Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#2103990 - 06/17/13 06:26 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
kohog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

What is most important about that book was not what was in in it but what it deliberately left out! That was the infinitely large gap between 1/4 Comma Meantone (which was basically laughed at as being thoroughly useless) and the supposed ideal of the glorious ET! Complete freedom of modulation! AH! Each pitch unequivocally equidistant from the other! AH! The "Final Solution" AH!

If you had actually read the book, you would know that he recommended tuning meantone and described it as "very useful," not "thoroughly useless":
Quote:

The meantone system gives a "sweet" and harmonious effect for nearly all keys, with 16 tones to the octave, although of course this number still lacks 11 tones to make it quite adequate.
However, even with 12 tones to the octave, an experiment in meantone temperament can be tried, and will sound very attractive so long as one keeps within the range of keys allowable.
[...]
This is a very useful experiment and if tried out carefully will enable the student to play old music in the tuning for which it was intended; an experience sometimes most illuminating and delightful.


And this is what he had to say about ET:
Quote:
So long, of course, as the manufacture of pianos and organs is stressed rather on its industrial than on its artistic side we shall probably have to remain content with Equal Temperament. But it might as well be observed that if the piano and organ were out of the way, music throughout the world would be on some basis of tuning other than Equal Temperament within ten years.
[...]
tuners could do something to prepare the world for a better system if they wished to; and if they knew that improvement is actually possible. What we need is to realize that the Equal Temperament is a purely artificial system resting upon a consent gained rather on account of the absolute necessity for the piano having it than for any fundamental musical reason. To get something better we need a method which will either (1) allow more strings to the octave or (2) will give us a mechanism capable of making instant changes as required in the pitch of given strings, so that modulation may be as facile as it is now.

Top
(ad 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
Win a year subscription to the PTG Journal
#2103998 - 06/17/13 06:43 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Mwm, my thoughts -

I am not a tuner and I don't know how the temperaments you mentioned would sound even if based on C. The temperament which was used was EBVT-III. I will not conjecture on that which I have no experience.

There is no Mozart Piano Concerto Op. 5, No. 4. in Eb. The Mozart Piano Concerto No. 5, K 175, is in D Major. The Mozart piano concertos in Eb Major are; Nos. 9, 10 (two pianos), 14, and 22.

There is absolutely nothing unpleasant or overly dissonant when playing in D Major or Eb Major. Though, they do sound different at the keyboard than EBTV-III based on C, but that transfers to what one hears when listening to recorded performances of these concertos performed with fine chamber orchestras. The sense of key color, and where the tonal structure leads the ear, are the same. That is exactly the point.

Have you tried it, or are you trying to imagine it theoretically?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104035 - 06/17/13 08:21 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: DoelKees]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Olek
Based on C

That said older music I (mean before Internet) is played with A=415 Hz , half a tone lower.






We perform French Baroque music at A=392 Hz.

And Italian early baroque a minor third higher.

Kees

If I remember correctly, the organ at Peterborough Cathedral is tuned a quarter tone above 440 Hz. The quire rehearses at 440, then processes to the Cathedral to sing more brightly!

Top
#2104039 - 06/17/13 08:33 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Mwm, my thoughts -

I am not a tuner and I don't know how the temperaments you mentioned would sound even if based on C. The temperament which was used was EBVT-III. I will not conjecture on that which I have no experience.

There is no Mozart Piano Concerto Op. 5, No. 4. in Eb. The Mozart Piano Concerto No. 5, K 175, is in D Major. The Mozart piano concertos in Eb Major are; Nos. 9, 10 (two pianos), 14, and 22.

There is absolutely nothing unpleasant or overly dissonant when playing in D Major or Eb Major. Though, they do sound different at the keyboard than EBTV-III based on C, but that transfers to what one hears when listening to recorded performances of these concertos performed with fine chamber orchestras. The sense of key color, and where the tonal structure leads the ear, are the same. That is exactly the point.

Have you tried it, or are you trying to imagine it theoretically?


I was thinking of K. 107, the third one in E flat Major.

I haven't tried tuning a UT based on A, only C. All the UTs I have tuned are not even close to EVBT III, and have thirds beating upwards of 21 bps in the far keys, which would include E flat, if A was the tonal base. I can accept that EVBT III might sound fine based on A, though I don't see the point, since orchestral members, if they are world class, play in just intonation, so the whole point of temperament is moot.

Top
#2104040 - 06/17/13 08:35 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
I notice that Loren has thrown out the morsel of food, and let us scrap for it. Interesting.

Top
#2104214 - 06/18/13 04:26 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
The UT movement is like any other religious movement. There are the one or two extremely knowledgeable high priests,

Then the enthusiastic followers, many of whom start proselytising before they know much about it and do the movement much harm when they attempt to explain it. They often simply appear as fools to anyone with the knowledge but is not a believer.

Some become heretics and, while appearing to abide by the basic tenets, start to extrapolate and make up their own interpretations which often make a nonsense of the central idea.

Then there are the lunatic fringe who will drop bombs on infidels and unbelievers often at the expense of their own credibility.
The list goes on.....

Me? I'm a non practicing believer.
_________________________
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.



Top
#2104223 - 06/18/13 05:13 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark R. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Well Mark R., that means that you heard "such a notion" here first. Congratulations!

In all five of your provincial orchestras, to what note did you tune?

That is the choice I made with my own piano. It works well.


Our pitch reference was, of course, G## at 439.947 Hz (give or take 1.273 Hz, but always adding 0.026 Hz for Beethoven overtures on rainy days).

Oh, and for some weird reason, some of the brass always tuned to Cbb...

Feeble attempts at humor aside, we both know that orchestras tune to concert A of whichever definition. There was really no need to ask.

That aside, I don't see that pitch reference has anything to do with choice or center of temperament - especially on non-fixed-pitch instruments.

In my orchestras, anyway, any discussion of tempered intervals was pretty much a non-flier. When I pleaded for tuning open strings to somewhat narrow fifths in the violas and celli, in order to avoid an overly wide third between our C-strings and the violins' E-strings, and when I demonstrated that I could significantly raise my C-string (C3) by tuning ever-so-slightly narrower but still non-beating fifths from A4 to D4 to G3 to C3, I just received blank stares... By insisting on their pure fifths, often tuned from the wide side, the violists and cellists were effectively creating a reverse well, and made perplexed faces when the open strings (especially as roots of major chords) sounded horribly flat during play...
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

Top
#2104228 - 06/18/13 06:22 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6338
Loc: France
Last time I asked the 5ths where not tuned pure at the violin, anyway for the soloist.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#2104232 - 06/18/13 06:57 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Mwm]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Mwm
I notice that Loren has thrown out the morsel of food, and let us scrap for it. Interesting.


Loren has a life! I've been here long enough for people to know that I post infrequently as time allows. I've commented several times on this thread.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#2104243 - 06/18/13 08:02 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
The only reason for using A as the tuning note is that all orchestral string instruments have an A string in a range convenient for tuning. It could almost as easily be a D or a G but they don't because the higher strings on an instrument are clearer sounding for pitch definition. (bass players often use the 3rd partial of their D string).

This convenient convention is just what it is. Strings don't use a temperament as such and have no requirement for a tonal centre in the quite the same way a fixed pitch instrument in an unequal temperament does. Bb transposing instruments sound their B, Eb instruments need to use f#. They don't make those notes their tonal centre. Wouldn't even dream of it.

Mark R., the string players I have conversed with about this do contract their 5ths very slightly. Maybe the seeds you have sown are now flowering down the generations. .


Edited by rxd (06/18/13 09:18 AM)
_________________________
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.



Top
#2104321 - 06/18/13 11:20 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
OK Good. We have now all agreed that orchestras tune to A, of whatever pitch. Phew!

My question remains, why not set a non-equal temperament from A rather than C? (Those who believe that ET is a gift from God, need not respond to this question.) There seems to be much resistance to this concept, but all of the replies have been theoretical, rather than actual. Ya know, actually playing the piano.

I have a series of rehearsals and performances approaching of the Poulenc Sextet. I am considering having my piano tuned with Bb as the temperament center. If this is successful, the primary performance piano could likewise be tuned. Thoughts?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104323 - 06/18/13 11:30 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
OK Good. We have now all agreed that orchestras tune to A, of whatever pitch. Phew!

My question remains, why not set a non-equal temperament from A rather than C? (Those who believe that ET is a gift from God, need not respond to this question.) There seems to be much resistance to this concept, but all of the replies have been theoretical, rather than actual. Ya know, actually playing the piano.

I have a series of rehearsals and performances approaching of the Poulenc Sextet. I am considering having my piano tuned with Bb as the temperament center. If this is successful, the primary performance piano could likewise be tuned. Thoughts?

Unfortunately, for me, that scenario is hypothetical, so I can't comment. Are you going to use EVBT III? Let us know what the interaction with the ensemble is like. My experience is with temperaments with a strong wolf, though I have played the WTC even with the wolf, and, while the sound is quite unusual, I don't mind it because of the huge colour shift, and the fact, if you will, that Bach was aware of the colours and used them to his advantage in the way in which he wrote each prelude in particular.

Ok, I looked at the Poulenc. It is very tonal, heavily biased toward B Flat, F, and D flat, with the odd momentary excursion to distant tonalities. My opinion is that it would work extremely well in even a strong UT, much better that ET. GO FOR IT!


Edited by Mwm (06/18/13 11:40 AM)

Top
#2104327 - 06/18/13 11:34 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 970
Loc: Tennessee
[quote=Minnesota Marty]

My question remains, why not set a non-equal temperament from A rather than C? There seems to be much resistance to this concept, but all of the replies have been theoretical, rather than actual. Ya know, actually playing the piano. /quote]

Greetings,
It would alter piano music that was composed under the influence of the WT's between 1700 and 1850 or so. The tonal center of C was so common that tuning a WT so that the center was shifted to A, making the A-C# third the smallest, puts everything three harmonic steps away from the commonly expected placement. Nothing wrong with having the center elsewhere, per se, but don't expect the modulations to be helped by the normal resolution into consonance.

Shifting between Vallotti and Young is fairly simple, and I have rarely had anyone notice one was not the other, but the difference there is only one step, and most modulatons behave as expected.
REgards,

Top
#2104334 - 06/18/13 11:40 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
MWM, I totally agree with you about composers selecting keys for their tonal color. For the vast history of Western music, ET just didn't exist. It's a Johnny-come-lately. Using Bach or Mozart as examples, since both were certainly familiar with writing for strings, should we make the assumption that "well" temperament was based on middle C? I'm doing an experiment since I have different instruments available to give it a try.

Using EBVT is undecided. That will be a discussion with the tuners. For clarity, the pianos are in three different locations and each has a different tuner.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104338 - 06/18/13 11:44 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Did you see my edit. A strong UT based on B flat would be very wonderful.

Top
#2104345 - 06/18/13 11:54 AM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
... I have a series of rehearsals and performances approaching of the Poulenc Sextet. I am considering having my piano tuned with Bb as the temperament center. If this is successful, the primary performance piano could likewise be tuned. Thoughts?

Perhaps this is a question I should not ask if I don't know the answer, but do you mean replacing C with Bb (and so on) in the circle of fifths?

When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb?

Poulenc aside, what about the composer's notions of colour, consonance and dissonance?


Edited by Withindale (06/18/13 11:59 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2104356 - 06/18/13 12:06 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Withindale]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
... I have a series of rehearsals and performances approaching of the Poulenc Sextet. I am considering having my piano tuned with Bb as the temperament center. If this is successful, the primary performance piano could likewise be tuned. Thoughts?

Perhaps this is a question I should not ask if I don't know the answer, but do you mean replacing C with Bb (and so on) in the circle of fifths?

When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb?

Poulenc aside, what about the composer's notions of colour, consonance and dissonance?

In this particular case, I would argue that the colour, consonance and dissonance would be enhanced by shifting the temperament base to B flat. If we keep in mind that the wind players prefer to be playing, to the extent possible, in just intonation, having the purest keys based on B flat would make that job more easy.

Top
#2104357 - 06/18/13 12:06 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Ed Foote]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Nothing wrong with having the center elsewhere, per se, but don't expect the modulations to be helped by the normal resolution into consonance.

Thanks Ed.

That is exactly what I am hearing. The difference in the "pull" toward resolution is exactly what I find so intriguing. I have used playing in G-Major as an example. It is used so commonly in the Baroque and Classical eras for keyboard composition, and this temperament center, on keyboard, causes it to be much "brighter" than is usually heard. There is much more tension leading to consonance/resolution, also. I used chamber orchestra performance as an example, as the piano seems to match more closely the juxtaposition and intonation of intervals as is heard in a fine ensemble.

The important factor, as always, is that there is no "just" temperament employed in instrumental or vocal performance. Pitch is constantly fluid and "temperament" is ever changing. Vocalists and instrumentalists are not taught "temperament" to be employed in performance. Key color is stressed. One learns to hear, and implement, the difference between C-Major and Eb-Major, as example. Temperament is a concept learned in Musicology classes, not in the teaching studios.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104358 - 06/18/13 12:10 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Nothing wrong with having the center elsewhere, per se, but don't expect the modulations to be helped by the normal resolution into consonance.

Thanks Ed.

That is exactly what I am hearing. The difference in the "pull" toward resolution is exactly what I find so intriguing. I have used playing in G-Major as an example. It is used so commonly in the Baroque and Classical eras for keyboard composition, and this temperament center, on keyboard, causes it to be much "brighter" than is usually heard. There is much more tension leading to consonance/resolution, also. I used chamber orchestra performance as an example, as the piano seems to match more closely the juxtaposition and intonation of intervals as is heard in a fine ensemble.

The important factor, as always, is that there is no "just" temperament employed in instrumental or vocal performance. Pitch is constantly fluid and "temperament" is ever changing. Vocalists and instrumentalists are not taught "temperament" to be employed in performance. Key color is stressed. One learns to hear, and implement, the difference between C-Major and Eb-Major, as example. Temperament is a concept learned in Musicology classes, not in the teaching studios.

Marty,
the tonal centre, when playing or singing in just intonation is always shifting. I guess you could call that the temperament shifting, but I prefer to think of it as a leaning toward thenew key.


Edited by Mwm (06/18/13 12:11 PM)

Top
#2104361 - 06/18/13 12:22 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Withindale]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Perhaps this is a question I should not ask if I don't know the answer, but do you mean replacing C with Bb (and so on) in the circle of fifths?

The circle of fifths is the circle of fifths. All I'm suggesting is placing the temperament center on Bb. Wind ensembles tune to Bb rather than A. It is with that understand that I would like to try the keyboard temperament based on Bb.

Originally Posted By: Withindale
When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb?

In C. Why would I transpose it?

Originally Posted By: Withindale
Poulenc aside, what about the composer's notions of colour, consonance and dissonance?

That is exactly what I am trying to explore.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104365 - 06/18/13 12:27 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Mwm]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Marty,
the tonal centre, when playing or singing in just intonation is always shifting. I guess you could call that the temperament shifting, but I prefer to think of it as a leaning toward thenew key.

Yep, and that is exactly what I said in my reply to Ed Foote.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104381 - 06/18/13 12:49 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
... All I'm suggesting is placing the temperament center on Bb. Wind ensembles tune to Bb rather than A. It is with that understand that I would like to try the keyboard temperament based on Bb.

Originally Posted By: Withindale
When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb [when the temperament center is Bb]?

In C. Why would I transpose it?

To explore, as you say!
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2104385 - 06/18/13 12:52 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Withindale]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
... All I'm suggesting is placing the temperament center on Bb. Wind ensembles tune to Bb rather than A. It is with that understand that I would like to try the keyboard temperament based on Bb.

Originally Posted By: Withindale
When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb [when the temperament center is Bb]?

In C. Why would I transpose it?

To explore, as you say!

I tend to reserve that skill for aging sopranos and tenors and tell them nothing! wink
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104392 - 06/18/13 01:02 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
I read through this thread after bumping into the reference to Bb. Marty, there is an earlier post of yours where you write about a long conversation you had with a conductor:
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
He indicated that for a Wind Ensemble, he sets his temperament octave from Bb.

I can see it for wind, and have talked to brass players. My other instrument is violin. Here are the characteristics of that instrument: The strings are G, D, A, E. This sets up certain patterns of resonance through sympathetic vibrations. You get a richer sound resonating through the entire instrument. It is not just the strings but the wood itself, which is chosen as tone wood. In general, keys with sharps in the signature work better than those with flats, because of this. It is not just that we can use more open strings as pitch reference for ease of playing. When I learned the Db major key, my teacher warned me that the whole thing would sound "dull". (So would C# major, ofc). In F major we still have: G, A, D, E as degrees 2,3,6,7, but I,IV,V are all notes that won't resonate in the instrument (F,Bb,C). After that, in flats keys, there are diminishing returns.

So I'm thinking that if you're looking at what happens with other instruments, you might want to look beyond wind into strings, for that side of it.

Top
#2104416 - 06/18/13 01:37 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Keystring,

The comment you quoted was not by a conductor, but rather a tuner in Prague. It was his approach to the temperament center as selected for wind ensemble, rather than orchestra.

If you read this thread, there has been much discussion of the whys and wherefores of an orchestra tuning to A.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104427 - 06/18/13 02:13 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark R. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Withindale
When you come to a composition for the piano in C, do you play it in C or Bb?

In C. Why would I transpose it?


Because you've just gone and put a Bb-centered UT on you piano, to suit a composition in Bb major.

Really, a rather supreme irony:

You're contemplating tuning your piano for a composition in Bb, and then playing a composition in C (generally accepted as the home key for UTs or WTs!), for which your piano would eminently not be optimally tuned. In fact, on your Bb-tuned piano, C major and its dominant, G major, would sound very much like ET. (Which is, perhaps, why Ian asked you in the first place.)

On the other hand, you deem fit to degrade ET, which caters for all keys, as a "Johnny come lately".

[Edit: just reading the most recent responses. An ET remains an ET, independent of the pitch reference that was used to tune it. There are well-documented procedures for tuning ET from C or from A, and even from other notes. This technician's forum on PianoWorld has had some of these discussions before (starting point of the temperament octave - even a temperament 10th or temperament 12th). I know, because I asked a few of the many pursuant questions, and read the ensuing answers with great interest. So, I repeat: I see no reason to confuse pitch reference with the tonal center of whichever UT is chosen. It was already written here that A is chosen as tuning note because all string instruments have some form of A-string or suitable partial.]


Edited by Mark R. (06/18/13 02:35 PM)
Edit Reason: marked in post
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

Top
#2104446 - 06/18/13 03:03 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Mark R.]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
IMO in a normal WT (invariably centered on C major of course) C major sounds better than C# major. So I play the C# major pieces of the WTC clavier in C instead because it sounds better. If I really had to play it in C# major I would retune the harpsichord centered on C#. This is what Gustav Leonhardt did in his landmark recording of the 48.

In WTC I the prelude in Eb minor is followed by the fugue in D# minor. Did you know the reason is the originals were written in E minor and D minor and Bach just transposed them to stuff them in the WTC? Makes you (at least me) think about arguments that the key and tuning was allegedly so important to the composer.

Also in Bach's cantata performances (by himself) the instruments were tuned a semitone below A440 (because he bought them from France) and the organ a semitone above. So in the scores you see the organ being written in a different key than the rest. How to reconcile that with the idea that the key of a piece is so important to the composer is beyond me.

Kees

Top
#2104492 - 06/18/13 04:32 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: Loren D]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6052
Loc: Rochester MN
Mark R. -

You have completely misunderstood what I have written. I'm not having my piano tuned to a non-equal temperament based from Bb because of any single composition, it is because it is the tuning center used in a Wind Ensemble. Obviously you have no familiarity with the Poulenc. It is all over the place harmonically. Though it can be analyzed harmonically and structurally, it is not identified by specific key.

The use of "Johnny-come-lately" in reference to ET is not disparaging, it is a matter of historical fact.

You seem to maintain that there is something wrong with basing a non-equal temperament on anything other than C. I am in the process of finding out if that it is true. I don't believe it is problematic at all.

My preference is tuning other than in ET. The temperament octave, in ET, could be placed anywhere and the results would be the same. It wouldn't matter what tuning fork is carried in the tuner's tool bag.

Kees,

There is a big difference between the necessities of a given performance and the intention of the composer. Odd compromises occur all the time.

Why would Bach write the Well Tempered Clavier if not to demonstrate that a keyboard could be tuned to accommodate all keys? Other than glorious music, that is its purpose. The result of his creation has led to what we now refer to as "key color." Our concepts of, and attitudes toward, keys which sound "dark," mysterious," or "bright" are based on understandings and labels which have been passed down through generations.

When Bach studied in L√ľneburg, the available organs were of very divergent temperaments. The WTC seems to be an attempt at some sort of standardization of tuning for keyboard instruments. It is one of the hallmarks of the late Baroque.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2104566 - 06/18/13 06:26 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: DoelKees]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Kees,
All of the Cantatas were written in closely related keys to C. For the most part Bach transposed, wrote, or sight transposed the organ part down a whole tone in order to match the nominal A=415 of the other instrumentalists, being that most of the organs he played were in the A=460-480 Hz range. I can't see a huge issue with colour in that case. The problem would be if the transposition had to be to a far key. I have haven't read anything to indicate he did that, but there is much (almost everything) that I don't know.

Top
#2104569 - 06/18/13 06:35 PM Re: Equal temperament [Re: DoelKees]
Ed Foote Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 970
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
IMO in a normal WT (invariably centered on C major of course) C major sounds better than C# major. So I play the C# major pieces of the WTC clavier in C instead because it sounds better. If I really had to play it in C# major I would retune the harpsichord centered on C#. This is what Gustav Leonhardt did in his landmark recording of the 48.


Greetings,
I hear it differently. The wider third of the C# (in most WT), really makes that prelude bright and aggressive. I have had a Yamaha Disklavier to use at a PTG convention, and it was tuned in fairly colorful WT. We played that C# stuff back and forth on C and C# and it was all agreed that the C# piece sounded a lot better in C# than in the calmer C. The Prelude in C sounded terrible when moved up to C#. I think Bach knew what he was doing, and I think he was suggesting ways to use the particular characteristics of each key in a well-tempered keyboard. Some compositions can move around, and did, but others really only shine in the original key.

>>Other than glorious music, that is its purpose. The result of his creation has led to what we now refer to as "key color." Our concepts of, and attitudes toward, keys which sound "dark," mysterious," or "bright" are based on understandings and labels which have been passed down through generations. <<

It may also be due to the subliminal effects of dissonance still at work, after all these years...
Regards,

Top
Page 5 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
168 registered (36251, accordeur, A Guy, 43 invisible), 1759 Guests and 39 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74215 Members
42 Forums
153523 Topics
2249795 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
A good introduction to history of French classical music?
by BWV 846
Today at 10:50 AM
Piano Composition + a Drawing
by leandrobrunapiano
Today at 10:50 AM
Casio AP range advice please
by thamajor7
Today at 09:37 AM
Buzz-project: How do composer earn big money?
by talfi composer
Today at 09:10 AM
Buzz-project: How do composer earn big money?
by talfi composer
Today at 09:07 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission