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#2048862 - 03/15/13 08:18 PM Best UT for Voice Teacher
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Hello,

I have to do a tuning next week for classically trained voice instructor. I brought up the subject of using a UT. I suggested the 1/10 CM, thinking that it was already so close to ET she could get the benefits of a UT, but still remain very close to ET.

She said OK to the UT... whatever I think is best.

So I was wondering if any of the more musicologically inclined UT folks here might have a better suggestion as to an ideal UT for voice instruction. Or, if 1/10 CM might be best to start with.

Thanks,
-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (03/15/13 08:19 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
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#2048883 - 03/15/13 08:54 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
Whatever works for one student will not be the same for the next student that needs the piano part transposed up or down.
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#2048897 - 03/15/13 09:49 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: BDB]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: BDB
Whatever works for one student will not be the same for the next student that needs the piano part transposed up or down.


Precisely! I tuned an EBVT on my BB and my wife, a classical voice teacher threw a fit. any of the vocal works are not in the original key, and what sounded great in D major does not necessarily work in G flat. Transposition up or down a major third is quite common.

Don't do it. Stick with your best quasi ET tuning. IMO

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#2048898 - 03/15/13 09:51 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Thank you! Thank you! Thank for the advice!

Edit: I hadn't thought of the necessity for transposition and equivalent harmonization. I'm not even going with a QE... I'm going with ET.

ET it is!

Thanks,
-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (03/15/13 09:53 PM)
_________________________
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Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
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#2048899 - 03/15/13 09:53 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: BDB
Whatever works for one student will not be the same for the next student that needs the piano part transposed up or down.


Precisely! I tuned an EBVT on my BB and my wife, a classical voice teacher threw a fit. any of the vocal works are not in the original key, and what sounded great in D major does not necessarily work in G flat. Transposition up or down a major third is quite common.

Don't do it. Stick with your best quasi ET tuning. IMO


I apologize for my spelling above, should have said "many of the vocal..." Yeah, I know, D to G flat is a diminished fourth, not a major third, so shoot me.

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#2048902 - 03/15/13 10:07 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
chuck belknap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 35
Loc: Oklahoma
Tune EBVT III. They will absolutely love it. I tune for several voice teachers, one of whom sang with the New York Opera Company adore the sound and support it gives them.

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#2048904 - 03/15/13 10:22 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: chuck belknap]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: chuck belknap
Tune EBVT III. They will absolutely love it. I tune for several voice teachers, one of whom sang with the New York Opera Company adore the sound and support it gives them.


It depends on the style of singing and the genre of the repertoire. If the student is working on early repertoire where very little vibrato is used, a transposed piece in EBVT III can be downright disturbing. If the student is aspiring to sing opera, the amount of vibrato used will cover up any harshness in the temperament. Quoting the Larousse Encyclopedia of Music regarding Vibrato - "...and in the Opera, the vibrato may become so wide as to leave the listener in doubt as to which pitch is being aimed for."

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#2048958 - 03/16/13 01:34 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Thank you BDB, Mwm, and Chuck!

I think that since this is a new client for me, I will tune ET this time. But, I will suggest that she try another piano she should have access to that is already tuned in 1/10 CM. Then, she can see what she thinks.

Since this is a new client, I was hoping to wow her with a very mild UT. But for now, I think I'll be very conservative on her piano.

Thanks for all the advice. You all make very valid points.

Thanks,
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2049049 - 03/16/13 08:45 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
RonTuner Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
When making this kind of choice there is a matter of degree of change to consider. Jason Kanter's www.rollingball site is very helpful with this. I wouldn't move any note more than about 1.5 cents from ET for an ET replacement for vocal use. Keys are arbitrary based on vocal ranges, though the music is usually tonal in nature...

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#2049132 - 03/16/13 12:23 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Fascinating.

What would be a suitable temperament for Winterreise? (assuming original keys).

And why.

This came up a few weeks ago. The answers may hold a clue to your question.


Edited by rxd (03/16/13 12:57 PM)
_________________________
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

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#2049147 - 03/16/13 01:08 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1579
Loc: Chicagoland
That was written early 1800's - probably on a piano in a fairly strong well temperament...

That doesn't mean that a stronger temperament would sound good to 'modern' ears!
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#2049155 - 03/16/13 01:20 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: rxd]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: rxd
Fascinating.

What would be a suitable temperament for Winterreise? (assuming original keys).

And why.

This came up a few weeks ago. The answers may hold a clue to your question.


I have played, using various unequal temperaments for four decades, repertoire where it seems that the composer clearly understood the effect of choosing a particular key in which to write would have on the piece. This shows up clearly in the organ, harpsichord and clavichord. It would also be wonderful on a piano, as long as you played everything in the original key. the Rollingball site gives a good overview of the the temperaments thought ot be in use at various time periods.

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#2049168 - 03/16/13 01:55 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: Mwm]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: rxd
Fascinating.

What would be a suitable temperament for Winterreise? (assuming original keys).

And why.

This came up a few weeks ago. The answers may hold a clue to your question.


I have played, using various unequal temperaments for four decades, repertoire where it seems that the composer clearly understood the effect of choosing a particular key in which to write would have on the piece. This shows up clearly in the organ, harpsichord and clavichord. It would also be wonderful on a piano, as long as you played everything in the original key. the Rollingball site gives a good overview of the the temperaments thought ot be in use at various time periods.


Having no more experience that tuning among tuners that used some sort of Well temperament involuntarily, I could not say how it could be done voluntarily as when we tune under and above we tend to re-conciliate the intervals, I hardly see how the pattern use din the mid range can be expanded

I believe that the piano itself is an instrument that push toward ET by itself, because of the way the scaling is done, also

If an UT provide a few "acoustically pure 5ths" in the medium range, when we expand in the treble those 5ths will get too large (which is awful musically in my opinion)

If the original UT relations are respected , I suggest that the octaves will have zero stretch , and can sound sour.

If you tuned on organ or harpsichord you do not deal with any octave enlarging (to obtain the "acoustically pure octave)

I would suggest that tuning voluntarily an UT on a piano mean having in the ear the quality of the different 5 ths and reproducing them all along (not tuning by octaves then.

I noticed a piano / a tuner appreciated by the singers can have an absence of perceptible stretch, I have seen one tuner at the Opera that use short octaves all along (even shorter than the ones of the Yamaha tuners.

The singers liked the result. However the piano could not be used really as a soloist instrument then, it was perfect for the rehearsals, not used on stage.


The main problem I find is that installing long term stability in UT on a piano (concert tuning i.e ; tuning to make the piano easy to tune later) must be difficult.

Could be interesting in the case enough pianos are availeable , one room can be dedicated to meantone another to Kellner, etc.

One may use a C fork to tune UT's I believe.

BTW I asked my brother (violin soloist) if he tune "pure" 5ths on his violin, and he explained me that no he tune slightly tempered 5th and consider them to be more musical; It allow also to be more at ease with other instruments I believe.

About theory, the 5th is considered as the less interesting interval, in harmony, so having them tuned "pure" is mostly a trick to obtain a reinforcing of partial matching, it have no real justification musically speaking (unless very old music is played ,as "Barocco" music, often played straight, with no much enlightenment - there also, with or without real musical justification, as pretending that in those times the stringed instruments did not imitate the singers and pretending the singers did not vibrate their voice, seem a bit far for my ears)

All the literature about UT is addressing the Organ and the harpsichord . Then the purity of the pattern is probably easier to preserve.

PS in fat I tuned a few organs and harpsichords in Ut's (meantone mostly, meantone is really something, in the good context)That is then I discovered that the player could tune a better meantone by ear , than me with my "perfect intervals" computed by a Verituner. I had to learn doing it by ear to satisfy the players.





Edited by Olek (03/16/13 02:03 PM)
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#2049207 - 03/16/13 04:13 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Your observations are very interesting Isaac. As you mention, a relatively straight tone is used now in most Baroque and Rococo, and even classical repertoire performed by period orchestras and soloists. The soloists, however, use vibrato as an ornament with great effect. I mentioned in an earlier thread that the string players in chamber ensembles often tune each string to the corresponding note on the continuo keyboard, which changes from performance to performance according to the UT used.

Like you, I think the best tunings on the piano seem to converge on an equal temperament.

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#2049364 - 03/16/13 09:47 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Thanks again for the additional comments and info Mwm, Ron, and Isaac smile

Isaac,

I do notice the effect you are referring to re the 5ths. I wonder if you ever tried the Moscow Equal-Beating Pythagorean Temperament. If you go to the RollingBall site and look under Pythagorean Temperaments, and then check Moscow's temperament, you'll notice that all the 5ths are either pure or beat at 1.4 beats per second. This should give plenty of room to finesse things as the temperament is expanded outward.

I do find it fascinating that the Verituner does not do an adequate job on other low-inharmonicity keyboards. But maybe there is a way, if you want to experiment...

I posted a question back in 2001 on the Verituner Forum about pipe organ tuning. Dave C. himself answered the question. Since you are a Verituner user, I assume you are a member of that forum. Here is the link:
http://sforum.veritune.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18

He suggests using the Measured function, since it has zero inharmonicity.

I would just Copy and Paste the text here, but the VT Forum requires a login to even just view the posts. I'm not sure that it would be OK for me to post his reply verbatim here on a public forum.

If you cannot get access to the forum for whatever reason, PM me and I'll PM you the text of the posts back.

-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (03/16/13 09:50 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2049689 - 03/17/13 01:40 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Interesting discussion. Since I have been tuning the EBVT for more than 20 years for most of my clients, including several voice teachers, I can't take the "don't do it" warning seriously. Also, the dealer I work for has voice teachers in the studios and they always use 1/7 Comma Meantone.

The transposition issue comes up fairly often. Those who advocate ET only always jump on it. It is always about what you couldn't do if you tuned in a non-equal temperament. So, let me make it clear that all of that is nonsense. Otherwise, I have made my living for the past 24 years doing what "wouldn't work, couldn't work and shouldn't be tried".

Also, if a piece of vocal material is at or near the limit of one's range (either low or high), transposing up or down a half step does not help much. It would also be more difficult for the pianist. Vocal pieces are rarely written in the remote keys. Just take a look at any vocal book which is offered in several voice ranges. They simply do not transpose anything up or down an augmented 4th! Nor do they by only a half step.

If someone is working on material written in the 17th or early 18th Century, that material would have been originally heard in 1/4 Meantone. To put it in ET moves the temperament to the complete opposite end of the spectrum where everything vibrates analogously all the time. It would never be written in a remote key! To transpose something written in D Major to G-flat Major simply does not make sense. In fact, that was one of the jokes in the English language, stage play version of La Cage aux Folles. It was funny because it was absurd.

There is something to be gained and something to be lost in any and every decision made with regards to both temperament and octave stretch. I saw once again the suggestion about pure 5ths. Piano tuners sure do seem to like pure 5ths. But the consequence of them is to have 21 cent wide Major thirds.

If you stretch the octave wide enough that the 5ths become pure, the Major thirds will all become wider and more dissonant. The 4ths will also beat noticeably. It is certainly not going to help with voice study. Not long ago, I was called to a recording studio where someone had done that. The strings and winds complained that they could not play in tune with the piano.

So, if all things considered, your choice is still ET, I suggest you go with the kinder and gentler version of ET, the ET via Marpurg that I will be presenting at the convention this Summer. It is what I did for that recording studio. It just so happens that I will be using it to tune the piano for the local opera company rehearsals tomorrow. The company is getting a new facility in June with two pianos in it. The music director wants both pianos tuned that way as the usual choice (but with other choices in mind for certain repertoire).

What is interesting about the ET via Marpurg is that it causes the 4ths and 5ths to beat equally. If you also choose a rather conservative amount of stretch for the temperament octave, a 4:2 type, you will find that you can tune the octaves up and down from the temperament octave and have the octave, 4th and 5th all sound alike. None are perfectly pure but all are tempered only very slightly.

When played together as a tone cluster, example: G3-C4-D4-G4, the tone cluster seems to just "hang" there, perfectly beatlessly. This is because the slight beats which are there all center around the same coincident partials either slightly sharp or slightly flat of them. The opposing beats effectively cancel each other and the result is a perfectly still sound.

In other words, it ends up sounding perfectly in tune, something which has always eluded the art and science of piano tuning. The Rapidly Beating Intervals also are not pushed into beating any faster. They are all as even sounding as can be which the intent and purpose of ET.

I have long been aware of the beat canceling effect of equally beating intervals. It is the reason why the simple keys sound purer than they really are in the EBVT and EBVT III. The economy in the simple keys keeps the remote keys from being too harsh and therefore permits virtually any style of music from any era to work and work very well.

That being said, there is no other temperament and octave stretching arrangement which can take more complete and total advantage of the beat canceling effect among 4ths, 5ths, octaves and their multiples than the ET via Marpurg.

You need to keep the two central octaves (C3-C5) as 4:2 types to get this effect. I am not sure what happens to the outer octaves because I always do this either aurally or by direct interval (but I do offer a suggestion as to what probably works below). I can get my SAT IV to reduce the amount of stretch in the central octaves by setting the DOB to -0.2. I have seen that Tunelab has a 4:2 octave setting. I don't know about other devices or software but maybe Ron Koval can help with this.

As I tune up from the F3-F4 temperament octave, I simply place the note to be tuned in that "sweet spot" that has often been mentioned in the past. It is the spot where the octave, 4th and 5th all sound virtually the same.

A couple of years ago, I was doing some strictly aural tuning for a while and discovered that if I played all four notes together, there was this uncanny stillness to the tone cluster. If I heard a slight beat, I could sharpen or flatten the note being tuned so that the beat would seemingly disappear entirely.

I wrote about it back then and Herr Stopper immediately jumped on it saying that it was the idea he had "invented". Perhaps he did discover something along those lines and it suggested the name he has given to his process, "Only Pure".

However, what Herr Stopper does (as I understand it) is to create an ET within a beatless interval of a 12th (octave-fifth). This necessarily creates a wider than 4:2 octave. In theoretical ET, 4ths beat 1/3 faster than 5ths. It is still only a very slight distinction. However, any purposeful widening of the temperament octave will cause 5ths to be stiller but 4ths to beat more noticeably. Major thirds and sixths will also beat faster and therefore be more dissonant, even if they are all more dissonant by the same amount.

When you apply the extremely small and slight changes to theoretical ET that causes the 4ths and 5ths to beat equally and you keep your two central octaves in the 4:2 type, something really nice happens.

Once you get to the point where you are tuning double octaves, for example F3-F5. You do what has long been called the "mindless octaves". You make the double octave, F3-F5 be the same amount wide as the octave-fifth (A#3-F5) is narrow. Both are only very slightly tempered and sound virtually pure.

Now, that being accomplished, if you play F3-A#3-F4-F5 all together and hold them (perhaps using the Sostenuto pedal), you will again hear that uncanny stillness. If you hear any slight beat at all, F5 can be adjusted so that the beat disappears entirely.

You will also hear that the single octave, F4-F5 sounds very nice, virtually pure but slightly on the wide side (as it should be). When all notes are played together, they all share a common coincident partial (which is the 1st partial of F5). Whatever slight beat there is among them is canceled.

If you proceed this way until F6, you can make the first partial of F6 match exactly the eighth partial of F3. All related notes in between which all share a coincident partial with F6 will be nicely in tune with each other. Again, no interval (except the triple octave) will be perfectly pure but when the entire cluster (F3-A#3-F4-A#4-F5-F6) is played and held, it will sound perfectly still!

You can therefore tune pure triple octaves from F6-C8 and have as a result, the most beautiful sounding treble and high treble that is possible on the piano. It is so easy to do on the SAT as to be "mindless". Forget the calculated program from F6 to C8! At F6, I simply play F3, stop the pattern and enter whatever figure there is and tune to that. I continue that all the way to C8, taking the reading from C5.

It takes only a couple of minutes to enter a custom program for the outer octaves but the result is a piano that is perfectly in tune with itself, not with some calculation that may be flawed. I can, of course, store that program for use over and over on the same piano.

Tuning the Bass is a mirror image of tuning the treble. Tuning down from the temperament octave, example: E3. Tune the octave E3-E4 on the wide side but very nearly pure. Compare the 4th, E3-A3 and 5th, E3-B3. Make all three intervals sound as alike as possible. Then play the cluster, E3-A3-B3-E4. It will just hang there beatlessly!

Continue that way down to F2. Then beginning on F2 (going downward), eliminate the 4th and compare the 5th, octave, octave-fifth and double octave: F2-C3-F3-C4-F4. You will get that same, still effect when all intervals are balanced correctly.

At C2 and continuing downward, eliminate the 5th and compare the octave, octave-fifth, double octave, double octave-fifth and triple octave. C2-C3-G4-C4-G4-C5. As with the high treble, you could simply tune the 8th partial of C2 to the first partial of C5 and do that all the way to A0.

The result will be that all related intervals will be optimally tuned. You will essentially be canceling a large part of the "noise" out of the piano. Large chords spanning four octaves will sound as in tune as they possibly could. No one interval is favored over another. Piano tuning must be one kind of compromise or another. If you ask me, this is the ultimate compromise if the desire is for ET.

Below is the Jason Kanter graph of it. It actually looks more irregular on the graph than it sounds. Note that all deviations from ET are less than one cent. They simply adjust the 4ths so that they beat equally with the 5ths. Otherwise the Rapidly Beating Intervals sound virtually identical to ET (even though they don't look that way on the graph). It is "below the radar" of the PTG tuning exam and would therefore score a perfect 100 on it if used. Indeed, I know of many people who have used it successfully on the exam.

One benefit the sequence has if performed aurally is that it strictly avoids the Reverse Well error. As I see it, the danger in trying to make 5ths be too pure is exactly that. While Reverse Well is never the intent, it often does end up being the result. It certainly would not be what you would want to do for a voice teacher.



The offsets are right on the graph. If you use an SAT, simply round them to the nearest tenth and put the DOB at -0.2. Then, at C5 and above and at B2 and below, cancel the DOB.

I am not sure about what outer octave settings would replicate the precise amount of stretch needed but I am inclined to guess that 4:2 for octaves 3 & 4 but default for the rest of the piano would do it. Maybe something a little more for octaves 1 & 7. Perhaps Ron Koval may have some insight.

In any case, to use this idea with an ETD would not be difficult. Just apply the temperament offsets and a smaller than usual amount of stretch for the central octaves and the usual amount for the outer octaves. Once you have tuned using the ETD, you can play those tone clusters and you will hear the purity I have described.

If you do hear a slight beat anywhere, adjusting the beat out of it by ear would be very easy to do. After all, you are not trying to fiddle with fine tuning very rapid beats but trying to find that sweet spot where there is no beat at all! All of the Rapidly Beating Intervals will take care of themselves very nicely. I never even listen to them when using this process. It simply isn't necessary.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2049705 - 03/17/13 01:59 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
It occurred to me that the offsets on the graph are not listed chromatically and use flats for some notes which may be confusing. Therefore, for convenience, here are the offsets for the ET via Marpurg in hundredths:

C: -0.05
C#: 0.00
D: -0.16
D#: -0.78
E: -0.50
F: 0.00
F#: +0.60
G: +0.56
G#: -0.05
A: 0.00
A#: +0.16
B: +0.56

Here are the offsets for the ET via Marpurg, rounded off to the nearest tenth of a cent:

C: -0.1
C#: 0.0
D: -0.2
D#: -0.8
E: -0.5
F: 0.0
F#: +0.6
G: +0.6
G#: -0.1
A: 0.0
A#: +0.2
B: +0.6
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2049734 - 03/17/13 03:24 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
The thing is that I will recognise what Mwm say, as a musician and an user of UT on instruments adapted too.

it talks more to me than your graphs and cts values.

UT make sense on old pianos with imprecise tone, it is a mean to avoid modern tone, a mean to hide the piano tone defects and change it to quality, sort of manipulation of the brain of the listener. It can be appreciated then in some context.

But I am looking for something else when tuning a piano. The instrument dictates his own justness.
And even with the quasi ET or Well temp I heard tuned by some of my respected colleagues in concert, some tonalities where sounding less plain, I heard it (sometime even CM)
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#2049753 - 03/17/13 03:49 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Interesting discussion. Since I have been tuning the EBVT for more than 20 years for most of my clients, including several voice teachers, I can't take the "don't do it" warning seriously. Also, the dealer I work for has voice teachers in the studios and they always use 1/7 Comma Meantone.

The transposition issue comes up fairly often. Those who advocate ET only always jump on it. It is always about what you couldn't do if you tuned in a non-equal temperament. So, let me make it clear that all of that is nonsense. Otherwise, I have made my living for the past 24 years doing what "wouldn't work, couldn't work and shouldn't be tried".

Also, if a piece of vocal material is at or near the limit of one's range (either low or high), transposing up or down a half step does not help much. It would also be more difficult for the pianist. Vocal pieces are rarely written in the remote keys. Just take a look at any vocal book which is offered in several voice ranges. They simply do not transpose anything up or down an augmented 4th! Nor do they by only a half step.

If someone is working on material written in the 17th or early 18th Century, that material would have been originally heard in 1/4 Meantone. To put it in ET moves the temperament to the complete opposite end of the spectrum where everything vibrates analogously all the time. It would never be written in a remote key! To transpose something written in D Major to G-flat Major simply does not make sense. In fact, that was one of the jokes in the English language, stage play version of La Cage aux Folles. It was funny because it was absurd.


Bill,

You make many goods points and a number of suppositions without basis in fact. My wife, who is a specialist in early performance practice, always sings in the key originally written. However, she teaches voice to students, who do use transposition of later works on a regular basis. I mentioned the transposition of a piece from D to G-flat, not to be absurd. If you will check the Hal Leonard Corp. publication of Roger Quilter's Dream Valley, Op. 20, No.1, it is in G-flat major with the subheading - "original key: D Major". I don't make this stuff up.

I loved your EBVT III, tuned it on my BB, played Debussy works he wrote in D-flat and loved the shimering sound, just as I imagine Debussy may have heard it and wanted it to sound. Had I played the same pieces in C, they would have lost much of their colour. My point is, a voice teacher needs the flexibility to transpose pieces. When I accompany singers, I often transpose up or down a semitone at sight. It is easier than a whole tone, because the notation remains similar, just flats or sharps added to the notation.

I have been a proponent of UTs all my life, but reality sets in when you transpose, and some form of et seems the best compromise.

By the way, many, if not most of the singers and voice teachers I have been aquanted with over 40 or so years, with the exception of early performance practice people, couldn't hear or recognize a UT from ET. Their pianos are always out of tune, and they warble so badly, and ask their students to warble so badly, that pitch references are really just guidelines.

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#2049759 - 03/17/13 04:01 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
As a professional, classically-trained singer, I would much prefer ET to anything else. In good singing, a piano can't be tuned to compensate for every instance where turning the pitch where appropriate (as in leading tones in either direction, for instance) is called for.

As a voice teacher, my primary concern would be having a solid, consistent pitch reference. Nothing more.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2049761 - 03/17/13 04:03 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Thank you! Thank you! Thank for the advice!

Edit: I hadn't thought of the necessity for transposition and equivalent harmonization. I'm not even going with a QE... I'm going with ET.

ET it is!

Thanks,
-Joe


I read the OP before I read any of the replies.

Good choice, Joe! smile
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2049766 - 03/17/13 04:10 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: OperaTenor]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Thank you! Thank you! Thank for the advice!

Edit: I hadn't thought of the necessity for transposition and equivalent harmonization. I'm not even going with a QE... I'm going with ET.

ET it is!

Thanks,
-Joe


I read the OP before I read any of the replies.



Good choice, Joe! smile


I hope I didn't insult you. I'm sure you you make "the rough places plain".

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#2049852 - 03/17/13 06:41 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Bill,

As always, Thank you for the information. I can get more out a few paragraphs from you than I can from some entire books written by some others.

I have to see if the piano will let me use a pure 4:2 octave. The following is a post I made on the Verituner Forum (since it's m y work, I don't think anyone can complain if I cross-post here)(Note the green font. It is St. Patrick's Weekend Day weekend smile )

Today I had some problems with a Wurlitzer spinet. After trying all the Built-in styles, I could not get a good match for the A3-A4 octave. There didn't seem to be any difference when changing stretch numbers. I tried various custom stretches suggested on this forum and I still could not find a good match.

Normally, this would not be a problem; I'd just set the temperament by ear.

But, I was using a UT... 1/10 CM...so I needed the VT to set the temperament.

I created several "custom" styles using:

A3-A4 6:3 100%

A3-A4 4:2 100%

A3-A4 2:1 100%

I kept the set points provided by the VT... 4:1 C8 and 8:4 A0. Since the VT blends from section to section, it seemed best to keep the other set points as far away from the temperament octave as possible.

I tuned A3-A4 by ear to where it was cleanest. Surprisingly (to me), there was an exact match using the pure 6:3 octave. Oddly as well, the other octaves in the immediate area would not tune clean using 6:3 by VT.

So, the temperament was set by VT and the piano was tuned by ear.

If someone does UT work, it might be a good idea to create some styles specifically for the VT's temperament octave without worrying about the rest of the piano, if one is willing to tune the rest of the instrument by ear.


If the piano will not allow me to use a pure 4:2 octave for whatever reason, then I guess that means that ET via Marpurg was not meant for this particular piano.

But, thank you for the suggestion and the offsets smile I am entering them into my VT for future use smile

Edit: Btw, it sounds like ET via Marpurg could be considered a Modern Quasi-Equal Temperament.


Edited by daniokeeper (03/17/13 06:47 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2049860 - 03/17/13 06:53 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
OperaTenor and Isaac,

Thank you for your views. I can see that if I do use a UT, I need to choose one that is extremely mild... at least at first until I see what the reaction is.

Btw, I've noticed that some singers prefer my aural tuning in ET to the Vt's ET tuning. I think I'm unusual in this, but my aural tunings tend to be more conservative in terms of octave stretch in the outer regions than the Vt's built-in stretch. It would seem that RT via Marpurg would tend to give a very conservative octave stretch as well.

Thanks,
-Joe smile
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2049960 - 03/17/13 10:16 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Joe,

A Wurlitzer spinet is admittedly a challenging piano to tune. Is a voice teacher using one of those? While I like to encourage piano technicians to take proper care of such instruments because they deserve proper tuning, regulation and voicing the same as any other piano does, we all know they have severe limitations.

I just don't like to see technicians writing in a public forum who say they would accept a tuning fee but would purposefully neglect the instrument otherwise. Using a Well Temperament is actually what can make one of these instruments sound much sweeter because the people who own them usually play only in the simple keys.

If there is really a voice teacher using a Wurlitzer spinet to give voice lessons, I would simply tune it in the EBVT III and would not worry about it at all. Of course, I would also remove the action and tighten the flanges if they were rattling and I would adjust the lost motion and let off so that the keys all played properly and evenly.

While vocalizing for warm ups would often progress chromatically, the material actually studied is most often in the sweeter keys. I would not worry for a nano second that somebody might want to transpose a piece from D Major to G-flat, for example.

When you asked the question, I assumed you were talking about a high quality grand that gets tuned very often and the pianist is very sensitive to the slightest of subtleties. Only a very few pianists in my experience are sensitive to the harshness of the bottom of the cycle of 5ths in Well or Meantone temperaments. For them, I have the solution and it is the ET via Marpurg with the octaves tuned as I described in the previous post. It is a tuning that cannot be disputed for smoothness and agreement of every interval equally with another.

In the case of the recording studio with a Yamaha S6 where the octaves were so wide that they beat and the thirds were so wide that they all sounded harsh and no instrument could manage to intone with the piano, it was the solution. For the opera rehearsals with a fine Mason & Hamlin A, a very sensitive pianist and two dozen or more very highly skilled vocalists, it is again an offer they can't refuse.

One reason I like the SAT is that any interval can be tuned precisely as desired, regardless of poor or irregular scaling. If A4 as read on the 2nd partial (with a probable reading of about 1.0 at standard pitch) all one has to do is tune A3 as read on the 4th partial to the same figure as A4. The result will be a perfect 4:2 octave.

I can use the FAC program to calculate the temperament if I wish and adjust the Double Octave Beat (DOB) eliminator function to adjust the width of the octave slightly narrower than the usual amount which is a compromise between a 4:2 and 6:3 octave. The usual -0.2 seems to work in nearly every case. It causes the A3-A4 to be a perfect 4:2 type.

The F3-F4 may not fall exactly at 4:2 but it should be within 0.5 cents of that and the result should be perfect 4:5 Contiguous Major Thirds between F3 and A4. If you still want to tune the Wurlitzer spinet that way and you can tune by ear, if you have that much right, I would not worry about the rest.

4:2 octaves can also be easily verified using the same tone cluster technique. Play the note which is a M3 below the bottom note of the octave and the octave. Example for A3-A4, play F3-A3-A4 all together and hold. You should hear no slow beat. For F3-F4, play C#3-F3-F4 and hold. Again, you should hear no slow beat, only the rapid beat which will be oddly quieter than if either the M3 or the M10 is played alone. This is evidence of the beat canceling effect.

(Still thinking about tuning the Wurlitzer spinet), tune the F3-F4 octave to the program. You should then hear what sounds like ET. All 4ths & 5ths will sound even. All M3's will progress evenly. If there are any irregularities, you could correct them by ear. Then, simply tune out the octaves as I described in the previous post. You will find it easy to find the spot for each new note being tuned makes the octave, 4th & 5th all agree. I wouldn't even bother checking the RBI's.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2049967 - 03/17/13 10:56 PM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Hi Bill,

I agree 100%; we should not be dismissive of any piano, because that is likely the only piano that the owner has access to.

As for this thread, it will have relevance for me far beyond this specific teacher. I tune for a number of voice teachers who use everything from the old Acrosonics to first tier large grands.

This is the very first time I have considered using a UT for a voice teacher because of the success I have had using them in other situations.

This particular piano is a Winter console. This teacher does have a rather distinguished pedigree, even though she is "only" using a Winter. And, there is no reason to believe she won't upgrade to a higher quality instrument(s) in the future as she becomes better established locally.

This is a new client to me. Every client is important because almost every client I have was referred by someone else. The dominoes can fall one way; the dominoes can fall the opposite way. It is also ethical and polite to treat everyone well.

Thank you for the hand-holding and advice. It is not going to waste smile

Thanks,
-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (03/17/13 11:00 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2050033 - 03/18/13 02:53 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
OperaTenor and Isaac,

Thank you for your views. I can see that if I do use a UT, I need to choose one that is extremely mild... at least at first until I see what the reaction is.

Btw, I've noticed that some singers prefer my aural tuning in ET to the Vt's ET tuning. I think I'm unusual in this, but my aural tunings tend to be more conservative in terms of octave stretch in the outer regions than the Vt's built-in stretch. It would seem that RT via Marpurg would tend to give a very conservative octave stretch as well.

Thanks,
-Joe smile


I only tune aurally, and I've noticed my stretch has gotten smaller over time, and my customers have been happier as a result. Aside from the Shout House, the vast majority of my customers are professional musicians; my peers. Every single one of them seems to prefer a more sterile octave these days. One of my customers is the Theodore Geisel Director of Outreach at the San Diego Opera. One day, when I showed up to tune, he came out the front door, threw his arms around me, and thanked me for making him fall in love with playing the piano again (he has the Baldwin SF-10 that was repeatedly breaking the highest wound string), and he's had the best in the area take of his piano before I came along. A lot of my fellow singers I tune for teach, and maybe that's why they prefer the more technically accurate tunings. :shrug:
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2050042 - 03/18/13 03:36 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: OperaTenor]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

I only tune aurally, and I've noticed my stretch has gotten smaller over time, and my customers have been happier as a result. Aside from the Shout House, the vast majority of my customers are professional musicians; my peers. Every single one of them seems to prefer a more sterile octave these days. One of my customers is the Theodore Geisel Director of Outreach at the San Diego Opera. One day, when I showed up to tune, he came out the front door, threw his arms around me, and thanked me for making him fall in love with playing the piano again (he has the Baldwin SF-10 that was repeatedly breaking the highest wound string), and he's had the best in the area take of his piano before I came along. A lot of my fellow singers I tune for teach, and maybe that's why they prefer the more technically accurate tunings. :shrug:


This is very interesting. Perhaps room size may have affect the acceptability of wider octaves. I think a "stage tuning" will want wider octaves than a "room tuning."
Edit: Maybe some ETD's are more biased towards doing stage tunings.


Edited by daniokeeper (03/18/13 03:39 AM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2050140 - 03/18/13 09:19 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

I only tune aurally, and I've noticed my stretch has gotten smaller over time, and my customers have been happier as a result. Aside from the Shout House, the vast majority of my customers are professional musicians; my peers. Every single one of them seems to prefer a more sterile octave these days. One of my customers is the Theodore Geisel Director of Outreach at the San Diego Opera. One day, when I showed up to tune, he came out the front door, threw his arms around me, and thanked me for making him fall in love with playing the piano again (he has the Baldwin SF-10 that was repeatedly breaking the highest wound string), and he's had the best in the area take of his piano before I came along. A lot of my fellow singers I tune for teach, and maybe that's why they prefer the more technically accurate tunings. :shrug:


This is very interesting. Perhaps room size may have affect the acceptability of wider octaves. I think a "stage tuning" will want wider octaves than a "room tuning."
Edit: Maybe some ETD's are more biased towards doing stage tunings.


The time is now ripe to discuss this.

When I first started work for a manufacturer of fine pianos as a concert tuner, I was given two basic house style instructions. They were to add half a beat to each treble octave and to tune the bass sharp. He had been taught that 50 years before. A fine piano with depth of tone will accept this. A cheap or worn out piano with thin tone sounds sharp in the bass already and so I can see where this stretching in both directions came from. That, plus excessive dependence on theory over practice.

I also knew at the time, about another fine company who also narrowed the two octave bearings area. This came in useful for Wurlitzer spinets ( I worked later for a dealer who had a two hundred of these constantly coming in and out as rentals) I found that slowing down all the major thirds more than normal in and around the scale area made things work out better in the whole piano. I wouldn't dream of tuning the lower half of one of these spinets electronically.

I'm only talking of 2:1 octaves.

The drunken warble in the 10ths and 17ths between the bass and tenor in an overly stretched piano is unacceptable to musicians who have to adjust their own tuning to one note or the other in any size room. 10ths in the middle register that are stretched too much just sound downright comical.

In a song cycle like Wintereisse where there are contexts where any unnecessary movement in the piano chords would disturb the stillness. The way of minimising movement in any key is to very judiciously narrow the tenor and bass octaves in ET even more than I usually do. The pianos I tune most are chosen and tone regulated for exceptional depth of tone and are 9' so they allow me to do this as long as I keep an ear on the 5ths and their compounds. Looking through the score, the chords at those moments are voiced (in the sense that a pianist or composer gives voice to a chord) to let this work.

Anybody wishing to follow up on Bill's statements about transposition would be enlightened to search: Gerald Moore unashamed accompanist side two, on uTube. He gives several examples from the piano accompaniments of how transposition can kill the music.

String players are aware that the interval from the viola C string to the violin E string is intolerable. Of course, they avoid open strings but one famous cellist showed me how "sharp" he tuned his low C for quartet work. It worked nicely with the 9' piano that I had just tuned.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2050144 - 03/18/13 09:38 AM Re: Best UT for Voice Teacher [Re: daniokeeper]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
RXD,

I have worked with a cellist who would retune between pieces so that the C string, if played for long stretches with the piano C2, would be in tune. Then she would shift back to a pure fifth tuning for the next work where there were few or no simultaneous unisons. Made for a wonderful sound.

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