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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2400843
03/21/15 12:27 AM
03/21/15 12:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
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Gadzar  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
-If you play Bach, Mozart and Beethoven maybe a Well temperament is apropriate for your piano, at their time pianos were tuned in such temperament.

-Then tune it in a Well temperament, I want to give it a try.

-Done.

-Oh! It sounds nice! How is it done?

-The fifths are of different sizes, some selected fifths are narrower than others allowing some major thirds to be more harmonious. The most used keys in Bach, Mozart and Beethoven's music are more harmonious.

-I see.

Next appointment:

-You know? It bothers me that the fifths are not all the same size. This time I want my piano tuned in ET.

-As you wish... Done!

-But, it sounds harsh! What did you do to my piano?

-I just tuned it in ET. Do you hear? All the fifths sound the same. All the thirds sound the same. Do you hear them? There is no difference between C major and C# major! That's ET.

-Yes, I hear... Can you retune it in Well temperament?

-Oh yes! Volontiers! I'll charge you another tuning fee, is it ok?

-Yes, go ahead!

-Done.

-Ah! What a difference! Now it sounds ok!

-Now listen to CE and to F#A# major thirds. Do you hear the difference?

-Yes. F#A# sounds harsh, CE sounds harmonious.

-That's Well temperament.

-Oh, it doesn't matter, leave it that way!





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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: Gadzar] #2400904
03/21/15 07:25 AM
03/21/15 07:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,037
Southwestern Ontario
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prout Offline
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Originally Posted by Gadzar
-If you play Bach, Mozart and Beethoven maybe a Well temperament is apropriate for your piano, at their time pianos were tuned in such temperament.

-Then tune it in a Well temperament, I want to give it a try.

-Done.

-Oh! It sounds nice! How is it done?

-The fifths are of different sizes, some selected fifths are narrower than others allowing some major thirds to be more harmonious. The most used keys in Bach, Mozart and Beethoven's music are more harmonious.

-I see.

Next appointment:

-You know? It bothers me that the fifths are not all the same size. This time I want my piano tuned in ET.

-As you wish... Done!

-But, it sounds harsh! What did you do to my piano?

-I just tuned it in ET. Do you hear? All the fifths sound the same. All the thirds sound the same. Do you hear them? There is no difference between C major and C# major! That's ET.

-Yes, I hear... Can you retune it in Well temperament?

-Oh yes! Volontiers! I'll charge you another tuning fee, is it ok?

-Yes, go ahead!

-Done.

-Ah! What a difference! Now it sounds ok!

-Now listen to CE and to F#A# major thirds. Do you hear the difference?

-Yes. F#A# sounds harsh, CE sounds harmonious.

-That's Well temperament.

-Oh, it doesn't matter, leave it that way!






Finally, someone who gets UTs. Thanks Gadzar. Welcome to the UT camp.

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: Gadzar] #2400932
03/21/15 08:45 AM
03/21/15 08:45 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
E
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ed Foote  Offline
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E

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
Greetings,
I, also, have had the same scenario numerous times. I find many customers unaware that there were different ways of temperament, yet, once exposed to the alternatives, find a distaste for ET. Others not, but the majority never look back. I am in this for the money, that is why I tune pianos,(plus, I really like the job satisfaction I get from working with professional musicians). I am interested in the market, and how I groom my clientele. To that end, customers that have found UT to be an asset don't look for other tuners because they can't get what they want from an ET-only tech. Job security.....I just can't find any down side to this.

Not to brag, but rather to encourage the younger generation of tuners: I tune most of the pianos for non-recording studio use in WT's of one strength or another. Doing so, I have been able to command the highest price for my tuning work in this state for the last 30 years. I give the major credit to my teachers, David Betts and Bill Garlick, for setting me and other NBSS students out on our careers so well equipped. In the pre ETD days, the ET temperament we learned from these masters totally blew the competition away. Perhaps that is why Dr. Sanderson used their standards as a beginning point in his development of the SAT.

I would be happy to compare my tunings, in any temperament, with any tech. Let's just tune a couple of practice rooms and come back the next week to see how they stood up to practical use.
Regards,

Last edited by Ed Foote; 03/21/15 08:45 AM.
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: Ed Foote] #2401046
03/21/15 05:32 PM
03/21/15 05:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
A
alfredo capurso Offline
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alfredo capurso  Offline
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A

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Greetings,
I, also, have had the same scenario numerous times. I find many customers unaware that there were different ways of temperament, yet, once exposed to the alternatives, find a distaste for ET. Others not, but the majority never look back. I am in this for the money, that is why I tune pianos,(plus, I really like the job satisfaction I get from working with professional musicians). I am interested in the market, and how I groom my clientele. To that end, customers that have found UT to be an asset don't look for other tuners because they can't get what they want from an ET-only tech. Job security.....I just can't find any down side to this.

Not to brag, but rather to encourage the younger generation of tuners: I tune most of the pianos for non-recording studio use in WT's of one strength or another. Doing so, I have been able to command the highest price for my tuning work in this state for the last 30 years. I give the major credit to my teachers, David Betts and Bill Garlick, for setting me and other NBSS students out on our careers so well equipped. In the pre ETD days, the ET temperament we learned from these masters totally blew the competition away. Perhaps that is why Dr. Sanderson used their standards as a beginning point in his development of the SAT.

I would be happy to compare my tunings, in any temperament, with any tech. Let's just tune a couple of practice rooms and come back the next week to see how they stood up to practical use.
Regards,


Hi ED,

The whole issue is much clearer now, and I want to say thank you for being so frank.

My (should I say 'Also my'?) feeling is that you move on the threshold of plagiarism, affecting the response you want (which is not illegal nor uncommon in business - perhaps admirable).

In order to achieve this, in the end, you do not even need to tune and offer your customers two (very) different tunings (right?). As you yourself have noticed, it is enough to play with the right intention and... all will become clear to the listener.

Tunerjoe has very well explained the value (and meaning) of small (and ever-smaller) numerical deviations: indeed, numbers and E(x)TDs can easily be used in this manner. But who cares, you/we (perhaps like you) could make a business, you/we are enabled to dintinguish your/our expertize, you/we can guess (and conclude - for free) how Mozart would have 'heard' intervals, how composers, say from Italy up to the north of Europe, would have had their instruments tuned. Yeah, let's be realistic (read convincing), who could ever deny that tail with absolute certainty? In few words, we can say what music is about.

And what is it, in the end? It is (about) personal preference (Lol). Yes, they finally have a preference, come'n give them a preference together with a good tuner (ETs, WTs, who cares) that can finally put in prose what they... have/need/want to spend for.

Oh, looking for an absolution?.. No problem, ego te absolvo.

Regards, a.c.
.








alfredo
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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2401057
03/21/15 05:59 PM
03/21/15 05:59 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
DoelKees Offline

2000 Post Club Member
DoelKees  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso


Kees, "Consonant interval...", would that be referred to the list of consonant intervals you posted not long ago? Wait, here it is "...Consonant intervals are Octave, P5, P4, M3, M6, m3, m6, all other intervals are dissonant."

So, that, together with Ed's statement "..consonance is 'in tune', dissonance is 'out of tune'..", would really confirm what Mark R. wrote, can we only out-of tune pianos? Are we "temperers" then, tuning intervals... out of tune?

Do not worry, I am not being serious, even now I am Lol.

Don't worry Alfredo, I stopped taking you seriously years ago.

Kees

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: DoelKees] #2401065
03/21/15 06:32 PM
03/21/15 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
A
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member
alfredo capurso  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso


Kees, "Consonant interval...", would that be referred to the list of consonant intervals you posted not long ago? Wait, here it is "...Consonant intervals are Octave, P5, P4, M3, M6, m3, m6, all other intervals are dissonant."

So, that, together with Ed's statement "..consonance is 'in tune', dissonance is 'out of tune'..", would really confirm what Mark R. wrote, can we only out-of tune pianos? Are we "temperers" then, tuning intervals... out of tune?

Do not worry, I am not being serious, even now I am Lol.

Don't worry Alfredo, I stopped taking you seriously years ago.

Kees


That sounds true, parallel to your understanding of tuning.

Regards, a.c.
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2401072
03/21/15 06:47 PM
03/21/15 06:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
A
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member
alfredo capurso  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted By Ed Foote

"Greetings,
I, also, have had the same scenario numerous times. I find many customers unaware that there were different ways of temperament, yet, once exposed to the alternatives, find a distaste for ET. Others not, but the majority never look back. I am in this for the money, that is why I tune pianos,(plus, I really like the job satisfaction I get from working with professional musicians). I am interested in the market, and how I groom my clientele. To that end, customers that have found UT to be an asset don't look for other tuners because they can't get what they want from an ET-only tech. Job security.....I just can't find any down side to this.

Not to brag, but rather to encourage the younger generation of tuners: I tune most of the pianos for non-recording studio use in WT's of one strength or another. Doing so, I have been able to command the highest price for my tuning work in this state for the last 30 years. I give the major credit to my teachers, David Betts and Bill Garlick, for setting me and other NBSS students out on our careers so well equipped. In the pre ETD days, the ET temperament we learned from these masters totally blew the competition away. Perhaps that is why Dr. Sanderson used their standards as a beginning point in his development of the SAT.

I would be happy to compare my tunings, in any temperament, with any tech. Let's just tune a couple of practice rooms and come back the next week to see how they stood up to practical use.
Regards,"


Hi ED,

The whole issue is much clearer now, and I want to say thank you for being so frank.

My (should I say 'Also my'?) feeling is that you move on the threshold of plagiarism, affecting the response you want (which is not illegal nor uncommon in business - perhaps admirable).

In order to achieve this, in the end, you do not even need to tune and offer your customers two (very) different tunings (right?). As you yourself have noticed, it is enough to play with the right intention and... all will become clear to the listener.

Tunerjoe has very well explained the value (and meaning) of small (and ever-smaller) numerical deviations: indeed, numbers and E(x)TDs can easily be used in this manner. But who cares, you/we (perhaps like you) could make a business, you/we are enabled to dintinguish your/our expertize, you/we can guess (and conclude - for free) how Mozart would have 'heard' intervals, how composers, say from Italy up to the north of Europe, would have had their instruments tuned. Yeah, let's be realistic (read convincing), who could ever deny that tail with absolute certainty? In few words, we can say what music is about.

And what is it, in the end? It is (about) personal preference (Lol). Yes, they finally have a preference, come'n give them a preference together with a good tuner (ETs, WTs, who cares) that can finally put in prose what they... have/need/want to spend for.

Oh, looking for an absolution?.. No problem, ego te absolvo.

Regards, a.c.
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2401128
03/21/15 10:16 PM
03/21/15 10:16 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
DoelKees Offline

2000 Post Club Member
DoelKees  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: DoelKees] #2401249
03/22/15 09:43 AM
03/22/15 09:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,037
Southwestern Ontario
P
prout Offline
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prout  Offline
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P

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,037
Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees


As a performer, I prefer strong UTs precisely because they are clearly heard as having nice and not-so-nice M3s. Werckmeister 3 is great for the fabulous pre-baroque and baroque organ repertoire. A sixth comma UT provides much colour and a bit more range in key distance. I must stick with an approximate ET for modern repertoire and transposition.

I doubt I could hear, in a blind test using a piano or harpsichord, a mild UT as opposed to an approximate ET, unless I was at the instrument playing it.

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: DoelKees] #2401259
03/22/15 10:29 AM
03/22/15 10:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
A
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member
alfredo capurso  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees


"...sensitive.."? Hmm... I am not sure, I tend to believe that has to do with "musical ear" and "intonation".

Below you can listen to a 1/6 comma meantone (so the author says), have a go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK3blfKE04

To All, have a lovely Sunday.
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2401263
03/22/15 10:41 AM
03/22/15 10:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,037
Southwestern Ontario
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prout Offline
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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,037
Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees


"...sensitive.."? Hmm... I am not sure, I tend to believe that has to do with "musical ear" and "intonation".

Below you can listen to a 1/6 comma meantone (so the author says), have a go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK3blfKE04

To All, have a lovely Sunday.
.


I am not sure what you are saying about the youtube recording. It has terrible audio quality and the playing is wooden, but I assume you can still hear the differences in key colour. If not, then you should not be making comments regarding temperaments.

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2401306
03/22/15 01:04 PM
03/22/15 01:04 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
DoelKees Offline

2000 Post Club Member
DoelKees  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees


"...sensitive.."? Hmm... I am not sure, I tend to believe that has to do with "musical ear" and "intonation".

Below you can listen to a 1/6 comma meantone (so the author says), have a go.

No doubt there are also people less sensitive than I am.

Kees

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: prout] #2401320
03/22/15 01:39 PM
03/22/15 01:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
A
alfredo capurso Offline
1000 Post Club Member
alfredo capurso  Offline
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A

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso
Originally Posted by DoelKees
Years ago on the "My piano in EBVT" thread there were some attempts at "blind tests" presenting recordings in ET vs EBVT made on the same piano, performed by a machine.

My conclusion from that (very long) thread was that people could not reliably differentiate between the two from the recordings in blind tests. However if they knew which were ET and which were EBVT they claimed the difference was obvious (better or worse, depending on the person).

This does not mean that you can't tell the difference if you are actually sitting at the piano and play it.

I put my piano in Werckmeister 3 (a 1/4' well temperament) last month. Things like the D#minor fugue from WTC1 take on a whole different character. Artists like Ton Koopman like it, so who am I to disagree? I keep thinking I hit wrong notes, but they are just Pythagorean thirds. 1/6' WT's sound just right for me for this kind of music. ET is a bit too bland. Anything weaker (like those "Victorian" temperaments) is too subtle for me to tell the difference.

No doubt there are people more sensitive than I am.

Kees


"...sensitive.."? Hmm... I am not sure, I tend to believe that has to do with "musical ear" and "intonation".

Below you can listen to a 1/6 comma meantone (so the author says), have a go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfK3blfKE04

To All, have a lovely Sunday.
.


I am not sure what you are saying about the youtube recording. It has terrible audio quality and the playing is wooden, but I assume you can still hear the differences in key colour. If not, then you should not be making comments regarding temperaments.


Hi Prout,

I linked that recording so that it could be listened to (pretty obvious).

Please, do not 'assume' what I can hear, nor what I would call it. Instead, see what Kees has understood, there are people less sensitive, and people more sensitive than you are. Also, I guess, our insights might be more diverse, depending on whether you are a pro tuner or an amateur.

Regards, a.c.
.



alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2401323
03/22/15 01:40 PM
03/22/15 01:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,564
R
rXd Offline
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rXd  Offline
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R

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,564
"I keep thinking I hit wrong notes but they are just Pythagorean thirds".
-Kees.

I've read that twice and I "just" can't get past it. Surely you meant to say they are only Pythagorean thirds.

A just Pythagorean third boggles my mind. smile smile

Amanda


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: rXd] #2401326
03/22/15 01:52 PM
03/22/15 01:52 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
DoelKees Offline

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DoelKees  Offline

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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,499
Vancouver, Canada
Originally Posted by rXd
"I keep thinking I hit wrong notes but they are just Pythagorean thirds".
-Kees.

I've read that twice and I "just" can't get past it. Surely you meant to say they are only Pythagorean thirds.

A just Pythagorean third boggles my mind. smile smile

Amanda

I'm glad the pun was not wasted.

Kees

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: DoelKees] #2401340
03/22/15 02:56 PM
03/22/15 02:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,564
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rXd Offline
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R

Joined: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by DoelKees
Originally Posted by rXd
"I keep thinking I hit wrong notes but they are just Pythagorean thirds".
-Kees.

I've read that twice and I "just" can't get past it. Surely you meant to say they are only Pythagorean thirds.

A just Pythagorean third boggles my mind. smile smile

Amanda

I'm glad the pun was not wasted.

Kees


I know I know. A lot of mine fall on stony ground. I occasionally get away with an occasional outrageous British vulgarism.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2401391
03/22/15 05:47 PM
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Really, the thinly veiled undercurrent in all of this is you unequal temperament guys should just STOP!


Bill Bremmer RPT
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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2401398
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Originally Posted by alfredo capurso
Originally Posted by JustHarmony
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso


Ed, tempering (for what I know) was ment to make an instrument sound in tune. For centuries, the goal was to play any three notes and have them sound in tune, and then four notes and ten and all notes, no matter the key. No one ever believed that the composer had to depend on the "effects of tempering" that were made available.


Greetings,
I must disagree. Conventional simplification holds that consonance is 'in tune', dissonance is 'out of tune'. It appears that your point is that to be "in tune" means all intervals are coordinated with others, rather than having anything to do with the nature of the interval, itself. Hence, from the standpoint of consonance, the promotion of your style of ET has no true consonance, particularly in the thirds, but you regard it as "in-tune" when everything is equally "out of tune".

Tempering, which is altering intervals away from consonance, ("in tune"), was, for centuries, seen as a way to sacrifice consonance in order to make more keys musically available. It did this by compromising the "in tune" nature of the thirds sufficiently to allow modulation. For centuries, the MT did this, pure thirds, harsh fifths. Then, technology( increasing knowledge), was used to temper those pure thirds, (much to the chagrin of many), and by allowing them to become more dissonant, the fifths were made closer to pure, but outside of some varieties of WT, the fifths never actually got to be "in tune", either.



I completely agree. Tempering absolutely is NOT about making an instrument sound "in tune" - unless, by "in tune" one means "sounding acceptable to the listener". We must define, I suppose, what we actually mean when we say something is "in tune" or "perfectly in tune" etc. Above, it was referred to as "consonance" which is not a bad term. I prefer the terms I learned with, which were "pure" or "just" intervals- those that are without beats. Maybe such intervals are not possible on the modern piano. I confess that I do not even know - I have yet to hear that, myself. I come from a background in harpsichords, where they are possible.

Anyway, using that as the standard of "in tune", tempering refers to compromising (tempering) those perfect, or just, intervals. That is simply what tempering means. Tempering itself does not have a purpose - but temperaments do, and different temperaments have different purposes. Some early temperaments sought to preserve the purity of certain "just" intervals (or very nearly just intervals) in a few keys because these just intervals are some of the most pure and harmonious things you might ever hope to hear (my own bias there). This, however, meant that the further out keys (those with increasing accidentals) would be basically unplayable in most contexts (unless a composer would go there very briefly to create musical tension- part of the musical "language" of the day, I would argue). This was the musical palette of the day – and why most pieces were composed only in certain keys. Sure, you could move the “center tonality” to a different key, but that would be arbitrary. There is a reason why the purest key was C – the temperaments of the day both reflected, and influenced, the music that the composers of the day wrote.

With later temperaments comes the desire to be able to play in more keys with less jarring effect, and, again, the temperaments and the music of the time went hand in hand. There are many "well" temperaments that provide access to plenty of keys. Many of these temperaments have a dual purpose - to preserve various character differences between keys while compromising the just intervals enough so that more keys were approachable for playing.

Then we arrive at some form of "equal" temperament... in which the priority is to even out the spacing to promote the completely fluid (and homogenized) modulation between any and all keys. ET is most definitely NOT about being "in tune" if one is using that phrase to refer to technically and physically in tune in terms of just intervals. It is about being equally out of tune in all keys in exactly the same ways.

Of course, the above is a simplified generalization of centuries of tuning practice, but I hope it might be a useful one, even if it is over-simplified.

SOUNDING in tune (as opposed to being in tune) is a very different prospect. The perception "in tune" might mean, for one person, being used to ET and wide thirds, and finding comfort in the sounds of that. To another, the perception of "in tune" might have everything to do with beating and just intervals. To another, "in tune" might not involve tuning at all, but a general sense of cohesion. Who knows? I don't think any of us can really definitively speak to what it means to any one person for something to sound in tune (except for maybe ourselves).

Ultimately, how we perceive the effects of tuning might be different, but I suspect we all have some response to it (unless we are tone-deaf). THIS is the reason why it matters, why it's relevant, whether we understand it and hear it specifically or not. How something is heard is really everything.

Can we control this? To some degree, perhaps. We can attempt to control it, on the one hand, by attempting to rationalize it, "logic" it, study it, test it, measure it, etc. However, ultimately no matter how much we do any of these things, it is still about how what we tune is heard, perceived, felt as part of the constellation of interacting factors that are a piece of music. It is impossible to demonstrate clear and provable causality between a particular temperament, say, and a response to a piece of music. There are way too many variables... there is NEVER a constant when it comes to music. We can measure, study, etc. using all the technology we have available but there will never be a "definitive" answer to any of these questions. One might argue that good performers can mimic the effect that a particular temperament once had, and while that's an interesting notion that might be true (though I would tend to think otherwise), there is no way to quantify that, or even define it to prove that it might actually be true.

One might try to "control" or influence a musical response, too, not through measurement, etc, but by approaching the issue from the standpoint of cultural awareness/fluency. One can educate, one can train ears, one can explore various sounds, hone one's own awareness and appreciation for what is happening in the subtle (or not so subtle) interaction of musical tones and how that affects us physically, psychologically, etc. Today, our awareness of temperament and tuning as part of a musical language has dropped off the radar. I suspect we still DO respond to temperament on subconscious levels... and maybe we express this in terms of "brightness" of a piece, or "liveliness" of a sound, or whatever other terms we might bring to our conversations. Sometimes people can begin to hear temperament for what it is... and begin to recognize it as part of a musical language... perhaps similar to recognizing and responding to, say, a long crescendo, or whatever other musical expressions we find almost inherently obvious in terms of how we hear and interpret them.
Whatever the case, learning about all this, developing awareness of the issues involved, philosophizing about it, etc. cannot hurt anyone's musical perception, I suspect. We each take from the discussion what we find meaningful and relevant... and that, in turn, affects the filter through which we hear and experience music. There may never be any true "answers" to any of the questions about tuning and temperament, but the conversations about tuning, about theories of temperaments, about theories regarding why we do x or y or how it has a particular effect will continue, as they have for centuries.

Why does this conversation matter? To me, it matters because having it enriches (deeply) the way I hear and play music. Period. I cannot help but think (and recognize) that it does for others too.

JH


Hi JH,

Your latest post is very dense and for various reasons I can only reply partially.

You wrote: "I completely agree. Tempering absolutely is NOT about making an instrument sound "in tune" - unless, by "in tune" one means "sounding acceptable to the listener"."...

JH, how can a piano tuner tune an instrument, say a piano, and make it not sound "in tune"? Can you imagine, our customers opening the door and we saying "Hi, I am the one who is going to temper your piano" and hope they won't ask "will my piano sound in tune?". Lol.

..."We must define, I suppose, what we actually mean when we say something is "in tune" or "perfectly in tune" etc."...

Hmm..., I agree.

..."Above, it was referred to as "consonance" which is not a bad term."...

I agree, it is not a "bad term", perhaps it is only wrong. Would you be able to do without dissonances? Are you able to imagine (in your ears) a piece without the effects that come from beats?

..."I prefer the terms I learned with, which were "pure" or "just" intervals- those that are without beats. Maybe such intervals are not possible on the modern piano."...

Also Ed prefers to understand "in tune" intervals as "pure" intervals. The thing is that when we tune a piano we cannot think in terms of one single "interval" anymore, we must consider all intervals and the way they relate to each other. Albeit there was a time when they dealt with single intervals only, when was that?

..."I confess that I do not even know - I have yet to hear that, myself. I come from a background in harpsichords, where they are possible."...

Can I say that it is impossible (to tune a traditional instrument with only pure intervals) without being rude?

The rest asap.

Regards, a.c.
.



Hi JH,

I had meant to reply to that very long post of yours, this is on the second paragraph:

..."Anyway, using that as the standard of "in tune", tempering refers to compromising (tempering) those perfect, or just, intervals."...

Have a look here below, you may see that tempering is referred to 'correct', proportion, mitigate:

http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/temperare_%28Enciclopedia-Dantesca%29/

..."That is simply what tempering means."...

Well, "compromising" is a bit ambiguous as a term, for me, as it describes both "the best" solution and the "least worst" solution.

..."Tempering itself does not have a purpose - but temperaments do, and different temperaments have different purposes."...

I am not sure I get the sense of that line.

..."Some early temperaments sought to preserve the purity of certain "just" intervals (or very nearly just intervals) in a few keys because these just intervals are some of the most pure and harmonious things you might ever hope to hear (my own bias there)."...

Hmm.., yes, in the past they had defined beatless (integer ratios) intervals "just" and "pure"; as for "harmonious", we ought to check what you mean, the meaning of "harmony" and "harmoniousness" is still debated.

..."This, however, meant that the further out keys (those with increasing accidentals) would be basically unplayable in most contexts (unless a composer would go there very briefly to create musical tension- part of the musical "language" of the day, I would argue)."...

Well, I cannot be sure whether they were really asking for that "musical tension"; on the other hand, they were not happy with "wolf" intervals, this we know for sure from literature of those days.

..."This was the musical palette of the day – and why most pieces were composed only in certain keys."...

Yes, most likely (IMO) composers had more than one reason for writing in certain keys, not last having perhaps to consider the tuning frame of those days but, can you say they were happy with that? I do not think so.

..."Sure, you could move the “center tonality” to a different key, but that would be arbitrary. There is a reason why the purest key was C – the temperaments of the day both reflected, and influenced, the music that the composers of the day wrote."...

Yes, they had a "purest" key and they called it C. Though, in general, I have a different feeling, I think some artists, regretfully, will have worked within the 'cage' of the day, other artists have been driver of innovation. The fact remains that the theoretical problem was... "the wolf", not exactly inspiring.

The rest asap.

Regards, a.c.
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402241
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Hi JH,

It seems that "the wolf" was a problem both in theory and in practice and the idea that music is about a damned problem, their numerical 'cage' and dissonances that still today are hardly bearable is, imo, anti historical acrobatics.

You wrote: ..."With later temperaments comes the desire to be able to play in more keys with less jarring effect, and, again, the temperaments and the music of the time went hand in hand."...

Yes, if you mean more available notes and (more numerical) intervals I would agree, though the question with tempering was again the very same, what to do with 'jarring' intervals.

..."There are many "well" temperaments that provide access to plenty of keys."...

Sure, to me the surprising number of Well's shows how hard they had tried to solve what for them (too) was a nuisance. I tend to believe that "well" (or other) temperaments might sound 'jarring' still today, depending on the execution and the listener's ear.

..."Many of these temperaments have a dual purpose - to preserve various character differences between keys while compromising the just intervals enough so that more keys were approachable for playing."...

Well, I respect your interpretation. On my part, I think they all have climbed a very steep mountain (to win the semitonal scale), with a very heavy burden, the practice and technology of those days and the belief that only pure intervals were "correct". Would you say that those "differences between keys" were a gift? The 'musical' gift?

..."Then we arrive at some form of "equal" temperament in which the priority is to even out the spacing to promote the completely fluid (and homogenized) modulation between any and all keys."...

Hmmm.., it was not really as straightforward as it might be thought. For centuries they had tried to deal with many commas, the prove being the variety of 'new' instruments they made, with an impractical number of keys.

..."ET is most definitely NOT about being "in tune" if one is using that phrase to refer to technically and physically in tune in terms of just intervals."...

Perhaps you have the first ET (12 root of two) in mind. Then, in terms of 'just intervals', that would be correct, with one exception, the 2:1 octave.

..."It is about being equally out of tune in all keys in exactly the same ways. Of course, the above is a simplified generalization of centuries of tuning practice, but I hope it might be a useful one, even if it is over-simplified."...

You say "a useful...simplified generalization...even if it is over-simplified."..; if I may ask, what do you mean, useful for what?

The rest asap.

Regards, a.c.
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402511
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Hi JH,

You were saying that ET "... is about being equally out of tune in all keys in exactly the same ways. Of course, the above is a simplified generalization of centuries of tuning practice, but I hope it might be a useful one, even if it is over-simplified."

Yes, I find that description "over-simplified", and doubt it can be useful. Actually, I find it misleading, not suitable to convey the meaning of "out of tune", nor adherent to the evolution of temperaments. At some stage, dissonances became part of the musical language, a source of emotions (as Ed would suggest) and fundamental for defining the "harmonic" nature, the intensity, the colour (ops, better say tension) and the character of all musical passages. Yes, "nature and character" which is then conveyed by music, not by individual intervals. So, dissonances as part of "harmony", which in those years was being developed with increasing attention to every detail. How can we suggest that "dissonance" means out of tune?

Listen to this nice suite (hope you like it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxyC-A2oQcw

Can you "hear" it, with (say) only pure intervals?

You wrote:

..."SOUNDING in tune (as opposed to being in tune) is a very different prospect. The perception "in tune" might mean, for one person, being used to ET and wide thirds, and finding comfort in the sounds of that. To another, the perception of "in tune" might have everything to do with beating and just intervals. To another, "in tune" might not involve tuning at all, but a general sense of cohesion. Who knows? I don't think any of us can really definitively speak to what it means to any one person for something to sound in tune (except for maybe ourselves)."...

I think Ian' suggestion is valid (Oxford dictionary). Amongst musicians it is not at all a vague word, in fact, many would lament something that sounds out of tune, though you are right, individual sense of intonation can vary significantly.

..."Ultimately, how we perceive the effects of tuning might be different, but I suspect we all have some response to it (unless we are tone-deaf). THIS is the reason why it matters, why it's relevant, whether we understand it and hear it specifically or not. How something is heard is really everything."...

I agree.

..."Can we control this? To some degree, perhaps. We can attempt to control it, on the one hand, by attempting to rationalize it, "logic" it, study it, test it, measure it, etc."...

You say "..how we perceive", and I would make a distinction between musicians and listeners. For the firsts, imo, good intonation and perception of tunings need to be largely innate. Both musician and listeners can improve their perception, the result depending on many many factors.

..."However, ultimately no matter how much we do any of these things, it is still about how what we tune is heard, perceived, felt as part of the constellation of interacting factors that are a piece of music."...

Well, for me it is more simple than that, it is not really about a "..constellation..", it is whether what I hear sounds in tune or not. Perhaps the "interacting factors" you cite, for me are individual notes and the way they interact?

..."It is impossible to demonstrate clear and provable causality between a particular temperament, say, and a response to a piece of music. There are way too many variables... there is NEVER a constant when it comes to music. We can measure, study, etc. using all the technology we have available but there will never be a "definitive" answer to any of these questions. One might argue that good performers can mimic the effect that a particular temperament once had, and while that's an interesting notion that might be true (though I would tend to think otherwise), there is no way to quantify that, or even define it to prove that it might actually be true."...

So true. Trying to "..quantify that, or even define..(..how what we tune is heard, perceived..)" is imo fanciful and unreal.

You say "..the effect that a particular temperament once had", and precisely on that, I would like to bring you back to earth. Do what I do normally, check dozens of pianos and let me know if you can find two pianos with the same temperament. Nah, do not do that, I will tell you: two pianos where the "settled" temperament is the same do not exist(*). Now, transpose this fact (if you believe me) back three hundred years, and tell me again about "..the effect that a particular temperament once had".

(*) "settled" temperaments can be similar, the variables being pianos, the tuner(s), lucky days and moon in favor.

The rest asap.

Edit: The above suite, Variations - by Tapray - Catherine Zimmer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82IyseJVERY

Regards, a.c.

Last edited by alfredo capurso; 03/25/15 03:40 PM. Reason: detais plus

alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402519
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I think, or at least hope, that no one is arguing that any acoustic keyboard instrument can be tuned the same way twice, let alone the same way as another instrument.

That being said, it is possible to tune an instrument in a manner that is clearly different from the previous tuning if one so desires. We hear examples of these tunings daily.

My point is that it does not matter how accurate or what particular UT is attempted when tuning an acoustic keyboard instrument. If it is tuned and then played in the keys appropriate to the temperament, the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT. It also makes it easier for an instrumentalist, a gamba player for example, playing Bach with a harpsichord, or the modern equivalent of playing the same music on a cello and piano, to match the piano temperament, especially when the cellist tunes the open strings to the piano's UT. I do this with instrumentalists regularly. It is not rocket science.

The effect that temperaments had on musicians/composers of their day is well documented.

Please click this link for the most up to date book on this subject.
Claudio Di Veroli has done a magnificent job of updating, correcting, and expanding our knowledge of this important topic.

prout

Edit: I always find it funny to have a cellist carefully tune the C string (C2) as a pure, beatless 5th down from the pure, beatless 5th (G2) down from the pure, beatless 5th (D3) down from the pure beatless 220Hz A3 that they derived from my A4. It puts them 12 cents out relative to my piano C2.

Last edited by prout; 03/25/15 03:40 PM.
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402534
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..."My point is that it does not matter how accurate or what particular UT is attempted when tuning an acoustic keyboard instrument. If it is tuned and then played in the keys appropriate to the temperament, the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT."...

Certainly due to my English, I find that sentence a bit difficult to grapple. Let me re-read it.



alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2402537
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Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

..."My point is that it does not matter how accurate or what particular UT is attempted when tuning an acoustic keyboard instrument. If it is tuned and then played in the keys appropriate to the temperament, the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT."...

Certainly due to my English, I find that sentence a bit difficult to grapple. Let me re-read it.



I will try to state my thought in a different way.

A piece of music written in C major and a piece of music written in Ab Major, each played on an instrument tuned in Kirberger UT will sound very different from the same music played on an instrument tuned in attempted ET.

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2402538
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Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

..."My point is that it does not matter how accurate or what particular UT is attempted when tuning an acoustic keyboard instrument. If it is tuned and then played in the keys appropriate to the temperament, the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT."...

Certainly due to my English, I find that sentence a bit difficult to grapple. Let me re-read it.



So, I understand you are saying that the key must be appropriate to the UT temperament, no matter "..how accurate or what particular UT..", and then "...the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT."

Yes, I agree, the music will sound different, I would add.. to some ears. What is it, iyo, that makes a specific UT appropriate?
.


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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: prout] #2402539
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Originally Posted by prout
I think, or at least hope, that no one is arguing that any acoustic keyboard instrument can be tuned the same way twice, let alone the same way as another instrument.


Edit: I always find it funny to have a cellist carefully tune the C string (C2) as a pure, beatless 5th down from the pure, beatless 5th (G2) down from the pure, beatless 5th (D3) down from the pure beatless 220Hz A3 that they derived from my A4. It puts them 12 cents out relative to my piano C2.


Greetings,
I must take some issue with that first statement. The surgeon's scalpel, under a microscope, is not a smooth edge, but a ragged one. A basalt blade, under the same microscope, appears smooth. However, at a higher setting, the basalt begins to show raggedness. In the same vein, (the topic, not the surgeon's!), at some level of examination, there will be differences between two tunings, done the same way, on the same piano. However, this level of inaccuracy is below what the human ear can recognize, so I think that the statement is only true in clinical settings, not the real world. I consistently tune pianos that are recorded and closely examined, edited, double-tracked, etc. The SAT I use replicates those tunings, as far as critical ears are concerned, exactly.

String players often will tell us they are tuning their intervals pure, but, obviously, (if I may be absurdly reductionist), with a close enough measurement, the odds of them being exactly pure are slim to none. When I begin speaking of wide and narrow, many string players get confused. They talk of thirds being sharp instead of wide, flat instead of narrow. Once I explain that the closer to pure they get, the less information they have to judge the interval, and that they may be slightly sharp or flat of pure and still hear it as pure, they begin to see some light. Doing so will help them understand that it is not only easier to make a fifth that is narrow, but that it will improve their beginning intonation on all the strings, and they have an easier time of it. Some resent the suggestion, but many have gone forward with increased confidence of what they are doing. The explanation has to be as short as possible, because after 2 or 3 minutes of this kind of listening, they lose their objectivity, (I remember learning to tune. After 10 minutes of tempering, I couldn't hear what I was doing anymore).
Regards,

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: prout] #2402540
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I see your post now:

Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

..."My point is that it does not matter how accurate or what particular UT is attempted when tuning an acoustic keyboard instrument. If it is tuned and then played in the keys appropriate to the temperament, the music will most definitely sound different than when played in attempted ET or in an inappropriate UT."...

Certainly due to my English, I find that sentence a bit difficult to grapple. Let me re-read it.



I will try to state my thought in a different way.

A piece of music written in C major and a piece of music written in Ab Major, each played on an instrument tuned in Kirberger UT will sound very different from the same music played on an instrument tuned in attempted ET.


You mean Kirnberger temperaments... like our BB, he elaborated three temps. Which is the one you have in mind?
.


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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402542
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..." I consistently tune pianos that are recorded and closely examined, edited, double-tracked, etc. The SAT I use replicates those tunings, as far as critical ears are concerned, exactly."...

How about three hundred years ago? See, I was trying to go for some lucid reasoning, Ed.
.


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Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: alfredo capurso] #2402548
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Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

..." I consistently tune pianos that are recorded and closely examined, edited, double-tracked, etc. The SAT I use replicates those tunings, as far as critical ears are concerned, exactly."...

How about three hundred years ago? See, I was trying to go for some lucid reasoning, Ed.
.


Greetings,
I wasn't there, so I don't know. Bill Garlick made a point that people had better ears in the 18th century, since there was so little noise in their environment. I don't know about that,either, but it is another opinion. I do know that those 18th century theorists and musicians argued about differences in temperaments that would not be noticed by musicians today.

My point is that at some level of accuracy, tunings will sound the same. Another point is that the difference in musical result that comes from two Kirnbergers is lost on most modern ears. I say this because of the numerous times I have put a very mild WT under the hands of experienced pianists and they don't notice that there is a difference.

If the 2 cents from ET, (any ET) deviation I install in the temperament isn't noticed by professional ears, I doubt the differences between two renditions of a standard WT such as a Young would be registered. If that is not lucid enough, I will let others try.
Regards,

Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: JustHarmony] #2402551
03/25/15 04:38 PM
03/25/15 04:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
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alfredo capurso Offline
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alfredo capurso  Offline
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Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

Hi JH,

You were saying that ET "... is about being equally out of tune in all keys in exactly the same ways. Of course, the above is a simplified generalization of centuries of tuning practice, but I hope it might be a useful one, even if it is over-simplified."

Yes, I find that description "over-simplified", and doubt it can be useful. Actually, I find it misleading, not suitable to convey the meaning of "out of tune", nor adherent to the evolution of temperaments. At some stage, dissonances became part of the musical language, a source of emotions (as Ed would suggest) and fundamental for defining the "harmonic" nature, the intensity, the colour (ops, better say tension) and the character of all musical passages. Yes, "nature and character" which is then conveyed by music, not by individual intervals. So, dissonances as part of "harmony", which in those years was being developed with increasing attention to every detail. How can we suggest that "dissonance" means out of tune?

Listen to this nice suite (hope you like it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxyC-A2oQcw

Can you "hear" it, with (say) only pure intervals?

You wrote:

..."SOUNDING in tune (as opposed to being in tune) is a very different prospect. The perception "in tune" might mean, for one person, being used to ET and wide thirds, and finding comfort in the sounds of that. To another, the perception of "in tune" might have everything to do with beating and just intervals. To another, "in tune" might not involve tuning at all, but a general sense of cohesion. Who knows? I don't think any of us can really definitively speak to what it means to any one person for something to sound in tune (except for maybe ourselves)."...

I think Ian' suggestion is valid (Oxford dictionary). Amongst musicians it is not at all a vague word, in fact, many would lament something that sounds out of tune, though you are right, individual sense of intonation can vary significantly.

..."Ultimately, how we perceive the effects of tuning might be different, but I suspect we all have some response to it (unless we are tone-deaf). THIS is the reason why it matters, why it's relevant, whether we understand it and hear it specifically or not. How something is heard is really everything."...

I agree.

..."Can we control this? To some degree, perhaps. We can attempt to control it, on the one hand, by attempting to rationalize it, "logic" it, study it, test it, measure it, etc."...

You say "..how we perceive", and I would make a distinction between musicians and listeners. For the firsts, imo, good intonation and perception of tunings need to be largely innate. Both musician and listeners can improve their perception, the result depending on many many factors.

..."However, ultimately no matter how much we do any of these things, it is still about how what we tune is heard, perceived, felt as part of the constellation of interacting factors that are a piece of music."...

Well, for me it is more simple than that, it is not really about a "..constellation..", it is whether what I hear sounds in tune or not. Perhaps the "interacting factors" you cite, for me are individual notes and the way they interact?

..."It is impossible to demonstrate clear and provable causality between a particular temperament, say, and a response to a piece of music. There are way too many variables... there is NEVER a constant when it comes to music. We can measure, study, etc. using all the technology we have available but there will never be a "definitive" answer to any of these questions. One might argue that good performers can mimic the effect that a particular temperament once had, and while that's an interesting notion that might be true (though I would tend to think otherwise), there is no way to quantify that, or even define it to prove that it might actually be true."...

So true. Trying to "..quantify that, or even define..(..how what we tune is heard, perceived..)" is imo fanciful and unreal.

You say "..the effect that a particular temperament once had", and precisely on that, I would like to bring you back to earth. Do what I do normally, check dozens of pianos and let me know if you can find two pianos with the same temperament. Nah, do not do that, I will tell you: two pianos where the "settled" temperament is the same do not exist(*). Now, transpose this fact (if you believe me) back three hundred years, and tell me again about "..the effect that a particular temperament once had".

(*) "settled" temperaments can be similar, the variables being pianos, the tuner(s), lucky days and moon in favor.

The rest asap.

Edit: The above suite, Variations - by Tapray - Catherine Zimmer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82IyseJVERY

Regards, a.c.


In the above quote, Ed, you will read:

JH: ..."It is impossible to demonstrate clear and provable causality between a particular temperament, say, and a response to a piece of music. There are way too many variables... there is NEVER a constant when it comes to music. We can measure, study, etc. using all the technology we have available but there will never be a "definitive" answer to any of these questions. One might argue that good performers can mimic the effect that a particular temperament once had, and while that's an interesting notion that might be true (though I would tend to think otherwise), there is no way to quantify that, or even define it to prove that it might actually be true."...

Me: So true. Trying to "..quantify that, or even define..(..how what we tune is heard, perceived..)" is imo fanciful and unreal.

You say "..the effect that a particular temperament once had", and precisely on that, I would like to bring you back to earth. Do what I do normally, check dozens of pianos and let me know if you can find two pianos with the same temperament. Nah, do not do that, I will tell you: two pianos where the "settled" temperament is the same do not exist(*). Now, transpose this fact (if you believe me) back three hundred years, and tell me again about "..the effect that a particular temperament once had".

(*) "settled" temperaments can be similar, the variables being pianos, the tuner(s), lucky days and moon in favor.

- . - . - . -

I did include "tuner(s)", but.. we are favored, I believe, compared to three hundred years ago. What can you say about "..the effect that a particular temperament once had..", say on dayly practice, when their instruments were not as solid as they are today? You tune pianos for musicians for sure, are their pianos all spot on?
.


alfredo
Re: temperaments and tuning - why it matters for pianists [Re: Ed Foote] #2402555
03/25/15 04:47 PM
03/25/15 04:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
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alfredo capurso Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,404
Sicily - Italy
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by alfredo capurso

..." I consistently tune pianos that are recorded and closely examined, edited, double-tracked, etc. The SAT I use replicates those tunings, as far as critical ears are concerned, exactly."...

How about three hundred years ago? See, I was trying to go for some lucid reasoning, Ed.
.


Greetings,
I wasn't there, so I don't know. Bill Garlick made a point that people had better ears in the 18th century, since there was so little noise in their environment. I don't know about that,either, but it is another opinion. I do know that those 18th century theorists and musicians argued about differences in temperaments that would not be noticed by musicians today.

My point is that at some level of accuracy, tunings will sound the same. Another point is that the difference in musical result that comes from two Kirnbergers is lost on most modern ears. I say this because of the numerous times I have put a very mild WT under the hands of experienced pianists and they don't notice that there is a difference.

If the 2 cents from ET, (any ET) deviation I install in the temperament isn't noticed by professional ears, I doubt the differences between two renditions of a standard WT such as a Young would be registered. If that is not lucid enough, I will let others try.
Regards,


I like your post, Ed. Perhaps the problem is not an attempted ET per sè, but how the deviation amounts?

Edit: Ed, you wrote ..."I do know that those 18th century theorists and musicians argued about differences in temperaments that would not be noticed by musicians today."...

I think that in those days, like today, there was a whole variety of musicians, some would notice "differences in temperaments", others would not.
.

Last edited by alfredo capurso; 03/25/15 05:20 PM.

alfredo
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