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#2300262 - 07/09/14 01:32 PM Correcting aural tuning errors
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
For example with the following Steinway temperament sequence:

A4-A3-E4-B3-F#4-C#4-G#4-D#4-A#3-F4-C4-G4-D4

when do you find out that your initial fifth A3-E4 was 2 cents narrow than it should be?
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#2300298 - 07/09/14 03:16 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
SMHaley Offline
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Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
sleep yawn
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#2300300 - 07/09/14 03:17 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
the octave is too small. (for instance)
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#2300309 - 07/09/14 03:31 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Olek]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
Originally Posted By: Olek
the octave is too small. (for instance)


It is a 4:2 octave.
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#2300327 - 07/09/14 04:11 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Olek Offline
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Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
I do not know what it really means, if too small I open it a little so the first 4ths and th 5fths fit well within the octave.

if using M 3 10th, the 10th must be a little faster, but I never use those tests now.
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#2300333 - 07/09/14 04:21 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
Ok.

But what if the octave is correct, but the fifth is 2 cents narrow.

At what step on the above sequence do you wake up that you made this error?
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#2300334 - 07/09/14 04:21 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Stop thinking of cents. You can't measure cents aurally. The whole thing needs to mesh. All intervals agreeing with each other.

BTW, that sequence uses SBI exclusively. It is very, very old. It is RBI that challenge the ears to listen deeper to the inaccuracies of a tuning.
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#2300335 - 07/09/14 04:22 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
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Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Ok.

But what if the octave is correct, but the fifth is 2 cents narrow.

At what step on the above sequence do you wake up that you made this error?


Too imprecise. The answer is never.
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#2300349 - 07/09/14 04:54 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Stop thinking of cents. You can't measure cents aurally. The whole thing needs to mesh. All intervals agreeing with each other.

BTW, that sequence uses SBI exclusively. It is very, very old. It is RBI that challenge the ears to listen deeper to the inaccuracies of a tuning.


No, the RBI are not given there , not on that page
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#2300356 - 07/09/14 05:13 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Hakki Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
The first RBI is A3-F#4 but it is a 16 cents wide interval. Then there is A3-C#4. And then comes B3-G#4 and then comes B3-D#4. But I don't think any of these checks will reveal a 2 cent error on A3-E4.
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#2300363 - 07/09/14 05:25 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 115
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
For example with the following Steinway temperament sequence:

A4-A3-E4-B3-F#4-C#4-G#4-D#4-A#3-F4-C4-G4-D4

when do you find out that your initial fifth A3-E4 was 2 cents narrow than it should be?

If the initial A3-E4 5th is two cents narrower than it should be, then that means it is contracted by four cents. A 5th which is that far off should be evident immediately - even without any additional checks. By the time you have tuned F#4 you can check the 6th, A3-F#4. Any "cumulative" errors will be apparent at that point. Next note tuned is C#4 making the 3rd A3-C#4 available as a check - again looking for so called "cumulative" errors.

It should be pointed out that it is possible to use notes from outside the temperament octave as checks. For example, by comparing the beat rate of C3-A3 against C3-E4 you can check for correct tempering of the 5th immediately. If the 5th is tempered correctly the 6th (C3-A3) will be slightly faster (about 1 bps) than the 10th C3-E4.

Bill Bremmer has stated quite correctly that many technicians who are not aware of, or do not use RBI's as checks, will end up with a very poor temperament when using a 4ths and 5ths sequence. However, with proper understanding and use of RBI checks it is possible to tune a very accurate temperament with these sequences.
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#2300366 - 07/09/14 05:30 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: "Hakki"
But I don't think any of these checks will reveal a 2 cent error on A3-E4.


No, not on their own.

You need a more precise temperament sequence that does not allow errors, early on.

Example, lower skeleton sets C#4, high accuracy. Upper skeleton sets F4 and hence F3, high accuracy. (Well, as accurate as the tuner's aural sensitivity to beat speeds)

Now:

F3A3 < F3D4 < A3C#4

F3D4 = G3B3, so F3D4 must be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A3C#4.

Note, close is not good enough. F3D4 has to be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A#C#4. You will have to fit another beat speed between F3A4 and F3D4, and F3D4 and A3C#4, eventually.

Now, you have set those M3's with scarily accurate beat speeds AND the P4 is wide, by exactly the right amount, very early in the sequence.

How's that for accurate?


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (07/09/14 05:34 PM)
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#2300367 - 07/09/14 05:31 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Gerry Johnston]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 115
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Ooops - I forgot to mention that test notes from outside the temperament octave do not need to be in tune. They just need to be close enough to produce useable beat rates.
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#2300374 - 07/09/14 05:43 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 115
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted By: "Hakki"
But I don't think any of these checks will reveal a 2 cent error on A3-E4.


No, not on their own.

You need a more precise temperament sequence that does not allow errors, early on.

Example, lower skeleton sets C#4, high accuracy. Upper skeleton sets F4 and hence F3, high accuracy. (Well, as accurate as the tuner's aural sensitivity to beat speeds)

Now:

F3A3 < F3D4 < A3C#4

F3D4 = G3B3, so F3D4 must be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A3C#4.

Note, close is not good enough. F3D4 has to be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A#C#4. You will have to fit another beat speed between F3A4 and F3D4, and F3D4 and A3C#4, eventually.

Now, you have set those M3's with scarily accurate beat speeds AND the P4 is wide, by exactly the right amount, very early in the sequence.

How's that for accurate?

Sorry to disagree with you Mark. I will not argue against a contiguous 3rds based sequence. But, a 4ths and 5ths sequence can be very accurate as well. I once had the opportunity to watch Bill Garlick do it and also saw/heard Christine Lovgren
produce a beautiful temperament this way. Been doing it myself for 35 years and scored 98% on the temperament section of the PTG exam. I am not saying this sequence is better in any way - just that it can work very well.

If a temperament is well done, by any method, I defy any technician to listen after the fact and identify the sequence used.
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#2300393 - 07/09/14 06:39 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 758
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted By: "Hakki"
But I don't think any of these checks will reveal a 2 cent error on A3-E4.


No, not on their own.

You need a more precise temperament sequence that does not allow errors, early on.

Example, lower skeleton sets C#4, high accuracy. Upper skeleton sets F4 and hence F3, high accuracy. (Well, as accurate as the tuner's aural sensitivity to beat speeds)

Now:

F3A3 < F3D4 < A3C#4

F3D4 = G3B3, so F3D4 must be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A3C#4.

Note, close is not good enough. F3D4 has to be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A#C#4. You will have to fit another beat speed between F3A4 and F3D4, and F3D4 and A3C#4, eventually.

Now, you have set those M3's with scarily accurate beat speeds AND the P4 is wide, by exactly the right amount, very early in the sequence.

How's that for accurate?


This is a good relationship to know about. The tolerance of D4 is about 2 cents either way to fall out of the relationship. At those tolerances, the P4 is either beating too fast, or too pure. The beat rate has to be reasonably in-between for the P4 to be acceptable. Of course, this requires an accurate contiguous M3 skeleton to begin with in order to have a good enough C#3, and there is also a tolerance for the CM3 skeleton to consider.

I might add that, in practice, I may tune a P4 using a M3M6 test to prove it is wide, and then use my sense of P4 beat speed to decide how wide is right.


Edited by Chris Leslie (07/09/14 06:44 PM)
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#2300404 - 07/09/14 07:53 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 773
Loc: Hong Kong
Use ETD to check the width of fifth. If you want the mathematical accuracy, better to use ETD.
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#2300592 - 07/10/14 07:13 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Hakki
For example with the following Steinway temperament sequence:

A4-A3-E4-B3-F#4-C#4-G#4-D#4-A#3-F4-C4-G4-D4

when do you find out that your initial fifth A3-E4 was 2 cents narrow than it should be?


Easy. When you tune the E4!. It will beat far too fast. It should be obvious.

But if you tune each and every 4th and 5th, say, 1/2 cent too tempered you may not notice until you tune F4. At this point F4-A4 will scream.

It seems that regardless of the sequence, you cannot know if you are really, really right until the ninth "named" note. (Octaves don't count)
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#2300760 - 07/10/14 02:39 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Gerry Johnston]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Gerry Johnston
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted By: "Hakki"
But I don't think any of these checks will reveal a 2 cent error on A3-E4.


No, not on their own.

You need a more precise temperament sequence that does not allow errors, early on.

Example, lower skeleton sets C#4, high accuracy. Upper skeleton sets F4 and hence F3, high accuracy. (Well, as accurate as the tuner's aural sensitivity to beat speeds)

Now:

F3A3 < F3D4 < A3C#4

F3D4 = G3B3, so F3D4 must be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A3C#4.

Note, close is not good enough. F3D4 has to be EXACTLY between F3A3 and A#C#4. You will have to fit another beat speed between F3A4 and F3D4, and F3D4 and A3C#4, eventually.

Now, you have set those M3's with scarily accurate beat speeds AND the P4 is wide, by exactly the right amount, very early in the sequence.

How's that for accurate?

Sorry to disagree with you Mark. I will not argue against a contiguous 3rds based sequence. But, a 4ths and 5ths sequence can be very accurate as well. I once had the opportunity to watch Bill Garlick do it and also saw/heard Christine Lovgren
produce a beautiful temperament this way. Been doing it myself for 35 years and scored 98% on the temperament section of the PTG exam. I am not saying this sequence is better in any way - just that it can work very well.

If a temperament is well done, by any method, I defy any technician to listen after the fact and identify the sequence used.


Hi Gerry,

I'm sure if we got together, we would find that we agree on a lot more than we thought we disagreed on.

My point was that a simple temperament sequence of 4/5 is not accurate or fast enough, for me anyway.

However, I certainly do not doubt that someone could tune a high scoring temperament, as you obviously did. But you probably used check notes (RBI) and the ladder of chromatic 3rds and 6ths (RBI) and tweaked a lot of the notes after your first or second pass through the temperament.

I am developing a temperament sequence that provides high accuracy early on. Think of the Contiguous Major 3rds (my technique uses the Upper and Lower Skeleton) but applied for the whole temperament!

High accuracy early on = less refining and hence faster tunings.

The steps I wrote in my previous post prove this. If you do not tune D4 so that F3D4 is EXACTLY between F3A3 and A3C#4, you will have trouble fitting F#3A#3 and G#3C4 where they belong.

When I tune the temperament with this approach, and then check my fourths, they all increase in colour from F3A#3 to C4F4.

Evenly increasing thirds, sixths, AND fourths are a requirement for ET.

BTW, no one has ever posted, as far as I remember, a reason why anyone would care to create such a high level of accuracy in the temperament, when it's been proven that most pianists don't hear much of a difference between temperaments that are more or less ET. Anyone care to post their reasons why (or why not) highly accurate temperaments are better than approximations?

Cheers,
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2300830 - 07/10/14 05:20 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 115
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Hi Mark -

You are right, I am sure we don't disagree all that much.
There is no question that a contiguous 3rds based sequence can produce excellent results. There was a period of time when I used one of these sequences myself, but found that, for me anyway, 4ths and 5ths are faster and easier while being just as accurate. Of course, this means paying attention to 3rds and 6ths as they become available. Yes, there is a certain amount of "tweaking" after the first pass, but I find that to be true of any sequence.

Truthfully, I get a little sensitive hearing comments about how "old fashioned" and "unreliable" a 4ths and 5ths sequence is. Franz Mohr always tuned this way. Gee, I wonder if anyone ever told Horowitz that his piano had been tuned using an "unreliable" method!!! (Just joking of course.)
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#2300862 - 07/10/14 06:34 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 758
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I think the question is: How do you correct errors after you have gone through a sequence and then they have been identified? Lets say there is a too narrow fifth, then which of the notes is to be adjusted without disturbing other relationships?

Is there a systematic way of doing this?
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Piano technician
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#2300879 - 07/10/14 07:43 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Chris Leslie]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 115
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Kent Swafford once published an essay on this subject. I'm sure it would show up in a "google" search. I do remember him saying something to the effect of, "Don't discard what is already pretty good in an unrealistic pursuit of perfection".

Let's say you finish the temperament and discover that the G3-D4 5th is too narrow. If a 5th is off then at least one or two other intervals are also off. You would check both G and D as members of other intervals (3rds, 4ths, 6ths, etc.) and see if a pattern develops. If G is sharp then the G3-C4 4th would beat too slowly and the G3-B3 3rd would also be too slow. If you can't find a perfect resolution you simply make the best compromise possible. This kind of tweaking is only possible if the temperament is already pretty close.

If you have a temperament such as what Bill Bremmer calls "Reverse Well" then "tweaking" will not suffice.
_________________________
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Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

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#2300923 - 07/10/14 10:58 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2411
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The only thing that matters about the tuning and test interval choices is how efficient you find them at getting you through a temperament quickly.

The first step is to establish the width of the octave. Slightly wide 4-2's will allow you to properly correct ET for inharmonicity. This is because if you set the 4ths in the temperament to 1.95 cents-the fifths above are tempered about 1.45 cents instead of 1.95 cents. The amount you stretch the 4-2 octave is the amount you can reduce the narrowness of the 5ths if you tune the 4ths to "book rate".

When you identify a particular interval as being less than ideal, or you identify the worst interval of your temperament octave-simply test each note of the interval with their respective 4ths, 5ths, 3rds, and 6ths-and then you can judge whether to move both notes, or one note, or 2 or 3 intervallically related notes.
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#2301008 - 07/11/14 07:58 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Chris Leslie]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4980
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
I think the question is: How do you correct errors after you have gone through a sequence and then they have been identified? Lets say there is a too narrow fifth, then which of the notes is to be adjusted without disturbing other relationships?

Is there a systematic way of doing this?


For myself, I think it is a mistake to continue in a sequence if errors are found. Fix them as they are found. Then the last three notes just drop into place.

To do this, you have to understand whatever sequence you are using intimately.

Maybe we can use your example of a too narrow fifth. Well, was this interval directly tuned and slipped or was misjudged early in the sequence? Or was this interval actually a check from the result of tuning other intervals, some of which slipped or were misjudged early in the sequence?

See, if you were to rough tune a temperament and then I tried to polish it I could only guess at what caused that fifth to be narrow.

But there is a systematic way of visualising the temperament that can help. It can be considered to be four ladders of M3s superimposed on three ladders of minor thirds (three stacked minor thirds = one major sixth) These seven ladders can be checked against each other with the M3/M6 test, and when there is doubt as to which interval is off, listen to the 4ths and 5ths. (Edit: An M3 is made from 2 fifths and 2 fourths. An M6 is made from 2 fifths and 1 fourth. If these SBIs sound too calm, the interval will be too wide.) Still, this is best done while setting the temperament, not after completing it.


Edited by UnrightTooner (07/11/14 08:09 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarification
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#2301009 - 07/11/14 08:04 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
David Jenson Online   content
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Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2198
Loc: Maine
The key to all this? 'Experience! You have to set a lot of temperaments to get any idea of what you are doing along with doing it quickly and efficiently.
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#2303206 - 07/17/14 12:03 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Chris Leslie]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris Leslie
I think the question is: How do you correct errors after you have gone through a sequence and then they have been identified? Lets say there is a too narrow fifth, then which of the notes is to be adjusted without disturbing other relationships?

Is there a systematic way of doing this?


I call it "The Crime".

A crime has been committed. GB is too fast. Now we have two suspects. Was it G, or was it B?

Well, we will need some witnesses. But be careful. Some of these witnesses....LIE! Yes, they do.

Anyway, let's go looking.

If GB is too fast, G is low or B is high.

Let's investigate G.

If G is low, these witnesses will confirm:
GC will be ugly (too wide)
GD will be pure-ish
GE will be too fast

If B is high?
BD# will be slow
F#B will be too wide
BE will be pure

If you can find all three witnesses agree that one note is out, correcting that note would fix four problems.

If only two witnesses agree, then it's possible the third witness is a no good, rotten, stinkin, filthy, despicable liar!

I.e.
BD# is slow
F#B is too wide
but BE is not pure sounding. In fact, it seems wide by the proper amount.

As judge for this case, I sentence B to a flattening, and charge E with contempt of court, and we will investigate him:

Maybe BE is wide nicely, when we know B is sharp, because E is also sharp.

Interview:
Is CE fast?
Is GE fast?
Is BE ugly (too wide) after B has been lowered?
Is GE > AC#

Anyway, I hope you get the idea.

Basically, anytime you change a note, you should be correcting at least two, if not more, problems.
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2303281 - 07/17/14 07:45 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 758
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Thanks Mark. I like that.
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Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2303406 - 07/17/14 03:13 PM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Me too, even if it sound a little as primary school teaching !
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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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#2303556 - 07/18/14 12:14 AM Re: Correcting aural tuning errors [Re: Hakki]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1493
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hey Isaac! Can I come over to your house and let my 6 year old tune your piano?


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (07/18/14 12:16 AM)
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Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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