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Equal vs Just
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DanielB
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January 16, 2013 - 4:11 am
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Not really a question, but a quick demo of Equal vs Just tempering of a C major scale.  Just is one the left, equal is on the right, so one can hear the "beats" of difference at different note of the scale.

 

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"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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KindaScratchy
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January 16, 2013 - 6:59 pm
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Sorry, I'm not really following this, Daniel. Can you please explain what I'm supposed to be listening for?

duncecapdunno

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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DanielB
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January 16, 2013 - 7:27 pm
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Okay, there is more than one way of being "in tune" with the violin (and some other instruments).  Equal tempered scales are the way an electronic tuner or piano work.  We play in "equal" when we have to play with or against those.  "Just" tempering sounds nicer with making the doublestops and etc on the violin and is use more when we play something like classical music.  It sounds a little more "in tune" for some of the doublestops and "chords".

But they are slightly different pitches on some notes, which you can maybe hear from this demo by hearing the sort of "beat" or "wobble" on some of the notes.  The ones where the "wobble" is fastest are the ones where the frequency for the correct note in these two different scale temperaments is the most different.  

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Mad_Wed
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DanielB said
Not really a question, but a quick demo of Equal vs Just tempering of a C major scale.  Just is one the left, equal is on the right, so one can hear the "beats" of difference at different note of the scale.

 

Cool! Nice alternative to vibrato on E, A and B .. LOL! The others seem to sound quite fine together... except  high C =)

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ftufc
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January 17, 2013 - 10:34 am
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What the hell Daniel, I thought this was going to be a socio-economic thread frown lmao!

AND, I'm with Diane,,, I'm not getting it....

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Fiddlestix
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LOL,,, I kinda agree with Diane and Fred.

I think what Dan is trying to say, is that he's not a lover of vibrato and that if a song is played in those three or four note's, then one doesn't have to learn vibrato.

 

roflroflroflol

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DanielB
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January 17, 2013 - 5:39 pm
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No.  Though I am not a huge fan of vibrato any more than tremolo or any other technique effect.  They all have their place.

What this topic related to, though, was differences in frequencies between two of the main ways the musical octave can be done in western music.  From what I understand, for violin, these two are used as well as another temperament called Pythagorean.  Which one is used depends in circumstances and what other instruments you might be playing with and even what time period the piece you are playing was written in. 

Electronic tuners use "equal temperament", like a piano does.  However, other temperaments may be correct, depending on the circumstances.  In that case, one adjusts intonation to be "in tune" within the temperament used.  This was just showing the difference in sound between equal temperament and one of the other temperaments that is used.

Mea culpa, folks, I thought it was a more well known concept than it apparently is.  LOL 

 

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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dionysia
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January 17, 2013 - 7:38 pm
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Although it relates to guitar, here is an understandable explanation:

http://www.ask-a-luthier.com/

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Picklefish
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I love that article!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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ratvn
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DanielB said 

Mea culpa, folks, I thought it was a more well known concept than it apparently is. 

No "Mea culpa" needed. Thank you for your time explaining it, Daniel. It's something that lots of us not ventured out to. Beside those "tuning systems" mentioned, there are quite a few more numbers of them out there, and while unison, fifth and octave are "identical" the rest of the scale may vary quite a bit.

 

 

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RosinedUp
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I think the most important to know about the kinds of tuning systems is that the system of equal temperament was invented so that the same instrument can be used to play a piece in any key, without any need to change the tuning of the instrument.  Equal temperament is the dominant system of today, and it is assumed by default---for ordinary electronic chromatic tuners, for example.

It may seem surprising to us nowadays, but if you wanted to use either of the other systems (Pythagorean tuning or just temperament) on say a piano, that piano would have to be tuned for a particular key signature, and you would not be able to play pieces that had a different key signature.

Daniel's audio demonstrates the slight differences in pitch of some of the notes in the just-tempered scale as compared to the note of the equally-tempered scale.  He does that by playing the two different scales at the same time.

Two notes that have the same name in the two different systems may have somewhat different pitches.  When played at the same time, those two pitches will produce beats that you can hear.

Or so I believe.

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DanielB
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January 18, 2013 - 12:55 pm
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@dionysia, ratvn, RosinedUp: You've got it.  thumbs-up

 

The Equal Tempered scale system is a compromise, that is easier to manufacture pianos, electronic keyboards, tuners and etc for.  It has some advantages of no notes sounding bad enough to need to be avoided as "wolf notes" (not to be confused with wolf tones, which are a different sort of problem), but it achieves this at a cost.. Music played equal tempered may sound and feel a bit different than when it was written.  For example, you may be familiar with a piece by Bach, "The Well Tempered Clavier"?  The whole point of that piece is it was composed to show yet another type of temperament, the wohltemperiert or "Well Tempered" system.  It doesn't just mean that the clavier (a type of keyboard instrument from that time) doesn't get annoyed easily.  LOL  But if it is played with equal temperament, like on a typical modern electronic keyboard or something?  It is just not going to have the sound that he intentionally wrote the piece to showcase.

One of the advantages of the violin (and violas, cellos, etc) is that they can play using any of the temperament systems.  That is one of the things about the violin that kept making me want to learn to play it, as I learned more about music theory.  Like the human voice, any violin can play using any of the systems and all of the "colors" that different key signatures may have in systems other than the modern Equal Temperament. 

That is a phenomenal advantage in such a small and portable instrument.  "Expressive Intonation".  The ability to alter pitch of notes to make them feel more sad or joyous (for example), as easily as the violin can play at different volume levels for purposes of musical dynamics.  Add that to the violin's rather wide timbral range that can be controlled by whether one bows closer to the bridge or the fingerboard, and you have an instrument with amazing capabilities.  And in such a small package, weighing around one pound, and (at least for acoustic violins), no batteries required!  LOL

That is one of the major reasons I finally decided a little less than a year ago to try and learn violin.  But probably not the reason that most people do, I am guessing from what I see discussed in most violin forums on the net. 

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Mad_Wed
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DanielB said
No.  Though I am not a huge fan of vibrato any more than tremolo or any other technique effect.  They all have their place....

LOL! facepalm I was joking. Just joking....

Actually Your post was one of the answers to my eternal quetion:

"Why that darn digital keyboard doesn't have the right notes?"

Ok, joking again...

And in the similar way of thinking: sharps are higher than flats - was another discussion somewhere here. 

Not joking anymore, you're violin geeks!

roflroflroflroflroflroflroflroflroflrofl

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tamlin
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January 18, 2013 - 5:21 pm
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list=PLR0jTM4kajgRrj6pQztG61Y6SgAywQx4-&index=3

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. Charlie Parker

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KindaScratchy
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January 19, 2013 - 6:59 am
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OK. I think I get it now, more or less.

I wonder if this explains something I've noticed. It seems to me that the placement of my finger needs to be slightly different playing a particular note in different songs. For example, my muscle memory tells me where to put my finger to play sn F#, and in the last song I played it sounded fine there. But in the song I'm currently playing, it sounds off there, so I have to lean or shift my finger one way or the other.

Or it just me?

I'm still not sure I can hear what the audio example is supposed to show. Maybe I do on a few of the notes. It's very subtle.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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DanielB
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January 19, 2013 - 7:22 am
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It isn't a huge difference, KindaScratchy.  In many cases it is more like "leaning" slightly than actually trying to play a different intonation.

If the notes you are feeling a need to adjust a little bit from your muscle memory are in pieces you might be familiar with as vocal melodies or something like that, then your ear is probably telling you right.  Unless they have been "auto-tuned" or trained extensively against piano notes, most singers don't actually sing perfectly in Equal Temperament.  Equal Temperament is easy for things like computers or inexpensive electronic tuning machines, but it doesn't sound "natural" to most people's ears.  Singers usually will instinctively flex the pitch as part of expression. 

When in doubt, I feel it is always better to trust your ears than a tuning machine.  Machines are not known for their musical taste.  wink

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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ratvn
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DanielB said
Equal Temperament is easy for things like computers or inexpensive electronic tuning machines, but it doesn't sound "natural" to most people's ears. 

Thanks for the insight, Daniel.

I also experience problem between my ears and tuner lately, similar to what KindaScratchy described.

Oh, heck, maybe my tuner is low on battery and I've developed some hearing problems growing older, lol.

 

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tamlin
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KindaScratchy said

so I have to lean or shift my finger one way or the other.

Yes. Lean left. Callouses on left side of fingertip.

I liked Ivan Galamian "Principles of Violin Playing & Teaching", recommended by Itzak Pearlman. Demonstrates how to use various hand positions and finger placements.

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. Charlie Parker

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