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0

If you were to retune for every piece, that would mean that all keys had the same intervals and sounded identical... there would be no point in playing pieces in different keys. Composers used different chords, different chord voicings, different chord progressions and different modulations in different keys precisely to exploit the different characters of ...


4

As an old-timey tuner, let me give you my take on your original questions: Yes, octaves and unisons should sound 'perfect'. What this really means is that the dominant harmonics in each note (or for a unison, for each string) are so close in frequency that no 'beats' are distinguished. dividing each octave into twelve equal intervals results in the 'equal ...


2

String quartet players - ie strings playing with other strings - have to adapt their intonation the whole time, depending on the ensemble, the piece, the key, the period of the music, the context within the music. Generally in quartet playing - and counter-intuitively - major thirds and sevenths are played flat, minor thirds sharp. In an orchestra with mixed ...


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This is not nearly as complicated as a lot of people would have you believe. From a lot of the written descriptions you see out there, you'd imagine that (1) every interval on a piano was stretched by some fixed percentage, and also that (2) piano tuning has to proceed through a circle of fifths, tuning by ear using beats. I believed these two claims until I ...


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The question is based on a misconception that singers or players of stringed instruments will naturally play in just intonation, and that therefore if they're playing with a piano they will have to adapt themselves. This just isn't true. For some real-world data, see Deutsch, The psychology of music, 3rd ed., p. 97. Professional musicians generally judge ...


3

As a violinist and a pianist, I have over 10 years of semi-professional experience in both instruments (currently not a professional), and have previously played in various performance roles in both instruments. Violins have different sets of temperaments to work with, and change based on skill level and who they play with. https://www.violinschool.com/...


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In general? No, because it feels unnatural, similar to how singing does. However, you'll surely find places in music where the natural pitch against the bass note will not feel like the right thing. You can test this with your voice if you are a resanable singer: Play the E tone and sing it. Next, play the C major chord without this tone (so C+G) and sing ...


8

Piano tuning is a bit more complicated than you might think. Tuning an old-fashioned electronic organ, such as a Conn or Allen from the 1960's, is easier. You have to temper the fifths, but the harmonics produced by each oscillator are just about perfect. A 1000 Hz tone has harmonics at 2000, 3000, 4000 etc. But a piano string is not an electronic oscillator....


0

Whether it is dissonant or not is a matter of cultural practice. However, splitting an octave in half (harmonically) means that the product of the ratio of these intervals is Sqrt(2). It has been known (at least from the time of Pythagoras) that this number is irrational; it cannot be written as a ratio of whole numbers. Thus, any "just" set of ...


28

Tuning in an ensemble is a skill in relative pitch, not absolute pitch. Players will hear what others are doing, and the group will come to a consensus organically. With instruments that are capable of microtuning adjustments, this will also lead to more just-tuned intervals. But what's important to note is that these tuning decisions happen on the fly, and ...


2

Of course any instrument that can play 'in the cracks' will do so when not playing alongside a 12tet tuned instrument. At which point, playng with such an instrument, it makes sense that any decent player will try to be more in tune with said instument, rather than pursuing the 'right path'. Why would anything differ from that scenario?


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To supplement on the woodwind perspective: the fixed position of wholes does not nearly fix the pitch. Each instrument has its individual deviations from in-tune (however small), which can/need to be compensated, and there are lots of other variables like embouchure, modification of volume of mouth/throat speed of air pressure of air angle of air stream to ...


21

The temperament in a professional orchestra tends to vary between just intonation and equal temperament. If they are playing with a piano the strings will tend to adjust to the piano temperament where the difference would be audible and tend towards just intonation when they are playing alone. Woodwind instruments are built with the aim of playing in tune ...


4

The way a piano tuner tunes to equal temperament is by listening to beats or the sound of the interval getting louder and softer in a steady rhythm. Playing an octave should have no beats. When playing a fifth, a piano tuner is listening for a beat approximately every second. Piano tuners will also listen to major thirds which will have a faster rate of ...


4

The answers explain what the different temperaments are . If you want to know what a professional piano tuner actually does to tune a piano correctly, it gets a bit more interesting. (Personally, I'd start with a bunch of tuning forks tuned to exactly the "equal temperament" frequencies but I'm not even pretending to be able to tune a piano). ...


1

Although this can be a complex subject, there is a simple way to conceptualize it. It's a way to tweak notes, away from the "natural" tuning based on the overtones of a single root note, in order to make a wide range of key changes possible. There is a way to derive a usable scale from simple mathematical ratios between the wavelengths of notes --...


28

Let's get some terminology straight. In equal temperament, octaves aren't merely perfect; they are "just" or "pure". "Just" and "pure" are synonyms while "perfect" has a different technical meaning in music. Nevertheless, "just", "pure", and "perfect" happen to be the same when ...


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You can choose which fifths you want to sound "off", you just can't avoid all of them. Say you want to support the C major scale as well as possible. You tune all your C's to a given frequency. You then tune every G to exactly 3/2 of the C below it. So far, all your C's are perfectly in tune, and all C-G fifths are perfect fifths. (The G-C ...


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