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:: Posted by emory0 on February 11, 2014

"A ’temperament’ is a system of tuning which slightly compromises the pure intervals of just intonation in order to meet other requirements of the system"

Yeah, I think that’s been pointed out but it bears repeating: Our tempered scale deliberately messes with what should be perfect mathematical definitions of pitch, so that all sorts of interesting games can be played musically. And no one seems too bothered by all those tones that are, technically speaking, "off" what they should be even compared to lower notes in the same scale. (But I do believe some advanced musicians can hear that off-ness when playing unusual melodies that include notes from different ends of the spectrum.)

In fact, isn’t there some great piece by maybe Bach (The Well Tempered Clavier) which was one of the original showcases for the new tempered tuning? I find it interesting to think that, during the enlightenment, people realized they could "get away" from deviating from metaphysical perfection in order to allow much more complex musical possibilities.

:: Posted by MartinLennon on February 11, 2014

Perhaps DannyX had a wry smile on his face when he said "C’mon, guys, it’s just intonation!"  I know I did when I read it.


:: Posted by zebanet1 on February 11, 2014

As far as I understand the discussion so far is based on the assumption, that everybody hears the same way. I doubt that very much. Just think of someone with the ‚absolute hearing‘ (hope the term is correct), like Mozart had. These people maybe would recognise different pitches at once, I guess. Not everybody has that ‚perfect‘ ear (at least not any more). Sometimes I notice different perceptions between my left and my right ear. So physical basics, educational, social and culutural backgrounds, musical training, other influences  and who knows what else might be of importance, too.

If nothing helps, pimp up up your ear aid ...

Pitch and Intonation
:: Posted by RickyM on February 11, 2014

Continuing the debate and saga ...

Merriam-Webster’s definition of these are such ...

Pitch (noun) (Concise Encyclopedia)

In music, position of a single sound in the complete range of sound; this quality varies with the number of vibrations per second (hertz, Hz) of the sounding body and is perceived as highness or lowness. A higher pitch has a higher number of vibrations. In Western music, standard pitches have long been used to facilitate tuning. A confusing variety of pitches prevailed until the 19th century, when the continual rise in pitch made some international agreement a matter of practical necessity. In 1939 the A above middle C was standardized as 440 Hz. See also interval; tuning and temperament.

a : the relative level, intensity, or extent of some quality or state
b (1) : the property of a sound and especially a musical tone that is determined by the frequency of the waves producing it : highness or lowness of sound (2) : a standard frequency for tuning instruments
c (1) : the difference in the relative vibration frequency of the human voice that contributes to the total meaning of speech (2) : a definite relative pitch that is a significant phenomenon in speech

Intonation (noun) (Concise Encyclopedia)

In phonetics, the melodic pattern of an utterance. Intonation is primarily a matter of variation in the pitch level of the voice (see tone), but in languages such as English, stress and rhythm are also involved. Intonation conveys differences of expressive meaning (e.g., surprise, doubtfulness). In many languages, including English, intonation serves a grammatical function, distinguishing one type of phrase or sentence from another. Thus, “it’s gone” is an assertion when spoken with a drop in pitch at the end, but a question when spoken with a rise in pitch at the end.

1: something that is intoned; specifically : the opening tones of a Gregorian chant
2: the act of intoning and especially of chanting
3: the ability to play or sing notes in tune
4: manner of utterance; specifically : the rise and fall in pitch of the voice in speech

So, Intonation speaks to being in tune, while Pitch addresses the frequencies (and the vibrations that it might cause). Two different aspects that make music work for people, places and instruments.

Being born in the second half of the 20th century, I was taught A440Hz was the tuning standard in western music. By my late 20s and early 30s, "world music" was getting noticed and all sorts of tunings and such were being explored.

Clearly, there’s no right or wrong. But, most can "hear" something out of tune (with other instruments, in a relative way, so to speak). And, in certain situations, some even can "feel" a change in pitch on a instrument (even if at a subtle change).

I have tried a few experiments in the past few weeks w/ two guitars - 1 tuned using NST, the other using OST. On each, I initially used A440Hz as my basis for tuning. Then, I played each instrument (as is my default practice). But then, I set my electronic tuner so A=432Hz. Then tuned both guitars using that 432Hz setting for A. Once I started to play, either using chords or single note runs, the difference is noticeable (chords in particular). What I have yet to do, but do plan on, is, record one guitar in A440Hz and another in A432Hz - either on the same track or separately.

Again, no right or wrong here, just seeing where this takes me and to see what effect it has on my inner systems.


Little help here...someone, anyone?
:: Posted by DannyX on February 11, 2014

Seems not. OK then, from our friends at Wikipedia:

’Just intonation’ is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of small whole numbers.

A ’temperament’ is a system of tuning which slightly compromises the pure intervals of just intonation in order to meet other requirements of the system.

Sorry to interrupt the fun...please continue.

:: Posted by RickyM on February 10, 2014

Well, "... it’s just intonation!". I wish it were that simple.

Again, i can only speak from my own experience (on Aug 8th 2014, it will be 50 years as a guitarist, and close to 13 years, experiencing the wonderful effects of A432Hz in Bath UK), so I cannot speak with another voice or authority but my own.

I do know that I would prefer to not play with other musicians/players who lack intonation on their respective instruments. Yet alone being out of tune with the cosmos.


:: Posted by GonzalezPaulo on February 10, 2014

The improvised section of TRAVEL WEARY CAPRICORN on the LIVE AT THE MARQUEE CD contains Etude Number 8 by Matheo Carcassi. BY THE SLEEPY LAGOON is part of the improvised section of CAPRICORN on the PLUMPTON FESTIVAL CD.

Earthbound tape choices
:: Posted by cube_monkey on February 10, 2014

Earthbound was released without the groups consent from what I understand (I do love it :) ), now that I’ve heard the Ladies of the road CD and the collectors club things from the tours, as much as I love Earthbound, weren’t there better *sounding* recordings available at the time to choose from?
This is not a "well they should of..." question. I am just interested in the history of how that kind of thing happened in the industry. Was the band even told? Maybe at the time the cassette was the only thing EG had rights to at the moment, so what the heck, put that out...? Never mind I bought it...loved it. I was not confused, as a kid I went from Beach boys to the Beatles...then Lizard (what the heck? :)) and then Earthbound. Took us awhile to figure what the heck was up with Lizard only having heard AM pop at the time.
So we were "ready" for Earthbound. LOL
best regards,
Hi Jay,
Earthbound was an official release ie done with King Crimson's participation. At the time RF sifted through the tapes of that last US tour and felt they best represented the band at that point. For my money (not that you asked) it contains one of the best versions of 21CSM on record. 

:: Posted by Festus on February 10, 2014

I bet there are plenty of novice fretless bass players out there who already have enormous experience of playing A432.

:: Posted by GonzalezPaulo on February 10, 2014

Thank you Mister Sotrmy for unearthing these 2 pearls by GILES, GILES & FRIPP.  One is a straight rock ’n’ roll number with a very clean guitar sound. The other song... it is the 2nd time I hear King Crimson attempt at playing BY THE SLEEPY LAGOON. Unfortunately this time Fripp begins it and then at 0:20 drops it...  but there is a ’’longer’’ version hidden inside MANTRA TRAVEL WEARY CAPRICORN during the improvised section (if I am not mistaken in the LIVE AT THE MARQUEE CD). The original SLEEPY LAGOON by Eric Coates is hauntingly beautiful. I wish Crimson had covered it properly. Maybe it would fit the ISLANDS album mood.

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