For questions generally relating to systems of note frequency assignment.

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4
votes
3answers
234 views

Appropriate temperament for violin

I'm new to violin (and music in general). I am learning through the Suzuki method, but after I get down the fundamentals I hope to learn Irish and American fiddle tunes. I recently discovered an IPad ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Why is 16/9 used for the minor seventh instead of 7/4?

Does the 16/9 sound less dissonant than 7/4 (less uncomfortable) due to consisting of only the 3rd undertone (squared), or the 7/4 would sound "better" (I know, it's quite subjective what sounds good ...
12
votes
2answers
141 views

What kind of temperament to play Monteverdi with?

We would like to perform excerpts from Monteverdi's Orfeo on period instruments. According to recent research, what is the most authentic temperament that could have been used for the keyboard ...
7
votes
2answers
211 views

How can I play my new tenor recorder (a'=440) along with someone playing a harpsichord (a'=415)?

From an article I read online, I believe I've understood that it's possible to treat the middle C (fingers covering all holes) on the tenor as if it were a D flat, and all higher notes on the ...
17
votes
3answers
574 views

Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?

My understanding is that the vast majority of western music uses equal temperament, i.e. all semitones have a frequency ratio of the 12th root of 2. However I can hear in my piano that the notes at ...
9
votes
1answer
188 views

Is there a sound theoretical reason why a capella choirs “drift off” of the starting pitches in a piece?

Is the "comma pump" an empirical problem, or merely theoretical? It's a standard music theory exercise to show that certain chord progressions don't actually quite work. For example, in the ...
5
votes
3answers
340 views

Can we tell by ear if a piece is in sharp or in flat without relative or perfect pitch?

I remember a masterclass where the piano teacher commented a piece from Chopin with something like "and after this modulation we enter the world of sharps". This left me wondering if it was a poetic ...
7
votes
3answers
638 views

How to tune open strings of the violin with a tuner?

I'm using this app to tune my violin, it supports many temperament options. What I want to do is tune the A string to 440Hz first, then comparing the other strings sympathetically to the adjacent ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

Natural vs tempered semi-tones

I am reading "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. Chapter XI, page 99, states: Chromaticism is difficult partly because the natural semi-tones differ in size from the ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

What is the savart unit in Persian music theory?

i was heard about savart unit in persian music that divides a chromatic interval into smaller units. persian musicians using an interval smaller than the chromatic intervals, called: kron. they ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

What note(s) are a diminished 3rd above D-flat?

In What is the interval between Db and D# some of the comments indicate that the interval Db->Eb can be considered as a diminished third. I would think that Fbb (double-flatted F) is a diminished ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

What is the frequency interval length of k semi-tones? (k = 1…11)

Go up 12 semi-tones from frequency f on a guitar, and the frequency interval difference in terms of f is f = 2f - f. What is the formula for the intermediate 11 non-trivial intervals? So for k=2, ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

Does it really make difference to play a song in a different key?

I hear sometimes players and composers say that this song won't sound good in F Major for example, and you should play it or write it in G Major (this was just an example). In other words, it seems ...
14
votes
3answers
905 views

Software for microtonal MIDI?

I'm looking to make some microtonal music (19/22 tone equal temperament). I want to produce it with midi. Timidity++ used to be able to produce a WAV file from a microtonal tuned .MID file, but it is ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Non-fixed-frequency instruments playing by themselves versus with fixed-frequency instruments

[I don't know a better term than "non-fixed frequency instruments" but I mean things like string instruments, voice, trombone as opposed to things like a piano which has a fixed (typically 12-et) ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Evidence of Just Intonation in Recordings with Non-fixed-frequency Instruments

I wonder the extent to which string quartets or a cappella choirs are non-ET. They are often cited as examples of the tendency towards just intonation when not using fixed-frequency instruments but ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

Examples of songs or phrases played in different temperaments

I've read about the fact that 12 tone equal temperament is a relatively recent phenomenon, and that historically, each key would have a different character due to the unequal temperament. I'm curious ...
29
votes
9answers
6k views

Why are orchestras tuned differently?

In 1936 American Standards Association (and the International Organization for Standardization in 1955) accepted that A would be tuned at 440 Hz (or cycles per second). Yet despite the fact that a ...
28
votes
10answers
2k views

Software that allows playing in different temperaments

Do you know of any software out there that will allow me to play in different musical temperaments (e.g. Well temperament and Meantone temperament)? I'm especially interested in software that accepts ...