Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

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NewAge
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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by NewAge » 22 Jan 2012, 14:37

Jonathan the 2nd wrote:Maybe a bit advanced for me. But they have a felt and leather clinic . They think of everything.
Sounds a bit like a kinky musical convention for those who like having their leather felt. I'll give it some thought........ :wink:
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

Jonathan the 2nd
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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 23 Jan 2012, 13:43

Now that my piano has had the overall frequency raised by a semitone and a Kirnberger temperament how should I monitor the piano?. It is not too unlikely that it might react against such changes happening all at once. Is there a tuning service that does minor alterations if they are needed. I`m thinking about the 3 and 2 string notes mainly. This is going by what I`ve read about pianos rather than anything happening at present.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 23 Jan 2012, 18:12

To monitor the pitch of the piano, you can simply purchase a tuning fork (or an app is available if you have an iPod) - assuming your piano tuner started at Middle C, this will have been tuned to the tuning fork pitched at C523.3Hz - one octave higher. It wont really be possible to check the pitch of every note, but sounding a fork against Middle C, and the octave higher will give you an indication if the pitch has dropped or not. Strike the fork on your knee, and just press it against any wooden part of your piano.... if its drifts, you will hear a slow beating sound.

Also occasionally, just play a few octaves & stagger them, thats how I test the general tuning of my piano.. play some arpeggios/ chords in various keys. It sometimes can take up to 5 years or more for a musician to listen carefully to their own playing... slowing down during an arpeggio (using pedal), then just before you hit the top notes - try and anticipate the sound in your head first (or whistle the top note).... then play it... if it sounds flat (and you use those notes) - your piano will probably need a retune. I sometimes involve this in piano lessons.... strike a few octaves.... "is it flat/ sharp.... or OK?" mmmm some look at me as though I'm not right in my head!!.... but this then sharpens up their listening skills. Many novice pianists take several years to actually "listen" to their own playing (aswell as adding dynamics/ expression etc).

Generally though, your ear is the best monitor, and shortly (esp after a pitch raise), you will certain notes/ chords not sounding quite right. The "3 strings" are referred to as a tri-chord (steel wire).... and it is likely any one of these strings may drift out slightly, creating the unison sound to be not so pure.

After a pitch raise of a semitone (or more), personally, I would never say to my customer "Your piano has been tuned" .... but instead, something like.... "Your piano has had its pitch adjusted, and will require a finer tuning at a later date" .... words to that effect.

You are best speaking to your tuner whether (s)he does minor alterations.... I presume you may be therefore asking.... "is it cheaper" ?? All piano tuners will probably charge the same, whether its just to tune 5 strings, or 215 strings.... depending on distance/ call-out fee etc. I myself have a fixed rate. Depending on the condition of your strings, and the stability of the wrest pins - a pitch raise is usually followed up with a finer tuning, adding more stability each time - approx. 2-3 months after the pitch raise. For new pianos, sometimes the same pitch changing service is required as old pianos - and I recommend they are tuned every 3-4 months for the first 3 years.... but it all depends on the piano, and its location.

What age is your piano ? would be good to see it aswell.
Last edited by Colin Nicholson on 23 Jan 2012, 18:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Gill the Piano » 23 Jan 2012, 18:23

If you call out (for argument's sake) Zanussi to look at your dishwasher, they'll automatically charge you a fortune just to stand on your doormat. Said person probably trained for their job for a matter of months rather than years. So to call out a trained professional who took years to train, yes, you're in for a callout charge! So wait till it's offending you and get the whole thing done again. And make sure you offer tea/coffee/whisky. I'd need the whisky... :lol:
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 26 Jan 2012, 13:42

Thanks Colin and Gill. It`s a Hohner uprihght made in Finland about 20 years ago. With the new Kirnberger temperament it has a much nicer tone. Best thing I ever did getting that tune up. My old Casio is useful for note comparison but early electric pianos were really horrendous for tone.I realised that very starkly when comparing to a live piano. I want to do everything I can to keep it this good.

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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Jan 2012, 22:17

The Hohner uprights I have on my round came to me very bright I have voiced most of them down quite a lot other i have left because the clients want them that way

I would try a very mellow tone on your honer it will complement the Kirnberger temperament nicely.

We are looking at the cost of a project for the UKPP 2 pieces of music one very old and one in the romantic period not too long, preferably well known. Each piece will be played on the same piano in all the different temperaments. So you will have 16 variations to listen to

The quality of the recording will to be very high

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Re: Should I ask for an unequal temperament?

Post by Jonathan the 2nd » 08 Feb 2012, 17:00

That sounds fascinating. I`ve found a youtube site that delves into Temperaments and I still have to listen to them.It has some Gershwin with an unequal temperament . That will find it . One thing I seem to notice is fast beats that make a shimmery effect. Certain chords do that almost to be noticed. I presume composers use that deliberately.

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