Welcome to Violinist.com! Log in, or join the community!
Violinist.com
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email Newsletter

February 2010

Intonation epiphany: in a pure major scale, the II-IV third is Pythagorean

February 20, 2010 00:51

Greetings,

Like all v.commers, I knew that using pure intonation leads into trouble when the music changes key. I was unaware of how soon the trouble starts.

Last night, I was practicing the scale of B flat major, in thirds, and I just could not get the first three (B flat-D, C-E flat, D-F) consistently in tune. Especially the C-E flat was difficult to reconcile with the others.

And when you calculate the intervals, that fits! Set the B flat to 1; the C would be 9/8, and the E flat would be 4/3. The interval between those two becomes 4/3 : 9/8 = 4*8/(3*9) = 32/27, not the "pure" 6/5 third I was naively expecting. When I want it to sound "pure", I have to compromise elsewhere.

Imagine, it has taken me 48 years of violin playing to find that out!

(and it's a left hand workout, too)

Cheers,

Bart

2 replies | Archive link


More entries: April 2009


"Delve into the delicate nuances of creativity"

Hilary Hahn Violinist Hilary Hahn offers the foreword to The Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1, an engaging collection of interviews with some of the world's top violinists, including Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov, David Garrett, and of course, Hilary herself.

Get it now! For Kindle | For iBooks | In Paperback

Lady Victory

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Here's our daily coverage of the ninth quadrennial international violin competition, won by South Korea's Jinjoo Cho.

About Bart

Bart Meijer is from Groningen, Netherlands. Biography

E-mail to Bart Meijer

RSS Subscribe in a reader

Archive

2014: Aug.

2013: Aug. Jan.

2012: May Feb. Jan.

2011: Nov. Oct. Aug. Jan.

2010: Oct. May Feb.

2009: Apr.

2008: Dec. Oct. Aug. Jun. May Apr.

2007: Sep. Jul.

2006: Mar.

2005: Dec.