Questions tagged [intonation]

Marks questions discussing the precise control over pitch that musicians exhibit as part of their technique; also used to describe the tuning of one's instrument or one's system of tuning.

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56
votes
20answers
37k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
359 views

What file format does timidity's -Z (or --freq-table) option require?

I'm trying to figure out how to use the "-Z" (or "--freq_table") option of timidity to assign specific frequencies to midi note numbers, but there is no clear documentation online.] How do I specify ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Calculation of a note's frequency in the 18th-19th century

Suppose you are trying to reproduce an A major scale from the early 18th or 19th century, when A4 was perhaps tuned to 429.3Hz. What is the correct frequency (in Hz) for the next C# up (assuming we ...
26
votes
4answers
1k 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 I-IV-ii-V-...
11
votes
5answers
13k views

How can I improve my note accuracy and intonation?

Over time my pitch has improved simply through singing more, but I still have some problems with being a bit off sometimes (or way off on very high or very low notes). It helps if I focus on a ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Should the dominant-seventh chord in just intonation use 9:5 for its seventh, or rather 16:9?

It may be just out of habit, what with the 12-edo temperament all around us, but anyway: I find the dominant-seventh rendition 20:25:30:36 sounds extremely harsh. In particular, the tritone from the ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

What frequencies should the violin and viola be tuned to?

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 ...
14
votes
7answers
31k views

How does string gauge affect intonation?

I have a problem with intonation adjustment on my g-string on my Epiphone Les Paul. It's correct now but the bridge saddle cannot be adjusted any farther in range. I need to change strings but I don'...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

How can I improve my violin intonation for enharmonic notes?

I know that while, for many instruments, enharmonic notes are a single pitch and their differences are more of an interpretation, helping music to remain consistent (it would make more sense for a ...
5
votes
7answers
10k views

How can i improve my intonation on violin?

I'm sure the right answer is "practice more" but there's a limit to the amount of time I get to do that. Are there any obvious techniques or quick exercises I can use to improve my intonation? Even if ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Is this music (flow my tears) here being played in 31 TET or a form of renaissance unequal temperament such as quarter comma meantone?

While looking for 31TET music I stumbled across this recording of "flow my tears" my John Dowland The video description and the album artwork indicate that it's ...
5
votes
5answers
343 views

Theory confusion

In every book and website I look at it says for guitar that sharps and flats are on the same fret for example C sharp and D flat are both on the forth fret of the a string and I've seen that it is ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

Pacific State - Is this out of tune, or is it a sophisticated performance playing with temperament?

I heard the song "Pacific State" by the band "808 State" on the radio last night. It sounded to me like the sax was badly out of tune. But it then struck me that the performer might be playing that ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What do I do if the saddles on my bridge are already touching the bridge but I want to raise my action?

I want to raise the action a tad of my Schecter Omen Extreme 6, because there is a bit of fret buzz on the 5th fret 1st string, and a bit around the higher frets as well (same string). But I know that ...