakespeare Barcarola op 72, Chopin Scherzo 4 and Ballade 4. Sunday, 20 March, 11.30am, The Christian Community, Hartfield Road, Forest Row, Sussex, RH18 5DZ

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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#1638082 - 03/10/11 09:36 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Hi!


After auditioning this tuning someone mentioned that they thought the bass octave was tuned flat - some pianists are said to like the bottom octave tuned flat, but in this case of course it's on account of the harmonic tuning to the sharp inharmonicity of the strings, causing the fundamental note to sound flat.

David P


Interesting comment. During Patrick's tuning exam, he got a point off on the note C1 for being flat and I concurred as an examiner that it was not in line with other notes, so it had to stand as an error. I noted however, that it was not a "bad" sound in itself and had it been the same as several notes above it, it could have been found to be acceptable.

A few day's later, we were at Grandpianoman's house where I re-tuned his Mason & Hamlin RBB. When I reached the low Bass, I called Patrick over to collaborate with me on the low Bass, which I sometimes like to tune extra low because it can give the piano a "bigger" sound.

Not long after that, I was tuning a smaller Kawai grand aurally in a pianist's condominium. As I tuned, he seemed oblivious to what I was doing as he sat typing on his laptop computer. What I was doing with the Bass seemed to catch his his attention as he looked up with a puzzled looking frown on his face. "Do you not like that?" I asked, "Not particularly", he replied.

I explained that the very Low Bass and the High Treble can be subjective. Each can be matched with either the inharmonicity from nearby octaves or those more toward the center; each with different effects. I explained that I chose to match the Low Bass with the central octaves to give the smaller piano a "bigger" sound. "Oh, I certainly don't need that in this small space!", he replied.

It is only an illusion and I thought he would enjoy the illusion of adding a foot to his smaller Kawai RX-3 grand but I quickly said I could change it and did. Instead, I did what I most often do and that is to match the "resonance" (which is actually rapid beats between partials beyond the 8th) with the rapidly beating intervals which had been created in the central octaves. He preferred that result.

Here is a short track of Patrick improvising the melody from Dvorak's New World Symphony, commonly known as the "Going Home" melody. I love how the extra stretch in the Low Bass gives the 7 foot piano the illusion of a 9 foot. It is interesting to note that Grandpianoman recently had it tuned by a local concert technician of very esteemed reputation who raised the Low Bass considerably from where it had been.

http://www.box.net/shared/on0hs9rhcv
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1638134 - 03/10/11 11:15 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
... I did what I most often do and that is to match the "resonance" (which is actually rapid beats between partials beyond the 8th) with the rapidly beating intervals which had been created in the central octaves. He preferred that result.


Bill,

Can you expand on this subject, here or in another thread, since we may be moving off the subject of the pre-ET temperaments and the videos? To what extent can one make these resonances more consonant while keeping the consonance with the octaves above and below, and with other intervals?

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#1638558 - 03/11/11 01:35 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Jake,

Please read the entire article but the answer to your question is in th esecond to last paragraph here:

http://www.billbremmer.com/articles/aural_octave_tuning.pdf
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1638698 - 03/11/11 09:36 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Jake,

Please read the entire article but the answer to your question is in th esecond to last paragraph here:

http://www.billbremmer.com/articles/aural_octave_tuning.pdf


Thanks. I thought that I had read most of your articles. I apparently missed one.

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#1638843 - 03/11/11 12:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Bill and David,

Thanks again. Bill. After reading the article and trying some experiments, I want to ask you both--what tests would you suggest for extending the temperament of Werckmeister III? My thought is just that a focus on balancing octaves and M12's will throw things off, since the 5ths vary a bit. Or am I getting lost?

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#1639254 - 03/11/11 11:49 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Well Jake,

I have never tuned the Werkmeister III, so I am not the person to ask for any specifics on it. Now David has done a lot to advocate for the use of it, so I don't want to discourage that in any way. I don't know specifically what David does with octaves.

The idea of making an equal compromise between the octave and fifth came to me from the time when I tuned ET. I happened to discover it myself but I later saw that others were doing essentially the same thing; sometimes by a different method but still achieving the same results.

My first well temperament was one that I understood and could replicate; both aspects were quite important to me. The ideas is simple: six pure 5ths and six fifths tempered twice as much as they are in ET. That means that the tempered fifth are each 4 cents narrow. If I compare an octave with a pure fifth and make both sound "pure", the octave won't be a very wide one; probably a 4:2 type, at least in the midrange. However, if I make an octave beat equally with a 4 cent narrow 5th, it will definitely have a beat in it, probably a 6:3 type at a minimum. That much stretch in an octave is still tolerable for modern piano tuning.

Since I am not a harpsichord tuner, I can't really say whether such a beat in the octaves would be found acceptable or not but on the piano, it is. Many ET tuners put at least that much stretch in the octaves in order to achieve quieter fifths.

In previous writing that I had done on the subject, I had often said that for earlier temperaments such as 1/4 Comma Meantone, Kirnbirger and Werkmeister, this method probably would not be appropriate. The reason is that tempered fifths in the latter would approach 6 cents narrow. To equalize an octave and fifth with these would therefore create octaves too wide to be considered acceptable.

Let's look at Jason Kanter's graphs of the Thomas Young and Werkmeister temperaments respectively:





Note that in the Young, some of the fifths are tempered slightly less than in ET and the others which are tempered are just a tiny fraction more than 4 cents. Those fifths that are pure and those tempered only slightly would be easy to tune as compromises with octaves. The more highly tempered fifths would present a more difficult compromise but still manageable.

In the Werkmeister, however, the tempered fifths are nearly 6 cents narrow. In this case, I would suggest another approach to octave tuning. A stretched octave, yes but not to the point of attempting to equalize tempered fifths and octaves. The M3-M10-M17 test comes to mind. In the case of 1/4 Meantone, I would keep all octaves beatless and let the fifths beats as they may.

I am currently writing the detailed instructions for the EBVT III. Here is what I have to say about the low bass question in that article. It is similar to that for ET, yet somewhat different because of the unequally tempered fifths:

Quote:
In the very lowest Bass, especially on smaller pianos, you may begin to hear a faint resonance when tuning a single octave. This is actually the result of a large difference in inharmonicity between partials beyond the 8th partial of the note being tuned and the note an octave above it. Oddly enough, even though it is actually a rapid beat, it does not sound objectionable but rather pleasing to the ear. That is why I called it a resonance rather than an octave with a rapid beat in it, even though technically, that is what it is. Believe me, there is no such thing as a “pure” octave on a piano!

You may hear this starting on or about F1. Now is the only time I would ever listen to any RBIs when tuning the octaves. Typically, I would find the note an octave above the note being tuned and play the M10 interval and listen to whatever rapid beat there is. Now, when I tune that low octave, I cause that octave to sound in tune but also cause that resonance to mimic the rapid beating of the M10 that I just played. You can also go to the temperament octave and play a M3.

For example, you are tuning F1. When you make a reasonable sounding octave with F2 above it, you hear that resonance. Play F3-A3 and then "copy and paste" that rapid beat to the resonance of F1-F2 octave you are tuning. If you do this, you will get a different resonance for each of the low Bass octaves you are tuning because the RBIs above them are each a different speed. If you were tuning ET, you would want that resonance to be evenly digressive but you are not tuning ET! So, a slightly different character in each of the low Bass octaves is correct, expected, intended and deliberate.

This will cause the low Bass to enhance the sound of the entire rest of the piano. When you finish tuning the low Bass and have all of your unisons tuned, play the long, C Major arpeggio from the bottom to the top while pressing the pedal and you will hear and witness the splendid, "pipe organ" effect. After striking all the keys, listen to the sound that emanates from the piano. It will sound to your amazement just like a pipe organ. This is because you have used the canceling effect of equal beating to suppress the “noise” of ET and inharmonicity. It never fails to impress any customer that the piano is now supremely in tune with itself. I have never heard anyone who denied that it really does sound like a pipe organ.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1639393 - 03/12/11 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 Bill and Jake

Thanks so much for covering this area of bass accordance - it's not one which (I think) has easy answers and I'm hoping that Michael Gamble, who has had many years experience, will join in this discussion. He's been experimenting with a variation of Werkmeister and has not had cause to revert to ET yet!

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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#1639868 - 03/12/11 09:23 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
six pure 5ths and six fifths tempered twice as much as they are in ET. That means that the tempered fifth are each 4 cents narrow. If I compare an octave with a pure fifth and make both sound "pure", the octave won't be a very wide one; probably a 4:2 type, at least in the midrange. However, if I make an octave beat equally with a 4 cent narrow 5th, it will definitely have a beat in it, probably a 6:3 type at a minimum. That much stretch in an octave is still tolerable for modern piano tuning.


Bill, how far up and down from the temperament octave (assumed to be F3-F4) do you apply this equal beating 5th and 8th scheme? It is an interesting scheme, applicable to all "late baroque" 1/6 or less ' tunings and I want to do a theoretical analysis of how a temperament "morphs" across the piano compass with this method.

Kees

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#1640086 - 03/13/11 11:05 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
Originally Posted By: Jake Jackson
Bill and David,

Thanks again. Bill. After reading the article and trying some experiments, I want to ask you both--what tests would you suggest for extending the temperament of Werckmeister III? My thought is just that a focus on balancing octaves and M12's will throw things off, since the 5ths vary a bit. Or am I getting lost?


Dear Jake

It's important to keep octaves pure but if bass harmomics are close to higher notes*, keep them pleasantly near to the keyboard notes - M12s where there are perfect fifths in the temperament and M17s for F C and G

I'll try to answer other details in due course! A friend of mine remarked that the link that someone has posted here .. . and I've got to hunt it down to hear it . . . of the Chopin prelude and he commented that the tuning was rather severe. This is why many years ago on the organ I rejected unmodified Werkmeister, so it's really a good idea to look at the Werkmeister modifications available.

Best wishes

David P

Postscript - I'm listening to Bill's recording Going Home
http://www.box.net/shared/on0hs9rhcv
with the low bass stretch. I like this but a tuning friend doesn't. It partly depends on how one perceives piano sound and certainly for me the top register is tuned percussion rather than tonally important. Likewise the bottom is fundamental support.

However, with the EBVT temperament I'm being constantly distracted by the constant beating, almost like a vibrato. ET beats are often faster, beyond perception, so less distracting.

http://www.box.net/shared/3v9eur7qe9 - the Chopin prelude 20 - compare with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqrynlohR4 06:32 In pure Werkmeister the in-tune chords are lovely for instance the resolution at 00:28 and 00:39. Does the variation of Werkmeister that I use help the strained chords?
01:06 in http://www.box.net/shared/3v9eur7qe9
07:26 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqrynlohR4

Best wishes

David P

* Can harmomics be useful or destructive:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqrynlohR4 last note at 15:06 - extraordinarily strong harmonic. Is this to be ignored keeping bottom octave bass pure, or incorporated to accord with the temperament octave?


Edited by Unequally tempered (03/13/11 11:38 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!

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#1641078 - 03/14/11 09:16 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: DoelKees]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
six pure 5ths and six fifths tempered twice as much as they are in ET. That means that the tempered fifth are each 4 cents narrow. If I compare an octave with a pure fifth and make both sound "pure", the octave won't be a very wide one; probably a 4:2 type, at least in the midrange. However, if I make an octave beat equally with a 4 cent narrow 5th, it will definitely have a beat in it, probably a 6:3 type at a minimum. That much stretch in an octave is still tolerable for modern piano tuning.


Bill, how far up and down from the temperament octave (assumed to be F3-F4) do you apply this equal beating 5th and 8th scheme? It is an interesting scheme, applicable to all "late baroque" 1/6 or less ' tunings and I want to do a theoretical analysis of how a temperament "morphs" across the piano compass with this method.

Kees


Kees,

Here is a complete answer to your question from my work in progress article on the detailed instructions for tuning the EBVT. This will be presented as a class at the next PTG annual convention in Kansas City. The entire article will be presented to the class attendees as a handout.

Quote:
Tuning from E3 to C3 (or lowest Tenor note)
After completing the F3 to F4 temperament octave, begin tuning the rest of the low tenor starting with E3. First, tune a reasonable sounding octave from E4, then compare E3 with the P4 and P5 above it and adjust E3 so that the octave still sounds reasonable but the P4 and P5 beat exactly the same or as nearly to that as possible. You can cause the P5 to be slightly less tempered sounding than the P4 but not at the expense of creating an obvious beat in the octave or the P4. The important thing is to have all three, octave, P4 and P5 sound reasonable.

You do not need to check any Rapidly Beating Intervals (RBI). The M3s, M6s and minor thirds (m3) will all sound uneven if played chromatically. No RBI test that would be necessary in ET would ever be valid when tuning the EBVT. Just as a 17th or 18th Century tuner who would not have known those tests, you do not need to use them at all, just skip that entirely. Whatever happens to the RBIs does not matter.

Continue likewise for D#3 and D3. At C#3, the F#3-C#4 P5 is beatless in the temperament octave, so when you tune C#3 to C#4 as a reasonable sounding octave, you should find that the C#3-F#3 P4 also sounds beatless. You may flatten C#3 just enough to slightly improve the C#3-G#3 P5 but not at the expense of creating an obvious beat in the octave nor the P4. The P4 need not remain perfectly beatless but it should also not have an obviously tempered sound.

Tuning C3 is similar. The F3-C4 P5 is beatless in the temperament octave. Therefore when you tune C3 from C4 as a reasonable sounding octave, you should find that that the C3-F3 P4 is also beatless. Similar to tuning C#3, you can slightly flatten C3 to slightly improve the C3-G3 P5 but again, not at the expense of creating an obvious beat in the octave nor the P4. The P4 does not need to remain perfectly pure but it should also not have an obviously tempered sound.

I consider A0 to B2 to be the Bass but depending on how large or small piano you are tuning, tune whichever notes remain in the low tenor below the F3-F4 temperament octave similarly. Seven and nine foot concert grands will often go down to F2, some even lower. Whatever remains in the low tenor, tune that as I described above, then before tuning the strings on the Bass bridge, move to the first note above the temperament octave, F#4. I suggest leaving the Bass notes for last, not first.

Tuning the "Killer" octave

The region just above the temperament octave is often called the "Killer" octave because of its difficulty in making compromises both in tuning and voicing. I think of the "Killer" octave as being F4 to F5 but some may think of it as an octave and a half or as much as two full octaves.

Begin with F#4 similarly to the way you tuned down from the temperament octave. When you tune F#4 from F#3 first as a reasonable sounding octave, the C#4-F#4 P4 should sound beatless but the B3-F#4 P5 will sound tempered. You may sharpen F#4 slightly so that the B3-F#4 P5 is slightly improved but not at the expense of creating an obviously wide octave or an obviously tempered P4. The P4 need not remain perfectly beatless but it should also not be obviously tempered.

When you tune G4 from G3 as a reasonable sounding octave, both the P4 and P5 below it will sound tempered. Now, you will definitely want to improve the P5 as much as possible by sharpening G4 slightly. Check to see that the octave still sounds reasonable but it can be allowed to have a slight beat in it. I do not specify an exact size of octave but if you do this properly, the size of the octave would be in the 6:3 range. There will be more about that later. Naturally, the speed of the P4 will be active and you don't want it to be excessive but it is not nearly as important as the sound of the P5. So, favor slightly the sound of the P5 over the P4 while trying to make the octave and the P5 beat equally (probably less than one beat per second for each). The P5 will still be tempered but what you want is a tempered sound that is barely perceptible. If you then play the C3-G4 octave-fifth, that will sound quite good, close to beatless, perhaps apparently beatless to the ear.

Tuning G#4 is easy. A reasonable sounding octave with G#3 will create a beatless C#3-G#4 P5. Leave it just like that; beatless octave, beatless P5th. The P4 doesn't matter but it will sound just fine.

If you tuned A4 initially and tuned A3 from it as a 6:3 octave, it will already be in place. However, if you started from A3, it is alright. If you tuned A3 from an A440 pitch source, the A4 will either end up right on pitch or mere tenths of a cent from it. When you tune A4, do that similarly to the way you tune G4. The result will be a slightly improved P5 below it, a slightly faster P4 below it and the octave will inevitably be a wider 6:3 type if you care to test it but you need not do that. If you followed the instructions literally, A4 will already be where it needs to be.

Tuning A#4 is also easy. Tuning a reasonable sounding octave from A#3 will produce a P4 and P5 below it which also sound reasonable. You may very slightly sharpen A#4 so that the D#3-A#4 P5th sounds virtually beatless but the F4-A#4 P4 is only slightly tempered.

Tuning B4 is similar to tuning G4 and A4. Favor the P5 below it slightly over the P4. The E3-B4 octave and P5th will sound virtually beatless.

When you tune C5 from C4 as a reasonable sounding octave, the F4-C5 P5 will be beatless. Leave it that way. The G4-C5 P4 will be tempered but not excessively. The C3-C5 double octave will also sound virtually or perfectly beatless. Play a C Major arpeggio from C3 to C5 , hold it with the pedal and you will hear a beautiful chord that largely or entirely suppresses all of the RBIs within it. It will sound as though you have tuned that chord in 1/4 or 1/5 comma Meantone but you have not. It only sounds like you have. The equal beating RBIs cancel themselves from your perception.

Tuning C#5 is easy. When you tune a reasonable sounding octave from C#4, the F#4-C#4 P5 will sound virtually beatless. Since you may have sharpened F#4 slightly, simply tune the F#4-C#5 P5th as beatless and check to see that the C#4-C#5 octave still sounds reasonable. The G#4-C#4 P4 may beat but certainly not excessively. This is the range where any perception of beating of P4’s begins to fade.

Tuning D5 is always the most difficult compromise to make. The G3-D4 P5 in the temperament octave is tempered more than twice as much as in ET ( a little more than 4 cents narrow) in all three versions of the EBVT. You have already sharpened G4 slightly to improve the C4-G4 P5. So, now to create a G4-D5 P5 that does not offend the ear, you must compromise the D4-D5 octave. When tuning electronically, I have found that it most often means adding one full cent over what the default stretch would provide. That is not an excessive amount.

It will cause the D4-D5 octave to have about one beat per second in it. Played as an isolated octave, an ET tuner may find that objectionable but remember, you are not tuning ET! You are not taking the tuning exam! What is most important is that the G4-D5 P5 not sound too narrow and have an obvious beat in it. As a practical matter, you could consider that the octave is one beat per second wide and the P5 is one beat per second narrow. What happens to the P4 below D5 does not matter. This is high enough in the scale that the sound of the P4 as previously mentioned, is beginning to fade from perception. The D3-D5 double octave may also be slightly wide. Isolated octaves and double octaves rarely, if ever occur in actual music in the midrange. They may occur higher lower but not here. Therefore, what is in between the octave and double octave is more important.

The audible width of the octave and double octave are not nearly as important as creating a P5 that does not offend the ear. Virtually anyone but especially a string player would not want to hear an obvious beat in the G4-D5 P5 but they wouldn't care at all that the octave and double octave are slightly wide. You can also consider that the width of the D4-D5 octave is about the same as would be created when tuning the “ET with pure fifths” idea. So, some ET tuners would, in fact have about the same width in this octave at this point, so it is not extreme.

By now you must have seen that each of these octaves tuned so far is of a different size (width). That is, in fact, correct and it is in fact, intended. No ETD program, at least as far as I know, can do this. If you want to use an ETD calculated program, you can do so but what you will want to do is examine each of these combinations of octaves, P4’s and P5’s. You will want to sharpen some notes slightly and flatten others slightly. When you find that a note needs to be sharpened or flattened, either do that by ear, find the pitch with the ETD and enter the new value in the program or estimate how much flatter or sharper the note should be with the ETD, tune the note to that pitch and check it aurally. If it now seems correct, enter that value in the program or make another estimate until you are satisfied, then enter it in the program. The amount of change to each note would be in the range of 0.5 cents to 1.5 cents. I cannot imagine needing to change any note any more than 2.0 cents at the very most.

Continue with D#5 which will be easy. Tune a reasonable sounding octave and check with the P5 below it. If the P5 sounds too tempered, sharpen D#5 slightly so that it is improved but the octave still sounds reasonable. At this point in the scale, the P4 below the note being tuned is completely irrelevant. Only check to make sure the double octave is not overly wide. The octave-fifth should sound quite good.

Tune E5 in the same manner as you have been. Pay special attention to the A4-E5 P5 and make sure it does not beat objectionably.

Now, before proceeding to F5, play all of the octaves you have tuned beginning at F#4 and play all of the fifths from F#4 to E5. They will not have an entirely consistent sound; that is not the goal. You only want to be especially sure that none of the fifths in this area beat objectionably. Bear in mind that a fifth may be improved not only by sharpening the top note of the interval but also by lowering the bottom note. Sometimes the perfect solution is to do both, each by a very small amount. If you were tuning ET, you would be looking for complete consistency but you are not tuning ET! You are tuning the EBVT or EBVT III with Tempered Octaves.

Notice that I have said nothing about the RBIs. You do not need to check any of them. You also do not need to use any octave tests. If you did use octave tests, you would find that each octave varied in size, one to the next. That is correct, that is expected and that is intended.

The "Killer" octave was difficult but the entire rest of the piano is so easy to do as to be "mindless".

Tuning "Mindless" Octaves

Beginning at F5 and using the sostenuto pedal, play and hold the F3-F5 double octave. (If the piano has no sostenuto pedal or it doesn't work, use the damper pedal the same way you would use the sostenuto pedal. Play the notes first and then press the pedal. If you are tuning a vertical piano and using muting strips, the strip mute will hold open the treble dampers, so you do not need to use a pedal at all.)

Temporarily tune the F3-F5 double octave beatless. Now play and hold the A#3-F5 octave-fifth. You should hear a beat in the octave-fifth. Sharpen F5 slightly until both the double octave and the octave-fifth have virtually the same quality. Neither interval will have much of any audible beat. They will both sound apparently or very nearly beatless.

You can continue this very same procedure to C8. Some double octave and octave and 5th combinations will beat very slightly more than others because the octave sizes you have created below them are all of different sizes but none will beat very obviously.

If you desire more stretch in the high treble, you can choose to start favoring the octave-fifth at or about F6. That will mean a wider double octave but in the high treble, that is often found to be acceptable. You can delay such favoring until C6 or higher is you choose. The limitation you may find is in how wide of a single octave that will create in that area of the piano. If the single octave sounds objectionably wide to you, you may wish to keep tuning equal beating double octaves and octave-fifths until such a point in the scale that some slight beating in a single octave no longer sounds objectionable.

You can also do this with an ETD with virtually the same results as you get aurally. This is what I highly recommend. At F5, the ETD program will probably read F5 on its second partial. Change the partial selection to the first partial (F5 read on F5). Play F3 and stop the pattern. Now play A#3 and the pattern will roll or otherwise displays somewhat sharp. Adjust the pattern to the point where it displays equally flat when you play F3 as it does sharp when you play A#3. Whatever value that is, enter it into the program and tune F5 to that.

You may continue that same procedure all the way to C8. However, if you desire more stretch in the high treble, you may begin favoring the octave-fifth beginning on or about F6. You can simply play the note which is an octave-fifth below the note to be tuned, stop the pattern, enter it and tune the note to whatever value is found. For an even sharper high treble, you can use the note which is a double octave-fifth below the note to be tuned. Play that note, stop the pattern, enter that value and tune to it.
Typically, at F6, I tune the octave-fifth beatless. In programming the ETD, I simply play A#4, stop the pattern, enter that value and tune to it. I do that until B6. At C7, I use the note three octaves below and tune to that (triple octave).. At F7 to C8, I use the double octave-fifth, sometimes the triple octave, sometimes the triple octave-fifth.

In making any of these choices, you are tuning the piano to or making a compromise based upon the actual inharmonicity which the piano has. If you choose to tune beatless octave-fifths or pure double octave-fifths beginning on or about F6, you are still using the piano's actual inharmonicity to determine a pitch for the note to be tuned, not a calculation. However, anytime you favor one interval over another, the interval you have disfavored becomes compromised. In the high treble, that essentially means that you will have audible beats in the single octaves. It is up to you to determine how far you can or should go with that depending on the circumstances.

A maximally stretched high treble will sound very bright and is often appealing to many or most people. To others, however, those kind of single octaves "scream" with dissonance. In any case, the amount of beating in a single octave is never very extreme, even with maximum stretch. Remember that sustain in the high treble is short (that is why there are no dampers). The actual musical context played in the high treble is not the kind of harmony played in the midrange. Therefore, a brilliant high treble that projects well is often a good choice in many circumstances. You simply need to use your professional judgment or respond to the suggestions or complaints of the person or people for whom you tune. The complaint may well be that the high treble sounds "flat" and if so, you will know what to do about that, regardless of your own opinion.

Tuning the Bass

Beginning with B2 or whichever is the highest note on the Bass bridge, do a "mirror image" of what you did in the treble. Tune first a reasonable sounding octave, then compare the P4 and P5 above it. You may favor the P5 slightly over the P4 but not at the expense of creating an overly wide octave.

At or about F2, you no longer need to consider the P4 above the note to be tuned. Simply concentrate on Octaves and fifths. You can also use the sostenuto pedal and compare double octaves and octave-fifths. Single octaves, fourths and fifthss (in the high Bass) should all sound reasonable but a fifth may be favored over a fourth. In the low Bass, you will want to be sure that single octaves, double octaves, fifths and octave-fifths all sound reasonable. Each should sound balanced with each other so that none has any more noticeable beat than any other. All should sound nearly beatless but none perfectly so.

In the very lowest Bass, especially on smaller pianos, you may begin to hear a faint resonance when tuning a single octave. This is actually the result of a large difference in inharmonicity between partials beyond the 8th partial of the note being tuned and the note an octave above it. Oddly enough, even though it is actually a rapid beat, it does not sound objectionable but rather pleasing to the ear. That is why I called it a resonance rather than an octave with a rapid beat in it, even though technically, that is what it is. Believe me, there is no such thing as a “pure” octave on a piano!

You may hear this starting on or about F1. Now is the only time I would ever listen to any RBIs when tuning the octaves. Typically, I would find the note an octave above the note being tuned and play the M10 interval and listen to whatever rapid beat there is. Now, when I tune that low octave, I cause that octave to sound in tune but also cause that resonance to mimic the rapid beating of the M10 that I just played. You can also go to the temperament octave and play a M3.

For example, you are tuning F1. When you make a reasonable sounding octave with F2 above it, you hear that resonance. Play F3-A3 and then "copy and paste" that rapid beat to the resonance of F1-F2 octave you are tuning. If you do this, you will get a different resonance for each of the low Bass octaves you are tuning because the RBIs above them are each a different speed. If you were tuning ET, you would want that resonance to be evenly digressive but you are not tuning ET! So, a slightly different character in each of the low Bass octaves is correct, expected, intended and deliberate.

This will cause the low Bass to enhance the sound of the entire rest of the piano. When you finish tuning the low Bass and have all of your unisons tuned, play the long, C Major arpeggio from the bottom to the top while pressing the pedal and you will hear and witness the splendid, "pipe organ" effect. After striking all the keys, listen to the sound that emanates from the piano. It will sound to your amazement just like a pipe organ. This is because you have used the canceling effect of equal beating to suppress the “noise” of ET and inharmonicity. It never fails to impress any customer that the piano is now supremely in tune with itself. I have never heard anyone who denied that it really does sound like a pipe organ.

You can also use an ETD to tune the Bass. You may use the calculated program to get the pitches close to what you want first. The partial selection will probably already be on the 6th partial but if not, change it to that. Play the note two octaves above the note to be tuned and stop the pattern. Now play the note which is an octave-5th above the note being tuned and the pattern will again display sharp. Adjust the pattern so that it rolls equally sharp and flat when the double octave and octave-fifth are compared. Enter that value and tune the note to whatever it is.

You may continue the same all the way to A0 but just as with the high treble, you may begin to favor the octave-fifth or the double octave-fifth at some point in the low bass, beginning on or about C2. Check to make sure that whichever decision you have made does not create overly wide single octaves. Remember the resonance often encountered in the low Bass. Only a nine foot concert grand may not produce that resonance and even one of those may do so in the very lowest few notes.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1641170 - 03/15/11 12:03 AM 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: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Thanks Bill. I already have that set of instructions (which I used for my tunelab plug-in) but it is specific to EBVT3. I was hoping for a general recipe to extend any WT, but maybe that is not possible.

Kees

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#1701456 - 06/24/11 07:39 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!

Restringing has progressed on the Emerlich Betsy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk12p0eJ9uI

The pianist playing here tried the Bechstein earlier in the evening and, expert in Chopin Mazurkas, commented that the temperament I use does the job of expression that a pianist otherwise has to insert consciously into playing.

In my continuing examination of Chopin there are a number of areas of Chopin's work where perfect fifths and thirds which "sing" seem to be very natural fitting in with the emphasis of the rhythm.

Reaction to the temperament is very extraordinary - on the one hand musicians such as my visitor the other evening rave about it and others, I guess of the nature of whom Ross Duffin complains, who metaphorically run from the room screaming. It's still a mystery to me why Ross Duffin falls for the Lehman Bradley temperament not merely for reasons referred to earlier, a debate on which I don't want to restart, but for the reason that I'm not greatly aware of the Lehman temperament leading to many if any perfect intervals which one would assume to be a prerequisite for Duffin's return to finding better harmony . . . So the book is a good proposition, makes a great point with significant validity but its conclusion is a mystery to me - to the point of being a non-sequiture as far as I'm concerned.

To find harmony, in my mind having played the 1775 organ at St Maximin in France and been looking at a lot of the French Baroque repertoire using Meantone, a quest from harmony has to start from there, relaxing it into playability in all keys, so giving nicely purish intervals, particularly major thirds in Bb F C G D and letting the far-flung keys take the strain. If the validity of the musicoligist's experience the other night has any weight, then this sort of tuning appears to accord with the spirit of Chopin and one must therefore start to ask how universal it was in terms of geographical spread within Europe and up to what date.

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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#1701503 - 06/24/11 09:27 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
personally, I like to think, and do think, we are all brilliant geniuses, living in our varied worlds and creating events that bring us huge delight, and others. Kees, your maps are very pretty, and might make for an interesting painting... hmm. I think above all, it is important to be the best you can be, and to love that moment. SM

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#1701584 - 06/25/11 12:45 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Mexico City
??

I guess this was intended for another thread.



Edited by Gadzar (06/25/11 12:46 AM)
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1702969 - 06/27/11 12:41 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Johnson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 84
Originally Posted By: Unequally tempered
Hi!

Restringing has progressed on the Emerlich Betsy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk12p0eJ9uI

The pianist playing here tried the Bechstein earlier in the evening and, expert in Chopin Mazurkas, commented that the temperament I use does the job of expression that a pianist otherwise has to insert consciously into playing.

In my continuing examination of Chopin there are a number of areas of Chopin's work where perfect fifths and thirds which "sing" seem to be very natural fitting in with the emphasis of the rhythm.

Reaction to the temperament is very extraordinary - on the one hand musicians such as my visitor the other evening rave about it and others, I guess of the nature of whom Ross Duffin complains, who metaphorically run from the room screaming. It's still a mystery to me why Ross Duffin falls for the Lehman Bradley temperament not merely for reasons referred to earlier, a debate on which I don't want to restart, but for the reason that I'm not greatly aware of the Lehman temperament leading to many if any perfect intervals which one would assume to be a prerequisite for Duffin's return to finding better harmony . . . So the book is a good proposition, makes a great point with significant validity but its conclusion is a mystery to me - to the point of being a non-sequiture as far as I'm concerned.

To find harmony, in my mind having played the 1775 organ at St Maximin in France and been looking at a lot of the French Baroque repertoire using Meantone, a quest from harmony has to start from there, relaxing it into playability in all keys, so giving nicely purish intervals, particularly major thirds in Bb F C G D and letting the far-flung keys take the strain. If the validity of the musicoligist's experience the other night has any weight, then this sort of tuning appears to accord with the spirit of Chopin and one must therefore start to ask how universal it was in terms of geographical spread within Europe and up to what date.

Best wishes

David P


This piano already sounds very good. Thanks for posting this new video, David.

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#1763755 - 10/03/11 05:26 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!

Some Schubert . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQBT5lclztU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXPjFabNEXU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnCHX64F5rs

I have varied the tuning slightly - does anyone notice any difference from before?

We have one recital at the end of the month with Kazimierz Morski and then we'll be sending off the hammers to be refelted.

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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#1764327 - 10/04/11 02:25 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Johnson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 84
David--I thought we'd lost you.

Over the past few days I've been installing new monitors. Everything that I'm listening to now sounds very different. I'm not sure that I trust my ears right now.

My initial impression, however, is that I like the older version of your temperament more. The new one, to me, sounds closer to Equal temperament--more brittle and at times tart. The attack seems more forcible, but I don't like the timbre as much. I can't offer an objective view, given my new system, but my first impression is that there is no need to improve on your earlier version.

On the other hand, the new pieces are faster, and they are played more aggressively, so the upper partials are more audible. If Mr. Barabino played the same piece using both temperaments, we could reduce the variable to the temperament.

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#1764441 - 10/04/11 08:51 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Johnson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

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

Thanks

I've been absent only on account of a lack of new recordings . . .

For the latest, I used TuneLab97 with an inharmonicity graph applied. This took the top octaves up rather more than my norm and the bottom notes I felt to tie in with the centre more. Adolfo likes this more on his Steinway in England, which did not react so harmoniously to my usual methods using ears alone in the bass, but on the Bechstein, there was a marked difference between what TuneLab was wanting to do and what my ears wanted me to do in the Tenor C octave C3-C4, so I erred towards my ears.

The piano will take on a renewed persona when the hammers are refelted . . .

The Steinway and surprisingly the Bechstein have odd irregular inharmonicities in the Tenor C octave.

Steinway inharmonicity: 2nd harmonic varies from -0.5 to +2.6:
A1 ? 0.00 2.04 -1.37 1.10 2.67
C2 0.00 2.72 4.19 3.35 3.12 5.41
E2 ? 0.00 1.37 1.62 2.15 3.66
F2 0.00 -0.18 ? 3.22 4.58 5.83
F#2 ? 0.00 0.31 0.79 1.92 3.32
G2 0.00 2.65 2.62 3.49 4.34 5.45
G#2 ? 0.00 0.10 0.65 1.69 2.87
A2 0.00 2.62 3.24 4.03 4.95 5.79
A#2 ? 0.00 0.99 1.14 2.16 3.60
B2 0.00 -0.50 -0.08 0.88 1.74 2.75
C3 0.00 -0.09 0.23 1.01 2.02 2.85
C#3 0.00 0.00 0.40 1.40 2.35 3.40
D3 0.00 -0.11 0.87 1.62 2.45 3.50
D#3 0.00 0.33 1.13 1.93 3.14 4.30
E3 0.00 0.25 0.81 1.50 2.62 3.92
F3 0.00 2.01 2.57 3.33 4.83 6.33
F#3 0.00 -0.12 0.72 1.70 3.00 4.71
G3 0.00 0.14 1.18 1.99 3.89 5.59
G#3 0.00 0.16 1.43 2.41 3.88 5.70
A3 0.00 0.88 1.37 2.97 4.58 6.64
A#3 0.00 1.62 2.32 3.89 5.70 7.99
B3 0.00 1.22 2.31 3.52 5.76 8.26
C4 0.00 1.48 2.83 4.47 6.59 9.61

The Bechstein is better behaved with anomolies only between E3 to B3 but much wider 5th and higher harmonics:

C2 0.00 8.19 10.51 16.99 21.78 29.19
E2 0.00 4.90 8.00 ? 14.75 20.75
G#2 0.00 5.18 5.97 8.67 11.27 13.44
A2 0.00 6.51 8.38 ? 10.95 13.63
D3 0.00 5.27 4.81 9.34 11.71 17.60
D#3 0.00 6.90 8.37 11.36 16.22 20.99
E3 0.00 1.84 4.93 8.89 14.04 15.60
F3 0.00 -0.48 0.34 0.81 2.81 4.33
F#3 0.00 0.32 1.23 1.27 3.95 5.97
G3 0.00 1.93 4.15 7.13 11.19 16.83
G#3 ? 0.00 ? 2.24 ? 6.48
A3 0.00 0.91 3.34 6.03 9.26 13.20
A#3 0.00 1.53 3.12 4.73 10.43 12.76
B3 0.00 0.76 2.46 5.94 9.33 13.27
C4 0.00 1.32 3.70 6.03 8.50 13.03

The Steinway in Genoa, which I tuned straight without applying a curve was much more regular:
A1 ? 0.00 0.73 1.00 4.26 3.58
B1 ? 0.00 1.69 1.81 2.77 3.54
E2 0.00 5.59 1.54 2.07 1.72 2.21
A#2 0.00 7.43 7.06 7.58 8.47 7.39
D3 0.00 3.61 5.35 6.83 7.37 8.34
D#3 0.00 4.10 4.78 5.63 7.92 9.82
A3 0.00 0.42 2.52 3.84 5.43 7.93
D4 0.00 1.16 2.51 5.27 8.76 12.77
A4 0.00 1.81 5.59 10.23 5.07 23.99

and the 1930s Bechstein in Genoa was hideously irregular, especially in the 3rd harmonic:
F1 ? 0.00 2.55 7.84 6.84 11.35
G1 ? 0.00 0.41 5.12 7.91 8.53
G#1 ? 0.00 1.78 7.35 11.17 14.44
A1 ? 0.00 -11.11 -6.37 -2.20 -2.31
A#1 ? 0.00 2.08 4.79 5.30 6.65
C2 ? 0.00 ? 6.11 5.80 5.92
A2 0.00 2.82 4.62 6.16 6.97 9.00
A#2 0.00 1.89 2.46 3.72 5.62 8.00
C3 0.00 0.81 0.54 2.18 4.00 6.13
A3 0.00 0.34 1.63 3.79 5.10 7.26
A4 0.00 2.54 5.77 10.23 15.66 23.35

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (10/04/11 08:53 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!

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#1764474 - 10/04/11 09:55 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Jake Johnson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 84
Interesting. I must be honest and say that I like your earlier, narrower pitching of the first octave above A440, however, on your two pianos. Your thought that the human ear is particularly sensitive in that area struck me as right, or at least as right for your well temperament on those pianos. Delaying the stretch somehow gives them a quality I find hard to describe. (Human? Humble? Plaintive? None of these terms seems exactly right.)

On the other hand, have you followed the thread on expanding the temperament with M12's? I wonder how your temperament, and other well temperaments, would sound following those guidelines.

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#1764551 - 10/04/11 12:36 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Johnson]
Unequally tempered Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jake Johnson
Interesting. I must be honest and say that I like your earlier, narrower pitching of the first octave above A440, however, on your two pianos. Your thought that the human ear is particularly sensitive in that area struck me as right, or at least as right for your well temperament on those pianos. Delaying the stretch somehow gives them a quality I find hard to describe. (Human? Humble? Plaintive? None of these terms seems exactly right.)

On the other hand, have you followed the thread on expanding the temperament with M12's? I wonder how your temperament, and other well temperaments, would sound following those guidelines.


Dear Jake

Thanks for your observations. It's great to be able to bounce ideas and sounds off attuned ears . . .

I suspect that perfect M12s will work particularly well on instruments where the 5th harmonic is sharp and equating with the equal temperament stretched third, 13-14 cents sharper than pure. Looking at the different inharmonicities between the Steinways and the Bechsteins I measured in the upper harmonics, the small Genoa Steinway has relatively low IH in the 5th harmonics - so sounding sweeter and more solidly harmonious in the sweet keys of an unequal temperament whereas my Bechstein might sound sweeter in equal temperament with 5th harmonics more nearly equating with the Equal Temperament thirds. The relationship between the 5th harmonic and the generality of thirds in an unequal temperament may well govern how instruments responds, exaggerating or ameliorating the key colour . . .

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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#1837148 - 02/02/12 11:27 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: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
David,

I was just looking through this thread this morning, and I found that some of the links in the first few posts are dead or land on unexpected videos on your Youtube channel. Have you rearranged or renamed things on your site? I think I was able to find the videos that correspond to the original links, but I worry that some of the videos may be "lost" from our perspective.

More generally, have you any news? About Adolfo Barabino's plans to record in this temperament? About your further explorations of your Well variation or the work on your pianos? Any new recordings?

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#1957196 - 09/10/12 11:25 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!

I've no idea how video links should have changed - it must be YouTube rearranging things . . .

We did a recital outside the other day on a 1905 Broadwood. It was in full sunlight on a hot day and tuning was a nightmare. No doubt others will have experienced this problem and might have ways of overcoming it. I covered the instruments with silver bubble insulation which helped a little.

It's a baby grand, able to be lifted outside without too much trouble . . . but short bass strings and the bass I find horribly difficult to tune - it is a smudge of inharmonics and finding the best match I find to be a bit of a hit and miss activity at best . . .

Scarlatti on harpsichord and on piano
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyUS0cADzvA
Beethoven Tempest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC6TsAa6T4Q
Chopin 2nd Sonata http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NKv-gGTEWM
More Chopin & Encores http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJJ_VZrBGCw

Adolfo is hoping that his forthcoming concerts in the Channel Islands will be on instruments tuned to unequal temperament . . .

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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#1961444 - 09/20/12 08:11 AM 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!

The recordings on the Broadwood are interesting - outside it was accompanied by birds - in the Beethoven, chirruping, in the Funeral March and wind whistling over the graves he excited the crows and subsequently with the Chopin encores he calmed them . . .

At risk of being accused of duplication I'm going to start a thread for unequal temperament on modern concert instruments having tuned for this concert artist on tour in the Channel Islands where in particularly on a Grotrian Steinweg, the contrast between the still pure fifths enclosing a gentle beating third was particularly magic, sounding like a violin or a singer. It was an incredible performance and combination of sensitive pianist with a piano upon which I commented was tuned to the language of the music:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnYITP11UgQ

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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#1961586 - 09/20/12 01:54 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

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I am usually very reluctant to that, but I appreciated the Schubert, the piano helps a lot, also.

Nice way to play and have fun ! thanks for posting
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#1967043 - 09/30/12 07:42 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Olek]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Loc: UK
Hi!

We have just had the first wonderful concert on the 1885 Bechstein since the hammers have been re covered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O9vHGQm0UY is Beethoven Appassionato in which sunshine emerges from mist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTJzZawHRSM Tchaikowsky Meditation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyXbLgcb1sg Tchaikovsky Dumka Russian Rustic Scene op59

all played by Sachiko Kawamura.

Best wishes

David P
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#1967123 - 09/30/12 11:08 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
woodog Offline
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The Tchaikovsky Meditation was extraordinarily beautiful!

It seemed like the instrument was grateful for being able to sing like that.

Has this always been a well kept instrument, or is it a rescue or a bit of both? (apologies if this has been discussed prior).

again, very nice.

Forrest
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#1967205 - 10/01/12 08:00 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Hi!

The further videos are now online:

Debussy Prelude
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SthGamF8qIQ

Debussy Clair de lune
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXVShKy0LP4

Schumann : Fantasie op.17
  Durchaus fantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen
Maessig. Durchaus energisch
Langsam getragen. Durchweg leise zu halten
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd0o7qzIGz8

Schumann Traumerei
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAW6jQaEKY

On another thread, someone in England is debating whether to buy an old Bechstein or a modern piano. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnYITP11UgQ recorded on a Grotrian Steinweg demonstrates the superior artistry of the Bechstein tonality. In modern pianos the 5th partial is generally suppressed in the tone, leading to a much less interesting and less orchestrally evocative sound.

Quote:

It seemed like the instrument was grateful for being able to sing like that.

Has this always been a well kept instrument, or is it a rescue or a bit of both? (apologies if this has been discussed prior).


This instrument has provided concerts at Hammerwood Park for a quarter of a century and has had the hammers refelted by Abel with their premium felt this year, together with fitting new rollers. Now that these are bedding in, it needs some fine tuning of regulation.

However, "singing like that" is something that all pianos can do if tuned this way. Equal temperament as applied in standard form merely causes atonal shimmering. Instead, the adjustments to equal temperament to allow home keys to be more harmonious and remote keys to be less-so enable keys to sing with indivudality, and for orchestral effects to be set up. One member of the audience commented afterwards that the piano "sounded like a Clarion" at times. This would be on account of the use of many perfect fifths. Thirds sing with vibrato in contrast to the straight beatless fifths and to which harmonics of bass notes are tuned.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (10/01/12 08:07 AM)
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#1967284 - 10/01/12 12:29 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Phil D Offline
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I'd love to hear this piano with new bass strings. The low bass sounds good but the tenor is a bit lacking sometimes. But still, sounds great smile
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#1967665 - 10/02/12 07:50 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Phil D]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Dear Phil

:-) Yes occassionally I'm hearing that tubbiness of bass strings past their prime . . . but it's the temperament that enables the music to shine through!

Are you trying any unequal temperaments for any of your customers?

Best wishes

David P
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#2104641 - 06/18/13 09:55 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Hi!

I've been able to so some more recordings which you might enjoy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd1nv4wy4mw of which
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lbNdHBtbvw is the piano section and I'd appreciate feedback on the three different mics tested as to which give the best piano sound

J S Bach Sonata in G for viola da gamba and Harpsichord
Byrd Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La
Buxtehude Fugue in C Major alla Gigue
Brahms Chorale Prelude on Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Beethoven Sonata for piano and cello in G Minor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK9hAZP4zmY
Debussy- Prelude from Pour le piano
Beethoven- Sonata in E flat op31 no 3
Johnson - Jazz impromptu no 1 (South African composition)
Debussy- L'isle joyeuse
Bach- Prelude and Fugue in b flat minor no22 Bk 1
Liszt -- Mephisto Waltz no1

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU-ilRBeZ84
Bach Partita No 1- Praeludium-Allemande-Corrente-Menuet 1 and 2-Giga
Chopin- Nocturnes Op.9 nr 2 and Op. 15 nrs 1 and 2
Chopin Etudes Op.25 nr 1 and Op.10 nr 9
Grieg - Wedding March
Chopin Scherzo in Bb minor

are two more piano recitals

The Sachiko Kawamura recital http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAW6jQaEKY was the first with this instrument with renewed hammer felts, the Abel premium grade rather than the standard rather hard stuff that is giving modern piano refurbishments a horribly hard sound . . .

Best wishes

David P
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- http://www.organmatters.com -
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#2105076 - 06/19/13 09:34 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Unequally tempered]
Jake Jackson Offline
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Loc: Atlanta, GA
Lovely as always, David. Were these pianos tuned to your temperament?

I certainly hear the most difference between the analogue and the digital versions. I hear what might be expected--more emphasis on the mids and lows. Saturation, I suppose. And I'm in the camp that still likes that sound. I do not think that one recording sounds better than another, exactly.

I wonder, however, if digital recording, by giving less emphasis to the mids, brings out more of the "tang" of slight discords? Would be more noticeable on ET perhaps, or with pieces in less popular keys using a well temperament.

Regardless, thank you again for posting your recordings and for keeping us up to date with what you are doing. Any progress in Mr. Barabino's album using these recordings? I hope that you will be involved in the recording and mastering.


Edited by Jake Jackson (06/19/13 09:35 PM)

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#2105127 - 06/19/13 10:55 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Equal temperment is tried and proven. It is what people's ears/brains are used to hearing. Sorry, but it's here to stay.
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#2105130 - 06/19/13 11:00 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Gary Fowler]
beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Equal temperment is tried and proven. It is what people's ears/brains are used to hearing. Sorry, but it's here to stay.


And unequal temperaments have been around a lot longer, and every scholarly musician should at least be aware of their existence, if not aurally exposed to them. They aren't going anywhere, either. There's room for both.
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#2183227 - 11/16/13 06:17 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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In view of Beethoven's presence on this thread it's a pleasure to be able to present some Beethoven which I've found on an archive tape labelled with information only about the instruments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn_xVzEE0w0

If not earlier from around 14 minutes or so the performance starts to touch the sublime.

Best wishes

David P
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- http://www.organmatters.com -
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#2183325 - 11/16/13 11:37 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6322
Loc: France
To me the piano was not professionally tuned.

It is not an old recording, not THAT old, the piano is tuned as an organ, I have heard some organ specialist tuning, using plain octaves, or harpsichord specialist, they tune with that nasal sounding octave.

As you seem to be specialist on old temperament, what is that one? I heard a large c G 5th, unless it is c#.

Pianists where playing more tempered pianos in most old recordings I heard.

The difficulty is to obtain an "equal temperament" that allow a definite tone color change between tonality, without sounding sour, without resorting to non tempered 5ths that create too much imbalance in my opinion.

The solution I use is to stick to the piano in a relatively short octave, tempering in the low mediums.. The 5th begin to have some noticeable color change, while the fast beating intervals are sounding normally.

Then octave spread and the leeway provided by iH allows to avoid too screaming intervals.
The basses however are more difficult to balance as defects are more easily heard.

But the evident color variation when playing arpeggios or chords is visibly appreciated by pianists for a big part of the repertoire.

It push toward an "old" tone, but a thousand years of that recording, the piano is yet warm and colorful.

It is "too easy" to go toward screaming intervals so to have a few pure 5ths.
Pure 12 are musically more interesting and enjoyable in my experience.

The voicing on the recorded piano here is absent.

Let off does not happen on a Eb6 we hear the hammer blocking on the strings.
A lot of keys do not speak - should be risible if not sad.

Maybe due to the action the pianist put a few jabs and forget a few notes - she put some heart in the playing anyway.

As I said, not a professional job, and the recording is too clean, even if cleaned, that must not be before 1950, and I am generous. UT is not an excuse to provide a pianist such instrument in my opinion.

Could be one of your recordings in my opinion , why is it presented as "authentic" ?

Best regards.

Funnily the tuning settle during the playing so the unisons are less pinched and begin to be sonorous in the middle of the concert.


Edited by Olek (11/16/13 04:07 PM)
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#2183448 - 11/16/13 03:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: beethoven986]
Olek Offline
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Posts: 6322
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Equal temperment is tried and proven. It is what people's ears/brains are used to hearing. Sorry, but it's here to stay.


And unequal temperaments have been around a lot longer, and every scholarly musician should at least be aware of their existence, if not aurally exposed to them. They aren't going anywhere, either. There's room for both.


To me they make the piano sound "strangled" , no much joy in listening, must be a little funny to play, but I believe it is more an intellectual posture than musical taste.

Or the realisation is not as nice it could be, or the piano limits, or the recording, but while I do not appreciate an ET with mistakes that strike, nor an ET that offer not enough color I cannot hear what I could appreciate in a similar tuning done on a harpsichord, for instance.

The intervals sound very soon abnormally screaming and miss the expected quietness. I heard something more pleasing in an outdoor concert recorded on the Youtube site of Mr Barabino

What misses the most here is partial matching and natural consonance, so that denatures a lot the yet very old tone of an instrument that is not much expressive yet, possibly due to its condition and action.

To each his own ...

I have than nice book "Musique et Temperments" with samples recorded, but at the organ and the harpsichord, the instruments are not under the rule of inharmonicity and sound quieter more easily.



Edited by Olek (11/16/13 03:41 PM)
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#2183843 - 11/17/13 10:09 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Olek]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Loc: UK
Dear Isaac

This blind recording is interesting for the reason that . . . it's not one piano. It's two pianos with two pianists . . . and the pianos blend together so interestingly that it's difficult to distinguish other than the tuning having got better later on!

I think the tuning of one of the instruments changed possibly with room temperature but the awkward instrument is a baby Broadwood which on account of the short bass strings is a pig to obtain a good harmonic tuning as the iH of the tenor down is so strong. This instrument was built originally as a playerpiano around 1905 and had an extraordinarily heavy action which we have lightened with internal springs, making it much more playable but far from perfect as yet.

On this recording, however, the difference of instrument and associated tuning style for each does give a feeling of contrast between the instrument playing orchestra and the Bechstein serving as the solo instrument.

At the end of the day, one asks "what is music?" and the answer must be in the conveyance of meaning, feeling and emotion rather than the conveyance of notes. The comparative recording of the Chopin 2nd Sonata some years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgA1-I5MfNY is demonstrative of that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1GnV8oaOVU exemplifies the orchestral effects capable of being achieved.

Best wishes

David P


Edited by Unequally tempered (11/17/13 10:12 PM)
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#2184813 - 11/18/13 09:08 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Dear Oleg

In case of doubt, the "deficiencies" of what we like to hear in a tuning are truly problems inherent in tuning a baby grand - from preference for these two Beethoven pianos we'd have chosen the Emerlich Betsy of 1856 together with the Bechstein but to move the instrument through doorways would have cost a professional removeals firm at a cost which would have made the concert wholly uneconomic. But with such a pair of pianists, what an interesting recodring opportunity.

For the avoidance of doubt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z3o0x4dKJI
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnYITP11UgQ
are the sort results I like to achieve in a tuning.

The Alderney instrument was a Grotrian and this was quite interesting. I damped the untuned string lengths with strips of cut tea-towell being the only thing to hand before the recital and the sound of the instrument was so pure than the singing thirds against perfect fifths was quite a wonderful phenonomen.

The Boston Steinway was frustrating as the tuned aliquot lengths were very untuned, to an annoying degree and damping them out took away more brightness than I like to hear in an instrument. No doubt as equal temperament is so out of tune the tuning of aliquots is wholly unnecessary but when one is tuning to perfect intervals the untuned aliquots scream.

Best wishes

David P
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- http://www.organmatters.com -
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#2184989 - 11/19/13 08:29 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
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Loc: France
Thanks for those links David.

Liked the tone of the Grotrian and the Boston, but really the tunings are off limits to me.

If we where to look for some enghancement due to acoustical effects of pure intervals, it may not provide so much drawbacks that some intervals sound really strange , as this is in the way of quiet listening.

ET can be made less "shimmering" indeed now the piano is more a percussive instrument than many so there is always a part of that.

WHat we call "perfect intervals " with a piano are definitively tempered a little, be it because of the iH of the piano itself.
SO in the end the piano tuning tend to that by itself.

The good question is indeed "what is music" tuners can be caught easily in the joy of acoustical enghancements.

The idea is to provide different level of quietness in the same tuning ?

The calssical harmony ask for more ruled intervals in my opinion.
Then , I for one do not like too much prediteable harmonies, even if that is not there that the pianist plays, some differnces seem to be appreciated.

In that regard the tone tend to go toward older recordings tone. (some of them are really screaming, tuning wise)

Wonderful unisons in your tunings, David, this i not so common, (voicing is perfect too)

I still have to obtain a good recording of a tuning that use a cycle of 5ths as a base without being too extreme. All I have was done with bad equipment as that Schubert...

to be continued.

Best regards
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#2185011 - 11/19/13 09:38 AM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Olek]
Unequally tempered Offline
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Dear Isaac

Thanks for your comments. The unisions you've heard are really due to the quality of the pianos and not of me, and really why the Steinway, even the Boston, and the Grotrian, modern pianos are so superb.

But what I am coming to departs from the industry. As humans we grow up with mummy and daddy as our first local heroes and then we easily seek local gods thereafter. Teachers become our gods rather than the subject they teach, of which if we study well we can be in full command. It's in this way that for instance Jesus's teachings have been hijacked by a Jesus Christ person worship cult rather than the worship of the Creator, the process that Creates, to which every religion, even Darwinistic atheism leads.

The relevance is that we easily don't see the shape of the wood for the trees, mistaking the conveyance of the message as the message itself.

In this way, the piano has become a cult of perfection in which easily we see the instrument as an object of perfection and we seek tuning, players and composers who make the piano sound nice, so that we fall in love with the piano, the instrument. This is promoted by the personality cults, the brand names, who have a financial and vested interest in representing that their instruments represent the only perfect form of the instrument.

So my perspective is different. The piano is a tool, it is a means of conveyance of the music, of the message intended by the composer.

In this perfection cult we lose sight of the shape of the wood looking only for perfection of placement of the trees - and for this reason whilst a live performance can express music of the most professional musicality, a recording is adjudged not by the shape of the wood and its beauty, but whether every note is in its right place. For this reason I had to suppress the recordings I recently placed on YouTube whilst other performers, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU-ilRBeZ84 can survive provided anonymity is assured by reason of using the assumed ancient technology of magnetic tape.

So in tuning as I do, I am not looking to make the piano sound good, even for the music to sound comfortable, because the composers were not writing to worship the instrument but to convey something else, meaning. This was why Beethoven gave such attention to the specific keys in which he was writing.

Chromatic is nothing to do with semitones: chromatism is to do with colour. Moving up a semitone shifts the spectrum of harmonic accordances. So this is the reason behind the idea of home keys which fit one like comfortable slippers and remote keys which one wears as protective boots to walk miles. Of all pieces the Raindrop Prelude is demonstrative of this in D flat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsn9g4pS2RA which should be and can be in close intervals a very nasty key but is used because of the lack of harmonic accordances, so making it mysterious, defined clouds and patches of sunshine emerging from the mist, a sense of everything being slippery. Vibrations are not coinciding.

Listen to any part of that recording and it might sound odd, unpleasant, ordinary, awkward, but listen to the whole and the shape of the wood that one has circumnavigated during the course of listening becomes so much more beautiful and interesting than any equally tempered rendition of this piece you've ever heard recorded before.

Haydn is a composer who is lost by having adopted equal temperament: he was relying on the key of F minor to express the darkest grief. Something dismal. Unfortunately no pianist has ever recorded Haydn on one of my tuned pianos yet, and more extreme is the completely foul sound of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzrIWR3s84Q and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3I2AtocK5E tuned to electronic perfection. In that second recording, with all the temperaments at his disposal the organist was most specific in choosing the one that most conveyed what he felt the music to be conveying most meaningfully.

So in tuning the Broadwood and the Bechstein for the two pianist two piano performances of the 3rd and 4th Beethoven piano concertos, the Broadwood with short triple wound bass strings with most confused harmonics actually gave a representation of perhaps an imperfect 19th century orchestra whilst the more refined harmonic structure of the Bechstein adjacent provided resonance to the truer and pianistic harmonic structure.

In tuning I pay particular attention to the purity of the perfect 5th harmonics in keys with perfect fifths and in keys with near thirds, accordance of the thirds if they happen to coincide nicely with the 5th or 9th inharmonics. So tuning becomes a balance between the best fit between these harmonics which not only reinforces key character but also the innate resonative power of the instrument.

The tuning that I use would have appealed to Bach and to composers of Masonic tradition using a number of perfect fifths as close as possible in proportion of 12 to the Divine or Golden Section. The influence of Freemasonry in 18th and 19th century enlightenment and the vision of the Great Architect is left not specifically shrowded in secret but was to have its influence in the subliminal. Being below the level of perception, it was easily lost. However, audience response to the music, rather than the instrument, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgA1-I5MfNY is that whilst many cannot hear the difference, those who can find renewed interest in music that formerly they had thought to be boring.

This effect of tuning is even apparent on a piece on an instrument on which the assumption is that it's the instrument or the player making the difference:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSf7-4t_SWc
In another key, it really is the tuning that demonstrates an edge, even neglecting the loss of purity when the reeds appear:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhF17YdpQn0

Whereever I can I try to examine tuning and its effect in different keys. This tuning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwoglLif3ps is not that which I apply to pianos where I go for a significant number of specific pure fifths but the key colour results are of a significantly similar character.

Finally with regard to perfect fifths being impure on account of iH of each piano - yes - my tuning practice has increasingly incorpated this and where speed of setting out the scale is required, I use the iH curve suggested by Tunelab which I assume takes a "best fit" between the inharmonicities and the required intervals. But often I fight against the computer in the octcave below middle C in whcih I give specific care. It is, however, on account of inharmonicity and the "best fit" approach that different instruments do respond to the tuning in a different way, whilst from the point of view of the piano, equal temperament gives an equal fudge to all making the quality of inharmonicities irrelevant.

The tuning at Alderney and the Steinway Boston at a venue in Scotland is testimony to the excellence of those particurlar pianos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiX5Xjtb7-E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhNf3zRd5cs specifically in the "Bad key" of A flat are interesting on a mid size Yamaha - from memory a D2 or G3 similar to another Yamaha that gives most pleasant results I maintain the in south of France.

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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#2185094 - 11/19/13 12:20 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6322
Loc: France
Dear David,
you are modest

it is perfectly possible to tune uncomfortable unisons on a perfectly good instrument I experienced that myself.

See there
http://youtu.be/pMd1MaZAh5c

around 9:00 for instance as nothing happens when the piano is played, the poor pianist is limited in the nuances possibilities.
hard on the teeth, I call that...

It takes about 20 minutes for the pianist to "build some tone" as it can be heard at the end of the recording when the unison begin to sound better and are manageable, but still +
and it goes along with some out of tuneless.

So your unison on both Grotrian and Boston are perfectly build and project clearly, allowing for a full range of nuances from the start.






Edited by Olek (11/19/13 12:21 PM)
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#2185102 - 11/19/13 12:40 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6322
Loc: France
I appreciate your explanations, but, have been accustomed to listen to music in a different way, there are 2 things I find distrurbing in those UT recordings, despite the real excellence of the tuning job.

I hear an extremly rich harmony and some very pleasing chords ore melodic parts.
The suddenly an unfortunate configuration happens and something sticks out (Alfredo Barabino noticed that and avoid plating twice that C#3 the second time in the Chopin, as C# A# are really sticking out strangely. )

I hear interruptions in some melodic lines , wonder yet if it is due to the large contrast in consonance with the piano that "voice" the tones so differently (AS the piano is a self consonant instrument a lot, even the muted notes participate to the ones played)

The warming of basses however is absolutely magnificent. If only the "good notes" should be used I'd absolutely would use such kind of "organ style "tuning.

You can get some of that with tuning recipes as CHAS (at the piano) or whatever relies on 12ths only moderately tempered.

You may be right that education play a role there.
ALso I am afflicted of "perfect ear" that tend to make difficult the listening of pianos in too extreme tuning.

As I like Persian or Indian music, microtonality or whatever funny thing done with tempering and scales, this is not the source of my disappointment.

II also wonder if there is not a good part of imagination added by the pianist, that tend to be a little more attentive to the tonal output than to the music, seem to me.

Anyway I do not find ET to be "Atonal in nature" when used at the piano. The own "flaws" of the scaling yet is pushing the tuner is some directions he may follow or not, with the problem it have no much to do with tempering and cycle of 5ths but more with the iH inconsistencies. Still it allows for some margin.


For instance, in the Et version of Chopin, the tuning is not a "perfect ET" the F# is not in the even progressing scheme, may be because not enough tunings have been done.

And I seem to prefer the ET version as it allows more possibilities for interpretation, to me.

Does not take so much the control on tone so the pianist is not obliged to listen the same and can concentrate better to the musical intention.

At the organ that seem to be a very different matter, and we can understand better what happened when the era music was written.

Still I find that Chopin listening an interesting experience. Thank you for providing it.




Edited by Olek (11/19/13 01:05 PM)
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2185345 - 11/19/13 07:07 PM Re: Some sweet video's: an older piano tuned to an Unequal Temp [Re: Jake Jackson]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6322
Loc: France
Now where do you want to add any official UT there :



ANd there :


Tunings where way more musical then


Edited by Olek (11/19/13 07:13 PM)
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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