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#1627254 - 02/24/11 08:59 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
You're entitled to your opinion.
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Madison WI USA
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#1627376 - 02/24/11 12:09 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
No, I prefer more Romantic Era music.

Here is the thing: To me a piano is in tune with itself when it is harmonious, when everything fits together. OK, I should say, when everything fits together as much as possible. As I expand the temperament, more and more intervals are available for checks to see if everything fits together. There can be slight errors in the temperament, or even in the scaling, which do not show up until the temperament is expanded. (This is one reason I prefer using a temperament strip.) To expand a temperament as harmoniously as possible, the temperament needs to be equal.

That’s it.

So far, I agree. I find HTs interesting and educational and I think they have their place, but my own preference is ET. It has a symmetry and balance that I find beautiful, like a kaleidescope of sound. The smoothness and uniformity creates a feeling of harmoniousness beyond what is even really there.

HTs are valuable because they actually encourage people to listen to the tuning, which so often they take for granted. If anything, it has given me an even greater appreciation of ET.


Edited by rysowers (02/24/11 12:11 PM)
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Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#1627386 - 02/24/11 12:17 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: DoelKees


How come you're such an ET fanatic? You play Anton Webern pieces for relaxation on your piano? wink

Kees


I hope you're not serious! smile


Edited by rysowers (02/24/11 12:18 PM)
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Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#1627858 - 02/25/11 09:34 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
RonTuner Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1618
Loc: Chicagoland
This is always such an interesting phenomenon - the opinion that an atonal temperament is somehow "more" harmonious sounding then a tonal temperament....

I suppose if by "more harmonious" you mean that it satisfies your tests for checking for an atonal tuning, then yes I suppose that's true. But time and time again in "blind taste tests" any number of tonal temperaments have been shown to be preferable - from the bench or audience when the piano is used to make music.

Ron Koval
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#1627875 - 02/25/11 10:25 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: RonTuner]
UnrightTooner Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
This is always such an interesting phenomenon - the opinion that an atonal temperament is somehow "more" harmonious sounding then a tonal temperament....

I suppose if by "more harmonious" you mean that it satisfies your tests for checking for an atonal tuning, then yes I suppose that's true. But time and time again in "blind taste tests" any number of tonal temperaments have been shown to be preferable - from the bench or audience when the piano is used to make music.

Ron Koval


I am glad you mentioned this. I have been wondering just what I mean by “harmonious”. One regular customer says they like my tuning because it is “resonant”. Well, the two things are similar if not identical.

But what brought this Topic to this point was the question of whether a piano is more in tune with itself when tuned to ET or a UT. I recognize that being in tune is not always the way to reach a goal. Many 12 string guitar pieces come to mind.

I have no problem with an ET while others prefer an UT even if it is because it satisfies my technical, rather than musical ear. Likewise, I prefer a ceiling that is smooth over one that is textured. I know what it takes to finish a perfectly smooth ceiling and admire them for that reason.

So back to a piano being in tune with itself. The problem, of course, is some if not all intervals have to beat. But there is no doubt in my mind that ET will produce a tuning where the beating of the SBIs (including octaves) will be less noticeable than with any UT because they are tuned so similarly to each other. And this goes hand in hand with what I perceive as a harmonious or a resonant tuning.
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#1627977 - 02/25/11 02:04 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: RonTuner]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
This is always such an interesting phenomenon - the opinion that an atonal temperament is somehow "more" harmonious sounding then a tonal temperament....

I suppose if by "more harmonious" you mean that it satisfies your tests for checking for an atonal tuning, then yes I suppose that's true. But time and time again in "blind taste tests" any number of tonal temperaments have been shown to be preferable - from the bench or audience when the piano is used to make music.

Ron Koval


Ron,

I would be interested to know what blind tests you refer to. I have heard of a couple but results indicated that the audience was pretty much split 50/50 (and this was an audience of piano tuners!) which indicates that generally audiences can't tell the difference, even if they have educated ears.

To me, the uniformity of intervals in ET is what gives me a feeling of harmoniousness. It feels smoother, and everything seems to fit together musically. Having all the intervals the same width creates a feeling of "rightness" about them because the sound is predictable and consistent.

Of course, I expect that this uniformity is what leads some people to think that ET is dry or boring. That's fine. smile Uniformity is great for piano tuning IMO, but not so good when it comes to appreciating the arts. There is room for many different tastes.
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Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1628020 - 02/25/11 03:25 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 552
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
And do the "blind" tests mean that all bias is removed from the person selecting the music, and the performer. Even the pianola/Disklavier tests on this forum are biased with regards to the music chosen.
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#1628195 - 02/25/11 09:31 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: Chris Leslie]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
None of these demonstrations of one versus the other could ever be considered totally "blind" from a scientific point of view. We all do what we believe in. We all get positive or negative feedback from it. I have received negative feedback from ET. I may have lost customers because of the way I have chosen to tune for more than 20 years now. I choose to continue with what I believe in and it is not ET. Neither I nor anyone else can please everyone all the time. I do what I do because overall, I have received much more positive than negative responses to it.
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Madison WI USA
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#1628221 - 02/25/11 10:20 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1651
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
None of these demonstrations of one versus the other could ever be considered totally "blind" from a scientific point of view. We all do what we believe in. We all get positive or negative feedback from it. I have received negative feedback from ET. I may have lost customers because of the way I have chosen to tune for more than 20 years now. I choose to continue with what I believe in and it is not ET. Neither I nor anyone else can please everyone all the time. I do what I do because overall, I have received much more positive than negative responses to it.


I don't think any scientific blind tests regarding preferred temperament have ever been performed. Too bad, because it would be so interesting. There must be some rich person around to fund such a study, as the American rich are richer than ever.

Kees

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#1628245 - 02/25/11 11:09 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
I don't know why it would be difficult to be more scientific. What would be ideal would be a test piano like a Yamaha C7 with a disklavier. Make sure the microphones are in exactly the same spot and make a recording of ET and then one of a non-ET. At least then we would know that the differences couldn't be attributed to the player - interpretation, pedaling etc. Picking the right pieces would be helpful too.

I enjoyed listening to Patrick's recordings of Bach and Debussy. However, I think the biggest difference had to do with the interpretation. I think his theory that the tuning effected his interpretation maybe valid. But we can't ignore the placebo effect either.
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Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#1628255 - 02/25/11 11:49 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: rysowers]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1651
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: rysowers
I don't know why it would be difficult to be more scientific. What would be ideal would be a test piano like a Yamaha C7 with a disklavier. Make sure the microphones are in exactly the same spot and make a recording of ET and then one of a non-ET. At least then we would know that the differences couldn't be attributed to the player - interpretation, pedaling etc. Picking the right pieces would be helpful too.

The difficulty is how to ensure the ET and UT tunings are the same regarding octave stretch. Otherwise user preference would reflect only that. For standard UT's (which EBVT is not) an ETD tuning would do this, using the same stretch but just temperament offsets.

Still the tuning has to be controlled, making sure no unconscious bias of the tuner comes into play. You could have a tuner that is open to both, or two tuners, one preferring ET and one preferring UT, but how do you ensure they are equally skilled?

Then there is the question of subject selection. Professional musicians come to mind, but then perhaps they are already "brainwashed" to ET (if they are classical) or UT (if they are baroque specialists).

And as you mentioned there is the question of the music to select.

The easy way would be to use digitally generated piano music based on MIDI and retune it. My experience with that is that such as sound is too far from the real thing to be useful.

All in all such a study is not trivial, and would require considerable effort and expense. Which is probably why it has not been performed yet.

If anyone wants to give me $150K I'll be happy to spend a year on such a study. That's what I estimate it would cost.

Kees

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#1628297 - 02/26/11 01:55 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2401
Loc: Olympia, WA
Kees,

I think you're taking it too far. (although I see the appeal! smile ) First let's just see if people can even tell the difference between an ET and non ET. It doesn't have to be a "which is better" type of experiment. I'm just curious to see if people can hear the difference. I think Mr. Bremmer would be the obvious tuner choice: As an examiner for the guild he is perfectly qualified to tune a textbook ET, then compare it to his EBVTIII.

The best comparison would be with a dozen or more 10 second clips of piano music for easy comparison, and to provide enough sampling. That way people couldn't just get lucky and happen to pick the tuning with the sample.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1628320 - 02/26/11 03:14 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21259
Loc: Oakland
Other Minds tonight had some microtonal music. It sounded out of tune to me. Of course, that is culturally related. I have trained myself to be that way.
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#1628386 - 02/26/11 08:45 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
BDB,

Microtonal music turns my stomach too. I certainly wouldn't load a CD carousel with it.

Kees,

I always stretch any Well Temperament the same way I do the EBVT III. I stretch ET the same way too. It is always a matter of balancing octaves with the corresponding 5th.

In ET, the 5ths are all tempered alike, so the octaves are similar from one to the next, although they slowly expand in size up and down the keyboard until triple octaves and double octave-5ths are both virtually beatless. If that is not exactly what Herr Stopper does, it is at least, very similar. I have done that since the early 1980's when I learned about it from Virgil Smith at a seminar held at Northern Illinois University.

When I began to tune Well Temperaments, starting with the Vallotti, it made sense to me to treat the octaves the same way. I tuned the Vallotti and other Well Temperaments and the Rameau-Rousseau-Hall 18th Century Modified Meantone Temperament for years before I have got my first ETD.

If you take the Vallotti as a good and simple example, 6 pure 5ths and 6 tempered twice as much as ET 5ths (which is also the case for the "Marpurg" Quasi ET), to make an octave agree with a pure 5th yields one size octave (not audibly stretched at all) while an octave that beats the same as a 5th that is tempered twice as much as in ET will have an audible beat in it.

This will naturally mean that from one octave to the next, chromatically, there will be different sizes from one to the next. In the case of the EBVT III, there are two pure 5ths, the others are irregularly tempered and none are quite the same as an ET 5th. From the point of view of ET, the octaves therefore all seem erratic.

When one ETD designer saw a chart of the figures I use to tune a Steinway, he came up with the phrase I love to quote, "It couldn't work, wouldn't work and shouldn't be tried." "In my analysis as a mathematician and engineer", he continued, "I look for a consistency from one pitch to the next. These figures are so all-over-the-place as to be completely erratic and chaotic as if they appeared to be random, coming out of thin air". When I saw that, I only laughed because it was the piano itself that produced them, using the Direct Interval method.

Any other non-equal temperament would produce its own set of seemingly erratic figures and irregularly sized octaves if the octaves are constructed by equalizing octaves and 5ths. One can easily produce exactly the same results aurally or by using the Direct Interval method which is what I have always done.

The problem I have using the SAT's FAC program or the equivalent kind of calculated program with any other type of device is that it does not handle the octaves properly. It will not balance octaves and 5ths. It will only slowly expand the octaves. It therefore make some octaves too wide and some too narrow with virtually any non-equal temperament. If I do use the FAC program, I use it only in the middle, I fix the problems aurally and then I create a new program for the upper octaves with the Direct Interval method and tune the Bass aurally (although I could also do the Bass by Direct Interval).

Since the EBVT III is only slightly different from ET, it would be expected with many complex forms of music to not be able to discern easily between ET and the EBVT III. However, when a piece resolves to the home key of C Major, that resolution is left with some dissatisfaction in ET, while in the EBVT III, it is there. There is also not the expected contrasts between consonance and dissonance in many modern compositions that is expected when the piano is tuned in ET. Everything sounds smoother. Some people like that, some people find it to be less than musically satisfying.

Using a player device is a double edged sword. It plays everything the same, which is neutral on one hand but on the other, it does not express music according to what the piano has to offer the pianist. Patrick Wingren who is a professor of piano performance, has expressed in writing some of the experiences he has had. ET affected his playing in one way, the EBVT III did in another.

Ryan,

I have not been terribly interested in any such "contest" but I certainly would not decline the invitation because I have no doubt which piano would "win" it as it did as far back as 1998. I know that not every last person would like my tuning and I know that locally, some people do not have me tune their piano because they, in fact, prefer ET.

Everybody has their own favorite tuner. I am fully employed, I often have more work than I can handle. If people often did not like the way I tuned their piano, I would attempt to find out what really did please them. If I really thought that it would be ET with pure sounding octaves, that is what I would do. Clearly, that does not have the appeal, in my experience, that the way I have developed and chosen to tune now for some 20 years.
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Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1628437 - 02/26/11 10:58 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
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Microtonal music does not turn my stomach. It is just something I am not used to. I am not certain what the point is.
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Semipro Tech

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#1628442 - 02/26/11 11:02 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Loren D Offline
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Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
I can handle microtonal a lot better than 12-tone! Ugh, just can't handle the atonal stuff.
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#1628471 - 02/26/11 11:45 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
On the other hand, once when I was in the video store, they had a creepy horror film playing on one of the TV's. The music featured a piano which was tuned in mind bending intervals. It suited its purpose well. I've heard other soundtracks that featured pianos with music I would not normally choose to listen to but was very effective for the film such as Planet of the Apes and Chinatown.
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Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
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#1628475 - 02/26/11 11:52 AM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I like to bring up this You Tube vid from time to time of Gamelan music from Bali. If you want to hear extreme inharmonicity and intervals unlike anything that Western music has to offer, this is for you. I like their version of a "piano" (or what might be considered a keyboard instrument).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPMifPbngc
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Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1628493 - 02/26/11 12:14 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
I think you're taking it too far. (although I see the appeal! smile ) First let's just see if people can even tell the difference between an ET and non ET. It doesn't have to be a "which is better" type of experiment. I'm just curious to see if people can hear the difference. I think Mr. Bremmer would be the obvious tuner choice: As an examiner for the guild he is perfectly qualified to tune a textbook ET, then compare it to his EBVTIII.


This has already been done. Go into the thread My tuning in EBVT III. There are MANY recordings of tunings in both ET and EBVT III that were posted intentionally for comparison. Tuners were dared to say which ones they thought were which yet, very few dared to make mention of which tunings they thought were which probably for fear of being wrong. I did post what I thought publicly on a couple and then, privately to GPM as to not taint anyone in one direction or the other. I waited for a couple of weeks before I was finally told if I was correct or not. I guessed correctly on each one.

There is a difference but one must listen closely sometimes to decipher between the two.
_________________________
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Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

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#1628496 - 02/26/11 12:22 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
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I stopped posting to that topic after a bunch of people got their panties in a knot when I said one of their pet tunings sounder awful. The whole question of temperaments is not important to me, because most of the people who are interested in them cannot tune worth a darn.
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#1628505 - 02/26/11 12:41 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1618
Loc: Chicagoland
quick reply to BDB
The whole question of atonal temperaments is not important to me, because most of the people who profess to tune ET cannot tune worth a darn.

(right back atcha!)

Ron Koval


Edited by RonTuner (02/26/11 12:42 PM)
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#1628520 - 02/26/11 01:10 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: rysowers]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Originally Posted By: rysowers


I enjoyed listening to Patrick's recordings of Bach and Debussy. However, I think the biggest difference had to do with the interpretation. I think his theory that the tuning effected his interpretation maybe valid. But we can't ignore the placebo effect either.



True, and I myself can't tell those factors apart smile
_________________________
Patrick Wingren, RPT

Senior Lecturer (jazz piano, composition, music theory, conducting) @ Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland
- - - -
Dedicated to learning the craft of tuning. Getting better.

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#1628521 - 02/26/11 01:12 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21259
Loc: Oakland
Atonality is not so much of an issue as polytonality. When people cite atonality, it is just another way people harp on the wrong things.
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Semipro Tech

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#1628564 - 02/26/11 02:06 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
I love polytonality. Can't beat a nice chord. smile
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#1628572 - 02/26/11 02:20 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3184
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I stopped posting to that topic after a bunch of people got their panties in a knot when I said one of their pet tunings sounder awful. The whole question of temperaments is not important to me, because most of the people who are interested in them cannot tune worth a darn.


Right BDB, you've made it abundantly clear that you are the only one who can tune worth a darn.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1628586 - 02/26/11 02:46 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: rysowers]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1651
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: rysowers

I think you're taking it too far. (although I see the appeal! smile ) First let's just see if people can even tell the difference between an ET and non ET. It doesn't have to be a "which is better" type of experiment. I'm just curious to see if people can hear the difference. I think Mr. Bremmer would be the obvious tuner choice: As an examiner for the guild he is perfectly qualified to tune a textbook ET, then compare it to his EBVTIII.

The best comparison would be with a dozen or more 10 second clips of piano music for easy comparison, and to provide enough sampling. That way people couldn't just get lucky and happen to pick the tuning with the sample.

That has been attempted in the EBVT thread, but the respondents were a small group and biased as people whow can't tell might be embarrassed to confess. Another objection was that we can't scientifically exclude Bill deliberately tuned an ugly sounding ET to promote his own tuning.

I personally would be much more interested in a variety of UT's, being not convinced that EBVT3 is better sounding than, say, Neihardt.

For myself I could not tell the tuning is these experiments, but one recording always sounded subtly better. In all cases except one this was EBVT3 for me. Interesting the one counterexample was Bach in B-minor, a rather remote key. I think it is inevitable that pieces in remote keys in UT will sound worse than in ET.

Kees

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#1628607 - 02/26/11 03:13 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2306
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Let's see BDB, for the thread you are referring to, http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1387799 which has 241,230 views, with 1141 replies, according to you, we have "a bunch of people got their panties in a knot when I said one of their pet tunings sounder awful. The whole question of temperaments is not important to me, because most of the people who are interested in them cannot tune worth a darn." [b][/b]

Strange logic BDB.

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#1628610 - 02/26/11 03:16 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2306
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Doel, fyi, Bill never tuned my piano in ET. I tuned it in ET, using the RCT and Tunelab programs.

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#1628627 - 02/26/11 03:37 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: Grandpianoman]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1651
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Doel, fyi, Bill never tuned my piano in ET. I tuned it in ET, using the RCT and Tunelab programs.

That eliminates the possibility of Bill's hypothetical cheating, but now it's even less clear if we were hearing the difference between EBVT and ET or the difference between Bill's tuning and yours.

I don't intend to put down the value of the experiments, just point out that they have flaws that a scientific study, if ever undertaken, should eliminate.

Kees

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#1628632 - 02/26/11 03:42 PM Re: 4ths and 5ths, I love 'em [Re: ivorycanary]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21259
Loc: Oakland
It is easy to refer to an entire topic, instead of citing the ONE post of mine in it where I said that ONE recording sounded awful, no reason given, because I could not determine one, and the ensuing flack that I got for saying that afterwards.

Logic has nothing to do with it. Logic left the room a long time ago. When someone does not know the difference between "most" and "all," there is no point in talking about logic.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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