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Wonder if any of you are familiar with this sequence?
I believe, but am not sure, that it was developed by Dave Betts.
I stumbled on it "on the internet" some years back, but... I cannot find the URL to it again.
I believe I can post the instructions that came with it if anyone has interest.
I am unaware of any intellectual property issues that would prohibit that.

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Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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This is not a new pattern. It doubtlessly came through NBSS. Jack Stebbins published the first part of it in the PTG Journal several years back. It is a foolproof way to establish the CORRECT speed of the F3-A3 M3rd for the specific piano. As we know individual pianos like different beat speeds for their 3rds, etc. If you get that one correct FOR THAT PIANO, everything else works out like a dream (assuming one knows what one is doing of course).

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Have you tried it? How's it work for you Andrew?


Jeff Deutschle
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
This is not a new pattern. It doubtlessly came through NBSS. Jack Stebbins published the first part of it in the PTG Journal several years back. It is a foolproof way to establish the CORRECT speed of the F3-A3 M3rd for the specific piano. As we know individual pianos like different beat speeds for their 3rds, etc. If you get that one correct FOR THAT PIANO, everything else works out like a dream (assuming one knows what one is doing of course).

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Well it depends... wink

I think if your desire is to have picture perfect, 12th root of 2, M3 beat progressions, it is a good start. And if you can hear the theoretical progression of 4 beats to 5 beats you will get there quicker. But if you want great sounding 4ths and 5ths and 8ths on a short piano with an E3/F3 break, the 4/5 M3 beatrate ratio needs to be different. Never tried to actually calculate or measure it, but guessing in the direction of a 3/5 beatrate ratio between F3-A3 and A3-C#4, that is, FOR THAT PIANO.

Looking forward to this discussion, Peter, because you do not take offense when others have opinions contrary to yours. You're one of the good ones! smile


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Got a chance to look this over more carefully and there's something I really like. From step 5 on you can always compare the newly tuned note as part of a 4th and/or 5th combination, such as F3-C4 should beat a bit slower than G3-C4. A note on the bottom is also telling:

(1) all adjacent 5ths beat the same.
(2) all adjacent 4ths beat the same.


If when using this sequence a priority is given to the differences between the 4ths and the 5ths along with no adjacent ones (chromatically higher or lower) sounding different, and adjusting the RBIs accordingly but keeping them progressive of course, the result should be a very accurate ET even near a break.

Being able to compare the 4ths to the 5ths from the sixth named note, with errors pointing the the RBIs, is it's strong point.


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Jeff,

I try to keep an open mind.

I have in fact tried the above method and found it to work beautifully (for 3rds based ET). The primary reason I don't use it regularly though is that I can set the temperament in roughly half the time it takes me to fiddle around "finding" the precise speed by this method. Yes...it works! But since I've been doing this now over 45 years, I'm a pretty good "guesser" at what speed to put that 3rd on that piano. If I goof a little it doesn't take me long to fix it.

Additionally, my work with UT's has proven to me (repeat: TO ME) that there are often other things more important than perfectly ascending and descending 3rds and 6ths, AND that what I once thought was sacrosanct about 5ths ain't necessarily true to my musical ear (there are some caveats here but I'm not going to get into it here).

BTW, I don't particularly like ET anymore musically...I tolerate it when I have to. Being a tuner/tech AND a musician/composer is a mixed blessing.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Peter - thanks.
With what you wrote, I was able to find this https://my.ptg.org/communities/comm...2-a628-bd7c7d770cbf&tab=digestviewer

Post #21 from Paul Brown writes: "The article can be found in the December 2014 PT Journal - Page 14". I don't have access to that not being a PTG member.

Post #9 from Susan Kline was rather inspiring as well.

Jeff - I will give it a shot next time I tune my upright. I don't tune for hire. For the most part I maintain my own instruments (a grand and an upright). I keep them "in tune" with a hybrid tuning method using a Sanderson Acu-Tuner (first version) and my ears (for unisons and tweaks to the stretch). A thorough and complete tuning takes me a bit over an hour to an hour and a half to do, and the tunings are stable (important, because I play a lot). Right now, with nobody coming to the studio for lessons, I can afford the time for the upright to be "down" while I mess with getting the tuning right... so, I'm going to try the Stebbins pattern with that one. Getting that first M3 to 7BPM is something to practice. Wonder if a Beat Rater (Samuelson thing?) might come in handy.

Good Day to All.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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Andrew,

BTW, we may have crossed paths during the time I lived in the DC area (1999-2008). Who knows?

Anyway, find a recording of the song "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gee's. If you count 16ths to the tempo this almost exactly 7 bps.

I listened to one of your recordings (Planets). I liked your playing, but the tuning had some serious issues. I don't know how old it is though. I thought of asking who tunes your pianos (since I might know them), but it sounds like you do it all. Yes?

Also, the tone would be better if it was rounder and less harsh (to my ears). I don't know if you do your own voicing and regulating too...yes?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 01/16/21 01:08 PM.

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Andrew,

My major tuning mentor was Orman Pratt. You might have known him, or known of him. Now deceased.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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Peter - sending you a DM. Thanks for the critique. Points taken. I'll do better on the tuning for future recordings.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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I Make Music that Lifts People Up & Brings Them Together
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Jeff,

I try to keep an open mind.

I have in fact tried the above method and found it to work beautifully (for 3rds based ET). The primary reason I don't use it regularly though is that I can set the temperament in roughly half the time it takes me to fiddle around "finding" the precise speed by this method. Yes...it works! But since I've been doing this now over 45 years, I'm a pretty good "guesser" at what speed to put that 3rd on that piano. If I goof a little it doesn't take me long to fix it.

Additionally, my work with UT's has proven to me (repeat: TO ME) that there are often other things more important than perfectly ascending and descending 3rds and 6ths, AND that what I once thought was sacrosanct about 5ths ain't necessarily true to my musical ear (there are some caveats here but I'm not going to get into it here).

BTW, I don't particularly like ET anymore musically...I tolerate it when I have to. Being a tuner/tech AND a musician/composer is a mixed blessing.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Been thinking about your post the last day or so. OK, for about 3 sec per hour on average, not staring into space concentrating the whole time on this one post. wink

I really like ET, but not because of the RBI beatrate progressions, which are helter-skelter when playing music, but because of the SBIs being consistent. Perhaps it is just because of being a 4ths and 5ths tuner, but if an SBI is too pure or too tempered, I just can't enjoy the music.

OK, that's a preference. But what I have been trying to get my head around is the idea of NOT trying to make a temperament "just so". So I put myself kinda in your shoes, Peter. Suppose someone asked me to tune an UT. I guess I would, after a fashion. Would I be interested in pursuing the very best way to tune it? Uh, no I wouldn't. But then IS there such a thing as the ideal UT? There are so, so many and it is about how it shapes the music, not really how it sounds on it's own. ET, though, is another story. There is a definite ideal, only varied by the stretch and by compromises at scaling jumps.

So, yeah, I think I can understand your perspective. smile


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Jeff,

You are 100% correct about the inconsistency of UT's. There are hundreds of opinions on them which was what prompted the "temperament war" that Owen Jorgensen wrote about (assuming that it's true). It absolutely depends on the music being played and the viewpoint of the player.

In my case I like the greater consonance in the slower beating RBI's in simpler keys. However I had interesting experience once where I came home to my piano (at the time needed tuning) to play after a very upsetting and aggravating experience. I just started creating something in a key I don't normally play in, and the 3rds were very noisy and fast and OUT, however, in my state of mind at the moment, I liked it, and it was making me play more and more. Later after in bad calmed down and subsequently tuned the piano, I was frustrated that I was UNABLE to reproduce the same emotional effect that I had earlier. It just wasn't there any more. This was long before I knew anything about UT, but the experience stuck with me.

As I may have mentioned, in some of my earlier attempts at UT, I would say to myself as one as "tuning" some 5ths with "very" fast beats, "I am never going to be able to tolerate this in music", yet when actually playing music one as surprised that I hardly noticed it and was not bothered by it at all. Big surprise to me. Then, when I would compose something in a UT (Young's has been a favorite) and then play in ET, I felt that I did not get the same effect as what I heard in the UT. Bummer...it really is a two-edged sword.

All clients for whom I tune UT like it, and would have it no other way (except for one who heard no difference and requested ET...a relatively young person). They hear what they like and I just go with it.

ET is much easier for me to tune than UT. My drumming background makes it a piece of cake to judge relative beat speeds of RBI's. UT...I really have to LISTEN. 😉

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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