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#1757974 - 09/23/11 01:01 PM Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ...
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Hi everyone,

Since there has been some recent discussion on the Pure 12th tuning (Jeff, Rafael, B.Stopper, Bill, me and others), I thought I would give a clear demonstration of this method by recording my home piano, just tuned with the Pure 12th expansion method.

Since the recording is long, I divided it up into 2 parts. Part One is where you can hear all my checks and test intervals starting with the initial A3-A4 octave, through the F3-F4 temperament, and on to the pure 12th expansion for the entire range of the piano.

If listening to the proofs of the temperament and progressive intervals does not interest you, please click on the second link below which is Part Two. Here you will be able to listen to 'yours truly' play pieces in most 12 keys, demonstrating the overall effect of this method.


These examples are played on my Yamaha U1 upright piano:

Part One - Proofs and Test Intervals:
http://www.mediafire.com/?6kjy46ppzinwmvn

Part Two - Overall Sound with Musical Examples:
http://www.mediafire.com/?dp1zxg10eu0ww7o


As I mention in the clips - comments, suggestions, and comparisons with other temperament expansion methods are welcome. I hope you enjoy listening to the examples as much as I enjoyed playing my freshly tuned home piano!

-Erich

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#1758036 - 09/23/11 02:26 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Erich:

Thanks for posting!

It sounds very, very nice. smile
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1758073 - 09/23/11 03:54 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
dancarney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 144
Loc: UK
Sounds great!

So I tune a standard equally tempered scale, extend it, then tune down and up in pure 12ths?


Edited by dancarney (09/23/11 03:57 PM)
_________________________
BMus(Hons) DipABRSM
Piano Technician

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#1758086 - 09/23/11 04:13 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Thanks Jeff and Dan. smile

Dan:
Yes, tune the ET F3-F4 using your method of choice. I highly recommend Bill Bremmer's ET via Marpurg (videos on his website). It is hard to go wrong with this sequence. For additional help before I start the temperament, I use Stebbin's "Let the Piano Tell You" method of getting the F3-A3 and A3-C#4 and C#4-F4 right where they need to be for that particular size piano. Then after you tune the temperament octave, fill in the gaps - F#4,G4,G#4 using some standard check intervals. Then fill in E3 and D#3 right below the temperament.

When you reach D3, you have your first 12th to tune using A4 above. Then just descend all the way down (maybe stop short of the low bass for stability reasons). Then start with A#4 and you have 12ths below to tune it to. Go all the way up using 12ths, then 19ths (double octave plus 5th) when it's too high to hear the possible beating vs. pureness. All 12th/19th intervals outside the temperament gate should have a still, motionless, pure sound to them.

Let me know if this method works for you on the particular piano you try it out on. I know that Rafael and Jeff now have run into slight problems right outside the temperament area on certain pianos. We might have to re-think a way around these issues. So far I have been lucky with the 5 pianos I have tried. smile

-Erich


Edited by erichlof (09/23/11 04:15 PM)

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#1758319 - 09/24/11 01:39 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
I am receiving very positive responses for the two months that I have been using this method and Bill Bremmer's sequence for the F3-F4 temperament is proving to be very accurate and very stable. I have been tuning A3-A4 temperament for about 12 yrs, so this is a huge change of perspective for me. I'm thinking it may be because I have been tuning 3rds and 6ths above A4 for so long, that I am extending the temperament above F4 to C5 (using standard check intervals), before extending 12ths to the treble and bass. The F3-C5 seems to be a sold 12th to extend the temperament from and I haven't been noticing any new issues with the notes right outside the temperament. Tomorrow I'm going to see how the D3-A4 12th feels.

Erich, thanks for the posts and examples.

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#1758379 - 09/24/11 09:55 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks for the nice comments, Erich and Dave. I am listening to the music files now. It is a very nice and smooth sound! I submitted a class proposal for the PTG convention next year where I will present the ET via Marpurg as a "Master Class", that means the audience will actually tune the whole piano under my guidance. The whole piano, including the unisons!

It will take a double period of course but at the end, those who tuned the piano will get to revel in the sound afterwards. I will show how to use tone clusters to find not only the notes within the temperament but the outer octaves as well. Rapidly Beating Interval (RBI) checks will not be necessary but we may try a few of them here or there just to prove that they are not needed.

What is interesting about this approach is that it goes back to skills that 17th-19th Century tuners had. It uses none of the very complex, back and forth checking and comparing of intervals that has become commonplace today. It is also what I have seen used by some of the most advanced tuning technicians today. It seems that tuning technique have come full circle. A back to basics approach makes the whole thing simpler, easier and the results speak for themselves.

The Institute Committee has not yet released its decisions yet on which classes have been selected, so if you personally would like to attend the session I have planned, a note to Ryan Sowers may help encourage the decision to put it on the schedule.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1758433 - 09/24/11 11:43 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
dancarney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 144
Loc: UK
I think I'll give it a go, Erich.

I can set a fairly spot-on ET with a traditional 4ths & 5ths based sequence. But thanks for the suggestions.

Will post my thoughts when I've had a chance to try it out.
_________________________
BMus(Hons) DipABRSM
Piano Technician

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#1758735 - 09/25/11 01:35 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Thanks for listening Dave B and Bill. smile

Bill,
I really hope they let you do that proposed Marpurg masterclass - that would be great! A lot of people on this forum have tried and liked your method (and I spread the word as much as I can), but I think the whole tuning world needs to know about it! At least others could give it a listen and try it once for themselves. Also the Stebbins "Let the Piano Tell You" method is awesome. Thanks again for your wonderful insight and helpful contributions.

Jeff and Rafael have had some issues on smaller pianos right when they reach D3. We are trying to figure out a work-around to this problem. Do you have any thoughts as to why this is happening, or any possible solutions?


Dave B,
I have directed Jeff to your post above because he is thinking along the same lines as you, meaning get the F3-C5 pure 12th first. I could also try this out on a smaller piano (I have access to a bunch of spinets where I teach) and report back my findings. Although, with my demonstrated 'hybrid' method of Stebbins, Marpurg, then 12ths, I have had success so far out of the temperament gate. I might blindly put this hybrid method on a small spinet or baby grand with breaks at inopportune sections, and just see if it flies. If it doesn't work, I might have to re-think the temperament/12th area.

-Erich

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#1759448 - 09/26/11 07:05 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
All:

When tuning 12ths, the best check for the chosen ET sequence is the octave. If none stick out as the temperament is expanded with 12ths, you made a good choice.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1759482 - 09/26/11 08:10 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2051
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Erich,

The first recording was problematic for me. I think that my PC is somehow distorting the audio files, or perhaps I'm hearing an MP3 compression artefact or something. I get a permanent wow-wow of the notes, about 2 beats per second, at the fundamentals. For example, when you play the A3-C4 m3, I hear the normal beat at E6, as expected, but I also hear A3 itself wow-wow-ing about twice per second, as though the unison is out of tune. This made it very difficult to evaluate the tuning, especially slow-beating intervals. Did anyone else pick this up? I'm wondering whether it's in the recording, or some problem on my side...

But I really enjoyed the second recording - not only the resulting stretch of the bass and treble, but also your choice of pieces, smooth renditions and talented playing! What a pleasure listening, thank you very much!
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1759585 - 09/26/11 11:26 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: erichlof
Thanks for listening Dave B and Bill. smile

Bill,
I really hope they let you do that proposed Marpurg masterclass - that would be great! A lot of people on this forum have tried and liked your method (and I spread the word as much as I can), but I think the whole tuning world needs to know about it! At least others could give it a listen and try it once for themselves. Also the Stebbins "Let the Piano Tell You" method is awesome. Thanks again for your wonderful insight and helpful contributions.

-Erich



Erich,

I'd actually like to incorporate Jack's idea into the mix. What I know how to do today is the sum of what I have learned from many others along the way, including Jack. I talk and sometimes work with Jack on exams at every convention. We exchange thoughts and ideas.

One anecdote I remember well was the time I showed him how one could find a double octave just as precisely by ear as one could with an ETD. I used as an example, tuning F5. I set the ETD at F5, read on the fundamental. I played F3 and stopped the pattern. Then, I played A#3. The pattern then rolled sharp. I adjusted the ETD until the pattern rolled equally sharp for F3 and flat for A#3 but both were very small amounts.

Then, I turned the ETD display away from me so that I could not see it. Then, I tuned a double octave, F3-F5 aurally until there was no beat. I then showed him that the A#3-F5 octave-fifth sounded narrow and beating too much for comfort. I then sharpened F5 slightly so that the F3-F5 double octave and the A#3-F5 octave-fifth both sounded apparently beatless. If you really listened, you could hear that neither interval was perfectly beatless but they both sounded pure at first take (and would be perceived that way by a musician). The most important thing was that they both sounded alike.

Then, I turned the ETD around and played F5. The pattern stopped dead on! Jack's eyes opened wide and he smiled. "I really think you're on to something there!", he exclaimed. Two years ago, I showed the same thing to Randy Potter with pretty much the same reaction.

The thing is, that I had been doing that since the early 1980's, long before I had ever started experimenting with different temperaments or alternative ways of tuning ET. I somehow got the idea of using the sostenuto pedal to do this. I qualified to train as an examiner on a tuning exam in 1983 using that method.

I hardly dared talk about it. When I did, other technicians viewed it with much skepticism. The first question they asked was if someone could pass the tuning exam that way. My answer was, "I did it that way for my tuning exam". Any time I have conducted or participated in a tuning exam master tuning, I used that technique and it proved to be the technique that could then be cross checked and proven with M10 and M17 checks. It has amazed every examiner who has seen me do it. I am still today one of the very few people who uses the sostenuto pedal to tune.

If I get the class that I proposed, I will get the attendees to learn how to use it too.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1759609 - 09/26/11 12:01 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the comments/compliments. smile About the recording, I used the nice Zoom H4n handheld stereo recorder. I just sat on my piano bench, put the recorder on a night-stand beside me and talked into it. Then when it was time to play, I just turned my waist to the piano and started. Easy for me to record that way, but maybe choice of mic location could have been more optimal. Sorry you are getting the false beats on your end.

When I played those A's and C's at the beginning, I hadn't tuned any unisons yet. That is the pure sound of the muted string (temperament strip) with the middle of the tri-chord doing the speaking. I know for a fact that at this middle area of my piano, there are no false string beats to be heard anywhere. It is a small upright, but a quality Yamaha nonetheless. However, as I get down into the bass, there are weird beat patterns due to inharmonicity all over the place and I apologized for it on the recording. I wish I had a big grand piano to record with.

It also could be the compression to mp3. If I had set the recording to high-quality .wav however, the file size would be huge and people wouldn't be willing to sit there while it downloaded, waiting to hear something. So I chose a more internet-friendly mp3 conversion. Lastly, it could just be your computer's sound card or mp3 playing software causing distortion.

Unfortunately, I only know the basics about all this recording/converting tech. This allows me to do a simple recording like this, but I can't really expound beyond that. I hope you are able to rectify the situation. One more suggestion: updating your software drivers (.dll's on Windows?) could maybe help.

Thanks and good luck,
-Erich

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#1760178 - 09/27/11 03:36 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2051
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Erich,

I'm very backward when it comes to software drivers and the likes. I take your word for the beat-free strings, absolutely! Really, I was just wondering whether anybody else listening to the first recording had picked up similar problems.

I'll try to listen to the file on my PC at home. Perhaps it's better on that one...
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1760281 - 09/27/11 09:10 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Mark:

I went back and turned up the volume all the way and listened very carefully to A3 on the first recording. I think I can hear what you are describing, it is like an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator in the synthesizer world) or very slow tremolo effect like 1 bps. I quickly went to my piano and played the same note alone and with the C4 (minor 3rd) and I can't hear it! That is weird.

Since I ruled out a false beat, I now can assume it is a resonance due to the recording (microphone placement, recording a muted string, etc.) I'm not sure if this is what you are referring to, but if you skip ahead a little in my recording when I say that I have filled in the temperament-area gaps and tuned the unisons, the LFO is not there anymore.

Maybe I should just call it a UFO - Unidentified Frequency Oscillation - ha ha. smile

So, in conclusion, there might not be anything wrong with your software or soundcard. Just so you know what I was doing at the beginning, I tuned very close to a 4:2 octave on my smaller piano. The F3-A3 M3rd beats about the same as F3-A4 M10th, but the A3-C4 m3rd beats a little faster than C4-A4 M6th, so it is not quite a 6:3 octave - more close to a 4:2 or right at it. The wider 6:3 would beat too noticeably on my upright.

Hope this all helps.

-Erich

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#1760337 - 09/27/11 10:52 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2051
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Indeed, Erich, that does help. The question of octave width wasn't clear to me, because the UFO (ha-ha) was interfering with my listening. In fact, from what little I could make out, the m3-M6 test (6:3) sounded more equal-beating than the M3-M10 test (4:2).

And yes, the LFO seemed to have lessened or even disappeared later...

I'll give the file a listen on my home PC tonight. I have half-decent earphones and free-standing speakers there, while I only have cruddy monitor speakers here.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1760362 - 09/27/11 11:30 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Same here, Mark. I thought the octave was much closer to 6:3 than to 4:2.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1760401 - 09/27/11 12:37 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
My bad guys - yes it was between a 4:2 and 6:3, leaning towards the 6:3 side I guess. According to Bill's octave tuning instructions on his website, the optimal octave slightly 'fails' both 6:3 and 4:2 tests. In other words, the A3-C4 minor 3rd needs to beat just a little faster than the C4-A4 Major 6th (both would beat equally for a true 6:3). And, the F3-A3 Major 3rd needs to beat just a little slower than the F3-A4 Major 10th (both would beat equally for a true 4:2).

Thanks for your corrections. I hope I am on the right track with this optimal octave business.

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#1760706 - 09/27/11 08:54 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
Not sure what y'all are talking about, but it sounds nice to me!
_________________________
One111

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#1760791 - 09/27/11 11:35 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Thanks PianistOne! smile

We were just talking Piano Tuning 'shop'. Basically there are different widths of octaves that a tuner can tune where, to the average listener/pianist, the octaves still sound perfect. On smaller upright pianos and baby grands, a smaller octave width will probably sound cleaner. And on a concert grand for public performance or recordings, a wider octave gives more clarity/brightness/power and eventually cutting power when you tune those same octaves in the bass and especially the treble. But the difference between 6:3, 4:2, 2:1 (partial number ratios) octave sizes is very small - fractions of a cent, and there are 100 cents inside each half-step on the keyboard!).

So, if one just walks up to a piano and plays an octave, I don't think there are any aural tuners out there who can hear that small of a difference. Therefore, there are tests that an aural piano tuner can use to see which octave he/she has just tuned. Also, I believe an electronic/software tuning device will probably be able to 'hear' the difference.

That's what we were talking about. Hope this clarifies. Thanks again for the compliment!

-Erich

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#1760914 - 09/28/11 05:53 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2051
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
No sweat about the octave size, Erich. Mine was just a comment from a beginner who may have a reasonable ear, but whose hammer technique is in its infancy - I still battle to set things like octave sizes reliably and repeatably... Kudos to anyone who can.

By the way, the "LFO" was just as bad on my home PC, so I just left it at that. Not to worry!
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#1760940 - 09/28/11 07:35 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: erichlof
.....

But the difference between 6:3, 4:2, 2:1 (partial number ratios) octave sizes is very small - fractions of a cent, and there are 100 cents inside each half-step on the keyboard!).

.....


I calculated the difference in octave widths on a Baldwin spinet for the F3-F4 octave. The difference between a 2:1 and a 4:2 octave is 2 cents, and the difference between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave is 3 cents. But on a Baldwin L parlor grand it is only 1/2 cent each. So it just depends on the piano.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1760955 - 09/28/11 08:04 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
In his early Accu Tuner instructions for tuning by direct interval, Dr. Al Sanderson suggested finding the 4:2 octave which is easy to do by direct interval and adding 1 cent to that. I recall discussing that with him and asking if that was not an arbitrary amount. His reply was "yes but it generally resulted in a compromise between a 4:2 and 6:3 octave.

So, thanks for that statement, Jeff. I agree, it does depend upon the piano. I also recall in the many inharmonicity measurements that I made of many pianos on the note, F4 (which had been the note used to calculate the original "stretch factor" of the early SAT devices), that Baldwin grands had relatively low inharmonicity. So, by Jeff's calculations, adding 1 cent to a 4:2 octave would bring it all the way to a 6:3 on a Baldwin grand.

In trying to find a compromise between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave o a low inharmonicity piano by ear, it would be difficult. It would essentially mean stretching a 4:2 octave by 1/2 cent which would be a very small amount to widen a temperament octave. One tiny tweak. I recall many times that on some pianos, the difference between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave to be barely distinguishable by ear while on others, such as a Steinway that has relatively high inharmonicity, the difference is much more clearly heard.

So, yes, it does depend upon the piano, so don't beat yourself up or over the head about it if you think you can't hear much difference or find that exact spot you are looking for. Either one will do, really in many cases.

As far as taking the tuning exam goes, I tell prospective examinees not to worry about that at all. If the master tuning temperament octave width on a typical moderate inharmonicity piano like a Yamaha or Kawai were precisely set as a compromise between a 4:2 and a 6:3 octave and you set your octave at a 4:2, you would be dividing the approximately 1/2 cent difference over 13 notes! If you compared such a master tuning to a perfectly executed aural tuning in which the temperament octave were 1/2 cent narrower, there would not be any electronically scored "errors" because any difference between the two on any note would be far less than the 0.9 cent tolerance that is allowed.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1760981 - 09/28/11 08:48 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Come on Bill. Not everything about tuning needs references to the PTG test. smile
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1761432 - 09/29/11 12:32 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Thanks for your insights Bill and Jeff. Yes, depending on the piano, it could be a very small difference and difficult to achieve that precision with a tuning hammer. On the Baldwin, it seems you could just breathe on the thing and you would get the next octave type. smile

I actually like hearing what Bill has to say in regards to the tuning exam, because in the back of my mind when I am tuning, I think "how would this do on the exam with Bill or another examiner checking my work?". Yes, it is a PTG-standardized measure of a tuner's ability (and anything that is standardized like a high-schooler's SAT test can be debated), but it is a standard which we can measure ourselves nonetheless (if we choose to).

Bill, I must confess that when I first saw you demonstrate your Marpurg ET and the mindless octaves, I thought like you said so many others do at conventions, "Yeah it seems easy, but how would it do on the exam?" And then you proceeded to answer that question on your videos, with "it would score a 100." Well, that's what sealed the deal for me to abandon my old inconsistent temperament method and to try yours. I must admit also that in order to try another person's method, you have to concede your feelings/pride a little and try something that someone else has already thought of, which might also end up being better than what you are currently using (maybe that's why you encounter some resistance when you show these things at conventions). But I'm glad I did try it, and I recommend it wherever I go online or in person. smile

-Erich


Edited by erichlof (09/29/11 12:34 AM)

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#1761463 - 09/29/11 01:46 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: UnrightTooner]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Come on Bill. Not everything about tuning needs references to the PTG test. smile


Jeff, since I rarely, very rarely actually tune in ET but am active now as an examiner for over 20 years trying to help people pass that exam, it is what comes to mind.

If someone wants to discuss why the F3-F4 octave should be a 4:2 and the A3-A4 octave should be a 6:3 in either version of the EBVT which I normally tune, I would certainly address that and not mention anything about PTG or the exams.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1761487 - 09/29/11 03:09 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: erichlof


I actually like hearing what Bill has to say in regards to the tuning exam, because in the back of my mind when I am tuning, I think "how would this do on the exam with Bill or another examiner checking my work?". Yes, it is a PTG-standardized measure of a tuner's ability (and anything that is standardized like a high-schooler's SAT test can be debated), but it is a standard which we can measure ourselves nonetheless (if we choose to).

Bill, I must confess that when I first saw you demonstrate your Marpurg ET and the mindless octaves, I thought like you said so many others do at conventions, "Yeah it seems easy, but how would it do on the exam?" And then you proceeded to answer that question on your videos, with "it would score a 100." Well, that's what sealed the deal for me to abandon my old inconsistent temperament method and to try yours. I must admit also that in order to try another person's method, you have to concede your feelings/pride a little and try something that someone else has already thought of, which might also end up being better than what you are currently using (maybe that's why you encounter some resistance when you show these things at conventions). But I'm glad I did try it, and I recommend it wherever I go online or in person. smile

-Erich


Erich,

When I hit upon the the ET via Marpurg idea, it seemed so miraculous to me that I could not believe it myself! I listened to all of the intervals and they seemed so perfect! That evening, I immediately wrote up the idea and sent it to Owen Jorgensen.

He called on the telephone when he received the letter and had analyzed what I had written. I was a bit disappointed because in reality, the ET via Marpurg does not technically result in a perfect ET. The reason, of course is that 4ths & 5ths do not beat equally in a theoretically correct ET. I was like Homer Simpson saying "Doh!" when he told me that.

"Oh yeah", I thought. Pretty dumb of me to forget that after being in the business this long. "Oh well", I thought, "Just another idea that doesn't quite work." But Professor Jorgensen comforted me in saying that it was truly a unique idea and that it actually had great value. That value, he said, was in its simplicity and ease in executing.

Jorgensen's theoretical calculations revealed that although the ET via Marpurg remains among the many Quasi Equal Temperaments ("quasi" means "almost"), it is so close to being perfect that any of the imperfections fall beneath the tolerances of the PTG tuning exam.

Other historically documented temperament sequences that were meant to be ET but fell short of it do not fall "beneath the radar" of that exam. The idea commonly known as "Marpurg" would only score a 70, for example.

So at first, I resigned myself to offering the ET via Marpurg as a "rough tuning" sequence that would merely serve to get a first pass close enough to refine. That is what is in print on my website and was published as a three part series in the PTG Journal.

Since then, however, I have discovered that the ET via Marpurg can produce a temperament that when expanded through the outer octaves, lends itself very well to the "beat masking" concept which is very popular now. In short, the entire piano can be tuned in the ET via Marpurg and produce outstanding results.

So, The ET via Marpurg does very well serve as a strategy for taking the exam but beyond that, it can serve as a normal way of tuning for aural tuners. Thanks to Raphael (Gadzar) of Mexico City, he came up with a temperament document from 1949 written by an Englishman who advocated a slightly different version of ET that had all 4ths & 5ths beating equally. The author claimed that the piano sounded better that way.

When I went to Grand Rapids, MI early last Summer, one top notch technician who works for the Steinway dealership there also said during my presentation that he tends to make 4ths & 5ths beat equally. So, the idea is out there.

Just yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone in Sweden who had this to say:

Quote:
I just happened to see your videos on tuning ET via Marpurg sequence. This is the best way of teaching tuning I have ever seen!

Personally I learned way back at Steinway the “normal” way in the E3 – E4 oct with all checks.
You made it all so clear and easy to understand, so I send your web site to our Swedish tech org. We could really use you way of education for the young people who want to get into our profession.

Just wanted to thank you for being so kind as to show it in public.


I offered to present a class via direct video link for the Swedish group if they wanted it. If I am taken up on it, the presentation would not involve teaching a strategy for passing the PTG tuning exam but a strategy for tuning ET that would have better and more consistent results than other temperament sequences do for technicians who struggle to achieve any semblance of ET.

Using the ET via Marpurg does not guarantee results that would score a perfect 100 on the PTG tuning exam. I don't get perfect results every time when I do it. However, the fact remains true that it is possible for a perfectly executed ET via Marpurg to pass the PTG Temperament Octave section of the exam with a perfect score of 100.

It is possible for any other commonly known ET temperament sequence, including but certainly not limited to the Braide-White sequence, to also score a perfect 100 on the PTG tuning exam. The choice of which temperament sequence to use remains the prerogative of any piano technician to use based upon a success versus failure rate.

I passed my tuning exam with scores high enough to qualify not only as an RPT but also as an examiner trainee in 1983 by using the Braide-White sequence. My Temperament score was 100 on that exam. This was long before I knew anything about the use of contiguous Major thirds. So, I know it can be done. Many other technicians whom I know have done likewise or at least they passed the exam. Many others have failed, however and those technicians are the people I would like to help.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1761499 - 09/29/11 03:39 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21689
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
He called on the telephone when he received the letter and had analyzed what I had written. I was a bit disappointed because in reality, the ET via Marpurg does not technically result in a perfect ET. The reason, of course is that 4ths & 5ths do not beat equally in a theoretically correct ET. I was like Homer Simpson saying "Doh!" when he told me that.


The way to overcome this is to make the fourths beat a little faster than the fifths. Then you get even closer.

Making little adjustments like this is a way of working towards better and better tuning. The Marpurg sequence lends itself to improvement both in accuracy and in speed by making incremental changes. As your sense of tuning improves, for instance, you should eventually be able to temper the initial fifths before setting the middle fifth, and speed up your tuning that way.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1761601 - 09/29/11 10:01 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Bill,

Thanks for your reply. Yes I should have mentioned that only if you perform the ET via Marpurg sequence perfectly, THEN you would score a 100 (I understand that it by itself does not guarantee complete success). I'm glad you mentioned that sometimes you get less than perfect results. I too sometimes run up against this on certain pianos. But, instead of rewinding, I just start over again and make sure that I have a good CM3rd scaffold, and tune exactly pure 4ths and 5ths like the sequence beginning requires.

Sometimes on smaller pianos, I think I have tuned a perfect 5th lets say, but only later to find out it was just a fraction wide (or narrow). I'm glad you posted the check for this, because I now use it every time -namely the M6th below the bottom note of the 5th vs. the M10th below the top note of the 5th (both need to beat the same). And for the 4th, A M3rd below the bottom note and a M6th below the top note (again, both beat the same). I really have to double-check the perfection of these intervals this way before I move on through the sequence. I know this takes extra time (more than in your videos), but it almost guarantees a really good, if not perfect first pass at an ET.

Like the Swedish tuning group.org said, the ET via Marpurg is a great tool for beginning tuners, and even advanced ones if they want to give it a try. I really could have used it when I was starting out 10 years ago. I was constantly struggling with the usual sequences (like in the Reblitz book), and I even made up my own which was ultimately inconsistent on all but the best scaled pianos.

I'm going to reply to BDB below. Thanks again Bill!

-Erich

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#1761609 - 09/29/11 10:11 AM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: erichlof]
erichlof Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 371
Hi BDB,

I totally agree that as one gets better at hearing what the final goal should be, the ET via Marpurg sometimes needs a little refinement (especially regarding 4ths and 5ths). I find that when I slightly widen the 4ths to make them beat just a little faster than the 5ths, and make sure the 5ths have almost a pure quality to them, the sequence renders an even greater sounding temperament. Also, I check ascending minor 3rds (which I can actually hear now) as they are very sensitive to the slightest movement and getting them progressive is sometimes a challenge, but worth the extra effort to check your accuracy.

However, I would just recommend the sequence by itself without these extra steps to beginners, so that they can arrive at a pretty good, maybe almost perfect ET, and thus hear what they should be striving for in the first place. This was part of my problem in trying less consistent sequences, I ended up with quasi-ET's all over the place, but I didn't really know what the goal should be (I guess I just thought that it was good enough and I went ahead with the expansion).

Now with a better tuner's ear, I can go back over my completed ET via Marpurg and 'tweak' it with more advanced methods and interval checks to get a really solid foundation for the whole piano. But the sequence by itself really gets me in the ball park - not only in the ball park - on third base with the bases loaded! smile

-Erich


Edited by erichlof (09/29/11 10:20 AM)

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#1761913 - 09/29/11 07:37 PM Re: Listen to my piano tuned with Pure 12ths ... [Re: BDB]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3274
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
[quote]

The way to overcome this is to make the fourths beat a little faster than the fifths. Then you get even closer.



BDB, I have tutored many a novice. If I tried to tell them to tune the 4ths a little faster than the 5ths, the 5ths would be pure and the 4ths would wobble. There is only about a 1/2 cent difference in the common note between an equal beating 4th and 5th and a true ET 4th and 5th. You can't tell a novice to make one interval beat a little faster than the other and expect them to know when it is right.

You could do it and I could do it, yes but a beginner has no sense of what "a little" means. But what they can do very well is make two intervals beat equally.

If one really believes that the more perfected the equality of the temperament, the better the sound, doing what you suggest would be a worthy goal. I don't believe that, however. The quasi ET with equal beating 4ths & 5ths actually sounds better to me. Other people have said so too.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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