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Schubert concert tune

Posted By: de villiers

Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 10:02 AM

I have contacted quite a few piano tuners in South Africa,
and none of them know what I am talking about if I mention above tuning. The piano is a Grotrian Steinweg Mod 185.
Is there any literature I can give the tuner that will enable
him to do this tuning? (even with electronic tuning)
de Villiers
Posted By: Mark Cerisano

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 10:16 AM

Where did you hear about it? What context?
Posted By: Ed Foote

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 10:42 AM

Greetings,
There is a tremendous resource at Jason Kanter's site. Rollingball.com

I wouldn't call it Schubert tuning, but rather well-temperament. I have a number of words written for one side of the controversy at my web sites, listed under my signature line.
Hope that helps
Regards,
Posted By: Ed Sutton

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 12:22 PM

This is the Holy Grail tuning of Perri Knize's book _Grand Obsession_.
She has a Grotrian Steinweg piano.
You can hear it on http://www.grandobsession.com/
There is no historic connection with Schubert.
Posted By: RonTuner

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 12:46 PM

If any of the techs use the Verituner software or electronic tuning device, I can give them information to emulate the tuning in the book.

In aural terms, the temperament is set a bit narrower than normal to get a little sweeter sound to the thirds. (favoring a 4:2, balanced with a 2:1 - about 70% 4:2 and 30% 2:1)

Going up, transition to a pure 4:2 octave by A5. By A6, lean towards the 4:1 double octave - about 60% 4:1 and 40% 4:2. Transition to a 4:1 double octave by the top

Going down from the temperament, start bringing in the 6:3 to fully transition to a pure 6:3 by A2 - balance between a 4:2 and 6:3 to guide the transition. Going down to A1, start leaning towards the 4:1 double octave - 80% 4:1 by A1. For the bottom octave, lean towards the 12:6 octave for depth - about 75%, checked with the 6:3 about 25%.

The above is based on the the electronic tuning file for her specific piano. I used that to set a tuning on another piano of the same model - close serial numbers. Then used the Verituner balancing function style creator to match the stretch the best I was able.

Ron Koval
Posted By: Mark Cerisano

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/22/14 07:45 PM

That's the first time I've heard anyone speak of "Treble Temperament". Very informative. Every aural technician should be making conscious decisions on how they are tuning treble octaves, IMHO, even if it is the same way each time. In the very least, it produces consistent stretch from one tuning to the next, saving on tuning time.
Posted By: de villiers

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/23/14 08:58 AM

In the book written by Peri Knize "Grand Obssesion"
a piano tuner Marc Weinberg tuned a Grotrian with
a Schubert concert tune
Posted By: Numbered

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/23/14 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by de villiers
I have contacted quite a few piano tuners in South Africa,
and none of them know what I am talking about if I mention above tuning. The piano is a Grotrian Steinweg Mod 185.
Is there any literature I can give the tuner that will enable
him to do this tuning? (even with electronic tuning)
de Villiers


de Villiers, what temperament do you usually have your piano tuned in?

What part of South Africa are you from?

Regards,
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/23/14 09:38 PM

My good friend and colleague Marc Wienert created the "Schubert Tuning".

It is something that exists between Marc and Perry and it is a specific tangible result.

I am familiar with what Marc did for Perry, though I would recommend talking to Marc about it, presuming he is willing.
Posted By: de villiers

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/25/14 07:07 AM

My tuner says he tuned the piano with an equal temperamant. Also said something about 4.2.
I live on the East Rand Gauteng
Posted By: Numbered

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/25/14 07:21 AM

Well, Ron Koval, in one of the earlier posts has given some advice on how to go about tuning what you are looking for. So, hopefully your tuner can assist you.

All of the best,
Posted By: RonTuner

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/25/14 12:57 PM

Like any of the differing stretch approaches to setting equal temperament on a piano, the effect can vary based on the listener. To most, there won't be any difference heard, or it may be a very subtle change. To the author of the book, the effect the tuning had on her was enough to go looking for again; to find the tech that had been doing the tuning for the piano store...

An aural tech can approximate the result by just favoring 4ths over 5ths when setting the temperament - and then expanding out favoring double octaves over single octaves.


Ron Koval

Posted By: de villiers

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/29/14 08:00 AM

Thank you all for the informative and knowledgable replies
to my post. My tuner contacted Ron Koval, and he will be tuning the Grotrian Steinweg in the near future.
Without your help, I would have always wondered about
the tonal quality of the Schubert concert tune.
de Villiers
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 12:57 AM

I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.
Posted By: prout

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 03:07 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.

If that is the case, why are instruments tuned at all, and why have musicians and composers agonized over tunings for hundreds of years? The music that composers write presupposes some form of organization of the relations between notes that they want to hear and expect the listener to hear. Is it not our job to try our best to provide that foundation on which to perform their music?
Posted By: SMHaley

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 08:07 PM

Tuning and temperament methodology can indeed have a profound influence on "composer intent." Yes, the instrument is the medium but the tuning is the foundation. Can you imagine Debussy in Quarter Comma Meantone? Eekk!
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 09:49 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.

In a very basic sense, this is true. But so much added pleasure, for the listener and performer alike, is derived when the instrument receives a tuning which is "from within the piano" rather than "applied to it." The best of tuners listen to the instrument and don't just go by the numbers on an ETD.

Even ET is tempered. Some attempts are better than others.
Posted By: Chris Leslie

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 09:57 PM

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.

In a very basic sense, this is true. But so much added pleasure, for the listener and performer alike, is derived when the instrument receives a tuning which is "from within the piano" rather than "applied to it." The best of tuners listen to the instrument and don't just go by the numbers on an ETD.

Even ET is tempered. Some attempts are better than others.

I think pianoloverus may have been referring to a "type" of temperament rather than quality of tuning.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schubert concert tune - 04/30/14 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by Chris Leslie
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.

In a very basic sense, this is true. But so much added pleasure, for the listener and performer alike, is derived when the instrument receives a tuning which is "from within the piano" rather than "applied to it." The best of tuners listen to the instrument and don't just go by the numbers on an ETD.

Even ET is tempered. Some attempts are better than others.

I think pianoloverus may have been referring to a "type" of temperament rather than quality of tuning.

I believe that the two things are completely intertwined. Whether ET or UT, a good tuner brings out those "little extras" which may be inherent in a fine piano, but have never been drawn from, or tended to, in the instrument.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/02/14 06:05 PM

Hello All,

I spent the day in Manhattan NY yesterday with Marc Weinert. I mentioned this thread and the comments.

So far, what is described here is not the "Schubert" tuning. Marc suggested I mention this here.

It is unlikely Marc would be inclined to post here.

Guessing is not likely to come up with the correct answer. Perhaps Perry would be willing to say something here.

Ron K will do a very good tuning but not the Schubert tuning.

.

Larry
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/02/14 08:13 PM

Being so shrouded in mystery, has 'the quest for the Schubert Tuning' now taken on the aura of "the search for the Holy Grail?"

wink
Posted By: de villiers

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 10:14 AM

I am at a lost to understand how it is possible that apparently only
Marc is able to do a Schubert tuning.(Implication of Marty,s last post)Being a Clinical Psychologist of profession, I cannot help to wonder why the values on
Perry,s piano(on an Accutuner) are kept secret?
I am sure that very many pianists around the world,would like to hear how this tuning sound,especially now that Perry,s book is translated into German and Italian.
Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 10:47 AM

@de_villiers.. As far as I know Marc tunes pianos for a living.. So why can't he keep it a secret? Do you think he needs to throw away his intellectual property?
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 12:17 PM

Also, it would diminish some of the mystery involved in the book.
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 12:41 PM

@de_villiers,

BTW, Marc tunes by ear only. The values inserted into an Accutuner were for a local tuner to be able to provide Perry a result without Marc. The parameters for Marc's "Schubert" tuning are Marc's intellectual property. There should be respect for that.

Thank You Marty and wimpiano.

The "Schubert" tuning is a result created by Marc and named by Perry.

In a recent conversation with Marc, I was commenting on Murray Perahih's interpretation of Schubert and Marc commented on his motivation for the "Schubert" tuning.

Murray Perahia does play Schubert beautifully.

Cheers,
Larry
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 01:00 PM

Originally Posted by Larry Buck
Murray Perahia does play Schubert beautifully.

Murray Perahia plays beautifully!
Posted By: Larry Buck

Re: Schubert concert tune - 05/07/14 04:34 PM

Marty,

I have some of his recordings in my car .... Boston traffic doesn't seem so bad during the commute time.
Posted By: piqué

Re: Schubert concert tune - 09/12/14 03:07 AM

everything i know about what the schubert concert tuning is is already in my book, grand obsession. anything i wrote here would just be a repeat of what i wrote there.

marc created the tuning for me. it has to be adapted to the piano it is put on. just taking the numbers from the accutuner doesn't work because it's not going to sound the same on another piano.

but, having said that, you can ask your technician to give you a quieter, more narrow tuning, i.e. one that has a narrower stretch characteristic. tell him you want something that will sound good with schubert, or mozart. i believe marc said he strove for pure octaves. but again, reference the book. it's all in there.

you may not even like it. not everyone responds to the same thing.
Posted By: Olek

Re: Schubert concert tune - 09/12/14 08:13 AM

Originally Posted by de villiers
I am at a lost to understand how it is possible that apparently only


I am sure that very many pianists around the world,would like to hear how this tuning sound,especially now that Perry,s book is translated into German and Italian.



And in French (trad Marc Valdeyron).

I just like to know if it is an equal temp or no.

Of course even on a similar piano numbers from a ETD would only give an approximation.

At some point in carrier, many ("aural", I hate that terminology) tuners prefer low "natural" stretch, if they have been used to add some on top of their octaves.

possibly also the high spectra presence lowers in the ear of aging tuners an they like or hear better the mellow tone of non stretched octaves.




Posted By: RonTuner

Re: Schubert concert tune - 09/12/14 10:55 AM

Yes, equal temperament.

Ron Koval
Posted By: rXd

Re: Schubert concert tune - 09/22/14 09:15 AM

Equal temperament, compact middle five octaves, a little more freedom in extreme octaves has been standard practice with many fine piano manufacturers with little variation for well over 100 years according to what my old teachers told me about their old teachers. Some good salesmanship, though.
Posted By: Tom Nor

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/01/14 05:16 PM

I am new to the forum and this is my first post !

I want to thank RonTuner for those details, that is very useful technical detail for my tuner to have to try out, I mentioned the "Schubert Tuning" ref: the Grand Obsession book to him a while ago; he had never heard of it.

I can recommend this unusual book on the subject: "How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony" by Ross Duffin. His view is not I believe the conventional one (the basic thesis is that ET didn't become "standard" until the 20th C), but it is very interesting with a lot of detail accessible to non-tuners and technicians on this fascinating topic.

That book and Perri's amazing quest in the "Grand Obsession" book got me interested in the subject of tuning. Until reading these books I had not even realised there was any other option !! (Her book is how I found out about the Piano World Forums, and also the good idea of having a "Piano Party", which a group of us here in London now regularly do).

I have found out from trying some different tunings on my Yamaha Digital Keyboard, that Jazz sounds particularly weird on non-ET tunings. (my main piano is a 1935 Bluthner 4a which I have just bought, and I am delighted with it - first grand piano after many years with a Yamaha U3). There is a tuning app called CLEARTUNE for iPhones that the dealer made me get to check to see if the Bluthner is losing pitch, which is quite interesting to check things out with.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/01/14 10:24 PM

Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the skill of the pianist and basic tonal quality of the piano are incredibly more important than the type of tuning used.

If that is the case, why are instruments tuned at all, and why have musicians and composers agonized over tunings for hundreds of years? The music that composers write presupposes some form of organization of the relations between notes that they want to hear and expect the listener to hear. Is it not our job to try our best to provide that foundation on which to perform their music?
I didn't at all imply a piano shouldn't be tuned. I said I thought the type of tuning is not very important compared to other factors.

In terms of how good a piece sounds, I think the particular type of tuning selected is less than 1% in terms of importance. The basic quality of the piano and skill of the performer is the other 99%. There are some very highly regarded techs who told me they think all of these historical or other kinds of tunings are mostly BS.

In the case of "Grand Obsession" the author is at best an intermediate pianist. I that everyone deserves to have a tuning system on their piano that the like, but IMO it is about 1% of how good a performance sounds.
Posted By: Ed Foote

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/01/14 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There are some very highly regarded techs who told me they think all of these historical or other kinds of tunings are mostly BS.

In the case of "Grand Obsession" the author is at best an intermediate pianist. I that everyone deserves to have a tuning system on their piano that the like, but IMO it is about 1% of how good a performance sounds.



Greetings,
Thank goodness I don't tune for some of the highly regarded techs. The professional customers I have that have left ET behind are way more important to me than the castigation from those of limited experience. These customers are spending money on BS ? I don't think so. I do think that some reactionary tuners can't consider anything but what they have mastered, but the loss is theirs.

As far as the tuning being 1% of the value of the performance, I don't know how you measure that. I do know that a couple of notes with a few cents in the unison can completely overshadow the greatest finesse in a very open, slow passage.

Regards,
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/02/14 02:37 PM

Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There are some very highly regarded techs who told me they think all of these historical or other kinds of tunings are mostly BS.

In the case of "Grand Obsession" the author is at best an intermediate pianist. I that everyone deserves to have a tuning system on their piano that the like, but IMO it is about 1% of how good a performance sounds.



Greetings,
Thank goodness I don't tune for some of the highly regarded techs. The professional customers I have that have left ET behind are way more important to me than the castigation from those of limited experience. These customers are spending money on BS ? I don't think so. I do think that some reactionary tuners can't consider anything but what they have mastered, but the loss is theirs.

As far as the tuning being 1% of the value of the performance, I don't know how you measure that. I do know that a couple of notes with a few cents in the unison can completely overshadow the greatest finesse in a very open, slow passage.

Regards,
The tuner who expressed the opinion I mentioned about historical tunings is highly regarded nationally and has lectured at the national conventional for many years. He has decades of experience, and my guess is you personally think very highly of him. Of course, some pianists might prefer a historical or non standard tuning and that is fine also. The historical tunings are not BS for them. But, although I admit I know little about the alternative approaches, I think it is wrong think these less traditional tunings are necessarily superior.

A while ago, on a piano walk on Piano Row attended by many PW members two, I believe identical pianos, were set up at Beethoven Pianos. One had the Schubert tuning and the other had a traditional contemporary tuning. I think many people could hear no difference, and when several less than excellent pianists played the piano with the Schubert tuning the music sounded less than excellent despite the tuning. I'd guess you can hear the tuning separate from the performance better than most people, but for the majority I think the skill of the performer ends up being far more important than the type of tuning. Of course, if a very good pianist played both pianos it's possible the one with the Schubert tuning would be preferred by some.

If some of the historical or other non standard tunings are really superior, I think it begs the question "How many professional pianists prefer this tuning on their personal piano"?
Posted By: Ed Foote

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/02/14 11:45 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus

If some of the historical or other non standard tunings are really superior, I think it begs the question "How many professional pianists prefer this tuning on their personal piano"?


Well, since you asked,
about 65% of the professionals I work for and about 90 % of the amateurs, are in something other than strict ET. Approx. half the piano and voice faculty at the university are also more comfortable with mild to moderate temperaments.

And really, comparing the "Schubert" tuning to a normal ET is like comparing two shades of beige. Compare Schubert's music played on a Broadwood's Best with any ET you can find and I think you will come to a different conclusion.
Regards,
Posted By: SMHaley

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/02/14 11:55 PM

I don't understand the preoccupation of chasing after the holy grails of temperament in relation to a single composer. In my opinion the validity of a Schubert temperament is about as useful as a Bach temperament, or a Mozart...
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/03/14 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

If some of the historical or other non standard tunings are really superior, I think it begs the question "How many professional pianists prefer this tuning on their personal piano"?


Well, since you asked,
about 65% of the professionals I work for and about 90 % of the amateurs, are in something other than strict ET. Approx. half the piano and voice faculty at the university are also more comfortable with mild to moderate temperaments.
What about all professionals(not just the ones you tune for)? What percent of professionals performing recitals at major venues are something other than ET?
Posted By: jim ialeggio

Re: Schubert concert tune - 10/03/14 12:52 AM

Pianoloverus,

I prefer ET for the relative stillness of all the fifths. These fifths, among other intervals create sonorities, and tone qualities that I find really pleasurable...actually more than that...sonorities that when I hear their relative stillness, literally switch off a whole layer chronic of stress. Whether or not the sounds that resonate with me have any objective reality, I don't really know, but they most certainly exist in my particular experience of the sounds.

I do not have the benefit of experiencing the world though someone else's eyes/ears/brain, but have enough experience of those close to me, to know that their experience of a particular sound or event often varies markedly from mine. I think its entirely reasonable that for someone like Pique, and many other someones, the sound of Marks's "Schubert" tuning resonates, for her, in a way that is qualitatively similar to the way I hear fifths. I don't experience it, but the visceral level with which she responds to it, gives it, in my book, a high degree of credibility. Is it objective reality...who knows...it really doesn't matter.

Among fine technicians, the same subjective experiences of sounds, within a really fine bandwidth of fine tunings, come again and again to the fore. Different perceptive apparati will create different experiences of the same event...whitness one of the singular, most evolutionary and revolutionary creations of human culture...the rule of law, and within that, the trial by jury system. It acknowledges that 12 people sitting in a room hearing the same evidience and seeing the same proceedings, will very likely come to 12 different takes on what actually happended in the court room...and have to agree on a political interpretation of the "reality" of the case in question.

Subjective, personal realities are where its at.

Jim Ialeggio
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