Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#621107 - 04/25/08 10:21 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Roberts:
For me, the Braid White people are stuck. I am one of those novices who is looking for the key to helping me tune aurally. I really liked Anne's comment that the RBIs made her tense and the Braid white seemed more natural. I am the same way. However after reading this discussion, I realize that the RBIs are necessary to learn. The RPTs in my chapter say the same thing. CM3s. As much as I would like Bill and the others to be wrong and I could find a way to tune accurately and fast with just the pretty pure intervals, I don't think there is any way to avoid learning the RBIs.
[/b]
Keith, I know exactly what you mean about how a Braid White-style 4ths and 5ths sequence can be more relaxing to tune initially.

It helps me to sometimes think in terms of delayed gratification:

If you're able to achieve a more exact temperament with a CM3-based system, you'll be more gratified after hearing the completed temperament. You'll also find how much easier and "natural" it is to tune octaves up and down from the temperament, as a result of the midsection's greater exactitude.

Subtle errors in the temperament tend to resurface and haunt one, as one tunes the rest of the piano. They can even be magnified. A more enjoyable -- and possibly faster -- time tuning the temperament can turn into a more frustrating and time-consuming experience in the rest of the piano.

Maybe you're just interested in learning to aurally tune the midrange, so you can pass the RPT test. But if you're thinking of aurally tuning entire pianos very much, you'll find out how much a great temperament makes possible a great tuning.

That all may be obvious, but it's a powerful incentive to hang with learning a CM3-based method if you're so inclined. The satisfaction you'll find this makes possible to get from a complete tuning is something that "keeps on giving" for hours afterward, or even longer. \:\)

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

Top
(ad 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
Win a year subscription to the PTG Journal
#621108 - 04/25/08 11:38 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Artisan Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 338
Up till a few months ago, had someone asked me, I would have said that I primarily set my temperament with 4ths and 5ths. But I realized after reading many of these threads that in fact I always subordinate those intervals to achieving smoothly progressing RBIs, checking with many of the techniques mentioned above.

However, I do always sound 4ths and 5ths when I'm actually making my adjustments to the pin and string. Why? Probably by habit largely, I've developed a skill at hitting my targets -setting the pin, the string, and achieving the desired pitch- simultaneously while listening to slow beating intervals even if what I'm adjusting for is a M3 or what have you. By doing this I'm always coming down from above and aiming at a target above a perfect interval, never below it. This is a hand-ear coordination issue rather than a point of tuning theory. Away from the temperament section I do the same, primarily using octaves, then checking the RBI's. As I'm stretching down in the bass I do tune flat of beatless of course, but other wise I either use octaves, expanded 4ths or contracted 5ths to come down from above beatless. To actually tune while listening to RBI's is physically daunting more so than hearing that system of checks because I haven't done it. It's kind of like being good at shooting free throws using a jump shot and then switching to using a hook shot. Make sense?

Bill says he's worked out a way for people who are more comfortable with 4ths and 5ths, which I haven't looked into yet.
I bring this up to point out that tuning theory is one level and physically hearing while manipulating the pin and string is another (hitting the target). While I can set a good temperament quickly because I've been doing it for a very long time, it does have the inefficiencies mentioned above as I am deep into the cycle before I have many RBI's to test. Essentially I use the 4ths and 5ths to temporarily set the intervals and then adjust as I start generating RBI's though I had never thought of it that way.
_________________________
Steven
RPT

Top
#621109 - 04/26/08 05:08 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob:
A piano with perfect unisons sounds cold and sterile to me. The excuse that unisons go out of tune quickly so we better tune them pure is bunk. If you smack the key with a key banger, and properly set the pin, the unisons don't go anywhere till humidity changes occur. It's not really a beat at all - it's a certain sound that I look for in a unison, created by a very slight frequency difference. The frequency difference still passed the PTG unison test with room to spare. [/b]
Please let me correct on thta :

Some tuners tune with a cat in the unisson, and some pianits like that, some don't (really dont, as Martin Solal, Jacques Loussier, for instance)

The out of frequence parameter you tell about is more related to the phase play between doublets, there is no way to have the 3 strings in phase with each other, if I undertsand well, there will always nbe 2 in phase and one in the opposite, , playing between those parameters ils all the tuner does. it regulates the stabilisation time and the harmonic content of the unisson (the enveloppe, I guess)
An instrument with hammers poorly vocied or not well mated to strings, will may be need more a frequency drift for one of the strings. I see that third string like a ballast that helps the 2 others to stabilize, can't say if it is the middle, left or right string as it vary , but a well voiced instrument will need no "real" frequency difference between the 3 strings to have a nice tone. a freqency difference is procucing beats between partials, slow beats but they can be hears even from far.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621110 - 04/26/08 11:24 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
SilentMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 26
Loc: Reston, VA
I've been following the discussion in this thread with great interest. It has been an eye-opener for me. I must admit that I am a bit dismayed that the examination for RPT is oriented around how well someone tunes to a temperament that I don't even like. One that I judge unsuited for the kind of music that I actually play on the instrument.

I recall one a tuner, call him A, whose tunings I loved. When he first arrived, A actually asked me what kind of music I played, and listed to me play for him a bit before tuning the piano.

When A tuned, he would not only test intervals, he would sit down an play passages of music in the same styles and harmonies that I played.

I recall, too as I chatted with him, he had me listen and count the beats in the various intervals. I recall this included the thirds, not just the fourths and fifths. I knew less about tuning than I do now, but do recall that much.

When he left, I was amazed at how much I loved the consonant harmony in the Schumann (Kindeszenen) and Chopin (Preludes) I was playing at the time.

A continued to tune my piano 4 times a year for quite a few years. Then one month I called my local Steinway dealer to schedule a winter tuning. They told me that A no longer came out to my area. They sent me a different tuner, B. When B arrived he just opened up the piano, took out his electronic tuning aid and started tuning away. He didn't ask what kind of music I played. Never heard me play. After a bit, he said the piano needed a pitch raise. (I don't see why I would suddenly need a pitch raise on a piano tuned regularly 4 times a year.) He stayed about 2 1/2 - 3 hours and seemed to rework the tuning quite a bit. When he left, I thought the piano sounded like crap. It was nominally in tune, but playing after a fresh tuning was not the magical experience I remembered. Shumann's simple chords did not sing.

Reflecting on this, I am now convinced that B tuned the piano to a different temperament. That the "pitch raise" he claimed was really a change in the stretch that the first tuner has put on the piano. And all the extra time spent was really spent in adjusting the piano out of A's chosen temperament into that used by B.

This upshot is that I am going to be much more picky about piano turners. I will make an effort play a piano tuned by them before calling them in to tune my piano.

I hate to say it. But have formed the impression that the RPT exam is built around a temperament whose development was driven by industrial standardization and efficiency. Henry Ford once said, you can have any color car you want as long as it's black. The PTG seems to be saying, we will certify turners for any kind of temperament you want as long as it's ET.

So, from my perspective, most RPT's are trained to tune to a temperament I don't care for. Right now, I am on a quest to find a tuner who can take an old Steinway B and put it into a temperament optimized for 18th century music.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the RPT exam to test a tuner's competence in tuning several different temperaments suited to different style of music played on the piano in question? With all the recent interest in temperament there must be a growing demand out for such skills.
_________________________
The rest is silence. -- "Hamlet", Act 5 scene 2

Top
#621111 - 04/26/08 11:31 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
B continued to tune my piano 4 times a year for quite a few years. Then one month I called local Steinway dealer to schedule a winter. He told me that A no longer came out to my area. They sent me a different tuner B. When he arrived B just opened up the piano, took out his electronic tuning aid and started tuning away. He didn't even ask what kind of music I played. He said the piano needed a pitch raise. He stayed about 2 1/2 hours and seemed to rework the tuning quite a bit. When he left, I thought the piano sounded like crap. It was nominally in tune, but playing after a fresh tuning was not the magical experience I remembered.
Must have been a Braid-White electronic tuning aid.

It is rarely the temperament that causes the problem. It is most often octaves.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#621112 - 04/26/08 11:55 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
SilentMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 26
Loc: Reston, VA
I think there is a distinction in your terminology that I am missing.

When you say the octaves what do you mean? How does this differ from the temperament exactly?

Is it that octaves can be pure or a bit sharp or flat, but temperament refers the the relative frequencies of the notes with respect to the octave. Thus the octave could change without changing the temperament?

It seems to me the two would have to change at the same time. That they couldn't be separated.

What am I missing?
_________________________
The rest is silence. -- "Hamlet", Act 5 scene 2

Top
#621113 - 04/26/08 12:01 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
John Dutton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 251
Loc: Billings, MT
I agree with BDB. It is unlikely that anything other than Equal Temperament was intentionally used. While I do tune well temperaments it is rarely requested, and then mostly requested by specialists of a particular genre or wind/strings players that also play piano.

If you really want to know whether tuner A used a well temperament (non-equal temp) of some sort call/write to him/her and ask. Your Steinway dealer should be able to provide that info if you don't have it.
_________________________
Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer

Top
#621114 - 04/26/08 12:17 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
A temperament is a method of distributing the fifths within an octave. If you start at the lowest A on a piano and tune 12 perfect fifths, you will get close to the highest A, but it will be higher than what you would get if you tuned 7 octaves from the lowest A. There are a variety of ways of doing that.

The simplest is Pythagorian temperament, which tunes all fifths except for one "wolf" fifth, which is so far off the beats howl. You cannot modulate much in that temperament. Then come the meantone temperaments, where you split the difference between a couple of notes, which gives more keys that you can play in without terrible wolf intervals. Then there are well temperings, which allow one to play in all keys without bad wolfs.

All of these temperaments can be tuned in a single octave. However, no matter what the temperament, if the octaves are not correct, the tuning will be off, and that is the most common problem with tuning.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#621115 - 04/26/08 12:28 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Steve:

Reading your post sounded like myself, talking out loud. I'm waiting until Bill posts a corrected version of his temperament, with Owen's comments, on another Topic. Then I plan to post what I've come up with.

Basically, I use the circle of fifths. When I come to a M3, I go ahead and form a CM3 with it to verify the beat rate. This way I am tuning SBIs which give me a better sense of what the pin and string are doing. Also, using the CM3 structure to get the beat rate correct, allows me to adjust the SBIs before accumulating more errors. And since the SBIs and RBIs are being tuned together, the compromises needed for challenging scales can be made as they are come across.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

Top
#621116 - 04/26/08 12:33 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
SilentMark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 26
Loc: Reston, VA
Interesting. So is it that all the octaves are supposed to be pure and the other intervals "tweaked" to distribute the comma between them in some compromise? But you are not supposed to compromise the octaves - they are all pure? That is my understanding of ET.

I sat down at my piano just now, and can hear distinct slow beats in the octaves above middle C. Around 1pbs. It is hard for me to count any octave beats near the high end of the keyboard. I the octaves below middle C I don't hear any beats.

It seems to me that octaves, next to the unisons, would be the simplest to get right. I was under the impression that some tunings intentionally make the octaves something other than pure. Whether this is the tuning, or drift due to humidity change I cannot discern.
_________________________
The rest is silence. -- "Hamlet", Act 5 scene 2

Top
#621117 - 04/26/08 12:44 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
John Dutton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 251
Loc: Billings, MT
Here is a link that will demonstrate a little of the meantone vs well tempered sequences. The audio is ok for being compressed into youtube but would be much more audible in person or with good uncompressed recording. Octaves outside the temperament in these instances are generally tuned pure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK3blfKE04&feature=related
_________________________
Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer

Top
#621118 - 04/26/08 01:03 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
ain't a temperament question or an octave question.Could be a question in regard of the musicality of the tuner.

The use of those fantastic high tech machines tend to makes you forget what tuning is about. AT some point tuners begin to use "almost ET" in the idea to reproduce a bit the human way to tuning with its small defects, but the question, to me is not there.

The "perfect" justness , to me, is always a tad cold, the musicality lies within the instrument, that is up to the tuner to bring id up to have it present so it can be used by the musician.
What EDT do is making compromises , lot of them, to the point there is an unbelievable evenness all along.

They oblige you to use less or no interval checks, because this disturb the EDT which is to be reseted to the correct note after that. Then one tuning after the other, the tuner finally only use the EDT to provide the justness, and focus on purity, unison, and stability.

But in the meantime he can very easily forget what a good sounding interval looks for. I have used almost all available EDT at a high level of tuning.
I always try to tune first, look at it after, but of course because it was time consuming I finally used less checks than usual. Generally, the EDT propose you some ideal thirds progression (as long as the first octave is OK) The same third progression made by ear have more soul in it for whatever reason, I'd say most probably the way the tuner listen is different. For one he listen to the live of the intervals, for the other he listen for theory.

Not to say that the use of an EDT is not the best solution for many cases, but the joy of tuning disappears after some years of EDT use, it get really boring and repetitive. A friend stopped tuning (in concert) after 3 years of EDT (while it was may be un related)
The "tone building" implies unisons, but not only, it can get mystic but you have to put the instrument in resonance with itself, with the room, and it is a very good point to listen the pianist play it before, and after (some tweaking of the tone may be helpful after hearing the pianist playing, only because of its technicals, not particularly because of the composer's era or kind of music , while it can play a role for sure.

I've seen some of the most reputable concert tuners of Europe, some tune the temperament with a 4Th and 5Th method, checking with the 3ds and 6ths progression, others tune with a third progression, checked with 4th and 5ths. I'd prefer for classical music the tone of the 4&5ths method (one of the tuning sequence told at Steinway factory by the way) but I don't really use it as a whole , my goal is fast beating intervals , and 4-5ths leave too much room for mistakes, that I will correct anyway, so as there is room in the fourths and fifths for more mistakes than in the thirds and sixths, I only want the fifths/fourths color to please me (and generally if it does not, that shows an error in fast beating intervals pending.

But this is for temperament, In the instrument, a very even tenths and thirds progression will often be perfectly sounding for modern music, while the slight errors induced by the 4th 5ths sequence can help vary the color in tonality.

My limit is : no fifth larger than pure, in fact I hate it when the tuner used a too large octave to begin with, and finish with a too large fifth. It mean a lot of tweaking above and under to get rid of it.

Progression of fast beating intervals can vary a lot as long as it is progressive. I believe that octaves, but mostly fifths , are showing the limit of what is acceptable in terms of stretch.

I don't care a fast beating fifth as long as it sound nice in the chords, BTW.

ALl those modern progressions are prerfect for Jazz, for some modern "dissonant "music.
Closer harmony will appreciate slower beating every time (but yest progressive whenever possible).

I apologize but a long musician training provided me that particular approach, I don't really think as a tuner sometime, I guess.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621119 - 04/26/08 01:51 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
Steven and Upright:

Even though I no longer use a Braid White-style temperament sequence, I still generally begin with SBI's when tuning a particular note. The only exception is when setting that first series of CM3's. I even tune D4 right after A3 and A4, to get some 4th and 5th feedback on the octave size, before setting the rest of the CM3 chain. I also like having that early F3-D4 6th to listen to, along with the initial CM3 series.

The CM3 system Bill has had available for sometime (not laid out lately on this forum, but available in an article from his website) is based on first using SBI's, after setting the CM3 chain, as is the system I use.

Each new note in the sequence is first tuned by listening to a 4th and/or a 5th, then immediately referred to one or more RBI's for further refinement.

So, we seem to agree on what seems most "natural" for us.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

Top
#621120 - 04/26/08 02:15 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Dutton:
Here is a link that will demonstrate a little of the meantone vs well tempered sequences. The audio is ok for being compressed into youtube but would be much more audible in person or with good uncompressed recording. Octaves outside the temperament in these instances are generally tuned pure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK3blfKE04&feature=related [/b]
Nice demonstration, very clean I am always pleased to hear those old temperaments used of harpsichords, or fortepianas , organ , for the music they where intended for.

The "Musique & Temperament" book from M. Asselin, with hundreds of musical exemples at the organ & harpsichord, is worth reading and listening (don't know if an english version exists).

But I see no real interest using them on modern piano with its more straight tone than even 1920 instruments (less "greasy"). It simply does not add much, and sound misplaced to my ears. What could is a tuning provided in older temperaments, but the instrument may be from the same era, I guess.

I had not a chance to hear really MUSIC played with the use of those temperaments, I have heard pianists leaning on chords as sounding so terrific, they forget to play the music !
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621121 - 04/27/08 06:10 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Upright. I understand that a good clean unison and a properly set up ETD tuning is as good as anything out there when you compare the product offered by most tuners who are doing this as a business. Unison tuning I do aurally. If I'm having a problem hearing because of false beats, the ETD is there to get it dialed in easier. I make sure I like the way it sounds before I leave. Though some pianos you realllllly don't like the sound no matter what..

So the reason I want to tune aurally is because I think it will make me a better tuner overall. I feel that aural tuners can benefit from having and ETD and would be better tuners overall. There is more I have to learn and I'm on the road to find out. The RPT test will add incentive. There is where I get to argue (jokeingly!! ) or agree with three guys who are very acomplished tuners themselves. Trial by your peers, right?
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

Top
#621122 - 04/27/08 07:57 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Thank you, Keith. I was just wondering. Best of luck.
_________________________
Part-time tuner

Top
#621123 - 04/28/08 07:48 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
 Quote:
Originally posted by SilentMark:
Interesting. So is it that all the octaves are supposed to be pure and the other intervals "tweaked" to distribute the comma between them in some compromise? But you are not supposed to compromise the octaves - they are all pure? That is my understanding of ET.

I sat down at my piano just now, and can hear distinct slow beats in the octaves above middle C. Around 1pbs. It is hard for me to count any octave beats near the high end of the keyboard. I the octaves below middle C I don't hear any beats.

It seems to me that octaves, next to the unisons, would be the simplest to get right. I was under the impression that some tunings intentionally make the octaves something other than pure. Whether this is the tuning, or drift due to humidity change I cannot discern. [/b]
Tuning the octaves too large (withan audible beat) change all the parameters of the tuning (even the temperament of course, as then the fiths are larger, and the thirsd, are beating way faster, it is kind of - adding a layer - on the natural harmony of the piano, and it bring a sense of extiatation, some kind of brillance, that not always find its resolution.

The real difficulty with the tuning process is to stick to the natural resonnance of the instrument and the room while having a playeable justness in all tonalities.

But ther is also a lot in voicing, and a lot in the way the tone is "build" while the unisons are tuned.

As you discover, it is even difficult to write about it in a comprehensive manner.

There are in france some tuners that use a temperament based on the division of a "pure" fith (non tempered) . In germany one that use a division of a pure twelve.
All those method have some interest, but I really prefer the more "traditional" way which is that "the piano tells you how it want to be tuned, then you genltly learn to him to this tuning, because is may be not used to it" .

A little mystic but my point anyway !

I have seen the same comment that yours on a French forum a few days ago, comparaison between tunings done totally by ear and "totally" with EDT was not in favor of the EDT tuner, while the piano was "better tuned" at some point.

It may or may not be a temperament question , it amy be anything, but a less than equal temperament will be more accepted that a bad spreading of the temperamnt along the instrument. A twisted temperament can be corrected while the tuning goes up and down, there is generally some room for mistakes, strech, etc (on most pianos).
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621124 - 04/29/08 11:38 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I recently had a long conversation with Owen Jorgensen about all of this. In the past few years, either Owen Jorgensen or Jim Coleman, Sr. have been the two people I have consulted when I need help with or confirmation on the subjects I discuss here.

Owen said that he, in fact used the Braide-White sequence during his entire career at Michigan State University. By the time that CM3s began coming into use in the early 1980's, he had been using the Braide-White sequence for so long that he found it difficult to change his ingrained habits. Those who have had a similar experience should take comfort in that.

I have also said many times that I don't seek to change the habits of those who are comfortable with that sequence. Instead, I prefer to show people who are either novices or ETD users who want to learn aural tuning, particularly those who wish to take the PTG Tuning Exam, an approach which will most likely worker better and sooner for them. I also wish to help those for whom a traditional style sequence has not worked well.

Two important comments that Owen included with his statement were: "I had to find ways to adjust and correct the Braide-White sequence that were not included in the instructions" and "Technicians place altogether too much emphasis upon making the octave sound pure".

I agree with Kamin's statements about the octaves. Making the central octaves wider (or narrower) than the point where they sound beatless creates an effect just as any other compromise does. It seems to me that some view my suggestion to make the temperament octave wider than beatless (a compromise between a 4:2 and 6:3 octave) as some kind of wild idea. The fact is however that I got the idea from Dr. Al Sanderson who's FAC program for the Sanderson Accu-Tuner creates that very same amount of stretch as its usual and normal way to tune.

That slight amount of compromise in the temperament octave allows for a smoother transition to the outer octaves in either direction which inevitably need more stretch to make an good and effective compromise with the intervals of the midrange. Kamin mentioned the "pure 12s" idea most notably promoted by Bernhard Stopper who claims it as his own but it has been done long before he ever thought or wrote about it.

The "pure 12s" idea simply stretches the temperament octave slightly wider, to the 6:3 point. The ET with pure 5ths idea goes even further, putting at least a full beat per second or more in the F3-F4 and A3-A4 temperament octaves. Each of these has its own effects and consequences. They make the piano sound brighter and "cleaner" or "sparkling" but at the expense of harmony played in the central octaves which will sound strained, like a balloon about to burst. They are perhaps more appropriate for a large, well scaled grand in a concert hall than they are for a small piano in a more intimate setting.

Owen Jorgensen talked about the many Baldwin Hamilton studio upright pianos he had to tune in the university practice rooms. Dr. Al Sanderson has also made comments about that particular model of piano for which his calculated tuning curve (originally based on a single measurement of inharmonicity of one note, F4) did not work well.

Owen said, as I have many times, that the solution for creating a smooth ET below F3 and to the point where the wound strings begin is to simply stretch the octaves slightly wider. Owen's tunings typically did not stretch the F3-F4 octave beyond the beatless point. But as he descended form the F3-F4 octave, he found that he did have to stretch those few octaves to make the 4ths, 5ths and all of the RBI's fit. He emphasized that minor thirds (m3s) were the most useful RBIs to check in this area of the piano to create a smooth ET.

The result of this kind of compromise is that the octaves below the F3-F4 temperament octave would become increasingly wider but would abruptly become beatless again once the wound strings were reached. At that point, they would return to a narrower beatless octave down to F2 and then would begin to expand once the notes E2 and below were tuned to the octaves above them.

Another important observation Owen made was, "Although I did not use a CM3s sequence, I could immediately see the value in it once I had heard of it. It serves to solve all of the most difficult part of sorting out the inharmonicity in the temperament octave in the beginning of the process instead of waiting until the middle or end of it once a dilemma has been realized".

The "Up a M3, up a M3, down a 5th" sequence I have in my article titled "Midrange Piano Tuning" allows for a person to make the choice of whether to tune either a RBI or a 4th or 5th first and then make an immediate check afterwards. If a 4th or 5th is chosen, there is at least one but usually multiple RBI checks immediately available for each note tuned. If an RBI is chosen, the reverse is true, a 4th and/or 5th is available for checking.

The three other temperament sequences I have on my website, the "Marpurg Shortcut", ET via Marpurg" and "ET from a C Fork" all are designed for tuners who prefer to use 4ths and 5ths but also include a single set of CM3s to tune for the reasons that Owen Jorgensen confirmed were of high value and importance.

These three sequences do not list all of the many fine RBI checks that exist for two reasons: they are intended for people who have not yet mastered or have little or no understanding of them and/or for simply roughing in the temperament octave during a pitch raise or at a PTG Tuning Exam. Any and all RBI checks which may be known to the person using those sequences may of course be used to correct and refine those temperament sequences to further perfection.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#621125 - 04/29/08 02:41 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
Bill, first thanks for all the detailled explanations about sequnces and tuning you provide. Even in French I fell soon that it will be too difficult to read or write, and I am not patient enough to try to give sequences and their effect.

ABout the "Cordier" "pure fifths" tuning, I have met that relatively often as it is even told in an university here, I have tried it on some occasion, and liked the output.
In fact it is more suiteable for small pianos, as it kind of adbsorb the iH of the instrument", it is even somewhat easy to provide once you have the feel for it.

It is said by his adepts to "uncongestion the octaves," Indeed you are far from the usual clean octave as we are used to from the start, but the value is around half a beat at temperament level, and what was called "pure fiths" have been renamed "clean fifth" ore something similar, (one of the tests is the equality of beats between minor third and major third in the fiths, I said there is yet a little temperance)
So the ear get used to it and you joyfully use a good amount of strech that quietly adbsorb the raising of the iH all along the scale.

There are alo of "syinchronism in that way of tuning" that gives a special tone, can be appreicated.

I symply feel it like a "layer" added to the piano, and I dont like much the speed of major chords (a friend call that the" Bontempi tone" if you see what I mean.

SO, not very suiteable for larger pianos with moderate iH , but very helpful for the little verticals or grands, which we are obliged to tune with a fair amount of octave opening nowadays.

In the end, it is up to the pianist to say wich he prefer of course.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621126 - 04/29/08 04:45 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Thank you for your comments, Isaac although there now is a conflict of opinion on what to do with small pianos. There are some who wish to have a beatless central octave but to use octave stretching to solve the unusually high inharmonicity in the plain wire strings below the temperament octave. I have encountered, a number of times, a small piano where someone attempted the ET with pure 5ths but was afraid to put the proper width in the octave. The result was a Pythagorean tuning instead which sounded terrible.

If there is ever something with much detail which you feel you could write best in French, I should be able to translate it into English for you, using words and phrases used in North America. Just send it to: billbrpt@charter.net.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#621127 - 04/29/08 05:56 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
Thanks for the offer, Bill, I will remind of it.

I have in fact some detailled descriptions on how to tune in "Cordier" and how to adapt it depending of the piano (it also have to be adapted, I suppose like the WBW sequence and its application)and to the pianist(as the "perfect pitched musicians seem to protest !)

The game is mostly to use much synchronims as checks.

For the small pianos, the strech one may use on them is so large it is not easy to tun ein it (it should involve tuning in double octaves which is yet not easy, but may be even in triple, it get really strange) so all the stretch installed at the temperament level helps to keep the tenths progression more quiet.

The ear of the pianist seem to accomodate that large opening very well, it is even pleasing, but I wonder if it is not more pleasing to the pianist (like a very wide stereo opening) than to the audience (which hear probably more stridence when near the piano) .
It seem to brush the ear in the good direction nowadays, ans sound perfect for many kind of music.

I consider it is a good solution as long as you dont add more than what the instrument is capable of. If the iH of the piano is low it will not help , and it denaturate the usual tone.

I agree it may sound strange if one is having double octaves with 2 Bps and sometime more, but it is not herad like that, if you are even at a few meters of the instrument, many tuners forget that they hear very near.
As long as the checks are even and progressive, ther is not the effect of an "out of tune piano" that is simply something else, a differnt tempering.

I tied to make one with a VT100 and the fiths where too large when tuned pure at the 3:1 level, I had undestood that as the fact that the tone is always pushed up by the iH of the specra, which is higher 8 notes above , generally. So the fith tend to be pure than it is if we look at the partial match only (if you see what I mean)

To have beats in the fiths on a little and high iH vertical, one have to make the temperament octave very flat (or short) Then opening since the start gives air to the whole tuning.
I guess it is not absolutely secure to refer only to 3:6 and 2:4 first octave theory when dealing with those kind of instrument, hence tuning with the help of interval color or the feel for it, using at last doublets at each side, tend to provide a more pleasing result in the end (probably) and the impression of beatless octave, while the partial match comparaison may say something else.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621128 - 04/29/08 06:00 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
I'll provide you a copy of the detailed discussion ther was about "pure fith method " on a French forum awhile ago, if it is of some interest to you to compare with the method you find yourself (if I recall correctly).
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621129 - 04/29/08 07:54 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Isaac, I have never tuned the ET with pure 5ths but in the interest of having people read what was written in French, I will be glad to translate it into American idioms.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#621130 - 04/29/08 10:31 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Jeff A. Smith, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 476
Loc: Angola, Indiana USA
I'd be interested in looking over the French pure fifths method, because I currently have on loan the Lucas Mason book which teaches his pure fifths method.

I borrowed it from a revered tech in our local chapter, a man over 80 yrs. old who is a PTG charter member. He was educated at Julliard and swears by the pure fifths method, citing many technical considerations. He told me he switched over to it maybe fifteen years ago. You have to respect someone willing to dramatically alter their method after such a long career, and after being very well-established.

I don't know that I'd ever use it regularly, but I'd at least like to experiment with it sometime. Mason's book has a lot of other interesting views and info, not all of which is strictly "orthodox." I'll probably buy a copy for myself and return the one I borrowed, because it's a pretty intense read I haven't made much headway with yet.

Bill, thanks for relating some of what Prof. Jorgenson shared with you. I had to laugh, thinking of the two of you talking about Hamilton verticals.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff A. Smith
Registered Piano Technician
Indiana, USA

Top
#621131 - 04/29/08 11:43 PM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Jeff, I have the Lucas Mason book. It was 1985 that it was published. I read it thoroughly at the time and it was discussed in PTG both in the Journal and at meetings. Lucas Mason was never a member of PTG but wanted PTG to give him the credit for having conceived the idea but PTG never did. It was pointed out that others had previously had the same concept but had not perhaps written an entire book about it. I remember reading one comment in the Journal which called the book, "self serving".

When I attended a factory training seminar at Steinway the following year in 1986 with Bill Garlick RPT who had formerly been a North Bennett Street School instructor, he was quick to point out that the way I had tuned the piano (which did not go as far as Mason's idea but approached it) would make the piano sound very bright. I replied that it was my intention to do so. He rebutted that I would inevitably find at some point, a client who would prefer a more contracted sound. He added that it was indeed the way most Steinway tuners approached tuning but it did not amount to being the "best" way or the only correct way.

Shortly after that, I began to explore non-equal temperaments. I found a way to really combine having the desirable contracted harmony where it should be and let the tight sounding RBIs fall where they should be among the pure 5ths. To me, that kind of compromise results in a far more pleasing piano all around as opposed to applying one rigid rule across the board.

I encourage you to explore, nevertheless, Lucas Mason's book and whatever Isaac comes up with that I can translate from the French but please do keep in mind what I said. I've been there, done that and found something better. That was over 20 years ago now and I personally would never choose to tune a piano the way that Lucas Mason nor Bernhard Stopper suggest.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#621132 - 04/30/08 12:16 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Folks, I thought I would try a test phrase to see how translating a document from French might look. I thought of putting the English underneath each line of French in italics or I could italicize the French and put the English in plain text. I just made up a "dummy" phrase in French. As you can see, it often takes more letters, words and space to say the same thing in French as it does in English but sometimes French is more economical with words.

I could simply post the French text, then the Enlish translation or skip the French text entirely. But I thought that many of you who may know some French may want to see what the original said and how I turned it into American English. Any opinions on how I should do it? Separate topic for Isaac's Frech document?

La méthode française d’accorder le piano est
The French method of tuning the piano is
supérieure à celle américaine.
superior to the American one.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

Top
#621133 - 04/30/08 04:03 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
Ah Monsieur Bremmer, toujours aussi provocateur \:D

Je ne fais pas de politique sur les forums publics !

Isaac

I had a look at our discussions, and they have to be edited much. More than that they are on a public forum and are tempting to be explaining that to the musician, or non/tuner that could read the forum.
So the translation is not a simple matter of sequences.

About the "French Method", we (mostly) use the "Pleyel temperament" wich consists in a ladder of thirds to begin with F3 F4 used to structure the octave below A4, then 4ths and 5ths to find the remaning thirds. The 3 thirds are tuned 7 - 9- 11, then refined during the tuning (while I don't see the reason why the real 3ds value is not used immediately, as soon as the first octave is good).

But we have the same cultural or training difference as you between older tuners who learned with a cycle of filths and very little checks of RBI , and the actual taught method.

The doublets unisons is of that order too.
Les unisons faits de doublets sont aussi de cet ordre.
(you're right, what a bunch of letters !)

The tuner who get acquainted to Cordier or "clean fiths" tuning, have a slight ear deformation while accepting that kind of tone.
Switching from the ET to this temperament and back is not as easy as it seem (for an aural tuner). He then find "clean octaves" too small.

I believe that it may be one of the temperament method that can't be reproduced with EDT, as the method implies the even beating of sixths and tenths, progression of the intervals), and compromising is done at the expense of the fifths if seen on the mathematical side.

A difference is done between the musical interval and the physical one - I believe that difference may apply to all tuning method.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621134 - 04/30/08 07:06 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1118
Loc: Qubec, Canada
Hi Bill and Kamin,

Obviously, I would prefer if the texts were kept separate. Thanks.

Kamin, pourriez-vous afficher le lien du site français? Merci

Jean
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

Top
#621135 - 04/30/08 08:05 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6369
Loc: France
http://www.pianomajeur.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2596&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=cordier&start=80

Jean, be ready for a passionate discussion, on that Forum (which never end !) ain't so easy to read, I took the most important parts and try to have them in a readable form.

Bonne Journée !

Isaac
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

Top
#621136 - 04/30/08 08:13 AM Re: Different Kinds of Tunngs Can Affect Tonal Brightness?
accordeur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1118
Loc: Qubec, Canada
Merci beaucoup!!!! Bonne journée également. Jean
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

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

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
73 registered (Atrys, Akshay, B.Petrovic, ando, 20 invisible), 1081 Guests and 34 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74250 Members
42 Forums
153598 Topics
2251172 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Easter Themed Recordings - Kawai CA95
by wolferblade
12 minutes 48 seconds ago
First recordings - Some music for Easter
by wolferblade
Today at 01:01 AM
Recorded a song on my workstation tonight
by Arizona Sage
Today at 12:04 AM
How to tune a piano.....
by Grandpianoman
Yesterday at 11:46 PM
Need help with upgrading(?) Roland digital
by Pathbreaker
Yesterday at 10:23 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission