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#2264555 - 04/20/14 01:05 PM I just can't get my head around temperament!
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 787
Loc: Darlington, UK
Try as I might I cannot get to grips with "just" and "wolf" tuning. Help!

"The piano is an untunable instrument. With only 12 notes in an octave, their combinations (intervals) cannot all be perfectly "in tune" at once. Tuning a note to perfect one interval will spoil others which use that same note ,thus, compromises (tempering) are used to create the maximum number of usable intervals"

Untuneable? Ugh?
From
http://www.piano-tuners.org/edfoote/well_tempered_piano.html


Edited by LarryShone (04/20/14 01:06 PM)
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2264565 - 04/20/14 01:39 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 116
Loc: Scotland
Larry,

May I suggest you watch this video by Mark Cerisano

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euNO51xDaj8

Ian

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#2264579 - 04/20/14 02:04 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
If you want to have some fun, feel the temperature rise as the tuners become ill-tempered whenever temperament is mentioned.

whistle

tiki

grin
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2264639 - 04/20/14 04:34 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Marty,
I thought you were "ill tempered" towards "bickering"? Here you seem to invite it.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2264642 - 04/20/14 04:47 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
I'm not inviting it, I'm acknowledging that it is rife in this forum whenever the topic comes up.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2264643 - 04/20/14 04:49 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1936
Loc: Suffolk, England
Larry, now you know how to tune equal temperament here's a bit of history from Pythagoras to the accordion.

_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2264648 - 04/20/14 05:18 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Ed Foote Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1124
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: LarryShone
Try as I might I cannot get to grips with "just" and "wolf" tuning. Help!
"The piano is an untunable instrument. With only 12 notes in an octave, their combinations (intervals) cannot all be perfectly "in tune" at once. Tuning a note to perfect one interval will spoil others which use that same note ,thus, compromises (tempering) are used to create the maximum number of usable intervals"
Untuneable? Ugh?
From
http://www.piano-tuners.org/edfoote/well_tempered_piano.html


Greetings,
That is a quote I took from Bill Garlick. It refers to "in tune" as being as consonant an arrangement as possible. "Just" if you will.
In this sense, ET is totally out of tune. However, this is a semantic delineation, and has very little to do with the sensual qualities that various sizes of intervals create. I hear, repeatedly, that the WT tunings I sell make customers' pianos sound far more "in tune" than they had heard before. (their word$, not mine).

To temper is to depart from "in tune", unless one considers wide thirds to be "in tune" . If so, I don't know how they would describe pure intervals while at the same time describing 13.7 cent wide thirds are "in tune". If 13 cent thirds are "in tune", then what are 10 cent thirds, or 17 cent thirds?

Some listeners have their sense of consonance set in concrete, and anything that departs from their choice of "in tune" is "out". I have usually found that these people don't know what they like, but rather, they like what they know.

I don't know what "wolf tuning" is, unless it is perhaps a dangerous attempt to change a particular canine's vocal quality.
Regards,

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#2264667 - 04/20/14 06:27 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
The assumption is being made that the modern orchestra and modern vocalists perform in absolute "equal" temperament. We know that just isn't true. So much for the final example.

On another note, has anyone ever heard an accordion which is actually in tune, even with itself? Ah yes, das wohltemperierte Akkordeon.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2264688 - 04/20/14 07:32 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2069
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
If you want to have some fun, feel the temperature rise as the tuners become ill-tempered whenever temperament is mentioned.


Yet so many of us sally forth weekly in fine fettle and well temperament to joust bravely at the windmills of making something untunable, ... well, ... tuned.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2264689 - 04/20/14 07:35 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Ed Foote]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2069
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote


I don't know what "wolf tuning" is, unless it is perhaps a dangerous attempt to change a particular canine's vocal quality.
Regards,


In that vein, every time I get a call to tune a wolf, I politely decline. wink
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2264697 - 04/20/14 07:48 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Withindale]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1701
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Larry, now you know how to tune equal temperament here's a bit of history from Pythagoras to the accordion.


That video is on the level of TV programs on UFO abductions in the Bermuda Triangle.

Kees

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#2264701 - 04/20/14 07:53 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: David Jenson]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
What if the wolf was howling "in tune"?

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#2264723 - 04/20/14 08:27 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Grandpianoman]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2069
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
What if the wolf was howling "in tune"?

We could only reliably determine that by having Ed Foote examine the animal at close range. whistle
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2264744 - 04/20/14 09:22 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1140
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
So, Larry. Are you any clearer now on temperament, from the point of view that pure or just intervals and playable keys in all 12 signatures is not possible, never minding different types of temperament for now?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2264749 - 04/20/14 09:40 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
This is when it goes from head wrapping to an exploding head.

grin
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2264802 - 04/21/14 12:52 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I wonder if this would help:






Edited by Grandpianoman (04/21/14 12:56 AM)

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#2264829 - 04/21/14 04:24 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: DoelKees]
Jim Dunleavy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 228
Loc: The Original Washington (UK)
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Larry, now you know how to tune equal temperament here's a bit of history from Pythagoras to the accordion.


That video is on the level of TV programs on UFO abductions in the Bermuda Triangle.

Kees


Yeah, what does that guy know?

http://www.howardgoodall.co.uk/

wink
_________________________
Jim (amateur musician and composer..and piano tinkerer).

Restoration Project Videos

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#2264846 - 04/21/14 06:33 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: DoelKees]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7425
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Larry, now you know how to tune equal temperament here's a bit of history from Pythagoras to the accordion.


That video is on the level of TV programs on UFO abductions in the Bermuda Triangle.

Kees


The orchestra at the begin is all than playing in ET, BTW.

I like the super hero approach, but have been deceived not to see a meteorite falling in real and making an end to all previous intonation systems.

ALso the guy does not really smoke from the noses , while he sits at the top of the volcano, it would have been more impressive, me think.



Edited by Olek (04/21/14 06:56 AM)
_________________________
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#2264865 - 04/21/14 08:18 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1140
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Larry? Are you still reading?


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (04/21/14 08:23 AM)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2264965 - 04/21/14 01:42 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 787
Loc: Darlington, UK
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
So, Larry. Are you any clearer now on temperament, from the point of view that pure or just intervals and playable keys in all 12 signatures is not possible, never minding different types of temperament for now?

I haven't had chance to view the video yet, but I have the feeling I'm gonna regret asking...
_________________________
If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.

Yamaha PSR225-I NEED A PIANO wink

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#2264989 - 04/21/14 03:28 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
This guy was "tempered," as was his knife.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxJ0_DW9mCc
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2265577 - 04/22/14 09:56 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: DoelKees]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3191
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Larry, now you know how to tune equal temperament here's a bit of history from Pythagoras to the accordion.


That video is on the level of TV programs on UFO abductions in the Bermuda Triangle.

Kees


I agree! Add it to the pseudo science programs about Bigfoot, UFO's, Aliens from other planets, Global Warming, etc.

Start out with some real facts to get 'em hooked, just like Stuart Isacoff did in his recent fiction novel called, "Temperament". Then, put in there what everybody already believes and wants to hear, that good old, J.S. Bach invented ET, (OK, so maybe the Chinese knew something about it too but didn't like it but are now coming around to it too), wrote the Equal Tempered Clavinova Music to show how great it was and all the rest was history!

It was very interesting to me that more than once in this Dog-you-men-tary, that actual Nazi propaganda film footage was used!

It is also interesting to me that after reading what I have written on this subject, people have concluded that I was a "conspiracy theorist" even though I have never once made any such suggestion. A conspiracy has to happen between people in a certain place at a certain time who would all have some kind of agenda and something to profit from.

If there is a conspiracy with regards to Equal Temperament, it has crossed decades, even centuries with people who simply want to re-write history and leave a large section of it out that is a little too inconvenient to try to understand and make use of and just skip, quantum leap, from one kind of tuning system that had been in use for hundreds of years, to this new and glorious Final Solution (as Stuart Isacoff actually called it in his book) with the writing of two books of music by J.S. Bach, the de facto inventor of ET!

What Bach invented was responsible for all music that ever was composed since then! It was responsible for the way all musical instruments were made, including the accordions which apparently had every central reed tuned to a perfect ET but the right and left reed de-tuned to give it some sense of color!

Every orchestra from then on played it ET! One very frequent contributor on here once claimed that he sang in ET! How he would ever get his vocal chords to sing every 5th 2 cents narrow and every 3rd 14 cents wide, I will never understand!

So, to the original poster, I sympathize with you. I am glad that one contributor on here came up with what should become a classic phrase, "You don't know what you don't know!"

One of my customers, who sings in the local opera company as I had for many years, once asked me, "Isn't a note a note? Isn't it just, D0-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI-DO and with the half steps right in between? Huh? Isn't it!!!???

The same person who came up with the phrase, "You don't know what you don't know" also said that the Lawrence Welk Orchestra always had the piano tuned "straight to the strobe", meaning that every pitch of the piano was always tuned to theoretical ET.

So, if that is the standard you want to go by, throw away all the modern Electronic Tuning Devices (ETD) and go and buy a Strobe Tuner and tune every piano until the wheel stops on every note. You will have achieved what the world wants you to believe is the Final Solution!

It is the ultimate goal and the way to make all music sound "in tune" and for every musician to agree with each other! If you believe that, you will have got your head around temperament but you will still be very far from knowing what you don't know about it!
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2265681 - 04/23/14 03:02 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1936
Loc: Suffolk, England
Bill, try reading some of what Howard Goodall wrote about Bach and well temperament at page 122 onwards in Big Bangs.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2265715 - 04/23/14 05:43 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Just because Howard Goodall wrote it doesn't mean that the scholarship is valid. That book is a popular introduction, in lay terms, that falls into the 'easy read' category, or possibly 'historical fiction.' The book was taken from the BBC series, not the basis for it.

There is no way that it would be accepted as thesis material.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2265731 - 04/23/14 07:58 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1961
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Marty,
I thought you were "ill tempered" towards "bickering"? Here you seem to invite it.


I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
I'm not inviting it, I'm acknowledging that it is rife in this forum whenever the topic comes up.


No, you do way more than "acknowledge" it. At almost every possible opportunity, you call out the techs for bickering (with one notable exception, weirdly enough, as his occasional absurd hyperbole is actually the worst bickering of all). Across in the piano forum, you even bad-mouth the tech-forum as a whole, for being so unpleasant because of the bickering. Your utterances in the most recent WNG thread may serve to illustrate my point.

As learning tech, I find this forum a wonderful place to observe, learn and sift through diverse viewpoints. If this is such a bad place for you, why don't you stay out?
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#2265783 - 04/23/14 10:37 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Dude - Get a life
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2265815 - 04/23/14 11:57 AM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: LarryShone]
chuck belknap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 36
Loc: Oklahoma
I had the opportunity last weekend to tune for a guest artist doing a recital and master class at a University I tune for. The host artist has become a huge fan of UTs. When I first met her, I could not make her like a certain piano until I tuned it in EBVT III, and in her words "transformed" the sound of the instrument and inspired her playing.

A few months ago, for fun, I tuned her piano with the Lehman-Bach temperament, just to see what she thought, and she immediately fell in love with it. Tension and release became automatic and the harmonics made the piano sound like an orchestra. (her words, not mine)

In her communication with the guest artist, I had asked her to find out what temperament he would like, and she talked him into the Lehman-Bach.

He immediately became enthusiastic with the sound, he said that the new sound inspired both his recital and master class. He was excited and thanked me over and over, and gathered information from me to bring back to his tuner at his University.

I know most techs here think that UTs are terrible, but as a very accomplished musician of 50 years, I want you to know that I both love them, and everyone I introduce them to, become rabidly enthusiastic.

The two people I wrote about have DMA's from Eastman, have won international competitions, regularly play Carnegie Hall, and tour Europe and S America and are at a level that separate themselves from me and 99% of the rest of pianists in the world.

If I and a few others on this forum, are considered ignorant, then at least we are in some mighty fine company.

Thanks for the rant, no reply necessary.

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#2265827 - 04/23/14 12:43 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: chuck belknap]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 780
Thanks Chuck for your thoughts. There is something about a Good Temperament, particularly a gentle one like Bill's that can be very inspiring for a musician.

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#2265830 - 04/23/14 12:51 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: prout]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: prout
Thanks Chuck for your thoughts. There is something about a Good Temperament, particularly a gentle one like Bill's that can be very inspiring for a musician.

What a wonderful term: Good Temperament

I will now think of ET or GT.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2265835 - 04/23/14 01:05 PM Re: I just can't get my head around temperament! [Re: Withindale]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1701
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Bill, try reading some of what Howard Goodall wrote about Bach and well temperament at page 122 onwards in Big Bangs.

p122 is utter nonsense.

See for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well-Tempered_Clavier#Precursors.

Kees

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