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EBVT III and wolf tones #2700705
12/30/17 04:49 PM
12/30/17 04:49 PM
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The tuner is coming next week to give my six-month-old Ritmuller GH170 R its third tuning. When I requested EBVT III -- my only option for the first two tunings was ET -- he said no one has ever specified a particular temperament and asked why I wanted EBVT III. I told him that I wanted to hear the emotional and psychological impact of modulation to distant keys. I've never actually played a piano tuned to a temperament other than ET, and I think EBVT III will allow me to hear color that's built into the music I play but is kind of washed out by ET. He said EBVT III wouldn't be a problem because he can punch it right into his ETD.

I sent him the chart showing the cent sequence EBVT III follows as well as a link to this forum.

When the tuner phoned to adjust our appointment time, I asked if he'd looked at this forum and what did he think of EBVT III. He said he was familiar with it, had tried it on his own piano, and didn't care for it because of wolf tones, or borderline wolf tones, but would be happy to apply it to my piano.

I searched for "wolf" and "wolf tone" here and couldn't find either among the discussions of EBVT III. Maybe it's there and I missed it. Either way, I thought EBVT III sidesteps or at least sharply minimizes the wolf tone issue.

Am I wrong? Also, can EBVT III be achieved by relying heavily on an ETD?

Thanks very much for your thoughts.


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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700741
12/30/17 06:41 PM
12/30/17 06:41 PM
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The EBVTIII temperament has been discussed often and in depth...
There are comments that you may refer to from Mr. Brimmer's website about this temperament...
I have my opinions about such things, and have expressed them- and there have been arguments over this topic.
In my opinion, it is only acceptable to do this in circumstances such as yours where you wish to hear what it would sound like-- others may argue that they as the tuner have the understanding and should be able to decide when to use what temperament.

I personally have not much desire (as yet) to switch from the standard issue ET (equal temperament) that is recognized as the standard, and the best (equally distributing the calculations, rather than producing "wolves").
As far as I understand, EBVTIII produces unequal situations with intervals ("all of the RBI's are uneven anyway..."..."...All of that which is necessary to perfect the ET tuning is unnecessary when tuning the EBVT...").

I have also this thing about telling the clients that they can experience "the color" and "the emotion" that the Victorian composers intended, when one is not tuning to the standard pitch of the time (which didn't truly exist- it ranged widely)... Also, instruments have improved so vastly beyond compare. Hard to expect that anyone could experience what it was these people of that time were experiencing with an A-440 pitch, and a modern-day instrument... You may think it sounds nice-- but so does ET. It is a matter of a person's wishes and likes.
ET (equal temperament) was settled upon for a reason. If you don't want equal distribution, and don't mind "character" (i.e. oddly wild beats here and there) in certain intervals, in order to get "color" and "emotion" from certain other intervals-- well go for it.

I just don't like the sales pitch that comes with this stuff... And this post is one reason why.
People get sold on the idea of "color" and "emotion" of the composer that was "lost with the coming of ET"!
The unsuspecting tuner now has to deal with an issue of explaining these things, in the kindest way possible. AND, has to try to not look bad by performing an EBVTIII, while hoping that when the client says, "that's a bit wild there isn't it", he isn't put down for not doing something correctly.

Again, let me be clear: if it is open and up-front about just trying it to see what it would sound like as an alternative temperament, I have no problem- people have their right to choose; but, when it comes to selling people it with inaccurate similitudes- that is when I have to speak up as a professional.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Rick_Parks] #2700760
12/30/17 08:07 PM
12/30/17 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick_Parks


I personally have not much desire (as yet) to switch from the standard issue ET (equal temperament) that is recognized as the standard, and the best (equally distributing the calculations, rather than producing "wolves").
<snip>
ET (equal temperament) was settled upon for a reason. If you don't want equal distribution, and don't mind "character" (i.e. oddly wild beats here and there) in certain intervals, in order to get "color" and "emotion" from certain other intervals-- well go for it.
<snip>
I just don't like the sales pitch that comes with this stuff... And this post is one reason why.
People get sold on the idea of "color" and "emotion" of the composer that was "lost with the coming of ET"!


Greetings,
In my clientele, there is an ever decreasing number of customers that prefer ET. This has been ongoing since 1993, and I rarely use a completely equal tuning anymore. 80% of my clientele are professional musicians.

I am not aware that ET is recognized as the "best". There have been too many musicians change their minds about keyboard intonation when exposed to alternatives. "Best" is an unprovable value judgement without some qualifiers. It may be the best temperament for one that doesn't care risk to anything to gain broader horizons. It may be the best temperament for those that fear customers will only accept what they already know, etc. It is certainly best for any technician or musician that prefers the status quo. It is also a simple, homogenized, sound with an unrelenting haze of tempering over everything. It has its own sound, but too many well-informed ears have found more response in something more harmonically varied.

Et was settled upon because we have ten fingers, and 12 keys is the physical limit the keyboardists have found manageable. An equal spacing renders the thirds well out of tune, but if all are the same out of tune, the listener becomes inured to the dissonance. In ET, all thirds carry the same psycho-emotive stimulus, so there is an unchanging nature to the harmony at the sensual level. Without any contrast, that part of our brain that is exquisitely attuned to detect differences in stimulative stimuli goes to sleep. This de-sensitization to the effects of consonance and dissonance removes a major emotional influence from the music, yet, those that have never experienced the effects of harmonic variety have never felt this influence, so there is nothing to be gained by leaving ET. Those that have developed their ear to appreciate the texture created by a palette of varied harmonic values find the loss profound.

In a WT, the literature, as we know it, contains far less total dissonance than if performed in ET. One has to modulate beyond A or Eb to find wider thirds that the 13.7 that results from equality. Most music stays lower in the key signatures than that, yet you can play the WTC in a Young and find that even the most remote keys show a particular beauty. It is also telling that Classical compositions can be played with original pedal markings on a WT without becoming "muddy" or "blurred". The law of critical band allows highly tempered thirds to be played lower in pitch before becoming objectionably dissonant.

If we are to consider the third of ET, at 13.7 cents wide, to be the maximum acceptable dissonance, then ET is composed of ALL thirds tuned to their maximum dissonance. Is that really desirable? I have yet to hear any of my customers think that a 16 cent third was "wildly beating" but they all can recognize the beauty of a triad with an 8 or 9 cent third.. As far as "here and there" being used to describe the increased dissonance, it isn't randomly spread around the various keys, but rather, the level of stimulation provided by the thirds is universally graduated in the the same form, i.e. the dissonance of the tonic third for any key is determined by where on the circle of fifths that key is found. A simple, easy to grasp, architecture.

ET is the safest way to ply one's trade, no doubt. However, I submit there is more to be had from the music than ET alone can deliver, and thus, many of us seek. Risks and gains are proportional, and the gain that many of us have found is a totally new appreciation for the composers of the past. A return that is well worth the effort and risk of venturing beyond the normal. "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for".


Regards

Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700771
12/30/17 08:42 PM
12/30/17 08:42 PM
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As I said, this has all been covered...
You make the points that I made- only with the tilt in favor...I liked the "well-informed ears"; that tends to be what we think about those that agree with us smile

It is not a matter of it being "the best temperament for those that fear customers will only accept what they already know, etc."-- (slanting the client's viewpoint with such statements is not appreciated)- but rather of doing what is the agreed upon standard and accepted "best" for the instrument. It is the standard of the trade- just as A-440 is agreed standard for pitch (others may like other pitches). I cannot help what one's personal experience and clientele prefer (people tend to agree with the professional's opinions)- this doesn't change the basic fundamental facts of the profession.

If someone wishes to stray from something that came from progressive trials and errors of many to find solutions to problems of the past, solving aspects (the dreaded wolf) complained about by all--- then by all means have at it- try these alternative temperaments...
BUT, I refuse to link these AT's that are being pitched to anything of the past, since they DO NOT produce what was heard then on today's instruments (especially on todays A-440 pitch).
There is a reason ET was worked out. It wasn't because we have 10 fingers.

The ship comparison is all emotional- ET is a ship that has sailed without mishap for a very long time... No icebergs.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700773
12/30/17 08:47 PM
12/30/17 08:47 PM
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Also, can EBVT III be achieved by relying heavily on an ETD?

Yes. In fact that may be the safest or most accurate way unless you hire Bill Bremmer himself to tune it. Not that others aren't capable of tuning it aurally but Bill is the creator of it.

The piano tuning software TuneLab comes preloaded with several unequal temperaments and included are Bremmer EBVT-1, 2 and 3. It's also possible that other software comes preloaded with it. I don't know...


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700800
12/30/17 10:56 PM
12/30/17 10:56 PM
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Rockford, IL
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Oh, yay! An EBVT thread where I can post a new recording! laugh

Originally Posted by Aspiring
[...] Also, can EBVT III be achieved by relying heavily on an ETD? [...]


Here is the important thing about the "tuning" to be accomplished by someone who is not committed to EBVT: Once the temperament is established, it is just as important to get the stretch right. You can't just punch "EBVT" into the box and expect the tuning to come out "right," per se. I've had an opportunity to use a Verituner to tune EBVT III with three different built-in stretch settings (clean, average, expanded), and they result in *very* different sounds. (My preference so far is to use the "average" setting.) That is to say, the temperament needs to be right, then the octaves need to be tuned right. Wolf tones have never entered into the picture in my experience.

Personally, I'm fairly well committed to EBVT III, (or EBVT as Bill would call it, now), because I like the energy that it brings to the piano. Once I had EBVT III on my piano, I had to re-think pieces of music that I *thought* I knew because the tuning was bringing shades of meaning to phrases in ways that made tons of sense, and I realized that I didn't know those pieces nearly as well as I thought. grin Earlier this fall, I convinced one of my pianist friends who has an acute ear to let me put EBVT on her 7ft Kawai. Previously, I had put a text-book ET on it that she was very happy with. About the EBVT III, she called to say, "Let me tell you about the life-changing experience of that temperament..."

Anyway, here's a couple of recordings I made this week on my freshly EBVT tuned piano, a 1940 Lester spinet. I recently steamed the hammers using Ron Koval's method that can be found on YouTube, so the piano sounds pretty mellow (for a spinet...).

"To Us Is Given" -- Dave Brubeck, arr.

"There's A Song In The Air" -- Cindy Berry, arr.

I didn't hear any wolf tones in there, did you?

--Andy

Last edited by Cinnamonbear; 12/30/17 11:10 PM. Reason: Removed a "III"

I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700801
12/30/17 11:00 PM
12/30/17 11:00 PM
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This is a very loaded question and I am home watching the Orange Bowl game, so I will have to address some issues in a future post. The EBVT (plain and simple) is now how the temperament is known. The II & III versions were only small modifications in the aural tuning instructions that refined the results into the basic idea that was always what was intended. Therefore, the original EBVT and EBVT II are now obsolete. What was called the EBVT III is now simply, the EBVT.

For electronic tuning, the following is the only list of which I approve:

(100ths).......(10ths)
C: +3.80...... +3.8
C#: -1.29...... -1.3
D: +0.86.......+0.9
D#: +1.59......+1.6
E: -0.41.........-0.4
F: +1.84........+1.8
F#: -0.28........-0.3
G: +3.11........+3.1
G#: +0.67......+0.7
A: 0.0..............0.0
A#: +2.86......+2.9
B: -0.03............0.0

As for so-called "wolf" tones, by definition, a mild, "Victorian" style Well-Temperament, has no such thing. No temperament at all has a "wolf tone" for that matter. To say such a thing is an example of sheer bias and prejudice, not to mention ignorance.

There was a guy who used to rail against the use of the EBVT, saying how much I was "promoting" it (which I was not). It was he, in fact, who kept repeating the abbreviation over and over so much that he was providing me with much free publicity. It ended up with one of his own clients requesting it and after he did, only wanted the piano tuned that way thereafter.

That technician claimed it was a fad and spewed so much ignorance that I had to remind him often that he was broadcasting to the world how much he did not know. He ultimately resigned from this forum in frustration.

If you Google, "What does EBVT stand for?", you will get the following answer:

Acronym [It's not really an acronym but an abbreviation. An acronym is an abbreviation that spells a pronounceable word].

Definition

EBVT Equal Beating Victorian Temperament (piano tuning)
EBVT Exterior Ballistic Verification Projectile

The fact that you can Google "EBVT" and see results means that the cat is out of the bag. People know about it and have discussed it widely. It has now been in use for fully 25 years. In the area where the idea was born, three generations of school children have been raised on it. It has been in there school, their home, their church, on their piano teacher's piano and at public performances that they have attended.

I have used the EBVT nearly exclusively for all that time. Another technician from a town 35 miles away has used it exclusively in the school district that he serves for three years. I have used it in a concert hall 40 miles from here exclusively for 25 years for all types of performing artists from classical, new age, jazz, boogie woogie, pop and rock and often received public praise from the artists on stage to the audience.

The EBVT was first presented at a PTG convention in 1998 to wide acclaim. It was also presented subsequent to that. I believe it helped the body of piano technicians understand that Equal Temperament (ET) was indeed not the only choice a technician could have.

Nowadays, when manufacturer representatives talk about the various ways in which the overall sound of a piano can be manipulated, the use of a non-equal temperament is among the tools available. Many other presentations of pianos tuned in non-equal temperaments have caused the idea to gain widely regarded acceptance when at one time, it was considered to be an oddity.

It is your piano and you have the right to have it tuned the way you want it to be tuned.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2700808
12/30/17 11:31 PM
12/30/17 11:31 PM
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Rockford, IL
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Oh, and! -- That friend whose piano I tuned in EBVT? She's a piano teacher. I got a call from the mother of one of her students who said that she wanted her piano tuned just like her teacher's piano. Her mother said that her daughter wanted to "hear the same kind of sparkles" on their piano at home that she hears on her teacher's piano. grin

OK. Twist my arm.

Here's one more recording from a few days ago on the freshly tuned Lester:

"Willow Creek" -- by McPartland and McGlohon

I still don't hear any wolf tones in there... Do you?

--Andy


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700811
12/31/17 12:03 AM
12/31/17 12:03 AM
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It's a great game so far and Wisconsin is winning but it is still a nail biter.

What have been called, "wolf tones" should be called, "wolf intervals". That implies an interval of any kind, 4th, 5th, Major or minor third that is too out of tune to be of practical musical use. Any mild, "Victorian" style Well-Temperament has none of that.

What happens is that technicians who believe and practice only ET are accustomed to that sound alone, so any departure from it sounds "out of tune" to them but not necessarily to musicians, even professional musicians and the general public. Certainly, the EBVT has some Major thirds which are wider than they are in ET, so a technician with a bias will tune them and then "bang" on them out of the context of a music composition. And that's all it takes to reject the idea and go around blabbing about how it is therefore unacceptable.

That totally disregards all of the texture and real music magic that is in there to be enjoyed. ET has its own effects upon all music. The principle effect is to neutralize the sound of all key signatures into one. It removes the satisfaction that comes with modulation. It decreases the emotion that is inherent to all music of the Romantic, Impressionist and Post Romantic eras.

Here is a link from my BoxNet account (safe) of a piece that should be impossible if the EBVT contained the so-called, "wolf tones". Since it is in the key of D-flat (five flats), it should have nothing but "wolf tones".

https://app.box.com/s/q7vosp2amts8b83kuy8t


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700813
12/31/17 12:21 AM
12/31/17 12:21 AM
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Very few people can tell the difference between EBVT and ET in blind tests, so I would not worry about non-existing "wolf intervals".

Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Cinnamonbear] #2700814
12/31/17 12:22 AM
12/31/17 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Oh, and! -- That friend whose piano I tuned in EBVT? She's a piano teacher. I got a call from the mother of one of her students who said that she wanted her piano tuned just like her teacher's piano. Her mother said that her daughter wanted to "hear the same kind of sparkles" on their piano at home that she hears on her teacher's piano. grin

OK. Twist my arm.

Here's one more recording from a few days ago on the freshly tuned Lester:

"Willow Creek" -- by McPartland and McGlohon

I still don't hear any wolf tones in there... Do you?

--Andy


Andy, you have the most lovely sounding spinet piano I have ever heard! Yes, the EBVT has extended its caliphate to an 80 mile radius of Madison, WI. North to Westfield and Wisconsin Dells (in some performance venues there), West to Spring Green, Richland Center and Viroqua (at the Frank Lloyd Wright estate Hillside theater, schools, churches and piano artists homes, East to Milwaukee where several high end grand owners (one with her own chamber concert hall attached to a magnificent home and which houses a Steinway Model D) want EBVT only and South to Rockford where both Andy and I serve pianists and churches. In one fine home that I serve there, regular salon performances with other instruments such as violin and wind players occur. (I just did a tuning there a few days ago).

There are many more technicians far and wide, in many states and in Canada who use the EBVT exclusively.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: DoelKees] #2700815
12/31/17 12:25 AM
12/31/17 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DoelKees
Very few people can tell the difference between EBVT and ET in blind tests, so I would not worry about non-existing "wolf intervals".


They also say that very few people have "perfect pitch" but I run into them all the time.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700883
12/31/17 09:03 AM
12/31/17 09:03 AM
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"Certainly, the EBVT has some Major thirds which are wider than they are in ET, so a technician with a bias will tune them and then "bang" on them out of the context of a music composition. And that's all it takes to reject the idea and go around blabbing about how it is therefore unacceptable."


Probably why the guy you refer to earlier, "retired from the forum in frustration", is because most of the time certain people in here are short tempered, resort to name calling, or putting down professional and/or artistic abilities- rather than be able to debate their point logically, and politely with others.
I myself have would no interest in discussing any faults that I might find in certain aspects of an area of our profession with others, if they have no intention of holding civil discourse toward the opposite point of view.

And, whether something be labeled a "wolf" or a "wolf tone" by the original poster of this topic, does not bother me (certainly would not call them ignorant to their face, as was said to the them)...

The fact is that there ARE indeed differences in the EBVT and ET (Mr. Bremmer himself has said this clearly), if they were so close to each other (ET and EBVT), why is it being hailed as something so wonderful, and so different to experience?--- and something that the loathed ignorant bottom feeding lay-tuner with obvious bias will BANG out of context.......hehe (completely unbias presentation) hehe

But this was not what I attempted to address in my post. What I was attempting to address in my response was the same question I have had all along- to which I have never gotten an answer...
It is sold to the clients that this EBVT will present what the classical composers of their time had meant to express-- "the color", "the character", "the emotion"- when it is not at all what they could have heard in their time, so how could they have intended to express it?
Romantic - early Victorian composers...
* A-440 was no arround-- whether the pitch was A-435, A-whatever-to-get-it-to-sound-ok (it was diferent)
* the plate was not heard of as yet
* AND the instruments themselves have changed so drastically since
...that it would be impossible to say Beethoven, or Mozart, or Vivaldi MEANT THIS rather than what you hear in ET...

I do think honesty and unbiased presentation is very important in advertising. At least, that's what we always try to do with our clients. Why not simply present EBVT as an alternative temperament, let it stand on its own merits- good or bad. If it is good- it will become something we all will want to use as the go-to.

I fully intend to tune my 1884 Knabe to Mr. Bremmer's EBVT and see what colors and character I hear with Moonlight and Clair de Lune- perhaps it will impress me (perhaps not- perhaps I will bang it out of context?).
But (my point) I refuse to tell myself that Beethoven meant it to be THIS way when he penned it! (that's all emotion carrying one away, with no roots in fact)

Regards. grin


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700945
12/31/17 01:47 PM
12/31/17 01:47 PM
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I suppose my "fundamental question" really was answered. Wolf intervals are not present in EBVT -- at least not to an extent that could be detected by a human. Who knows what my tuner was hearing. Doesn't matter anyway, so long as he can provide the service I'm looking for.

Last edited by Aspiring; 12/31/17 02:21 PM. Reason: clarification

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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700946
12/31/17 01:48 PM
12/31/17 01:48 PM
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Madison, WI USA
Every representation of pre-20th Century music on the modern piano is altered from what was heard from the instruments of the past. That does not mean that if Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff et al had a Steinway, Yamaha or Kawai, that they would have preferred such an instrument to be tuned the way we do it now.

Indeed, it may have sounded quite strange to them. Not unlike an 18th Century temperament often sounds to present day pianists. It is all in what we have grown accustomed to hearing.

I apologize if you took it that you must have been one of the technicians who "banged" on intervals out of context. It is just that I have seen it happen so many times. One bang and that's it, BACK to ET! For that matter, I have seen a pianist bang on a 10th tuned in ET when playing Chopin. "That sounds out of tune to me", he said. The piano had been tuned by a top technician. There was nothing wrong with the tuning but the pianist didn't like the sound.

I remain firmly in the belief that for music up to and including the early 20th Century, the key signature had a meaning and value. The character of the sound of each key signature was the reason it was chosen. I largely discount the notion that Impressionist composers chose remote key signatures simply because they fit the hand more easily. There was, for them, the extra energy in those key signatures because of the temperament.

You can look all the way back to the early 18th Century and find people wanting to discover a way to make all 24 major and minor key signatures work better and more seamlessly, yes but that does not imply the quantum leap to ET as we know it.

In my opinion, ET has been more of a business decision than anything else. Any favoring of intervals to one side of the cycle of 5ths naturally disfavors the other side. There is an easy answer for that for a scientist like Helmholtz. Let's make all intervals equal. As with any such arbitrary decision however, it ends up not with equal satisfaction but equal dissatisfaction.

I'll go out on this limb once again which always seems to stir the pot. I don't say it as a provocation but as an observation of sheer reality. ET may have been the standard and the goal for so many decades but it was rarely the reality. The reason, I believe, that so many early 20th Century composers, those who wrote beautiful scores for American Musical Theater in the appropriate key signatures that they chose for them was because they were still working with pianos that were tuned very similarly to the way I have designed for the EBVT.

Most of the ordinary technicians however were tuning temperaments that were a backwards version of that which has become known as Reverse Well. There is a specific reason for it and every one of them who tuned that way did it for the reasons that I have often written. Some of them are still doing it today, nearly 20 years into the 21st Century.

When pianists, students, teachers and audiences have heard for their entire lives, pianos tuned with completely backwards harmony, they become accustomed to that too. When however, for the first time in their lives, they suddenly encounter the key signatures arranged for the way they had always been intended, life changing experiences instantly emerge.

So, we just have to let go of the notion that once Bach wrote the Well Tempered Clavier music, all tuning of keyboards instantly took the quantum leap from 1/4 Comma Meantone to the opposite end of the spectrum to ET. It didn't happen that way. I have seen it written that "From the time of Mozart and beyond, ET had become firmly established all across Europe". That did not happen either but if one is looking for justification, it is easy to take that and simply imagine that there never was any reason for or value of the key signature. All key signatures have sounded alike for 300 years. That is preposterous.

The EBVT is a very carefully studied and crafted temperament. It was only a struggle to finally put everything into clear and concise writing but the basic idea was generated in 1992 with the assistance of a Sanderson Accu-Tuner, not in the calculated mode but the Tune and Direct Interval modes. I found what I was looking for an nailed it electronically. It was then, a great struggle to find a way to describe how to do that aurally but now, that problem has long ago been solved.

The beat rates of Major thirds (the primary focus of temperament construction) are really quite approximately the same as would be found in ET. They are simply rearranged in an alignment with the key signatures. That, I submit, is why many people cannot readily recognize the difference. The piano still sounds as is expected. There are no intervals outside the bounds of what is heard in ET. Interval size, yes and placement, yes but actual beat rates, no. Therefore, there are no musically unusable intervals.

There are other slight modifications that current technicians do to try to manipulate the sound of the piano other than voicing and precise regulation. The principal tool being used is the manipulation of stretch. It certainly does have its effects but pianists and the general public cannot usually identify exactly what it is that is different. They may only say that the piano sounds brighter or clearer but they may also say that it sounds more strident when playing certain kinds of music.

I have worked on the matter of stretch in both ET and the EBVT. That is the one drawback of tuning the EBVT electronically. I have no control over what an electronically calculated program will do with the stretch. I can advise technicians as to what to do but whether they do it or not is beyond my control. The best advice I can give to the first time attempts at electronic tuning of the EBVT is to not use a wide stretch for the midrange but some wider stretch for the outer octaves may help.

I have long been aware of the power of beat "masking" as some call it or as I prefer, "beat cancellation". I use its power within the temperament and midrange but also quite effectively in the outer octaves. Inharmonicity poses a problem and a challenge. By definition, it means that purity of sound in the octaves is impossible. However, by careful manipulation, I can actually use inharmonicity to defeat that problem.

I would put up a fine piano the way I choose to tune it at virtually any time and place against the same kind of piano tuned in ET with the most advanced concepts of stretch such as the pure 12ths idea to let the pianists and the audience decide which example actually sounds better and more generally musical. Make it a blind test. Nobody knows which is which except the technicians. If the pianos look identical enough, put their placement on the stage at random so that even the technicians will not know which is which.

PTG has not done anything like that before at a convention. I hardly think that Steinway or Shigeru Kawai would go for it. They have too much of a vested interest in the status quo but I can say one thing: I tested the tuning of the Shigeru Kawai at the last Convention concert. It had errors in the temperament. I could not hear them from the audience but I clearly could when I tested it later.

"See", one might say, "Those little deviations don't matter". It's the unisons (which were also not as perfect as one may have expected) and the octaves that do". So, if the tiny deviations from ET that are the fabric of the EBVT do not really matter, most people cannot recognize the difference, let's prove it.

Find an up and coming manufacturer like Hailun or a German manufacturer who would like some exposure for their instruments. Set up a Thursday Convention night demonstration. Find the very finest ET tuner possible. Herr Stopper? David Andersen? Kent Swafford? Any die hard ET only concert technician. I'm game.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700950
12/31/17 01:52 PM
12/31/17 01:52 PM
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" I can infer that the tuner was simply describing things he wasn't accustomed to."

It was undoubtedly that. As I mentioned before, technicians do tend to be perfectionists. They have become accustomed to the sound of ET so anything that deviates from it sounds wrong to them.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700954
12/31/17 02:06 PM
12/31/17 02:06 PM
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Janesville WI
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Here is an audio recording of me tuning the octaves in the EBVT III on a Kawai RX-6 if you want to hear it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbpdKaN-EpM


Lucas Brookins, RPT
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700958
12/31/17 02:12 PM
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Lucas Brookins does an excellent job of beat masking (cancellation). In his audio, you would never know that he is not tuning ET except that he does not test any Rapidly Beating Intervals (RBI). It is not necessary to do so.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2700995
12/31/17 03:50 PM
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If one does not test rapidly beating intervals, how does one know whether they are wolfs or not?


Semipro Tech
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2700998
12/31/17 03:56 PM
12/31/17 03:56 PM
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How much difference is there from the EBVT to ET? In a recent private message, a gentleman asked me how he might program his digital piano which can accept only whole cent deviations. I simply took my list and rounded off to whole cents:

(100ths) (10ths) (whole cents)
C: +3.80.......+3.8......+4
C#: -1.29.......-1.3.......-1
D: +0.86........+0.9.....+1
D#: +1.59..... +1.6......+2
E: -0.41..........-0.4........0
F: +1.84.........+1.8.....+2
F#: -0.28.........-0.3.......0
G: +3.11.........+3.1.....+3
G#: +0.67.......+0.7.....+1
A: 0.0................0.0......0
A#: +2.86......+2.9......+3
B: -0.03............0.0.......0

Anyone else who may have a similar programmable digital piano may do the same. While the rounding off is somewhat of a compromise, the proportions tend to stay about the same.

I have often said that a piano tuned in the EBVT is fully compatible with other instruments at the same pitch, including fixed pitched instruments presumed to be in ET. For example, I have placed a digital keyboard side piano tuned in ET and played a chromatic scale from C3 to C5. Many notes would actually sound dead on together or very nearly so. Only the C, G, and A# would have a slight wave between them. No two notes come even close to what would be described as "out of tune" with each other. The fact is that the EBVT produces an internal effect to the piano, not external incompatibility.

At a Chapter technical where I tuned two Steinway Model D's, I did the same comparison. It was agreed by those who listened that the difference was approximately what one might expect from two different tuners, regardless of temperament. Yet, there was a clearly heard distinction in the music played by pianists upon the two pianos. Many expressed a preference for the EBVT and nobody really said they liked the ET better but if they did, they probably just kept quiet.

Several months ago, a technician contacted me because he was bringing a 6 foot Kawai grand to the concert hall where I have tuned the Steinway Model D there for 25 years in the EBVT. I had tuned the instrument on a week before that and it is usually quite stable. He asked what he may encounter. It was a children's show and the two pianists would be playing the Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals so he was not too worried about it.

I said to not be worried at all. The two pianos could not be tuned exactly alike, no matter what. It would be like tuning a piano and an organ together. "Just have the A4 be at 440 and you're good", I said. The two instruments will not be playing the same notes in the same registers. They will not sound out of tune with each other even if they are. In fact, if two perfectly matched pianos are tuned exactly alike, some of that cancelling out effect goes into play. The report back was that everything went fine and that the two pianos were indeed compatible, a Steinway B in EBVT and a Kawai RX5 in ET.

Still, another way to look at the EBVT is to look at the 10ths column figures. If those are put against a PTG Tuning Exam Master Tuning, the result would be a score of 86. The Pitch Correction Number may, in fact help adjust the two even a little better. It further demonstrates how a piano tuned correctly in the EBVT has very little note by note numeric difference from ET. Two of the notes, the A and B are exactly alike. There would be a completely inaudible difference between the E and F#.

If untold numbers of RPT's have passed their tuning exams with temperament scores in the 80's but were then and still are professional piano technicians and their numerical results on the average are really not distinguishable from a piano tuned in the EBVT, there is truly nothing to worry about, to warn against or to do anything but accept the fact that every technician puts his own signature on the piano, each and every time a piano is tuned. I put mine, you put yours. I am entitled to have my opinion and you are entitled to have yours.

I am afraid that whatever "Blind Tests" have been done have therefore been invalid from a scientific point of view. Oh sure, put up some recordings of randomly chosen music and you'll get the same answer every time. That is because ET has its own problems with dissonance. If you are looking for dissonance to be the culprit and ascribe it to the EBVT, you will find it from a piano tuned in ET. By the same token, if you look for consonance from a piano and assume that it came from the piano tuned in ET, you will be surprised to learn that the largely consonant sounding piano was in fact, tuned in the EBVT.

This experience is not limited to the EBVT, by the way. There is a local dealer/technician/restorer who puts on all of his salon concerts in the much stronger, much more radical sounding 1/7 Comma Meantone. He never tells anyone about that fact. He just does it. He says that as soon as you start putting a label on it, that is when people start to object.

The local music critics attend those events and the artists often praise the sound of the piano as unlike any that they have ever experienced anywhere. To them, it is the magic of that carefully restored piano that they enjoyed. Of course, the restoration, regulation and voicing are all top notch. But as a technician, if you went up to that piano and played the intervals, you would be in for a shocking experience.

Major 3rds with a range of 9.7 to 18.7 and a "wolf" 5th, 6 cents wide between G# and D#. The key signature of A-flat major is truly electric! The very dark and disturbing sounds of E-flat and B-flat minor also contribute to the emotional experience. The artists are unaware that there would be anything different about the tuning but they play on whatever is presented to them. You can see how they instantly adapt to the sound coming from his pianos. I have personally witnessed how the emotions from the music are far more evident than they ever could be from a piano tuned in ET. This was the sound, by the way that Peter Serkin liked and the testimonial to it is framed and put on the wall in that place.

The EBVT actually pales in comparison, so there is truly nothing to be afraid of but rather something new to experience.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: BDB] #2700999
12/31/17 03:58 PM
12/31/17 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
If one does not test rapidly beating intervals, how does one know whether they are wolfs or not?


When I have read what to do if encountering a wolf, the advice was always to keep your distance, don't turn your back on it, don't run away but also don't look it in the eyes. Wave your hands and shout at it and it will probably run the other way.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701010
12/31/17 04:47 PM
12/31/17 04:47 PM
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Canberra, ACT, Australia
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To me, the whole argument, the claims, the justifications, the criticisms, the fervour and misconceptions are very sad.


Chris Leslie ARPT
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2701023
12/31/17 06:04 PM
12/31/17 06:04 PM
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Bill Bremmer wrote, " The reason, I believe, that so many early 20th Century composers, those who wrote beautiful scores for American Musical Theater in the appropriate key signatures that they chose for them was because they were still working with pianos that were tuned very similarly to the way I have designed for the EBVT."

Bill,
You have made this assertion before and I have no intentions of arguing the point. However, I do have a question. Let's assume you are correct for purposes of this discussion.

A review of the collection of songs known as "The American Songbook" will show that many were written in the key of C, some in the key of G and few, if any, in the sharp keys of D, A, E, etc. The overwhelming majority of these tunes were composed in the flat keys; F, Bb, Eb, Ab. etc.

So, if the composers chose keys because of the particular color, what was it about the sharp keys that caused them to be so assiduously avoided?


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701036
12/31/17 07:28 PM
12/31/17 07:28 PM
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Quote
When I have read what to do if encountering a wolf, the advice was always to keep your distance, don't turn your back on it, don't run away but also don't look it in the eyes. Wave your hands and shout at it and it will probably run the other way.

wink grin ha

Bill - I no idea you had such a keen sense of humor! I man after my own heart!!


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Gerry Johnston] #2701085
01/01/18 02:09 AM
01/01/18 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerry Johnston


A review of the collection of songs known as "The American Songbook" will show that many were written in the key of C, some in the key of G and few, if any, in the sharp keys of D, A, E, etc. The overwhelming majority of these tunes were composed in the flat keys; F, Bb, Eb, Ab. etc.

So, if the composers chose keys because of the particular color, what was it about the sharp keys that caused them to be so assiduously avoided?


Etc.? How many are written in D-flat and G-flat? I know why "If I loved you" from Carousel was written in D-flat and "Were Thine That Special Face" was written in E-flat minor. I also know why C Major was chosen for, "You'll Never Walk Alone".

As for the common songbook, there are a few reasons: the sharp keys have a more "feminine" character, soft and melodious due to more highly tempered 5ths. The flat keys have a cleaner and bolder sound due to pure or nearly pure 5ths.

Wind instruments do better in flat keys. Many of these songs were meant to be played by wind instruments rather than stringed instruments which handle the sharp keys better.

I gave my answer but I will ask you in return: Has the choice of any particular key signature always been completely random? It would seem to be the case if ET had been in wide use all across Europe since the time of Mozart as some have claimed. Why didn't Mozart write in the remote keys if the key signature had no particular value? Why did Romantic and Impressionist era composers often choose the remote keys?

Why is Beethoven's Emperor Piano Concerto written in E-flat but the slow movement written in B Major? Wouldn't the sub dominant key of B-flat have been more logical? I know the reason for both choices. Do you? Or were those choices made for no reason at all?


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2701129
01/01/18 08:47 AM
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I have never said that color was not a factor in the choice of keys for classical composers.

Could it have been a factor for the "Songbook" composers? Possibly... but the fact that wind instruments were the primary soloists of the time seems more likely. The truth is that we don't know for certain and we should be careful about stating as "fact" things which are really only speculation.


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701181
01/01/18 01:47 PM
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A recent experience:

I have been tuning this client's piano in EBVT now for about a year and a half. The first time she didn't notice a whole lot of difference (though she said she liked it). Second time I asked her if she wanted me to continue with it. She said: "Yes, I'm liking it, I'm hearing things I hadn't noticed before, do it again". Third time was a month ago..."do it again".

After this last tuning she made a very insightful comment (just out of the blue). She said: "This tuning gives me the ability to RESOLVE that I didn't have before, and I really like it". I replied: "Bingo!"

In the hands of a composer who understands the differences he/she can and will use the contrasts to achieve emotional/musical impacts that are not available in ET (as they are all pretty much the same). She is now hearing more of what was intended in the music.

Just wanted to share this.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701186
01/01/18 02:20 PM
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How many of you saw Sunday's Mr. Boffo cartoon?


Semipro Tech
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701190
01/01/18 02:31 PM
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Never heard of it.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701201
01/01/18 03:12 PM
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Peter - How are you tuning EBVT? With an ETA or aurally? By the way, I don't at all intend to get in an argument about electronic vs. aural...just interested.

Last edited by That Guy; 01/01/18 03:14 PM.

"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
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