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#2170138 10/22/13 03:31 PM
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I understand that, ET tuning by contiguous thirds is the modern way of aural piano tuning today.

And tuning by fourths and fifths are considered the old way.

Also, it is claimed that contiguous thirds method is producing more accurate ET results compared to the fifths fourths method.

Or even it might not be possible to tune a true ET with fourths and fifths method.

Now, if contiguous thirds is the way to go then I have another question:

1. After setting the thirds, one method of setting the temperament (Bill Bremmer's paper -attributed to Oliver.C.Faust-) is the up a third up a third down a fifth progression.

2. Another one I have come across is from Baldassin dating back to a 1989 paper.

Which one of the above two methods (or a third one?) is considered more accurate, reliable, or industry standard or prestigious or.. you name it, by the current piano tuning world?




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Both are only as accurate as the person doing the tuning. Experiment around until you find sequences that are easier and faster for you.

The Faust/Bremmer sequence is nice because it easily transposes to different temperament octaves.


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I really like Bill's latest work with the ET via Marpurg and using tone clusters to prove the intervals. If you ask him, he might provide you with a handout and some pointers.

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Mu.

Un-ask the question.

You may as well ask which chess opening is better, or which football formation is better, or which type of paint is better for art, or which material is best for the clothes you wear. All questions like this are unanswerable, because the most important aspect of piano tuning is the person doing it. A tuner applying any of the listed sequences, including the 4ths-and-5ths sequences ('the old way') will produce accurate and reliable results, so long as he applies the sequences properly, with skill and care.

What some of the newer sequences provide is a solid framework with fewer notes tuned, so that there may be less backtracking and refinement involved. So they may well produce reliable results more quickly. But the skill of the tuner is worlds apart from this small, possible difference.

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One thing to keep in mind is that ANY temperament system will only get you so far. I personally use a combination of 4ths 5ths and 3rd 6ths. By using both approaches simultaneous I accumulate less errors as I move through the pattern.

Once I complete the pattern, I'm not done! What follows is the troubleshooting, smoothing phase where I mostly listen to chromatic intervals, and starting with the most noticeable discrepancies make the necessary corrections. It is this phase where the real temperament comes into being - the sequence is just to get me close, like a pitch raise.

So don't expect any sequence to be perfect! smile


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most of us combine approaches to tempering.

I use fourths and fifths as a sequence, but check with thirds and sixths. I also tune from C3 to F4 in an aural tuning, so the thirds temperament can be combined with the fifths' approach. It didn't leave anything amiss when I took the updated PTG tests, and it never offered any shortcomings in professional recording work.

Perfection is rare, regardless of temperament, since there are few perfect scales. Sometimes we have to forego evenness in order to avoid intervals that stand out, i.e. letting a third be out of perfect step with its neighbors in order to keep an octave or a fifth from sounding obviously wrong. Whatever approach fits a given tuner is the preferred one.
regards

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Originally Posted by rysowers
One thing to keep in mind is that ANY temperament system will only get you so far. I personally use a combination of 4ths 5ths and 3rd 6ths. By using both approaches simultaneous I accumulate less errors as I move through the pattern.

Once I complete the pattern, I'm not done! What follows is the troubleshooting, smoothing phase where I mostly listen to chromatic intervals, and starting with the most noticeable discrepancies make the necessary corrections. It is this phase where the real temperament comes into being - the sequence is just to get me close, like a pitch raise.

So don't expect any sequence to be perfect! smile
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
most of us combine approaches to tempering.

I use fourths and fifths as a sequence, but check with thirds and sixths. I also tune from C3 to F4 in an aural tuning, so the thirds temperament can be combined with the fifths' approach. It didn't leave anything amiss when I took the updated PTG tests, and it never offered any shortcomings in professional recording work.

Perfection is rare, regardless of temperament, since there are few perfect scales. Sometimes we have to forego evenness in order to avoid intervals that stand out, i.e. letting a third be out of perfect step with its neighbors in order to keep an octave or a fifth from sounding obviously wrong. Whatever approach fits a given tuner is the preferred one.
regards


Very well stated and agreed. The young students here would do well to read carefully what these techs state and put it into practice. Thanks smile


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Originally Posted by Phil D
Mu.

Un-ask the question.

You may as well ask which chess opening is better, or which football formation is better, or which type of paint is better for art, or which material is best for the clothes you wear. All questions like this are unanswerable, because the most important aspect of piano tuning is the person doing it. A tuner applying any of the listed sequences, including the 4ths-and-5ths sequences ('the old way') will produce accurate and reliable results, so long as he applies the sequences properly, with skill and care.

What some of the newer sequences provide is a solid framework with fewer notes tuned, so that there may be less backtracking and refinement involved. So they may well produce reliable results more quickly. But the skill of the tuner is worlds apart from this small, possible difference.


thumb Well said.

Questions like this indicate that the person involved has no real experiential comprehension of the issues. Actually trying the different alternatives will give you more useful real-world information than all the distilled wisdom available on the internet. These forums can be useful but when they become internet responses to internet questions based on responses to internet questions, at the end of the day, the OP winds up with little more practical knowledge than they started with. Here's my suggestion:
Actually tune some notes and come back with "here's what I did, and here's what it seemed like to me". Then we can perhaps provide additional feedback as you move forward that will steer you on your path. But if you're not moving, all the commentary in the world isn't going to help. A rudder on a stationary ship is useless.

The value of using thirds and fourths -however you stitch them together- rather than fifths is that fifths have two coincident partial sets which can be confusing to listen to. Also, the harmonic structure can be heard better with thirds by many people.


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Originally Posted by kpembrook

The value of using thirds and fourths -however you stitch them together- rather than fifths is that fifths have two coincident partial sets which can be confusing to listen to. Also, the harmonic structure can be heard better with thirds by many people.


Thank you Keith for the advice.
That sounds very logical indeed. And it is more close to Baldassin's approach.

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You are more obliged to listen musically when tuning 5ths and 4ths plus a cycle of 5th relates to music more than stacked thirds.

So each sequence gives a light tendency, but are tools, only, means to control what we hear

And anyway tuning a 5th cycle mean you are looking for progressiveness in rapid intervals, the only difference is when using 3ds as a base, many 5 ths will not be really tuned but will be the result of the wanted fast beating intervals progression.


the 3ds stack is a shape could be also used without attention to other intervals and the piano will sound in tune.

But musicality is more in attention to slow beating intervals in my opinion, and it is more difficult to go that way in theory.

The pianist will never check your 3ds, rarely your 10th 17 th but often the 5ths in whatever region of the instrument (and will point you a less clean one easily)




Last edited by Olek; 10/23/13 06:30 PM.

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Once you get the basics of tuning hammered out, you find yourself using all the intervals to some degree or another. There's no old way, or new way.


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I agree with most of what has been said on this thread - particularly the idea that there is no correct answer. There is no such thing as a "bullet proof" temperament. The legendary George Defebaugh advocated tuning by a sequence of thirds, sixths and a few fourths, using fifths as checks. Franz Mohr tuned for Horowitz (and many others) using fourths and fifths, checking with thirds and sixths. So, who is right? Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate?


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Originally Posted by Gerry Johnston
I agree with most of what has been said on this thread - particularly the idea that there is no correct answer. There is no such thing as a "bullet proof" temperament. The legendary George Defebaugh advocated tuning by a sequence of thirds, sixths and a few fourths, using fifths as checks. Franz Mohr tuned for Horowitz (and many others) using fourths and fifths, checking with thirds and sixths. So, who is right? Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate?


True.

Why balance is so hard to achieve on this particular subject I do not know. Ongoing insistent claims of exclusivity by either one school of thought or the other cause their respective champions to rally the troops and even those of us who think we've managed to find a measure of balance, instead find ourselves going wobbly.

Last edited by bkw58; 10/23/13 06:30 PM. Reason: clarity

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Originally Posted by rysowers
One thing to keep in mind is that ANY temperament system will only get you so far. I personally use a combination of 4ths 5ths and 3rd 6ths. By using both approaches simultaneous I accumulate less errors as I move through the pattern.

Once I complete the pattern, I'm not done! What follows is the troubleshooting, smoothing phase where I mostly listen to chromatic intervals, and starting with the most noticeable discrepancies make the necessary corrections. It is this phase where the real temperament comes into being - the sequence is just to get me close, like a pitch raise.

So don't expect any sequence to be perfect! smile


This is essentially what I do.


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Nice comments on temperament tuning!


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Ed Foote's temperament from C3 is an excellent sequence. I have only read it. His temperament sequence is somewhere on this forum.

I have thought about trying it out but I can't get myself away from A4.

Last edited by Mark Davis; 10/23/13 08:12 PM. Reason: I see Ed has mentioned that his sequence is from C3

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Originally Posted by Olek
You are more obliged to listen musically when tuning 5ths and 4ths plus a cycle of 5th relates to music more than stacked thirds.

So each sequence gives a light tendency, but are tools, only, means to control what we hear

And anyway tuning a 5th cycle mean you are looking for progressiveness in rapid intervals, the only difference is when using 3ds as a base, many 5 ths will not be really tuned but will be the result of the wanted fast beating intervals progression.


the 3ds stack is a shape could be also used without attention to other intervals and the piano will sound in tune.

But musicality is more in attention to slow beating intervals in my opinion, and it is more difficult to go that way in theory.

The pianist will never check your 3ds, rarely your 10th 17 th but often the 5ths in whatever region of the instrument (and will point you a less clean one easily)





Thanks, Isaac. Well stated.


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Originally Posted by Phil D
Mu.

Un-ask the question.

You may as well ask which chess opening is better, or which football formation is better, or which type of paint is better for art, or which material is best for the clothes you wear. All questions like this are unanswerable, because the most important aspect of piano tuning is the person doing it. A tuner applying any of the listed sequences, including the 4ths-and-5ths sequences ('the old way') will produce accurate and reliable results, so long as he applies the sequences properly, with skill and care.

What some of the newer sequences provide is a solid framework with fewer notes tuned, so that there may be less backtracking and refinement involved. So they may well produce reliable results more quickly. But the skill of the tuner is worlds apart from this small, possible difference.



thumb


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This is great to see. Good questions, Hakki.

There's a lot of subtlety to temperament mapping. I'll be the one to disagree with the fact that the method doesn't matter. Many good tuners use different methods and achieve good results, but using a temperament method that finds errors in alignment early on will increase the precision, instead of using experienced guessing.

These comments from Ed Foote and Isaac Oleg are my exact finding with the instrument:

Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Perfection is rare, regardless of temperament, since there are few perfect scales. Sometimes we have to forego evenness in order to avoid intervals that stand out, i.e. letting a third be out of perfect step with its neighbors in order to keep an octave or a fifth from sounding obviously wrong. Whatever approach fits a given tuner is the preferred one.


Originally Posted by Olek
And anyway tuning a 5th cycle mean you are looking for progressiveness in rapid intervals, the only difference is when using 3ds as a base, many 5ths will not be really tuned but will be the result of the wanted fast beating intervals progression.


This is maybe the most key reason to carefully decide on a temperament method that uses 4ths and 5ths bounded in small steps by 3rds/6ths/8ves/12ths. Thirds are of lesser importance and do not have the precision by which to tune very accurately, but they can be helpful defining stretch on a poorly scaled piano.

There are new methods that involve a 4th/5th bounded sequence. Look at Defebaugh's temperament, the Baldassin/Sanderson/Kimbell/Tremper temperament, Coleman/Sanderson in the SAT Manual and Virgil Smith's temperament in his Advanced Aural Tuning book.

By combining methods, you can increase your understanding to deal with a variety of different spectrums in pianos, which pose different challenges for alignment.


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http://www.kentswafford.com/

When you click on this link, you will go to a page with some info about Kent.

Click on the picture of Kent and you will find an excellent read.


Mark
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