Looper's Delight Archive Top (Search)
Date Index
Thread Index
Author Index
Looper's Delight Home
Mailing List Info

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

RE: Piano Tuning

PH>Concerning pianos tuning, there is an interesting aspect which
PH>is often overlooked: even the octaves on an expertly tuned piano
PH>are "out of tune" with each other. This is because we tend to
PH>hear very high pitches somewhat flatter than they "really" are,
PH>and very low pitches somewhat sharper than the "really" are. To
PH>compensate, the highest notes on a piano are tuned sharp and the
PH>lowest notes are tuned flat. This is called "stretching".

Actually, the reason pianos are "stretched" has nothing to do with the
way we hear pitches, but the inherent out-of-tune-ness of a piano.  If
you were to analyse a piano sample via FFT, you would notice that the
harmonics become progressively _sharper_.  So, if you were to tune a
piano to an equal temperment, chords with bass tones would sound very
out of tune, even though the individual pitches would be spot-on.  This
is one of the reasons I don't like the sound of a piano in an ensemble
context, it never sounds right.

Coincidently, this is what Don Fagan was thinking of when he claimed
that all digital pianos were out of tune, except for the Roland.  He got
reamed with letters to Keyboard magazine after he said that, because he
didn't explain what he was talking about.  My Roland XP-80 workstation
offers three degrees of "stretcheyness", but I'm an organist at heart,
so it doesn't matter to me.

Eric Williamson - erwill@flink.com - erwill@hotmail.com - aka Suit & Tie
Join the "Suit & Tie List" - send mail to majordomo@marshall.ssi.net
with the words "subscribe suit_and_tie_shows <your e-ddress>" in the