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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000138.txt from 2010/11

From: Jennifer Jones <helen.jennifer@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] RES: Orchestral Pitch
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 15:30:50 -0500

And therefore, the whole conversation is silly (instruments designed
to play 3 Hz off of one another?) A fun thought to entertain for a
while. :-)

On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 9:44 AM, Keith Bowen <keith.bowen@-----.com> wrote:
> Martin
>
> I would still maintain that it is very stupid! The reasons are as follows.
>
> 1. The overall pitch normally does change slightly during a performance,
> maybe as instruments warm up, maybe as the temperature of the hall or
> outside changes. Strings go sharp as temperature rises, wind goes flat.
> Maybe they average, maybe one 'side' wins. But in any event it is
> imperceptible to the audience as long as all the players try to stay in tune
> with each other. Rather than listen to the oboe, the better technique is to
> listen to the bass instruments as they are the fundamental of the chord. If
> the oboe or anyone is tuning with the needle of the meter and not with their
> ears, THEY will be out of tune.
>
> 2. Tuners usually show equal temperament; thus the needle will anyway only
> be right at A and its octaves. Orchestras don't play equal temperament.
>
> 3. More subtly, a pitch depends on its position in a chord. Here's an
> example to show, with two players with good ears. First they play a perfect
> fifth, C to G, and tune it so that it sounds good, ie beatless. Then the
> second player changes from G to B and again makes it beatless (by the second
> player tuning his note) - an in-tune major seventh. Then the first player
> changes to a G, being careful to play the same pitch as the second player
> originally did. The second player now retunes his B to sound well in tune
> (beatless) with the G. He will have to lower the pitch quite audibly.
>
> The reason is that the tonality has changed; B is now the third of the
> dominant chord rather than the seventh of the tonic, and the pitches at
> which one gets beatless (in tune) chords have changed with the key. This is
> of course another consequence of five octaves not equalling eight fifths.
>
> When we play with string or wind instruments we are doing this sort of thing
> all the time. The oboe a'=440 might start off as the seventh of a work in B
> major. If the work eventually modulates to Bb she is now playing the third
> of the dominant, and it will almost certainly be a different pitch.
>
> See Eskelin's book for more details.
>
> Keith
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Baxter [mailto:martinbaxter1@-----.com]
> Sent: 12 November 2010 16:21
> To: The Klarinet Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [kl] RES: Orchestral Pitch
>
>
> On 12 Nov 2010, at 12:26, Keith Bowen wrote:
>
> Claiming the whole orchestra was flat is as stupid as the first oboe
> pointing to their tuner and saying that everyone else is out of tune.
> Keith
> If the Orchestra's tuning note is taken from the oboe, and the oboist is in
> tune with his tuner I would maintain that there is nothing stupid in the
> oboist's contention.
> Martin
>
>
>
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