Pianotech

Subject: Efficient Piano Tuning

Leif Mathisen
02-03-2016 10:34  
Leif Mathisen
02-04-2016 02:29  
Leif Mathisen
02-05-2016 05:05  

1.  Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-01-2016 17:54

I have been researching methods for efficient piano tuning. I am trying to identify areas where incorrect assumptions have resulted in incorrect setting of pitch that has to be retuned later when the error is found. 

One area is the m3/M3 equality. Does anybody use this? What equality do you use? Where and why?

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com
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2.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-02-2016 16:09

Mark,

Maybe just about everyone uses and trusts their ETD and tends to forget how this aural stuff works? ;-)

I'm assuming you're referring to the setting of the octaves in a temperament. What I do is set A4, then A3. I use D4 to verify the A3-A4 octave width. Most pianos are in between a 4:2 and 6:3 (generally not smaller pianos, though). I rarely like a 6:3 octave for A3-A4, as it makes the double octaves too wide for my taste. I also use F3 with A3 and A4 as a different check of A3-A4.

After A3-A4, next is F3-F4, verified by A#3. It needs to be the same width as A3-A4. After these two octaves are set, it's easy to see if the octave width is correct for that piano by using contiguous M3s. If the M3s fit, it's correct. If not, try a different octave width.

I use other checks in my temperament sequence that are designed to reduce errors. Going back and forth takes up valuable time and is frustrating. 

------------------------------
John Formsma, RPT
New Albany MS



3.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-03-2016 06:27

I was, of course, an 'aural' tuner when I started some 40 years ago. This was before ETD's were financially available. I eventually created a 'system' to set the bearings - but extended the bearing area to encompass 16 semi-tones starting at A4 down to F#3. I have posted my system on this Forum under the heading 'Quadrant Tuning'. My next question was 'what are those beats and why do they happen on certain intervals?' So I made a chart of all the fundamental frequencies of all the notes of a piano, added their harmonics to 5 decimal places and examined the result. It was an eye (or ear) opener. Here's an example from the chart I keep in my copy of Reblitz: Take an M3 interval - C3 - E3. The fundamentals of these are: 261.62557Hz - 329.62756Hz. The difference is 68.00199Hz - and that is the beat we hear. But I went on from there to discover why we hear beats in other intervals - 'frinstance 5ths: C3 - G3. The fundamentals of these are: 261.62557Hz - 391.99544Hz. The difference here is 130.36987Hz. Now this frequency is not what we're hearing - but the 6th harmonic of C3 is 1569.7534Hz and the 5th harmonic of G3 is 1567.9617Hz which results in a difference of  1.7917Hz. which is definitely what we are hearing from this interval. From the examples given it can be stated there is conclusive evidence of a very useful tool in need of harnessing. The concept is based on the laws of Physics in that the fundamental frequencies of a piano tuned to E.T. follow a logarithmic curve  - and so do all their associated harmonics. Basically it is where: given A4 = 440Hz, A3 = 220Hz and A2 = 110Hz. The same relative value differences are seen at A5, A6 and A7, (which is, incidentally, 3520.0Hz.) Hence the concept of my 'Invisible Tool' in the use of setting the bearings. Any well tuned piano at E.T. will produce a very satisfying change in the beat rate when 10th intervals are played chromatically. This change follows precisely that logarithmic curve. Again the fundamental frequencies here for C3 (261.62557Hz) and E4 (659.25511Hz) give a difference of 397.62854Hz. which is definitely not what we are looking for but the 5th harmonic of C3 (1308.1278Hz.) and the 2nd harmonic of E4 (1318.5102Hz) give a difference of 10.3824Hz. which is definitely what we are looking for. I hope this gives rise to in-tuneful thoughts!    Michael    UK

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Michael Gamble
semi retired
Brighton
01273813612



4.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-03-2016 10:34
Edited by Leif Mathisen 12-28-2016 01:49


5.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-03-2016 10:36

Although I still tune old school, that's just how I do pitch raises as well. Temperament first, then down to tenor break, then up to the top, then finish up with bass.

------------------------------
Paul T. Williams RPT
Director of Piano Services
School of Music
813 Assembly St
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
pwilliams@mozart.sc.edu



6.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-03-2016 11:26

Paul,

I use a Verituner, but my sequence is the same as yours.  That's how I was taught to do it aurally 47 years ago when I was 18. 

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Tim Coates
Sioux Falls SD



7.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-03-2016 13:04

I do the opposite. I measure A, reset the SAT, then tune the bass first, starting at the tenor, and then tune the treble starting at the treble. Good results all the time.

 






8.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 00:32

Hmmmm...I guess that means nobody uses a m3/M3 equality to tune.

I'm tuning concert tunings aurally in one hour using m3/M3 equalities as well as other techniques I've developed from Virgil Smith's writings and others. I've also confirmed a lot of my assumptions with spreadsheets, measurements, and research. I've been able to tune 10 pianos in one day with no fatigue due to the simplicity of my method. All this aurally with no machine. Yet everytime I talk about this, 99% of the technicians I speak to, don't care or don't believe me, or start talking about pitch raises ?!?

I'm starting not to care myself.

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



9.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 00:51

Hmmmm...I guess that means nobody uses a m3/M3 equality to tune.

I'm tuning concert tunings aurally in one hour using m3/M3 equalities as well as other techniques I've developed from Virgil Smith's writings and others. I've also confirmed a lot of my assumptions with spreadsheets, measurements, and research. I've been able to tune 10 pianos in one day with no fatigue due to the simplicity of my method. All this aurally with no machine. Yet everytime I talk about this, 99% of the technicians I speak to, don't care or don't believe me, or start talking about pitch raises ?!?

I'm starting not to care myself.

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT

Mark

 

I only tune the way described for pitch raises. For concert tuning, as far as that goes, for most of my customers, I tune first with the SAT, then aurally. I could do 10 pianos in a day, but why?  Life's too short to push my self that hard.

 

 






10.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 02:29
Edited by Leif Mathisen 12-28-2016 01:48


11.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 10:55

When doing a pitch raise with an ETD a more stable result can be had by using a FAC (SAT IV my current machine, translate for other make ETD's stretch factors) tuning saved to a page (even the default will work) in memory and using the over-pull feature then tune left to right A0 to C88. Hammer technique: down slightly to break loose bearing points and pull up to stop the lights or graph. Next pass for fine tuning you only need to set the section of wire closest to the tuning pin, usually down then slightly up. Check with a test blow for stability. I recalculate the ETD for the current scale design after doing the pitch raise rough tuning. Factors will change sometimes. Fuss with the bass if you like by ear and machine. Check the tenor bass break carefully by ear. Adjust as needed. Same for the treble although not as much room to fuss. Just be sure that 6th octave doesn't sound flat!

One man's opinion.

Chris Solliday






12.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 09:40

William, the answer to your question is: I tune 10 pianos a day when I need the money or I have to, for time reasons. I don't do it all the time. That would be too much; it's a 12 hour day.

The post was to find other techs who are using a similar method to mine. 

It is too involved to explain in a post but I wrote two articles for the journal last June and July and a third is coming out in March. 

The m3/M3 equality I use depends in the inharmonicity of the piano.

I measure the inharmonicity aurally by tuning a pure 4:2 (when setting A3A4 and F3F4) and checking the 6:3.

The 6:3 will sound pure, narrow, or very narrow. 

From online survey results of other techs, and my own preference, I've concluded that the best sounding octaves (beatless, imho) are the pure 4:2 for the pure and very narrow 6:3, and the narrow 6:3 sounds best with a wide 4:2. The ear is the judge as to what is narrow or very narrow. If a wide 4:2/narrow 6:3 doesn't sound as good as a pure 4:2/narrow 6:3, then that's a very narrow 6:3.

Pure, narrow, and very narrow 6:3's (that accompany the pure 4:2) correlate to a definition I have described as "the octave spread" which seperates the pianos into three inharmonic groups.

The three octave spreads for theApure, narrow, and very narrow 6:3 I call: Small, Medium, and Large Octave Scale.

Here's where the m3/M3 comes in:

A pure 6:3 in A3A4 (Small Scale) means A3C4=C4A4

In Equal Temperament, C4A4=D4F#3

Therefore, A3C4=D4F#4

Similarly:

Medium Scale (narrow 6:3) produces A3C4=D#4G4

Large Scale (very narrow 6:3) produces A3C4=E4G#4

Using an appropriate m3M3 equality allows me to set and use the other contiguous major thirds (I call Skeletons) where they are supposed to be. 

The result is less refinement and less guessing. 

You can read more on my websie.

Disclaimer: I sell courses but there's tons of free stuff there too.

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



13.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 10:33
Mark:

You have some interesting equalities there. I didn't used to use the m3/M3 fifth test much just because it's always harder to hear m3rds and I'm lazy. But in recent years I've been using that m3/M3 test because I can match what hear I in that test with the other test for a fifth, M6th/M10th. Recently there have been some good technicians advocating a stretched temperament octave that is stretched to the point of having pure fifths (or more pure than what historical standards have advocated) in the temperament. I've been trying to determine whether I like that strategy. The idea is that by making pure fifths in the temperament, the rest of the piano will be easier to stretch and will make the overall sound of the whole piano more pure. The reason any of this is possible is the inharmonicity that is just built into piano strings. We have classically seen inharmonicity as the enemy, when, in fact, it could work to our benefit.

I like your small, medium, large octave idea, although I tend toward a universal, one-size fits all tuning "method" or "philosophy." That is, if the goal is to push the stretch in the whole piano, you have to start with pushing fifths and accepting the consequences in octaves. Kent Swafford has pointed out in his classes that historically we've accepted that octaves must be "pure," when, in reality, we need to start thinking of tempering the octaves, just like we temper all the temperament-octave intervals. Believing we have "pure" octaves is wrong headed from the start. As you point out 1:2, 4:2, and 6:3 octaves are all different, so we have to "temper" octaves right from the git-go. Historically aural tuners have chosen the 4:2 octave as the "standard" default choice. But here's where some contemporary ideas have wanted to push the octave farther, resulting in nearly-pure triple octaves in the top. I'm trying to reconcile these ideas and figure out whether I agree with that kind of stretch.

In the mean time, the m3/M3 test gives me a good way to see how close to pure my fifth stands. I don't want a wide 5th. And also your use of that m3 compared to a M3 (as in A3C4=D4F#3) is a good test and is usable throughout the temperament. It's another one of those tests that really helps to nail a temperament. It is like the inside/outside test in that you want the two intervals to beat at the same speed. Both tests are hard to achieve because they really require good accuracy. But, any test that uses same/same is a good one.

The main idea that needs more exploration is how all of this serves the "whole piano sound." We have to break down our tuning into many very small adjustments, but the final sound is what we're really after, and that's what customers perceive as musical and desirable. But it's the baby steps, guided by a systematic overall procedure that will get consistently good results.

Richard West




14.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 16:09

Richard,

You aren't reading carefully enough. Mark s m3M3 isn't a test for a 6:4 fifth. It is more like an outer sixth inner third test. IOW it is a way to check relationships of beat rates as you progress up the scale, and specifically to control stretch. Seems like a reasonable single test for the purpose, to me, though I would want to check larger intervals as I went.

------------------------------
Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
http://www.artoftuning.com
"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda



15.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 17:27
Fred,

I don't think either one of us is reading him correctly. I reread Mark's posts and determined his m3/M3 test will tell him what kind of octave he has.  So there's three ways to use a selected minor third and compare it to a selected equal beating major third. There's the test of the fifth. There's the temperament test similar to the inside outside test.  There's the test to determine what kind of stretch the piano seems to want. In regard to that third option, here's how he uses one minor third and one major third.  In his own words:

1) Small Scale makes A3C4=D4F#4
2) Medium Scale makes  A3C4=D#4G4
3) Large Scale makes  A3C4=E4G#4

A little help here, Mark?

Richard West






16.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 21:53

Richard,

I thought Mark's opening post was vague and misleading - he spoke of "setting of pitch" and avoiding errors. Then he jumped into his question about the use of "m3/M3 equality." Frankly, I had no idea what he was talking about. To me, the first thing that comes to mind when m3/M3 is mentioned is a test for the width of a 5th, seen as 6:4 (finding out how wide or narrow the fifth is at that partial match).

In his later post he clarified that he was using a lower m3/upper M3 where the top note of the m3 is below the bottom note of the M3. This is very much like the "outer M6/inner M3" test, where the beat rates of two essentially unrelated intervals are compared as a way of evaluating and making choices. And, in fact, Mark's m3/M3 equality is very much like the outer M6/inner M3, and related to it. 

Let's take a C4/C5 octave. If the octave is 6:3, the m3 C4D#4 would beat the same as the M6 D#4C5. Using the M6/M3 test, D#4C5 would beat the same as F4A4. And he is talking about making F4A4 beat the same as C4D#4 as a shortcut method of placing A4, in his "small scale" model.

It isn't a direct way of choosing octave size, but it is a way to try to create a consistent stretch as you tune upward. As to whether or not it is predictable, and produces the results you are aiming at, that is another question. Particularly when you jump across an unpredicted inharmonicity gap.

I prefer to look at large intervals directly, myself. Tuning aurally, I go down from temperament, then up. In going up, I use the bass notes as checks for those large intervals. Eg, for a 19th, I use m3/M17. For a triple octave, m6/M17. I find that following patterns like Mark's m3M3 can easily lead to accumulation of small errors, so if I am using such a test, I will want to check larger intervals every half octave or so to be sure I am within bounds, not heading astray.

------------------------------
Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
http://www.artoftuning.com
"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda



17.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 22:27

Fred: Re:Checking larger intervals. We chatted some on the Equal Temperament Dry vs Resonant thread last July about larger contiguous intervals like 6ths &10ths. Seems pertinent to this post. Wonder if you recall and had any fun with them?

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Paul Klaus



18.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 23:09

Discussing octave stretch without linking which partials are tuned into unison makes no sense to me unless you specify what portion of the compass you are tuning. When tuning an F33-F45 temperament the a slightly wide 4-2 works best on most pianos. As you move up through the temperament tuning the octave above, one progresses to 4-2 pure match. As you continue octave tuning to the top of the compass you move to wide 2-1 octaves.

As you tune octaves down from the temperament you progress to 6-3 beatless octaves. And as you continue down to the bottom of the compass the 6-3 match moves to the wide side of pure.

You can look at what is possible in temperament beat rates for the 4th and 5th by analyzing how tuning a slightly wide 4-2 for the A49-A37 octave allows you to temper the A37-D42 4th to 1BPS which will result in the D42-A49 5th beating slower than the book rate by the amount the 4-2 A37-A49 octave was stretched. This can be repeated by setting the other 5ths of the temperament to the same beat rate with the result being very pure 5ths and a well balanced stretch to the temperament that is in balance with how the rest of the piano will tune. 

I cannot tune more than 3 pianos a day and get them properly stable. It simply takes a certain amount of time to resolve the ideal position for the pin that allows you to place each string centered within the ideal pitch and stable. If you place the strings in the center of the zone of "in-tune" it takes more environmental forces to produce a musically "out-of-tune" state.

But if Mark and others can do this on more pianos per day than that, bravo to them!

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Edward McMorrow
Edmonds WA
425-299-3431



19.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-04-2016 23:14
Hi, Ed,

Super!

Thanks very much!

Best.

Horace

  Original Message




20.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 06:53
Edited by Leif Mathisen 12-28-2016 01:50

Richard West, I like what you're saying about the pure fifths. That's how I tune. The circle of fifths is perhaps the strongest natural dominant force in harmony. So why should our fifths be flat and sound like they have a cold, they just don't need to be.

I don't know how it works exactly, but if I tweak the tuning buy a very small increments of .5 cents to 1 cent different from the machine, based off of what sounds cleaner, that's the range in which you get the most bang for your buck. It's that .5% to 2% that takes a tuning from electronic sounding, to wow that's awesome. I've seen some horrible electronic tunings too. 

There's a method that I use all the time on just about every Piano that I tune that excites a notable electrical spark, so to speak. It's not your typical wave pattern that's why I use the term electrical spark, I would like to see it on a wavelength graph. The best way to demonstrate it is through a video, with clear audio.

------------------------------
Leif Mathisen



21.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 09:28
Lief:

I was just stating a recent trend, not necessarily advocating it. I'm certainly not the originator of the movement to explore the purer fifth/wide octave possibilities. It's just an interesting twist on tuning.

Richard




22.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 05:05
Edited by Leif Mathisen 12-28-2016 02:09


23.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 13:20
Edited by Mark Cerisano 02-05-2016 16:43

[Edited Feb 5 @ 4:42 ETD]

Thanks for all the comments.

I apologize for the vagueness. I will try to explain.

When I started tuning, I used the method most people start with; cycle of fifths with landmarks along the way. (F3A3 = 7bps, the White Anchor, etc)

Then in 2006 I started teaching piano tuning. I was frustrated that I couldn't answer questions like, "How much faster should F3D4 beat compared to F3A3 when tuning a wide P4? My response? "Not too fast??" These answers did not make me feel like such a good teacher.

Also, as my ear got better at hearing beats and small beat speed differences, I became aware that the piano was laughing at me. That's right, the piano was actually laughing at me. Perhaps you recognize the sound: 

"Ha ha ha. You set that beat speed to what you are sure is the best for this piano eh? And now you come back and it's changed? Ha ha ha. Now you're refining it? I can't wait for you to come back later and check it. Loser!"

I was getting really ticked off at how much refining I had to do. I decided to find out, if I could, what was going on.

I started writing programs to test assumptions and graph curves. I learned about inharmonicity formulas. I designed methods to accurately measure beat rates. I enlisted the help of other technicians through online audio surveys. I am writing articles for the Journal and taught two classes in Denver.

The result is now I have an aural method that I am very happy with, a very accurate, precise, and efficient method. But I am getting little or no favourable response from other technicians.

This post was an attempt to find out why. One question that I am asking is, "Do technicians generally not use the m3/M3 test, and that is why my method is too foreign?"

My experience talking to many techs is that the vast majority use ETD's. Even the ones who can tune aurally. Why? Most techs acknowledge that experienced aural tuners can do a better job than an ETD in many cases. The PTG remains adamant that an aural skill be kept as part of the exam.

My answer? Current aural methods are not easy to learn. There are too many vague ideas that are not at the root of the problem. My March article deals with one of these assumptions specifically. How many techs will ignore my research and say it doesn't matter? How many other aspects of my method "don't matter"? At some point, does all this "doesn't matter" add up to one BIG MATTER!

One assumption I used to believe: Put the pitch "close" and then do a lot of refining. Like the old comment "A piano has to be in tune before you can tune it."

One effort I've made is to figure out what that final pitch is, set it at the beginning, and try to reduce as much as possible any reason why that pitch might drift during the tuning. I am very close now.

In determining the final pitch of a note, I needed the m3/M3 equality.

Here's an example:

1. Tune A4 from Fork

2. Tune A3A4 (Get the octave spread and hence, the m3/M3 equality from that)

3. Set F3A3 approx. 7bps

4. Tune F3F4 (Confirm octave spread and m3/M3 equality. Not always the same on poorly scaled pianos)

5. Set C#4 so F3A3<A3C#4<C#4F4 changes smoothly.

Aside: Try my online test for tuning C#4 this way: Beat Speed Difference Ratio Test

Howtotunepianos remove preview
Beat Speed Difference Ratio Test
Contiguous Major Thirds/M3's Skeleton Test Contiguous Major Thirds/M3's Skeleton Test When tuning contiguous major thirds, that is, major thirds that share a note, easily imagined as an augmented chord such as F3A3C#4 for example, the beat speeds of these thirds in equal temperament change about 26% from one to the other (when no inharmonicity is considered.).
View this on Howtotunepianos >

 

6. Check A3C#4<C#4F4

7. Change F4 if it is not

8. Retune F3 from F4

9. Check F3A3<A3C#4<C#4F4

Now I use a Bisecting Beat Speed Window temperament sequence. (See the June Journal) All beat speeds are set exactly between two others. In this way, there is no guessing at where the pitch needs to be. Just set the beat speeds to be Slow-Medium-Fast, where Medium is exactly between Slow and Fast.

10. Tune D4 so that F3A3 < F3D4 < A3C#4. This is using G3B3 = F3D4 and setting up a F3A3 < G3B3 < A3C#4 eventuality.

Now comes the m3/M3 equality that bridges the F3A3C#4F4A4 to other parts of the temperament.

Assume we have a small octave spread AND we have tuned the F3F4 and A3A4 as a pure 4:2.

This sets up F#3A3 = B3D#4

11. Now I tune F#3 so that A3C#4 < F#3A4 < C#4F4. F#3A4 = B3D#4 sets up the eventuality of A3C#4 < B3D#4 < C#4F4.

I can also check the size of F#3C#4 just to be sure.

The entire temperament is finished this way. I have discovered reasons why these pitches drift, and have done my best to reduce their effect. (Who's laughing now, eh?)

The result is a progressive temperament, from which a stretch can accurately be chosen and applied.

(This brings up another confusion of mine. Why do people think the size of the temperament octave affects the stretch? Look at the Rails Back curve. There is little to no evidence of stretch in the temperament octave compared to the extremes. Choices you make WHILE tuning the extremes is what determines the stretch.)

Sorry for the long winded post. I just have no idea how to explain these findings in less time. I am expecting criticism.

I am available for an online Skype meeting for anyone really interested in this stuff.

You can also text me at 514-978-8637

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



24.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 15:09
Edited by Jon Page 02-05-2016 15:10

Tune A3 to the 440 fork, tune A4 to A3. I fogret why.

------------------------------
Regards,

Jon Page



25.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 15:22
Tuning A3 to the 440 fork gives you a 2:1 octave.

On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 12:09 PM, Jon Page via Piano Technicians Guild



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jason's cell 425 830 1561





26.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 15:38

Hi Mark,

Was the following a typo? (A#3 instead of A3). If not, you lost me, since that was the first mention of A#3.

"Check A#3C#4<C#4F4​..."

You have an interesting approach to creating a temperament. I thought you were talking about expanding from the temperament using your m3/M3 equality. A friendly suggestion: If you want to be a successful teacher, you need to learn how to express yourself clearly, and not assume that other people can read your mind. I really had no idea what you were talking about when you began this thread. Finally, I do. From the other responses, I gather nobody else knew what you were talking about either. It doesn't do much good to be a genius if you can't communicate clearly ;-)

You complain that "Current aural methods are not easy to learn," and that people are ignoring your research. Having read a good bit of what you have written (for the Journal, and in various on-line discussions), I think part of the problem is your presentation. You have some good ideas, and they might well be worth people's trouble in pursuing them. But I'm with Ed McMorrow: the real meat of piano tuning is the refinement and creation of a solid tuning, and someone who brags of tuning 10 pianos in a day (at a concert level) does not inspire me with confidence. Perhaps you are telling the truth (that is, other people with good judgment would agree that those 10 pianos were at a concert level), but if so, I doubt very much that you will find students who can meet your expectations.

------------------------------
Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
http://www.artoftuning.com
"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda



27.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 16:39

Iyee Carumba! Typing too fast.

A4 to fork

A3 not A#3

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



28.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 16:47

Fred,

I have to sadly agree with your observations.

"You complain that "Current aural methods are not easy to learn," and that people are ignoring your research. Having read a good bit of what you have written (for the Journal, and in various on-line discussions), I think part of the problem is your presentation. You have some good ideas, and they might well be worth people's trouble in pursuing them. But I'm with Ed McMorrow: the real meat of piano tuning is the refinement and creation of a solid tuning, and someone who brags of tuning 10 pianos in a day (at a concert level) does not inspire me with confidence. Perhaps you are telling the truth (that is, other people with good judgment would agree that those 10 pianos were at a concert level), but if so, I doubt very much that you will find students who can meet your expectations."

Regards,

Mark

P.S. I am trying. Previously it would have taken 10 posts for me to be clearer. ;-)

------------------------------
Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



29.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 30 days ago
Hoping this lands in the right place. I am just beginning tuning, and working with Mark. I have to say he is an excellent teacher and explains things extremely clearly. For my learning style, he uses all the right words, analogies, examples, etc. to explain a concept. My two-cents..

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Tricia Turner
Lehi UT
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30.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-05-2016 18:01

Mark, I recall reading somewhere that the minor 3rd should beat about 1.7 times as fast as the Major third that starts on the same note. (ex: 1.7*A3C#4=A3C4) Is this equivalent to your statement that m3 should beat the same as the M3 5-7 notes above, depending on the piano's scale? (ex: A3C4=D#4G4 for medium scale) 

Also, what range of the piano is this good for? Does the M3m3 test break down outside the temperament? 

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Anthony Willey
Shoreline WA



31.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 02-06-2016 15:00

Hi Anthony,

I am not sure of the ratio of m3 to M3 with congruent bottom note.

I will say that my research is not altruistic; I am looking for a better method to tune pianos, to tune faster, more accurately, and more precisely, in order to improve my reputation, and ultimately make more money.

With that in mind, my search for an appropriate m3/M3 equality was to find a way to set pitches so they would not need to be changed later on.

I am not completely confident with the m3/M3 equality, or even the inside/outside 3/6 test for that matter; in the final analysis I am looking for progressive beat speeds in chromatic intervals. The m3/M3 equalities and the 3/6 tests help but I will choose to set progressive M3 directly if they are available. In fact, I only need two m3/M3 equalities to line up the three different contiguous M3 ladders in a temperament. I.e. they are important, but I don't rely on them if I don't have to.

For that reason, outside the temperament I am using P4 windows to produce pure 11ths, pure 12ths, and pure 22nds (triple octaves). I like this sound. I like the windows approach; no guessing. I can also choose pure 19ths within another window. I apologize if this seems confusing, it is a lot to explain. 

Here are some examples. (I am famous for making errors, so please check it over and let me know. I can edit the post with the corrections)

P4 WINDOW PRODUCING PURE 12THS:

Starting at F5 in a small scale piano (I.e. pure 4:2's in the temperament)

C#3F3 =  C#3F4 < C#3F5 = C#3A#3

This sets up or confirms:

The P4 window: C#3F3 < C#3A#3

C#3F3 = C#3F4 confirms a pure 4:2

C#3F4 < C#3F5 produces a wide 2:1 which should be wide enough to produce
C#3A#3 = C#3F5 (The pure 12th)

P4 WINDOW PRODUCING PURE 11THS, PURE 12THS, AND PURE 22NDS

Starting at F6 in a small scale piano (pure 4:2 in midrange), the P4 window is

C#4F4 = C#4F5 < C#4F6 = F3C#4 = C#4A#4

This sets up or confirms:

C#4F4 < C#4A#4 wide P4

C#4F5 < C#4F6 wide 2:1

C#4F6 = F3C#4 pure 22nd (Triple octave)

F3C#4 = C#4A#4 Pure 11th

C#4F4 < C#4F6 wide 4:1

C#4F5 < F3C#4 narrow 8:2

C#4F6 = C#4A#4 pure 12th

The error in these methods is not in the assumptions, but in the inability of the tuner to actually hear, identify, and set the small beat speed differences. The power of the method is in the ability of the tuner to measure the beat speeds and get immediate feedback on their ability to hear these small beat speed differences. And thus is born a feedback loop that continually challenges the aural piano tuning student. The student is forced to focus on the essence of the skill needed to tune ET; setting small beat speed differences. Any other weaknesses that hinder setting of these small beat speed differences (instability, unison drifting) must be addressed before the speeds can be accurately and precisely set.

Comments welcomed

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Mark Cerisano, RPT
http://howtotunepianos.com



32.  RE: Efficient Piano Tuning

Posted 29 days ago
Edited by Peter Grey 29 days ago
Mark,

Since I'm having some difficulty following this, please answer the following as simply as you can:

Assuming that an F3-A4 segment is "perfectly" tuned, exactly which m3's and M3's are going to beat equally?

This will help me place what you are talking about.

Thx

Pwg

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Peter Grey
Stratham NH
603-686-2395
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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