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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000465.txt from 2005/08

From: "kevin fay" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Tuning vs. Intonation
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 22:42:24 -0400

Clark W Fobes posted:

<<<I would only like to add (particularly for the students out there) that
tuners are great tools, but they only demonstrate "corrected" pitch to an
evenly tempered scale.

In performance intonation is derived from the natural overtone series (also

called "just" intonation) and evenly tempered intonation becomes almost
irrelevant except in the instance of unisons, fourths, fifths and

All true.

<<<I do believe tuners can be very useful, especially for students who may
be uncertain of their own pitch, but tuners do not belong on stands during
rehearsals or performances - a very amateur habit in my opinion. One must
learn to use his/her ears - to listen vertically(harmony), but play linearly


Not always true, I think. First the full disclosure - I own at least two of
the little buggers, but don't take them to rehearsals or performances.
While I'd also frown at their use in the groups I rehearse/perform in, there
are some situations where it *is* appropriate to keep one on a stand and use
it, though.

First - if you're in a pit, esp. whilst playing with electronic instruments.
(This is unfortunately more prevalent, as a keyboardist or two can put
multiple wind and string musicians our of work). Electronic instruments
usually play spot-on tempered pitch. Mallet percussion, too. If you have
to hand a line over to them, sometimes it helps to know at what pitch their
entrance will be.

(Side bar - this is *not* true of stringed pianos, which are "spread" -
flatter towards the bottom, sharper on top).

Second, if you're recording. Maybe less important for orchestral music,
very, very important for commercial work. It makes it much, much easier for
the engineer if the pitch stays in somewhat the same place from take to

. . now I'm certain that Clark knows this, as he's undoubtedly dome more
of both of these than I have. Just a reminder that all things do have their


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