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#2127618 - 08/03/13 07:12 PM Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower".
subcontra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 29
Last night, while I was composing a piece in a MIDI sequencer, I noticed that the instruments sounded unusually flat; At first, I thought it was Windows acting funky. However, when I switched to my portable player, I heard the same thing. I had to adjust the playback speed 1.5% faster in order for music to sound "right", or to A=446.6 Hz, a serious timebase error. I was wondering how it would affect your job tuning the piano when your internal timebase is so far off it irritates you constantly, all day.

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#2127656 - 08/03/13 08:39 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1197
Loc: Québec, Canada
I just ignore it.


Edited by accordeur (08/03/13 08:40 PM)
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Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

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#2127672 - 08/03/13 09:02 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Jbyron Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 514
Loc: USA
Huh???
_________________________
Tuner-Technician



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#2127686 - 08/03/13 09:36 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7435
Loc: Rochester MN
Since when is A = 446.6 Hz the tuning standard?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2127688 - 08/03/13 09:38 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2100
Loc: Maine
I'm lucky enough not to have one of those confusing, infernal, internal time bases!
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2127823 - 08/04/13 06:08 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7540
Loc: France
I keep my batteries charged and take my pills.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2127845 - 08/04/13 07:55 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: Minnesota Marty]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2100
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Since when is A = 446.6 Hz the tuning standard?
Marty, as near as I can decipher, He is adjusting manipulatable recording and playback devices to match some mysterious internal timing organ ... I think. confused

The next time "I see my doctor", I'll have to ask if I have one of those internal timing thingies.


Edited by David Jenson (08/04/13 07:59 AM)
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2127867 - 08/04/13 08:55 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7435
Loc: Rochester MN
David - that was a very sharp deduction.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2127923 - 08/04/13 12:19 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1711
Loc: London, England
Sounds like the gift of pitch memory, sometimes known as perfect or absolute pitch. It is known for losing its accuracy with age.

It used to be regarded as a sure sign of musicianship but this was never completely true. People with this gift are a complete liability in a capela groups or string quartets where the flexibility of good relative intonation is important.

Many people have this "gift" in some form, Even none musicians. Rarely is it this accurate and it can be annoying.

In answer to the original question, all keyboard tuning is relative to a beginning note. Tuners have to deal with requests for different pitches. This morning I drew the short straw and was obliged to tune a fortepiano to a=430 in Young's temperament. If I had had this curious "gift" I can see how difficult it might have been.
_________________________
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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#2127979 - 08/04/13 02:44 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an Indian sitarist.

According to him, the instrumentalists tune according to where the vocalist's voice is that day, rather than imposing some standard reference frequency like 440. I don't know if it is this way all over India, or if this is just regional.


Edited by daniokeeper (08/04/13 02:46 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2127981 - 08/04/13 02:54 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1711
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an Indian sitarist.

According to him, the instrumentalists tune according to where the vocalist's voice is that day, rather than imposing some standard reference frequency like 440. I don't know if it is this way all over India, or if this is just regional.


It happens all over America.

Check out sacred harp singing groups.
_________________________
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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#2127983 - 08/04/13 02:59 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: daniokeeper]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3582
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an Indian sitarist.

According to him, the instrumentalists tune according to where the vocalist's voice is that day, rather than imposing some standard reference frequency like 440. I don't know if it is this way all over India, or if this is just regional.


I'm sure it's true - unless he was also an Indian "satirist"... wink

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#2127998 - 08/04/13 03:47 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: rxd]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an Indian sitarist.

According to him, the instrumentalists tune according to where the vocalist's voice is that day, rather than imposing some standard reference frequency like 440. I don't know if it is this way all over India, or if this is just regional.


It happens all over America.

Check out sacred harp singing groups.


I will.

But now that you mention it...
Years ago, I took a fretted Appalachian mountain lap dulcimer class. We were told to tune to a "democratic" D.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2128030 - 08/04/13 04:58 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2006
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
To the OP,

Previous posters' remarks aside, I can relate to what you've written. Pitch memory can vary significantly. I've picked up variations in terms of the time of day, my mood, stress levels, energy levels, etc. etc.

(I don't, however, use my pitch memory to tune a piano.)
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#2128051 - 08/04/13 05:29 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: Mark R.]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2100
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
To the OP,

Previous posters' remarks aside, I can relate to what you've written. Pitch memory can vary significantly. I've picked up variations in terms of the time of day, my mood, stress levels, energy levels, etc. etc.

(I don't, however, use my pitch memory to tune a piano.)
That's why we carry pitch references that are immune to mood swings or bio-rhythms, and why we don't tune according to how we feel if we want to continue getting paid for it.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2128071 - 08/04/13 06:11 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7540
Loc: France
the OP could not learn to tune with that method then :

_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2128117 - 08/04/13 08:18 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: Olek]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2100
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Olek
the OP could not learn to tune with that method then :



Actually, I use that method. I've noticed over the years that I can't tune a piano satisfactorily if I don't have a heart beat! laugh
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2128121 - 08/04/13 08:23 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7435
Loc: Rochester MN
Would electro-resuscitation tune a piano?

CLEAR ! ! !
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2128139 - 08/04/13 08:45 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1726
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Having no heart at all disqualifies me. cry
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Piano Technicæ Blog

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#2128146 - 08/04/13 09:00 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1726
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Gooseneck is good for turning one or two particular pins in the bass, and then only rarely (resulting usually from a big factory goof). I would love to think that the thing was invented for that reason only; and that the guy who invented it would be turning over in his grave if he knew it was being used otherwise. Then, there are lots of things I'd like to believe in, but...
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Piano Technicæ Blog

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#2128158 - 08/04/13 09:21 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
It sounds like he may be using an non-equal temperament.

From the website...
Quote:
Creating the piano’s temperament based on the principles of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2128241 - 08/04/13 11:43 PM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: daniokeeper]
Jbyron Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 514
Loc: USA
Step one of the heartbeat method; Are you alive? YES. Okay we can continue on to step two.
_________________________
Tuner-Technician



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#2128323 - 08/05/13 02:58 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1723
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
I used to play with a harpsichord player with absolute pitch; sometimes we played at at A440, sometimes at A415 (a semitone down).

She reported difficulties, like when playing at A415 hitting a C# when a C was intended, because of her aural memory of the piece that she learned at A440.

So absolute pitch (which is a rare ability despite some claim here to the contrary) also has some disadvantages.

Kees

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#2128359 - 08/05/13 06:59 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1711
Loc: London, England
While I don't profess a pitch memory, in the days when I let the trumpet rule my life, I could imagine playing an "A" and be within 1 hz. I tried that first thing this morning and imagined a note that was quite flat. I have not touched a trumpet for 15 years. This seems in keeping with pitch memory losing pitch over time.

I knew a specialist MG mechanic with no known musical ability who coul reliably give the rpm of an engine by sound. This is probably related.

The ability to be within a half step by memory is quite common. The ability to be within 1 Hz is very rare.
_________________________
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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#2128424 - 08/05/13 10:44 AM Re: Dealing with slow body clock; when middle A sounds "lower". [Re: subcontra]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7540
Loc: France
You can "force" a "perfect pitch" to move one step, in my experience. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but mostly because you "know" it, but you switch on relative ear and the rest stay calibrated.

It also happen that I hear a G# (415) perfectly just for a A 440.

I suppose that daily listening to correct pitch maintain the "perfect pitch" ability (memory).

mine is "perfect at 1-2 hz"



Edited by Olek (08/05/13 11:01 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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