Tuning Violin in Western MusicViolinists: Recordings and Performances: My previous experience with violin is in Hindustani North Indian style. But now I want to move on western way. Please help me.
From Keerthi Bandara
As far as I know western violin is tuned for G-D-A-E (i.e. how strings are named). This might be Pa-Re-Dha-Ga in hindustani. But I have seen some people interpret this in different ways (like Ma-Sa-Pa-Re).
I'd be grateful if someone can clear this for me.
From Bill WaldermanKeerthi, you should find a tuning fork that is tuned to A=440 (tuning forks aren't expensive and can be ordered by mail if need be). The third string on the violin (starting from the left side of the bridge) should be tuned to that note. (You might also use a western piano to find the note A, if one is available.)
Posted on October 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM
Then tune the second string a perfect fifth lower, the first string a perfect fifth below the second string, and the fourth string a perfect fifth above the third string. You should be able to hear the interval of a perfect fifth when you play two open strings together. It's very resonant and therefore should be an easy interval to hear even if it doesn't occur in Hindustani music. If you follow that procedure, the strings will be tuned to G, D, A, E in the Western system.
I hope this is what you are looking for and isn't too elementary for you. Good luck!
From Jerald ArcherA pitch-pipe would work as well. There are many varieties available, and you should not have trouble finding one for violin. It will give you each individual note for each string, and this will make it a little easier for you, as you will actually hear the separate notes of the open strings, if you are not familiar with western musical theory.
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 12:03 AM
From Roland GarrisonI use a chromatic tuner. They can be fairly inexpensive ($19.99 US at Shar Music http://www.sharmusic.com/itemdy00.asp?t1=kt30).
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 03:46 AM
You should be able to find a similar one fairly reasonably locally; I bought locally, and it was about the same price as on-line. There are other brands and styles, this link is only for an example.
From Keerthi BandaraThanks a lot for all your replies.
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 04:01 AM
Bill, your explanation is very helpful. I think the best way to go is take fresh start without comparing two systems(i.e Indian classic and western).
From Bart MeijerKeerthi,
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 08:15 AM
If people on this site are like me, we are both interested in, and ignorant about, the Hundustani system of tuning. Could you give us some information about what the Devanagari letters you used mean in a musical context?
From Bill WaldermanThere is a Wikipaedia article on Hindustani music.
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 03:37 PM
From this article, it appears that the letter-names for the notes are like the western solfege system in that they don't refer to fixed pitches but rather to degrees of a scale that can start on any tonic pitch.
Keerthi, in tuning the violin according to the Western system, the pitches (frequencies) of the notes are more or less fixed. The standard tuning is generally A=440, and all the other notes are determined with reference to that pitch. You can tune the A somewhat higher or lower than the 440 pitch--in the 18th century, for example, the standard is said to have been significantly lower, with A=415 being an approximate norm. But the important point is that you don't retune the instrument to play in different keys--you just play different notes. (There are some instances where a retuning of one or more strings to different pitches is called for, particularly in early music, but this is rare and you can ignore it for all practical purposes.)
I hope this isn't too confusing, but after I read the Wikipaedia article it seemed important to stress that you shouldn't retune the instrument to play in different keys. Let us know if you need clarification.
If you're intent on learning the Western system of playing the violin, it would be helpful to get a scale book to master scales for the different keys. There are many different fingerings for each of the twelve major and twelve minor scales, and in playing real music you will discover new fingerings that will allow you to play passages more easily or to phrase the music better or to bring out different tone colors, but learning at least one fingering for each scale would be helpful.
From Anthony ChiYou can also tune your violin online...
Posted on October 30, 2008 at 12:18 PM
From Keerthi Bandara
Posted on December 24, 2009 at 01:23 PM
I logged into the site after a long time. Sometimes people may not see this post. But anyway thank you all for the given explanations.
From chinmay tonape
Posted on May 30, 2011 at 04:39 PM
I am just starting to learn Violin. Western violin tuning is same how guitar strings are tuned and Indian method of tuning guitar is different.
I am learning guitar for around 2 and half years. What would be better for me to learn, Indian violin or western one?
From bill platt
Posted on May 31, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Can you find Indian violin instruction in Massachusetts?
From chinmay tonape
Posted on May 31, 2011 at 06:07 AM
I am from India. The registration page was not allowing me to enter indian state and I entered MA.
From Diane Allen
Posted on May 31, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Keerthi - Here is a system that will help you learn where the notes are on the fingerboard:
From bill platt
Posted on May 31, 2011 at 02:25 PM
From Keerthi BandaraThis Android app appears to be work and it is free too.
Posted on July 7, 2012 at 01:17 PM
From Adrian HeathThere is (usually) no equivalent of the tampura drone in western music: we have to tune our notes to ever-shifting harmonies, and so we haven't time to adjust so finely as you. We have to reconcile the pure and strong "fifths" (e.g.G-D )of our violin strings with the gentle beauty of "thirds" (G-B or B-D), often in a fraction of a second.
Posted on July 9, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I think of a "rag" as emerging from a magic river, doing some wonderful pirouettes, and then returning to its source. Western music has lost its bearings and changes its "Sa" at will, endessly spinning; but we have "harmony", which can help to ensure sensuality and spirituality in a rather godless world..
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