Multiple types of intonation?

May 1, 2016 at 11:38 PM · Am I correct if I lay out intonation as follows

Scales and scalar passages: Narrower steps and wider halfsteps.

Melodic playing (solo): Wider steps and narrowed halfsteps.

With piano: Match by not differentiating between an A flat and a G sharp, sounds nice and bland, just like the person accompanying you. :)


Replies (20)

May 2, 2016 at 02:30 AM · Since melodies are composed of scales, I don't see why they would be different.

You're overthinking the whole issue.

May 2, 2016 at 03:48 AM · What of expressive intonation, where you aim for narrowed semitones, which also means wider wholetones.

Does it not? :)

May 2, 2016 at 10:18 AM · Greetings,

how about varying the narrowness accoding to the period of the music in question?



May 2, 2016 at 12:49 PM · Isn't that usually for keyboards?

May 2, 2016 at 04:11 PM · In a word (again..)

- wide tones and tight semitones for melodic motifs;

- wider semitones and narrower tones when the harmony rules;

- scale and arpeggios must correspond to the music we are playing, so practice both tendencies;

- keyboards have no such choices, so we must adapt to them.

May 2, 2016 at 07:05 PM · Thanks, that's what I was thinking of as correct.

May 2, 2016 at 11:43 PM · Look up just intonation and equal temperament. That might be what you all are thinking about and it has nothing to with whether you are playing a stand-alone scalar passage of a melody. You might have also heard microtonal music, in which case the scale at hand might have more than 12 semitones.

May 3, 2016 at 12:42 AM · I grew up on microtonal music, actually. 9 commas between each step. :)

May 5, 2016 at 09:09 AM · On my viola, in 1st position, a comma is about 3mm. Wider than my vibrato.

May 6, 2016 at 06:30 AM · We have to guess how they tuned their pianos, but meantone tuning was still common in Beethoven's time!

May 6, 2016 at 03:51 PM · "We have to guess how they tuned their pianos, but meantone tuning was still common in Beethoven's time! "

You're making a dubious leap here by connecting Beeethoven and meantone tuning.

May 6, 2016 at 05:57 PM · Broadwood delivered their pianos, including one to Beethoven, with meantone tuning until ca 1840..

But meantone is not a scale system of srutis, it's just a rather awful compromise, with true thirds and rather narrow fifths.

May 6, 2016 at 08:45 PM · I use pythagorean tuning whenever I am playing with a shoulder rest and using Hill rosin with my bow hair flat against the string and applying "weight" to the bow.

I use just intonation whenever I am playing without a shoulder rest using Baker's rosin with my bow hair tilted and applying "pressure" to the bow.

May 6, 2016 at 08:47 PM · shrutis. sorry :)

May 7, 2016 at 03:16 AM · Eh... Okay, whatever you say, Paul. :)

May 7, 2016 at 10:52 AM · Shorry!

May 7, 2016 at 11:01 AM · I'm sorry?

May 8, 2016 at 02:56 PM · "But what happens if aesthetically the piano and violin is not in perfect tune relative to each other, but still sounds ok?"

Often I'll play some intervals at the piano for a student who is having intonation problems.

Yes, the intervals are not exactly the same. But they're close enough to correct gross intonation issues.

Adrian, piano dealers deliver pianos every day, but they always have to be tuned several times in order to be in any kind of decent tuning. It would be like claiming a violin maker delivered a violin with a certain kind of tuning--the player will pick it up and tune it. Besides, those earlier pianos lacked the full iron plates, modern pinblocks, or climate control. I'll bet they were really unstable.

May 8, 2016 at 04:03 PM · Oops!

May 8, 2016 at 04:05 PM · I was refering to the first tuning after delivery. I imagine beethoven would not have kept to meantone tuning!

I was simply indicating that meantone was not yet dead at that time.

And despite my interest in pure intervals etc, we can do a lot worse than equal temperament!

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