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 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(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 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#2144587 - 09/05/13 12:02 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
Isaac,

I am school-trained as an aural tuner using checks. I worked exclusively that way for my first 20+ in business.

I later acquired a Verituner. These days, I will use whatever method, or even various hybrid methods... whatever I feel will give the best result in each particular circumstance.


rxd,

I know that you are a very knowledgeable and successful tuner-technician. But, I do feel that there is benefit to melodic listening as well as using aural checks.

As the saying goes, we can disagree without being disagreeable. smile

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

Top
(ad PTG 568) Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
#2144619 - 09/05/13 01:18 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1675
Loc: Conway, AR USA

Good point. Tune correctly, present room or hall acoustics notwithstanding. (Voicing? That's another matter entirely.)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Piano TechnicŠ

"Never argue with a fool, people may not be able to tell you apart." - author unknown

Top
#2144987 - 09/06/13 12:24 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Sorry, Joe I didn't think I was even disagreeing, merely adding from my own experience. Ultimately, that's all we can do everything else is merely heresay until we experience it for ourselves.

I noticed you directed me to an UT site. I know that if, after tuning ET for how many years, I was to switch to an UT and try to listen melodically with ears infected with ET for so long I would get thoroughly confused.

The tuners using entirely melodic tuning I have also heard of. I have only indirect experience of this. Who knows how good it was and on what authority do they speak. A published book is not necessarily any more reliable a source than a website. This forum, for example.

Some here would get all upset at any constructive criticism of UT's and their being the antithesis of melodic intonation but surely that's not you?

Bill,
Tonal discrepancies do have their effect on pitch perception. Voicing does come into it. I find some quick tone regulation gets at the root of discrepancies in pitch perception as I'm sure you do. Lid up/ lid down has a marked effect. Pianos sound totally different with all the casework o,n better if it's a thoughtfully designed case, worse if it's not. All affects pitch perception. Voicing is not a separate matter at all. It is assential to have the whole piano in order before discussing the melodic results of harmonic tuning.

Over the past few weeks I have spent far more hours listening than tuning in full and empty halls with different pianists in different styles with the piano and it's lid in different positions. In fact I did hardly any tuning at all except concert checkovers and on changeover days when I do my share of blitzing all the practice pianos with local tuners.

I forbid any playing of a concert piano with the lid fully closed and with the lid off unless entirely necessary. I hear the differences and because I am in a consultant capacity have to assume enough of the audience do too. We have a full symphony orchestra for most weeks composed partly of musicians on a summer break from their own orchestras around the world. I have taken a particular interest in the experience of foreign orchestral musicians this year. I am confident that consummate musicians who are particularly sensitive to melodic intonation would let me know if I were not tuning melodically enough.

I am making the assumption that we are discussing minuscule differences here and not the afterthought correction of blatant errors. Since everybody hears differently and at different times under different circumstances and we ate dealing with a temperament, of course I would hear discrepancies. If I really went into it the thorough way I tune with what I have, I would drive myself crazy. At some point I have to tune the thing. It's a job to be done. If it is done right in the first place, random corrections should not be necessary. It shows a distinct lack of self confidence to keep fiddling randomly with a job after it is supposed to be finished.

And all autocorrect devices can go to he'll.



_________________________
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
#2145008 - 09/06/13 12:58 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1068
Loc: PA
rxd,


Not to be overly relativistic (I hope smile ), but when it comes to matters of music and tuning, I tend to think more in terms of preferences rather than right and wrong... unless something is just too far out there.

My point was exactly what you said... that you would be able to tell that the piano was not in ET without needing the aural checks. I have no doubt that if you listened melodically, you would know if you weren't in ET. You could use the aural checks to figure out exactly what is different. But, you would be able to confirm whether or not the piano was in ET melodically after a lifetime of tuning in ET.

Btw, it should be mentioned that overstretching isn't only a sin of the high treble. It is also a sin often committed in the low bass. smile

For some reason I cannot quite fathom, I often find pianos that have been tuned ridiculously sharp at A#7, B7 and C8. And, ridiculously flat at B0, A#0, and A0. The rest of the piano is fine. It almost seems like the tuners were trained to screw these notes up as much as possible.

I've contemplated whether it could be a hearing loss problem. But then, some pianos would only be messed up at C8 and B7. Or only A0. Or A0, A#0 B0, C1, C#1. But no, for some reason, it's always just those six notes.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

Top
#2145054 - 09/06/13 02:56 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Hi. Joe.

Rest assured that any hearing loss would be an entirely different thing and show up in an entirely different way.

I agree, others can make basses too wide and trebles too sharp. It only bothers me only when I have to follow them. Lowering high notes is a tough job just before a performance. . We had a tuner started sharpening trebles unreasonably once until we all blitzed him with texts to stop doing it.

Tuning the top notes sharp often robs them of power. I, too have llistened with baited breath at the end of a quiet piece that ends on an upward arpeggio for that last note. They're always in tune but 'only just' any flatness is easily detected in these circumstances but the slightest sharpness is also noticed by an attentive listener. When a friendly shop assistant gives me the right change I will often look at it and say, jokingly,' only just'. Fine tuning is only ever only just. Thats the reason for continually checking it in concert situations.
One cent either way is noticed even by those who never count their change.

With ultra quiet playing we can get away with nuthing, zero, zilch.

I once heard a perfectly well tuned piano playing a single note treble melody against the accompaniment of an extremely sharp saxophone section. It came across as not merely flat but it affected the way I heard the intonation also. This was brought to my attention by one of the student sax players who didnt hear, even on the playback of the casual recording how excruciatingly sharp they were.

_________________________
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
#2145059 - 09/06/13 03:28 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
My strong believe is that high treble octaves, notes played together, will sound a certain way if the double, triple octave, twelve and twelve and an octave, are on the same line than the precedent note. (this is ET)

The behaviour of the single note when compared to the precedent one is usually enough to have a clue about justness related to the center part of the piano.

Very apparent on good pianos, audible as well on small grands in a less evident way.

The reconciliation of the instrument own acoustic, and intonation is what is perceived there.

I was very aware when doing concert work that some tuning acted as a layer of tone constructed despite the piano own resonance.

That construction may be more or less present, more or less perceived.

Ideally we should be able to keep tuned with the instrument, but there are scaling that does not allows that, too high IH raise for instance. (voicing, too)

Then it is a good pleasure to keep tuning while in peace with the instrument, and what strikes me is that the pianos seem to appreciate that and stay with a nice tone longer then.

Tuning is a little like throwing darts, I believe I have to learned to be confident in the piano ability to catch the pitch at the good height.

Now I may confess that I probably use to the most my "perfect pitch" ability to tune, the use of checks simply reassure me, if I use less 10+-17 checks than before that is because after a few ones that tell me it is OK I find no reason to use them.

chromatic, yes, comparison with the precedent fast beating, yes, but it is very fast done, and when I am confident in my tuning I only need that in case of doubt.

I stopped to be ashamed if a few notes just fall too low, it is due to bridge motion, mostly, and that mean I did not add enough leeway, experience help to reduce that effect to a few notes. For a 436 - 442 tuning I did lately in one pass on a vertical I really "re-tuned" 4-5 notes in the 5 th octave .

Unison work allow to correct such amounts, generally, it is not necessary to do the 2 passes tuning I did before then, unless the piano is a semi tone flat.

Being attentive to energy provide a link to justness, for ET anyway, and probably can be also used for UT's.

the top notes need all the available energy, but coloring them by making them placed in a strong spot (in regard of lower octaves)helps for crispness. the attack being enhanced stabilize faster and makes for a nicer tone.

The result is that less energy is necessary to stabilize unison attack, as the note is immediately in resonances from the other (even when damped)

that may allow more available energy for the sustain.

When the tuned note is in less consonances, it need more primal energy to "self center" itself, so the tone is sort of delayed, less concentrated.





Edited by Olek (09/06/13 04:27 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


Top
#2145072 - 09/06/13 04:31 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Why are we so piano centric here? I have just finished checking over 8 pianos intended for accompaniment of string and wind players.

Perhaps im misunderstanding and i hope i am. There are enough compromises in pianos anyway ( that's why I don't allow anything less than 7' for any exam purpose) to go searching after resonances in the piano and pitching accordingly. Very few notes have resonances on the piano. To tune to them would produce unevenness of tone apart from the pitch variation. Surely tuning away from such resonances, of at all, makes more sense.

I get to know the postgrad students quite well over the years they are here. I'm not about to play fast and loose with their finals am I? Should I favour some notes over others simply because they resonate more? Even if I adjust the unison and make no pitch change, It's simply not practical if the whole final recital is to be considered as a musical unit.

I've had examiners say they're not listening to the piano anyway. Hopefully they don't really mean that going into a well rehearsed final recital. I tolerate fools gladlier than most but not when these fools have power of pass/fail over others. The newer visiting examiners think I'm only the piano tuner. Ha!
_________________________
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
#2145074 - 09/06/13 04:51 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Tone building when tuning : I feel a sort of pyramidal assembly.

It happened often that I begin to be perceiving well the kind of tone I want when tuning the 5 th-6 octave.
When unisons begin to be build, the reaction from below begin to be more apparent.

I sometime begin to work congruence at that point, going back to medium unisons whenever a treble note does not show the correct amount of reaction.

being well aware of unison building structure lessen the need for those corrections - the piano have also his own tone in the diskant, more or well adapted to an unison type in mediums.
_________________________
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


Top
#2145075 - 09/06/13 05:04 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Hi RXD I am unsure I understand you , you do not say "so lets use a PT 100 tuning on any concert grand and forget the voice of the piano". are you ?

Apparently pianists appreciate the piano being colored by itself.
It is more or less possible justness wise, I agree with that.

I do not reject justness theory , just I believe that part of the unison build is included in intonation.

What you hear with that note sounding dull or less centered is not only an unison question, most often.

A piano will sing more or less by itself. when that jump of the tone can relate to intonation , it really does not seem to be any problem for string players, harpists, etc.

The construction have to be perceived and the tone is predictive then.








Edited by Olek (09/06/13 05:04 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


Top
#2145077 - 09/06/13 05:13 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
Very few notes have resonances on the piano. To tune to them would produce unevenness of tone apart from the pitch variation. Surely tuning away from such resonances, of at all, makes more sense.


You probably misunderstood me but all notes have resonances to me even when damped. That provide a background for the piano tone and the justness may find its place in that.

Indeed in the end it is not as important as the music played, What I do I do for myself and do not pretend to any artistry in that, but I know how I feel when doing the job, and how much I am more or less "piano centered" at that time.

You may have listen to one of those tunings made by Lucien Vary, who gives a lot of importance to the piano resonances. (that man that blocked the sustain pedal at some occasion during tuning)

As a return to the tone of the 60's , very bright very rich.

The Yamaha style tuning is the perfect opposite of that , while both do the job.


Edited by Olek (09/06/13 05:13 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


Top
#2145091 - 09/06/13 06:38 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
There's a fine Japanese restaurant that I frequent that has recorded background music of hits of the 70's &80's played on a Yamaha. The unisons are really spread but evenly so. Most likely intentionally tuned that way from what I have heard about Japanese style tuning although I don't remember Kenzo or any of his team ever tuning that way.
Fortunately it doesnt command my attention for long and the sound soon palls. There's no variety of tone color.

I'm very conscious of not doing anything that detracts from the pianists ability to create the sound they want at will. I hear the widest variety of tone color (given the right pianist) from NY Steinways than any other. While it has an unmistakeable sound, it is the most to ally malleable in competent hands

As a listener, I like to hear pianists with complete control over the tone they create. This is rare but beautiful thing and I try not to intrude on this.

A beautiful tone on a piano is just that and the more beautiful, the more locked in it becomes but to have to listen to a piano where the tone is not flexible to the pianists wishes, recitals get boring. I can only admire a pianists flashy technique for but so long. when a pianist is able to create tone, that is more sublime because they can contrast it with different sounds.

Pitch perception is also affected by tone color.
_________________________
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
#2145100 - 09/06/13 07:13 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Sure I agree with what you say there.

Interesting you are the second person in a small time that say that NY Steinway have a wider variety of color.

I would use a pinch of salt there, as many do not know the tone of the Germans to Steinway in the years 60-80, to simplify. Today the "standard" is preserved somehow, but variation is not what comes to mind.

As you said, unison can incredibly change the pitch appreciated, as for instance with 2:1 octaves that could sound as stretched while they are not.
And now fast beating intervals can exhibit more activity by more back and forth between 2 sets of beats.

Highly spreader unison enveloppe is an artefact that seem to add color on pianos that misses some.

And a too nice tone is boring, certainly. I get your point.

But inside usual justness lie à part of piano resonance, that interfere with the begin of the tone in my opinion.

Following piano resonance send us off the road, but ignoring it make us work at the individual pitch level, more or less.

Now sure to he structure of Et is not based on consonance, far from that.
Only at the piano this comes as an added parameter. I M Ô.
_________________________
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


Top
#2145122 - 09/06/13 08:15 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
On my way to cover a last minute tuning at a huge rock venue the trucks outside betrayed a huge production. Thinking I was to tune a large rental grand as often happens on these occasions and musing my lot of tuning large pianos in good to fine condition and all already 90% in tune, I hope it didn't show on my face when confronted with this thing that called itself "Helpinstil". I was still looking around for the real piano.

Only 4-5 octaves bichord with most bass strings spliced and some dead strings. It was also 90% in tune so ten minutes later the encounter was all over. I did, however check the melodic octaves. Checked out good.
On my way out, I said to the bro on security "who do I need to see to get out of here" this was met with gales of laughter. Made it all worthwhile and put all this into perspective.

Now my assistant called me and the view from my office window is blocked by a bloody big cruise ship. Must have arrived on the tide.
_________________________
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
#2145162 - 09/06/13 09:36 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Why not stay for the concert to verify that your high treble is not too stretched (and appreciate your unison quality)?
_________________________
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


Top
#2145673 - 09/07/13 10:09 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
O. K. I have vast experience of attending complete classical music recording sessions from solo piano through the huge piano trio repertoire to concertos with symphony orch.

I am not setting myself up as any kind of expert or being the final word but I am at the time of my life where I feel others could benefit from just one lifetimes' experience.

Doing this, I get to hear my work through the magnification of recording equipment which can flatter the sound of a piano and also strip it to its bare essentials. I get to hear every note that is recorded as it is recorded and after. I have a few temperament illusions up my sleeve but rarely use them. The expected temperament is ET for very good reasons that I have already gone into and not yet heard cogent arguments against.

All temperaments have their deficiencies. Some intervals are more temperamental than others and all have to be respected. The major third, for example whether it appears in a chord or in a run of mixed thirds can scream if they are too wide in the upper octaves. Few tuners check these outside the temperament octaves but they can let down a tuning badly if not respected. Fortunately, in equal temperament there is little danger if a good temperament is reflected accurately as notes are tuned into the higher octaves. I find that the finer and finer I tune, the less leeway I have with these intervals if I am to also respect the boundaries of all the other intervals.

I am reminded of a story that Andrew Previn tells about a famous movie mogul who heard something he didn't like in the score of a movie. "what was that?" he asked. A lackey told him that he thought it was a minor chord. The edict went out and for many years in the music department of that studio was a huge sign that jokingly said " no minor chords". The thing from mypersonal experience about that story is that the mogul was probably right, the string bass tone of those days had a powerful fourth partian that would clash with a minor third in thinly scored music. One way round it is to change the octave of the bass part or double the bass line with an instrument capable of masking the conflict. This knowledge stems from my brief experience as a commercial orchestrator.

The purpose of that story is that my work is sometimes continually subject to the scrutiny of often up to 100 fine musical ears all with an interest in the success of the final product. Fortunately, I catch anything that may be questionable well before anyone else and my work it taken for granted. My hearing is no better than most tuners but I have oceans of experience and pay constant attention.

The truth is, once I have tuned a piano so finely as to put each interval at its optimum I can't change anything without changing something somewhere else. Anyone experienced in fine regulating will readily understand this.

Fortunately, I have found that electronics, properly set up and it's work adequately checked by ear, can tune from a3-a5 as good if not better and certainly more quickly than I can. I don't trust it anywhere else and certainly not below a3.

When I do my balancing act between the intervals going into the bass I will backtrack if I feel particularly fussy, to see if a note a can be altered to help bring a lower note within the parameters. Often I can but when I go to put in the unison again I find I have barely moved it enough to affect the unison but a perceptible change has been effected. Those bass strings exhibit complex but fairly regular high partials. Oh, and I always always always tune by fully completed unisons. Never a strip, even when using electronics. I can be really fussy and still be finished well within an hour.

You will see, the more accurate I tune, the less room I have to manoeuvre. I'm afraid that melodic intonation has to stay where it lands when all else properly checks out. There's no secret artistry except the artistry of getting it as right as possible to start with.

My melodic intonation has never been questioned so I must assume that it passes muster with all the finest musical opinions involved.

This is probably too long already. It's all an open secret, really, except there are what I have grown to consider important details that are regularly overlooked. Probably the only difference is what I choose to be fussy about.

_________________________
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
#2145882 - 09/07/13 04:55 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1060
Loc: Sicily - Italy

...."Probably the only difference is what I choose to be fussy about."

Hi rxd,

At the moment I am working in London. I would be very glad to be able to meet you, perhaps hear the ET you tune and what you choose to be fussy about. Perhaps you know of a piano we can use somewhere?

..."There's a fine Japanese restaurant that I frequent that has recorded background music of hits of the 70's &80's played on a Yamaha. The unisons are really spread but evenly so. Most likely intentionally tuned that way from what I have heard about Japanese style tuning although I don't remember Kenzo or any of his team ever tuning that way.
Fortunately it doesnt command my attention for long and the sound soon palls. There's no variety of tone color."...

I would love to hear the tone color variety you refer to and also check.... that restaurant!

What do you think, possible?

Regards, a.c.


Edited by alfredo capurso (09/07/13 05:34 PM)
_________________________
alfredo

Top
#2146185 - 09/08/13 05:30 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Alfredo, your request is probably appropriate in a pm.

Let me get this right.
You want me to find a piano somewhere to give you a personal demonstration of what I wrote about since you happen to be in the neighbourhood?.

I wrote so that anyone who tunes can try this for themselves or not. I have nothing to add, nothing to sell, nothing to prove. I'll give anyone my time once they've tried it.

Interesting, though. I am but one of dozens of tuners working this way in various tuning departments in many parts of the world. There is nothing personal to me about this and fine tuning can be heard on any piano recording on a major label. Some minor labels too but generally they can't afford a tuner on constant attendance so the result naturally isn't as possible to guarantee.

It's what I was shown 40+ years ago when I first joined a well established manufacturer based tuning department and my mentor 50+ years before. That being 50+ years after ET was well established as the norm.
. The object of my explaining it was to get across that simply tuning an ET as finely as possible and paying attention to all intervals and their extensions in all registers will get a good result. There is nothing more i can add than that. You can do it just as well for yourself. That is what my purpose in posting was. there's no magic bullet, just continually refining what's already there.

I'll be happy to spend time with someone once they have tried it.

I don't envy anyone learning to tune today, it can be confusing out there. The concept of tuning acceptable to the finest musicians is quite simple. doing it takes practice, refinement and experience.

It works on any kind of instrument. That it is a poor instrument is not a reason to do anything different other than balance the piano out. I learned by practicing on everything I was given to tune. Some were difficult but none impossible. Most trebles tune well. The lower half of small pianos takes more skill and understanding but to include perceived problems of melodic intonation in such an instrument is introducing a problem that doesn't exist. An interval beating way too fast in an effort to force a preconceived concept of "tunefulness" not natural to that piano will be noticed, however. If a piano doesn't tune that way, it doesn't tune that way.
The melodic intonation of my tunings on any instrument has never been questioned. I bet most good tuners of ET can say the same. It seems only tuners get obsessed by this. Of course, there's always some nerd and geek who half digested an article and think they know something.... No, I'm talking about real musicians in the real world.

As for hearing different tone colors from a piano, I can't help you there, I'm not an accomplished pianist but I ha e worked closely with many. I'm sure you must also mix with people who are as a tuner. . Anyone with reasonable hearing acuity and close to a place where many different people are playing the same piano in one sitting such as the preliminaries of a minor piano competition or even the student recital of a more advanced teacher will most likely experience what I'm talking about. Some will never hear it.
_________________________
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
#2146200 - 09/08/13 07:10 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 697
Loc: England
Me thinks someone prefers to maintain their cloak of invisibility and rely on the power of the written word Alfredo wink
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

Top
#2146555 - 09/08/13 06:34 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1060
Loc: Sicily - Italy

I know it was only a joke, perhaps 'sweet and sour' as here... we all rely on words blush

I really hope we can meet before Xmas, Johnkie, and I look forward.

rxd,

Please do use pm if you think it is more appropriate. In general, I would like to meet more colleagues now, in order to understand more about perception and tunings; I am trying to get more ideas and inspiration for what concerns ET - perhaps the idea of tuning one precise "temperament" - and the tunings (or targets) that we are able to achieve. More than a demonstration, I am looking for explainations, hoping we can argue, compare and share some evidencies in practice.

On top of that, I love Japanese culinary arts! :-)

Hope to hear from you, a.c.
.
_________________________
alfredo

Top
#2147103 - 09/09/13 05:27 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1060
Loc: Sicily - Italy

From this page (11):

..."There's a fine Japanese restaurant that I frequent..."...

Hmmm... where is it, rxd, which zone of London?

..."...that has recorded background music of hits of the 70's &80's played on a Yamaha. The unisons are really spread but evenly so. Most likely intentionally tuned that way from what I have heard about Japanese style tuning although I don't remember Kenzo or any of his team ever tuning that way."...

Who is Kenzo? Who was part of his team? Do you like "..spread but evenly so.." unisons?

..."...Fortunately it doesnt command my attention for long and the sound soon palls. There's no variety of tone color."...

Would that music affect our dinner?

..."...I'm very conscious of not doing anything that detracts from the pianists ability to create the sound they want at will. I hear the widest variety of tone color (given the right pianist) from NY Steinways than any other. While it has an unmistakeable sound, it is the most to ally malleable in competent hands"...

Yes, "..given the right pianist..", but I do not understand what follows "...it is the most to ally malleable in competent hands..", would that (competent hands) be the pianist or the technician?

..."As a listener, I like to hear pianists with complete control over the tone they create. This is rare but beautiful thing and I try not to intrude on this."...

Here I get lost, you were hoping for "...pianists ability to create the sound they want at will..", but who is responsable for determining the premises?

..."...A beautiful tone on a piano is just that and the more beautiful, the more locked in it becomes but to have to listen to a piano where the tone is not flexible to the pianists wishes, recitals get boring."...

So, perhaps it is the tech that has to make the tone "flexible", or (in your opinion) it is the manufacturer (or perhaps the pianist?)

..."...I can only admire a pianists flashy technique for but so long. when a pianist is able to create tone, that is more sublime because they can contrast it with different sounds."...

Yes, I think I know what you mean and I agree.

..."...Pitch perception is also affected by tone color."

Hmmm,... if you are saying that the partials "weight" (presence) affect the actual pitch (not only human "perception"), yes I agree. Btw, do you do voicing? Don't you think that "..the pianists ability to create the sound they want at will.." also depends on that? Why .."..not doing anything that detracts.." when you do everything that allows...

Regards, a.c.


Edited by alfredo capurso (09/09/13 05:29 PM)
_________________________
alfredo

Top
#2147351 - 09/10/13 02:49 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Alfredo, there are several Japanese restaurants that we frequent but the one with the piano music is www.sensuru.co.uk on the Woolwich rd SE 10. Of course I cannot say where in their cycle of background music they will be at any specific time. As I said, for me, the piano fades into the background quickly which is its purpose only rarely drawing attention to itself when there's a lull in the conversation. I once frequented a French restaurant in central Virginia. So confident was the chef in his fine food and the digestive systems of his patrons that he dared to accompany his menu with huge bleeding chunks of Wagner on his sound system.

This is all way off topic but I have found this forum to be often at its best when the topic morphs away from the subject.

I am not in town right now and am using my iPhone. Juggling from one post to another is tedious so I will answer your questions in a generalised form.

I think It is a balancing act for the tone regulator to (I Pedantically use the term tone regulate in contradistinction to the term voicing because pianists use the term voicing to indicate the relative volume of each note in a handful of notes as in the way they voice a chord) to make a response in the hammer and stringing that produces a good sound for pianists who are unable to create tone but yet not so 'beautiful' as to be locked into this one sound. I learned much about this from an American technician who once playfully told me that even my pianos had a British accent".

Yes, I do tone regulate but I do less and less now except minor changes that artists request. I choose to indulge my ever shortening attention span these days by specialising in tuning and only minor technical maintenance of an ongoing nature.

I see it as self evident that first the manufacturer who produces the basic instrument, then the technician who brings out the pianos capability to produce a whole range of sounds and dynamic levels, then the room which can be so individual in its acoustic that everything sounds the same. Very pretty, but continually all the same. Some famous recital halls have this doubtful quality. I once recieved a cellphone call from a colleague on the stage of a certain highly praised hall. I was able to tell him which hall he was in, so distinctive was the acoustic. Once, when I had to tune and attend in that hall, the manager gave me the favourite seat of a well known critic who was not to be present that evening. I found it to be an acoustically claustrophobic experience, closer to the stage than I would ever sit, for a start. The pianist then does what they can with what they're given. A recognised great pianist can usually afford to control many of these elements.

'Most malleable in competent hands' I meant particularly the pianist.

I am fortunate to spend part of my year living almost cheek by jowl with the finest of pianists. While conversations are mostly about other things, those able to execute a marked change in tone quality at will while maintaining the same dynamic level mainly attribute this ability to subtleties in what pianists call voicing. That is, the ability to change the relative volume of each of the constituent notes of a chord and all the subtle degrees of that particular skill. It is more complicated than that but there's only so much can be verbalised about this just as there is only so much can be verbalised about, say, pin setting.

I have just discovered that my pill box indicates that I didn't take my pills yesterday so you might wish to ignore the foregoing since I just might be off my medication unless the time I gained travelling counts. or maybe it's just the time travelling.

_________________________
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
#2147365 - 09/10/13 04:09 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
I learned much about this from an American technician who once playfully told me that even my pianos had a British accent".



Hello thanks for that phrase, We had for a time a new tuner that came into the service with what I call "an English accent tone" . (some pianists liked that,it was a little as a ballroom piano tone, so not highly manageable)

It was different too much from what we where doing so the head tuner took him for a day and showed him what we where expecting.

So we have passed for long to accept that the tuner is building tone are not we ?

Now only within what the conditions offer and only to concentrate energy for the pianist.

It did not seem to be an agreement sometime ago.

I have sometime changed the unison after hearing what the pianist was doing (and with his agreement)
an a little hard piano and pianist needing more mellowness they generally agree that it was better. at other time they prefer to keep as it was.

We know , I think, how good our tone is in the end, (tuners that play a little or have enough sensitivity) it is not just to build a "pre nice tone sounded tone" that would allow to play any way as it is on some pianos that cannot play hard, but what I suspect is the way unison are build allow for more color variation when more "stabilisation effects" are allowed.

the pianos may provide enough density of tone to allow that.

A good day , anyone



Edited by Olek (09/10/13 04:34 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


Top
#2147466 - 09/10/13 10:01 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Who's Kenzo´╝č. I referred to Kenzo Utsonomiya, one of the Japanese Yamaha technicians to be brought to America on the 1970's by Yamaha to teach piano technology.

Isaac, I'll attempt to offer my thoughts on the local idiosyncrasy you brought up again as soon as I can. Gotta feed and sleep first.


Edited by rxd (09/10/13 10:08 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
#2147488 - 09/10/13 10:51 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Sooner than I thought, had to wait for my lady to ready herself.

Isaac, maybe it's your translator but it was self evident that I was speaking about tone regulation in the quote you posted. Particularly about laquering NY hammers in a certain way. In fact I taught some tuning to this particular tech. so that he took over my studios when I left the area.

It appears this thread has taken yet another but familiar turn.
You bring everything back to your pet unison stuff in an almost predatory manner.
We are all familiar with the tone enlarging as the tuning degrades. We are also aware of the possibility of introducing a certain amount of this "effect" into the sound as we tune.
Are you advocating an error of around one beat in about 4 seconds at the second partial level ( the whining one, that is 4-5 seconds before it starts to whine) around the middle of the piano? If so, we are most likely on the same page on this matter. I, too am looking for a clean attack and clean trajectory with no audible artificial swelling of the tone. Too much and I am robbing the pianist of control unless this pianist is in the habit of practicing on our of tune pianos. I know that we both understand that even nudging the tuning lever on the pin without changing the pitch has an effect on the tone on a piano that hasn't been tuned for a while.

I have allowed a tuning to degrade slightly in a controled manner judging entirely by what I hear in the recording booth only to be asked by the pianist to check the tuning. What sounds good in the booth may be intolerable at the keyboard.
Many pianists in cities that are known for their concert halls and recording studios rarely have to play a piano that is out of tune to any degree.

There was one situation in a concert department when I first joined them. There was a piano with each unison out of tune to the same degree. I called the senior tech to be sure which style of tuning was being used in that hall. He replied that clean unisons was the rule.

I know through membership of the PTG that there were local idiosyncrasies in the various chapters that are dictated by the most vociferous members, not necessarily the most experienced. This can happen at a national level too. That may all be different now.

In some parts of the world I have been given well meaning advice not to do too good a tuning lest people hear what an undegraded tuning sounds like.

Also in my experience were patches of Europe that tuned very sharp trebles. I found this as a traveling musician.

I suppose we all have local idiosyncrasies but I have always found more similarities than differences.

I have been looking for Paris recordings to get an idea for myself. I only found some in the Salle Pleyel. What is the house piano there?

Any other opinions put there? Is this purely local or does anybody else do this?

Is it necessarily "better" or just different?

Je ne suis pas d'accord. I always thought it meant that I don't have a squeezebox. Which reminds me, could it have something to do with the French accordion style that I love so much. There two French accordionists here that play in the streets. I love that sound and it costs me a fiver or so in tips every time I go out for something. There was also Charles Asnavour that I worked with as a professional musician in a different lifetime. We used to call him the singing sheep. We were so cruel back then. He had a Brilliant MD. though, as I rember.

I'm getting hongry, what can I say?Well, having said that, I ALS love to hear my significant other play Debussy when her piano is ripe for tuning.
_________________________
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
#2147981 - 09/11/13 12:49 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: rxd]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1502
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: rxd
There was also Charles Asnavour that I worked with as a professional musician in a different lifetime. We used to call him the singing sheep. We were so cruel back then. He had a Brilliant MD. though, as I rember.

Nice vibrating voice is so beautiful and the sublime. I would hear Him voice again and again
_________________________
A=440
http://www.donguluk.ucoz.ru/

Top
#2148131 - 09/11/13 10:30 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Thanks, Max,

Appreciation of Mr Asnavour may be a common factor in the pockets of the world where spread unisons are also appreciated.

Oh, another question I forgot. Do I like spread unisons?
It's not a question of what I like, more a question of what is required as judged by the experience of musicians, my colleagues and the generations that have gone before. Having said that, I have no use for an unison that I cannot tune an interval from.

When all is said and done, tuners are but servants of the general musical community, deriving our standards from the more experienced professionals of that community. Above all, that community expects a reliably consistent product that can be changed on request within certain parameters.
_________________________
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
#2148142 - 09/11/13 10:58 AM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: rxd]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1502
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: rxd
Above all, that community expects a reliably consistent product that can be changed on request within certain parameters.

And it's right, rxd
_________________________
A=440
http://www.donguluk.ucoz.ru/

Top
#2148314 - 09/11/13 03:40 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
Yes, Max. It's right.
Nobody ever asks for deviations from the standard product. The most common exception, perhaps the only one today, is visiting orchestras requesting the standard product but at 442 in which case a whole different piano or set of pianos is sent in. Rarely is the pitch of a stable piano changed and changed back for only one or two concerts and rehearsals. It's been 8-9 years since an alternate temperament was executed here.

This is an international forum and yet we never hear from those professional tuners serving symphony orchestras in other countries. It would be fascinating to hear from the tuners themselves what is common elsewhere.
_________________________
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
#2148330 - 09/11/13 04:29 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
hi RXD, even without unison's spread, the tone can be open or closed.

there is a minimum opening that, to me make the tone manageable.

probably it mosly modify the attack/sustain relation.

tuners refuse to analyse what happens generally

the instrument itself follow the path of less resistance so unison "open" a hair naturally.

if the tone is well build it is more stable, ready to use, ansd less hard on the strings (no string break).

the pianist cannot manage a hard tone, he is obliged to use the sustain pedal much until the piano settle.

I suggest, on anothe point, that may be one pianist on 250 test or listen to the tuning as a tuner could do, checking fast beating progressions etc.

some are more sensitive, some really know what is it about, but they are really rare.

A standard medium will pass 90% of the time, on a standard piano. If differences between tuners they are perceived at large and experimenting more or less pleasure to play the instrument.

<a very neutral center of thye piano will never be a problem.

but the way it interact with the rest can make a difference.

Will write later...


Edited by Olek (09/11/13 04:32 PM)
_________________________
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


Top
#2148367 - 09/11/13 05:36 PM Re: Question About Tuning [Re: Duane Graves]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1060
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Hi rxd,

Thank you for answering my questions. Amongst other things, I find a statement I do not share, did'nt I get the feeling that you may be going for safe/popular clich├Ęs:

..."...tuners are but servants of the general musical community, deriving our standards from the more experienced professionals of that community."

Perhaps you refer to "...more experienced" piano tuners-technicians, in which case yes, we may well be "deriving our standards" from them, but servants....?? Nope, I don't look at it that way...

Not that I dislike the idea of being a servant, that being the "key word".. anyone could consider themselves a "servant", including Cameron and perhaps any other Queen... Perhaps it is because thinking "servant" has a self-pitty/self-condiscending taste(?), in a way making everything sort of.. "musical(?) :-)

Or perhaps, when you sell expertize and know-how, say high standards, they call you "master", and when you are willing to forget/give up all that they call you "servant"? :-)

Yes, you say ..."...that community expects a reliably consistent product that can be changed on request within certain parameters", and here the key-word appears to be "..certain..", that you refer to not_well_described "parameters".

In all this, I look forward to hearing the tuning that (best) stands for your own (master) standards.

Possible?

Regards, a.c.
.
_________________________
alfredo

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

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.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
153 registered (*windowlicker*, AaronM, accordeur, 36251, 38 invisible), 1413 Guests and 21 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75905 Members
42 Forums
156873 Topics
2305032 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Baldwin BJ124 and other New Pianos
by Benn
08/22/14 07:30 PM
Tuning levers
by AaronM
08/22/14 07:17 PM
Buying a Piano
by boppy75
08/22/14 06:24 PM
Midi file format on Roland Piano Partner App
by Banzai_Ed
08/22/14 05:58 PM
Imperial Concert 61 Phase Piano
by DanPianjo
08/22/14 05:34 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
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