I was taught that when playing a triad, the third should be played sharper and the fifth flatter than the notes would sound on an instrument tuned to equal temperament, such as the piano. However this intonation adjustment is not possible on all instruments, even though these instruments may be playing together in the same orchestra/group.
How should members of an orchestra deal with this?
- should those who can adjust intonation refrain from doing so, to avoid sounding out of tune with those who can't?
- do those who can't adjust intonation have some technique to compensate?
- is the adjustment of pitch minor enough that the different intonations are not noticeable, whilst the benefit of the adjustment is?
- do the composers/arrangers consider this limitation when assigning the parts to instruments?
- or something else?
Explanation of terms used in the title
discrete tuning I'm referring to instruments such as the piano, where the intonation cannot be adjusted whilst playing.
continuous tuning I mean instruments such as 'cello or trombone, where you can easily adjust the intonation of a note whilst playing (i.e. outside of tuning the instrument).
I'm aware that some instruments fall into a grey area; e.g. the trumpet has discrete tuning, but players of moderate ability can bend notes to adjust the intonation.