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Antique Pitch Pipe...

Instruments: How do you use it?!

From Tess Z
Posted October 10, 2008 at 03:56 AM

An acquaintance recently gave me an old, neglected, child size violin. The violin and case are in shabby shape but inside the case I found an old brass pitch pipe. The design resembles a lear on top of a tube. One end of the tube has an 'A'. On the lear-shaped projections are the letters 'G' and 'D' on one and the letters 'E' and 'A' on another.

Anyone know how to use this because I can't seem to change the pitch...or maybe you can't.

I know, someone is going to ask for a photo. If no one recognizes this I'll have to try a photo later.

From Tess Z
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 04:42 AM
ummm...let's change that to lyre. Should make more sense now.
From Allan Chu
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 03:19 PM
not that this looks like a lyre.. but does it look something like this?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Czechoslovakian_Pitch_Pipe.jpg

or not at all?

From Tess Z
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 05:09 PM
ugh! I'm trying to get a photo in here.

From Joseph Galamba
Posted on October 10, 2008 at 11:31 PM
Some old pitch pipes function similarly to a slide whistle. The pitch can be changed by pulling out/pushing in a rod that is labeled with pitches and lines (like a manual metronome) or on more sophisticated models by pushing a rod from pitch to pitch on a semi-circular dial-like thing (a little like an old TV knob)

Does it seem like either of these might be the case?

Also pitch pipes tend to become out of tune over time, so you should check the pitch once you figure out how to work it.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on October 11, 2008 at 05:43 AM
Does it look like the pitchpipe sold by Shar Music http://www.sharmusic.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=1252&Cat=. ? I used one as a kid, and they're still on the market. They're used for tuning a violin, and their pitches can not be altered. You blow into one pipe at a time. The pipes are tuned to G, D, A, and E They are quite cheap ($7.99 at Shar), and they work. They are far cheaper than electronic tuners, and they make the user learn to tune by ear, not by eye.

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