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How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? #2652641
06/11/17 05:42 PM
06/11/17 05:42 PM
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Musicdude Offline OP
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It's quite apparent that there are MANY different ways to tune a piano
aurally, or with a computer too.

Which tuning is the "correct" one? It depends on who you ask, or who
you are tuning for. One piano player's "right" is another player's "wrong."

So, how did the PTG grade tunings before Tunelab came out?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current technique is to tune the temperament
with Tunelab, and then have the graders tweak it to their agreement. The "Master"
tuning is then recorded into Tunelab, and this is used to grade the person taking
the test, by how many cents off their temperament is to the master tuning.

How are the other non-temperament octaves currently graded?


Piano Player
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Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652646
06/11/17 06:03 PM
06/11/17 06:03 PM
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Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
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For what I know the first electronic aid used in the PTG exam was ACCUTUNER not Tunelab. I think Dr. Albert Sanderson worked with Jim Coleman in the making of the exam using ACCUTUNER to measure and store the master tuning and to score the examinee tuning comparing it to the stored master tuning.


Rafael Melo
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Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652647
06/11/17 06:05 PM
06/11/17 06:05 PM
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Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
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And the master tuning is entirely made by ear. The Accutuner is used only to measure the aural master tuning not to tune the piano. And it is also used to measure the examinee's tuning and compare it to the master tuning.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652650
06/11/17 06:27 PM
06/11/17 06:27 PM
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Janesville WI
Lucas Brookins RPT Offline
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Usually for the master tuning, they may run a program over the entire piano to get it close, but then the entire piano is gone over by ear between a CTE and at least two other RPTs. All have to agree on what is correct and what needs to be changed.


Lucas Brookins, RPT
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Lucas Brookins RPT] #2652653
06/11/17 06:40 PM
06/11/17 06:40 PM
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Musicdude Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Lucas Brookins RPT
Usually for the master tuning, they may run a program over the entire piano to get it close, but then the entire piano is gone over by ear between a CTE and at least two other RPTs. All have to agree on what is correct and what needs to be changed.


Ok, what program do they currently use? Tunelab? And what coincident partials do they
use? 6:3 Bass, 4:2 Treble?

And how did the PTG grade tunings BEFORE the advent of ETD, or computer software?


Piano Player
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Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652664
06/11/17 07:33 PM
06/11/17 07:33 PM
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Janesville WI
Lucas Brookins RPT Offline
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Usually for the temperament octave we go for a 4:2 octave. Sometimes between a 4:2-6:3. Any wider than a 6:3 for the temperament isn't recommended. For the rest of the piano it changes. There isn't really a specific octave for certain sections of the piano except for the last octave in the treble. That has to be 2:1 octaves. Any program can be used. I have seen CTEs use Accutuner and Cybertuner. I'm not sure what they did before, I want to think that you had to tune a crappy piano or something and the examiners listen to the piano and see if it sounds good or not.


Lucas Brookins, RPT
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652681
06/11/17 08:42 PM
06/11/17 08:42 PM
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Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
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Anyone interested in this should go to a PTG convention and participate in preparing the exam piano. I believe there is an open invitation.


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Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652682
06/11/17 08:47 PM
06/11/17 08:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 218
Janesville WI
Lucas Brookins RPT Offline
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Janesville WI
Yes, people can volunteer for master tunings but you must be a RPT.


Lucas Brookins, RPT
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652692
06/11/17 09:25 PM
06/11/17 09:25 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Hello Musicdude,

You essentially have the right ideas but I can fill you in on a little history and clear up any misconceptions there may be.

PTG formed in 1957 when two professional organizations merged, so this year is actually its 60th anniversary. Of the two parent groups, one was a highly professional group that required some kind of vetting to join while the other was a open to anyone who claimed to be a piano technician. Naturally, that presented some measure of conflict but all members who had been previous members of the parent organizations were accepted as "Craftsman" members at the time of the merger. (Please correct me if that statement is not entirely correct and you know some facts which I do not. When I officially joined in late 1982 (but was counted as from 1983), the Standardized, electronically scored Tuning Exam was already in effect. There have been some modifications to it since then but the basic electronic scoring was already in place.

Eventually, the idea of testing of new members took form and there were several categories of membership: Craftsman, Apprentice, Student, Allied Tradesman, Associate and Affiliate. The first three were piano technicians who tuned pianos but at the appropriate level of skill for each category. The Allied Tradesmen were non-tuning rebuilders, refinishers and virtually anyone who worked on or with pianos but who did not tune them. The Associates were people such as piano dealers, parts and tool suppliers and other people who had some kind of link to the piano technician trade but who did not actually work on pianos. The Affiliates were any of the former but who lived outside the USA, Canada or Mexico.

In 1986, the classifications changed permanently to just two: Registered Piano Technicians who had taken and passed all three exams: Written, Technical and Tuning. All other members became Associates. It is possible to become an RPT even if one does not live within the USA, Canada or Mexico. One merely has to find a way to take and pass the exams and that is most often done at an Annual Convention but may be done at any exam site.

The testing that was done before the now, Standardized Exams did have some continuity to it and was done mostly at the Chapter level. At my first participation with PTG in 1979, they were also offering exams at Conventions and Regional Seminars. Much of what they did back then was put into the now Standardized Exams but there was a long process of determining the tolerances that would allow for an approximate 50% number of working technicians to pass upon first attempt.

There was no way other than a committee of three Craftsmen to judge someone's tuning except in a subjective way. We still do that, essentially when we pre-screen a technician for taking the tuning exam. We listen to what there is and give an opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient skill to attempt the exam.

Dr. Al Sanderson was indeed the first to create a programmable Electronic Tuning Device (ETD). But he took a precursor to it known as the Hale Sight-o-Tuner (SOT) and used its essential technology to create his new device. With the SOT, you could take a sample measurement of inharmonicity that was known as the "stretch factor" and create a better, more close to aural tuning result than the old fashioned Strobe Tuner could do.

The Sanderson Accu-Tuner (SAT) was the first device that could take that same idea and create a program from a single sampling of the difference in inharmonicity between the 2nd and 4th partial of the note, F4 by using a proprietary algorithm to create a tuning program. The program would give the information to tune the range between C3 and F6. Beyond those notes, there was a way to use the device in the "Direct Interval" mode that used the piano's own inharmonicity to calculate a value for each note.

The other capability of the SAT was to store any information. The earliest use of electronic measurement for tuning exams was with the SOT or the first SAT (which did not yet have an exam program in it) and a Texas Instruments Programmable Calculator. The results of the Master Tuning could be measured and stored on the calculator. The same with the results of the Examinee's tuning. There is an algorithm that will "shift" the average pitch of the Examinee's results for the best match to the Master Tuning. Then, it is a matter of a tolerance of 0.9 cents for each note of the designated Temperament Octave and the Midrange (C3-B4). All of this can also be done with what is called "Hand Scoring" where all of the numbers are written down, the algorithm done on a pocket calculator and all points figured individually with a pocket calculator. All examiners have to know how to do those computations by hand.

Points are assigned to notes outside of tolerance and multiple points for notes exceeding 2, 3 or more times the tolerance. There is also a 2.5 multiplier for each point in the designated Temperament Octave and a 1.5 multiplier for the entire Midrange. These errors are aurally verified and sometimes, a few may be nullified, so the exam still reverts ultimately to aural tuning judgment by the three examiners. Normally, it is only a small, electronically scored error, just outside of tolerance that ever is nullified but in a few cases of larger errors that have been compensated, 1, 2 or even 3 point error may stand but another is nullified. The latter is very rare, however.

This all essentially replicates what had always been done subjectively before electronic scoring. Essentially, you are permitted a bit of irregularity and some small errors but not really very much. Equal Temperament is what it says it is: All intervals tempered equally. If the results do not sound like a reasonable representation of that, it probably will not pass and has always been that way. It is not easy to pass the first time and many technicians who normally tune electronically and only tried to learn some aural skills in order to take the exam do not pass the first time.

The outer octaves are essentially scored the same way but there are much larger tolerances and no multipliers. Use of an ETD is also permitted, so most electronic tuners do pass that portion of the exam the first time. In other words, the outer octaves are more "forgiving". The most heavy scrutiny is applied to the central two octaves, unisons and stability. It was essentially the same criteria before electronic scoring.

Unisons in the two octave span from C3 to B4 are first listened to aurally and any where some kind of beat is detected are flagged for measurement. The tolerance is again 0.9 cents and it applies to right to center, left to center and left to right. There is also a 2.0 multiplier for each point. That essentially means that out of the 24 unisons tested, you are permitted a unison with a slight beat here and there but not more more than that. The points and multipliers add up quickly.

The Stability test is also done now upon the unisons which have just been measured and scored. It is now done on one of the outside strings, selected at random of each of the 24 unisons. This means that not only do you have to tune some pretty good unisons, you have to tune the outside strings with some pretty good stability. A standardized key striking device is used which essentially replicates the three hard test blows that were used in the past. The tolerance is again 0.9 cents, outside which any movement of the string is assigned a point and there is a 4 point multiplier. If 6 or more strings move 1 cent or more, the Stability portion of the exam is failed.

There are actually four approved electronic tuning platforms which are approved for use in giving tuning exams: The Sanderson Accutuner (II, II and IV), TuneLab, Reyburn CyberTuner and the Verituner dedicated device. All of these have automatic exam programs installed which perform the algorithm and instantly identify errors.

Anyone can use these programs to test themselves in the all important Midrange area (but also the outer octaves) but you have to study the operating manual carefully to learn what to do. You may use a calculated program to tune the piano first and have that serve as your "Master Tuning". It will never be quite as refined as an actual aurally done Master Tuning but it will be close enough to identify whether you may have sufficient skill to attempt the exam.

You would have to very carefully tune the middle strings of the area you want to test using a muting strip. Go back over what you did and verify that the pattern is stopped dead on each and every note. Then you have to go to the Exam program, read and store the value for each note that you want to test in the Master Tuning file, however it is designated on the platform you are using.

Then, you have to go to the De-tuning program (whatever your platform calls that), de-tune the notes you want to test and then proceed to tune them aurally. If you are testing your Temperament and Midrange skills, allow yourself 40 minutes. If you are testing your outer octave tuning skills after that, allow yourself a full hour for that. If you are tuning the outer octaves electronically, you may simply "run over" the entire piano. If you are already a skilled electronic tuner, the results may yield little or no "errors" and it may well have taken you far under an hour to do it.

The best advice is to ask someone who knows how to operate the exam programs to help you learn how to do it. THEN, read the manual and it will all make sense.

The unisons must all be as perfectly beatless and "pure" sounding as you can possibly get them. It's as simple as that. Any unison that displays a beat per second in it will have points scored against it. A very subtle, faint or barely detectable beat may be within tolerance.

You can try the Stability part just by giving the strings you want to test three hard test blows. Measure the string's pitch first, "zero it out" (using the Examinee page of the program), then strike the key quite hard three times and measure the pitch again. If it moves 1 full cent or more, it would be a point scored on the exam. You can only have 5 or fewer of those and still pass.

Not long ago, an older RPT who was asked to assist in a locally given tuning exam, asked me to describe how the tuning exam is now conducted. I wrote him the following:

Quote
I actually looked on the PTG website because the exam procedure is outlined in the bylaws but believe it or not, they still have the old procedure on there. The new exam format went into effect at the 2015 convention.

The principle change is in the Stability portion and the exam is now divided into 3 parts.

I'll explain the whole procedure:

Part 1

The examinee is given 45 minutes to tune the Midrange (C3-B4) and it must be done aurally only.

The examinee may take up to 5 minutes to tune A4. If the time used is less than 5 minutes, the time left remains part of the total 45 minutes. The examinee may use an electronic tone but it cannot have any visual display. The Pitch reading is taken when the examinee finishes tuning the A4 pitch. There is a 1 cent tolerance but each 0.1 cents beyond 1 cent is one point off. Therefore, anything beyond +/- 3.0 cents is failing. However, if the Pitch score fails initially, the examinee gets a second chance to correct the pitch when aurally tuning the Temperament and Midrange. If the second chance is taken, the A4 is again measured and the results upon that second measurement become the Pitch Score.

The examinee proceeds to tune the Midrange by ear only. The examinee designates which 13 notes constitute the "Temperament" octave (usually F3-F4 but can be any octave within that range). The tolerance for error is +/- 0.9 cents. Anything beyond that is 1 point up to +/- 1.9 cents, beyond that, 2 points, 3 points, etc.

Any errors withing the designated Temperament octave are multiplied by a factor of 2.5. Therefore, there can only be 8 total points within the temperament octave and still pass. That is the "Temperament" score. The Midrange score is all errors within the entire Midrange, including the Temperament Octave multiplied by a factor of 1.5. There can only be 13 such errors and still pass. Any electronically scored errors are subject to aural verification and can be nullified if deemed that neither sharpening or flattening of the note in question would result in any improvement.

Even if Part 1 is failed, the examinee may still move on to Part 2.

Part 2 has the examinee tune the Bass (Octaves 1 & 2), Treble (Octaves 5 & 6) and High Treble (Octave 7). The examinee has the right to use and electronic tuning device in Part 2 if desired.

The tolerances are larger in these areas, so they are far less often failed, especially by those who tune electronically but it occasionally does happen. Electronically scored errors are subject to aural verification.

Part 3 now has the examinee tune 24 unisons from C3 to B4. These must be done by ear only. The tolerance for a 1 point error is again, +/- 0.9 cents. Strings are compared Right to Center, Left to Center and Right to Left so there are three possibilities for error on each unison. Each point then receives a 2 point multiplier. Therefore, there can only be 10 such errors and still pass.

The Stability test used to occur after the reading and scoring of Part 2 and upon the center string. Now, it occurs after the Unisons reading and scoring and the string tested is a randomly selected right or left string of each unison. This requires the Examinee to not only tune accurate unisons but stable unisons as well. The tolerance is again +/- 0.9 cents but only 1 point can be scored for each failed test. However, there is a 4 point multiplier so this means that only 5 strings may fail the Stability test for the exam to still pass.

If Part 1 or 3 is failed, the examinee may retake either or both of those parts again within one year for a 1/3 fee for each part. If Part 2 is failed, the examinee may retake both Parts 1 & 2 within one year for a 2/3 fee. If only Part 2 is failed (as was the case in the exam which we will be reviewing on May 12) the retake must include Part 1 because the results of Part 2 are determined by the reading of the pitches of the designated Temperament Octave.


Feel free to ask any more questions you may have.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Gadzar] #2652695
06/11/17 10:04 PM
06/11/17 10:04 PM
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Originally Posted by Gadzar
And the master tuning is entirely made by ear. The Accutuner is used only to measure the aural master tuning not to tune the piano. And it is also used to measure the examinee's tuning and compare it to the master tuning.


There are some misconceptions about this and this was something I forgot to mention in my long post. Originally, when the electronically scored Standardized Tuning Exam was put into effect, the entire Master Tuning process was done by ear and then measured.

The fact is, however that to begin the Master Tuning process, the piano had to already have a reasonably good tuning on it where the A4 was +/- 1.9 cents from exact A-440. This meant that the piano had to have what is called a "preliminary tuning" on it, done by a single person who does not necessarily (by rule) be an RPT. The piano simply needs to be in a reasonably good tuning at standard pitch.

The electronically scored Standardized Tuning Exam has been in effect for more than 35 years but some 25 years or so ago, it was deemed acceptable to perform the preliminary tuning using an electronically calculated program. This served to get the piano "close" in an efficient way but each and every note of the piano is scrutinized entirely aurally, a process that can quite easily take 4 hours to complete and that is for a single string of each note.

Of course, the preliminary tuning can also be done entirely aurally but these days, the more efficient path is generally chosen. What that does demonstrate, however is that electronically calculated programs are always based upon assumptions performed by an internal algorithm. The virtually never do result in absolute perfection. However, the errors involved may be quite small and difficult to sort out. That is why it takes so much time. I have known of Master tunings that went on for 8 hours or longer, deep into the night.

In more recent years, another such method of efficiency has been discovered and put into use where at Annual Conventions, time is of the essence and one only has so much energy and patience to cope with the ordeal of the Master Tuning, get some sleep and then be ready to conduct an exam on a freshly detuned piano at 8 AM the next morning.

Bearing in mind that the Master Tuning must be the epitome of perfection (lest electronically scored errors be the fault of the Master Tuning and not the Examinee) and that the very same make and model of piano have now been consistently used, year after year at these events, thanks to the generosity of the manufacturer who has been providing them, it has been found that to use a previous year Master Tuning record to perform the preliminary tuning results in a Master Tuning effort that is of the very highest quality possible and the time it takes to do it cut in half or more.

The inherent errors that calculated programs inevitably generate are no longer a part of the problem. It still takes time to aurally verify everything but when the number of errors is small and the amount is so slight, it simply takes far less time. Essentially, a thoroughly worked out, entirely aurally verified tuning is replicated and presented as the preliminary tuning.

These days, there are plenty of technicians who firmly believe that an electronically calculated program is certainly good enough and it may well be in many instances. However, I can tell you that when I use one for high level performance venue tuning to "get it close" in an efficient way, I still have to aurally scrutinize it for small errors and I always find some. I never use a calculated program for the wound strings because I already know there would be more error than I care to have to sort out.

This is the fundamental reason that PTG still insists upon a certain level of aural tuning skill and judgment to earn the RPT credential. It's not a matter of "we had to do it so you do too", as some believe. It is thought that effective and professional use of electronic tuning platforms can only be done with a thorough set of aural tuning skills and judgment.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652709
06/12/17 12:05 AM
06/12/17 12:05 AM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer cover this very well. Thanks Bill!

I don't think there is any exclusions from auditing the creation of the master tuning by non-members even, as long as they don't interfere with the work being done. At least I never did it when I was a CTE. There are no secrets to the process.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2652712
06/12/17 12:17 AM
06/12/17 12:17 AM
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Mark Cerisano Offline
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT


The examinee may take up to 5 minutes to tune A4. The Pitch reading is taken when the examinee finishes tuning the A4 pitch. There is a 1 cent tolerance but each 0.1 cents beyond 1 cent is one point off. Therefore, anything beyond +/- 3.0 cents is failing.



Hi Bill,

Can you please clarify that? 3.0 cents is way too much.

When I took the exam, there were limits, windows and multipliers. For each window you exceeded after the limit, a certain multiplier was used to calculate the marks taken off.

For A4, the limit was 0.9 cents, the windows were 0.1 cents, and the multiplier was 4.

So, a reading of +/-1.4 cents was the limit to pass.
Up to 0.9 cents, no marks off
1.4 cents off = 5 windows (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
5 windows x 4 = 20 marks off
100 - 20 = 80% (Minimum mark needed to pass each section)

Last edited by Mark Cerisano; 06/12/17 02:03 AM.

Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2652714
06/12/17 01:01 AM
06/12/17 01:01 AM
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Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Bill Bremmer cover this very well. Thanks Bill!

I don't think there is any exclusions from auditing the creation of the master tuning by non-members even, as long as they don't interfere with the work being done. At least I never did it when I was a CTE. There are no secrets to the process.


I am not sure what you mean by "auditing", Ed. It is permitted to allow an Associate or two who are planning on taking the exam to observe the Master Tuning process. This often happens at a convention or regional seminar. They are not allowed to participate in any of the judgments, however, just observe. If time permits, the person conducting the Master Tuning can ask if there are any questions about what was done and answer them.

The only real limitation, especially at a convention where the piano may be in a fairly small room is to not allow too many people in the room at one time. It can cause the temperature and humidity levels to start changing. Doors opening and closing, body heat and exhaled water vapor can negatively affect the stability of the piano. If the A4 pitch changes +/- 2.0 cents or more. The whole process has to start over.

At one time, the error tolerances and de-tuning specifications for the various parts of the piano were considered confidential information. It was cautionary, the feeling being that to know this information might permit someone to somehow cheat on the exam. I do not know how that could ever be but it has not mattered anyway for at least 25 years, ever since the SAT II came on the market and anyone in the world who may have access to one could find out that information simply by opening the exam program. Now, all four approved platforms all include the exam program.

A while back, the Journal published the details of how to use each program so that people wanting to self test their skills could do that. Pre-screening has always been encouraged and the best way to do that is through the now highly encouraged "mock" exams. That is, a tuning exam is given, perhaps using a calculated program for the "Master Tuning" and only one person takes the readings and scores the exam. These can come close enough to the actual exam experience for the person taking the mock exam to know whether or not there is sufficient skill to spend the money to actually take the exam.

There has even been some discussion about people in other countries around the world actually using the PTG Tuning Exam as a model for their own exams. Nobody seems to be against it and they could easily do that even if there were people who objected to it. There may be some kind of copyright infringement problem but if it ever comes up, my guess is that permission would simply be granted, even if that has to be approved by Council. In any case, the exam program being included on electronic tuning platforms that are sold around the world, any entity who wants to can design their own version of the Tuning Exam using what is already there for anyone to use.

The Written Exam questions and Technical Exam specifications for deregulation and examination tolerances are strictly confidential. Any entity in another area of the world however, can develop their own set of questions in their own language. It is up to them to determine what those questions should be. Any entity can also use the basic idea of our technical exam, the various repairs required, regulation on action models or on real pianos as they see fit and have their own set of standards.

PTG has never found a practical way to give a credential that is the equivalent of RPT to the rebuilding sector of our trade. Germany apparently has various levels, including the very highest one that includes all rebuilding skills. I've heard that you can't just buy some tools and an electronic tuning platform and start a business the way you can here. One may not be very often successful doing that here but some people certainly have started that way and worked their way up.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2652715
06/12/17 01:01 AM
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Musicdude Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
Hello Musicdude,

You essentially have the right ideas but I can fill you in on a little history and clear up any misconceptions there may be.

PTG formed in 1957 when two professional organizations merged, so this year is actually its 60th anniversary. Of the two parent groups, one was a highly professional group that required some kind of vetting to join while the other was a open to anyone who claimed to be a piano technician. Naturally, that presented some measure of conflict but all members who had been previous members of the parent organizations were accepted as "Craftsman" members at the time of the merger. (Please correct me if that statement is not entirely correct and you know some facts which I do not. When I officially joined in late 1982 (but was counted as from 1983), the Standardized, electronically scored Tuning Exam was already in effect. There have been some modifications to it since then but the basic electronic scoring was already in place.

Eventually, the idea of testing of new members took form and there were several categories of membership: Craftsman, Apprentice, Student, Allied Tradesman, Associate and Affiliate. The first three were piano technicians who tuned pianos but at the appropriate level of skill for each category. The Allied Tradesmen were non-tuning rebuilders, refinishers and virtually anyone who worked on or with pianos but who did not tune them. The Associates were people such as piano dealers, parts and tool suppliers and other people who had some kind of link to the piano technician trade but who did not actually work on pianos. The Affiliates were any of the former but who lived outside the USA, Canada or Mexico.

In 1986, the classifications changed permanently to just two: Registered Piano Technicians who had taken and passed all three exams: Written, Technical and Tuning. All other members became Associates. It is possible to become an RPT even if one does not live within the USA, Canada or Mexico. One merely has to find a way to take and pass the exams and that is most often done at an Annual Convention but may be done at any exam site.

The testing that was done before the now, Standardized Exams did have some continuity to it and was done mostly at the Chapter level. At my first participation with PTG in 1979, they were also offering exams at Conventions and Regional Seminars. Much of what they did back then was put into the now Standardized Exams but there was a long process of determining the tolerances that would allow for an approximate 50% number of working technicians to pass upon first attempt.

There was no way other than a committee of three Craftsmen to judge someone's tuning except in a subjective way. We still do that, essentially when we pre-screen a technician for taking the tuning exam. We listen to what there is and give an opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient skill to attempt the exam.

Dr. Al Sanderson was indeed the first to create a programmable Electronic Tuning Device (ETD). But he took a precursor to it known as the Hale Sight-o-Tuner (SOT) and used its essential technology to create his new device. With the SOT, you could take a sample measurement of inharmonicity that was known as the "stretch factor" and create a better, more close to aural tuning result than the old fashioned Strobe Tuner could do.

The Sanderson Accu-Tuner (SAT) was the first device that could take that same idea and create a program from a single sampling of the difference in inharmonicity between the 2nd and 4th partial of the note, F4 by using a proprietary algorithm to create a tuning program. The program would give the information to tune the range between C3 and F6. Beyond those notes, there was a way to use the device in the "Direct Interval" mode that used the piano's own inharmonicity to calculate a value for each note.

The other capability of the SAT was to store any information. The earliest use of electronic measurement for tuning exams was with the SOT or the first SAT (which did not yet have an exam program in it) and a Texas Instruments Programmable Calculator. The results of the Master Tuning could be measured and stored on the calculator. The same with the results of the Examinee's tuning. There is an algorithm that will "shift" the average pitch of the Examinee's results for the best match to the Master Tuning. Then, it is a matter of a tolerance of 0.9 cents for each note of the designated Temperament Octave and the Midrange (C3-B4). All of this can also be done with what is called "Hand Scoring" where all of the numbers are written down, the algorithm done on a pocket calculator and all points figured individually with a pocket calculator. All examiners have to know how to do those computations by hand.

Points are assigned to notes outside of tolerance and multiple points for notes exceeding 2, 3 or more times the tolerance. There is also a 2.5 multiplier for each point in the designated Temperament Octave and a 1.5 multiplier for the entire Midrange. These errors are aurally verified and sometimes, a few may be nullified, so the exam still reverts ultimately to aural tuning judgment by the three examiners. Normally, it is only a small, electronically scored error, just outside of tolerance that ever is nullified but in a few cases of larger errors that have been compensated, 1, 2 or even 3 point error may stand but another is nullified. The latter is very rare, however.

This all essentially replicates what had always been done subjectively before electronic scoring. Essentially, you are permitted a bit of irregularity and some small errors but not really very much. Equal Temperament is what it says it is: All intervals tempered equally. If the results do not sound like a reasonable representation of that, it probably will not pass and has always been that way. It is not easy to pass the first time and many technicians who normally tune electronically and only tried to learn some aural skills in order to take the exam do not pass the first time.

The outer octaves are essentially scored the same way but there are much larger tolerances and no multipliers. Use of an ETD is also permitted, so most electronic tuners do pass that portion of the exam the first time. In other words, the outer octaves are more "forgiving". The most heavy scrutiny is applied to the central two octaves, unisons and stability. It was essentially the same criteria before electronic scoring.

Unisons in the two octave span from C3 to B4 are first listened to aurally and any where some kind of beat is detected are flagged for measurement. The tolerance is again 0.9 cents and it applies to right to center, left to center and left to right. There is also a 2.0 multiplier for each point. That essentially means that out of the 24 unisons tested, you are permitted a unison with a slight beat here and there but not more more than that. The points and multipliers add up quickly.

The Stability test is also done now upon the unisons which have just been measured and scored. It is now done on one of the outside strings, selected at random of each of the 24 unisons. This means that not only do you have to tune some pretty good unisons, you have to tune the outside strings with some pretty good stability. A standardized key striking device is used which essentially replicates the three hard test blows that were used in the past. The tolerance is again 0.9 cents, outside which any movement of the string is assigned a point and there is a 4 point multiplier. If 6 or more strings move 1 cent or more, the Stability portion of the exam is failed.

There are actually four approved electronic tuning platforms which are approved for use in giving tuning exams: The Sanderson Accutuner (II, II and IV), TuneLab, Reyburn CyberTuner and the Verituner dedicated device. All of these have automatic exam programs installed which perform the algorithm and instantly identify errors.

Anyone can use these programs to test themselves in the all important Midrange area (but also the outer octaves) but you have to study the operating manual carefully to learn what to do. You may use a calculated program to tune the piano first and have that serve as your "Master Tuning". It will never be quite as refined as an actual aurally done Master Tuning but it will be close enough to identify whether you may have sufficient skill to attempt the exam.

You would have to very carefully tune the middle strings of the area you want to test using a muting strip. Go back over what you did and verify that the pattern is stopped dead on each and every note. Then you have to go to the Exam program, read and store the value for each note that you want to test in the Master Tuning file, however it is designated on the platform you are using.

Then, you have to go to the De-tuning program (whatever your platform calls that), de-tune the notes you want to test and then proceed to tune them aurally. If you are testing your Temperament and Midrange skills, allow yourself 40 minutes. If you are testing your outer octave tuning skills after that, allow yourself a full hour for that. If you are tuning the outer octaves electronically, you may simply "run over" the entire piano. If you are already a skilled electronic tuner, the results may yield little or no "errors" and it may well have taken you far under an hour to do it.

The best advice is to ask someone who knows how to operate the exam programs to help you learn how to do it. THEN, read the manual and it will all make sense.

The unisons must all be as perfectly beatless and "pure" sounding as you can possibly get them. It's as simple as that. Any unison that displays a beat per second in it will have points scored against it. A very subtle, faint or barely detectable beat may be within tolerance.

You can try the Stability part just by giving the strings you want to test three hard test blows. Measure the string's pitch first, "zero it out" (using the Examinee page of the program), then strike the key quite hard three times and measure the pitch again. If it moves 1 full cent or more, it would be a point scored on the exam. You can only have 5 or fewer of those and still pass.

Not long ago, an older RPT who was asked to assist in a locally given tuning exam, asked me to describe how the tuning exam is now conducted. I wrote him the following:

Quote
I actually looked on the PTG website because the exam procedure is outlined in the bylaws but believe it or not, they still have the old procedure on there. The new exam format went into effect at the 2015 convention.

The principle change is in the Stability portion and the exam is now divided into 3 parts.

I'll explain the whole procedure:

Part 1

The examinee is given 45 minutes to tune the Midrange (C3-B4) and it must be done aurally only.

The examinee may take up to 5 minutes to tune A4. If the time used is less than 5 minutes, the time left remains part of the total 45 minutes. The examinee may use an electronic tone but it cannot have any visual display. The Pitch reading is taken when the examinee finishes tuning the A4 pitch. There is a 1 cent tolerance but each 0.1 cents beyond 1 cent is one point off. Therefore, anything beyond +/- 3.0 cents is failing. However, if the Pitch score fails initially, the examinee gets a second chance to correct the pitch when aurally tuning the Temperament and Midrange. If the second chance is taken, the A4 is again measured and the results upon that second measurement become the Pitch Score.

The examinee proceeds to tune the Midrange by ear only. The examinee designates which 13 notes constitute the "Temperament" octave (usually F3-F4 but can be any octave within that range). The tolerance for error is +/- 0.9 cents. Anything beyond that is 1 point up to +/- 1.9 cents, beyond that, 2 points, 3 points, etc.

Any errors withing the designated Temperament octave are multiplied by a factor of 2.5. Therefore, there can only be 8 total points within the temperament octave and still pass. That is the "Temperament" score. The Midrange score is all errors within the entire Midrange, including the Temperament Octave multiplied by a factor of 1.5. There can only be 13 such errors and still pass. Any electronically scored errors are subject to aural verification and can be nullified if deemed that neither sharpening or flattening of the note in question would result in any improvement.

Even if Part 1 is failed, the examinee may still move on to Part 2.

Part 2 has the examinee tune the Bass (Octaves 1 & 2), Treble (Octaves 5 & 6) and High Treble (Octave 7). The examinee has the right to use and electronic tuning device in Part 2 if desired.

The tolerances are larger in these areas, so they are far less often failed, especially by those who tune electronically but it occasionally does happen. Electronically scored errors are subject to aural verification.

Part 3 now has the examinee tune 24 unisons from C3 to B4. These must be done by ear only. The tolerance for a 1 point error is again, +/- 0.9 cents. Strings are compared Right to Center, Left to Center and Right to Left so there are three possibilities for error on each unison. Each point then receives a 2 point multiplier. Therefore, there can only be 10 such errors and still pass.

The Stability test used to occur after the reading and scoring of Part 2 and upon the center string. Now, it occurs after the Unisons reading and scoring and the string tested is a randomly selected right or left string of each unison. This requires the Examinee to not only tune accurate unisons but stable unisons as well. The tolerance is again +/- 0.9 cents but only 1 point can be scored for each failed test. However, there is a 4 point multiplier so this means that only 5 strings may fail the Stability test for the exam to still pass.

If Part 1 or 3 is failed, the examinee may retake either or both of those parts again within one year for a 1/3 fee for each part. If Part 2 is failed, the examinee may retake both Parts 1 & 2 within one year for a 2/3 fee. If only Part 2 is failed (as was the case in the exam which we will be reviewing on May 12) the retake must include Part 1 because the results of Part 2 are determined by the reading of the pitches of the designated Temperament Octave.


Feel free to ask any more questions you may have.



Wow, thanks for the info, Bill.

I think it's somewhat ironic that for all the emphasis on aural tuning as a basis for becoming a RPT,
that it's the computers that make the scoring and quantifying of the test possible. How did they
notice +/-0.9 cents before ETDs?

If someone was allowed to use a computer for the temperament, would you expect them to pass that portion of the test, assuming they knew how to set pins properly?


Piano Player
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Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Mark Cerisano] #2652721
06/12/17 02:20 AM
06/12/17 02:20 AM
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano
Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT


The examinee may take up to 5 minutes to tune A4. The Pitch reading is taken when the examinee finishes tuning the A4 pitch. There is a 1 cent tolerance but each 0.1 cents beyond 1 cent is one point off. Therefore, anything beyond +/- 3.0 cents is failing.



Hi Bill,

Can you please clarify that? 3.0 cents is way too much.

When I took the exam, there were limits, windows and multipliers. For each window you exceeded after the limit, a certain multiplier was used to calculate the marks taken off.

For A4, the limit was 0.9 cents, the windows were 0.1 cents, and the multiplier was 4.

So, a reading of +/-1.4 cents was the limit to pass.
Up to 0.9 cents, no marks off
1.4 cents off = 5 windows (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
5 windows x 4 = 20 marks off
100 - 20 = 80%


Mark,

I am afraid you are mistaken. The Pitch tuning and 5 minute limit, as well as how it is scored have never changed since I first took one of the early electronically scored exams in 1982. I am assuming that since I took one of the earliest versions of the exam, it has been the way it is now since the very beginning. The only thing that did change was to allow a second attempt and that was added in 1998. That was done since some people were failing the entire exam literally within the first 5 minutes.

Dividing the exam into 2 parts and allowing a retake of Part 1 for a 1/2 fee within a 1 year time limit was also put into place in 1998.

Now, the exam being in 3 parts as is the Technical Exam, allows the Examinee to retake only the failed parts within the 1 year limit. The only exception to that is that if Part 2 is failed, Part 1 must also be retaken for a 2/3 fee. That unfortunately means that if Part 1 were passed but Part 2 and 3 failed, the entire exam must be repeated. These new rules allow for someone who may have only failed Unisons or Stability to retake that portion only and if passed, then the Tuning Exam has been passed.

The second chance on Pitch is rarely needed but if it is, the A4 Pitch is read and scored the same as it was the first time. If it is still below a passing score, Part 1 is failed, even if the Temperament and Midrange scores were at passing levels.

I will spell out exactly how the Pitch score is determined:

When the exam room door is closed and the Examinee is alone to begin, the clock is set at 45 minutes, the total time for Part 1 of the exam. The examiners wait near the door however and within that first 5 minutes, if the Examinee opens the door saying that there is satisfaction with the tuning of A4, the clock stops wherever it is and whatever time has not been used remains for the Examinee to complete Part 1. If the 5 minutes runs out, the door is opened and the Examinee must stop. The Pitch is measured wherever it may be at that point.

There are three boxes at the top of the Tuning Exam Score Form. The A4 pitch is measured on the fundamental (1st partial) unlike the rest of Part 1 and Part 3 where all notes in Octave 3 are measured on the 4th partial and all notes in Octave 4 are measured on the 2nd partial.

The Pitch of A4 is very carefully measured because it is a bit more difficult to measure it on its 1st partial than it is on the 2nd partial. The reading is entered into the first box. In the second box, that same reading is entered without a minus sign if there is one. In the third box, the number 1 is subtracted from the number in the second box and that becomes the preliminary pitch score. If the number is less than 1, then a zero is entered and the score for Pitch is marked as a 100.

That effectively means that if the error is 1.0 or less, the score is 100. If not, the number in the third box is multiplied by 10, then subtracted from 100. That becomes the Pitch score that is marked on the score form.

I'll give some examples:
-0.5 > 0.5 - 1 = 0 X 10 = 0. 100 - 0 = 100.
-1.2 > 1.2 - 1 = 0.2 X 10 = 2. 100 - 2 = 98
-1.5 > 1.5 - 1 = 0.5 X 10 = 5. 100 - 5 = 95
-2.5 > 2.5 - 1 = 1.5 X 10 = 15. 100 - 15 = 85
-3.0 > 3.0 - 1 = 2.0 X 10 = 20. 100 - 20 = 80
-3.5 > 3.5 - 1 = 2.5 X 10 = 25. 100 - 25 = 75

In the example that you gave, +/-1.4, the Pitch score would be a score of 96, not 80. +/- 2.4 would be a score of 86. I must say that I do not know where you got the "windows" idea nor the 4 point multiplier. I have been giving exams since 1991 and the way the Pitch score is measured and scored has always been the same. In fact, a pitch reading of +/- 2.0 (0.6 cents beyond what you have claimed would be a score of 80) is actually still within the superior range, being a score of 90. It has always been that way.

Another, simpler way to think of this is that for each 0.1 beyond 1.0, a point is taken off. If the reading is +/- 3.0, the 1 cent tolerance is subtracted from the 3.0, leaving 2.0. There are 20 0.1's in 2.0, so it is 20 points off for a score of 80. That effectively means that +/- 3.0 cents is the maximum that the pitch of A4 can be off and still pass, (certainly not a mere +/- 1.4 which is considered to be a very high score in the superior range). However, even 0.1 cents beyond +/- 3.0 would be a score of 79 and unfortunately, failing.

A score of 75, is of course failing since the minimum score in each category must be 80 to pass. If this happens on the first Pitch attempt, however, the Pitch score is not determined yet and the Examinee is directed to once again attempt to tune the A4 pitch as best possible and can use as much or little time to do so as is necessary but of course, the time to tune the Temperament octave and the rest of the Midrange is limited to however much time is left on the clock.

If the second chance has been utilized, the pitch of A4 is then read and scored exactly the same way as the first time and is done first, before reading and scoring the Temperament and Midrange. On the first partial and calculated as above. The second reading of the Pitch of A4 then becomes the Pitch score, even if it is more in error than the first attempt.

If the Pitch score is below 80, it will mean that Part 1 of the exam will be failed but the Examinee is encouraged to go ahead to Part 2 and 3 because if those parts are passed, only Part 1 need be retaken.





Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652723
06/12/17 02:49 AM
06/12/17 02:49 AM
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Quote
I think it's somewhat ironic that for all the emphasis on aural tuning as a basis for becoming a RPT,
that it's the computers that make the scoring and quantifying of the test possible. How did they
notice +/-0.9 cents before ETDs?


As I mentioned, before the electronic scoring of the exam was made possible, all judgment was subjective. The discernible difference between a +/- 0.9 error and a +/- 1.0 error, therefore was not possible. That being said, an error of approximately 1 cent does make a 4th or 5th sound "too pure" or "too wobbly". It also will make Major Thirds beat noticeably out of smooth progression. Too much of that and you failed.

During the time when there were Apprentice and Student categories, scores from 50-79 were considered Apprentice level so if you took either the old subjective exam and you had too many errors to be considered Craftsman level but the tuning still didn't sound "too bad", that is where they put you. Between the time the electronically scored exam and 1986, if you had scores that were at least in the 50-79% range among those that may have been above 80, that is where they put you. If you had scores below 50% on any of it, your were at Student level.

I am not sure how they would have judged Pitch before electronic measuring but I can imagine that it was much like unisons are flagged for scrutiny yet today. Anything with a beat per second or more would fail. Therefore, I imagine that a Pitch score may have failed back then if there were 1 full beat per second between the tuning fork and the A4. If anybody is around who remembers how it was done before 1980 or so, please do tell.

Quote
If someone was allowed to use a computer for the temperament, would you expect them to pass that portion of the test, assuming they knew how to set pins properly?


This is one of the greatest areas of controversy that there is right now. There have been people who have proposed the use of an electronic tuning platform for virtually all areas of the exam. With the tolerances and time limits as they are, virtually anyone with some practice and skill at electronic tuning could pass the exam and most with very high scores. There have been discussions about an "electronic exam" with different standards but never any agreement on that. There have also been such suggestions as an "RPT-E" category for those who may use such an option but that was never given any serious consideration.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2652741
06/12/17 06:35 AM
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Musicdude Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT


Quote
If someone was allowed to use a computer for the temperament, would you expect them to pass that portion of the test, assuming they knew how to set pins properly?


This is one of the greatest areas of controversy that there is right now. There have been people who have proposed the use of an electronic tuning platform for virtually all areas of the exam. With the tolerances and time limits as they are, virtually anyone with some practice and skill at electronic tuning could pass the exam and most with very high scores. There have been discussions about an "electronic exam" with different standards but never any agreement on that. There have also been such suggestions as an "RPT-E" category for those who may use such an option but that was never given any serious consideration.


Ok, that doesn't surprise me at all, that someone skilled using the computer could pass the exam with a very high score, within the tolerances as they are today.

But by definition, Equal Temperament means dividing a single octave by ratios of the 12th root of 2, or 12√2 ≈ 1.05946.

Isn't this the sort of thing you expect a computer to do better than a human? I mean, not only is the temperament tuned on unwound strings, where the string diameter to speaking length is small, and hence the inharmonicity is lower, but it's also only tuned on a single octave.

What if the tweaks that the humans do to the computer temperament, are actually ruining a mathematically pure, true Equal Temperament, or as close as the tuner using the ETD could get it?

What if comparing beat rates is an antiquated technique?


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Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2652749
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted by Mark Cerisano
Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT


The examinee may take up to 5 minutes to tune A4. The Pitch reading is taken when the examinee finishes tuning the A4 pitch. There is a 1 cent tolerance but each 0.1 cents beyond 1 cent is one point off. Therefore, anything beyond +/- 3.0 cents is failing.



Hi Bill,

Can you please clarify that? 3.0 cents is way too much.

When I took the exam, there were limits, windows and multipliers. For each window you exceeded after the limit, a certain multiplier was used to calculate the marks taken off.

For A4, the limit was 0.9 cents, the windows were 0.1 cents, and the multiplier was 4.

So, a reading of +/-1.4 cents was the limit to pass.
Up to 0.9 cents, no marks off
1.4 cents off = 5 windows (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4)
5 windows x 4 = 20 marks off
100 - 20 = 80%


Mark,

I am afraid you are mistaken. The Pitch tuning and 5 minute limit, as well as how it is scored have never changed since I first took one of the early electronically scored exams in 1982. I am assuming that since I took one of the earliest versions of the exam, it has been the way it is now since the very beginning. The only thing that did change was to allow a second attempt and that was added in 1998. That was done since some people were failing the entire exam literally within the first 5 minutes.

Dividing the exam into 2 parts and allowing a retake of Part 1 for a 1/2 fee within a 1 year time limit was also put into place in 1998.

Now, the exam being in 3 parts as is the Technical Exam, allows the Examinee to retake only the failed parts within the 1 year limit. The only exception to that is that if Part 2 is failed, Part 1 must also be retaken for a 2/3 fee. That unfortunately means that if Part 1 were passed but Part 2 and 3 failed, the entire exam must be repeated. These new rules allow for someone who may have only failed Unisons or Stability to retake that portion only and if passed, then the Tuning Exam has been passed.

The second chance on Pitch is rarely needed but if it is, the A4 Pitch is read and scored the same as it was the first time. If it is still below a passing score, Part 1 is failed, even if the Temperament and Midrange scores were at passing levels.

I will spell out exactly how the Pitch score is determined:

When the exam room door is closed and the Examinee is alone to begin, the clock is set at 45 minutes, the total time for Part 1 of the exam. The examiners wait near the door however and within that first 5 minutes, if the Examinee opens the door saying that there is satisfaction with the tuning of A4, the clock stops wherever it is and whatever time has not been used remains for the Examinee to complete Part 1. If the 5 minutes runs out, the door is opened and the Examinee must stop. The Pitch is measured wherever it may be at that point.

There are three boxes at the top of the Tuning Exam Score Form. The A4 pitch is measured on the fundamental (1st partial) unlike the rest of Part 1 and Part 3 where all notes in Octave 3 are measured on the 4th partial and all notes in Octave 4 are measured on the 2nd partial.

The Pitch of A4 is very carefully measured because it is a bit more difficult to measure it on its 1st partial than it is on the 2nd partial. The reading is entered into the first box. In the second box, that same reading is entered without a minus sign if there is one. In the third box, the number 1 is subtracted from the number in the second box and that becomes the preliminary pitch score. If the number is less than 1, then a zero is entered and the score for Pitch is marked as a 100.

That effectively means that if the error is 1.0 or less, the score is 100. If not, the number in the third box is multiplied by 10, then subtracted from 100. That becomes the Pitch score that is marked on the score form.

I'll give some examples:
-0.5 > 0.5 - 1 = 0 X 10 = 0. 100 - 0 = 100.
-1.2 > 1.2 - 1 = 0.2 X 10 = 2. 100 - 2 = 98
-1.5 > 1.5 - 1 = 0.5 X 10 = 5. 100 - 5 = 95
-2.5 > 2.5 - 1 = 1.5 X 10 = 15. 100 - 15 = 85
-3.0 > 3.0 - 1 = 2.0 X 10 = 20. 100 - 20 = 80
-3.5 > 3.5 - 1 = 2.5 X 10 = 25. 100 - 25 = 75

In the example that you gave, +/-1.4, the Pitch score would be a score of 96, not 80. +/- 2.4 would be a score of 86. I must say that I do not know where you got the "windows" idea nor the 4 point multiplier. I have been giving exams since 1991 and the way the Pitch score is measured and scored has always been the same. In fact, a pitch reading of +/- 2.0 (0.6 cents beyond what you have claimed would be a score of 80) is actually still within the superior range, being a score of 90. It has always been that way.

Another, simpler way to think of this is that for each 0.1 beyond 1.0, a point is taken off. If the reading is +/- 3.0, the 1 cent tolerance is subtracted from the 3.0, leaving 2.0. There are 20 0.1's in 2.0, so it is 20 points off for a score of 80. That effectively means that +/- 3.0 cents is the maximum that the pitch of A4 can be off and still pass, (certainly not a mere +/- 1.4 which is considered to be a very high score in the superior range). However, even 0.1 cents beyond +/- 3.0 would be a score of 79 and unfortunately, failing.

A score of 75, is of course failing since the minimum score in each category must be 80 to pass. If this happens on the first Pitch attempt, however, the Pitch score is not determined yet and the Examinee is directed to once again attempt to tune the A4 pitch as best possible and can use as much or little time to do so as is necessary but of course, the time to tune the Temperament octave and the rest of the Midrange is limited to however much time is left on the clock.

If the second chance has been utilized, the pitch of A4 is then read and scored exactly the same way as the first time and is done first, before reading and scoring the Temperament and Midrange. On the first partial and calculated as above. The second reading of the Pitch of A4 then becomes the Pitch score, even if it is more in error than the first attempt.

If the Pitch score is below 80, it will mean that Part 1 of the exam will be failed but the Examinee is encouraged to go ahead to Part 2 and 3 because if those parts are passed, only Part 1 need be retaken.





Well that's certainly a mystery. I was mentored by David Renaud, president of the Ottawa PTG Chapter, who is now a CTE and he is the one who gave me those numbers. He also told me of the varying windows and multipliers for the temperament, midrange, and extreme treble and bass.

I'm still confused. 1 Hz at 440Hz is 4 cents. You're telling me that I can tune A4 almost a full bps off and still pass the A4 portion of the PTG exam? I still find that way to wide a window.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652759
06/12/17 10:05 AM
06/12/17 10:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer RPT  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,017
Madison, WI USA
Just ask to see a score form, Mark. I have known Dave Renaud for longer than you have been a member of PTG. Holding the office of Chapter President is not a particular reflection of knowledge or skill. It is not permitted to use the initials for the examiner credential anywhere outside the PTG Tuning Exam context. It is not for public display or visibility. The tolerances and scoring for Pitch have not changed since the inception of the Standardized electronically score Tuning Exam and they are as I spelled them out for you. They would not have put in the second chance feature of the Pitch Score if passing that portion of the exam were as easy as you make it out to be.

Musicdude, do you really think if what you say is true that you would be the first person to come up with it? The fact is that the electronic tuning platforms can only draw a smooth curve through what is in reality a jagged line. Yes, they can calculate out to as many decimal places as you want and yield a very poor representation of ET on an actual piano.

Dr. Sanderson actually though the same thing you did and it didn't work so he consulted the director of the North Bennett Street School of Piano Technology. The result was the Sanderson Accu-Tuner and the method for scoring the Tuning Exam.

You are talking about only one octave of the piano yet even there, the theoretical values do not work. The inharmonicity of each string is higher than you may think. It does not only involve the inharmonicity from the 1st to 2nd partial but also the 3rd, 4th and 5th partials as well which are on a steep curve. The values change from one string to the next and there is a sudden difference every time there is a change of wire size.

I hardly think that an exam committee spends 4 hours trying to sort out the mere approximation of ET on a piano that electronic tuning platforms are capable of only to present a rough picture of the perfection that a computer could do in an instant.

And after all of that, go back to your original post and ask yourself if this perfect model of ET that you and many other people idealize as the very best sound for the piano really is? I almost never tune a piano that way and I have made my living tuning pianos for 48 years. The answer for what really sounds the best for making music is very complex and highly elusive. It does not in any way look like the 12th root of 2 multiplied and divided across the scale.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: How Did the PTG Grade Tunings before Tunelab Came Out? [Re: Musicdude] #2652772
06/12/17 10:50 AM
06/12/17 10:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 159
Grand Junction CO
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DavidWB Offline
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DavidWB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
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Bill mentioned an article in the Piano Technicians Journal about using ETDs to score yourself in a mock tuning exam. It is in the February 2014 issue.


David Bauguess
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