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#1472297 - 07/11/10 12:26 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
a.c. writes:
>>Do you think Beethoven could ever be in need for "colored keys" (for the time being, read "non-equal temperaments")?

Greetings,
Yes, I do. There are several reasons, but the overriding one is that even today, an A-B comparison of Beethoven's keyboard works in ET and WT causes an overwhelming response in favor of the WT.(I have done this numerous times in front of audiences of piano technicians as well as musicians).
If one were to analyze LVB's choices of keys in which to compose his sonatas, it is found that the progression of use follows the same progression of dissonance in the thirds of any of the various forms of WT, i.e., C is the most common, F# the least, with all other keys used in direct proportion to their distance from C, (except for the favoritism LVB shows for Eb, which has its own possible explanation of utility).
Beethoven was adamant that his keyboard works be played in the key he composed them. The necessity to keep the harmonic balances as intended would be a more than plausible explanation for this. It is a simple matter, once one understands the organization of tempering in a WT, to 'parse' Beethoven's works and observe that only in the original key does one find coherent progressions of dissonance leading to resolutions in more consonant triads. If one were to change the key by a half-step, these coherent increases in dissonance disappear.

The following is from the technicians list, where I and another debated Lvb's choice of keys. Enid Katahn, a pianist, gives the musical reasons why a WT is important for Beethoven's sonatas, using op. 90. as an example.


inre the choice of keys in a conventional WT, a previous tech writes:
>There are some pieces where you could argue that a reverse of that system would be better; for example, Beethoven's op. 90. The opening in
Em(relative of G major) which is filled with tension might benefit from a
reverse WT.

To which Enid repsonds;
"Not true. Just because a key is more dissonant than Cmaj. doesn't
neccessarily mean it isn't peaceful. There is a difference between dissonance
as harshness and dissonance as emotionality, or expressiveness". In this
piece, Beethoven was looking for keys with more expression. As he goes
through, there are places where he creates a lot more contrast than he would
have in a more consonant key, such as C major."

Several examples:

bar 9: Beginning in a Gmaj, this passage moves downward, finally passing
through Cmaj before ending on a B triad. So, LVB places the most consonant
chord on the keyboard immediately before one of the most highly tempered. On
a WT , this juxtaposition creates a great harmonic contrast. The
pianist/historian's perspective on this is " This extreme contrast may be
read as LvB's way of letting us know that there is something going on under
the surface and it is not all as peaceful as you might think". (If LVB did
write this piece for his sponsor Baron Lichnowsky and his wife , it could be
making a musical referrence to the stormy marriage that they hid below the
verneer of civility in public. Beethoven is known for this sort of
stuff..Call the musicologists!!.)

However, what if Beethoven had written Op. 90 in C?
"If op. 90 had been composed in the "more consonant" key of C, Bar 9 would
have moved from from G to C, causing a change in how the passage works,
especially the last two chords. In the original key, the final modulation
from C to B creates a particularly strong musical resolution of this passage,
a resolution suggesting something mysterious. Had the sonata been in C, the
move from F to E would not be as dramatic. Instead, the passage would end
with two chords more similar to one another instead of its original very
"expressive" chord played against a background of maximum consonance."

In view of the above, when David writes "to argue that WT has more color
and therefore is more interesting, musical, dynamic,
multi-dimensional,<snip>is a waste of time". , I must disagree for the
following reason, among others:
In WT this modulation changes not only the pitch of the interval, but
also the beating, or "color', whereas in ET, only the pitch changes. Since
more happens when you drop 100 cents while changing from a 7 cent to a 19
cent third than when you simply drop everything 100 cents and the ratios stay
the same, I consider the WT to be more "multi-dimensional" and dynamic than
ET. The WT modulation is certainly more complex, even in the simplest
physical terms.
I would suggest that harmonic contrast, used in the above example, works
to enhance the expressive intentions of this music. (this is in the opening
bars, where we normally expect to find the musical expectations and hints of
things to come to be laid out). The choice of key determines the degrees of
contrast in the passages and I don't think Beethoven left those to anything
arbitrary.


Example 2: second mvt. going into bar 32,
The original choice for this passage in C#minor, a very colorful,
expressive key in WT. Enid writes:
" had Beethoven written op 90 in C, this would place this passage in Am,
which defeats the whole purpose. Am is a pleasant, peaceful sound, all the
way through, but this passage is supposed to be full of emotion". Played in
the key of Am on a Young temperament, the passage sounded lifeless to the
several listeners present.

Example 3: The passage beginning at 115.
Here, Beethoven goes from one extreme of consonance to the other, and does
it in a very refined fashion. Starting in C, he moves through Cm, C#min,
C#, Emaj, E7, then crashing B's resolving to E. In a WT, these modulations
create a steady rise in the amount of tension leading up to the climatic B,
from which, in the final move to E, creates a strong resolution. A
masterful example of using progressively increasing tempering as the passage
develops, arriving at a point of maximum "expression" (B) just before the
final resolution (to E). The emotionality or expression of the piece is
heightened by this coherent, organized increase.
However,if the sonata were in C, this progression would have begun in Ab! Hardly a consonant pleasant beginning, and a place from which it will be difficult to increase tension. That is a very intense key to begin a passage such as this! Where is there to go??
Had Op.90 been composed in the "more consonant" Key of C, the movement
would travel through: Ab, Abm , Am, A, C C7 G then ending on C. So, the passage
would have had the softening of the tempering going against the rise of
musical tension plus that odd return to consonance in the middle A to C move.
Also, the climatic, expressive chord would not be the original's heavily
tempered B, but rather, a usually dulcet G. This would be an odd use of
temperament and wouldn't be supportive of the musical direction the passage
exhibits.
All in all, Mrs. Katahn feels like Beethoven knew exactly what he was
doing. The "color" effects created in a WT consistantly work with the
musical direction of his music. This is to be expected, since,as she points
out, composers didn't just start with the first note and go through to the
end, but rather, they had distinct musical moments that they would go about
linking together, figuring out how to get from here to there,etc. In
anything but ET, the choice of key is a fundamental component of how the
harmony functionswith the musical direction.
Hope that helps
Regards,

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#1473270 - 07/13/10 01:34 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Ed Foote]
Gadzar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Mexico City
I'm impressed!

I guess musicians, and specially composers of piano music, are better placed than we piano technicians to talk about temperaments.
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1473456 - 07/13/10 12:06 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Gadzar]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Thank you, ED Foote, for your feedback.

I was asking: Do you think Beethoven could ever be in need for "colored keys" (for the time being, read "non-equal temperaments")?

You write:..."Yes, I do. There are several reasons, but the overriding one is that even today, an A-B comparison of Beethoven's keyboard works in ET and WT causes an overwhelming response in favor of the WT.(I have done this numerous times in front of audiences of piano technicians as well as musicians)."...

I'm sure what you report can happen indeed but, in my experience, it may depend on the ET and WT that were/are compared.

We needed to stretch 12th root of two octaves but we had no indications about how octaves should be stretched, nor about how/why 4ths, 5ths, 12ths and 15ths could effect the tuning of modern ET's.

This is why I would not be surprised to hear a stretched (attempt) version of our historical ET that sounds worse than a (stretched) non-ET. Today, though, you could compare any WT with an advanced, modern ET model and perhaps update your preferences. BTW, did you get to know that our historical ET (12th root of two) has evolved into advanced ET models?

By mentioning Beethoven (and links above) I meant to ask:

For what concerns music, may not Beethoven Variations prove that it is up to the composer to manage emotions, moods, tensions Vs release, dark Vs bright atmospheres etc., on the basis of their own creativity, their imagination and intentions, even playing in the same one key? Even if they were deaf?

Today I would also ask: which (stretched) WT would Beethoven have had in its ears? Would Beethoven have based his musical energy and modulations on close to C and remote “colored” keys issue?

I would also ask: What makes up for a “mild WT” today? Just any temperament that, by design, deviates a few cents from ETD's variants of the first ET? Few cents, otherwise it gets too wolfish, few cents, otherwise it would be called ET?

I ask all this because my urge for singing “in tune” and for composing (small c) came much earlier than any temperamental issue. My "in tune" urge was already there when I was five. So I would never rely on a particular temperament for my inspiration, I could not care less. At the opposite, if I had had precise sounds in my ears, different from what a semitonal scale can sound like, I would have created my own temperament. And this is actually happening today with microtonal scales. But perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps Composers would check their piano and semitonal temperament first, and only then would they compose and play.

Regards, a.c.

CHAS Tuning MP3 - Amatorial recording on a Steinway S (5’ 1”, 155 cm)
http://www.box.net/shared/od0d7506cv

CHAS THEORY - RESEARCH REPORT BY G.R.I.M. (Department of Mathematics, University of Palermo, Italy):
http://math.unipa.it/~grim/Quaderno19_Capurso_09_engl.pdf
.
_________________________
alfredo

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#1473529 - 07/13/10 01:42 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
I wrote:
"even today, an A-B comparison of Beethoven's keyboard works in ET and WT causes an overwhelming response in favor of the WT.(I have done this numerous times in front of audiences of piano technicians as well as musicians)."...

Al responds:
>>I'm sure what you report can happen indeed but, in my experience, it may depend on the ET and WT that were/are compared.

I don't know that it matters too much, any of the plausible tunings of 1800, (Young, Kirnberger/Prinz, Prelleur,) have blown the finest ET's available out of the water! For modern ears, the Coleman 11 is still enough to make the profound difference.

A.C.
"We needed to stretch 12th root of two octaves but we had no indications about how octaves should be stretched, nor about how/why 4ths, 5ths, 12ths and 15ths could effect the tuning of modern ET's."

I have found that the amount of stretch is a moot point when an ET runs into a WT. ET sounds like a constant buzzing after the ear has been introduced to a WT that varies the tempering from say, a 6 cent C-E to a 21 cent F#-A#. I have stretched and compressed octaves on tunings, Stretching for concerto work, compressing in the Nashville recording studios, (for the bass players and producers listening to the congruence between the bass and piano). The high stretch is also favored by jazz players trying to cut through an overly energetic combo. I hate the sound, hearing it as unrelenting tension, and coupled with the lack of variety between the consonance and dissonance of a WT, it gets to be exhausting.

>> Today, though, you could compare any WT with an advanced, modern ET model and perhaps update your preferences.

Been there, done that. ET, regardless of stretch, is still a hyper-active intonation, and lacks the ability to affect our autonomic systems, (sympathetic and parasympathetic). The psycho-emotive effects of consonance/dissonance have been scientifically shown to be real, subliminal, and consistent. Stripping them out of music that was composed to utilize them compromises the emotional impact.

A.C.
I meant to ask:
For what concerns music, may not Beethoven Variations prove that it is up to the composer to manage emotions, moods, tensions Vs release, dark Vs bright atmospheres etc., on the basis of their own creativity, their imagination and intentions, even playing in the same one key? Even if they were deaf?"

I'm not sure they prove anything, but if you plot the key usage in the Variations, you will find a pattern. This same pattern shows up in the micro as well as macro view of music, i.e. Mozart's use of the keys, as well as Schubert and Brahms, display the same pattern. Chopin, interestingly enough, shows the exact same pattern but in reverse!

A.C.
"Today I would also ask: which (stretched) WT would Beethoven have had in its ears? Would Beethoven have based his musical energy and modulations on close to C and remote “colored” keys issue?"

I believe that his modulations were to create the coherent rise and fall of tension in his compositions, and the use of the resources of a WT, regardless of stretch, was a consistent and ever present factor. I would suggest you look at his sonata in F#, (can't remember the number). It is a singular piece in his work, and only makes real sense if you play it on a keyboard with a WT in place. You can't get pure fifths any other way.

A.C.
"I would also ask: What makes up for a “mild WT” today? Just any temperament that, by design, deviates a few cents from ETD's variants of the first ET? Few cents, otherwise it gets too wolfish, few cents, otherwise it would be called ET?

I would consider any tuning that deviates, in the historical pattern, from ET by less than two cents to be mild. However, even three cents can create a C-E that is only tempered 7 cents by raising the C and lowering the E. Also, if you lower the F# and raise the A# by three cents, you are very near the full syntonic comma, so it takes little to create huge differences from ET.

A.C.
"I ask all this because my urge for singing “in tune” and for composing (small c) came much earlier than any temperamental issue. My "in tune" urge was already there when I was five."

Did you naturally sing a 14 cent wide third? If so, you are unique in my experience. I have only heard that amount of stretch in unaccompanied voice when the singer is strongly leading to something else, otherwise, most voices I have heard naturally gravitate towards Just. As one singer told me, "Everything changes as soon as the piano begins to play".
I see nothing natural about out of tune singing, and a tempered third is, technically, "out of tune". (assuming by 'in tune' we mean no dissonance).

A.C.
" perhaps Composers would check their piano and semitonal temperament first, and only then would they compose and play."

I think it more plausible that composers of the time were aware of the resources available in the various keys, and selected them for particular musical purposes. We don't hear funeral dirges in the simple keys, nor lullabies in the remote ones. When the musical tension builds, we find a common reliance on modulation from consonance to dissonance,and we never hear a resolution occurring by moving to a more highly tempered key that what leads up to it. This is not coincidence, since the practice was nearly universal between 1700 and 1850, with echos following even after that.
All in all, if one were to play all the piano literature composed between Bach and Brahms on a well-tempered piano, there would be far less total dissonance than if it were played on one that had all thirds tempered 13.7 cents. What I think is important is that we get away from the idea that consonance is good and dissonance is bad. As Plutarch said centuries ago, "Music, to create harmony, must investigate discord".

Regards,

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#1474004 - 07/14/10 07:29 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Ed Foote]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Hello Ed,

I'm again leaving for some days, so excuse the "quantity" of my replies. I'm very glad for getting to know your outlook on this subject, actually I went to your site...and I'll be happy to read the whole content.

Me:>>I'm sure what you report can happen indeed but, in my experience, it may depend on the ET and WT that were/are compared.

ED:..."I don't know that it matters too much, any of the plausible tunings of 1800, (Young, Kirnberger/Prinz, Prelleur,) have blown the finest ET's available out of the water! For modern ears, the Coleman 11 is still enough to make the profound difference."...

Sorry for my ignorance, what does "blown the finest ET's available out of the water", I do not know this idiom. Then, which "finest" ET are you referring to? Aural or ETD? One stretched-octaves version of 12th root of two or a modern ET? I think that would matter a lot, actually it may be foundamental.

ED:..."ET sounds like a constant buzzing after the ear has been introduced to a WT that varies the tempering from say, a 6 cent C-E to a 21 cent F#-A#. I have stretched and compressed octaves on tunings, Stretching for concerto work, compressing in the Nashville recording studios, (for the bass players and producers listening to the congruence between the bass and piano). The high stretch is also favored by jazz players trying to cut through an overly energetic combo. I hate the sound, hearing it as unrelenting tension, and coupled with the lack of variety between the consonance and dissonance of a WT, it gets to be exhausting."...

My first guitar would variate 3rds very much, though I cannot say how many cents. That I could not stand, I wanted all chords to sound in tune. In the ET I tune, 3rds like F#4-A#4 are so tense that I would never ask for more tension. You say "I hate the sound, hearing it as unrelenting tension, and coupled with the lack of variety between the consonance and dissonance of a WT, it gets to be exhausting."

Yes, perhaps we go for different settings. What for me gets exhausting in non-equals is this hearing a quite nice interval but, soon after, having to reduce my openness, my acceptance when, playing another interval, the wolf shows out. It is all this ear-adjustment that tires me, that would put me off and distract me every time.

I'll be back. Regards, a.c.
_________________________
alfredo

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#1474095 - 07/14/10 10:51 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
Alfredo writes:
" what does "blown the finest ET's available out of the water", I do not know this idiom.

It means no comparison. At one class, in a room of 20 techs, comparing the Coleman 11 to an ET, 2 preferred ET. In numerous comparisons, even after playing in all the keys of a WT, the overwhelming preference has been for the WT piano. I have compared them to my own ET, as well as several other ET's created by very fine technicians. One time, in Texas, the ET piano was tuned by Tom Seay, and it was as fine a tuning as I have ever heard. The audience still heard the WT as more pleasing. It is not the execution of the ET that causes its shortcomings, but rather, the selection!
All the stretch in the world does not create the variety of the keys.

"Then, which "finest" ET are you referring to? Aural or ETD? One stretched-octaves version of 12th root of two or a modern ET? I think that would matter a lot, actually it may be foundamental."

I don't think so, but perhaps we should give ET a definition we can use for comparison. Let us consider that a piano tuned in ET will have an equal amount of tempering in all like intervals, i.e. all thirds are tempered the same. Which casts an inquisitive light on the following two statements:

"My first guitar would variate 3rds very much, though I cannot say how many cents. That I could not stand, I wanted all chords to sound in tune."

By the above definition, if the thirds vary, it is not ET.


"In the ET I tune, 3rds like F#4-A#4 are so tense that I would never ask for more tension."

By the definition above, why would one third be more tense than another? The F#-A# third is tempered the same as the G-B, otherwise,the tempering is not equal! As was stated earlier, we hear logarithmically, so the tempering of the F#-A# should be heard no more "tensely" that any other. Even though the G-B third will beat faster than the F#-A#, it is not heard as more highly tempered because it is occurring at a higher set of frequencies. The human perception of tempering is not pitch dependent.

If one hears a particular key as being more tense on an ET, I submit that it is conditioning,based on an individual's ability to recognize keys by pitch, which brings the whole musicological/historical precedent into consideration.
Consider that if we always were slapped every time we saw the color red. it would be normal for us to wince at ever stop light. If we always heard the key of F# used for high tension composition,(which is not far from the truth in classical music), the pitch-cognizant listener will automatically ascribe tension to the key, regardless of how it is tuned. Pavlov was right!
Looking over piano literature as a whole, we see very clear trends in how keys were used by composers. The most expressive parts of the sonatas are most often placed in the most remote keys, and rarely are those remote keys used to resolve a composition. Why? Listen to LVB's "Waldstein". The second mvt. was written to replace the original, (which became "Andante Favorite"). It begins in F, goes through a step by step journey into highly dissonant chords, and slowly returns to a place that creates an incredible resolution in C for the final mvt. I suggest that any musical listener,if deprived of hearing the final mvt.after this section, will feel like they have been left hanging. However, when that bass note C hits, there is a strongly visceral relaxation that takes place. The effect of tempering is totally syncronized with the composition. This is not by random choice of key!
I suggest that trying for resolution by going from any given key to a more highly tempered key is so extremely rare because it does not allow the listener to feel the relaxation, on the subliminal level, that the composer is attempting to create.
We are calmed by consonance, and stimulated by dissonance. Thus, the use of UT's allow the ebb and flow of tension is a critically important factor in getting the most impact from the music.

Sonatas are harmonic journeys, they build tension and then resolve it. This creates the emotional response. When the tempering is employed to heighten this effect, (by resolving to less tempered sounds,which is a near constant in classical music), the emotional impact is stronger because our bodies are being manipulated in the same direction that our conscious minds are. This sounds like hocus-pocus, but is easily demonstrated.
If we truly want the most out of the music we love, we have to try all plausible alternatives, and the use of WT's in the 1800's is more than plausible.
Best regards,

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#1474110 - 07/14/10 11:07 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Ed Foote]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Colorado
Very excellent post, Ed.

Thanks

Glen
_________________________


March piano audio
https://app.box.com/s/evl3yyp1kj52ve8l069u


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

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#1474132 - 07/14/10 11:50 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Hi all, have been away for a few days, just catching up on the forum now.

Alfredo:

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Let's see your “observation”. For what I understand, you offer a fact ( “I know quite a few musicians that wouldn't touch ET...”), and you give for granted that some music was written for "colored keys", which is debatable, and you give for sure that WTC was written for "colored keys", which again is debatable.

For what I understand, by mentioning the musicians you know, you intended to prove what you could not prove nor support with arguments, namely 1. some music was written for "colored keys", 2. WTC was written for "colored keys", 3. we need “colored keys” for expressing “calm” or “springiness” or what ever emotion. So Patrick, you may start respecting yourself, yours was not an observation.


WHAT? You asked:

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Can a musician ever be vexed when he/she finds that all key-signatures sound absolutelly beautyfull? When all key-signatures, like in my experience, can readly and generously give back all their harmonic potential?


... and I replied:

Originally Posted By: pppat
But of course! I know quite a few musicians that wouldn't touch ET with a ten foot pole, when it comes to interpret music written for "colored keys" (like, for example, the WTC)


... and you start talking about proof? I don't get it. Still don't.

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Your post may prove your ignorance about practical tuning and theory, which might not be bad “in se”, but you could read Chas threads and deduce what is “implemented every day”. In fact, theoretical and practical aspects have long been discussed, so today it is difficult (for me) to justify your ignorance.

What may really represent a revelation, what would be offensive here is your attempt to banalize Chas temperamental theory and tuning issues. This would be bad in that you'd try to impoverish my solid sharing. And it would be worse in that it would show (to me) how your own education is not favoring your intellectual attitude. This tendency of yours, together with your (usual) arrogance and (unusual) impudence, would leave no room for more words.


Well, there are quite a lot of very good tuners and math persons on this forum who can't understand what you're trying to say in your paper, nor in the elaborations in the CHAS threads, so I don't feel left out in the cold here.

You can call me, or others ignorant (which you have done quite some times now), but if you see all the cars on the highway driving in the wrong direction you'd really be wise to start asking yourself if you drive on the wrong side of the road...

If mostly everybody else that discuss with you sooner or later are considered arrogant and ignorant, that should be a sign that something is not quite right - either with your CHAS, your polemic skills, or both.
_________________________
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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#1474169 - 07/14/10 12:43 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Ed Foote]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Ed,

I really like your extensive postings of Mrs. Katahn's comments. I haven't found a really suitable punch line for what a WT does to harmony yet, but I've been speaking quite a bit of its affect on the harmonic progression of a musical piece. It is good to see these analytical quotes underlining the same phenomenon.

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

A.C.
>> Today, though, you could compare any WT with an advanced, modern ET model and perhaps update your preferences.

Been there, done that. ET, regardless of stretch, is still a hyper-active intonation, and lacks the ability to affect our autonomic systems, (sympathetic and parasympathetic). The psycho-emotive effects of consonance/dissonance have been scientifically shown to be real, subliminal, and consistent. Stripping them out of music that was composed to utilize them compromises the emotional impact.


I like that description, hyper-active intonation smile ET as a temperament doesn't really stimulate the listener or the musician in more than one single way, a little bit like driving a car in 2nd gear all the time.
_________________________
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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#1475117 - 07/15/10 08:12 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: pppat]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Hello.

ED, those days are really busy for me but I shall reply properly on what you have said, thank you. Amongst your own arguments there is one that sounds nicely and unusually "dissonant", it is this one:..."What I think is important is that we get away from the idea that consonance is good and dissonance is bad. As Plutarch said centuries ago, "Music, to create harmony, must investigate discord"...

This is where we may agree on, as you mentioned (by chance?) one of Chas theory's pillars. This is why you do not find any "pure" interval in Chas ET model. That is how you could stop this maso-romantic game, this going through alternate pain and pleasure, wolfish and justish chords, remote and close keys-signature. Today we can explain (and go for) a consistent and solid "in tune" choir. Which non-equal/WT can you detect?

Mozart - The Magic Flute - end of opera (duet and chorus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFdB8Zz8VOo

The Swingle Singers - Badinerie (Johann Sebastian Bach)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHcNHL8AyfU&feature=related

Bach aria 4° corda Swingle Singers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xQdboqVOzA&NR=1

Patrick, you write:

..."Well, there are quite a lot of very good tuners and math persons on this forum who can't understand what you're trying to say in your paper, nor in the elaborations in the CHAS threads, so I don't feel left out in the cold here."...

Despite what you can read in Chas threads, I'll never leave you out in the cold.

..."You can call me, or others ignorant (which you have done quite some times now), but if you see all the cars on the highway driving in the wrong direction you'd really be wise to start asking yourself if you drive on the wrong side of the road..."...

This is what I wrote: "Your post may prove your ignorance about practical tuning and theory, which might not be bad “in se”, but you could read Chas threads and deduce what is “implemented every day”. In fact, theoretical and practical aspects have long been discussed, so today it is difficult (for me) to justify your ignorance.

What may really represent a revelation, what would be offensive here is your attempt to banalize Chas temperamental theory and tuning issues. This would be bad in that you'd try to impoverish my solid sharing. And it would be worse in that it would show (to me) how your own education is not favoring your intellectual attitude."

That means that I'd find difficult to justify your ignorance, and that I'm puzzled about the effects of your education on your intellectual attitudes, since I wonder whether you intented to be offensive or what.

..."If mostly everybody else that discuss with you sooner or later are considered arrogant and ignorant, that should be a sign that something is not quite right - either with your CHAS, your polemic skills, or both."...

Patrick, I think it is the first time ever that I admit ignorance, wanting to go for the "easyest" option. This could prove you how polemics do not interest me. Yet I'd like you to check yourself (you'd want to be reliable) and list (for me too) all these "mostly everybody else...".

Thanks and regards, a.c.

CHAS Tuning MP3 - Amatorial recording on a Steinway S (5’ 1”, 155 cm)
http://www.box.net/shared/od0d7506cv

CHAS THEORY - RESEARCH REPORT BY G.R.I.M. (Department of Mathematics, University of Palermo, Italy):
http://math.unipa.it/~grim/Quaderno19_Capurso_09_engl.pdf



Edited by alfredo capurso (07/15/10 09:05 PM)
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#1475138 - 07/15/10 08:47 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

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

[@Ed Foote] Today we can explain (and go for) a consistent and solid "in tune" choir. Which non-equal/WT can you detect?

Mozart - The Magic Flute - end of opera (duet and chorus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFdB8Zz8VOo

The Swingle Singers - Badinerie (Johann Sebastian Bach)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHcNHL8AyfU&feature=related



Non of these are ET, nor ar they any fixed intonation at all. It's just good (and occasionally not so good) intonation executed on non-fixed instruments.

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Yet I'd like you to check yourself (you'd want to be reliable) and list (for me too) all these "mostly everybody else...".


Sure, I can do that - although I don't think it would be too hard for you to realize that yourself. You'd just have to think about who have discussed things with you during the time you've been on this forum, and then think about who is still doing so.

If I list them, I'd like to do that in a PM, for one reason only: I do not want to drag them back into a discussion they have chosen not to participate in. Your call.
_________________________
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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#1475268 - 07/16/10 01:08 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
Alfredo writes:
"That is how you could stop this maso-romantic game, this going through alternate pain and pleasure, wolfish and justish chords, remote and close keys-signature. Today we can explain (and go for) a consistent and solid "in tune" choir. "

Ayyyeee! I haven't been clear enough. Music is an emotional event for me. I like the pain and pleasure in the wolfish and just chords. I don't want to listen with my head, I want to have my breathing changed, and the variety of tempering will do that more strongly than its lack. We know that our bodies react to dissonance, and Beethoven seems to have known it, too.
I want my castles made of natural, inconsistent, field stone, not symmetrical brick. I want to feel the irregularities of wood instead of the perfectly consistent plastic surface. I crave food that is sweet and sour, I like music to be soft and loud, fast and slow, harmony, pure and ragged. I like thirds that are near pure, and I like them even more after glancing off the comma. It is exciting to me to hear a composer gradually taking the ear into very expressive territory without ever making such a big leap that it breaks the spell, and then reminding us how good harmony sounds when it resolves in more pure intervals. I like that stuff, and the composers seem to know how to use it.
So, I don't see the palette formed by a well temperament to be a liability, but rather, an asset. There are places for an edgy dissonant third and curiously, composers rarely put them in the wrong place.
The rise and fall of dissonance from tempering in Classical piano music seems, to me, to be intentionally used by the composers. We can argue the degree of historical plausibility all day long, but that lacks the realness of listening. Since the difference is a sensual one, not an intellectual one, assuming a historical imperative based on research instead of what the music sounds like is, imho, folly.
I try to focus not only on what the music sounds like,( occupational hazard for a professional tuner), but rather, what it feels like. These are not the same thing. (more later, I guess).
Regards,

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#1475344 - 07/16/10 06:44 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: pppat]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
[@Ed Foote] Today we can explain (and go for) a consistent and solid "in tune" choir. Which non-equal/WT can you detect?

Mozart - The Magic Flute - end of opera (duet and chorus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFdB8Zz8VOo

The Swingle Singers - Badinerie (Johann Sebastian Bach)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHcNHL8AyfU&feature=related

Patrick, you say: "Non of these are ET, nor ar they any fixed intonation at all. It's just good (and occasionally not so good) intonation executed on non-fixed instruments."...

I ask then: what makes intonation good? What makes intonation "not so good"? Although those are voices, they can not sing "just" intervals (just like we cannot tune just intervals on a piano). So I ask: how do they temper themselves? I used to sing with my sister, we both knew who and when was "occasionally not so good". I'm sure singers themselves could say when they themselves sound not so good. Do they refer to a compromise or to an ideal? Which non-equal or WT could they refer to, all together and in real time? How do they stretch intervals and manage to make me feel (quite) good?

Children's choir Kolibri - Mass in G major, BWV 236 - 4: Domine Deus, Johann Sebastian Bach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bokZHuCWNP4

AI Josh Groban children choir frm Africa - You Raise Me Up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OOhd6R2EiY

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Yet I'd like you to check yourself (you'd want to be reliable) and list (for me too) all these "mostly everybody else...".

..."Sure, I can do that - although I don't think it would be too hard for you to realize that yourself. You'd just have to think about who have discussed things with you during the time you've been on this forum, and then think about who is still doing so."...

Let me know what you realize. For what I can say and expect, in Chas threads posters come and go freely, anytime.

..."If I list them, I'd like to do that in a PM, for one reason only: I do not want to drag them back into a discussion they have chosen not to participate in."...

Cam'on Patrick, be reliable and tell me/us who you have in mind. After all it was you involving others in public. And you were not playing a ghost game, were you? wink

Regards, a.c.

CHAS Tuning MP3 - Amatorial recording on a Steinway S (5’ 1”, 155 cm)
http://www.box.net/shared/od0d7506cv

CHAS THEORY - RESEARCH REPORT BY G.R.I.M. (Department of Mathematics, University of Palermo, Italy):
http://math.unipa.it/~grim/Quaderno19_Capurso_09_engl.pdf
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alfredo

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#1475371 - 07/16/10 08:48 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
pppat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
Patrick, you say: "Non of these are ET, nor ar they any fixed intonation at all. It's just good (and occasionally not so good) intonation executed on non-fixed instruments."...

I ask then: what makes intonation good? What makes intonation "not so good"? Although those are voices, they can not sing "just" intervals (just like we cannot tune just intervals on a piano). So I ask: how do they temper themselves? I used to sing with my sister, we both knew who and when was "occasionally not so good". I'm sure singers themselves could say when they themselves sound not so good. Do they refer to a compromise or to an ideal? Which non-equal or WT could they refer to, all together and in real time? How do they stretch intervals and manage to make me feel (quite) good?


If we are talking about a cappella singing, the singers are of course intonating by ear only, not out of any given theoretical model. In my view, intonation on the fly is superior to what we are dedicated to: the tempering of an instrument with fixed pitch. Then again, it's much harder to execute nicely.

Then, if a piano is tuned in ET, singers intonate to ET. If a piano is tuned in a WT, singers intonate into that WT. This happens on the fly, by ear, and is much easier than we often think in this forum. It can be a bit trickier with strings, because a physical, kinetic aspect comes into play - the feel of the fingerboard. Good players usually adjust fast, though.

If there is any doubt about the power of on the fly intonation by ear, you can make the following test (which I've used a lot of times, in both choir and theory classes). What you need is a group of singers, large enough for them to be able to use staggered breath efficiently, produce a continous long tone without breaks.

Play a C major chord, and let them sing C4 and hold that note. Then play different chords that includes C4 (F major, Gb7#11, Ab maj7, Cadd9/E, Eb6, Dm7b5, Db maj7, aso)
, and make that C4 the top note of the chord, including it on the piano too. The choir will sing your ET C4.

Now, do the exact same test, but this time leave out the top note (C4) on the piano. What you will hear is a C4 that constantly varies in pitch, seemingly effortlessly! By ear, the singers raise and lower the pitch to the place where it just "sounds right".

Let me recapitulate: even if the piano is tuned in ET, if the singers are free to intonate to it, not restricted by the same tone played on the piano, they will make more natural choices. This is where we are hopelessly stuck with our fixed pitch on the piano. I've said it before, and here it is again: To me, a WT/UT is a way of bringing some of that liveness into the piano. It is not as effective as free intonation on the fly, but it is - again, to me - much more natural than ET.

But, just as Ed says, unequal tunings have been used to the composers advantage in writing music for the piano. Hence, this shortcoming of fixed intonation has actually been utilized in favor of the composer, for bringing different emotions into the harmonic progressions. No theories claiming otherwise, however vigurously researched, will stand a chance to the proof of the music itself.

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso

..."Sure, I can do that - although I don't think it would be too hard for you to realize that yourself. You'd just have to think about who have discussed things with you during the time you've been on this forum, and then think about who is still doing so."...

Let me know what you realize. For what I can say and expect, in Chas threads posters come and go freely, anytime.

..."If I list them, I'd like to do that in a PM, for one reason only: I do not want to drag them back into a discussion they have chosen not to participate in."...

Cam'on Patrick, be reliable and tell me/us who you have in mind. After all it was you involving others in public. And you were not playing a ghost game, were you?


No, I stand by this decision, out of respect to others. If that means that you find me less reliable, then so be it. Still, I can PM you if you don't figure it out yourself.
_________________________
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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#1475385 - 07/16/10 09:18 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: pppat]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
12 tone keyboard instruments are the only instruments which require temperament. All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as the music progresses.
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Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#1475466 - 07/16/10 11:08 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Hello Bill,

you say: "12 tone keyboard instruments are the only instruments which require temperament. All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as the music progresses."

Is that what you hear?

Leonid Kogan Paganini with guitarre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpXlCheiXY8&feature=related

Kogan Paganini
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovnky2hwgWM

Regards, a.c.
.
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alfredo

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#1476281 - 07/17/10 08:39 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

..."12 tone keyboard instruments are the only instruments which require temperament. All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as the music progresses."

Hello. I'd say "...All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as their music-understanding progresses".

For a violinist, in my idea for any musician (on a instrument or voice), intonation may be a gift that he/she would (re)gain in the shortest lapse of time, even with a good teacher, if the teacher could share that talent.

In my idea, any instrumental-voice will be tempered, because "just-related" frequencies all together would not sound good. And it will not be adjustable because every musician ends up singing that gift. This is why, hopefully, they can be and they are musicians.

1.UTO UGHI LE QUATTRO STAGIONI DI VIVALDI S. SABINA DI ROMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhhLXQok82A

7 years old violinist No.2 (mendelssohn violin concerto)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrMwMQt7MXM&feature=related


What do you think? Regards, a.c.





Edited by alfredo capurso (07/17/10 09:07 PM)
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#1476458 - 07/18/10 09:51 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso

Hello Bill,

you say: "12 tone keyboard instruments are the only instruments which require temperament. All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as the music progresses."

Is that what you hear?

Leonid Kogan Paganini with guitarre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpXlCheiXY8&feature=related

Kogan Paganini
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovnky2hwgWM

Regards, a.c.
.


The violonist adjust his "stretch" to the guitare which have none. As usual thats the non fixed tone instrument that adapt his justness to the one of the fixed tone.

I find the result sounding flat and not very harmonious, may be the guitare would have benefit of enlarging the tuning ...

Best wishes !
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#1476461 - 07/18/10 09:58 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso


Hello. I'd say "...All other instruments and voices adjust intonation as their music-understanding progresses".

For a violinist, in my idea for any musician (on a instrument or voice), intonation may be a gift that he/she would (re)gain in the shortest lapse of time, even with a good teacher, if the teacher could share that talent.

In my idea, any instrumental-voice will be tempered, because "just-related" frequencies all together would not sound good. And it will not be adjustable because every musician ends up singing that gift. This is why, hopefully, they can be and they are musicians.

1.UTO UGHI LE QUATTRO STAGIONI DI VIVALDI S. SABINA DI ROMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhhLXQok82A




What do you think? Regards, a.c.





a little before 4:00 they lower their intonation (first violin and solist) while when they play tutti, the treble raise and raise, naturally. (as often ) I get no clue about pythagorean justness by listening there, only that they seem to temper more at some moment.

may be simply it is hot and all strings go flat, hence the pitch lower ...




Edited by Kamin (07/18/10 10:00 AM)
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#1476483 - 07/18/10 10:42 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Olek]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
I dont find the Swingle singers are singing particularely just

while they are enjoyeable of course, they have a somehow "loose" intonation, purposely or not.

It is anyway as difficult to sing just than to play just at the violin !
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#1476488 - 07/18/10 10:48 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso



Children's choir Kolibri - Mass in G major, BWV 236 - 4: Domine Deus, Johann Sebastian Bach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bokZHuCWNP4
f


The piano is " dans les choux !" (in the backyard, with the tomatoes and potatoes ! ) the violinist is able to adapt while playing a little lower when in the treble, but the choir is higher, naturally.

The piano would have benefit of a more open tuning (some came to mind !)

Best regards
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1476493 - 07/18/10 10:56 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Olek]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France

AI Josh Groban children choir frm Africa - You Raise Me Up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OOhd6R2EiY

You call that a singer ? sheep sing better ! beeehhh !
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Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1476713 - 07/18/10 08:40 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Isaac, what a pleasure. I was half way with this post...

Alfredo writes:
"That is how you could stop this maso-romantic game, this going through alternate pain and pleasure, wolfish and justish chords, remote and close keys-signature. Today we can explain (and go for) a consistent and solid "in tune" choir. "

ED:..."Ayyyeee! I haven't been clear enough. Music is an emotional event for me. I like the pain and pleasure in the wolfish and just chords. I don't want to listen with my head, I want to have my breathing changed, and the variety of tempering will do that more strongly than its lack. We know that our bodies react to dissonance, and Beethoven seems to have known it, too.
I want my castles made of natural, inconsistent, field stone, not symmetrical brick. I want to feel the irregularities of wood instead of the perfectly consistent plastic surface. I crave food that is sweet and sour, I like music to be soft and loud, fast and slow, harmony, pure and ragged. I like thirds that are near pure, and I like them even more after glancing off the comma. It is exciting to me to hear a composer gradually taking the ear into very expressive territory without ever making such a big leap that it breaks the spell, and then reminding us how good harmony sounds when it resolves in more pure intervals. I like that stuff, and the composers seem to know how to use it.
So, I don't see the palette formed by a well temperament to be a liability, but rather, an asset. There are places for an edgy dissonant third and curiously, composers rarely put them in the wrong place.
The rise and fall of dissonance from tempering in Classical piano music seems, to me, to be intentionally used by the composers. We can argue the degree of historical plausibility all day long, but that lacks the realness of listening. Since the difference is a sensual one, not an intellectual one, assuming a historical imperative based on research instead of what the music sounds like is, imho, folly. I try to focus not only on what the music sounds like,( occupational hazard for a professional tuner), but rather, what it feels like. These are not the same thing."...


Me too, I'd say "Music is an emotional event for me". Since my head is not involved, I cannot think in terms of (due) pain and pleasure. My emotions flow and do not call for a rational explaination, unless my ear is disturbed. My ear has to do with my brain but not with my rational. My emotions can flow untill my ear recognizes a friendly, warm, euphonious environment.

When my ear detects a wolfish sound, I feel like my castle is not safe anymore, like if those beautyful, ever different field stones (read partials) that could decorate my castle in an orderly way, are now deforming into a mess. It is not a question of symmetry nor dissonance. Actually a "dissonance" is nice as long as it makes sense. It is an "out of tune" dissonance that I find unpleasent, just like an "out of tune" consonance.

You write:..."We know that our bodies react to dissonance, and Beethoven seems to have known it, too."..

I'd mention Beethoven's own words (or music) only (please). Our body reacts to dissonance, my body reacts even more to unjustifiable, over-dissonances. Yes, sweet and sour can be nice, not for the sake of it though, i.e. not as a theoretical/conceptual reason. Take any usual tuning, depending on the chords sequence, we can play "sweet and sour" and still sound quite in tune. Isn't this banal?

You write:..."I want to feel the irregularities of wood instead of the perfectly consistent plastic surface"...

Have you read about one actual non-equal Vs ET compareson? Even "educated", lined up listeners could confuse the two. Which "plastic" are you talking about? Is yours a bizarre (or exploitable) issue?

You write:..."It is exciting to me to hear a composer gradually taking the ear into very expressive territory without ever making such a big leap that it breaks the spell, and then reminding us how good harmony sounds when it resolves in more pure intervals. I like that stuff, and the composers seem to know how to use it."...

For what I can say, the scale and chords geometry itself can variate from "tense" intervals to "calm" ones, and the temperaments (historical) main issue was the wolf, i.e. where could we relegate the wolf, how could we circumscribe the (today-solved) problem.

You write:..."So, I don't see the palette formed by a well temperament to be a liability, but rather, an asset. There are places for an edgy dissonant third and curiously, composers rarely put them in the wrong place."...

I'd say: Composers may rarely (?) refer to them. Do you really think composers wait for you/us to give them a temperament?

..."The rise and fall of dissonance from tempering in Classical piano music seems, to me, to be intentionally used by the composers."...

Yes, dissonance and consonance, on the bases of the harmonic structure, not on dayly "out of tune" gimmicks.

..."Since the difference is a sensual one, not an intellectual one, assuming a historical imperative based on research instead of what the music sounds like is, imho, folly."...

So, why do you bother whether it should be WT or ET? I did bother, I needed to bother firstly as a musician, secondly as a pro tuner.

..."I try to focus not only on what the music sounds like, (occupational hazard for a professional tuner), but rather, what it feels like. These are not the same thing."...

Yes, you could work on that and line up your feelings.

Regards, a.c.
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alfredo

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#1476772 - 07/18/10 10:38 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 969
Loc: Tennessee
Alfredo writes:
.
>>When my ear detects a wolfish sound, I feel like my castle is not safe anymore, like if those beautyful, ever different field stones (read partials) that could decorate my castle in an orderly way, are now deforming into a mess.>

If the point and intention of listening to music is to feel "safe", then we are talking at cross-purposes. Perhaps meantone, with its perfectly safe thirds, would do this, but would it not get boring? Life is messy.

a.c. >>Actually a "dissonance" is nice as long as it makes sense. It is an "out of tune" dissonance that I find unpleasent, just like an "out of tune" consonance.<

We got a semantics problem. Maybe some definitions are in order? Let's consider Just to be consonant. Everything else is simply degrees away from it. Let's consider "out of tune" as anything that calls attention to itself rather than the music. There is no point to go assigning values of good and evil, since taste is subjective.
With that, we can ask the question, where does your limit of tolerance occur? Consonance is nice, but we can't live there, so how far from consonant is too far. It seems to be a 13.7 cent third. This is an odd size, resulting from physical limits of our hands and fingers colliding with the physics of vibrating strings. Why would that resulting compromise be of particular harmonic interest? It is certainly not consonant, since it beats like crazy.

A.c. asks: Have you read about one actual non-equal Vs ET compareson? Even "educated", lined up listeners could confuse the two.<

I have presented exactly this program at 7 National conventions of the PTG,the CAPT, as well as numerous other events for non-technicals. We listen, very carefully, to both tunings. This is after I have taken the entire audience on a tour through the keys of the WT. We listen to what Brahms wrote in Eb,other pieces in Ab, Bm,G, you name it. I point out the variety of thirds, and what they sound like as 17ths. And we compare the same piece on both pianos, and there is NEVER any confusion as to which is which.
ET has a profoundly different sound that, once recognized, is usually easily identified. There are passages in the middle keys, which are tempered so close to ET that it could be confusing to those that don't have pitch recognition, but there are big differences in how the WT keys feel, and the skill to sense them is not hard to develop, even for modern ears. It just requires a willingness to listen from another perspective.
As a sidebar, the effect on the artists that play is profound. Most of them have never touched a WT, and they all, every one, loved it.


>>Which "plastic" are you talking about? Is yours a bizarre (or exploitable) issue?<<

I don't know about "bizarre. Plastic was a figure of speech. It refers to a man-made chemical artifact (polymers and such) as a metaphor for the artificial intonation that results from dividing an octave up into 12 steps, destroying consonance everywhere for the sake of control.
Exploit that, if you must, but I really don't understand the question.

In response to me saying, "It is exciting to me to hear a composer gradually taking the ear into very expressive territory without ever making such a big leap that it breaks the spell,

A.C. writes:
For what I can say, the scale and chords geometry itself can variate from "tense" intervals to "calm" ones,

That may be enough for some. The intellectual processing of the music may be creating as much emotional involvement as a particular person seeks. However,our autonomic nervous systems are not being stimulated the same way as if given varying doses of dissonance. Variety has its effect in all senses. The rubato is a prime example. Crescendos, likewise. Why not harmonic variety? Almost all other instruments provide it.
The musical complexity, both physically and in composition, is greater with a non equal temperament, since there is more than one change when there is a modulation. In any ET, the only thing to change when modulating is the pitch center. In a WT, there is the change of pitch center, and, if desired, the change of tension due to tempering. This change can be higher, or lower, or it can be missing in action, all dependent on the composers intentions. How can the options be anything but a feature? One has to really love the sound of a 14 cent third to give that all up.

>> and the temperaments (historical) main issue was the wolf, <<

I think there was too much interest in temperament, long after the wolf had been spread out to dry, to dismiss intentional placing of the tempering according to key signature, as virtually all WT's do. It was done too consistently to ignore.

a.c.
>> Do you really think composers wait for you/us to give them a temperament?<<

No, I don't. I think they simply used the intonation they inherited. Giving something up in the most used keys to make the remote ones usable would have been a very natural progression from thinking in restricted meantone sense.
What is implausible is that the complete Classical era would have suddenly happened because equal temperament made it so, and no composer said anything about it. Modern composers don't specify ET,(Gershwin? Rachman,etc), why would we expect differently 200 years ago? They worked with the status quo,and in Beethoven's time, I don't think ET was the norm.

a.c. <<So, why do you bother whether it should be WT or ET? I did bother, I needed to bother firstly as a musician, secondly as a pro tuner.>>

I bother 'cause I love music, and I want as intense an experience as possible. After becoming familiar with alternatives, ET has come to sound boring and aesthetically bankrupt for music composed prior to 1900. It places terrible tempering in places it has no business being, and gentrifies wildly dissonant passages. It averages everything out in a bland sameness, like tapioca. The music deserves more, and so do we.
Regards,

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#1476992 - 07/19/10 10:36 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Ed Foote]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Hello.

ED writes:..."If the point and intention of listening to music is to feel "safe", then we are talking at cross-purposes. Perhaps meantone, with its perfectly safe thirds, would do this, but would it not get boring? Life is messy."...

"Safe" was a figure of speech, as a metaphor for a natural (referred to nature's geometry), home-ish (referred to my own geometry), possibly euphonious environment (referred to a warm, reliable, shareable scale-geometry). As a metaphor for explaining when can my emotions flow. Nothing to do with Meantone pure thirds, actually nothing to do with pure fifths or octaves either, since they would give rise to messy tunings (I should not tell you).

To be able to tell how your life is messy, I should know you better, see your house, check your habits...but would not "ever-messy" get boring too? And ever-sweet'n sour? Ever intense? No, I do not think that can be a way. If anything, music composition is "order", and not for the sake of it but to make music shareable. Infact, the common line seems to be "share order", not mess as an order, you may just go out and check. In nature we find both, mess and order, and this helps me understand your craves, be them your own craves. I'd rather go for my own mess and would not expect to share it.

So, the porpuse of this writing is to understand what is behind the preference for WT and I thank you ED. It seems that we (ear-equipped people) can say when intervals and chords sound good or if they can sound better, and even agree on that. But it seems also that "sounds good" is a matter of personal taste. In any case, it seems that we should not have all chords sound ever "in tune", otherwise it gets boring. It seems that a fixed mess can contrast boredom, but wasn't life messy enough?

ET is mentioned as normally tuneable, commonly down to perfection, and ET's regularity with its rule applied to perfection makes it boring. It seems that music can be much more emotional if we deviate few cents, if we go through pain-and-pleasure, and it seems that we can be told the (ever?) fixed and correct amount of pain and the (ever?) correct amount of pleasure, so that we can finally enjoy music (ever?) in the proper, intented way. Am I with you?

a.c. >>Actually a "dissonance" is nice as long as it makes sense. It is an "out of tune" dissonance that I find unpleasent, just like an "out of tune" consonance.<

ED:..."We got a semantics problem. Maybe some definitions are in order? Let's consider Just to be consonant. Everything else is simply degrees away from it. Let's consider "out of tune" as anything that calls attention to itself rather than the music. There is no point to go assigning values of good and evil, since taste is subjective."...

Say that what you say is true, how can you ensure my "emotional" then? And why do you go for fixed good and evil?

..."With that, we can ask the question, where does your limit of tolerance occur? Consonance is nice, but we can't live there, so how far from consonant is too far."...

In my case, also dissonance (read dissonant chords) can be nice, and beat-proportions (read nature's geometry) drive my ear and tell me where I am.

..."It seems to be a 13.7 cent third. This is an odd size, resulting from physical limits of our hands and fingers colliding with the physics of vibrating strings. Why would that resulting compromise be of particular harmonic interest? It is certainly not consonant, since it beats like crazy."...

I shall tell you about Chas. It cannot be called a compromise, as it can stretch all intervals into a self-referencial beat-geometry. Chas describes a self-contained beat structure which can be modelled into an ET form to perfectly fit our 12 semitones scale.

A.c. asks: Have you read about one actual non-equal Vs ET compareson? Even "educated", lined up listeners could confuse the two.<

..."I have presented exactly this program at 7 National conventions of the PTG,the CAPT, as well as numerous other events for non-technicals. We listen, very carefully, to both tunings. This is after I have taken the entire audience on a tour through the keys of the WT. We listen to what Brahms wrote in Eb,other pieces in Ab, Bm,G, you name it. I point out the variety of thirds, and what they sound like as 17ths. And we compare the same piece on both pianos, and there is NEVER any confusion as to which is which.
ET has a profoundly different sound that, once recognized, is usually easily identified. There are passages in the middle keys, which are tempered so close to ET that it could be confusing to those that don't have pitch recognition, but there are big differences in how the WT keys feel, and the skill to sense them is not hard to develop, even for modern ears. It just requires a willingness to listen from another perspective.
As a sidebar, the effect on the artists that play is profound. Most of them have never touched a WT, and they all, every one, loved it."...

Ok, I'll avoid telling you how Chas ET is successful. That would not be an argument.

>>Which "plastic" are you talking about? Is yours a bizarre (or exploitable) issue?<<

..."I don't know about "bizarre. Plastic was a figure of speech. It refers to a man-made chemical artifact (polymers and such) as a metaphor for the artificial intonation that results from dividing an octave up into 12 steps, destroying consonance everywhere for the sake of control.
Exploit that, if you must, but I really don't understand the question."...

Can you actually devide an octave up into 12 steps, down to absolute and steady perfection? You seem to anticipate what nobody can achieve, i.e. a perfect and steady ET. And a perfect WT, can you tune it on 88 keys? To me, that sounds a bit like a pretext, like debatable, aleatory concepts for approximate, aleatory deviations from sound tunings.

..."In response to me saying, "It is exciting to me to hear a composer gradually taking the ear into very expressive territory without ever making such a big leap that it breaks the spell,

A.C. writes:
For what I can say, the scale and chords geometry itself can variate from "tense" intervals to "calm" ones,

..."That may be enough for some. The intellectual processing of the music may be creating as much emotional involvement as a particular person seeks. However,our autonomic nervous systems are not being stimulated the same way as if given varying doses of dissonance. Variety has its effect in all senses. The rubato is a prime example. Crescendos, likewise. Why not harmonic variety? Almost all other instruments provide it."...

The variety you talk about is our drama and we get that in any case, no need to theorize it.

..."The musical complexity, both physically and in composition, is greater with a non equal temperament, since there is more than one change when there is a modulation. In any ET, the only thing to change when modulating is the pitch center. In a WT, there is the change of pitch center, and, if desired, the change of tension due to tempering. This change can be higher, or lower, or it can be missing in action, all dependent on the composers intentions. How can the options be anything but a feature? One has to really love the sound of a 14 cent third to give that all up."...

About these concepts, I think I've said enough. And I tend to think that any composer, if anything, would go for his/her own urge for an original temperament, they would not wait for our artistic, fixed non-equal temperament.

>> and the temperaments (historical) main issue was the wolf, <<

..."I think there was too much interest in temperament, long after the wolf had been spread out to dry, to dismiss intentional placing of the tempering according to key signature, as virtually all WT's do. It was done too consistently to ignore."...

I think there were too many difficulties in ET temperament, long after the wolf had been theoretically spread out to dry, to dismiss intentional placing of the tempering according to key signature, as virtually all ET's and WT's end up doing. It was done too consistently to ignore, but this tragic "consistency" can not make an argument.

a.c.
>> Do you really think composers wait for you/us to give them a temperament?<<

..."No, I don't. I think they simply used the intonation they inherited. Giving something up in the most used keys to make the remote ones usable would have been a very natural progression from thinking in restricted meantone sense.
What is implausible is that the complete Classical era would have suddenly happened because equal temperament made it so, and no composer said anything about it. Modern composers don't specify ET,(Gershwin? Rachman,etc), why would we expect differently 200 years ago? They worked with the status quo,and in Beethoven's time, I don't think ET was the norm."...

For what I can read, ET is not the norm, not even today. This is why I'm trying to share Chas.

a.c. <<So, why do you bother whether it should be WT or ET? I did bother, I needed to bother firstly as a musician, secondly as a pro tuner.>>

..."I bother 'cause I love music, and I want as intense an experience as possible. After becoming familiar with alternatives, ET has come to sound boring and aesthetically bankrupt for music composed prior to 1900. It places terrible tempering in places it has no business being, and gentrifies wildly dissonant passages. It averages everything out in a bland sameness, like tapioca. The music deserves more, and so do we."...

I agree, we deserve good tunings and I cannot really say how horrible your ET experience might have been. May a good tuning free your mind of pain and pleasure routines and unconvenient prejudices, may you acknowledge that 12 root of two ET has evolved.

Best regards, a.c.


Edited by alfredo capurso (07/19/10 09:06 PM)
_________________________
alfredo

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#1478950 - 07/22/10 07:34 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: alfredo capurso]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
Hi Alfredo :

here is may be what you are trying to understand :


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU8uREFN3CU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/user/PersianTunedPiano#p/u/1/XB8oD5lUFIU

Personally I like that very much, and I understand it is a contextual thing.

Now the way the piano is tuned allow most probably for one and only one mode.

... confusing the discusssion a bit more !!!
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1479311 - 07/22/10 04:27 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Olek]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Kamin

[Persian piano tuning]
Now the way the piano is tuned allow most probably for one and only one mode.

It's possible to tune the piano so all the Persian "modes" except one (which is often omitted anyways) can be played, but each in one specific "key" only.

A common technique, also used on santur, is to tune a different key (scale) on say C2-C4 and C4-C6. So if you need microtones not available in C4-C6 you "steal" them from C2-C4.

In this tuning some notes need to be raised 40cents so often the whole piano is tuned 40 cent flat. Not a problem in Persian music.

For just one mode you sometimes can get away with instead of raising e.g. Eb by 40cent just lower E by 60 cent. Often you don't need the Eb and E at all, or you can steal them from the lower octave if needed.

Kees

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#1480354 - 07/24/10 04:11 AM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: DoelKees]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6325
Loc: France
Kees that is interesting, get me bluffed ! you know about those different modes apparently.

Where can I find some information on that ?

What is the name (Persian modes ?)

I was expecting the fact that only one key (or very little) was available then.

In any case I like that music, that is refreshing , sound "authentic" .
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1480519 - 07/24/10 12:48 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Olek]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Kamin, I have a website on it: Persian music
which has some information on Persian music theory. It is of course a large subject.

Kees

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#1559204 - 11/16/10 07:39 PM Re: HISTORICAL ET AND MODERN ETs [Re: Olek]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1053
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Hello.

Just for sharing two good news. On the academic front, an article on Chas has recently been written by Prof. Nicola Chiriano and published by P.RI.ST.EM (Progetto Ricerche Storiche E Metodologiche) of the University "Bocconi" - Milano. Here it is, in the original version (Italian):

http://matematica.unibocconi.it/articoli/relazioni-armoniche-un-pia...

After Babel, it is now being translated in English.

On the practical side (for VT (ETD) users), in C.A.P.T. piano forum, Ernest Unrau (RPT - Canada) has released an updated tuning simulation.

To All, best regards, a.c.

CHAS Tuning MP3 - Amatorial recording on a Steinway S (5’ 1”, 155 cm)
http://www.box.net/shared/od0d7506cv

CHAS THEORY - RESEARCH REPORT BY G.R.I.M. (Department of Mathematics, University of Palermo, Italy):
http://math.unipa.it/~grim/Quaderno19_Capurso_09_engl.pdf

Discussion (PW):

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1194874/1.html

Approach, method and sequence (PW):

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1383831/1.html


Edited by alfredo capurso (11/16/10 07:46 PM)
_________________________
alfredo

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