Hot answers tagged

36

Yes, you're right. As for why the harmonic series doesn't produce notes that work in all keys, the simple answer is that the math just doesn't add up. Let's work out the math for just intonation: Suppose you choose X Hz for the fundamental frequency and go from there. Then the octave above the fundamental should have frequency 2 X Hz. Meanwhile, the ...


15

I strongly suspect that practicing singing (I know, you said you can't, but trust me on this) will be the best possible thing for you. Unlike playing an instrument, singing removes all the extraneous technical baggage that sits between your mental musical intuition and the physical production of a musical sound, so its the most direct way to train your mind ...


12

I want to make an addition to all these excellent answers. With just intonation, it's not possible to make all the chords just. Not even in a single key. Let's look at the common just major scale based on I, IV and V just major triads: C 1:1 D 9:8 E 5:4 F 4:3 G 3:2 A 5:3 B 15:8 In this scale, I, IV, V major triads (4:5:6) and iii and vi minor triads (10:...


12

No worries. Here are some things to help you get a better understanding of where your ears are at and how your brain processes it. DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician or am I qualified to recommend specialists. First thing you should do is visit an audiologist and get some testing done so that you have a base line reference to how you perceive sound vs. what ...


11

A trivial answer : yes. When I was quite young I wrote a computer program to spit out a succession of 'beeps' at random frequencies not related to any musical scale; I suspect many people who have a computer and a bit of an interest in music have done the same. In practice how close you could get to infinity (!) would be limited by the resolution at which ...


9

Standard tuning for solo violin in classical music is just intonation. Tune the A string and, from there, tune the other strings with just-intonated perfect fifths. Some times, as a compromise you may need to tune the violin temperate, for example when you need to play many open strings in duo/ensemble with a instrument not capable of just-intonation. ...


9

First off, there is no reason to give up music just because you can’t tell pitches apart. It’s a mountain of a problem, but not impossible. Filzilla gave some very good suggestions for where to start. Here’s a few more for after you’ve gotten a baseline from the audiologist. I’ll add the suggestion of voice games. Singing has the advantage that it is very ...


8

A pithy way of saying it is that intonation is the process by which a temperament is achieved. Intonation is what is done in order that the sound is produced at the desired/intended pitch. This can be done as part of instrument setup, e.g. "setting the guitar intonation", or as an integral part of performing the music, e.g. as in expressive intonation. ...


7

Using a keyed instrument with Just Intonation creates a bunch of puzzles that need to be solved. You are either faced with observing limits on navigating from place to place, or doing "comma pumps" (equating near by intervals, or bend/vibrato between them because they are close enough). The problem isn't really Just Intonation though. It's caused by ...


7

If it's an exceedingly low-quality product, it could just be that the fretboard is badly designed enough that the notes are just not in the right place, but realistically, all guitars exhibit tuning issues with fretted notes. Equal temperament is a compromise to begin with, and the guitar itself even more so. Assuming it's not actually a manufacturing ...


7

If your open string is in tune but your higher frets are out of tune it is the string length that is the problem. If your bridge adjustment has moved to its full travel and intonation is still out, you should get a quick look at your truss rod adjustment, in case your neck is really out of whack, but aside from that you don't have many options. Have you ...


7

First, you both will need patience. Learning to distinguish sounds from one another is not a simple process. Imagine if you were color blind and had to reproduce the color blue after only seeing it flash in front of you for a moment. Of course, the obvious difference here is that there is little to be done for color-blind people, and hearing notes / music is ...


6

It shouldn't damage anything. However, it will make the strings slightly closer together and it may cause additional wear at the point the string goes over the saddle, since you are now causing a slight sideways angle. If you go through a few sets of strings and aren't breaking an unreasonable amount of strings because of it, you should be fine. A tiny ...


6

An article by Joe Monzo at http://tonalsoft.com/enc/s/savart.aspx defines the savart as 1/300 of an octave. A savart is calculated as the 300th root of 2, or 2(1/300), with a ratio of approximately 1:1.002313162. It is an irrational number. A savart has an interval size of approximately 4 cents. savart = 1000log10(f2/f1) cents = 1200log2(f2/f1)


6

As per the app you were asking, Pythagorean is the temperament you're looking for. The perfect fifth is the 2:3 frequency ratio (and small rational number frequency ratios are required for the sympathetic vibrations to work). So if your A string is 440Hz, the tuning is as follows: E - 660Hz A - 440Hz D - 293.33Hz G - 195.56Hz If you tune by ear from A, ...


6

Yes string length does affect intonation and so does a proper set up with regard to neck, bridge, string guage, and action. Before going into any Bigsby enhancements lets review the key differences between a Gibson Tune-o-matic bridge vs. a Wraparound bridge. The Tune-o-matic allows for fine tuning the intonation, while the standard Wraparound has fixed ...


6

The difference is that the nylon strings on the classical are all close to the same diameter, whereas on the steel string the diameter of the smallest string might be about 20% of the size of the diameter of the largest. This matters because the physics you have learned is simplified. Only string that have no thickness and no stiffness exactly fit the model,...


6

"Harmonies" by Gyorgy Ligeti is an interesting example of microtonal music. It's written for organ, but it's intended to be played with reduced air and manipulation of the stops, so the pipes don't play at their designed frequency. With (mainly) slow chord changes and wide voicings the overall effect is a slowly evolving harmony and dissonance through the ...


5

Probably before temperate tuning, where each note is the same distance from the next, it would have been possible to discern - maybe because an instrument could sound in tune in one key, but not in a different key ! Please look at Wheat's answer for enlightenment on tuning. Someone who has absolute ('perfect') pitch will be able to tell, because they ...


5

I would just add the (possibly obvious) answer that a capella choirs can also drift off because of singing out of tune. Typically, they tend to get flatter if the music has lots of jumps to high notes, which they don't quite get up to, and they sometimes get sharper if they are nervous about getting flat. I've experienced both in concerts.


5

First of all, Pythagorean (PT), Just Intonation (JT) and Equal Temperament (ET) are different (families of) tunings. Therefore, note frequencies will be different in each case. You can find frequency charts for them on Wikipedia. For any tuning, you need a reference frequency. Currently, 440 Hz for A above middle C is the most widely used standard. But ...



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