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#2197328 - 12/14/13 02:42 AM Offering a temperament to...
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2662
Short history:

One of the University tuners in Ankara that I have been exchanging mails about aural tuning, who have used the Steinway 4ths-5ths temperament in the past but thinks it results in cumulative errors, is interested in trying a modern temperament.

I offered him to translate and send such a temperament.

Which temperament would be your choice?

It would be better if I could back up my offering, such as the temperament being widely accepted, being from a respected tuner(s), such as a Golden Hammer winner(s), etc etc.
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Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2198488 - 12/16/13 11:57 AM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2662
Just an update:

I would like to thank Mr. Bill Bremmer, who have provided in depth and detailed information and also a video of himself showing his "Up a Third Up a Third Down a Fifth" sequence in the other thread.

I will just translate his method into Turkish and propose to the university tuner. Maybe also referencing the videos as well and also adding some visual content showing the temperament on a keyboard layout.

If I can, I will try to record this technician's tuning of Mr. Bremmer's temperament and post here, probably in a month or so depending on the technician's schedule.

It is very fortunate for me that, with the help of Mr. Bremmer I finally found a temperament that will help this technician to tune a very good ET aurally. Let's see.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2198627 - 12/16/13 04:00 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 678
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I feel uncomfortable about the proposal of expecting a technician to respond to the offer that you are suggesting. I just feel that this may put the technician out of his/her comfort zone and the result may not be to your liking.

I am sorry that you are having difficulty in finding a good and suitable technician. Maybe Kees is correct and you may have to look after you own piano - in small steps at a time I would suggest. You obviously have a good grasp of tuning theory and concepts and you have the intelligence to apply it appropriately if given confidence.

For what it is worth, Bill Bremmer already has well documented methodologies on piano tuning on his web site. If employing a technician, can this be translated for him to use at his discretion rather than being pressured into specific fine points of aural tuning?


Edited by Chris Leslie (12/16/13 04:02 PM)
_________________________
Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2198647 - 12/16/13 04:17 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Boston, MA
It seems you care more about the status of an idea, rather than the quality of the idea itself. You will miss many of the greatest ideas in tuning theory that way.

There is no single greatest tuning method. Tuning equal temperament is a multi-variable problem. The best tuning method comes down to what you are best at hearing, and checks that eliminate cumulative error.

Look at George Defebaugh's temperament or Bill Bremmer's method for beginners. Look at Virgil Smith's writing and Jim Coleman, Sr., together with the Baldassin, Sanderson, Kimbell, Tremper temperament for more advanced methods.

Overall, the best advice I can share is reading Dan Levitan's book on tuning, as well as the volume written by Dr. Brian Capleton. Those are the best comprehensive sources you will be able to find.
_________________________
www.tunewerk.com

Unity of tone through applied research.

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#2198678 - 12/16/13 04:47 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2662
Chris, thank you for replying and I understand your concerns.

It is my fault that I have not made my post more clear.
This is not actually related to my piano.

This university technician is a colleague of the tuner who tuned my piano several times. After the Ultratune software tuning upon learning about it from my tuner, he reached me and asked for the software in order to try it himself. Later on we exchanged a few messages about the use of the software. And meanwhile these exchanges I asked him whether he would be also interested in aural tuning. He replied that he could, but the fourths-fifths temperament he had learned while he was a student was always a pain to tune without cumulative errors.

Then, I asked him whether he would be interested about a different style temperament than the fourths-fifths temperament, and that if so I would be willing to translate such a temperament to Turkish for him. He said, he would be delightful to try such a temperament.
Hence my first post.

Mr. Bill Bremmer, indeed has very well documented methodologies on his site as you have noted, and I am also grateful to him for his detailed exchange of further information about his methodology on the other thread.

I have no personal expectations from this tuner learning Mr. Bremmer's methods. He only works at the university and does not have customers outside. But personally I like helping people. And in the end if I know that this tuner will be satisfied and happy to be able to tune a good ET aurally using Mr. Bremmer's temperament, I too will be more than happy. And if the academic staff of the piano department at the university like his tunings, then I will even be happier. Because at the moment they are confined with this TLA device that only has some preset settings.

Of course, if my tuner joins his colleague and learns this new temperament that would make me happy too. But all these are wishful thinking on my side and in the end it is their profession and their decision on how to tune pianos.

On a side note, currently I seem to be continuing with the last Russian tuner because of the more stable tuning he has made, and make sure that he uses the Tunelab software correctly next time.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2198683 - 12/16/13 04:56 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Tunewerk]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2662
Originally Posted By: Tunewerk
It seems you care more about the status of an idea, rather than the quality of the idea itself. You will miss many of the greatest ideas in tuning theory that way.

There is no single greatest tuning method. Tuning equal temperament is a multi-variable problem. The best tuning method comes down to what you are best at hearing, and checks that eliminate cumulative error.

Look at George Defebaugh's temperament or Bill Bremmer's method for beginners. Look at Virgil Smith's writing and Jim Coleman, Sr., together with the Baldassin, Sanderson, Kimbell, Tremper temperament for more advanced methods.

Overall, the best advice I can share is reading Dan Levitan's book on tuning, as well as the volume written by Dr. Brain Capleton. Those are the best comprehensive sources you will be able to find.


Tunewerk, thank you very much!!
That is really very valuable information for me.

For the moment, I am planning to propose Bill Bremmer's method. Mainly because it is very easy to understand and well documented and also Mr. Bremmer has videos demonstrating his method, which I can reference along with the written procedure.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2198823 - 12/16/13 09:13 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
SMHaley Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 757
Loc: Seattle
I tried Bill's method just this weekend for concert. A marvelous approach that worked well on two different instruments. While it was not intended to play them together it occurred anyhow and the result was very satisfying. Of course a temperament is but one small part of a larger pie.
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AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Practitioner of piano technology
Church Music Professional
Curator of instruments - Chancel Arts
Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
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#2198824 - 12/16/13 09:15 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
SMHaley Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 757
Loc: Seattle
I tried Bill's method just this weekend for concert. A marvelous approach that worked well on two different instruments. While it was not intended to play them together it occurred anyhow and the result was very satisfying. Of course a temperament is but one small part of a larger pie.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Practitioner of piano technology
Church Music Professional
Curator of instruments - Chancel Arts
Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2198902 - 12/17/13 01:28 AM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks to all for your comments.

Hakki,

I saw this post long ago but declined at first to comment for several reasons. One of those is that the Golden Hammer award is PTG's highest honor, indeed, but that award, in spite of its title, does not go to nor imply that the recipient is one of the world's most highly skilled tuners. Of course, some of those who have received it do fit that description. Very often, it is granted to a technician who has given his entire adult life to the Piano Technology profession in a variety of ways but only at the near end, end, or even after the end of that person's life. It has been granted to technicians who were never at all known for their tuning skills.

If you were to ask some of them, they might give you the same advice that a few other people have given you. Study a variety of materials, find out what works best for you and go with that. The article I wrote 10 years ago was designed specifically to help technicians who had used methods far more commonly known but had met with failure. Being that it is 10 years old, it should be updated but you have already found where it could and should be. I will get to that when I have the time.

The University technician whom you speak of apparently has had a problem with cumulative errors when attempting to use the temperament sequence that Steinway factory technicians use. Most of the technicians at the Steinway dealership and Concert & Artist services department in New York City, Steinway Hall, probably use it too.

It is logical to draw the conclusion that the method used by technicians of the world's premier and most iconic manufacturer would be the method to adopt. You asked that question in a previous post and I gave you a long answer as to why it is really only appropriate for technicians under those circumstances to use. Nearly anyone else who tries to use it will get results that are far from what is intended and desirable.

I made three more videos today when I had the opportunity to tune a nice Steinway. I, in fact, tune lots of Steinway pianos. Two of them just today. The first was a very old one and not suitable for such a video but the second one was.

Last week, someone on another thread mentioned something about having watched a technician tune a Steinway model B in 45 minutes and the results were less than desirable. In the last ten days, I have tuned 10 Steinway model B pianos (an average of 1 per day) and I got every one of them done in 45 minutes or so. Of course, I have custom ETD programs for those pianos and I use those programs to work efficiently. There were several more Steinway pianos within the last 10 days and several more on my schedule for this week. However, I would never even consider using the temperament sequence that Steinway factory tuners use!

You could be of great service to us all if you have a Smart phone that can make short videos. If you do, you could ask that university technician to tune only the temperament octave (in this case, A3-A4). If he will do that with a muting strip in as you see that I do, so much the better but if he prefers to tune the whole unison as he proceeds, that is OK too.

What we all want to know are the results he gets using that method. We want to try to identify the problem and find a solution for it. So, when you can arrange it, have the technician tune the temperament octave only, and record it with your Smart phone by playing (most importantly), chromatic Major Thirds (M3) at an andante tempo (about one full second for each). Then play Major Sixths. You may also play all 4ths & 5ths. You may also play, M3 & M6's in combinations. You may also play the "inside M3 and outside M6" combinations if you know them. You may also play pairs of Contiguous Major Thirds, (CM3's).

Today, I recorded first the Steinway piano as I found it, with open strings. Then (in the second, short video) I recorded the temperament octave with muting strips in. I was really hoping to find the kind of error I have often identified but I did not. Perhaps a trace of it but not enough to really say, "There it is".

In the third and longer video, I show how I would attempt to tune ET using only 4ths & 5ths. I did not try to purposefully create the kind of commonly made error I have often found. I tried my best to tune as many other technicians would using that kind of sequence. The results were really better than I expected.

It is perhaps good that they were, so I would not be accused of causing that kind of error on purpose, just to be deceitful or further some kind of perceived agenda. The results, as they were, would have passed the PTG tuning exam but shown some errors. The results may have actually fallen in the "superior" range with a score of 90%. They did not exhibit any particular trend towards the Reverse Well (RW) error I have identified. If anything, the trend was more like that of Well Temperament (WT) but still falling into the Quasi ET category.

I can and I will, at some point, make a video (without any trickery or condescension) that will show how and why so many technicians make the RW error. But maybe you will be able to have the university technician show that before I have the opportunity to do so.

I noticed that the results for a 4ths & 5ths sequence could be improved, in particular when the chain of CM3's that resulted was incorrect. Therefore, on a second attempt, I corrected the CM3's and used the sequence I proposed. The results were much improved, to the point where after only the completion of the sequence (but making no attempt to correct any further any small errors), the temperament generated by the "Up a 3rd..." sequence would have passed the PTG tuning exam at a perfect 100% or possibly still showing one small error and receive a score of 98%. In the case of the latter, a few, very small adjustments would have perfected it.

It is often said that "A picture is better than a thousand words". So, please do show the university technician the videos I made in previous days and those I made today. My website also has some videos that show just how to construct the initial set of CM3's.

To construct first a set of CM3's is admittedly difficult. However, I often consider it worth while to get the most difficult part of any job done first. It will often make the rest of the job easier. This holds true for constructing an Equal Temperament. "Get the CM3's right first and the rest will be easy and could hardly go very wrong".

http://youtu.be/naMP--VIlPQ
http://youtu.be/kGeVocJE-_Q
http://youtu.be/ohX0TIYS1L4

P.S. Kees, as time may permit you, please provide beat rate figures for all temperaments (including the "as found"). I think your graph was excellent. The "glaring error" in it was that you did not get all the colors right for the Holiday season! Everybody knows they should be green, red and gold!

This time, if you can, leave out the WT bar since it would not be relevant (except if you find a trace of RW in the "as found" temperament. What I heard in that playing of temperament was that every M3 was a bit fast. To me, it was obvious that the whole octave had been stretched out since the last time it was tuned but there was no particular RW pattern except perhaps just a hint of it.

Of particular relevance would be to show the results of 4ths & 5ths tuning, then the results of CM3 first tuning followed by the "Up a 3rd..." sequence directly against theoretical ET.

P.P.S.S. In case anyone wonders, after tuning the two attempts at ET, I went on to run my custom program for the EBVT III for a Steinway Model L/O because the customer hired me specifically to do that. I finished that in the usual 45 minutes and went on to tune the Blüthner grand that was also in the room in the same temperament at the same pitch. I live in an area where people do commonly request a WT, so that is the way I normally tune any piano.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2199162 - 12/17/13 02:11 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2662
Mr. Bremmer, thank you for your very informative and detailed post.

This was indeed a very interesting experiment and I too wonder the beat rate figures that Kees will provide.

Your contribution to this forum is immense, and only for that, I for one, would have nominated you for the Golden Hammer award.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2199453 - 12/17/13 11:02 PM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1759
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Mr. Bremmer, thank you for your very informative and detailed post.

This was indeed a very interesting experiment and I too wonder the beat rate figures that Kees will provide.

Your contribution to this forum is immense, and only for that, I for one, would have nominated you for the Golden Hammer award.

Let's nominate Bill Bremmer for the 2014 Nobel prize for Piano Tuning! Kidding aside I learned a lot from his super clear articles on his web site.

This is great data and gets us so much more than BS about optimal coherence and resonance.

Not to offend Jeff, who appears a mortal enemy of Bill, perhaps because they have similar attitudes to tuning; let me mention I appreciate very much the fact that Jeff has actually taken reality into account an adjusted his opinion on how accurately he can tune based on facts. Worth another Nobel prize I'd say.

Anyways it's a real pain in the neck to extract audio from those youtube videos so I compensate myself hereby by allowing myself the above ramblings.

This is the first time I see a tuning that has progressive M3/6 within my detection tolerance (0.2 bps, so if they are off by less than 0.4 bps it could be my error). I couldn't measure the bps of the M3 without muting strips; the unisons were too much off.

Enough BS, here are the beat rates:

Original with muting strips
M3

FA 9.5
F#A# 9.5
GB 10.2
G#C 9.5
AC# ? (see no beats)
A#D 9.2
BD# 10.0
CE 12.5
C#F 12.0

After first tuning
M3

FA 6.6
F#A# 8.3
GB 8.3
G#C 8.2
AC# 9.9
A#D 8.6
BD# 10.4
CE 8.7
C#F 13.0


M6

FD 7.7
F#D# 9.4
GE 7.9
G#F 10.9

After second tuning

M3

FA 6.9
F#A# 7.9
GB 7.6
G#C 8.6
AC# 8.9
A#D 8.9
BD# 10.0
CE 9.7
C#F 12.4

M6

FD 7.8
F#D# 8.8
GE 8.5
G#F 10.5

Kees

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#2199590 - 12/18/13 08:43 AM Re: Offering a temperament to... [Re: Hakki]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3271
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thanks, Kees,

I worked an 11 hour day yesterday all on one piano, so no time at all to participate on here and probably none today either aside from right now. It looks to me as if my "errors" in both cases were in the Well Tempered direction. In other words, they do no harm to the way the piano sounds when music is played on it. What always gets me is finding the C4-E4 M3 to be faster than all the rest of the M3's by far.

If piano technicians only knew the first thing about Well Temperament, they would not leave a temperament on a piano that has C Major as the worst sounding chord on the whole piano! No piano tuning book ever does that for technicians. It's just ET and whatever the results are, they must be ET since that is what was intended.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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