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432hz vs 440hz Conspiracy .
432hz vs 440hz Conspiracy .
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Old 21st July 2019, 09:38 PM   #41
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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An older piano may need all new strings to be happy even at original design pitch. Yes, unless you are a piano geek it surely makes sense to let it be the pitch it likes now rather than replace all the strings. (Where I worked, a music school, complete re-stringing and sometimes re-scaling was an occasional chore on older pianos expected to play at modern pitch.)

The guy with an axe: if he unscrews the plate from the wood and can get it in his Civic, it's worth 10 bucks at the scrap yard. Could cover the gas. And where else can you dump hundreds of pounds?

> I live in a small apartment
> less fashionable neighborhood specifically to get a house 30 m from the nearest


You could play here. Neighbor is 250' away and he bangs on cars for fun. Teases my barky dog. Is only mildly curious when I pound on 3/4-ton brake drums. Sadly I don't do loud music anymore.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:45 PM   #42
Cloth Ears is offline Cloth Ears  Australia
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LOL. If I remember correctly, the orchestra tunes to the first violin, not to an arbitrary frequency. Not much point in having your instruments all playing slightly differently - is there?
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Old 22nd July 2019, 02:42 AM   #43
Gnobuddy is online now Gnobuddy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloth Ears View Post
LOL. If I remember correctly, the orchestra tunes to the first violin, not to an arbitrary frequency.
So you're saying someone re-tunes the piano to the first violin right before the concert starts? That will make for a very long wait for the audience. And since violins don't stay in tune that long, the piano is going to have to be retuned every hour or two.

And what about the first violin itself, what does the violinist tune it to? The violinists I know use a digital clip-on chromatic tuner tuned to A440. Then they fine-tune the open strings by ear, tweaking them the last few cents from the digital tuners equal temperament to Just tuning.

To clarify that last point, digital tuners set the musical fifth (the interval between adjacent violin strings) to the frequency ratio 1.49831. Close, but no cigar for fretless string instruments - in Just tuning the perfect fifth should be a frequency ratio of 1.50000. Every violinist I've known does this last part by ear.

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Originally Posted by Cloth Ears View Post
Not much point in having your instruments all playing slightly differently - is there?
No, but the piano is the only instrument that cannot be quickly re-tuned, not even to the slightest degree. Therefore every other musician has to make sure they're in tune with the piano - and the piano itself will have been tuned to some arbitrary local frequency standard, whether A440 or not.

The piano is stuck with equal temperament so that it can play in all keys, but this makes some musical intervals (the major third in particular) sound a little sour. Good violinists refuse to play those sour major thirds, and they will play in Just intonation rather than equal temperament. So they are indeed playing slightly differently from the piano!

The problem with the major third in equal temperament is actually quite bad. In Just tuning it's a frequency ratio of 1.2500. In equal temperament it's a rather awful 1.25992. IIRC that's fourteen cents too wide - and it sounds pretty nasty compared to the proper 1.2500 ratio.

For a guitar in standard tuning, the interval between the open "G" and "B" strings (2nd and 3rd strings) is a major third. Almost from the day I began to play guitar, I was always struggling to get that @!%&*# "B" string to sound good, but for many years, I did not understand why it was always such a futile struggle.

The trouble is that if I got the B and G strings to sound good together, the 1st string (high E) would then sound bad with the B. If I re-tuned the high E to sound good with the B and G, then it would clash with the 6th string low E, and the 2nd fret, 4th string E note. If I retuned the 4th (D) string to fix the clash, then the D and G strings would sound sour together. And so on, round and round, no matter what I did, some intervals and chords would sound sour.

It was many years before I taught myself enough music theory to find out that the problem is centuries old, and the compromise solution was the equal temperament system. But built into the equal temperament system itself are sour-sounding major thirds. A guitar, being fretted, is stuck with equal temperament if you want to be able to play freely in all keys. And that means that interval between the open "B" and open "G" strings is always going to sound sour, because it's fourteen cents wider than it should be.

A440 vs A-something-else doesn't bother me at all. The lousy too-big major third in equal temperament bothers me much more, but as a guitarist, I'm pretty much stuck with it.

(One way out is to use one of the "open tunings" that retunes the open guitar strings to produce a chord, but doing that throws away my 35 years of experience with the fretboard in standard guitar tuning - it makes me a novice guitarist again. Worse, it's incredibly limiting in a lot of ways, restricting your chord vocabulary considerably. Which is one reason why you often find only one single song has been written around some oddball open tuning, such as Coldplay's "Yellow".)


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Old 22nd July 2019, 08:42 PM   #44
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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Originally Posted by Cloth Ears View Post
LOL. If I remember correctly, the orchestra tunes to the first violin...
The oboe gives the pitch to the orchestra.

The oboe is tuned against a Yamaha tuner (formerly a tuning fork) backstage just before she enters to give the pitch.

The tuner target is defined by the conductor.

When a piano is involved: the week before, the conductor asks for the piano to be set to his desired pitch. The piano tech may give an argument. The venue manager has to sort a compromise. IAC, usually the oboe takes pitch from piano, perhaps indirectly by observing piano on Yamaha before the house opens. In less traditional performances the piano may give pitch to the orchestra, but the inharmonic overtones of piano are apt to make troubles.

Last edited by PRR; 22nd July 2019 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 09:32 PM   #45
Charles Darwin is offline Charles Darwin  United Kingdom
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In my youth pre digital tuners I worked on the local stage crew for hire.

Sometimes we got touring pianists who'd either bring their own grand or used the house one. Either way in both instances the pianos were tuned in the afternoon before the show. Mind you watching the local piano tuner at work was poetry in motion. The guy himself was practically blind. At some point he'd appear at the side of the stage with his guide dog and one of us was given the responsibility to lead him to the piano. The moment he could touch it he'd whip out a tuning fork and key and get to it.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 03:17 AM   #46
thoglette is offline thoglette  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
For a guitar in standard tuning, the interval between the open "G" and "B" strings (2nd and 3rd strings) is a major third. Almost from the day I began to play guitar, I was always struggling to get that @!%&*# "B" string to sound good, but for many years, I did not understand why it was always such a futile struggle.
Many, many, many years ago this issue, coupled with a slightly misbehaving tuner ended a performance early. (I don't get angry easily but that just about cooked me off)
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