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#2049900 - 03/17/13 07:55 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
I'd also like to add that no tuner would ever refer to his tunings using given values of semitone or octave ratio - they are just used here to talk about the underlying structure.
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2049915 - 03/17/13 08:22 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
MWM,

You can construct Equal Temperament (ET) (which is generally taken in these discussions to mean 12 tone ET) within any size octave, even a narrow one. The width of the initial temperament octave does affect the quality of intervals contained within it.

Pipe organs have no inharmonicity, so they can be tuned to theoretical ET values. Harpsichords and fortepianos may have some inharmonicity but as far as I know, it is so slight as to be insignificant. However, because harpsichords and forte pianos are most often used to play 18th Century music or earlier and because of the particular tone quality they have, Well Temperaments, Meantone Temperaments and Modified Meantone temperaments are often used on them. None of these terms is synonymous with ET. In fact, they are mutually exclusive.

Equal Temperament means that all intervals are tempered alike, no one interval is compromised to be improved over any other. Therefore, there is only one equal temperament and the definition does not change whether the words are capitalized or not.

Piano tuning has the special, complicating factor of inharmonicity. While an octave can sound virtually pure, it cannot have all of its coincident partials match. This is why you may hear a kind of resonance in a properly tuned octave in the Bass of a piano, especially a smaller one. We usually only think about the 1st through 8th partials at the most but partials beyond the 8th are quite audible in the lowest strings of a piano.

That "resonance" you may hear is actually often the rapid beat that occurs between the 16th partial of the lower note of an octave and the 8th partial of the upper note. They are often 20 cents apart from each other, so they create a very rapid beat, although it is faint and usually does not sound unpleasant.

Aural tuning by well experienced technicians naturally finds an optimum compromise. Once Electronic Tuning Devices (ETD) were developed, the phenomenon of inharmonicity came to be understood by a much larger segment of piano technicians than it had been before. How much or how little stretch to use has since become its own subject for which there has never been one completely satisfactory answer applicable as a constant and the right choice in every circumstance. Indeed, the width of the octave will vary in size across any optimally tuned piano.

The width of octave does affect how the piano sounds and it also affects how the intervals of ET sound. A chart of theoretical beat rates for each of the intervals can easily be found. However, no piano will ever match those completely. It is a fact that the wider the octave is, the slower that the 5ths and minor thirds beat but the faster the 4ths and Major thirds beat.

Although for the entire 20th Century and possibly the last half of the 19th Century, ET may have been the goal that almost every tuner had in mind, a way of executing it perfectly was often not known. Therefore, ET was more of a theoretical goal than one which actually happened.

The sequence used for tuning a temperament often had an effect on the results. People had certain habits, so those habits affected the actual temperament outcome. The late Professor Owen Jorgensen was able to document dozens of 19th Century temperament sequences, none of which resulted in an actual ET. Even if the temperament was not entirely equal, that did not mean the piano sounded bad or that certain music could not be played on it.

The "Best Broadwood" temperament is a good example of that. The Broadwood tuners were ordered to tune in ET but they couldn't really do it. The "best" tuner they had actually produced a temperament far from ET. In fact, if someone tuned like that on the PTG tuning exam today, they would get a failing score of 48. (A minimum score of 80 is required to pass). A score of 48 would not even be considered apprentice level today, yet any and all music was played on pianos using that temperament and it was considered to be "equal" at the time.



In the early 20th Century, William Braide-White at least attempted to provide the information necessary for tuning a true ET. If the material was studied and practiced thoroughly enough, anywhere from a fairly good approximation to an excellent example of ET was possible.

However, I can say confidently that most people who used that information did not study it thoroughly enough, so what they produced and believed to be ET was often something else entirely. Since Braide-White did not explain in his book that there were an infinite number of possibilities between 1/4 Meantone and ET, piano tuners believed that whatever they did was ET.

If they had ever even heard of "Well-Tempered Tuning" such as from the title of a collection of music by J.S. Bach, they confused Well Temperament with ET and believed the two to be one and the same but they are, in fact, mutually exclusive of each other.

There is a fairly good introduction to the subject on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_temperament

Andreas Werkmeister wrote specific rules for Well Temperament. Read them and you will quickly see that it cannot be considered what we know today to be ET:

Quote:
Andreas Werkmeister’s Rules for Well Temperament
From the publication by Professor Owen Jorgensen RPT, "Tuning the Historical Temperaments By Ear" (pages 246-7).
1. Each tonality or key center should sound differently and should have its own distinct color characteristics or "Affekt". [German for “effect”] This is in direct opposition to the ideals of Equal Temperament (ET) in which all tonalities [or keys] have the same identical and neutral color except for the increasing [(ascending)] or decreasing [(descending)] beat speeds of the Major thirds (M3rds) according to the position within the scale. The purpose of Well-Tempered Tuning is to allow harmonic color change through modulation and in a distinct alignment with the Cycle of 5ths].
2. The same as in ET, one must be able to modulate freely in all possible keys without experiencing any unacceptable, out-of-tune (or "Wolf") sounds. Thus, all 12 tones may be used enharmonically which is impossible in the class of restricted temperaments including Just Temperaments (JT) and Meantone Temperaments (MT).
3. During modulation through a series of 4ths or 5ths, the color changes of the "Affekts" must be consistent and even.

From a detailed study and evaluation of the beat speeds of Major 3rds and other qualities of all of the most prominent, historically documented Well-Tempered Tunings, (WT) the following rules for creating a WT are evident:

The Rules:

1. The 12 semitones of the octave must NOT be of the same, exact size.
2. No 5th, minor sixth (m6th) or minor third (m3rd) should be wider than just [(pure or beatless)].
3. No 4th, Major sixth (M6th) or Major third (M3rd) should be narrower than just [(pure or beatless)].
4. No Major or minor 3rd and no Major or minor 6th should be tempered from Just Intonation [(meaning pure or beatless)] by more than the value of one Syntonic Comma [(21.5 cents or a very rapid, borderline "sour" sounding beat)]. [The ET M3rds are all supposed to be 14 cents wide of Just Intonation].[( A moderate but fairly active sound)].
5. No 4th or 5th should be tempered more than half the value of the Syntonic Comma [(11 cents, which would be a moderately pulsing beat, quite noticeably more active than the nearly still adjusted for Inharmonicity) 5ths of ET. [(11 cent tempered 5ths are fairly rare and extreme. The typical WT tempered 5th averages 4 cents.)] [The ET 4ths & 5ths are all tempered by 2 cents, theoretically but are usually reduced to between 1.7 and 1.9 cents narrow when adjusted for inharmonicity].

[Some Technicians even advocate an extremely stretched out version of ET where the 5ths are apparently pure or beatless but the 4ths beat noticeably and the M3rds are widened to about 16 cents, a very tart sounding interval. Tuning this way does produce a kind of clarity and melodic quality which may benefit many kinds of 19th Century Romantic styles as well as complex 20th Century styles but becomes fairly offensive to most 17th and 18th Century writing. Thus, it cannot be considered an "improvement" to ET or over any other style of temperament].
6. No Octave should be tempered from Just Intonation (JI). [Today, it is well known that with the Modern Piano, a Just Octave (truly pure or beatless) is not really possible. This is because of the important factor called "Inharmonicity", unknown in Werkmeister's time and not applicable to the organ or early keyboard instruments.
7. No M3rd should be smaller or closer to JI than the 3rd, C-E.
8. The 3rd, F-A must be the same size or larger than C-E.
9. The 3rd, Bb-D must be the same size or larger than F-A and C-E.
10. The 3rd Eb-G must be the same size or larger than Bb-D.
11. The 3rd Ab-C must be the same size or larger than Eb-G.
12. The 3rd Db-F must be the same size or larger than Ab-C. Also, Db-F must be the same size or larger than B-D#. (Db-F may be the same size, smaller or larger than Gb-Bb. No other M3rds may be larger than Db-F and Gb-Bb.)
13. The 3rd Gb-Bb must be the same size or larger than Ab-C.
14. The 3rd B-D# must be the same size or smaller than F#-A#.
15. The 3rd E-G# must be the same size or smaller than B-D#.
16. The 3rd A-C# must be the same size or smaller than E-G#.
17. The 3rd D-F# must be the same size or smaller than A-C#. Also, D-F# must be larger than C-E.
18. The 3rd G-B must be the same size or smaller than D-F#.
19. The 3rd C-E must be the same size or smaller than G-B.
20. No Minor 3rd (m3rd) should be larger or closer to Just Intonation (JI)[pure or beatless]than the m3rds E-G or A-C. There may be necessary exceptions but it is definitely preferable for the m3rd AC to not be larger or closer to JI than E-G. To actually have E-G larger than A-C is considered a fine accomplishment.
21. The m3rd D-F must be the same size or smaller than A-C. Also, D-F must be smaller than E-G.
22. The m3rd G-Bb must be the same size or smaller than D-F.
23. The m3rd C-Eb must be the same size or smaller than D-F.
24. The m3rd F-Ab must be the same size or smaller than C-Eb. Also, F-Ab must be the same size or smaller than Eb-Gb. (F-Ab may be the same size, smaller or larger than Bb-Db. No other m3rds may be smaller than F-Ab or Bb-Db.
25. The m3rd Bb-Db must be the same size or smaller than C-Eb.
26. The m3rd Bb-Db must be the same size or smaller than C-Eb.
27. The m3rd G#-B must be the same size or larger than D#-F#.
28. The m3rd C#-E must be the same size or larger than G#-B.
29. The m3rd F#-A must be the same size or larger than C#-E.
30. The m3rd B-D must be the same size or larger than F#-A.
31. The m3rd E-G must be the same size or larger than B-D.
32. The following tonalities [keys]should be more brilliant or richer [have faster beating Major or minor 3rds] than the same [keys] in ET:
F minor, Ab Major, Bb minor, Db Major, Eb minor, F# [or Gb]Major, G# minor, B Major.
33. The following tonalities [keys] should be less brilliant, plainer or milder [have slower beating Major or Minor 3rds] than the same [keys] in ET:
E minor, G Major, A minor, C Major, D minor, F Major.

34. The following tonalities [keys] are sometimes found to be quite similar to the same [keys] in ET:
C# minor, E Major, F# minor, A Major, B minor, D Major, G minor, Bb Major, C minor, Eb Major.
35. Breaking any of the above 34 rules ruins the evenness of Key Color progression and the position of C Major as the tonal or Key Color center. To do so may introduce unnecessary harshness .
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2049916 - 03/17/13 08:25 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Equal Temperament is defined as 12 equally tempered semitones within an octave that is a precise 2 to 1 ratio. The use of the concept "equal temperament" refers to 12 equally tempered semitones where the octave size is unrestricted.

Defined by you maybe, but not by the rest of the world.

Kees


I apologize for my ignorance. I am a literalist, which frequently gets me into a lot of trouble. Please, please give me definition of Equal Temperament for Dummies, which, in this case, is me. I literally don't understand how, in purely physical terms, an octave, which is precisely tuned to a two to one ratio, and then divided into 12 equal semitones, can have more than one solution. I understand that, if you change the octave size, of course you can an arbitrarily large number of solutions. Please help me here with a bit of math.

There is no unique mathematical definition of ET on an inharmonic instrument, but it is taken to mean a tuning where the octaves sound good (this usually means something like a 2:1 or 4:2 or 6:3 or 8:4 octave or anything in between) and the notes in the octave are tuned to make all keys equivalent. Keys are equivalent if the beat ratios of the consonant intervals are progressive, preferably as smoothly as possible. This seems to be possible on the piano except around the break, where you have to make compromises.

There was a long thread about a year ago on this subject in which I participated, you should be able to find it.

All theoretical approaches to ET on an inharmonic instrument like the piano have to make some assumptions about the inharmonicity structure, in particular it being "small". Clearly if you are given some tone generators with random partials there is no way to define ET on it.

Well temperament on the piano refers to any method where you deliberately make intervals in some keys sound different than in other keys. They are usually based on historical temperaments constructed from a circle of fifths assuming no inharmonicity and then tweaked to deal with inharmonicity.

In some temperaments like EBVT the relations between the keys change with the range, which is a novel feature not found in any older unequal temperaments.

Kees

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#2049935 - 03/17/13 09:15 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Thanks to all of you for your courteous and very informative replies. I have much to think about now. I have had the privilege to perform on organs tuned to Werkmeister's temperament, and have used many other UTs on harpsichords and clavichords that I have tuned myself. They were relatively easy to tune because, as you have all indicated, the inharmonicity in not a significant factor in keyboard instruments with little sustain and mostly low tension brass wire. I found tuning by ear enjoyable and easy, as I had a recipe which could be easily followed. My interest in piano tuning is recent, as I played at home on a baby grand POS for decades, while playing concerts on S&S Ds and other concert grands, without any appreciation of the technical aspects of tuning a piano. I upgraded to a Yamaha C2 for a year and then bought a new M&H BB. Because of the incredible sustain and resonance of the BB, I decided to explore the reasons for how and why the piano responds to good and poor tunings. Your discussion with me here has been delightful and I have learned much. Thank you all again. I will, if you don't mind, keep you informed of my progress in understanding the unique art of piano tuning. I would love to tune a nice UT on my piano, but the wife has put her foot down.

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#2049938 - 03/17/13 09:24 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees

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#2049965 - 03/17/13 10:50 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: DoelKees]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees


Yes, I use bebung on the clavichord. It was one of the reasons that the clavichord was J.S.Bach's and Mozart's favorite instrument, notwithstanding that it could also vary volume. I have a very cool CD of Oscar Peterson playing Jazz on a clavichord and he uses bebung as well, whether by accident or intentionally, I' m not sure.

I tune the clavichord at 392 Hz in a simple french ordinaire quarter comma meantone for early french baroque, and at 415Hz and Kirnberger III for later barqoue. I know it's not the best one, but it is fast to tune. I have two double strung unfretted clavichords thatnhave enough sustain to tune fairly easily by ear.

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#2049966 - 03/17/13 10:54 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees


Yes, I use bebung on the clavichord. It was one of the reasons that the clavichord was J.S.Bach's and Mozart's favorite instrument, notwithstanding that it could also vary volume. I have a very cool CD of Oscar Peterson playing Jazz on a clavichord and he uses bebung as well, whether by accident or intentionally, I' m not sure.

I tune the clavichord at 392 Hz in a simple french ordinaire quarter comma meantone for early french baroque, and at 415Hz and Kirnberger III for later barqoue. I know it's not the best one, but it is fast to tune. I have two double strung unfretted clavichords thatnhave enough sustain to tune fairly easily by ear.

Bebung is vibrato. I refer to tuning the intervals with constant pressure. Press harder on the tonic is a good start to get the M3's in tune.

Kees

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#2049970 - 03/17/13 11:03 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: DoelKees]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees


Yes, I use bebung on the clavichord. It was one of the reasons that the clavichord was J.S.Bach's and Mozart's favorite instrument, notwithstanding that it could also vary volume. I have a very cool CD of Oscar Peterson playing Jazz on a clavichord and he uses bebung as well, whether by accident or intentionally, I' m not sure.

I tune the clavichord at 392 Hz in a simple french ordinaire quarter comma meantone for early french baroque, and at 415Hz and Kirnberger III for later barqoue. I know it's not the best one, but it is fast to tune. I have two double strung unfretted clavichords thatnhave enough sustain to tune fairly easily by ear.

Bebung is vibrato. I refer to tuning the intervals with constant pressure. Press harder on the tonic is a good start to get the M3's in tune.

Kees


True, I do that when the instrument is out of tune and I'm too tired to tune it. But, the really cool thing about the clavichord is the incredible dynamic range, albeit pppp to p, that is available to the performer, and listener, and that demands an in tune instrument. I did a recital a few years ago covering french music from early french lute songs on the clavichord, baroque rep on a harpsichord, and then Ravel and Poulenc on a grand. The audience audibly gasped at the huge volume of the harpsichord after 20 minutes of clavichord playing. It was as if your ears adjust to volume levels much the way your eyes adjust to varying light levels.

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#2049972 - 03/17/13 11:12 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
I get what you mean about pressure tuning. It is very useful on chords, if your starting intervals are narrow. In fast contrapuntal lines, one doesn't usually time to adjust the pressure to tune a particular note to match the counterpoint, so a good starting UT is essential.

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#2049975 - 03/17/13 11:16 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees


Yes, I use bebung on the clavichord. It was one of the reasons that the clavichord was J.S.Bach's and Mozart's favorite instrument, notwithstanding that it could also vary volume. I have a very cool CD of Oscar Peterson playing Jazz on a clavichord and he uses bebung as well, whether by accident or intentionally, I' m not sure.

I tune the clavichord at 392 Hz in a simple french ordinaire quarter comma meantone for early french baroque, and at 415Hz and Kirnberger III for later barqoue. I know it's not the best one, but it is fast to tune. I have two double strung unfretted clavichords thatnhave enough sustain to tune fairly easily by ear.

Bebung is vibrato. I refer to tuning the intervals with constant pressure. Press harder on the tonic is a good start to get the M3's in tune.

Kees


True, I do that when the instrument is out of tune and I'm too tired to tune it. But, the really cool thing about the clavichord is the incredible dynamic range, albeit pppp to p, that is available to the performer, and listener, and that demands an in tune instrument. I did a recital a few years ago covering french music from early french lute songs on the clavichord, baroque rep on a harpsichord, and then Ravel and Poulenc on a grand. The audience audibly gasped at the huge volume of the harpsichord after 20 minutes of clavichord playing. It was as if your ears adjust to volume levels much the way your eyes adjust to varying light levels.

I don't think you get my point. You should always do that (vary pressure) as a keyboard instrument can not be "in tune" in the sense of having just intervals. On the clavichord however it is possible by varying the key pressure.

Dynamics is not really possible on the clavichord as when you play louder the pitch raises.

Hope we're not getting too much off-topic here.

Kees

Top
#2049980 - 03/17/13 11:29 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Originally Posted By: Mwm
I upgraded to a Yamaha C2 for a year and then bought a new M&H BB. Because of the incredible sustain and resonance of the BB, I decided to explore the reasons for how and why the piano responds to good and poor tunings. Your discussion with me here has been delightful and I have learned much. Thank you all again. I will, if you don't mind, keep you informed of my progress in understanding the unique art of piano tuning. I would love to tune a nice UT on my piano, but the wife has put her foot down.


I would direct you to this thread: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1387799/1/My%20Piano%20in%20EBVT%20III.html

It goes on for 139 pages but amid all the heated arguments, the original poster put up many examples of music played on the piano which is essentially the same as yours. The M&H RBB is a M&H BB with a built in reproducing system (an elaborate player system). The piano also has a parallel modern LX system which is the industry's finest modern player system. With either system, you never get the idea you are listening to a "player piano".

You'll find many examples of music that is not supposed to work in a non-equal temperament and others which are. Some of the recordings are by live pianists. But more to the topic of this thread, the first rendering of the EBVT III had a lot of stretch to it but the second time I went there, I went all out, to the max!

We can all explore any temperament, ET or otherwise with varying degrees of stretch to find out what the effects may be. Although I have tried to explain it to Doel Kees before, the EBVT and EBVT III do not, in themselves require any particular kind of stretching technique.

The way I tune the octaves out on any piano in any temperament is essentially the same. Temperament instructions found in books simply do not address what to do with the octaves. It is assumed that the temperament octave is replicated up and down on the instrument. While that may be true for organs, harpsichords and fortepianos, it is not for the modern piano.

So, the amount that octaves are stretched, anywhere from a little to a lot does affect the way ET sounds on a piano. Naturally, it also affects the way any non-equal temperament sounds too.

The goal of octave stretching is an attempt to solve the problem of inharmonicity. Some of the comma which dictates the need for temperament can actually be absorbed by using inharmonicity, resulting in a cleaner and purer sound.

Here is the piece which I have always to found to be the most stunning. It is Ravel's La Vallé des Cloches (The Valley of Bells). Ravel's music is often thought to be only possible in ET but here it is in a non-equal temperament. You may detect in the opening octaves that they are not completely still but have a "lilt" to them. I also tuned the low Bass with an extra wide stretch.

Upon hearing this, Ron Koval wrote that he found all the beats to be distracting. Ravel purposefully wrote mildly dissonant intervals such as two low C's in the Bass against two B-flats in the midrange. The coincident partials are naturally very far apart from each other, causing a very rapid beat. They would be expected to have a mildly dissonant effect even in ET with a conservative stretch.

So, it is not the temperament here which makes those shimmering beats but more the amount of stretch that I put into the octaves. When I compare this recording to any others which I have found, all others sound lifeless in comparison.

The contrast in key color provided by the EBVT III enhances the tension and release between consonance and dissonance that is intended for the music. The EBVT III does not make this music unplayable, it actually enhances the intentions of the composer.

Ravel: La Vallé des Cloches (in the EBVT III with maximally stretched octaves):
https://www.box.com/s/9guny1szu1q5mtume8aw
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2049994 - 03/18/13 12:36 AM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
DoelKees Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 1540
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT
Although I have tried to explain it to Doel Kees before, the EBVT and EBVT III do not, in themselves require any particular kind of stretching technique.

I don't understand what you mean to say here. In the past you published a specific method to expand the EBVT 3 temperament outside the temperament octave. That expansion method is quite specific and changes the relative consonances of the intervals at the other octaves, and I analysed its effects.

Are you now saying that particular expansion method is not essential to EBVT 3 and we can expand it as we see fit?

Kees

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#2050080 - 03/18/13 06:48 AM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3036
Loc: Madison, WI USA
I expand every temperament the same way. If I use an ETD to tune the temperament, I always have to tweak the midrange. I over write the program in the treble and high treble, using direct intervals. I always tune the wound strings by ear. If I were to tune the Best Broadwood, for example, I would tune out the octaves in the same way I do for the EBVT III.

The only kind of temperament the calculated program ever works half way decently for is a Meantone because all the 5ths are tempered alike.

Harmony is created in the two central octaves, not in the Bass, Treble and High Treble.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com

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#2050099 - 03/18/13 07:45 AM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: DoelKees]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: DoelKees
A little bit off-topic, but you mention the clavichord. As you (but maybe not all readers) know you can play all intervals completely pure on the clavichord as you can raise and lower pitch by increasing and decreasing the pressure on the key.

So if you tune the clavichord in say Werckmeister 3 and then in ET, you essentially change just the touch, as in both tunings you can still play perfectly in tune (assuming an unfretted clavichord).

I have tried tuning clavichord with an ETD but didn't get anywhere, not sure if it's because of the pitch fluctuation with touch, the low volume, the lack of clear overtones, or what. When tuning aurally I don't think I've ever been able to tune a real UT like WM3 exactly, it feels more like tuning the touch for certain keys.

I (and hopefully others) would be interested in hearing about your experience with tuning clavichords.

Kees


Yes, I use bebung on the clavichord. It was one of the reasons that the clavichord was J.S.Bach's and Mozart's favorite instrument, notwithstanding that it could also vary volume. I have a very cool CD of Oscar Peterson playing Jazz on a clavichord and he uses bebung as well, whether by accident or intentionally, I' m not sure.

I tune the clavichord at 392 Hz in a simple french ordinaire quarter comma meantone for early french baroque, and at 415Hz and Kirnberger III for later barqoue. I know it's not the best one, but it is fast to tune. I have two double strung unfretted clavichords thatnhave enough sustain to tune fairly easily by ear.

Bebung is vibrato. I refer to tuning the intervals with constant pressure. Press harder on the tonic is a good start to get the M3's in tune.

Kees


True, I do that when the instrument is out of tune and I'm too tired to tune it. But, the really cool thing about the clavichord is the incredible dynamic range, albeit pppp to p, that is available to the performer, and listener, and that demands an in tune instrument. I did a recital a few years ago covering french music from early french lute songs on the clavichord, baroque rep on a harpsichord, and then Ravel and Poulenc on a grand. The audience audibly gasped at the huge volume of the harpsichord after 20 minutes of clavichord playing. It was as if your ears adjust to volume levels much the way your eyes adjust to varying light levels.

I don't think you get my point. You should always do that (vary pressure) as a keyboard instrument can not be "in tune" in the sense of having just intervals. On the clavichord however it is possible by varying the key pressure.

Dynamics is not really possible on the clavichord as when you play louder the pitch raises.

Hope we're not getting too much off-topic here.

Kees


Have you studied or played a clavichord? I can't believe you actually said dynamics are not possible on a clavichord! You can press a note on the clavichord to the point of breaking a string and it will not make any noise. You can press a note on the clavichord with next to no pressure and make it speak. The only variable affecting dynamics is velocity. You strike the string slowly or rapidly to set it vibrating, and then maintain constant pressure for the note to sing. Try it! then you'll know why it was, and still is, a favourite instrument of so many.

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#2050107 - 03/18/13 08:06 AM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Two other aspects of the clavichord that set it apart from other keyboard instruments of the day: The key repetition speed is faster than any other keyboard instrument. It is possible to play trills effortlessly. The other fact, and probably why it was so loved, is that you can bring out (solo, make louder) a melody or contrapuntal line, something not really possible on a single keyboard harpsichord or organ.

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#2050117 - 03/18/13 08:30 AM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]
Olek Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6322
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Ravel: La Vallé des Cloches (in the EBVT III with maximally stretched octaves):
https://www.box.com/s/9guny1szu1q5mtume8aw


I regret but this sound false to me, with no musical justification to the falseness (the basses mostly.

I suppose one can get used to that but the tension/relaxation of harmony is absent.

I wonder where is the "elegance" in that tuning

That said bells are not well tuned usually wink
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2051585 - 03/20/13 09:07 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: RonTuner]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: RonTuner
Mwm - you've got the start of a good experiment for the software you are using - try it 2 or 3 times or more (measuring, not tuning again!) and then see how consistent the calculations or graphs are to one another....

Let us know!

(it sounds like you are using Dirk's?)



Hi RonTuner,

I did as you suggested and made 3 consecutive recordings of all 88 notes on my M&H BB using Dirk's Tuner. The calculated stretches are shown on the link below. I can't figure out how to load a file here yet, in spite of reading the FAQs. The stretches are all extremely close, with a few glaring exceptions, likely due to external noise.

https://www.box.com/s/8l41buo1xwoijqwk21fp

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#2051608 - 03/20/13 10:00 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Mwm]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2242
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I see you have a box.net account. Can you upload a sound file to them?


Edited by Grandpianoman (03/20/13 10:05 PM)
Edit Reason: corrections

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#2051612 - 03/20/13 10:08 PM Re: Pro Tuners -Do you ever re-assess the ETD stretch ? [Re: Grandpianoman]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
I see you have a box.net account. Can you upload a sound file to them?


Hi,

I just uploaded a sound file. You can find the link on the Best UT for Voice Teacher Thread.

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