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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: BDB] #2700999
12/31/17 02:58 PM
12/31/17 02:58 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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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
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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701010
12/31/17 03:47 PM
12/31/17 03:47 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 05:04 PM
12/31/17 05:04 PM
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Haverhill, MA
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Gerry Johnston Offline
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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 06:28 PM
12/31/17 06:28 PM
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Lincoln, NE
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That Guy Offline
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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
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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Gerry Johnston] #2701085
01/01/18 01:09 AM
01/01/18 01:09 AM
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Madison, WI USA
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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 07:47 AM
01/01/18 07:47 AM
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Haverhill, MA
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Gerry Johnston Offline
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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 12:47 PM
01/01/18 12:47 PM
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New Hampshire
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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 01:20 PM
01/01/18 01:20 PM
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Oakland
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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 01:31 PM
01/01/18 01:31 PM
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New Hampshire
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Never heard of it.

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] #2701201
01/01/18 02:12 PM
01/01/18 02:12 PM
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Lincoln, NE
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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 02:14 PM.

"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
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Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT] #2701206
01/01/18 02:32 PM
01/01/18 02:32 PM
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Chapel Hill, NC
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Originally Posted by Bill Bremmer RPT
[quote=Gerry Johnston]

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- I am very much interested in hearing the EBVT tuning at some point, and I have no doubt that bringing some of those major 3rds down a few cents really could be nice on the ears. 13.8 cents sharp is just really sharp, and a lot of people don't realize that the ET major 3rds are that sharp across the board until you demonstrate it to them (which can be done simply on an acoustic guitar). It's why guitar players are constantly tuning their high E string down a few cents to make a D chord sound better, only to rethink it and tune it back up a few cents when they play the G chord. Guitar is the classic ET instrument, for better or for worse, since the decision is made at the manufacturing stage. Those frets get smaller going up the fretboard by a ratio of the 12th root of 2.

For what it's worth (which may not be much), and with all due respect, B flat is not the subdominant in the key of E flat. B flat is the dominant in the key of E flat, and the subdominant would be A flat. I'm thinking you probably meant to say A flat.



Wes Lachot Design Group
www.weslachot.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701210
01/01/18 02:55 PM
01/01/18 02:55 PM
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Scott,

I know you will not argue this.

I tune it aurally. And sometimes I tune it according to the original pattern Bill spelled out. I tend to like the slightly slower C-E major third. To me, it is more "well" than the current pattern. But I do both depending on the circumstances (specifically, the general realm of music the pianist prefers). I also do not stick rigidly to the 6bps 3rds, but vary according to circumstances, sometimes a little slower, sometimes a little faster, yet adhering to the overall pattern of the temperament.

I tried it once or twice with Tunelab but it didn't seem to produce the sought after results. (And of course you know that I am primarily an aural tuner).

I carry a 3x5 card with me with the outline on it to remind me if I get a little mixed up on the procedure.

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: Wes Lachot] #2701299
01/01/18 09:04 PM
01/01/18 09:04 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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Originally Posted by Wes Lachot


Bill- I am very much interested in hearing the EBVT tuning at some point, and I have no doubt that bringing some of those major 3rds down a few cents really could be nice on the ears. 13.8 cents sharp is just really sharp, and a lot of people don't realize that the ET major 3rds are that sharp across the board until you demonstrate it to them (which can be done simply on an acoustic guitar). It's why guitar players are constantly tuning their high E string down a few cents to make a D chord sound better, only to rethink it and tune it back up a few cents when they play the G chord. Guitar is the classic ET instrument, for better or for worse, since the decision is made at the manufacturing stage. Those frets get smaller going up the fretboard by a ratio of the 12th root of 2.

For what it's worth (which may not be much), and with all due respect, B flat is not the subdominant in the key of E flat. B flat is the dominant in the key of E flat, and the subdominant would be A flat. I'm thinking you probably meant to say A flat.



You're right, Wes, B-flat is the dominant key of E-flat and that is what I meant to say, dominant. The third movement goes between the tonic and the dominant. The keys of E-flat and B-flat are bold and clean. E-flat is the "heroic" key, the same as the 3rd symphony.

The second movement has long, single note soaring melodies (much like an opera soprano would sing). The widely spaced intervals in Well Temperament provide for that (as they do in Rogers & Hammerstain's "If I Loved You" from the musical, Carousel). The arpeggio triads are used instead of chords to avoid the harshness that chords would otherwise have. At the end of the second movement, the composer has to use a trick, a horn is used to "shift" the key back to E-flat.

One may call it speculation but there is no other logical explanation for why that was done. If ET were in common use at the time which many claim it was, there would have been no reason to go to such a strangely remote key. If, however a Well Temperament had been used at the time, to have the second movement in B-flat, it would have largely taken the wind out of the sails of that soaring melody. As it is most commonly performed in ET today, it has a measure of that blandness. Not as bland as it would be if it were in B-flat in a Well Temperament but still far more bland than when performed in an 18th Century style Well Temperament. I know this from the experience of having tuned for that piece several times.

As for guitar tuning, there is a slight modification that many professional guitarists use: Draw the D, G and B strings slightly closer together. This can only be done this slight amount but no more without creating other problems.

With a guitar tuned electronically, sharpen the D string by 1 cent. Sharpen the G string by 2 cents. Flatten the B string by 1 cent.

There is an aural way to do that if the guitar tuner is not sensitive enough. First start with the guitar tuned as carefully as possible to the electronic guitar tuner. Play the G and B strings together. They will beat at 8 beats per second. So will the D and B strings and the G an high E strings (these are both M6's). Start by flattening the B string a very small amount but then test the B-E 4th to make sure that it does not beat but just have a slow roll to it. Then sharpen the D string by the same amount and test the A-D 4th for that slow roll. Now, play the D-B 6th and you will have decreased the beating to 6 beats per second (sound familiar?). Now, sharpen the G string until both the G-B M3 and the G-E M6 beat at the same 6 beats per second.

The guitar will now have the same three equally beating intervals as a piano tuned in the EBVT has. This will give the guitar a far more pleasant and harmonious sound.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: P W Grey] #2701308
01/01/18 10:27 PM
01/01/18 10:27 PM
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Madison, WI USA
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Scott,

I know you will not argue this.

I tune it aurally. And sometimes I tune it according to the original pattern Bill spelled out. I tend to like the slightly slower C-E major third. To me, it is more "well" than the current pattern. But I do both depending on the circumstances (specifically, the general realm of music the pianist prefers). I also do not stick rigidly to the 6bps 3rds, but vary according to circumstances, sometimes a little slower, sometimes a little faster, yet adhering to the overall pattern of the temperament.

I tried it once or twice with Tunelab but it didn't seem to produce the sought after results. (And of course you know that I am primarily an aural tuner).

I carry a 3x5 card with me with the outline on it to remind me if I get a little mixed up on the procedure.

Pwg


Peter, you hit upon what lead to the II & III versions of the EBVT. It was noticed that the original EBVT had a somewhat stronger character than most Victorian temperaments. F# Major was a bit too harsh. The problem I also had with the original version was that the A3-E4 5th seemed too highly tempered.

It took a lot of pondering about what to do about both of those and be able to write it in a way that could be replicated faithfully. No beat rates! The designation of "6 beats per second" was already more of such specifications than I really wanted but I ultimately decided that just that one specification could be made reliably enough. It is quite easy to do, after all.

Doel Kees actually found quite an ingenious way to find 6 beats per second from a chain of Contiguous Major Thirds tuned in ET and I thank him for that but I ultimately decided not to include it with the current written instructions. It is just too much tinkering to actually get what is quite easily heard.

The solution came much like during a chess game when staring at the arrangement for several long minutes and then realizing that the obvious move is quite simple and could have been seen immediately.

The A3-E4 5th is too narrow but the B3-E4 4th is perfectly pure. Solution: sharpen E4 slightly until both the A3-E4 5th and the B3-E4 4th beat exactly alike. Equal Beating is the most reliably replicable way to write such an instruction. Everyone will get virtually the same results every time. There is no guessing or estimate to be made. When the two intervals are equal, it is easily heard and confirmed.

I consulted long and hard with Owen Jorgensen over this but he said it was the best possible compromise. Little harm is done to the C4-E4 M3. It increases only 1.5 beats per second but is still half the speed of the same interval in ET. The benefit, of course is a greatly improved A3-E4 5th while the B3-E4 4th remains easy on the ear. That is effectively what became the EBVT II.

What to do with the F#3 was an equally simple solution. The F#3-C#4 5th is completely pure but the F#3-B3 4th sounds a bit too highly tempered. The F#-A# M3 is too wide and harsh. Simple solution: Sharpen F#3 until both the F#3-C#4 5th and the F#3-B3 4th beat exactly alike. Now, both the 4th and 5th are tempered but less so than in ET. The F#3-A#3 M3 remains wide and vibrant as it should be but the harshness has been improved.

Rather than leaving those two steps to the end and calling them a II & III option, I put them earlier in the sequence because the final version that had been called EBVT III is now the only way I approve of the idea being tuned.

Anyone can manipulate any temperament any way one may want. If you still like the original version, that is OK by me but I have long settled on having those last two adjustments as being part of the idea as I had originally conceived it.

You also hit upon another idea that I also had. You can use the same basic sequence but start with 5 BPS or 4 BPS and get an early 19th Century or 18th Century Well Temperament depending on the choice.

You can get a very nice 18th Century style Well temperament by starting with 4 BPS and all of the rest of the "temporarily tune, then..." are unnecessary.

4 BPS F3-A3, pure 5th: F3-C4, 4 BPS E4-G3 & G3-B3. F3-A#3 4th pure. Tune A3-C#4 M3 to match the resultant A#3-D4 M3. G#3-C#4 4th pure. Tune D#4 equally beating between G#3 and A#3. F#3-C#4 5th pure.

The above ends up very close to a Thomas Young or similar 18th Century Well Temperament but as Owen Jorgensen said, is EXTREMELY easy to tune.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Rick_Parks] #2701309
01/01/18 10:28 PM
01/01/18 10:28 PM
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Tennessee
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Originally Posted by Rick_Parks


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


Greetings,
I wasn't there when Ludwig made his decisions, so if I want to investigate his intentions, I have to extrapolate from other sources, mainly, his scores. There are common treatments of harmonic contrast that are found throughout his music. These characteristics are also found in most of the other composers' work. Chiefly among them is the direction of resolutions. We find LVB consistently resolving passages into keys with less tempering in their thirds, ( assuming a near universal trait of the circulating, non-equal, temperaments). We see his modulations creating coherent rises in dissonance that always resolve to keys of lesser dissonance. We always see his final chord as less tempered than those that precede it. It is NOT a willy-nilly, journey through various sized thirds.

In the words of Enid Katahn, " I have been playing Beethoven's music all my life, and I am hearing things in it (on a WT) that I have never heard before. For the first time, his modulations make perfect sense".

Changing the level of consonance in a triad changes its musical context, its "weight", or its "urgency". When the temperament assigns various values to various keys, modulation suddenly has the capacity to raise or lower the musical tension in a listener, whether they know it or not. This increase in emotional manipulative effect is commonly felt in new listeners, even if they cannot describe exactly what the difference was.

The main question here is, "Did the unequal temperaments of the past have a compositional influence?" I think they did. You will not find LVB, Schubert, Brahms, et al, running into an interruptive, crashing dissonance in their modulations, but, rather, the crafting of successive harmonic grouping that are specifically designed to lead the listener farther and farther in the stimulative realm before bring them back to "home" via resolving to a less tempered key. They never leave us hanging on a more highly tempered final chord than the one that preceded it, regardless of what the home key is.

The consistent use of modulation to create coherent rises and falls of dissonance in a musically understandable way is too pervasive in the literature to have happened by chance. That the reliance on tonal structure gradually diminished at the same rate as the adoption of ET seems to have progressed(1850-1900) makes perfect sense when seen from this perspective. As music left the tonal rules behind, the need for a tonally-arranged palette lessened and ET had its chance to become dominant.

Here we are today, trying to play all eras of keyboard music with a "one-size-fits-all" intonation. However, it is not a static situations, as there are many musicians that have had epiphanies when using a WT. It is more than smoke and mirrors, but the differences are obviously of various value to individuals. .
Regards,

Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701420
01/02/18 10:03 AM
01/02/18 10:03 AM
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Madison, WI USA
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Thank you Ed, for a very well thought out explanation. Let's go back to Bach and the instigation of Well Temperament. In this example at the end of this post from You Tube (while tuned not so very well in ET) which has the score right above the music, you can see exactly what Ed was pointing out: How the music carries away from the home key to increase tension (more dissonance) but then release it by returning to consonance.

We've heard before that the key signature effects of Well Temperament are all speculation and hyperbole and that Bach actually intended ET. What happens when Bach is actually played in Well Temperament is distracting. If you ask me, however, what is distracting about this video is what has been taken from the music: the negation of harmonic contrast. The random, poorly tuned unisons serve as the only "color".

We also see that suggested today: throw in a "blooming unison" here and there to provide a little "color" to an otherwise sterile sounding piano. If there is a "one size fits all" kind of temperament, it is the late 19th Century style Well Temperament that, on the modern piano, will still express the intended harmonic contrasts of Bach and every other composer since, including the wild escapades of Messiaen. If they all work in ET, Pop, Rock, New Age, Jazz, Song Books, American Musical Theater, Boogie Woogie, Ragtime, Blues, Atonal, Post Romantic, Impressionist, Romantic and Classical eras all work too.

As I mentioned before, the choice of ET was not really this consensus worked out in seminars, conferences and colleges where composers, pianists and manufacturers met to try all possibilities and through deliberations and voting, arrived at the final decision for ET, it was simply an arbitrary business decision. There are so many possibilities and no one will ever be entirely satisfied, so we'll just cut it all right through the middle and be done with it for all time.

And there you have it, the real reason why ET has become the "Standard". Put it in books and teach that it is the one and only way. Don't even mention what had happened in the past. That will only confuse people and possibly cause them to try something else. Just keep it simple and people will adapt to it and accept it.

Free thinking societies however do not always accept what is handed to them. There remains documentation and the most highly evident document is the key signature itself. It will never go away. Sooner or later, people wonder what it's purpose actually is. When they discover it, they want to explore it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oFjk0HynY4


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Ed Foote] #2701425
01/02/18 10:28 AM
01/02/18 10:28 AM
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Rick_Parks  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 320
Maine, USA
Ed,
Never meant to put Mr. Bremmer's EBVT down at all...Nor the use of alternative temps...

I just finished Bill's EBVT on my own Knabe (aurally)- sounds nice (mellower in my opinion than a the ET tuning on it). Played Moonlight and Clair de Lune- noticed a slight difference in sound (in my opinion, not enough to get upset about, not enough to be in outer space over either). But then again, I am not an accomplished musician who plays these pieces a lot.

I was curious- thought about EBVT and was wondering: seems that this EBVT is more a matter of an adaption off of the ET, rather than it is of anything else? I mean, it is "compatible with ET", ??? Has the same third progression as ET in temperament octave???
Just struck me that it appears more a matter of being closer to ET than any WT or any other old-day temperaments...
I did note too that EBVT it is A LOT EASIER to set than the ET. I rather enjoyed the method laid out.

It's certainly a decent temperament- and like I said, I have nothing against alternative temps.

The problem I said is when someone states something like- now you'll see why Beethoven did that. That is not accurate really. You can't know that this is what he was meaning it to sound like.
Go get an early Victorian (1830's) piano - without a plate (Broadwood would be preferred), and we'll put the original technology into it (none of this modern stuff)- we'll tune it to a pitch that was most commonly used at his time (which too is debatable)-- and we'll put a WT to it, or some other temperament of the previous generations-- THEN we will hear what he heard (oh wait, rather his audience- as he was deaf later in life- well what he meant!)...
Chances are you will want to switch back to modern times fairly quickly, as those instruments were fairly crude comparatively? (imho)
This point, AND that a professional tuner (in my opinion) should not be taking it upon themselves to just throw alternative temperaments at the clientele without mentioning anything, seems to me rather brash thing to do.


Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701464
01/02/18 12:31 PM
01/02/18 12:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,859
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
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P W Grey  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,859
New Hampshire
Rick,

I think very few (if any) of us who do this (tune UT) do it without first having one or more discussions with the client about the details of it, and get their permission first. The only exception to that is if we are tuning an otherwise "untuneable" spinet or console upon which the musicianship of the owner will only be enhanced due to their level of playing. IOW they will only detect that it sounds better, but not know why. They are not going to explore the "outer bounds" of the tempering because they don't know how.

Otherwise, we are usually dealing with seasoned musicians who have the capacity to understand these subtleties and have the ability and instrument to hear the difference. They can always say: "Nah, I don't like it..." and so we go back to ET. So far, I have never had that happen...only the opposite happens, they like, love it, or hear little difference. I believe most (if not all) other techs doing this have had a similar experience. I tune my own piano this way.

I originally thought Owen Jorgensen was a nut job, until I actually tried what he had to say. The turning point for me was playing Moonlight in Thomas Young Representative temperament, then back to ET, back and forth. I was subsequently convinced.

I think Bill Bremmer has arrived at a sensible, well thought out, relatively easy alternative that bridges the gap between UT and ET. It follows the "rules" of WT, yet is highly compatible with any kind of music (even jazz...though I rarely discuss this with those who specialize in jazz).

I think you'll like it more, the more in time.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 01/02/18 12:34 PM.

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] #2701483
01/02/18 01:33 PM
01/02/18 01:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,016
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: 4,016
Madison, WI USA
Rick,

A few observations: If you play Major thirds chromatically in the EBVT, they will definitely sound uneven. It is not really a valid way to listen to any Well Temperament but we know that technicians will do it anyway. The correct way is to play through the cycle of 5ths. With the temperament octave expanded down to C3, play C3-E3, G3-B3, D3-F#3, A3-C#4, E3-G#3, B3-D#4, F#3-A#3, C#3-F3, G#3-C4, D#3-G3, A#3-D4, F3-A3 and finally back down to C3-E3. You will hear how the beat rates slowly increase then decrease which is what Well Temperaments are supposed to do.

You will also hear that although re-arranged, all beat rates are about the same as are found in a keyboard tuned in ET, just not progressive chromatically.

This is the first time that I have heard that the EBVT is "almost" ET. There are other even milder Well-Temperaments but the milder you get, the less key signature identity. The EBVT contains a distinct sound for each and every Major and minor key. It is only that these distinctions are not very pronounced. Hence, the compatibility with other instruments, the wide acceptance as a normal but more appealing sound for those who do recognize the difference and simple acceptance for those who do not.

There is a class of temperaments known as Quasi-Equal (almost equal) and perhaps the EBVT fits that definition but that title belongs mostly to nearly perfect attempts at tuning ET. There is usually no Cycle of 5ths adherence although there sometimes is a little but the temperament does not conform to the basic rules of Well Temperament.

A graph of any Well Temperament will show a curve of Major third beat rates or sizes that is smallest at the ends with C Major being at both ends and it peaks in the center at F# Major. It can be a high hill or a gentle slope or anywhere in between. It can also look somewhat like a plateau.

t is well known that the late 19th Century Broadwood Factory tuners were ordered to tune the pianos in ET but they had old habits that persisted, so what they thought of as ET was in fact, what we call today a mild, Victorian style temperament. That gives a clue to some of the confusion there has been. If all key signatures produced an accessible and musically acceptable sound, the temperament may well have been called, "equal" but we would not call such a temperament ET today.

The EBVT graph follows that same curve and although it does not look as highly perfected on paper as some other temperaments, especially those that were designed on paper, so to speak, it is what it is in order to be replicable aurally and to have the amazing number of equally beating intervals that it has.

There is a Quasi Equal Temperament that I also designed that has no cycle of 5ths key color as such. It is simply ET but with equally beating 4ths & 5ths. It sounds like ET and works like ET and is extremely close to ET with some notes the same as ET and others mere fractions of a cent different. Yet, it still does have the effect of sounding slightly "cleaner" than true ET as it makes 4ths, 5ths, octaves, 12ths, double octaves, etc., more easily equally beating. A more, "in tune with itself" sound than is possible with a true ET.

As for the early pianos, I personally am not a fan of those. There are fortepiano enthusiasts and they have their claims as to the benefits of the sound. They usually do use some kind of Historical Temperament. I do not suggest nor advocate the EBVT for them.

It is true that the character of earlier instruments is quite different from the modern. That is obvious. I do hear of universities tuning harpsichords in ET for the "ensemble" compatibility. I believe that it simply because whoever tunes those instruments does not want to put in the effort to find, choose and learn more appropriate temperaments. It goes back to what I said in my previous post: we found a solution so we will stick with it and not even consider anything else. We like how it sounds and are not interested in anything else. The ensemble won't complain.

The pitch is not really an argument. Yes, if you took a modern piano and tuned it a half step low in 1/4 Comma Meantone or any other Historical Temperament, you would get a radically different sound, for sure. It would be useful only for the purpose that one may have wanted to tune it that way and virtually nothing else.

The key signature identification, however transfers from one kind of instrument to the next, regardless of what the instrument is or at which pitch it is tuned. When we talk about what the composers "heard", that is what we are talking about.

Bach, Mozart, Beethoven et al, did not have anything remotely close to a modern piano. We all know that but what they did have was Well Temperament and what they didn't have was ET as we know it.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
Re: EBVT III and wolf tones [Re: Aspiring] #2701494
01/02/18 02:32 PM
01/02/18 02:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 395
Europe
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Toni Goldener Offline
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Toni Goldener  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 395
Europe
At the moment I am not tuning any UT’s because I am occupied with a special kind of ET.
But I learned from Bill tuning the EBVT aurally and that is really easy done. It also is a moment in my tuning career I will never forget.

Never mind, during the time I tuned it, there was a famous violinist I tuned for a concert. It was not exactly the EBVT, but a very similar, let’s say a milder version of it. His statement was, that he became a pianist if he ever had the possibility to practice on such a tuned piano. He also stated, the this quality of tuning is really rare.
He couldn’t say what it was, but as an experienced musician he realized that there was something he didn’t experience jet.

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