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#2156847 - 09/24/13 01:24 PM Should There Be A Standard?
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
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#2156865 - 09/24/13 01:56 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21904
Loc: Oakland
I have stated before that there are two standards: Just intonation and equal temperament. These exist by their very nature. Other temperaments are defined by them. The number of beats is the variation from just intonation. The number of cents is the variation from equal temperament.

None of this is to be construed as an endorsement of any temperament. It is just how things are.

One final point: Most instruments do not have any fixed temperament. Even if they do, they are not necessary defined closely. For instance, a pedal harp is supposed to be tuned to a specific temperament which depends on the pedal mechanism, but may vary according to how accurately it is made, or any number of other factors which may not be immediately evident.
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#2156882 - 09/24/13 02:55 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
If you mean the one used by all major western recording studios, concert halls, tuned percussion manufacturers, broadcasting companies, the default on all electronic instruments, etcetc.

There is. Has been for generations.
_________________________
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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#2156893 - 09/24/13 03:14 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: rxd
If you mean the one used by all major western recording studios, concert halls, tuned percussion manufacturers, broadcasting companies, the default on all electronic instruments, etcetc.

There is. Has been for generations.


Right.

I'm interested to see what the proponents of UT's have to say about it, as they have been disparaging of that standard.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2156903 - 09/24/13 03:34 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3623
I see at least two questions

1. standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe

I think "failsafe" is the selling point of ET. At least everything sounds the same amount out of tune, so it's consistent. It seems a good fit for romantic, jazz and modern stuff that has dissonant chords and uses different keys without intending to change sharpness of the sound. ET seems less fit for classic and baroque stuff where composers DID use UT and used these changes. ET then still is 'failsafe' but the player then has somehow to compensate for the loss in tonal changes.

2. upon which all musicians can ultimately rely

I don't think it's that easy, musicians will do their best to get a nice performance, so if UT gives them an edge in a particular performance they will consider it. I doubt however that much performers and listeners really bother about, or hear the difference ET-UT.
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#2156932 - 09/24/13 04:39 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Hey Jim!

I was actually thinking of starting a thread introducing a "functional ET" based on margin of error - what actually gets tuned in the real world by those aiming at ET.

Consider this target:


Perfect score! All the arrows are in the middle... (Pretend there are as many arrows as notes in the temperament.) Now what's the margin for error for that yellow circle - 1 cent, 1/2 cent? In reality, for the piano to be in ET, the arrows would have to be "Robin Hood style" - splitting each other to fit in a circle the diameter of the arrow - zero margin for error.

We established in the other thread that there is some... slush in the actual placement of ET on real pianos. 1 cent, 2 cents or more for a note or two? And then there are "ET only" techs happy to hit arrows into the blue or black target areas and call it a day...

That would seem to indicate that quite a few temperaments fit in your ideal "standard"...

With that in mind, here is something for you electronic tuning types to try as an ET replacement - all the standard warnings apply as using a machine to set ET on a piano.

Koval variable temperament, 1.3 strength

C 1.3
C# -.17
D .52
D# .78
E -.52
F 1.3
F# -.35
G .87
G# .35
A 0.0
A# 1.13
B -.65

Major thirds range from 11.9 cents wide of just to 15.2 cents wide.

Obviously, the tighter your tuning standards are for open string tuning (4 lights on SAT, full blush RCT, 0.0 Verituner etc..) the cleaner the effect. Simply put, a few keys at the top of the circle play a little "warmer", a few at the bottom are a touch "edgier" and the rest are ETish. Clear to experience the difference by playing Bmaj, Cmaj, C#maj triads in a row.

What I hear back from clients is that my tunings are warmer than other techs. This is my standard in use all over town. The concept is to target in the direction of a mild WT in order to prevent a Reverse Well by accident when the margin for error comes into play.


Ron Koval
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#2156986 - 09/24/13 05:43 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA

Question:

Equal Temperament is a relative term. That is, relative to the temperaments which preceded it. The Robin Hood arrow analogy attempts to define it exclusively as perfect temperament. In an imperfect world no temperament whatsoever will be perfect. Having said this, if we are not going to call it Equal Temperament, then what shall we?
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Retired piano technician
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#2157038 - 09/24/13 06:51 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely?


Why, certainly. All they have to do is accept the loss of variety. The desire for universal runs somewhat opposite to the drive for unique, and musical art tends to benefit from unique, not sameness. Do we not enjoy different artists performing the same works? Is it too complex a chore to enjoy the same work in a variety of tunings? The amount of harmonic color in a triad is very much like the amount of salt in a dish. Some want everything to taste the same, others like to sense the balance and interplay of various sensations. I favor the latter, as it is more complex.

"Failsafe" is probably as tight a description for artistic loss as we are likely to find. If the performer isn't taking chances, it is a dead show.
regards,

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#2157069 - 09/24/13 08:25 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: bkw58]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: bkw58

Question:

Equal Temperament is a relative term. That is, relative to the temperaments which preceded it. The Robin Hood arrow analogy attempts to define it exclusively as perfect temperament. In an imperfect world no temperament whatsoever will be perfect. Having said this, if we are not going to call it Equal Temperament, then what shall we?


Absolutely. Generally speaking, I think most here who advocate the use of ET concede that it isn't perfect. I always refer to it as a series of relatively consistent compromises, or, equally out of tune.
_________________________
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#2157070 - 09/24/13 08:27 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Ed Foote]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely?


Why, certainly. All they have to do is accept the loss of variety. The desire for universal runs somewhat opposite to the drive for unique, and musical art tends to benefit from unique, not sameness. Do we not enjoy different artists performing the same works? Is it too complex a chore to enjoy the same work in a variety of tunings? The amount of harmonic color in a triad is very much like the amount of salt in a dish. Some want everything to taste the same, others like to sense the balance and interplay of various sensations. I favor the latter, as it is more complex.

"Failsafe" is probably as tight a description for artistic loss as we are likely to find. If the performer isn't taking chances, it is a dead show.
regards,


A solo performer, perhaps, but if you've got a symphony orchestra and a cast of singers in an opera, perhaps not.

To me, there's a difference.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2157072 - 09/24/13 08:31 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1104
Loc: PA
What's wrong with the artist giving "informed consent"? After all, they are supposed to be professionals. If they don't understand the difference between ET and UTs, they should make in effort to learn at least a little about it, IMO.

Further, why should an artist be limited? If he/she wants ET, fine. If he/she wants a UT, fine.

Btw, there's ET, and then there's ET. There can be all sorts of legitimate variations in stretch choices. Should there be only one acceptable amount of octave stretch in all circumstances? How far should this standardization go?

Voicing... Should all pianos be voiced the same way? Do we want only one standardized voice for all pianos that all manufacturers, and their technicians, should adhere to?

Should we have one standard wood finish? Should all pianos be ebony colored? Or, dark walnut?

Only one standard touchweight?


Edited by daniokeeper (09/24/13 08:53 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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#2157173 - 09/25/13 12:01 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA

After a lengthy discussion with my Better Half, I'll be doing good if any one temperament can be made the standard in my own house. Good night sleep
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2157251 - 09/25/13 05:43 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
WHat are we talking of standards.

Music that I receive when I did not ask just leaved the 3 chords pattern for a 2 chords one.

Rhythm have gone to 120 bps 2/2 so some tuner pretend you can learn to count beat by remembering of that 120 pulse.

out of tuneless that relates to UT's is not appreciated by pianists as they need to play a whole range of music .

Itmay be done on ancien instruments in a particular context, never was asked on a modern one. If I would tune one the pianist would play and consider it as sloppy , most of the time.

Too stretched tunings as well can be considered out of standard tune.





Edited by Olek (09/25/13 05:47 AM)
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#2157682 - 09/25/13 09:50 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
Make your tuning fit your customer's needs(wants, desires). If you can play a pretty song after you finish tuning the piano, and it makes her cry, then you have done your job.
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#2157731 - 09/25/13 11:45 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

A solo performer, perhaps, but if you've got a symphony orchestra and a cast of singers in an opera, perhaps not.

To me, there's a difference.

The big irony is that a cast of opera singers, left to themselves in close harmony, would naturally sing to just intonation -- not equal temperament.
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#2157742 - 09/26/13 12:28 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: peekay]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: peekay
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor

A solo performer, perhaps, but if you've got a symphony orchestra and a cast of singers in an opera, perhaps not.

To me, there's a difference.

The big irony is that a cast of opera singers, left to themselves in close harmony, would naturally sing to just intonation -- not equal temperament.


It would be a great argument if it were true. It's a common assumption.
Listen carefully. In my experience, the major thirds as sung by professional opera principals and chorus tend to be wider than ET. The strings in the orchestra do the same thing if you listen. (they also do it if you don't listen).

It is barbershop that tends toward purer M3rds but not all the time.
_________________________
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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#2157755 - 09/26/13 12:59 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Actually, it is true. Basically any unaccompanied (a cappella) singing will naturally tend to just intonation or other natural temperaments (e.g., pythagorean).

Yes, in our "modern" times, opera singers (and violinists) who are trained to be part of an orchestra are also "trained" to sing/play in equal temperament. But leave them alone, unaccompanied by a tempered instrument, and sooner or later they will gravitate to some form of just intonation (which there are many).

There have been a lot of research into this phenomena. Here's a good recent one from the Norwegian Academy of Music through observations of some of the best classical vocal ensembles in the world:

http://musicandpractice.org/musicandpractice/article/view/18/6

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#2157769 - 09/26/13 01:43 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Yes, I've read that too. Many things appear true on paper. It's good to hear that the subject is being addressed at least at a local level but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Nobody's complaining about the intonation of a good orchestra or opera group. It's not the problem.

I only ask you all to listen for yourself. Recorded or live, (preferably). It is readily discernible to me.

And where on earth does anybody get the idea that Pythagorean is a "natural" temperament and what does that mean anyway? I hope you didn't imply that the arrangement of the 12 notes cunningly called just intonation was another natural temperament. That surely would be a readily apparent contradiction in terms. So is the idea that there are many forms of just intonation. Just is just.

I'm not sure I want my opera experience to sound the same as my barbershop experience.

Has anybody ever attempted to tune a simple major scale without the need for something to be averaged?. Even a seemingly simple diatonic peal of 8 bells has to be tempered on at the very least a few notes. Ask Barry at the Whitechapel foundry.
_________________________
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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#2157856 - 09/26/13 07:06 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Thank you, rxd. I thought I was the only one to have heard several a-capella choirs sing M3s that are at least as wide as ET, and often wider. Nothing just about them. And these are not orchestra musicians that have somehow been "spoiled" by years of ET "training".

For those interested, I have an even simpler example than rxd's diatonic peal of 8 bells, from my own experience. Even a simple pentatonic wind chime, the pipes tuned for example to D, E, G, A and B, must have some tempered notes (i.e. some intervals will always beat), because some of the overtone ratios don't line up perfectly. In the above example:
1) the E can be tuned as a "major wholetone" (9/8) to the D, making it beatless to the A, but beating (narrow) against G and B. Or...
2) E can be tuned down by a syntonic comma, making it a "minor wholetone" (10/9) to the D, beatless to G and B, but now beating (wide) against A. Or...
3) E can be tuned as as a compromise between the two, e.g. an ET wholetone to D, now almost beatless against G, A and B.

(Been there, cut and fine-tuned copper pipes... choices, choices, choices, even on five little pieces of pipe. Looks nice, sounds quite OK, but there's nothing "just" about that E.)


Edited by Mark R. (09/26/13 07:08 AM)
Edit Reason: closed quotation marks
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#2157863 - 09/26/13 07:37 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Solo violin will enlarge the M3 as a natural melodic tendency.

context wise
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#2157895 - 09/26/13 08:56 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Having been involved in major recordings of piano trios I find the string players rarely precisely match the pitches of the piano. Nor is it necessary or even desirable within limits. They are on a differing tonal plane, somehow. the tone of each is so different. the same thing happens with singers. That inherent flexibility pf tone is part of what makes a fine piano such an ideal collaborative instrument. That is a fine piano. A poor toned piano can create problems where they needn't exist. A fine pianist capable of grading the tone color to allow others in the ensemble this freedom is another essential.
That may be why equal temperament continues to be be found ideal or at least eminently workable.

That's one of the glories of the medium. A violin or cello can soar in their own continuous ribbons of string intonation that doesn't necessarily have to totally agree with the pianos' succession of notes which is more like a row of pearls, if I may wax somewhat poetic, there is lots of musical room between them.
_________________________
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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#2157912 - 09/26/13 09:20 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: rxd
Having been involved in major recordings of piano trios I find the string players rarely precisely match the pitches of the piano. Nor is it necessary or even desirable within limits. They are on a differing tonal plane, somehow. the tone of each is so different. the same thing happens with singers. That inherent flexibility pf tone is part of what makes a fine piano such an ideal collaborative instrument.


Greetings,
I wonder how many string players have actually had experience with the intonational landscape provided by a well-tempered piano. The ones I encounter have a far easier time playing "in tune" with a palette of increasing thirds than they do with strict ET. I consider ignorance to be the prime motivator, as very, very, few string players could give you a definition of temperament or why we have to have it.

I have also noticed that when there is a piano involved with a string quartet, the intonation goes out the window as soon as the piano begins playing. The players tell me that playing with a piano requires they forget about what each other is doing and try to match to the piano. A mild WT seems to allow them more room for expression, and their harmony amongst themselves is more accurate.

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#2157928 - 09/26/13 09:55 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
As a professional singer (hence the user ID), RXD is correct. Just intonation maybe the tendency, but we never really get there on our own.

All of our lives, our pitch reference has almost exclusively been a piano, and while some believe there's such a thing as "perfect pitch," it is in reality pitch memory. Some of us have a more refined sense of it than others, and what we remember is what we hear - primarily from a piano.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2157963 - 09/26/13 11:08 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
All of our lives, our pitch reference has almost exclusively been a piano, ..., - primarily from a piano.

For a vocalist, I believe that is probably true. Introduction to singing is often in a choral tradition, accompanied by a fixed pitch, keyboard instrument.

But, instrumentalists are trained and 'grow up' without the influence of a fixed pitch instrument. Being accompanied by a piano is a very minor experience compared to being in a band or orchestra. The major influence affecting the concept of intonation is developed through the means of ensemble, rather than tempering intonation to a fixed pitch instrument.
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It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2157984 - 09/26/13 12:01 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
It's unfortunate, Ed, that most piano quintets are made up of a star pianist and a star string quartet. For that reason, I don't think I've ever heard a truly successful colaboration, mainly, I suppose because I avoid them, particularly when the quartet takes its name from the name of the first violinist.

A committed string quartet will have their own intonation patterns, often with a shifting pitch base It is too much to ask them to relinquish this highly developed quality in favour of any fixed intonation. Nor should we ask this of them. A mentor of mine when I was a teenager was a violinist who was instructed as a student at the Royal. College of m over 100 years ago now, never to play with piano accompaniment if he wanted to become a successful string quartet player.

Conversely a piano trio is usually also a self contained unit and it's musicians well used to listening with a piano constantly in the context. This makes a huge difference. That plus the pianist gets to choose his piano from a bank of pianos that have been already preselected for their qualities for concert use. They know I will be able to do things with the tuning of such a piano and still stay within the law since I must also think of string players' tendencies in melodic intonation.

For me, while the piano trio is a flexible format, the piano quintet and even quartet seems unwieldy to me, perhaps from hearing too much of the situation I just described in the first paragraph.

Have string quartet cellists where you are all developed the fetish of leaving strings ringing like they do here? Fiddlers can get away with it but cello strings ring 3-4 times longer. Can be effective but mostly not. I must have come into contact with 6-7 string quartets so far this year and they all do the same. must be something in the water.

Schubert writes well for piano quintet. Trout in particular. The way the piano part is often written like another single line instrument in octaves contributes to its cohesiveness. That plus using a viol is more coherent with piano sound somehow and lends a binding effect when it's tone is present anywhere in the texture.


Edited by rxd (09/26/13 12:25 PM)
_________________________
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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#2157999 - 09/26/13 12:17 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
All of our lives, our pitch reference has almost exclusively been a piano, ..., - primarily from a piano.

For a vocalist, I believe that is probably true. Introduction to singing is often in a choral tradition, accompanied by a fixed pitch, keyboard instrument.

But, instrumentalists are trained and 'grow up' without the influence of a fixed pitch instrument. Being accompanied by a piano is a very minor experience compared to being in a band or orchestra. The major influence affecting the concept of intonation is developed through the means of ensemble, rather than tempering intonation to a fixed pitch instrument.


So very true, Marty. The local band I was brought up in had a championship professional euphonium player as conductor. He would often play when conducting was unnecessary and instil in us all a sense of good tone quality and intonation. I noticed for some time now that too many band directors no longer play and so students don't get a good example set before them.

I don't remember anybody teaching us or even speaking about intonation. We just, as you say, "grew up with it".
_________________________
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#2158031 - 09/26/13 01:30 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: rxd
I don't remember anybody teaching us or even speaking about intonation. We just, as you say, "grew up with it".

You weren't hammered with "listen, listen, listen?" WOW !!!

Playing in tune was stressed, in band, all the time. It's the whole concept of Bb tuning. Temperament, or "a temperament" was an unknown concept. In tune was the goal! Though, even to our developing sense of intonation, we could surely tell when a piano was out of tune. That unison thing, ya know. Aargh!

Bb was the center of our universe. Life deviated from the great and cosmic center of our lives!

Ah, such fond memories. grin
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#2158047 - 09/26/13 01:52 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Yes, I remember now. This was a village under a mountain. The BBC radio antenna was atop this mountain so they had no radio and no television reception. They still spoke King James' bible style English. So the word I heard there was "Harken".

There were only 2-3 of us 10-12 year olds in a band of adults so most of what we learned was by osmosis. We got paid the same as the rest of the band for all engagements so we were the richest kids on the block.
_________________________
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2158048 - 09/26/13 01:53 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
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personally I was trained to sing the A 440 once a day at last, during lunch ! control at the piano .
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#2158059 - 09/26/13 02:08 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
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Loc: London, England
I developed a good pitch memory automatically except it was at A=457 old band pitch, a throwback to some old mitary pitch that the instruments were built in
When I switched to 440 i Iost that questionable skill.
_________________________
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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#2158078 - 09/26/13 02:43 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Registered: 05/15/12
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Loc: Rochester MN
rxd,

Wasn't that the instrument that John Phillip Sousa wrote his masterpiece opera Die Zauberalpenhorn?

whistle
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#2158103 - 09/26/13 03:25 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Originally Posted By: rxd

And where on earth does anybody get the idea that Pythagorean is a "natural" temperament and what does that mean anyway?

Pythagorean and Just Intonation are musical tunings which correspond to naturally occurring harmonic series.

Originally Posted By: rxd

[...]That surely would be a readily apparent contradiction in terms. So is the idea that there are many forms of just intonation. Just is just.

Wow, no, I can't begin to tell you how wrong that statement is. But, in a way, it might explain why many in this thread have a hard time understanding why any a cappella choir will gravitate to Just Intonation.

Just Intonation is not one tuning or scale. Just Intonation is a system of tunings, all of which correspond to a harmonic series. That is to say, for a particular Just Intonation tuning, every note in that tuning correspond to the same harmonic series.

Mathematically, we can construct a particular Just Intonation tuning by using integer ratios of (small) prime multiples. Since there are many ways we can arrange ratios of these numbers, there are many ways we can construct Just Intonation tunings.

The Pythagorean tuning, for example, is a Just Intonation tuning where the largest prime (N) is limited to 3. So the N=3 ratios in the Pythagorean system are based on powers of 2 and 3.

Another way to construct a (different) Just Intonation tuning is to use primes up to 5 (so the N=5 ratios are powers of 2, 3 and 5). The Ptolemy's Sequence is one example of a N=5 Just Intonation scale (there are many others).

Of course we can construct Just Intonation tunings based on higher prime limits, e.g., M=7, M=11, M=13, etc. Additionally there are also many tunings not based on 12-note scales.

For singers to sing in harmony, sooner or later they will converge on a harmonic series (if not accompanied by a tempered instrument). This is why there is always a pull to Just Intonation, since by definition a collection of notes from a harmonic series forms a Just Intonation tuning.
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#2158131 - 09/26/13 04:09 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
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Registered: 01/21/04
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I can see the reason for a strict standard of tuning for certain situations; those where multiple techs are rotated to take care of the same piano. It just seems that it would be easier on both the techs and the piano if the same targets were always used...

In fact, being in a large metro area, there are a few of us that follow each other as different performing groups hire the tuner at the same venue.

There is this one aural tech I follow that I can always tell it was him before me... You might think that I'm going to use an example of how far off from ET he tunes, but it is just the opposite. He must tune with near zero margin for error - just playing chromatic triads, the consistent busyness sticks out from the other ET techs that I follow. (I think the consistency is felt through the ratio of the major thirds beating to the minor thirds beating in a triad - no matter where on the keyboard, the ratio should be the same in ET - tricky to accomplish!)

Last time he followed up on me, he made a point to find me and say "hey, you left it in ET this time for me!" He knows I usually use a really mild WT, but it never is a cause for concern - our seasonal (sometimes weekly) fluctuations are far greater than any few cents difference in the temperament!

Ron Koval
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#2158179 - 09/26/13 06:24 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
All of our lives, our pitch reference has almost exclusively been a piano, ..., - primarily from a piano.

For a vocalist, I believe that is probably true. Introduction to singing is often in a choral tradition, accompanied by a fixed pitch, keyboard instrument.

But, instrumentalists are trained and 'grow up' without the influence of a fixed pitch instrument. Being accompanied by a piano is a very minor experience compared to being in a band or orchestra. The major influence affecting the concept of intonation is developed through the means of ensemble, rather than tempering intonation to a fixed pitch instrument.


My comment was in response to peekay's post regarding singers and just intonation. Sure, it's different with regards to instrumentalists.
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#2158257 - 09/26/13 08:41 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: peekay]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: peekay
Originally Posted By: rxd

And where on earth does anybody get the idea that Pythagorean is a "natural" temperament and what does that mean anyway?

Pythagorean and Just Intonation are musical tunings which correspond to naturally occurring harmonic series.

Originally Posted By: rxd

[...]That surely would be a readily apparent contradiction in terms. So is the idea that there are many forms of just intonation. Just is just.

Wow, no, I can't begin to tell you how wrong that statement is. But, in a way, it might explain why many in this thread have a hard time understanding why any a cappella choir will gravitate to Just Intonation.

Just Intonation is not one tuning or scale. Just Intonation is a system of tunings, all of which correspond to a harmonic series. That is to say, for a particular Just Intonation tuning, every note in that tuning correspond to the same harmonic series.

Mathematically, we can construct a particular Just Intonation tuning by using integer ratios of (small) prime multiples. Since there are many ways we can arrange ratios of these numbers, there are many ways we can construct Just Intonation tunings.

The Pythagorean tuning, for example, is a Just Intonation tuning where the largest prime (N) is limited to 3. So the N=3 ratios in the Pythagorean system are based on powers of 2 and 3.

Another way to construct a (different) Just Intonation tuning is to use primes up to 5 (so the N=5 ratios are powers of 2, 3 and 5). The Ptolemy's Sequence is one example of a N=5 Just Intonation scale (there are many others).

Of course we can construct Just Intonation tunings based on higher prime limits, e.g., M=7, M=11, M=13, etc. Additionally there are also many tunings not based on 12-note scales.

For singers to sing in harmony, sooner or later they will converge on a harmonic series (if not accompanied by a tempered instrument). This is why there is always a pull to Just Intonation, since by definition a collection of notes from a harmonic series forms a Just Intonation tuning.


Then why is it that they don't?
Have you listened closely to anything yet?
Is this your own work or what you understand from someone else's work?
There's a lot missing.

Try this;

Write a 3 part progression that goes from Cmajor directly to a chord of E major by means of 2 voices moving in opposite directions by a small minor second and the third voice staying still and then works back to C through a series of dominants. Does your hypothetical choir end up flat, sharp, or in tune? And by how much? Then work it out with the opening progression moving by large minor seconds. How do the results differ? Then do it all again in a minor key. (c# minor to A minor as the opening progression).

You can play with it more by using progressions of just thirds alternating with Pythagorean thirds (is a Pythagorean third a natural interval in and of itself? how would I construct one if I were to sing one?). The combinations are endless.

Then get it sung by real people. 10 seperate groups of 3 people with the random smattering of those with or without what is commonly known as perfect or absolute pitch. That should produce enough variety. What did they eventually gravitate to? Which of your theoretical findings did it agree with?

All fascinating stuff. Have fun with it.
_________________________
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2158322 - 09/26/13 11:18 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
How absurd. I'm not about to hire world class singers, and strand them in a deserted island for a few weeks to demonstrate what is already known: a convergence to just intonation.

It's easy to be a denier, without zero evidence and only anecdotal observations.

Stating bizarre things like "just is just" doesn't make it right and only shows lack of knowledge.

However, there is ample scientific evidence saying otherwise. The following references came from the last paper, maybe you care to refute all of them?

As the saying goes: "Have fun with it". wink


Alldahl, Per-Gunnar. 2004. Intonation i kör-sång (Stockholm: Gehrmans Musikförlag)
Backus, John. 1969. The acoustical foundations of music (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc.)
Barbour, James Murray. 1951. Tuning and temperament: a historical survey (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications Inc.)

Bohrer, Jocelei Cirilo Soares. 2002. Intonational Strategies in Ensemble Singing (London: Ph.D. dissertation, City University)
Brown, Oren. 1996. Discover your voice (San Diego, CA: Singular publishing group)

Butler, David. 1992. The Musician’s Guide to Perception and Cognition (New York: Schirmer Books)

Covey-Crump, Rogers. 1992. ‘Vocal Consort Style and Tuning’ in Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought, II, ed. by J. Paynter and others (London and New York: Routledge Reference)

Devaney, Johanna. 2006. ‘A methodology for the study and modeling of choral intonation practices’, Conference proceeding of the 2006 International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna)
Devaney, Johanna and Daniel P. W. Ellis. 2008. ‘An Empirical Approach to Studying Intonation Tendencies in Polyphonic Vocal Performances’ in Journal of interdisciplinary music studies, 2/1&2
Duffin, Ross W.. 2007. How equal temperament ruined harmony (and why you should care) (New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.)
Goebl, Werner and Caroline Palmer. 2009. ‘Synchronization of timing and motion among performing musicians’ in Music Perception, 26/5, (CA: University of California Press), pp. 427-38

Hagerman B. and J. Sundberg. 1980. ‘Fundamental frequency adjustment in barbershop singing’ in Speech Transmission Laboratory Quarterly Progress and Status Report (STL-QPSR 21-1/1980), pp. 28-42
Helmholtz, Herman L. F.. 1954. On the Sensations of tone as a physiological basis for the theory of music, 2nd edition of the 4th German ed. of 1877 (New York: Dover Publications Inc.)
Larson, Steve. 2004. ‘Musical Forces and Melodic Expectations: Comparing Computer Models and Experimental Results’ in Music Perception, 21/4 (CA: University of California Press), pp. 457-99
Lerdahl, Fred. 2001. Tonal Pitch Space (New York: Oxford University Press)

Lerdahl, F. and C. L. Krumhansl. 2007. ‘Modelling tonal tension’ in Music Perception, 24/4 (CA: University of California Press), pp. 329-66
Loosen, Franz. 1995. ‘The Effect of Musical Experience on the Conception of Accurate Tuning’ in Music Perception, 12/3 (CA: University of California Press), pp. 291-306
Mandelbaum, Joel. 1974. ‘Review: Toward the Expansion of Our Concepts of Intonation’ in Perspectives of New Music, 13/1 (Seattle, WA: University of Washington), pp. 216-26
MacClintock, Carol. 1979. Readings in the history of music in performance (Bloomington and London: Indiana university press)
Morley, Thomas. 1597. A plain & easy introduction to practical music, ed. by R. Alec Harman (New York: W. W. Norton Company)
Norden, Norris Lindsay. 1936. ‘A new theory of Untempered Music’ in The Musical Quarterly, XXII, pp. 217-36

Plomp, Reinier. 1976. Aspects of Tone Sensation (London: Academic Press)

Tosi, Pier Francesco. 1747. Observations on the Florid Song; or, Sentiments on the Ancient and Modern Singers, translated by Mr. Galliard (London: J. Wilcox)
Schön, Donald. 1987. Educating the reflective practitioner (San-Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass)
Seashore, Carl E.. 1938. Psychology of Music (New York: Dover Publications Inc.)

Sundberg, Johan. 2001. The Science of the singing voice (Stockholm: Proprius förlag)

Vurma, A. and J. Ross. 2006. ‘Production and perception of musical intervals’ in Music Perception, 23/4 (CA: University of California Press) pp. 331-44
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#2158361 - 09/27/13 01:25 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rysowers Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2494
Loc: Olympia, WA
Here' my argument for why ET is the logical standard for tuning. Using the analogy of a target, consider the following:
We have 12 targets to represent the 12 notes of our temperament.
-Imagine each tuned note represents an arrow on its target.
-For the sake of this argument let's assume that if a note is on the target it will be basically unnoticeable to a client. Perhaps if they are a connoisseur they may recognize the tuning as not being ET, but there will be no wolfs.
-If we tune a strict equal temperament the arrows will all be in the bulls eye area of the target.

Here's the problem with the well tunings: Some of those arrows will be closer to the edges of the target. Humidity change and use will cause some of those arrows to drift. Once they drift off the target they become noticeable to the client as being out of tune.

With ET the notes will stay on target for longer. With changes in weather, the tuning will change, but it will sort of morph into some sort of well-tuning before it becomes noticeably out.

In other words with ET you get some of both worlds - the balanced, symmetrical sound of ET, which naturally evolves into a WT before deteriorating into just plain out of tune.

With UT, you will never experience the ET sound, and with humidity change the tuning will become noticeably off sooner.

As a professional tuner, one of my main concerns is stability. Since ET is arguable more stable than UT, it is a more logical choice for the standard tuning.


Edited by rysowers (09/27/13 01:27 AM)
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#2158369 - 09/27/13 02:04 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Peekay,
The whole world says so is not an answer.
The OP asked If there should be a standard.
The standard is currently ET
Why?
The whole world says so.
Many of us here do not accept that as an answer. Particularly those of us who listen intently.

I don't think it absurd to ask you for your own personal listening experience. To rely on the opinion of others is living vicariously, don't you think?

The reference to a desert island is your invention. Reduction ad absurdam is, among other cheap arguing techniques, often exposed in this forum for what it is. Getting a bunch of singers together locally should not be difficult for someone of your apparent experience and worldliness nor should the mathematics be beyond you. The exercise I gave you was based on something that occurred on a broadcast some years ago that has intrigued me for many years.
_________________________
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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#2158376 - 09/27/13 02:17 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rysowers]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Here' my argument for why ET is the logical standard for tuning. Using the analogy of a target, consider the following:
We have 12 targets to represent the 12 notes of our temperament.
-Imagine each tuned note represents an arrow on its target.
-For the sake of this argument let's assume that if a note is on the target it will be basically unnoticeable to a client. Perhaps if they are a connoisseur they may recognize the tuning as not being ET, but there will be no wolfs.
-If we tune a strict equal temperament the arrows will all be in the bulls eye area of the target.

Here's the problem with the well tunings: Some of those arrows will be closer to the edges of the target. Humidity change and use will cause some of those arrows to drift. Once they drift off the target they become noticeable to the client as being out of tune.

With ET the notes will stay on target for longer. With changes in weather, the tuning will change, but it will sort of morph into some sort of well-tuning before it becomes noticeably out.

In other words with ET you get some of both worlds - the balanced, symmetrical sound of ET, which naturally evolves into a WT before deteriorating into just plain out of tune.

With UT, you will never experience the ET sound, and with humidity change the tuning will become noticeably off sooner.

As a professional tuner, one of my main concerns is stability. Since ET is arguable more stable than UT, it is a more logical choice for the standard tuning.

Ryan, I totally agree.
However, one of the points of WT is that the harmony becomes closer to acoustically in tune as the home key is approached. That WT's become further from the commonly accepted ideals of melodic intonation as the home keys are approached is being conveniently ignored here for the time being.
The seemingly random nature of ET going out of tune would make it a mere UT.

I agree that the finer the tuning is of any temperament, the more almost constant attention to keep it there.

_________________________
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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#2158377 - 09/27/13 02:18 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
Withindale Offline
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Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Peekay, I'm afraid the mathematics of this is quite beyond me.

When it comes to setting a standard for tuning a piano, are you saying that ET is unsuitable because it is not a musical tuning which corresponds to a naturally occurring harmonic series?

Are there any such series that could be used as a practical basis for piano tunings?
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#2158803 - 09/27/13 08:51 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
pppat Offline
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Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 1195
Loc: Jakobstad, Finland
Hmm... regarding Ryan's post, my logic tells me that it should be that way. The wider M3's should make it prone to disaster, in case the humidity changes by chance happens to widen it even further.

But my personal experience is quite different, my UT tunings stay acceptable longer than my ET's during the challenging humidity sways. I can't explain this. Maybe they are pulling themselves back towards the ET that they have grown accustomed to earlier? In that case, I will start encouraging ET tunings, then I can come in and do the personal painting grin

Regarding choirs, solo singers, string quartets, orchestras and so on, they intonate to the harmony, of course. If a piano is included, then that's the given reference point, which other musicians succeed to a varying degree in intonating to.

If there is no fixed pitch, all the intervals will be intonated from a musical point of view, not from our compromise (=temperament). There will be 3rds that are wider and narrower than ET, and there will be some ET 3rds, too. They will actually be all over the place.

As Isaac says, there is definitely a tendency to brighten (=widen) major 3rds if the harmony calls for it, especially on dominants and secondary dominants, in order to make the half step up to the tonic as small as possible. On the other hand, it's quite normal to use a considerably narrower major 3rd (approaching just) on the tonic chord ending a cadence, for example.

rxd -> I like your forgotten perfect pitch at A=457! At the pace we are moving up in the rest of Europe (england is still largely 440, isn't it), soon you will be right on target smile
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#2158841 - 09/27/13 11:50 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: pppat]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: pppat
Hmm... regarding Ryan's post, my logic tells me that it should be that way. The wider M3's should make it prone to disaster, in case the humidity changes by chance happens to widen it even further.

But my personal experience is quite different, my UT tunings stay acceptable longer than my ET's during the challenging humidity sways. I can't explain this. Maybe they are pulling themselves back towards the ET that they have grown accustomed to earlier? In that case, I will start encouraging ET tunings, then I can come in and do the personal painting grin

Regarding choirs, solo singers, string quartets, orchestras and so on, they intonate to the harmony, of course. If a piano is included, then that's the given reference point, which other musicians succeed to a varying degree in intonating to.

If there is no fixed pitch, all the intervals will be intonated from a musical point of view, not from our compromise (=temperament). There will be 3rds that are wider and narrower than ET, and there will be some ET 3rds, too. They will actually be all over the place.

As Isaac says, there is definitely a tendency to brighten (=widen) major 3rds if the harmony calls for it, especially on dominants and secondary dominants, in order to make the half step up to the tonic as small as possible. On the other hand, it's quite normal to use a considerably narrower major 3rd (approaching just) on the tonic chord ending a cadence, for example.

rxd -> I like your forgotten perfect pitch at A=457! At the pace we are moving up in the rest of Europe (england is still largely 440, isn't it), soon you will be right on target smile


If anything, the real burning issue of the day is still pitch. it hasn't been about temperament for many generations. It is a real issue here. The International Proms series uses 3 x 9' pianos in the Royal Albert Hall that are kept at a nominal 440 with the usual slight upward variance for practical purposes, and another 3 at 442-3. With the expense of moving them in and out of off site storage every few days for visiting orchestras, this will easily double the cost of supplying pianos over the season. That is only the main venue, there are many others.

When British orchestras tour, there is a sentence in the contract that is more of a reminder of the pitch difference. Orchestral musicians here are far more practical in this matter, most of them having a very active and varied freelance life outside the orchestra.

455-6-7 was an accepted concert pitch here and in parts of America, certainly NY, until 1895. The original proms were funded by an impresario/singer and his Harley St. Throat doctor on condition they used 439 at 65 degrees F. The way had been prepared by the new philharmonic changing a few years before. The record shows that the musicians readily accepted it.
457 persisted in all levels of the British brass band tradition until the mid 1960's. That change was accompanied by much rancour but the major manufacturers of instruments simply ceased making them in two different pitches.

I mention all this in order to put this temperamental (sic) argument into some sort of perspective.

The vocal intonation issue. I used to have much experience of opera both in rehearsal and performance. I entertained the possibility that the resonances of the theatre may have been an influence because I noticed differences in singers intonation between rehearsals in an empty theatre and a full one. The difficulties in hearing the orchestra from the stage are well known.

The choir director on the international recordings and broadcasts of christmas music in the British cathedral tradition was known for his exageration of melodic intonation to the relatively inexperienced choirboys, His lay clerks used to sing an upward scale, jokingly, that went so wildly sharp on the first 3 notes that they had to go down a semitone for the 4th degree of the scale. Judging by his sterling recordings and broadcasts, his teaching method worked. I have had the pleasure of singing in the same tradition under the direction of his successor. All this also probably has much to do with cathedral acoustics.

There was much consternation that I have no direct experience of when organ builders started inventing their own temperaments, some of them are far to extreme for modern practical use. There is an otherwise fine organ in the hall that I am usually given to deliver my discussions on tuning that I use in F# for a couple of excrutiating measures and then play a sequence from Bach that goes through the keys in order to demonstrate how it gets more in tune as the mother key is approached.

I totally agree, Pat, the complexities of flexible pitch intonation, accompanied and unaccompanied cannot be reduced to any formula.
_________________________
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2158849 - 09/28/13 12:20 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Rxd, do you know Andrew Sinclair, perchance?
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#2158877 - 09/28/13 01:43 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Rxd, do you know Andrew Sinclair, perchance?



Yes. I assume you mean the opera director/producer but for those who know him, there could only ever be one Andrew. He's the quintessential opera director that central casting would send.
Our paths used to converge often at the Dartington international opera, mainly, but I haven't seen him since that ceased to exist. I can still picture him now.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2158887 - 09/28/13 02:04 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Rxd, do you know Andrew Sinclair, perchance?



Yes. I assume you mean the opera director/producer but for those who know him, there could only ever be one Andrew. He's the quintessential opera director that central casting would send.
Our paths used to converge often at the Dartington international opera, mainly, but I haven't seen him since that ceased to exist. I can still picture him now.


He's directed several operas I've been in here in San Diego. Yes, absolutely, there can only ever be one Andrew! laugh My first show with him was when we did the Covent Garden production of Lohengrin in 2000.



Me as a Teutonic knight...

He and I stay in touch on Facebook, when he's not here directing.
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#2158910 - 09/28/13 04:28 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
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yesterday I tuned a vertical piano that have been delivered in june.

on the whole instrument I had to really turn 4 or 5 tuning pins (foot moved)

On the others I was under the impression I was working in fine tuning mode of a radio reciver or similar micrometric fine knob.

that was possible because it is easy for me to hear if a note is in the mood with others or no (base primarly on octaves but octaves serve to detection, other intervals confirm , with eventually 5th tuned directly)

I could not do that on an UT unless I where trained to recognize the level of distance from tempering of each interval.

In ET, the "map" of the tuning is easy to build.

Not an argument but my tunings are so stable that customers do not call me, only on recent pianos I experiment pitch corrections.

The context of course is moderate playing. Working for heavy handed and for intense playing mean something else but even in schools our work can be made easier a lot when stability is envisaged not only for unison but for the whole structure.

Some time ago I noticed as some (rare) old and experienced colleagues where obtaining very good tuning in schools, while the opposite is more the norm usually, and school pianos are really often approximate.

I had a good firm pin setting, did not had trouble in concerts with that, and did simply not imagine it could be made firmer.
I know today how that can be attained. goes better with ET. (sorry for the OT)
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#2158942 - 09/28/13 07:19 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Rxd, do you know Andrew Sinclair, perchance?



Yes. I assume you mean the opera director/producer but for those who know him, there could only ever be one Andrew. He's the quintessential opera director that central casting would send.
Our paths used to converge often at the Dartington international opera, mainly, but I haven't seen him since that ceased to exist. I can still picture him now.


He's directed several operas I've been in here in San Diego. Yes, absolutely, there can only ever be one Andrew! laugh My first show with him was when we did the Covent Garden production of Lohengrin in 2000.



Me as a Teutonic knight...

He and I stay in touch on Facebook, when he's not here directing.



All you need is one of Marty's zauberalpenhorns. (I knew there'd be a tie-in sooner or later)
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2158971 - 09/28/13 09:12 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Didn't the Sandy Eggo Opera mount a production of The Magic Tuba?
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#2158986 - 09/28/13 09:34 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
pppat Offline
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Originally Posted By: rxd


All you need is one of Marty's zauberalpenhorns. (I knew there'd be a tie-in sooner or later)


grin
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#2159022 - 09/28/13 10:59 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
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Is not the thing he hold in left hand a sort of tuba?

OK may be just the pic is unclear,
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#2159026 - 09/28/13 11:03 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Isaac,

Think of Mozart and Sousa at the same time and you will understand.

It's a joke!
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#2159041 - 09/28/13 11:44 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

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Die Zauberflöte mit Sousaphon. Marking my calendar.
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#2159091 - 09/28/13 02:07 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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If you knew Sousa like I know Sousa
Oh. Oh. Oh what a gal.

Praps even more obscure.
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Eschew obfuscation.



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#2159112 - 09/28/13 02:53 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
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Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Didn't the Sandy Eggo Opera mount a production of The Magic Tuba?


Oh yes, several times.

I am NOT posting the photo of me in costume for that one...





Edited by OperaTenor (09/28/13 02:53 PM)
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#2159114 - 09/28/13 02:54 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: bkw58]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: bkw58

Die Zauberflöte mit Sousaphon. Marking my calendar.


Papageno's aria, accompanied by sousaphone...

Oy...
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#2159139 - 09/28/13 03:24 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Tee-Hee-Hee - I was in the audience.

Here's the basso tubaralis soloist:



And here's the chorus finale:

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#2159277 - 09/28/13 06:49 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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In WW1 they used huge ear trumpets just like that to listen for enemy aircraft before radar. Is that what he's using that Tuba for?
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Eschew obfuscation.



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#2159282 - 09/28/13 06:54 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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rxd - you must be hooked on Qi also!
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#2159312 - 09/28/13 07:18 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
rxd Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
rxd - you must be hooked on Qi also!


Yes. Is it on PBS? Those stations kept me in touch all the time I was living over there. There was a station here broadcasting "Prairie home Companion" but I can't seem to find it any more. That was always a reminder of Sunday afternoons in America either driving or sitting in the garden listening to the radio.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2159319 - 09/28/13 07:28 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Well, actually Saturday afternoons for PHC. Lake Woebegone is fairly close to me.

Qi is found on YouTube and quickly posted after it airs on BBC. I'm enjoying the K series, as always.
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Marty in Minnesota

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#2159412 - 09/28/13 11:00 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Between repeats and different timings of the three PBS stations I could recieve PHC seemed to be available all weekend on one station or another. Like QI here, it's on one station in repeats twice most nights, sometimes a whole night of it.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2160619 - 10/01/13 09:49 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Registered: 05/27/13
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There is already a Standard. It's A-440 and Equal Temperment. Other pitches and temperments are fun to play around with on your own time. But you are paid, as a technician to do the standard tuning!Enough said
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#2160637 - 10/01/13 10:38 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
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That might be all you get paid for, but I also get paid to make the piano a conduit for musical expression - which means for my clients, hardly ever placing strict ET on a piano. Oh, and depending on the frequency of tuning and the humidity in the room, I also get paid to float the pitch somewhere between 438 and 442 or so...


Ron Koval
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#2160661 - 10/01/13 11:36 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Ron, Exactly! I will float the pitch whichever way the customer wants and pays me to float it .(remember, the customer is always right, even when they're not)
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#2160668 - 10/01/13 11:48 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Floating the pitch does not work for me. More notes are at pitch than off. Admittedly, the climate is not harsh around here.
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#2160675 - 10/02/13 12:10 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Ron, Exactly! I will float the pitch whichever way the customer wants and pays me to float it .(remember, the customer is always right, even when they're not)

Tuners are not always right. Even when they think they are. The best ones often are. Even when they think they aren't. 'Nuff said. wink
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#2160693 - 10/02/13 01:20 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
OperaTenor Offline
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Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Ron, Exactly! I will float the pitch whichever way the customer wants and pays me to float it .(remember, the customer is always right, even when they're not)

Tuners are not always right. Even when they think they are. The best ones often are. Even when they think they aren't. 'Nuff said. wink



Ooooh. That's gonna leave a mark...

_________________________
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#2161420 - 10/03/13 09:15 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Opera, THE STADARD is a-440, and Equal Temperment. If a customer(usually this is one of those "smartest man in the room" types), insist I tune his paino to something LESS than the STANDARD, then I will give it my best shot. However the dude is going to pay out the rear for me to spend the extra time required to de-tune his piano
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#2161423 - 10/03/13 09:23 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Opera, THE STADARD is a-440, and Equal Temperment. If a customer(usually this is one of those "smartest man in the room" types), insist I tune his paino to something LESS than the STANDARD, then I will give it my best shot. However the dude is going to pay out the rear for me to spend the extra time required to de-tune his piano

Amazing - Congratulations for knowing that that there is a STADARD for paino and it is a-440. You have proven you know nothing about opera or temperament.

BTW - Haven't you been warned before about not listing your professional affiliation?
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#2161427 - 10/03/13 09:29 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Also, is a-440 some strange way of indicating Ab?
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#2161445 - 10/03/13 10:04 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
BDB Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Opera, THE STADARD is a-440, and Equal Temperment. If a customer(usually this is one of those "smartest man in the room" types), insist I tune his paino to something LESS than the STANDARD, then I will give it my best shot. However the dude is going to pay out the rear for me to spend the extra time required to de-tune his piano

Amazing - Congratulations for knowing that that there is a STADARD for paino and it is a-440. You have proven you know nothing about opera or temperament.


Well, there are certainly standards for spelling "STANDARD", "Temperament", and "piano"! smile
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#2161481 - 10/03/13 11:43 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Be a real Technician. Learn to tune by ear. Learn to set an Equal Temperment. And anything other than A440 is simply lame
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#2161487 - 10/04/13 12:09 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Registered: 05/27/13
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If you can't set a temperment by ear, you are a wannabe tuner. It's no more complicated than that
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#2161652 - 10/04/13 09:09 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
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Gary, that might have been the case a generation ago, but really isn't a reflection of reality in this time.

While there are those that learn something once and never see the need to expand, there are others that are eager to improve by finding things to learn and explore - - those are the real techs...

Ron Koval
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#2161677 - 10/04/13 10:14 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Oh yeah? Then what does that make me??? Huh??? wink
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#2161678 - 10/04/13 10:15 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

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Standards are dictated by the needs of the market. Markets vary. Markets change. Businesses that fail to recognize this and lead (or at least adapt) accordingly usually go belly-up.
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#2161699 - 10/04/13 11:02 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Oh yeah? Then what does that make me??? Huh??? wink


That would make you a tech that believed his career was ended, only to try something new that allowed you to re-enter the biz!!

(or it might make you a bazootie-head, at this point, I'm not really sure... crazy )

Ron Koval
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#2161708 - 10/04/13 11:29 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Registered: 05/15/12
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I think there was a slight misunderstanding of who was addressing whom. I read Jim's reply to be addressed to Mr. Fowler. It can become confusing when the comment isn't specifically directed or a quote is included.

Standards seem to be flouted as Mr. Fowler refuses to acknowledge his professional affiliation in his signature line. As a pianist, I could make exactly the same statement. As far as learning from experience is concerned, he seems to not have yet learned the proper spelling of "temperament."
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#2161725 - 10/04/13 12:21 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Registered: 01/09/10
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Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
[...] Ooooh. That's gonna leave a mark... [...]


I doubt it, OpTen.

Here's a story: I have a friend who happens to be a real toughie of the bar fighting variety. He's mellowed a bit with age, but still... Truth be told, he has a very big, and very hard cranium. It is readily apparent, because he shaves his head. Anyway, being theater dads, we were working on building a set for a production. He was the boss. I was the painter. We were having an argument about color and pattern--it got pretty heated, but then, before it came to blows, I realized what I was up against. I said, "Even if I *could* hit you hard enough to ring your bell, I know it wouldn't make any difference." He smiled and said, "Your right."

Well, at least I was right about something.
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#2161750 - 10/04/13 01:45 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rysowers Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2494
Loc: Olympia, WA
To Mr. Gary Fowler,

First of all, I can sympathize with your position: ET is the way to go in most cases, and is obviously the generally accepted standard in our industry. But you must realize that it is not so black and white. As Ron pointed out earlier, there is equal temperament and then there is EQUAL TEMPERAMENT.

Have you taken the Piano Technician Guild Tuning exam? If not, how do you know how accurate your temperament really is? Do you think you could score 100%? Very few people do. And even at 100% with the one cent tolerance it won't be an *EXACT* equal temperament.

Are your temperaments 100% accurate within a 1 cent tolerance? How about a .5 or even .2 tolerance? (I think anything beyond .2 cents is beyond normal human perception). Each technician decides how refined to make their ET based on experience, skill, and circumstances.

So we have to accept the fact that if ET is the target, we will always fall short of it to some degree. The good news is it doesn't really matter. What matters is that it *sounds* like equal temperament: gradually progressing 3rds, 6ths, and 10ths, 5ths that beat under one second, fourths that beat around one second, and pure sounding octaves.

As far as A440 being the ONLY pitch to tune for, you are simply not correct. Some professional orchestras ask for 441, 442, or even higher. Bosendorfer's standard is A=443. This quote is from their website: "The pianos are manufactured in the factory at a tuning pitch of A443 Hertz, however it may be altered between A440 Hertz and A445 Hertz according to need."

In regards to tuners who don't tune aurally being "wannabes" - that's harsh. Although I share your sentiment to some degree, there are some ETD tuners who do very well. I believe the ones who are successful do use some aural checks as part of their work. So maybe we can edit your statement to "technicians who only use an ETD and have no aural skills are wannabees! smile

There are some who will say any tuner who hasn't passed the PTG tuning exam is a wannabe. But we don't want to beat that dead horse again... tiki

I also encourage you to avoid sounding too much like a broken record on the forums. It can get tiring, and if anything it detracts from your argument. You sound like you are committed to quality work and have built a successful business. I hope we can continue to learn from your experiences.
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Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#2161753 - 10/04/13 01:51 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rysowers Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
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Here is another interesting discussion on pitch from a violin site:
http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=11273
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Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2161789 - 10/04/13 04:02 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: RonTuner]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Oh yeah? Then what does that make me??? Huh??? wink


That would make you a tech that believed his career was ended, only to try something new that allowed you to re-enter the biz!!

(or it might make you a bazootie-head, at this point, I'm not really sure... crazy )

Ron Koval


Guilty as charged!
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2161825 - 10/04/13 05:24 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
The thing I believe is that people that cannot listen to intervals while tuning are talking of a so different thing that the discussion is useless.

Aint a question of ET or no, basically, but how that ET is tuned, how much enjoyeable it is when playing.

I can understand why aural tuners are so abrubt .

To make a perfect tuning with an EDT there ar refinements to be done. Most of the time the tuners do not make them, simply because it would be too costly.

The aural tuners can perceive what is wanted, tune it the best they can , and leave some mistakes orallow the piano to move somehow. The detection of an annoying interval is times fastr by ear, but the leeway is larger.

Then if one tune constantly with ETDs, he may even forget how the intervals are listened to, what is their ADN, how that feels. :


Numerous samples on videos of the result, sometime on recordings too.

Very often, the first octave is not musically enjoyable due to compromizing

ALso, knowing how to build a temperament allow to correct tunings very fast

Here is what was mean as ET in 1954

http://www.deezer.com/track/4109378
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#2161830 - 10/04/13 05:33 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rysowers]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: rysowers
Here is another interesting discussion on pitch from a violin site:
http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=11273


That is interesting, with witnessing of many famous orchestras in US tuning to 442.

The best answer is that it gives a sharper tone to strings while not changing the winds volume, so the balance is better in favor of strings. Plausible.


Edited by Olek (10/04/13 05:41 PM)
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#2161956 - 10/05/13 12:24 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
DoelKees Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Be a real Technician. Learn to tune by ear. Learn to set an Equal Temperment. And anything other than A440 is simply lame

My troll detector is beeping.

Kees

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#2161999 - 10/05/13 05:34 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: DoelKees]
Olek Offline
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Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Be a real Technician. Learn to tune by ear. Learn to set an Equal Temperment. And anything other than A440 is simply lame

My troll detector is beeping.

Kees


No, if something is worth fighting for is real tuners learning to listen.
This is not because a less trained or not so much "pianistic" tuner will not obtain accepteable tunings with the help of ETD, way better than if he tune by ear without enough mastering.

But because this psuh the eventual tuners to a trap where their musical taste is modified in the end.

And loosing that part of the trade would be a real bad thing.

Sensitive tuners are more frequent today (my impression) in the part of the world I leave, because the training is better , things are better explained, but reducing tuning to the respect of even intervals and having that judged by a software, is a real mistake.

Reintroducing differences in intervals size without being able to judge those ones when tuning is also a big one.

It sound evident to me that the light WT sound better than the machine driven ET, more surprise for the ears, mistakes not so apparent, more "tension/release" effects, but the warmness of a good ET tuning done by a sensitive aural tuner contains all that yet, plus an equilibrium sensation that pianists like.

EDT tuners DO NOT check intervals, the machines do not allow that unless you stop notes recognizing features and you move the notes one by one yourself. (plus the "precision" is too much, the tuner must have trained ears and at some point the ETD agrees with them +-)

NO ETD can judge the "energy" or the "activity" of intervals.

They only can show that some partials are not lining. Do we want partials to line ? which ones ? on what string (strings differ in length often in the same unison and that on many pianos) How does it sound when all 3 strings are tuned together ? what is the interval activity at that point ?

After some time they purely stand by what the machine propose. Unless they took the time to refine the computed tuning and record it this is a generic thing, not human, not musical, and slightly uncomfortable for that reason !

Now that experienced / concert tuners have a machine in their tool box is less rare than one think. It may serve to put a tuning skeleton on pianos badly out of tune, help for pitch precision , and for other occasions.

But it is not the same that tuners that cannot gain enough confidence in themselves and stop trying.

Basically I humbly suggest that the pin and wire setting are difficult to learn and not properly explained (or explained in so different ways that the fundamentals are not clear to the tuner very often) Pianos reacting differently in different sections does not help to gain a method.

Lack of good samples to look at, lack of masters to show the apprentice, is a real problem.

Low level exigence from the audience is another.









Edited by Olek (10/05/13 05:40 AM)
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#2162050 - 10/05/13 09:19 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: DoelKees]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Be a real Technician. Learn to tune by ear. Learn to set an Equal Temperment. And anything other than A440 is simply lame

My troll detector is beeping.

This particular poster is dropping hit-and-runs in the Piano Forum as well. Since he refuses to list any professional affiliation in his sig line, though he claims to be a tuner within his postings, I question his credibility also.
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#2162053 - 10/05/13 09:25 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

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"Pride cometh before the fall"

I was rather proud of tuning exclusively aural. That is, until being humbled by an entire stage crew showing up late and during tuning time and with less than two hours till show time. Seeing my dilemma, the stage manager pulled a small electronic gizmo out of his case, the likes of which I'd never seen. "What's that?" I asked. "An electronic tuner," he replied. "How do you use it?" I asked. "Think I should call someone else?" he asked?

"Yeah."

It's best to learn both aural and ETD. You'll always have the other to fall back on.
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#2162068 - 10/05/13 10:32 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Bob, OT, but I just noticed the link at the bottom of your sig. How long has this been around?
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#2162199 - 10/05/13 04:12 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Bob, OT, but I just noticed the link at the bottom of your sig. How long has this been around?


Thanks, Jim. The piano blog? 2011, I think.
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#2162292 - 10/05/13 09:25 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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I stated what my feelings were at the beginning of the topic.

I would be interested in hearing:

1. If there should not be a standard, why bothering tuning at all?
2. If there should be other standards, what should they be, and why?
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#2162313 - 10/05/13 10:27 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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Bkw, make sure your fork is properly calibrated. Do that and if you tune Equal Temperment, you are GOLDEN
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#2162326 - 10/05/13 11:01 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: BDB
I stated what my feelings were at the beginning of the topic.

I would be interested in hearing:

1. If there should not be a standard, why bothering tuning at all?
2. If there should be other standards, what should they be, and why?

Intonation is a totally different concept than temperament. Commonality is different than a standard.
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#2162333 - 10/05/13 11:11 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Which means what, with respect to the original topic?
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#2162345 - 10/05/13 11:28 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: BDB
If there should not be a standard, why bothering tuning at all?

Surely you don't suggest throwing intonation out the window.
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#2162362 - 10/06/13 12:28 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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I said there were standards. Other people are still arguing about it. I do not understand why. I would like to.

You seem to understand what I am saying better than I understand what you are saying. It behooves you to explain yourself.
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#2162466 - 10/06/13 10:11 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
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I think maybe it is the idea that if there is a standard, then everyone must conform that has cause some of the ruckus...

Is there a standard piano? Then every other piano is somehow less valued, or less useful.

Is there a standard dynamic range? No other piano should be produced that doesn't fit the standard...

Is there a standard voicing for a piano? Then if you don't make an effort to make every piano sound the same, you aren't a real tech...

Is there a standard touch for the piano? Again, anything outside of the "standard" isn't a piano...

Is there a standard size for a piano?
Is there a standard finish for a piano?

Aren't having more choices/flexibility a good thing for the consumer/musician/performer?

This discussion has pointed out how our industry has dictated to the consumer what is "good" for over a generation - taking the choice, and even the knowledge that there is a choice away from the people who are most effected by our work...

Ron Koval
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#2162489 - 10/06/13 11:04 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: BDB
I said there were standards. Other people are still arguing about it. I do not understand why. I would like to.

You seem to understand what I am saying better than I understand what you are saying. It behooves you to explain yourself.


BDB,

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm confused by your statement as I indicated in bold typeface. At the beginning of this thread you stated your premise:

"I have stated before that there are two standards: Just intonation and equal temperament. These exist by their very nature. Other temperaments are defined by them. The number of beats is the variation from just intonation. The number of cents is the variation from equal temperament."

I'm not so sure that Equal Temperament exists by "its very nature," however. It is an imposed tuning system based on mathematics and theory derivative of our twelve tone system. The introduction of thirds followed the established system of Plain Song or Chant, which is based on octaves, fourths, and fifths. Of course, that terminology didn't evolve until after the implementation of the twelve tone scale and only applies to western music. The study of the evolution of Polyphony is a very complex subject and came well before temperament came into the picture. The milestone, of course, is the Well Temperament. Even that term is now used differently that is was in the Baroque era.

I was surprised when you suggested tossing out intonation, or tuning, at all. This thread seems to suggest that ET should be the "Standard." Even that term is problematic. ET is probably the most prevalent, but should the term be codified as a "standard?" That brings us back to the very premise of this thread.

For tuners of fixed pitch instruments, I doubt there will ever be a consensus of opinion. This is due to the fact that other instrumentalists and vocalists are not dedicated to ET as a "standard." Since a non fixed pitch instrumentalist or a vocalist does not naturally "hear" in ET, and temperament is totally different perception than intonation, this difference will continue.

A tuner is taught to listen for a totally different structure than is a vocalist or instrumentalist (non-fixed pitch).

Behoovingly,
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#2162519 - 10/06/13 12:33 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

A tuner is taught to listen for a totally different structure than is a vocalist or instrumentalist (non-fixed pitch).

Behoovingly,


As a vocalist - who has been lauded for his intonation (just sayin') - and primarily aural tuner, I don't know if i can sign on to this notion.

Maybe I'm just oblivious to what I do... wink
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#2162573 - 10/06/13 02:12 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Hi Jim,

When you are singing are you thinking about partials, cents, inharmonicity, and stretch? Or, does your ear sense overtones to create a pleasing blend within accurate intonation?

Can you state that whenever you are singing, you are singing in ET? Does your intonation match the 'common whole' or do you only hear in ET?

I am using ET as absolute in its definition. Even in this, many of the tuners admitted that they vary from ET, but still define it as ET. Terminology becomes a major issue between tuners and performers. Did your formal training in voice precede your training as a tuner? Was the term 'overtone' or 'harmonic' more familiar than 'partial?'

Take, for instance, the term voicing. To a pianist, that is the relative volume control within a chord, and the phrasing from chord to chord. What a tuner/tech referrers to as voicing, a pianist would call tone regulation or adjustment. Context of any given term is very important and often there is error in the 'translation.'

I'm not trying to be a grump, I'm only attempting to offer another viewpoint. I've used a lot of 'either-or questions,' but in reality, it is even more complex and not cut and dried at all.
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#2162627 - 10/06/13 04:01 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Equal temperament can be derived from the existence of octaves and fifths or other intervals, without reference to anything other than a single note, just as with just intonation. In that sense, I claim that it exists by its very nature.

It differs from just intonation in that just intonation depends on that single note being more important tonally than any other. That single note is arbitrary for just intonation. Any single note is arbitrary for equal temperament.

That is the sense in which I believe these two temperaments to exist by their very nature, and why they are standards. That, and because, as I said, everything else is defined by them.

Are there any other temperaments which could qualify as a standard by similar criteria? I think not.

Whether or not you can tune something exactly to equal temperament is not germane to the discussion. The objections brought up apply equally to just intonation and any other temperament that one can imagine.
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#2162630 - 10/06/13 04:09 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Dear Grump ( laugh ),

You may use "absolute ET," but I think just about everyone here has conceded that is the goal, not the reality. But while some of us are talking about variations of several cents, others of us - me, for instance, are talking about more subtle variations, i.e., adjusting ET to the idiosyncrasies of a particular instrument (i.e., less than that).

I know that our rehearsal pianos are tuned in ET, and that I am almost an outlier from the group in my ability to match what I hear to the sound I make. I also know that I can hear in the ensemble where the intervals lie with regard to temperament. Given that, when we sing (I'm referring to the opera here), we must be singing in ET, because we match our pitch reference. I would hear the difference.

One disclaimer: Some here already know that I have drug-induced tinnitus; my ears have been ringing since 1992, when I was given gentamicin for a life-threatening infection (I had MRSA before it was cool). After that, I thought I would never tune again, until Ron Koval showed me a different method (listening for the "sweet spot" in the fundamental, as opposed to the highest audible coinciding partial). It has worked wonders, and has made me a better tuner than I was using the conventional method (I now have a string of customers six years long who can attest to that). I also thought at the time that it might have killed my career as a singer, but it didn't. Some people think I've overcompensated, because my pitch is so exacting any more when I sing. I've also been used as a wall between a bad singer and the rest of the section, because I can apparently hear selectively well enough to sing through the bad pitch reference at my side.

One area where the tinnitus is not a factor is in tuning intervals, since that involves the lowest coinciding partial.

My training as a tuner preceded my formal vocal training, FWIW. I apprenticed a rebuilder when I was 16-17. I referred to them as partials long before i heard the term harmonic or overtone.



Edited by OperaTenor (10/06/13 04:14 PM)
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#2162658 - 10/06/13 05:10 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Jim, you are indeed the exception.

Do you find a shift in temperament, in the entire ensemble, when you shift from the rehearsal piano to the rehearsals with orchestra?
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#2162698 - 10/06/13 06:03 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
alfredo capurso Offline
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Nice thread, thank you All. a.c.
.
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#2162723 - 10/06/13 07:11 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Withindale Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely?

Did this question relate to a standard for tuning pianos, or to all musical instruments and ensembles including choirs?

Was the standard meant to be a theoretical or a practical one?
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#2162752 - 10/06/13 09:18 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Jim, you are indeed the exception.

Do you find a shift in temperament, in the entire ensemble, when you shift from the rehearsal piano to the rehearsals with orchestra?


Yes, but it's a blend with the orchestra, not necessarily just intonation. Keep in mind, this is the Sandy Eggo Symphony we're talking about... wink
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#2162753 - 10/06/13 09:19 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Withindale]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely?

Did this question relate to a standard for tuning pianos, or to all musical instruments and ensembles including choirs?

Was the standard meant to be a theoretical or a practical one?


It was meant to pertain to piano tuning, as a general rule.
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#2162760 - 10/06/13 09:51 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB
Equal temperament can be derived from the existence of octaves and fifths or other intervals, without reference to anything other than a single note, just as with just intonation. In that sense, I claim that it exists by its very nature.

It differs from just intonation in that just intonation depends on that single note being more important tonally than any other. That single note is arbitrary for just intonation. Any single note is arbitrary for equal temperament.

That is the sense in which I believe these two temperaments to exist by their very nature, and why they are standards. That, and because, as I said, everything else is defined by them.

Are there any other temperaments which could qualify as a standard by similar criteria? I think not.

Whether or not you can tune something exactly to equal temperament is not germane to the discussion. The objections brought up apply equally to just intonation and any other temperament that one can imagine.


BDB, I believe you have nailed it. Nicely done, and nicely expressed! (I truly mean that!) thumb Everything else is in between.

I guess the thing is, due to all of the other parameters (which are, practically, infinite! grin ), how much in between one or the other does one have to be to make it sound good? wink
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#2162764 - 10/06/13 10:03 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
DoelKees Offline
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Just intonation is not a temperament, it is an intonation method that can not be implemented on a standard keyboard instrument.

Kees

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#2162772 - 10/06/13 10:15 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Kees, I agree.

And ET is not "natural," as it is a mathematical imposition on the western historic twelve note scale. Had history been different, we might very well have a 9 note scale within an octave. We are "naturally" very short on "pure" or "just" intervals. I know of only two.
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#2162774 - 10/06/13 10:29 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Kees and Marty--

Do you mean that there is nothing to be in between?
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#2162777 - 10/06/13 10:40 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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True, just intonation is not a temperament, but it is a both method of and a standard for tuning the notes within an octave. I have used the term for lack of anything better.

It certainly can be implemented on a standard keyboard, at least to the extent of available notes.

The fact that twelve fifths are very close to seven octaves, and is the only close-ratio interval which when repeated comes close to any small number of octaves is a mathematical and physical fact.

Frankly, these are tiny quibbles which only serve to impede discussion. As I have asked, if you have other standards, explain what they are and why they should be standards.
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#2162797 - 10/06/13 11:32 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
DoelKees Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Kees, I agree.

And ET is not "natural," as it is a mathematical imposition on the western historic twelve note scale. Had history been different, we might very well have a 9 note scale within an octave. We are "naturally" very short on "pure" or "just" intervals. I know of only two.


Well, the earliest keyboards had just 8 notes per octave; our current "white keys" and the Bb. This is still reflected in the German note names CDEFGABH for what we call CDEFGABbB.

Tuning standard at time was Pythagorean (11 pure 5ths) leading to a larger than ET M3 which sounds good melodically but not harmonically, but the M3 was a dissonant then so it didn't matter.

From renaissance to early baroque the standard was 1/4' meantone and esp. in Italy keyboards with split raised keys (eg one for Ab and one for G#) were quite common. Such a keyboard can be found now at the Stanford organ which has one manual with split keys. It has extra pipes and a big lever which allows you to switch from 1/5' meantone to a 1/5' well temperament on the other manuals. (1/4' would have been better was Gustav Leonhardt's comment when he played the instrument.)

Anyways 1/4' MT was the "standard" though some people were lame enough not to abide by it, for example Monteverdi.

Mid-late baroque music no longer fits on 1/4' MT and requires a well temperament, but if there was a standard or what it was is unknown. In contemporary early music circles Werckmeister 3 is almost a standard, but some performers choose their own temperament from the huge amount of historical ones that have been published, or cook up their own for the music at hand.

What happened after that I don't know, but clearly the standard for the last century has been ET, which does not mean there is no room for non-standard tunings.

Apart from standards, ET has been invented a very long time ago (3000 years ago in China it I remember correctly) and has been suggested by baroque writers like Werkmeister, Rameau, Neidhardt and undoubtedly others I don't know about. If it was used is unknown, but if not it was certainly not because they were to dumb to tune it.

At the risk of rambling on in the same manner that irritates me when others do it here, let me share that I regularly play through Bach's 48 on my piano which is tuned in a 1/6' well temperament that I like, but I avoid the remote keys such as D# minor by transposing it down to D minor (easy to do: just pretend there are no sharps but a b in the key signature). If I do play it in D# it sounds noticeably worse to me with all those wide M3's.

I don't know what Bach's point was writing in D# minor but to me it sounds better in a WT in D minor so that's how I play it. I don't have my piano in ET because to it sounds better in a WT in D minor than in ET in D# minor.

If I was somehow forced to play the 48 all in the original keys on the piano I'd choose ET. On the harpsichord on the other hand I'd take 10 min breaks between pieces and change the temperament.

And of course, on the clavichord one can play in just intonation by adjusting your key pressure. I don't have the skills to do it, but it is possible.

Kees

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#2162811 - 10/07/13 12:58 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Kees, I agree.

And ET is not "natural," as it is a mathematical imposition on the western historic twelve note scale. Had history been different, we might very well have a 9 note scale within an octave. We are "naturally" very short on "pure" or "just" intervals. I know of only two.


Since I always refer to ET as either a series of compromises, or a stack of lies, I agree, ET is hardly "natural."
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#2162830 - 10/07/13 02:50 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Whether equal temperament is "natural" or not differs from whether it exists from its very nature.

Whether you can play a clavichord in just intonation by adjusting key pressure depends on the initial tuning and the amount that one can bend the tone. Additional pressure will only raise the pitch, so you cannot take a wide interval and change the upper note to suit.

Then there is the question of how well you can match pitches. I suspect that most people would not be able to get closer to a perfect fifth in a musical passage than an equal temperament fifth on a decently tuned piano is.
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#2162884 - 10/07/13 07:01 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Sure, ET is a compilation of lies, a compromise, a force fit, etc, as are all temperaments. Some temperaments are a series of little white lies that, sooner or later, need to be covered up by a few real whoppers that anybody can see through.

I agree with Kees entirely , I also firmly believe that early musicians would retune their more conveniently tuneable keyboard instruments between pieces when necessary.

We are taught in basic music history that harpsichords were so unstable that they had to be tuned between pieces. The stability thing is as it may be but I also believe that one or two notes in each octave, register and on each keyboard would be retuned in order to form a temperament more suitable for the next piece. Doing this most likely also had an influence on the program order.

When I had a harpsichord at home, I made up my own temperaments for everything I wanted to play, I don't think I ever slavishly copied a prescribed temperament except for study and I sense that the musicians of old didn't either. Many temperaments only differ, in essence, by one or two notes and can be changed in a minute or two (less on a simpler instrument) without entire retuning.
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#2162895 - 10/07/13 07:53 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
Ed Foote Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB

Then there is the question of how well you can match pitches. I suspect that most people would not be able to get closer to a perfect fifth in a musical passage than an equal temperament fifth on a decently tuned piano is.


Greetings,
I suspect that most people wouldn't get anywhere near as close other than by sheer luck. That ET fifth is effectively pure to the majority of ears. Techs do a pretty good job at guessing, but musicians? String players? I have never found anyone that could tell me even if it was wide or narrow. I have played a C on the piano and asked players to give me an F below. Interesting results, and NOBODY is consistently as close as an ET fifth. Their first stab is usually the closest, and then they get progressively worse as they attempt to intellectually locate the pitches.

Occasionally, a player will lock in and give me a pure fifth, but when you ask them to flatten it by a cent, you see the pitch drop 10 or 15 cents, then begin to come back up, then stop,then wander around, and within about 45 seconds, their objectivity begins to disappear and they begin getting frustrated.

Regards,

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#2162949 - 10/07/13 10:32 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Ed and Kees,

I agree with your comments and both illustrate some very important concepts. Thank you.

Ed, your example really points out how differently an artist level performer "hears" intonation than does a skilled tuner. It's almost as if the skill is developed from diametrically opposed directions to arrive at a given result. The result, however, fits into the puzzle of intonation for a very different purpose.

The trained musician thinks of intonation as harmonic, and within the ever-changing landscape of composition and performance. From this thread, and many others in this forum, I deduce that a highly skilled tuner thinks of intonation as intervallic, based on the limitation of a fixed pitch instrument. In other words, what we listen for is different.

There is neither right nor wrong. This thread, has gone past the usual temperament spats, into the philosophy of intonation, rather than the nuts and bolts of tuning. We are well past a clean unison. That is a given for all involved. The door swings wide as soon as the interval of a fifth is introduced. Is it "pure" or is it "tempered?"

That's when discussion is interesting. When dissonance is resolved to consonance, understanding is achieved. Dominant 7th to Tonic. Both are essential to arrive at 'Ahh."
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#2163128 - 10/07/13 06:38 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
alfredo capurso Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?


Hi,

Now that I have quoted the OP, I would like to add my 2 cents.

..."Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning;..."...

Nope, I do not think it is a "...Should...", but a "can", : Can we accept a universal standard of tuning? And for me the answer is yes, if it sounds harmonious to tuners and pianists?

..."..;something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely?"...

Well, if the standard was "failsafe" to the point that "all musicians can ultimately rely" on it, why not?

..."..I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers."...

Neither am I talking about "private home", but tuners and pro-international musicians.

What I do not understand, Opera Tenor, is your original intention and perhaps, in turn, you can answer my question: would you be willing to accept a universal standard of tuning? What would you require?

Regards, a.c.
.
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#2163137 - 10/07/13 07:06 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Alfredo, my original intent was to address something the techs here have been arguing about for years, but never facing, seemingly. Every few months , an ET vs. UT thread would get started, everyone would argue and hurl insults at the other side, someone leaves in a huff, and nothing is ever ultimately agreed upon. But it seemed to me that the one question which was never asked in all of it was, "If you don't accept ET as an industry standard, which UT would be its replacement?" I.e., if a tech is going to tune in UT(s), which one does he/she use when in doubt? What's the fallback, since a given UT doesn't satisfy *every* musical situation equitably? Sure, ET isn't as rich-sounding as most UT's, but at least it's equally so... wink
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#2163139 - 10/07/13 07:19 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
... Sure, ET isn't as rich-sounding as most UT's, but at least it's equally so... wink


Even that is a matter of taste. I find that the major thirds which are most commonly used in what are considered the "good" keys for some temperaments rather dull compared to equal temperament. (Note that I said that was a matter of taste.) I find it odd that some people might think that thirds which are not as wide are richer, particularly when they or others talk about how octaves need to be stretched for brilliance.
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#2163166 - 10/07/13 08:40 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: BDB]
OperaTenor Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
... Sure, ET isn't as rich-sounding as most UT's, but at least it's equally so... wink


Even that is a matter of taste. I find that the major thirds which are most commonly used in what are considered the "good" keys for some temperaments rather dull compared to equal temperament. (Note that I said that was a matter of taste.) I find it odd that some people might think that thirds which are not as wide are richer, particularly when they or others talk about how octaves need to be stretched for brilliance.


I know, but I'm trying to be a little conciliatory here...

wink
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#2163173 - 10/07/13 09:11 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Tunewerk Offline
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Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
But it seemed to me that the one question which was never asked in all of it was, "If you don't accept ET as an industry standard, which UT would be its replacement?" I.e., if a tech is going to tune in UT(s), which one does he/she use when in doubt? What's the fallback, since a given UT doesn't satisfy *every* musical situation equitably?


I'd say definitely a modern Victorian well temperament.. Bremmer's EBVT or Coleman's 10.. argue around there. Traditional equal temperament has such a dominant place in music, that going too far from that tree as a 'standard' would be too much for modern music and the instrument itself.

The piano has co-evolved around 12-TET. The twelve notes (as Kees was saying) weren't always there. Having 12 tones to the octave is literally integral to employing ET. There is no other suitable solutions besides 5, 7, 12, 17 and 19-TET in a range under 20 octave divisions. Of those, 12 is almost a 7-limit ET and offers the best consonance for the most important intervals with a manageable number of notes.
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#2163178 - 10/07/13 09:35 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
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But the 12 tones were there long before equal temperament came into common use.
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#2163181 - 10/07/13 09:45 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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I have it on the highest authority that the 12 tone scale specifically evolved to complete the prophecy of the Wholey Equal Temperament.
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#2163189 - 10/07/13 10:19 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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It's hard to throw away the A-440 fork at this point and tune whatever jack arse temperment some pianist thinks he's entitled to.
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#2163195 - 10/07/13 10:34 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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All the recording artists have been using The Standard(a440/Equal Temperment)since the 70s(and earlier). Get used to it already
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#2163197 - 10/07/13 10:37 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Registered: 05/15/12
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Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
All the recording artists have been using The Standard(a440/Equal Temperment)since the 70s(and earlier). Get used to it already

All?
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#2163201 - 10/07/13 10:44 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Gary Fowler Offline
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marty, if your own piano tuner will kss you butt, and answer to your every whim, my hats off to ya
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#2163225 - 10/08/13 12:00 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
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Loc: London, England
The immediacy of intonation as practiced by players of flexible pitch instruments was touched on in briefly earlier in this thread.

Many of the ideas amd imaginations that I read here about how orchestral musicians play in tune with each other are based on the inherent pedantry of piano tuners. (quick to point out thal all professions have their pedantries, some even freely and proudly calling themselves pedagogues).

A piano will hold still while it is being tuned, the intonation of an orchestra or other musical combination is a constantly moving thing and must be caught "on the fly".

Musicians 'know' where every note is on their instrument and each and every time a note is played, an immediate often unconscious adjustment is made to the relative balance, tone colour, general blend and pitch. Not only conforming to the pitch of the other musicians at that instant, but the pitch of that same note played, possibly by another instrument, maybe in a different octave a few seconds earlier.

How big are those intervals? It depends on where the melody and harmony has been and where it is going, both in the individual part and the ensemble. There are cultural/ national variations, I find. Even the way four quarter notes are divided varies enormously between an American concert band and a Bavarian beerkeller band.

All this and more takes place the very instant a musician goes from one note to the next. It has to be instantaneous and unnoticeable to the listener. This simply has to be intuitive. Jim spoke of some who can compensate for inadequacies of other musicians without disturbing the texture and this is true but a sensitive ensemble can be totally ruined by one insensitive player.

Some of this can be more apparent when a group of musicians get together for the first time.

There are myriad other aspects of playing a musical instrument in ensemble that must be considered. The intricate timings of simply playing together in the same style takes years of experience and constant vigilance. Some of the best musicians are those who can do all this whole reading new music for the first time. Soloists spend hours perfecting a concerto to the last detail. They have almost total freedom to play how they choose to interpret it but, unless there is infinite rehearsal time, (but not enough so that the music loses its spontaneity), the soloists still have to bend to the intonation of the accompanying unit who often cannot hear the soloist.

Give us time to think about it and the magic disappears. It is unfair to ask a musician to match a pitch to an evanescent pitch source like the piano and then ask them to change it by one cent when they get it right. I know precisely what one cent is, but as a musician myself, I know it doesn't work that way in the real world. Musicians don't judge intonation in terms of cents as tuners do with their fixed intonation.
It reminds me of a conversation with a student conductor who was trying to tell me how he "insists" on Pythagorean intonation from musicians. I had to ask him what, precisely did he mean by that. Of course he only had some vague notion so I thought it prudent to advise him to drop it lest he become the pretentious twerp he would be instantly dismissed as by any self respecting musician. Musicians love to ask pointed questions of that nature sometimes, in order to put pretentious twerp conductors (and there are many) and researchers in their place.

All this, of course comes from years of practice and experience. to imagine there is a simple solution, like a prescribed temperament of some sort that all musicians commit to memory is appallingly innocent.
_________________________
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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#2163236 - 10/08/13 12:42 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
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Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
You're right, RXD, the vast majority of musicians don't even know what is meant by "cent."

Just like some of my fellow singers who claim to have perfect pitch, then walk over to the piano to prove their point. :hysteric:
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#2163238 - 10/08/13 12:48 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
DoelKees Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1766
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
All the recording artists have been using The Standard(a440/Equal Temperment)since the 70s(and earlier). Get used to it already

All?

Don't feed the troll.

Kees

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#2163261 - 10/08/13 02:57 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: rxd
The immediacy of intonation as practiced by players of flexible pitch instruments was touched on in briefly earlier in this thread.

Many of the ideas amd imaginations that I read here about how orchestral musicians play in tune with each other are based on the inherent pedantry of piano tuners. (quick to point out thal all professions have their pedantries, some even freely and proudly calling themselves pedagogues).

A piano will hold still while it is being tuned, the intonation of an orchestra or other musical combination is a constantly moving thing and must be caught "on the fly".

Musicians 'know' where every note is on their instrument and each and every time a note is played, an immediate often unconscious adjustment is made to the relative balance, tone colour, general blend and pitch. Not only conforming to the pitch of the other musicians at that instant, but the pitch of that same note played, possibly by another instrument, maybe in a different octave a few seconds earlier.

How big are those intervals? It depends on where the melody and harmony has been and where it is going, both in the individual part and the ensemble. There are cultural/ national variations, I find. Even the way four quarter notes are divided varies enormously between an American concert band and a Bavarian beerkeller band.

All this and more takes place the very instant a musician goes from one note to the next. It has to be instantaneous and unnoticeable to the listener. This simply has to be intuitive. Jim spoke of some who can compensate for inadequacies of other musicians without disturbing the texture and this is true but a sensitive ensemble can be totally ruined by one insensitive player.

Some of this can be more apparent when a group of musicians get together for the first time.

There are myriad other aspects of playing a musical instrument in ensemble that must be considered. The intricate timings of simply playing together in the same style takes years of experience and constant vigilance. Some of the best musicians are those who can do all this whole reading new music for the first time. Soloists spend hours perfecting a concerto to the last detail. They have almost total freedom to play how they choose to interpret it but, unless there is infinite rehearsal time, (but not enough so that the music loses its spontaneity), the soloists still have to bend to the intonation of the accompanying unit who often cannot hear the soloist.

Give us time to think about it and the magic disappears. It is unfair to ask a musician to match a pitch to an evanescent pitch source like the piano and then ask them to change it by one cent when they get it right. I know precisely what one cent is, but as a musician myself, I know it doesn't work that way in the real world. Musicians don't judge intonation in terms of cents as tuners do with their fixed intonation.
It reminds me of a conversation with a student conductor who was trying to tell me how he "insists" on Pythagorean intonation from musicians. I had to ask him what, precisely did he mean by that. Of course he only had some vague notion so I thought it prudent to advise him to drop it lest he become the pretentious twerp he would be instantly dismissed as by any self respecting musician. Musicians love to ask pointed questions of that nature sometimes, in order to put pretentious twerp conductors (and there are many) and researchers in their place.

All this, of course comes from years of practice and experience. to imagine there is a simple solution, like a prescribed temperament of some sort that all musicians commit to memory is appallingly innocent.


+1

That said, "justness " is nevertheless learned based on a piano tuning . Something particularely imprecise , and even more when it comes to an electronic piano.

I believe that piano tuners also judge their work as the orchestra musician. Does it sound "tuned", or no.

Judging by partial matching or even progression is just a base IMO.


Edited by Olek (10/08/13 03:01 AM)
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#2163311 - 10/08/13 07:39 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
Ed Foote Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
It's hard to throw away the A-440 fork at this point and tune whatever jack arse temperment some pianist thinks he's entitled to.


And exactly what does a tuning fork have to do with temperament? Don't expect to be taken seriously if you don't know the difference between a pitch standard and temperament.

Actually, what we got here appears to be, sadly, to be another case of dead credibility.

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#2163323 - 10/08/13 08:19 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Olek]
rxd Offline
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Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Olek
Originally Posted By: rxd
The immediacy of intonation as practiced by players of flexible pitch instruments was touched on in briefly earlier in this thread.

Many of the ideas amd imaginations that I read here about how orchestral musicians play in tune with each other are based on the inherent pedantry of piano tuners. (quick to point out thal all professions have their pedantries, some even freely and proudly calling themselves pedagogues).

A piano will hold still while it is being tuned, the intonation of an orchestra or other musical combination is a constantly moving thing and must be caught "on the fly".

Musicians 'know' where every note is on their instrument and each and every time a note is played, an immediate often unconscious adjustment is made to the relative balance, tone colour, general blend and pitch. Not only conforming to the pitch of the other musicians at that instant, but the pitch of that same note played, possibly by another instrument, maybe in a different octave a few seconds earlier.

How big are those intervals? It depends on where the melody and harmony has been and where it is going, both in the individual part and the ensemble. There are cultural/ national variations, I find. Even the way four quarter notes are divided varies enormously between an American concert band and a Bavarian beerkeller band.

All this and more takes place the very instant a musician goes from one note to the next. It has to be instantaneous and unnoticeable to the listener. This simply has to be intuitive. Jim spoke of some who can compensate for inadequacies of other musicians without disturbing the texture and this is true but a sensitive ensemble can be totally ruined by one insensitive player.

Some of this can be more apparent when a group of musicians get together for the first time.

There are myriad other aspects of playing a musical instrument in ensemble that must be considered. The intricate timings of simply playing together in the same style takes years of experience and constant vigilance. Some of the best musicians are those who can do all this whole reading new music for the first time. Soloists spend hours perfecting a concerto to the last detail. They have almost total freedom to play how they choose to interpret it but, unless there is infinite rehearsal time, (but not enough so that the music loses its spontaneity), the soloists still have to bend to the intonation of the accompanying unit who often cannot hear the soloist.

Give us time to think about it and the magic disappears. It is unfair to ask a musician to match a pitch to an evanescent pitch source like the piano and then ask them to change it by one cent when they get it right. I know precisely what one cent is, but as a musician myself, I know it doesn't work that way in the real world. Musicians don't judge intonation in terms of cents as tuners do with their fixed intonation.
It reminds me of a conversation with a student conductor who was trying to tell me how he "insists" on Pythagorean intonation from musicians. I had to ask him what, precisely did he mean by that. Of course he only had some vague notion so I thought it prudent to advise him to drop it lest he become the pretentious twerp he would be instantly dismissed as by any self respecting musician. Musicians love to ask pointed questions of that nature sometimes, in order to put pretentious twerp conductors (and there are many) and researchers in their place.

All this, of course comes from years of practice and experience. to imagine there is a simple solution, like a prescribed temperament of some sort that all musicians commit to memory is appallingly innocent.


+1

That said, "justness " is nevertheless learned based on a piano tuning . Something particularely imprecise , and even more when it comes to an electronic piano.
...
...



Something lost in translation again?
Justness learned by whom based on a piano tuning?

My personal experience did not include playing with a piano in the mix until I had been playing 10-11 years. By then, I was learning to play the piano but never played another instrument with the piano. It was that very unjustness of piano sound that led me to explore tuning further.

I really don't think that an understanding of piano tuning has helped in the practical application of playing a flexible pitch instrument any better in tune than before I knew anything about temperaments. The self same situations continued to present themselves and the same way of playing as an ensemble didn't change. It was all still spur of the moment flexibility.

Five brass players in a brass quintet will play a chord in a totally different intonation and style than five brass players playing the same chord in a circus band or a soul band or as background for a solo singer or an oratorio chorus. I knew this well before I knew what was just or not. Intonation is closely tied in with style. Playing with a relaxed tone colour will be accompanied by it's naturally relaxed intonation. I know how to achieve it, technically, but I rarely mention intonation when I am coaching small brass ensembles, because I never need to. It happens naturally with more sensitive brass players when I suggest changes in tone colour. If I made a point of it, I could destroy what's already in place and finish up with a self conscious performance.

Knowledge of temperaments doesn't help the right here, right now-ness of a living ensemble playing in tune.

_________________________
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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#2163337 - 10/08/13 08:43 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
I mean lecture, notes recognizing, control of singed just, is traditionally done at the piano.

I would not say it make really interval learning as I am unsure I would sing "tempered" but when I was singing in choral ensemble I was considered as singing correctly, and I trained mostly at the piano.

Now I heard also lot of orchestral music live or at the radio, I even played triangle (then piano! ) in one. At those times I never heard of concerns about piano tuning, not as much r as I hear today among tuners (musicians seem to go along, adapt and eventually complain if the piano moves/drift)
_________________________
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#2163338 - 10/08/13 08:48 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
But it seemed to me that the one question which was never asked in all of it was, "If you don't accept ET as an industry standard, which UT would be its replacement?" I.e., if a tech is going to tune in UT(s), which one does he/she use when in doubt?

I'd say this question needs some rephrasing because there are many possible ways of dividing the octave into twelve intervals that are not all equal to each other.

Which UTs should a liberal minded tuner offer, and why?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2163339 - 10/08/13 08:49 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
Bkw, make sure your fork is properly calibrated. Do that and if you tune Equal Temperment, you are GOLDEN


A440 + ET = Golden? I'll buy that. Calibrating fork? On cold mornings, I just sip hot coffee and breathe on it. While less-than-scientific for our ETD colleagues, I think it works just fine. No complaints from customers either - especially when I have some extra java in tow. wink
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2163359 - 10/08/13 09:43 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
marty, if your own piano tuner will kss you butt, and answer to your every whim, my hats off to ya

And you know who my tech is? Butt kissing is not required, but he certainly is capable of tuning to temperaments other that ET. Fine tuners, rather than hacks, certainly have mastered the necessary skills and are comfortable with such a minimal request. After all, it is the owner of the piano which provides your income.

Actually, my three pianos are in three different residences. Non of the three tuner/techs has any problem understanding, and executing, a non-ET.

Even through the request from one of the global moderators to include your professional status in your signature line has been posted publically, you refuse to do so. That ignored requirement, and the way you address others, divests you of any credibility, whatsoever.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2163368 - 10/08/13 10:13 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Some food for thought:

Last year I was invited by an established string quartet to join them in a series of performances of the Schumann Op 44 Quintet. We had never collaborated before. The first rehearsal was held at my home and they all commented how easy it was to play with the tuning on my piano. It was referred to as "harmonically correct." The word temperament was never used but the piano had just received a fresh tuning in EBVT-III.

This was from a very well regarded and professional quartet who are known for their impeccable intonation.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2163374 - 10/08/13 10:23 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Withindale]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
But it seemed to me that the one question which was never asked in all of it was, "If you don't accept ET as an industry standard, which UT would be its replacement?" I.e., if a tech is going to tune in UT(s), which one does he/she use when in doubt?

I'd say this question needs some rephrasing because there are many possible ways of dividing the octave into twelve intervals that are not all equal to each other.

Which UTs should a liberal minded tuner offer, and why?


Perhaps. I'm not talking about carrying around a palette of different tunings for customers to choose from. I'm talking about which UT would be the single temperament to set as a standard.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2163387 - 10/08/13 10:47 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
But it seemed to me that the one question which was never asked in all of it was, "If you don't accept ET as an industry standard, which UT would be its replacement?" I.e., if a tech is going to tune in UT(s), which one does he/she use when in doubt?

I'd say this question needs some rephrasing because there are many possible ways of dividing the octave into twelve intervals that are not all equal to each other.

Which UTs should a liberal minded tuner offer, and why?


Perhaps. I'm not talking about carrying around a palette of different tunings for customers to choose from. I'm talking about which UT would be the single temperament to set as a standard.

Jim,

I may be missing your agenda but one possibility is to adopt a mild well temperament like the one Ed Foote proposed to me a few months ago. That could then be a springboard to other UTs.

Perhaps Ed and the other advocates would comment on having a "plain vanilla" UT as a standard base.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2163394 - 10/08/13 10:56 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Wouldn't a "plain vanilla" UT be ET? Especially since it's been argued by proponents of UT's that no one really tunes ET?





Edited by OperaTenor (10/08/13 10:57 AM)
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2163407 - 10/08/13 11:17 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Gary Fowler]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Gary Fowler
marty, if your own piano tuner will kss you butt, and answer to your every whim, my hats off to ya


(o moderator, where art thou?)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2163423 - 10/08/13 11:46 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Withindale]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Withindale


Perhaps. I'm not talking about carrying around a palette of different tunings for customers to choose from. I'm talking about which UT would be the single temperament to set as a standard.

Jim,

I may be missing your agenda but one possibility is to adopt a mild well temperament like the one Ed Foote proposed to me a few months ago. That could then be a springboard to other UTs.

Perhaps Ed and the other advocates would comment on having a "plain vanilla" UT as a standard base.
[/quote]

Greetings,
If we were talking about plumbing, or building airplanes, or writing civil code that everyone must obey, standards would be good and necessary. But when we talk about intonation and pitch, we are talking about art. Artists usually prefer to be given as wide a range of expression as possible, and there is no one standard tuning that does this for everything. We can talk about how much compromise do we want, i.e. the refusal to compromise purity for freedom that meantone offers vs. the ET demand that compromise be exactly even across all keys. Picking a "standard" will never be possible; having a default, simple. The effective use of the "other" tunings requires greater knowledge on the tuner's part, so there is a reason to avoid them.

However, tuning ET for simplicity exacts its own costs. It homogenizes modulations, rendering them no more that changes in pitch, leaving it to our intellectual understanding to furnish the meaning to create emotional responses. Our involuntary response systems are not being yanked around by changes in dissonance. To some, this is a comfort. To others, sterile and unfulfilling.

Leaving this safe environment can be perilous to those that don't understand what happens when you add harmonic values. Chronological coupling of the temperament and composition can get us really close, since all the WT's are basically the same progression, differing in how roughly the sizes of the thirds progress around the circle, and how much distance there is between the most consonant and dissonant of them. Bach seems to have accounted for the 21 cent thirds found in keys like C# and F# on the temperaments of his day, Beethoven seems to have known how to use a Young temperament to create tension without harshness, and Brahms or Schubert's or Schumann's music does well in tunings with a milder form, but still with sufficient contrast to give harmonic direction to the modulations.

As far as ET goes, if no third is as large or larger than the one immediately above, and no third is as small or smaller than the one below, there will be no musician that can tell it is not a perfect tuning. Tuners will, but we don't listen musically, and there can be a lot of errors left in a temperament that will never be discerned in the music. To worry that departing will cause problems with other instruments doesn't seem to be supported by my experience, and there have been numerous times a string player commented on how much easier it was to play "in tune" with a WT piano. I am not alone in this experience, either.
Regards,

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#2163484 - 10/08/13 02:07 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Wouldn't a "plain vanilla" UT be ET?

Yes, it would. In Sicily you'll find umpteen ice cream parlours with amazing trays of ice cream in a variety of wonderful flavours; each one different from the rest. There's one where all the trays contain exquisite vanilla; I hear it's very popular because it goes well with everything.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2163499 - 10/08/13 02:33 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Ed Foote]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Quote:


Perhaps. I'm not talking about carrying around a palette of different tunings for customers to choose from. I'm talking about which UT would be the single temperament to set as a standard.

Jim,

I may be missing your agenda but one possibility is to adopt a mild well temperament like the one Ed Foote proposed to me a few months ago. That could then be a springboard to other UTs.

Perhaps Ed and the other advocates would comment on having a "plain vanilla" UT as a standard base.


Greetings,
If we were talking about plumbing, or building airplanes, or writing civil code that everyone must obey, standards would be good and necessary. But when we talk about intonation and pitch, we are talking about art. Artists usually prefer to be given as wide a range of expression as possible, and there is no one standard tuning that does this for everything. We can talk about how much compromise do we want, i.e. the refusal to compromise purity for freedom that meantone offers vs. the ET demand that compromise be exactly even across all keys. Picking a "standard" will never be possible; having a default, simple. The effective use of the "other" tunings requires greater knowledge on the tuner's part, so there is a reason to avoid them.

However, tuning ET for simplicity exacts its own costs. It homogenizes modulations, rendering them no more that changes in pitch, leaving it to our intellectual understanding to furnish the meaning to create emotional responses. Our involuntary response systems are not being yanked around by changes in dissonance. To some, this is a comfort. To others, sterile and unfulfilling.

Leaving this safe environment can be perilous to those that don't understand what happens when you add harmonic values. Chronological coupling of the temperament and composition can get us really close, since all the WT's are basically the same progression, differing in how roughly the sizes of the thirds progress around the circle, and how much distance there is between the most consonant and dissonant of them. Bach seems to have accounted for the 21 cent thirds found in keys like C# and F# on the temperaments of his day, Beethoven seems to have known how to use a Young temperament to create tension without harshness, and Brahms or Schubert's or Schumann's music does well in tunings with a milder form, but still with sufficient contrast to give harmonic direction to the modulations.

As far as ET goes, if no third is as large or larger than the one immediately above, and no third is as small or smaller than the one below, there will be no musician that can tell it is not a perfect tuning. Tuners will, but we don't listen musically, and there can be a lot of errors left in a temperament that will never be discerned in the music. To worry that departing will cause problems with other instruments doesn't seem to be supported by my experience, and there have been numerous times a string player commented on how much easier it was to play "in tune" with a WT piano. I am not alone in this experience, either.
Regards,


I get what you're saying, but that still does't answer the original question.



Edited by OperaTenor (10/08/13 02:33 PM)
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2163500 - 10/08/13 02:34 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Withindale]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Wouldn't a "plain vanilla" UT be ET?

Yes, it would. In Sicily you'll find umpteen ice cream parlours with amazing trays of ice cream in a variety of wonderful flavours; each one different from the rest. There's one where all the trays contain exquisite vanilla; I hear it's very popular because it goes well with everything.


Okay, you got me there...

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

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#2163523 - 10/08/13 03:34 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Ed Foote]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Withindale


Perhaps. I'm not talking about carrying around a palette of different tunings for customers to choose from. I'm talking about which UT would be the single temperament to set as a standard.

Jim,

I may be missing your agenda but one possibility is to adopt a mild well temperament like the one Ed Foote proposed to me a few months ago. That could then be a springboard to other UTs.

Perhaps Ed and the other advocates would comment on having a "plain vanilla" UT as a standard base.


Hi Ed,

This has to be a quick reply as I am supposed to get dinner ready :-), I apologize for spelling and other inconveniences and will write in between your lines.

..."Greetings,
If we were talking about plumbing, or building airplanes, or writing civil code that everyone must obey, standards would be good and necessary. But when we talk about intonation and pitch, we are talking about art."...

I am not sure at all. Good intonation is given by nature, or learned throughout hard study; art is altogether a different issue, although both art and tune-intonation require skill, dedication and other qualities. Imo, there is no need to refer to art in order to do the most consciencious and beautiful tuning.

..."Artists usually prefer to be given as wide a range of expression as possible, and there is no one standard tuning that does this for everything."...

Some Musicians need "intonation", some others "express" themselves one way or the other.

..."We can talk about how much compromise do we want, i.e. the refusal to compromise purity for freedom that meantone offers vs. the ET demand that compromise be exactly even across all keys."...

As mentioned, your concept of ET is a simplification, but you are fully justified... since 12-root-of-two, simply, has never been used... it is a lame theory, not even good as a compromise.

..."Picking a "standard" will never be possible; having a default, simple. The effective use of the "other" tunings requires greater knowledge on the tuner's part, so there is a reason to avoid them."...

Do you really think that? I look forward to hear your tunings, be it UT or ET.

..."However, tuning ET for simplicity exacts its own costs. It homogenizes modulations, rendering them no more that changes in pitch, leaving it to our intellectual understanding to furnish the meaning to create emotional responses. Our involuntary response systems are not being yanked around by changes in dissonance. To some, this is a comfort. To others, sterile and unfulfilling."...

My words were not enough for you, Ed, to demonstrate how wird your believe is, other Colleagues may read more on this on the "Historical ET and Modern ET" thread.

..."Leaving this safe environment can be perilous to those that don't understand what happens when you add harmonic values. Chronological coupling of the temperament and composition can get us really close, since all the WT's are basically the same progression, differing in how roughly the sizes of the thirds progress around the circle, and how much distance there is between the most consonant and dissonant of them."...

It is not only a question of thirds, Ed, the question was and is about all intervals, even beyond the octave (!!) and chord hierarchy, that may tell you why a musician does not like being pushed around with variable beat-tensions, that is when their expression would be messed up.

..."Bach seems to have accounted for the 21 cent thirds found in keys like C# and F# on the temperaments of his day, Beethoven seems to have known how to use a Young temperament to create tension without harshness, and Brahms or Schubert's or Schumann's music does well in tunings with a milder form, but still with sufficient contrast to give harmonic direction to the modulations."...

And you talk about "contrast" and "harmonic direction"... I call that out-of-tune and harmonic misleading.

..."As far as ET goes, if no third is as large or larger than the one immediately above, and no third is as small or smaller than the one below, there will be no musician that can tell it is not a perfect tuning."...

I am not that sure, I would talk about "few", yes, perhaps few musicians will appreciate the difference you mention, perhaps that is how you have confused quasi-ET (read UT) with ET.

..."Tuners will, but we don't listen musically, and there can be a lot of errors left in a temperament that will never be discerned in the music."...

I have always "listened" musically and looked for no errors; if anything, one "error" is considering only 12 notes (the usual temperament), instead of the whole keyboard, be it theory or practice.

..."To worry that departing will cause problems with other instruments doesn't seem to be supported by my experience, and there have been numerous times a string player commented on how much easier it was to play "in tune" with a WT piano."...

Best, that proves that your tunings are good, at least for the musician you have met, but it is far from demonstrating that you know what a modern (aural) ET is about.

Regards, a.c.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2163551 - 10/08/13 05:18 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: alfredo capurso]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee

I wrote:
..."Picking a "standard" will never be possible; having a default, simple. The effective use of the "other" tunings requires greater knowledge on the tuner's part, so there is a reason to avoid them."...

alfredo capurso writes:
Do you really think that? I look forward to hear your tunings, be it UT or ET.

..."However, tuning ET for simplicity exacts its own costs. It homogenizes modulations, rendering them no more that changes in pitch, leaving it to our intellectual understanding to furnish the meaning to create emotional responses. Our involuntary response systems are not being yanked around by changes in dissonance. To some, this is a comfort. To others, sterile and unfulfilling."...

My words were not enough for you, Ed, to demonstrate how wird your believe is, other Colleagues may read more on this on the "Historical ET and Modern ET" thread.

..."To worry that departing will cause problems with other instruments doesn't seem to be supported by my experience, and there have been numerous times a string player commented on how much easier it was to play "in tune" with a WT piano."...

Best, that proves that your tunings are good, at least for the musician you have met, but it is far from demonstrating that you know what a modern (aural) ET is about.
Regards, a.c.[/quote]

Greetings,

I never got questioned about my aural tuning. I think I was formally trained by the best, and spent most of my career working in professional musical situations. I have been allowed to microscopically examine the tunings of some of the finest tuners on the planet, and had them examine mine the same way. I have stretched and compressed, tuned by 12th, etc. If you have a magical answer to highly tempered thirds everywhere in an equal temperament, I would love to hear it, but all the synchronicity, beat cancelling, stretching and octave reinforcement that can be used doesn't erase the sameness. Like I said, some people are comforted by this, and your response seems to indicate you are one of them. What do you do with the dissonance that Bach obviously uses, like in his organ scores,( Toccata in D??). I don't think that blare of minor 2nds and everything else is unmusical, I hear it as a necessary precursor to the passage that follows. Dissonance is not bad, it is a musical quality. I maintain that a piano is capable of more than one harmonic texture,and that there is more musical value in a tuning that offers a variety of harmonic sounds.

My tunings are available. I have two CD's online (Katahn at CDbaby). There is a free version of a Mozart fantasie in a WT on the "Six Degrees" site, listen away! or you could perhaps find one of the millions of CD's by the country artists I have tuned ET for.

I am going to assume you meant "weird". That is fine with me. If following my own esthetic sense appears weird to another, it isn't my problem. I am comfortable with my direction, and I know of many others that share it. Inre the forums, what I am saying is that I've got people paying good money for these tunings, I am here just trying to explain why that is.
Regards,

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#2163572 - 10/08/13 05:59 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=drwoodwind


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#2163577 - 10/08/13 06:13 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Ed,

I went to the Six Degrees site in search of the Mozart and couldn't locate it. I'd love to hear it.

Could you provide a link or identify the CD it is from?

Thanks!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2163587 - 10/08/13 06:27 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Ed Foote]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

I wrote:
..."Picking a "standard" will never be possible; having a default, simple. The effective use of the "other" tunings requires greater knowledge on the tuner's part, so there is a reason to avoid them."...

alfredo capurso writes:
Do you really think that? I look forward to hear your tunings, be it UT or ET.

..."However, tuning ET for simplicity exacts its own costs. It homogenizes modulations, rendering them no more that changes in pitch, leaving it to our intellectual understanding to furnish the meaning to create emotional responses. Our involuntary response systems are not being yanked around by changes in dissonance. To some, this is a comfort. To others, sterile and unfulfilling."...

My words were not enough for you, Ed, to demonstrate how wird your believe is, other Colleagues may read more on this on the "Historical ET and Modern ET" thread.

..."To worry that departing will cause problems with other instruments doesn't seem to be supported by my experience, and there have been numerous times a string player commented on how much easier it was to play "in tune" with a WT piano."...

Best, that proves that your tunings are good, at least for the musician you have met, but it is far from demonstrating that you know what a modern (aural) ET is about.
Regards, a.c.


Greetings,

I never got questioned about my aural tuning. I think I was formally trained by the best, and spent most of my career working in professional musical situations. I have been allowed to microscopically examine the tunings of some of the finest tuners on the planet, and had them examine mine the same way. I have stretched and compressed, tuned by 12th, etc. If you have a magical answer to highly tempered thirds everywhere in an equal temperament, I would love to hear it, but all the synchronicity, beat cancelling, stretching and octave reinforcement that can be used doesn't erase the sameness. Like I said, some people are comforted by this, and your response seems to indicate you are one of them. What do you do with the dissonance that Bach obviously uses, like in his organ scores,( Toccata in D??). I don't think that blare of minor 2nds and everything else is unmusical, I hear it as a necessary precursor to the passage that follows. Dissonance is not bad, it is a musical quality. I maintain that a piano is capable of more than one harmonic texture,and that there is more musical value in a tuning that offers a variety of harmonic sounds.

My tunings are available. I have two CD's online (Katahn at CDbaby). There is a free version of a Mozart fantasie in a WT on the "Six Degrees" site, listen away! or you could perhaps find one of the millions of CD's by the country artists I have tuned ET for.

I am going to assume you meant "weird". That is fine with me. If following my own esthetic sense appears weird to another, it isn't my problem. I am comfortable with my direction, and I know of many others that share it. Inre the forums, what I am saying is that I've got people paying good money for these tunings, I am here just trying to explain why that is.
Regards,
[/quote]

Thanks for your reply, Ed, I am pretty tired (after a hard day) but I will try to post my reply.

..."I never got questioned about my aural tuning."...

Yes, I believe you.

..."I think I was formally trained by the best, and spent most of my career working in professional musical situations."...

Yep.

..."...I have been allowed to microscopically examine the tunings of some of the finest tuners on the planet, and had them examine mine the same way."...

Yes, I hope you understand that here we get into relativity.

..."...I have stretched and compressed, tuned by 12th, etc."...

Hmmm... your "etc." leaves a too large leeway.

..."...If you have a magical answer to highly tempered thirds everywhere in an equal temperament, I would love to hear it, but all the synchronicity, beat cancelling, stretching and octave reinforcement that can be used doesn't erase the sameness."...

I too look forward to meeting you sometime, all would be easier and (I'm sure) more enjoyable.

..."...Like I said, some people are comforted by this, and your response seems to indicate you are one of them."...

I indicate that.. if we talk about intonation, "thirds" (only - on their own) do not represent an issue.

..."...What do you do with the dissonance that Bach obviously uses, like in his organ scores,( Toccata in D??). I don't think that blare of minor 2nds and everything else is unmusical, I hear it as a necessary precursor to the passage that follows. Dissonance is not bad, it is a musical quality."...

Here I would agree (I think I told you before), "Dissonance is not bad", so much so that minor 2nds (nor other intervals that sound "dissonant") do not need to be "more dissonant", just for the sake of making dissonance more... dissonant.

..."I maintain that a piano is capable of more than one harmonic texture,and that there is more musical value in a tuning that offers a variety of harmonic sounds."...

Perhaps I shoud have cut that sentence in half, 'cos it might be true.. "...a piano is capable of more than one harmonic texture..", but here we may swim into the Harmonic Ocean, where everything can be "harmonic"; no, better we stick to "intonation" and how we can share that feeling.

..."My tunings are available. I have two CD's online (Katahn at CDbaby). There is a free version of a Mozart fantasie in a WT on the "Six Degrees" site, listen away! or you could perhaps find one of the millions of CD's by the country artists I have tuned ET for."...

Thank you, I will try to get the links.

..."I am going to assume you meant "weird"."...

Yes, sorry.

..."That is fine with me. If following my own esthetic sense appears weird to another, it isn't my problem. I am comfortable with my direction, and I know of many others that share it. Inre the forums, what I am saying is that I've got people paying good money for these tunings, I am here just trying to explain why that is."

I thought we were talking about temperaments and intonation, not monay... as you see I cannot even spell that word. :-)

Sincere regards, a.c.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2163592 - 10/08/13 06:40 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: alfredo capurso]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Here I would agree (I think I told you before), "Dissonance is not bad", so much so that minor 2nds (nor other intervals that sound "dissonant") do not need to be "more dissonant", just for the sake of making dissonance more... dissonant.

However, that is exactly what musicians do in practice. I have never heard of any codified dissonance chart, but a musician is taught to pull (lead) a 7th to the tonic or resolution (consonant). In effect, making the dissonance more dissonant.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2163600 - 10/08/13 06:50 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: RonTuner]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2163604 - 10/08/13 07:00 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Here I would agree (I think I told you before), "Dissonance is not bad", so much so that minor 2nds (nor other intervals that sound "dissonant") do not need to be "more dissonant", just for the sake of making dissonance more... dissonant.

However, that is exactly what musicians do in practice. I have never heard of any codified dissonance chart, but a musician is taught to pull (lead) a 7th to the tonic or resolution (consonant). In effect, making the dissonance more dissonant.


Exactly MM, a musician would not like that passage to be "milder" nor over-contrasted, depending on the key (or the tuning)... this is what I mean by chord hierarchy.
.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2163691 - 10/08/13 10:18 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Hi Ed,

I went to the Six Degrees site in search of the Mozart and couldn't locate it. I'd love to hear it.

Could you provide a link or identify the CD it is from?

Thanks!


Yes, go to CDbaby and type in the artist's name, which is Enid Katahn. It will show both of our well-tempered CD's. track 12 on the "Six Degrees" recording is a free track. (I am trying to figure out how to make all three of the comparison tracks free before I announce this on the forums with its own posting). The full liner notes are on another web site, but the Beethoven notes are all there. (Warning: long.)

I should have put a warning up there not to listen to the Pathetique before hearing some other, milder compositions, since the amount of tempering I used for that sonata was, while not wolfish, as extreme as I think people can tolerate. The middle Ab mvt. is backed up with a full 21 cents in the harmony. If that doesn't get one thinking about graveyards, I don't know what will.
Regards,

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#2163763 - 10/09/13 03:20 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
I assure that there is a standard, and it is well known and recognized by pianists.

They may even ask for another tuning if the piano does not sound as expected.

And that standard is carefully learned and worked, and bullet proof tuning too.
_________________________
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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#2163800 - 10/09/13 06:18 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: alfredo capurso]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.


I think Ron was being humorous, Alfredo.
_________________________
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
#2163841 - 10/09/13 09:08 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Thanks Ed,

I went to the "Six Degrees" site, rather than "CDbaby." I'll give it a listen.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2166264 - 10/14/13 06:56 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy

Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?






Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.


I think Ron was being humorous, Alfredo.



Yes, rxd, perhaps you are right but... did you find that humorous? Hmmm..., this is also why I would like to meet you, you could help me get the right feeling, when it comes to anglophony (not sure this word existed). :-)

Anyway, what I hear there... is a sort of rejection for something (a standard) that may be a threat for aural tuners "variations", making tuners obliged to work on the basis of "calculation".

Aural techs would have to "learn how to tune all over again", and the others may well dump their favorite ETD... yes, how humorous... :-)

And we, now trainers... could "...train all the piano players..." and, very humorous, "don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning...."...

Yes, now I find all that somehow humorous but, I don't know, do you too hear some iH? :-)
_________________________
alfredo

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#2167391 - 10/16/13 07:45 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy

...snowflakes...

Before this thread melts, I would like to add a few words.

Ron wrote: ..."Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.
Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle"...

Firstly, a standard does not necessarely need to be "electronic", meaning that "aural tuning" variations don't call for a "non-aural" standard; "variations" - if anything - call for arguments, and even the best argument would have to pass a test based on intonation and, as far as I am concerned, on logics.

Yes, a standard is meant to be the same all over, as it indicates the most convenient solution, any other messy tuning being available there, at hand.

Aural tuners do not need to "...run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again...", as they can already control the tuning lever and beats, IMO they only need to be willing to share the standard; and ETD tuners could test and set their favorite ETD, have The standard available together with any other setting, at their convenience.

And there would be no point in training "..piano players to only expect.." one kind of tuning, because it would still depend on the execution, and because the "piano player" (and not only the piano player) is ready and happy to appreciate a better "..sounding way of tuning", say... The standard.

Alfredo
_________________________
alfredo

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#2167472 - 10/17/13 02:12 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
There has been a standard for a very long time. Just ask the PTG.

As much as I know, it is ET.

Why?

Just ask those in the PTG who are higher up the ladder than those who are in the PTG that post here on a regular basis.

I suppose it may have something to do with, that there is no better standard.

Is it not very interesting that the PTG uses ET to evaluate one and at the same time it's members poo poo it.

It is like saying, this is the standard you must have in order to drive a car and once you have attained to it, whatever you do, just never drive according to that standard ever again. You idiot!

This sounds like a house divided and hypocrisy at its best.

But then again, all the shouting does come from a very small quarter that pretends to be a force to be reckoned with.
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167490 - 10/17/13 04:00 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Chris, there are also people that never learned to tune aurally, that way they miss something they are not even aware of.

Then strategies develop to be expert in something else. That is human.


Edited by Olek (10/17/13 04:01 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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#2167508 - 10/17/13 05:28 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: alfredo capurso]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso

Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?






Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.


I think Ron was being humorous, Alfredo.



Yes, rxd, perhaps you are right but... did you find that humorous? Hmmm..., this is also why I would like to meet you, you could help me get the right feeling, when it comes to anglophony (not sure this word existed). :-)

Anyway, what I hear there... is a sort of rejection for something (a standard) that may be a threat for aural tuners "variations", making tuners obliged to work on the basis of "calculation".

Aural techs would have to "learn how to tune all over again", and the others may well dump their favorite ETD... yes, how humorous... :-)

And we, now trainers... could "...train all the piano players..." and, very humorous, "don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning...."...

Yes, now I find all that somehow humorous but, I don't know, do you too hear some iH? :-)



One great thing about the Internet is that we can all choose the extent to which we interact with it.

Alfredo,

There are many kinds of humour. I perceived Rons' post to have an element of what we call "tongue in cheek" humour.

For you to pedantically and methodically rummage through it looking for a belly laugh in each sentence I find kinda funny too.

Now, let's hear a big belly laugh from all the men with big bellies............ and now a little titter from...,,
_________________________
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
#2167616 - 10/17/13 08:54 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
There has been a standard for a very long time. Just ask the PTG.
As much as I know, it is ET.
Why?
Just ask those in the PTG who are higher up the ladder than those who are in the PTG that post here on a regular basis.
I suppose it may have something to do with, that there is no better standard.
Is it not very interesting that the PTG uses ET to evaluate one and at the same time it's members poo poo it.
It is like saying, this is the standard you must have in order to drive a car and once you have attained to it, whatever you do, just never drive according to that standard ever again. You idiot!
This sounds like a house divided and hypocrisy at its best.
But then again, all the shouting does come from a very small quarter that pretends to be a force to be reckoned with.


Greetings,
The PTG uses ET as a benchmark. It is the standard because it is the most easily measured by objective means. It is very much like the barber college using a "regular man's haircut" as a standard to be met before graduating. There are those for whom that is enough,and they find enough customers that are willing to pay for the standard. I remember barbers, before they became "stylists", who denigrated all the more modern, longer, styles. They gradually changed to follow the money, or got left behind, all the while clinging to their "standard" and finding fault with the world for not standing still for them. I know a watch repairman who became bitter at the electronic watch makers, accusing them of throwing "quality" out the window.

The hacked, aural, ET's of the average tuner in the 20th century, at least the ones I examined, were farther from ET than a carefully tuned Victorian temperament. The advent of the machines, and the upgraded PTG tests, are keeping those hack tuners out of the organization. Yes, there are members that are certified as RPT but still do poor work, but the largest percent of low quality work I have seen has been done by non-members.

As far as the PTG embracing a standard that members reject, this is not hypocrisy, it is an organization demonstrating flexibility. We don't demand that tuners tune a certain way, we demand that they demonstrate that they can accurately tune the simplest, commercially feasible, temperament. Every RPT(excepting some older, constantly fewer, members that were grandfathered), has shown to his peers that they can tune within a defined window of accuracy. ET is the perfect target for this, disallowing taste and personal preference. That is why it is used, not because of any esthetic considerations.

It is really easy to find fault with an organization from outside, but impossible to make any changes for the better from there. It is more difficult to pass the standards to join, and work to change it from within, but that is what many of us do. I will always question the motives given by people for not joining a professional trade organization, particularly when it is the only peer review that is available to us, and it is by peer review that we make the most improvement in our work.
If a tech believes that they are going to attain mastery of the craft working on their own, they are dreaming. The sum total of experience available to any PTG member is so far greater than what we can expose ourselves to on our own, that the game is rigged against the independent from the get-go.
In our chapter, the associates know that they will begin to get referrals from me and others when they are RPT's. If a tech can't pass such simple, basic, tests, I am not going to risk my name and reputation( which is worth something), referring customers to them. It doesn't have anything to do with what kind of a temperament is used.
Regards,

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#2167618 - 10/17/13 09:02 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: rxd]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso

Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.
Originally Posted By: rxd
Originally Posted By: alfredo capurso
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
After all of the incessant arguing over ET vs. UT's, maybe this is a fundamental question we should first ask ourselves.

Should there still be a universally-accepted standard of tuning; something that is a failsafe upon which all musicians can ultimately rely? I'm not talking about what happens in the privacy of one's own home, but what goes on for large groups and itinerant performers.

And please please please, can we keep name-calling and insults off this thread?



Ok, back to the beginning. I think that because there is such a wide variation of aural tuning, the only standard should be a electronic tuning device calculation... After all, if having a standard is so important, then shouldn't it be the same all over? OnlyPure software is the only one that I know of that doesn't allow for user input to alter stretch, so that's probably the best bet to determine the standard - no way to mess with the calculation.

Ok, now all you aural techs can go run out and buy the software and learn how to tune all over again. The rest of us can dump our favorite ETD; we can train all the piano players to only expect an OnlyPure tuning - don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning.... whistle

Ron Koval


Hi Ron,

Your post sounds a bit contorted, are you ok? The point is not a "software that doesn't allow to alter stretch", one point (perhaps) is there where you say "... a better sounding way of tuning".

I haven't tested Stopper's device, but I would certainly be able to say if it is worth... my own "intonation" standard.
.


I think Ron was being humorous, Alfredo.



Yes, rxd, perhaps you are right but... did you find that humorous? Hmmm..., this is also why I would like to meet you, you could help me get the right feeling, when it comes to anglophony (not sure this word existed). :-)

Anyway, what I hear there... is a sort of rejection for something (a standard) that may be a threat for aural tuners "variations", making tuners obliged to work on the basis of "calculation".

Aural techs would have to "learn how to tune all over again", and the others may well dump their favorite ETD... yes, how humorous... :-)

And we, now trainers... could "...train all the piano players..." and, very humorous, "don't even try to suggest that there might be a better sounding way of tuning...."...

Yes, now I find all that somehow humorous but, I don't know, do you too hear some iH? :-)



One great thing about the Internet is that we can all choose the extent to which we interact with it.

Alfredo,

There are many kinds of humour. I perceived Rons' post to have an element of what we call "tongue in cheek" humour.

For you to pedantically and methodically rummage through it looking for a belly laugh in each sentence I find kinda funny too.

Now, let's hear a big belly laugh from all the men with big bellies............ and now a little titter from...,,


rxd,

Enjoy interacting, no probs, and If I need an Editor I will let you know. Here I hope we talk about piano tuning and standard.

Regards, a.c.
.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2167737 - 10/17/13 02:43 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Thanks for your reply Ed.

You are one of a few people that I appreciate in the "piano technology world", and I also do believe that you are someone who has attained to a high level of expertise too.

However there is much in your reply that I do not agree with.

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote


Greetings,
The PTG uses ET as a benchmark. It is the standard because it is the most easily measured by objective means.


So you are admitting that ET it is a good standard to have because it is objective?

You have opened my eyes to the well temperament scenario now! It is subjective. Nice world to live in. Room for a lot of errors and on top of that one can get away with an inferior tuning and call it well!

How does one begin to measure what is not easily measurable and subjective?

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

The hacked, aural, ET's of the average tuner in the 20th century, at least the ones I examined, were farther from ET than a carefully tuned Victorian temperament. The advent of the machines, and the upgraded PTG tests, are keeping those hack tuners out of the organization. Yes, there are members that are certified as RPT but still do poor work, but the largest percent of low quality work I have seen has been done by non-members.


Yes, I hear you, but let's be honest with each other, we know that there are chancers out there and they are not tuners. We also know that there are folks who are not apart of the PTG, willingly so, and who are high end tuner techs.

The problem is this ego thing of some PTG members in that that they do as you are doing now, lumping all those tuners who are not apart of the PTG in to the same lump as "the hack tuners". This is a generalistion that is unecessary and you folks should know better than to employ such tactics.

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

As far as the PTG embracing a standard that members reject, this is not hypocrisy, it is an organization demonstrating flexibility. We don't demand that tuners tune a certain way, we demand that they demonstrate that they can accurately tune the simplest, commercially feasible, temperament. Every RPT(excepting some older, constantly fewer, members that were grandfathered), has shown to his peers that they can tune within a defined window of accuracy. ET is the perfect target for this, disallowing taste and personal preference. That is why it is used, not because of any esthetic considerations.

So, what I am getting from your post so far and the above quote, is this, 1. ET is the most easily measured temperament by objective means, 2. That HT's are purely subjective and not easily measured, and, 3. That HT is a personal preferance and taste.

It is all very well to harp on reverse well, but what I still have not heard from the HT proponents is, when you folks do get your temperament wrong, tuning some errors in to it, what do you call your tuning? or do you not say?

There is a thundering silence on this. I suppose all is well!

Let's just keep ETD's out of this for the moment.

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

It is really easy to find fault with an organization from outside, but impossible to make any changes for the better from there. It is more difficult to pass the standards to join, and work to change it from within, but that is what many of us do. I will always question the motives given by people for not joining a professional trade organization, particularly when it is the only peer review that is available to us, and it is by peer review that we make the most improvement in our work.
If a tech believes that they are going to attain mastery of the craft working on their own, they are dreaming. The sum total of experience available to any PTG member is so far greater than what we can expose ourselves to on our own, that the game is rigged against the independent from the get-go.
In our chapter, the associates know that they will begin to get referrals from me and others when they are RPT's. If a tech can't pass such simple, basic, tests, I am not going to risk my name and reputation( which is worth something), referring customers to them. It doesn't have anything to do with what kind of a temperament is used.
Regards,


I hear you, but this is also very subjective and narrow?

I know, without a doubt, that there are many, many people out there in the world, doctors, lawyers, tuners, etc.. even an American president, even a South African president, who have cheated, and have not earned their way, but, "have got into the Orginisation".

Once again, there are many people out there in the world who are self taught and extremely brilliant and capable in their field. One does not need an orginisation, however, being in one can have it's benefits, I am sure.

I for one, do not need an orginisation to survive.

Regards,
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167740 - 10/17/13 02:51 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Ed Foote]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote

The PTG uses ET as a benchmark. It is the standard because it is the most easily measured by objective means...

...we demand that they demonstrate that they can accurately tune the simplest, commercially feasible, temperament. Every RPT(excepting some older, constantly fewer, members that were grandfathered), has shown to his peers that they can tune within a defined window of accuracy. ET is the perfect target for this, disallowing taste and personal preference. That is why it is used, not because of any esthetic considerations.



Now, let me get this right, on the one hand ET is supposed to be so difficult to tune and on the other, it is easy?

So which one is it folks?
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Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167742 - 10/17/13 03:00 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
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Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Warning! Many insurgents may try to use their AK47's on this F22A Raptor!

I found the following in the PTG journal, August 1988, written by Rick Baldassin,

"There were a couple of letters this month in response to the June issue. The first was from Robert Bays, of Atlanta, GA. Robert writes:

"I enjoyed reading your article on "Setting the Temperament” in the June Journal. I was interested to note that for many years now I have been following a procedure similar to (but at the same time very different from) yours and Don Foli’s. For all pianos except those which must have equal temperament for one reason or another, I use the Marpurg "I" temperament, which I tune by setting up the chain of thirds F3-A3-C#4-F4, then tuning perfect fifths and fourths from them.

I am sure you are well acquainted with the Marpurg, which ends up with a series of lovely equal-tempered Major Thirds. Except for those based on F#, A#, and D, all minor triads have equal beating major and minor thirds. The only discordant fifths and fourths are F# -C#, F-A# -F, and A-D. I have had excellent results with this temperament, having never had a complaint, and having had a number of special compliments..."


Thank you for your letter. I became acquainted with the Marpurg “I” temperament when I was a student in piano technology school. In school, we began by first learning to tune unisons, then various pure intervals, and finally various temperaments. Before we learned equal temperament, we were taught several other temperaments, such as mean-tone, Well Temperament, and the Marpurg “I” temperament. These were taught to us more as learning tools than for their historical significance, though this was not overlooked.

My teacher, Merrill Cox, felt that it would be easier for us at first to tune temperaments which had several pure intervals. Once we had learned to tune unisons without beats, we could train ourselves to hear intervals without beats. The mean-tone temperaments served well for this. Once we had mastered the mean-tone temperaments, we moved on to the Well Temperament, which was similar to the mean-tone temperaments, but introduced the concept of “tempering” intervals so that the instrument could be played in all of the keys, unlike the mean-tone temperaments.

The Marpurg “I” temperament was one which was studied as we neared our study of equal temperament, as it displayed the concept of tempering of Major Thirds.

Finally, we learned equal temperament which included tempering of all the intervals. In my daily practice, I have call only to tune in equal temperament, so I am not as familiar with several of the historical temperaments as others may be. I do recall that as unequal temperaments go, the Marpurg “I” is fairly close to equal temperament. We probably have all tuned it by accident while attempting equal temperament."
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167759 - 10/17/13 03:43 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
http://www.bruceduffie.com/mohr.html

Piano Technician Franz Mohr

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie

BD: Does it bother you when you see a technician, or someone trying to tune a piano, who is using a little electronic strobe?

FM: [Becoming a bit agitated] Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! I go quite mad, although many, many use it. There’s nothing wrong with the machine itself. The machine is perfect, but to translate what the machine tells you into the practical tuning is an entirely different story. Unless you learn to use your hearing — which comes in combination with your touch, with your feeling in your fingers, the touch of the tuning hammer — unless it comes through hearing into the tuning hammer to set the tuning pin, you will never, ever get this kind of tuning into a piano.

BD: Why?

FM: Because the machine may tell you exactly if the pitch is right. It’s right on, so you take your tuning hammer off from that tuning pin and you go to the next tuning pin. But it’s already out because you have never really set it. Looking at that machine might improve your eyesight, but certainly not your hearing because you rely on your eyes and not on your hearing. When I check somebody out to see if he has hearing for tuning, what I usually do is let him tune unison to see if he hears octaves and if he can put a unison in where one string is out. You immediately can see that.

BD: But you’ve got to be listening in equal temperament. You can’t be listening in perfect intervals.

FM: You cannot tune any interval pure, not a fifth or fourth. You cannot do it. You have to temper. That’s why we call it temperament! It has to fit in through the whole scale, through the whole circle of fifths. We know about historic temperaments and all this. They’re all very nice to know about, but they do not work for our modern piano.

BD: Would you tune differently if the concert was just the Goldberg Variations, as opposed to an all-modern program of Schoenberg and Webern?

FM: No I wouldn’t, nor have I ever been requested to tune any different temperament! Never, ever!
_________________________
Mark Davis
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#2167768 - 10/17/13 04:04 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
To many of the greatest pianists of our time, one man was critically important: Franz Mohr, former Chief Concert Technician of Steinway & Sons for more than a quarter of a century...

And he only tuned ET!
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Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167775 - 10/17/13 04:38 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 425
Loc: Boston, MA
I agree with Ed Foote on this.

Alfredo, I'm glad that you desire to delineate what creates a great ET mathematically with your CHAS approach. However, it seems your only motive is to sell your approach and inject this into every thread that might, even peripherally, accept it.

I don't think a 'standard' needs to be made beyond what already is. In fact, it shouldn't. Ed delineated clearly how standard ET is used in the PTG to act as a test that can be clearly defined and tuned to.

What emerges beyond this dry starting point is what separates the great from the average technicians. To standardize it and further make rules would drain the life out of what makes art vibrant, free and evolving.

I have a technical background in the sciences and it is even difficult for me to define a standard in what I am doing. I am fully aware of what I am doing when I am tuning aurally, and could describe it mathematically, but the problem is: it is very piecewise and complex. It cannot be summarized in a standard model. Every ideal model is unique.

According to the spectrum of a good piano, I believe there IS NO CONSTANT that can be used to delineate stretch. A great aural tuning uses a combination of alignments in different areas of the piano to achieve a maximum resonance of the instrument.

In other words, a pure 8ves, 5ths, or 12ths tuning - or anything in between - will never be the correct tuning for an entire instrument. This is true by definition of the medium we are dealing with.
_________________________
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Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2167825 - 10/17/13 06:27 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis

"To many of the greatest pianists of our time, one man was critically important: Franz Mohr, former Chief Concert Technician of Steinway & Sons for more than a quarter of a century..."


"We know about historic temperaments and all this. They’re all very nice to know about, but they do not work for our modern piano.

BD: Would you tune differently if the concert was just the Goldberg Variations, as opposed to an all-modern program of Schoenberg and Webern?

FM: No I wouldn’t, nor have I ever been requested to tune any different temperament! Never, ever!..."


"As the close colleague of legendary musicians such as Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein, Glenn Gould, Rudolf Serkin and many others, Franz Mohr attended to their Steinway instruments, making delicate adjustments that affect tone, balance, and other characteristics of sound. It was Mohr who enabled these virtuosos to fully realize their own, individual interpretative styles, and to fully realize their concept of tonal color. Franz Mohr directed the preparation and maintenance of all Steinway pianos provided for concert and artists' service throughout the world and was the technical advisor to technicians at 100 dealer locations where hundreds of Steinway pianos stand ready for concert use."

_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167827 - 10/17/13 06:47 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
I ask the question again. I think this is probably the 4th time on this forum that I have asked this and have not got a satisfactory answer.

When you HT proponents get your temperament wrong, or tune some errors in to it, what do you call your tuning? or do you just keep quiet and not say anything?

Is it not the subjectivity that is so attractive about tuning HT's? There is a large room for movement, flowing from one to another with many variations, in so much that, whatever one tunes, when one is tuning an HT, you just can't go wrong, all is well!?

Isn't it great to be able to wallow in such a big shallow pool!? What a standard?

What standard? Which standard? Who's standard?



Edited by Mark Davis (10/17/13 06:48 PM)
Edit Reason: a
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Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167836 - 10/17/13 07:07 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Tunewerk]
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/10/07
Posts: 1085
Loc: Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk
I agree with Ed Foote on this.

Alfredo, I'm glad that you desire to delineate what creates a great ET mathematically with your CHAS approach. However, it seems your only motive is to sell your approach and inject this into every thread that might, even peripherally, accept it.

I don't think a 'standard' needs to be made beyond what already is. In fact, it shouldn't. Ed delineated clearly how standard ET is used in the PTG to act as a test that can be clearly defined and tuned to.

What emerges beyond this dry starting point is what separates the great from the average technicians. To standardize it and further make rules would drain the life out of what makes art vibrant, free and evolving.

I have a technical background in the sciences and it is even difficult for me to define a standard in what I am doing. I am fully aware of what I am doing when I am tuning aurally, and could describe it mathematically, but the problem is: it is very piecewise and complex. It cannot be summarized in a standard model. Every ideal model is unique.

According to the spectrum of a good piano, I believe there IS NO CONSTANT that can be used to delineate stretch. A great aural tuning uses a combination of alignments in different areas of the piano to achieve a maximum resonance of the instrument.

In other words, a pure 8ves, 5ths, or 12ths tuning - or anything in between - will never be the correct tuning for an entire instrument. This is true by definition of the medium we are dealing with.



Tunewerk,

I do not think we need to agree on "why" we write in this Forum and on what is peripheral. And I am not (here) into "selling" my approach, but offering it for free.

I think that, "beyond what already is", representing a new approach may help young tuners to focus on aural tuning targets, and I try to delineate clearly how the 12 or 16 notes required for tuning the first ET are not enough, not suitable for tuning a piano as a whole. For this reason I think that the PTG's test, although "clearly defined", is far from referencing/ensuring a reliable standard.

You wrote: ...What emerges beyond this dry starting point is what separates the great from the average technicians. To standardize it and further make rules would drain the life out of what makes art vibrant, free and evolving."...

To me, your words sound like poetry out of place. During my own research I tried to be lucid (perhaps you know how beats can keep you on earth), that is what makes me feel vibrant and free.

..."I have a technical background in the sciences and it is even difficult for me to define a standard in what I am doing. I am fully aware of what I am doing when I am tuning aurally, and could describe it mathematically, but the problem is: it is very piecewise and complex. It cannot be summarized in a standard model."...

I hope you can solve your problem.

..."Every ideal model is unique."...

I agree.

..."According to the spectrum of a good piano, I believe there IS NO CONSTANT that can be used to delineate stretch. A great aural tuning uses a combination of alignments in different areas of the piano to achieve a maximum resonance of the instrument."...

Why do you mention "a great aural tuner", are you a great aural tuner? How do you aim at "maximum resonance of the instrument", is that in force of 12 root of two? Or your free artistry?

..."In other words, a pure 8ves, 5ths, or 12ths tuning - or anything in between - will never be the correct tuning for an entire instrument. This is true by definition of the medium we are dealing with."...

If you manage to find your answer, all the better. For the time being, I hope you do not mind if I keep on sharing with others.
.
_________________________
alfredo

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#2167846 - 10/17/13 07:29 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis

So, what I am getting from your post so far and the above quote, is this, 1. ET is the most easily measured temperament by objective means, 2. That HT's are purely subjective and not easily measured, and, 3. That HT is a personal preferance and taste.

It is all very well to harp on reverse well, but what I still have not heard from the HT proponents is, when you folks do get your temperament wrong, tuning some errors in to it, what do you call your tuning? or do you not say?


This is what I get from every discussion of UT(HT) vs. ET that I've read here. To add, when asked, okay, "If not ET, then *which* UT?" never a straight answer.

Let's go to that PTG test. If not ET, which UT should be used for the test, and how would it be measured?



Edited by OperaTenor (10/17/13 07:31 PM)
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2167849 - 10/17/13 07:31 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
From what I heard on the video Bill Bremmer posted earlier, besides the too-sharp D#, I have to say, I did not like what I heard.

But then, I find beauty in symmetry...
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2167857 - 10/17/13 07:54 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 425
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
I ask the question again. I think this is probably the 4th time on this forum that I have asked this and have not got a satisfactory answer.

When you HT proponents get your temperament wrong, or tune some errors in to it, what do you call your tuning? or do you just keep quiet and not say anything?

Is it not the subjectivity that is so attractive about tuning HT's? There is a large room for movement, flowing from one to another with many variations, in so much that, whatever one tunes, when one is tuning an HT, you just can't go wrong, all is well!?

Isn't it great to be able to wallow in such a big shallow pool!? What a standard?

What standard? Which standard? Who's standard?


I'll answer this here.

Historical temperaments in their intention were not subjective. They were very specific in their instruction. Additionally, the theory of equal temperament was known during the time that they were developed!

Each had a design for modulation through the circle of 5ths. They very carefully played with shifting of tone color among the keys on the lower inharmonicity instruments of the time.

Now, no one today would probably have an ear for determining what is wrong with an historical temperament - you are right - because we are only educated to know what equal temperament sounds like. So what would pass as an historical temperament today, might very well have a poor, undefined quality.

Owen Jorgensen notes that the first beat frequencies for organ tuning in equal temperament were published in 1810. It was published by a mathematician and actually meant as a joke - signed by 'Musicus Ignoramus'. They couldn't believe that a musician would actually tolerate a C-E beat speed that fast. This is how the tastes were at the time (and lower inharmonicity instruments contributed to those tastes).

Originally Posted By: Alfredo Capurso
I think that, "beyond what already is", representing a new approach may help young tuners to focus on aural tuning targets, and I try to delineate clearly how the 12 or 16 notes required for tuning the first ET are not enough, not suitable for tuning a piano as a whole. For this reason I think that the PTG's test, although "clearly defined", is far from referencing/ensuring a reliable standard.


I agree with this part, Alfredo, partly. I think a model that extends further is good and necessary to a deeper understanding of tuning - and to a higher quality in tuning. I also agree with you that aural targets are discrete and not sliding - as tuning machines define them.

However, you do not understand the PTG test if you think that it is not a reliable standard. It is very clear in its defined form, to weed out people who cannot tune to a standard. It is not the finest, most elevated form of equal temperament, but it is a standard.

The PTG test is based on a very conservative form of equal temperament, biasing beat speeds over musicality, because beat speeds can be measured.
_________________________
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Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2167892 - 10/17/13 10:17 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3321
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: rxd
If you mean the one used by all major western recording studios, concert halls, tuned percussion manufacturers, broadcasting companies, the default on all electronic instruments, etcetc.

There is. Has been for generations.


Right.

I'm interested to see what the proponents of UT's have to say about it, as they have been disparaging of that standard.



Where I live, the "Standard" is often anything but ET. The dealer I do about half of my work for and provides instruments for public performance venues insists that no piano from his dealership ever be tuned in ET. Plain and simple.

What gets me are not those who truly can and do tune ET, it is those who claim to only tune ET but instead only offer Reverse Well. If you ask me, it was the attempt to impose the very universal standard you have in mind that unintentionally lead to far more tuners tuning Reverse Well than actual ET.

I would like to see what would happen if someone tried to tune a piano so that it matched perfectly with one of those tuned percussion instruments. Those would be perfect ET, wouldn't they? So go ahead and match the piano pitch by pitch to one of them and see what happens.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2167926 - 10/18/13 12:15 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1485
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: rxd
If you mean the one used by all major western recording studios, concert halls, tuned percussion manufacturers, broadcasting companies, the default on all electronic instruments, etcetc.

There is. Has been for generations.


Is it just me, or do all electronic keyboards vary drastically from ET. Every keyboard I check, doesn't matter how expensive it is, has uneven M3's, varying P12's and octaves, and just sounds horrible, IMHO.

In my course, after we get a small taste of evenly increasing M3's, I like to turn on an electronic keyboard if one is nearby, and play chromatic intervals, to show the students that the accepted opinion that electronic keyboards are "in tune" or at least ET, is false, and that only an acoustic piano has the potential to really sound in tune, from the perspective of octaves anyway. (I don't want to get into the ET is/is not in tune, etc. discussion)

Does anyone know why this is?

My theory is that a perfectly tuned ET on an electronic instrument must sound horrible; no resonance, so the intentional untuning creates a quasi resonance.

There must be some reason. Korg, and Roland, and Yamaha, wouldn't spend millions on research and development for these instruments not to spend time and money choosing a decent tuning. Do I have my rose coloured glasses on again?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2167937 - 10/18/13 12:46 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Good question, Mark. I've never heard a keyboard in good ET. Invariably an interval or two will be hopelessly astray. Rather surprising considering that the so-called "exactness of electronics" is on its side. Perhaps it shouldn't be, though. Behind electronics is fallibility directing its course.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2167941 - 10/18/13 12:52 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 425
Loc: Boston, MA
Now there's a case where there needs to be a better standard!

I have the same experience, Mark. I think it has to do with relative ignorance on the part of the engineers designing the keyboards. It's not their area of specialty.

I once had a long conversation with a Kurzweil engineer while working on a piano. He was a programmer for synthesized piano tone (in the division where they actually do these recordings). It surprised me that I ended up teaching him as much as he taught me.
_________________________
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Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2167942 - 10/18/13 12:53 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Davis]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1843
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis
http://www.bruceduffie.com/mohr.html

Piano Technician Franz Mohr

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie

BD: Does it bother you when you see a technician, or someone trying to tune a piano, who is using a little electronic strobe?

FM: [Becoming a bit agitated] Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! I go quite mad, although many, many use it. There’s nothing wrong with the machine itself. The machine is perfect, but to translate what the machine tells you into the practical tuning is an entirely different story. Unless you learn to use your hearing — which comes in combination with your touch, with your feeling in your fingers, the touch of the tuning hammer — unless it comes through hearing into the tuning hammer to set the tuning pin, you will never, ever get this kind of tuning into a piano.

BD: Why?

FM: Because the machine may tell you exactly if the pitch is right. It’s right on, so you take your tuning hammer off from that tuning pin and you go to the next tuning pin. But it’s already out because you have never really set it. Looking at that machine might improve your eyesight, but certainly not your hearing because you rely on your eyes and not on your hearing. When I check somebody out to see if he has hearing for tuning, what I usually do is let him tune unison to see if he hears octaves and if he can put a unison in where one string is out. You immediately can see that.

BD: But you’ve got to be listening in equal temperament. You can’t be listening in perfect intervals.

FM: You cannot tune any interval pure, not a fifth or fourth. You cannot do it. You have to temper. That’s why we call it temperament! It has to fit in through the whole scale, through the whole circle of fifths. We know about historic temperaments and all this. They’re all very nice to know about, but they do not work for our modern piano.

BD: Would you tune differently if the concert was just the Goldberg Variations, as opposed to an all-modern program of Schoenberg and Webern?

FM: No I wouldn’t, nor have I ever been requested to tune any different temperament! Never, ever!


"As the close colleague of legendary musicians such as Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein, Glenn Gould, Rudolf Serkin and many others, Franz Mohr attended to their Steinway instruments, making delicate adjustments that affect tone, balance, and other characteristics of sound. It was Mohr who enabled these virtuosos to fully realize their own, individual interpretative styles, and to fully realize their concept of tonal color. Franz Mohr directed the preparation and maintenance of all Steinway pianos provided for concert and artists' service throughout the world and was the technical advisor to technicians at 100 dealer locations where hundreds of Steinway pianos stand ready for concert use."


Priceless! Thank you for posting this.


Edited by bkw58 (10/18/13 12:59 AM)
Edit Reason: restore deletion
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2167951 - 10/18/13 01:39 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Thanks for the informative discusion


Edited by Mark Davis (10/18/13 01:46 AM)
Edit Reason: Thanks for the thread
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Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167967 - 10/18/13 02:41 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
It's a pleasure Bob!
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Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2167973 - 10/18/13 03:46 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted By: rxd
If you mean the one used by all major western recording studios, concert halls, tuned percussion manufacturers, broadcasting companies, the default on all electronic instruments, etcetc.

There is. Has been for generations.


Is it just me, or do all electronic keyboards vary drastically from ET. Every keyboard I check, doesn't matter how expensive it is, has uneven M3's, varying P12's and octaves, and just sounds horrible, IMHO.

In my course, after we get a small taste of evenly increasing M3's, I like to turn on an electronic keyboard if one is nearby, and play chromatic intervals, to show the students that the accepted opinion that electronic keyboards are "in tune" or at least ET, is false, and that only an acoustic piano has the potential to really sound in tune, from the perspective of octaves anyway. (I don't want to get into the ET is/is not in tune, etc. discussion)

Does anyone know why this is?

My theory is that a perfectly tuned ET on an electronic instrument must sound horrible; no resonance, so the intentional untuning creates a quasi resonance.

There must be some reason. Korg, and Roland, and Yamaha, wouldn't spend millions on research and development for these instruments not to spend time and money choosing a decent tuning. Do I have my rose coloured glasses on again?


Mark the instruments using a sample by note should be better, but often one sampled note is used for the four next so they will have the same iH , same spectra, ect

Now if the sampled notes electronic keyboards are made in America they probably have a reverse well tuning on them.

Again something the diabolic America is trying to sell us poor Europeans wink

I feel the strong hand behind that
_________________________
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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#2168033 - 10/18/13 09:00 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Bill Bremmer RPT Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3321
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Quote:
Is it just me, or do all electronic keyboards vary drastically from ET. Every keyboard I check, doesn't matter how expensive it is, has uneven M3's, varying P12's and octaves, and just sounds horrible, IMHO.


No, Mark, it is not just you. I have noticed the same thing. I have also often read that a beginning technician should use such an instrument as a model. Even Dr. William Braide-White made such a suggestion.

I have learned a lot from many great PTG mentors, to be sure: Owen Jorgensen, Jim Coleman, Sr., Virgil Smith and Franz Mohr among them (and placed in that order of importance).

Mark from South Africa chose to name names and went nuts on another thread with his own wild speculations that have nothing at all to do with my experience nor motivations but they do constitute a libelous attack. I'll let them stand, however so they may appear forever on his own record.

I never did read any of Rick Baldassin's material but I did attend a lecture where he talked of the importance of the three contiguous M3's to create a framework for the initial temperament octave. He was not the only one, of course. Bill Garlick (another great mentor), Dr. Al Sanderson and Jim Coleman, Sr. had also advocated their use.

In 2003, when I set about to finding new ways to help people pass the PTG Tuning exam, I specifically avoided ever reading any of Rick Baldassin's material because I did not want to be influenced by it in any way.

I have also never read any of our friend from Germany's material. While I attended one lecture of his, I hardly understood a word he was saying. I still have no clear idea of exactly what he does. I don't agree with the idea of an ET within a pure 12th as being optimum either, so if he uses any tone clusters at all, they are not what I do and not how I use them.

It stands to reason that if something exists, any number of people will discover it independently of each other. No one that I know of ever advocated the use of two pairs of octaves, F3-F4 and A3-A4 to prove that the initial set of Contiguous M3's is correct.

Only Jack Stebbins has found another way of doing that which I never use or have ever written about except to also recommend it and disseminate that information for those for whom it would work any better than my own idea. It does work better for some people because it involves a lower set of of M3's which can be more easily discerned.

Franz Mohr gave me a lot of inspiration which is one thing he is quite good at. But I have news for everyone: His temperaments are not strictly ET but also are not RW. He cannot give you specifics in words about what he does. He is a true artist, so his tunings vary from one piano and one circumstance to the next even though he says and what he aims for is always the same goal.

I do agree with Franz Mohr about the use of an ETD. If that is the only way a technician knows how to tune, by letting a such a device calculate the tuning and not set the pin properly, the results will not be superior. They may be adequate in many circumstances but not up to today's standards for Concert and broadcast quality tunings.

Jim Coleman, Sr. and Virgil Smith heard one of my tunings in 1992 and inquired as to what I did with the octaves. What later became known as the "Mindless Octaves" was deemed a very good idea. Jim Coleman asked me to describe what I did to Dr. Sanderson who later recalculated his tuning curve to attempt to reproduce that idea. It is still in use today.

The fact is, that we all have influenced each other. What is written on Jason Kanter's site about the EBVT is misleading. What he is talking about was not what I had been doing by ear for many years but putting it into actual writing. I had as much trouble doing that as Frans Mohr would have had. It was only after Oweb Jorgensen helped me find the exact words that the exact Temperament Sequence in writing as it has stood since 2007 was finally realized.

The others were correct in their observations, yes. They knew a lot more about electronic tuning than I did but they could only tell me that what I had come up with was not quite right. It was only Owen Jorgensen who could help me solidify the idea that I had long been able to do instinctively but only by ear. A lot like the way Franz Mohr has always tuned.

The accusation of plagiarism is a serious one! I have never copied anyone's material and used it as my own. I have, however read and studied the material of many authors and combined ideas from each to come up with new ideas of my own. The material I have published either on here or in the PTG Journal is intended solely to help other technician understand tuning better and to find ways which may work for them when other methods have failed.

Since I am a PTG member of 30 years, my goal for the last 10 years has been to help technicians, either long term professionals or beginners alike to learn the skills necessary to successfully pass the PTG Tuning Exam. I also look for and advocate ways to make piano tunings sound more musically beautiful (WT). Any other motivation that anyone may ascribe to what I do is their own imagination.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2168056 - 10/18/13 10:03 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1804
Loc: London, England
ET is so embedded in the culture that it is an automatic assumption that it will be used exclusively and without question. So much so that I don't ever remember a contract ever specifying ET.

Many instruments are not true ET. Celesta are either old Mustels at 439 unstretched and flatter than the piano or modern Japanese or German at 442 with the treble stretched unconscionably. Sharper than the piano. Nobody ever thinks to retune or even replace a celeste.

Xylophone notes are so short lived and hollow that any finnesse of pitch is not really noticed. Tubular bells are so complex in tone that their pitch is always suspect. We think we have problems with inharmonicity. Unharmonicity would be a better word.

Metal bar Instruments can vary in pitch from 440 to 444+ in the same studio. The use of tuned percussion in ensemble is a cliché in movie writing for eerie scenes and the more out of tune with themselves, the more eerie it al sounds. Have a listen next time you see a scary movie.

With all this going on, what do we do with the piano? The situation that I'm in, the duties are shared by 5-6 highly experienced tuners who are scheduled so that whoever can get wherever with least inconvenience is scheduled to tune the piano there. This means that all the concert pianos are a bit like the PTG examination piano in that they are seen by one or other of the team who each correct for drift every few hours or few days so that an optimum ET tuning is always in place by consensus. We know the piano is in tune at the best ET of any instruments in the studio.
Up there with the Hammond organ which is not quite ET because it is not possible to put a fraction of a tooth in the tone wheels but is extremely close.

Due to the nature of my lifestyle, if there is ever an intonation problem that involves the piano in a recording situation that needs immediate attention, I am the one that deals with it. The only time I had to deal with a problem that involved temperament was the the temperament wobble between F# & A#. The piano was perfectly in tune but, in the sparse context of the writing, it sounded strange to somebody in the box. As it happened, they decided to use the take that way even though I offered to retune temporarily for that particular passage.
Think, if the piano had been in WT, that is usually one of the excruciatingly wide intervals and would have been noticed by everybody and his dog, particularly his dog. If the piano was in reverse well, it might not be so noticeable and I would not have been called in and lost out on the extra fee.

Pitch is currently a bigger issue than any of this. One of our concert halls is having a festival of foreign orchestras this month and one or other of the resident orchestras is playing their regular concerts between the foreign orchestra visits. The pianos are at 442 for 6 weeks so our orchestras are having to play at 442 when a piano is Involved. Phlegmatic bunch, our musicians here, not a bit pretentious so they're flexible enough to take it in their strides.
_________________________
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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#2168073 - 10/18/13 11:02 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 425
Loc: Boston, MA
Dear Bill,

I am so confused what you are talking about here.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer
No one that I know of ever advocated the use of two pairs of octaves, F3-F4 and A3-A4 to prove that the initial set of Contiguous M3's is correct.


This is standard practice in any 'stack of 3rds' temperament.

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer
Franz Mohr gave me a lot of inspiration which is one thing he is quite good at. But I have news for everyone: His temperaments are not strictly ET but also are not RW. He cannot give you specifics in words about what he does.


This comes down to splitting hairs with definitions. Due to variations in inharmonicity, ANY excellent aural equal temperament tuning will vary from being strictly equal, especially in terms of RBI's to favor the more important SBI's. So all progressions will not work out all of the time simply because of where the harmonics occur in the instruments.

Can you delineate for me what this term means that you keep using, reverse well?

Agreed with many other of your good points. If you are interested in knowing what Stopper is doing, it is solved in the thread 'Stopper's Temperament'.
_________________________
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Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2168076 - 10/18/13 11:24 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
RonTuner Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Mark Davis

So, what I am getting from your post so far and the above quote, is this, 1. ET is the most easily measured temperament by objective means, 2. That HT's are purely subjective and not easily measured, and, 3. That HT is a personal preferance and taste.

It is all very well to harp on reverse well, but what I still have not heard from the HT proponents is, when you folks do get your temperament wrong, tuning some errors in to it, what do you call your tuning? or do you not say?


This is what I get from every discussion of UT(HT) vs. ET that I've read here. To add, when asked, okay, "If not ET, then *which* UT?" never a straight answer.

Let's go to that PTG test. If not ET, which UT should be used for the test, and how would it be measured?




Perhaps because that's the wrong question... Kindof like:

Should there be a standard flavor of ice cream? Isn't it vanilla? If not vanilla, then what flavor?

Here's one takeaway on these discussions - the little secret that doesn't often come up, but gets danced around as we discover that there is quite a range for what is accepted as ET:

To most uneducated techs and musicians (I'm talking about uneducated, inexperienced in playing/hearing a variety of temperaments) it really doesn't matter what the temperament is as long as it doesn't draw attention to itself - how different that needs to be would be a good experiment... What matters most is the quality of each unison and how the octaves relate to one another across the range of the keyboard. Virgil Smith wrote of "beatless octaves" (that were proven to be impossible by scientific standards), Bill writes about "mindless octaves" - some ETD designers and users (myself included) have spent a great deal of time to find ways to guide the machine to find a stretch that allows the piano to resonate across the octaves.

Now once we move to an educated sample - clients of those techs that offer multiple temperaments and show how to listen to the differences, then we find that there are still lots of people that either don't hear the difference, or it just doesn't matter to them. A very, very small percentage do prefer ET, but a larger percentage prefer "other"... But that "other" isn't singular, it is a range, a choice offered up to the one that is to make music with the piano.

So my question to those trying to declare a standard is:

Why are you so against choice for the consumer?

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
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#2168086 - 10/18/13 11:39 AM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21904
Loc: Oakland
I am not against choice for the consumer. But if the consumer wants a different choice, the consumer has to specify what it is and be there to approve it. Otherwise, I will assume that they accept the standard.

The last time I had anyone try to do that, they called at the last minute to get the piano tuned, then they called back saying they wanted it at another pitch, then they did not show up when I was scheduled to tune, and then they complained about the tuning when I came back to pull up a string I had replaced. I told them, fine, get somebody else to tune it the way they wanted, and went home. The next day, the production manager called me and said he did not blame me at all. I am still tuning there. The performers have never been back.
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#2168119 - 10/18/13 01:00 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
unecessary response deleted


Edited by Mark Davis (10/18/13 04:45 PM)
Edit Reason: unecessary response deleted
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#2168145 - 10/18/13 02:12 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Mr. Davis,

As one who prefers the "other" category, as illustrated by this quote by Mr. Koval, I take exception to your rather misdirected address of drivel as drivel.

"A very, very small percentage do prefer ET, but a larger percentage prefer "other"... But that "other" isn't singular, it is a range, a choice offered up to the one that is to make music with the piano."

I would accept the logic of one of the most respected tuner/technicians in a major metropolitan area, such as Chicago, as being more substantial than opinion from a "Piano Tuner & Technician" located in an undisclosed location, without accreditation or certification, the name of whose company is unsearchable and unlinked, and has a blank profile at Piano World.

Credibility does seem to be an issue.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2168155 - 10/18/13 02:40 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
after temperance leagues, now we have temperament league !

Honestly, it is refreshing to read all that from so far.

BTW the "best shot of those dumb Broadwood tuners in 1850 and a hair" temperament, on a fine Steinway, gave the very convincing comment "the piano is not very well tuned" .

AT the question (after rehearsal) "does it add something?

the answer was : "nope, sorry" .

Probably also a dumb pianist (they are all)

Same thing on an old pianos, : almost unsuspected. In the end helps by distracting the ear from hearing the old wire and unevenness of tone of an old soundboard.






Edited by Olek (10/18/13 02:45 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


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#2168158 - 10/18/13 02:42 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
unecessary response deleted


Edited by Mark Davis (10/18/13 04:46 PM)
Edit Reason: unecessary response deleted
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Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2168164 - 10/18/13 02:57 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
unecessary response deleted


Edited by Mark Davis (10/18/13 04:51 PM)
Edit Reason: unecessary response deleted
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2168173 - 10/18/13 03:15 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Drugs?

Religion?

Psychiatric Condition?

This is too totally weird.

Neither Mr. Koval nor I referred to Mr. Mohr or other theoreticians of tuning temperaments. It was you and Mr. Bremmer who introduced them. I have great respect and regard for Mr. Bremmer, however.

I have never claimed to be a Jesuit. I have studied at, and received a degree from, a major Jesuit institution, however. Logic was part of my curriculum.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2168174 - 10/18/13 03:16 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: OperaTenor]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
All, I knew I should never have entered the fray. On this thread and the other.

I must withdraw as I forsee no end to this controversy and there are many better and more educated than I, who I am sure will continue with it.

All of this is taking up far to much of my time and I have much more important things that need my attention.

To good acquaintances, all the best!

To not so good acquaintances, all the best!
_________________________
Mark Davis
Piano Tuner & Technician

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#2168180 - 10/18/13 03:40 PM Re: Should There Be A Standard? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty


I have never claimed to be a Jesuit. I have studied at, and received a degree from, a major Jesuit institution, however. Logic was part of my curriculum.



My sincere apologies then for calling you something that you are not!


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