Should inotonation inaccuracy be a barrier to professional playing?
Violin is absolutely "Not Mechanical" instrument.
Everything is "Human" and "manual".
But while every other thing is considered "Legitimate" if it isn't perfect, even for top proffesional violinists,
Intonation accuracy in classical music considered to be a neccessary barrier.
And that's while no one in the world can play absolutely perfect in tune, so it is in many senses a "Subjective" feeling if something is acceptable and clean or not.
I don't think that something like that, intonation perfect accuracy, should be a barrier to proffesional playing,
And we know it isn't always in other styles, like pop,
What do you think?
Intonation must be accurate enough for professionals to feel like something is in tune if you want to be a professional.
But you don't play for proffesinals, you play for the public.
Probably most of worlds famous singers couldn't enter classical academy and pass the exam,
In the official recordings, as with singers, there are sound technicians that can fix things for perfection.
Anyone who is going to perform classical violin at a professional level needs to have accurate intonation for the simple reason that there are far too many applicants for the number of actual performing jobs available, and therefore no employer needs to tolerate out-of-tune playing.
The public might not know when you missed a note inside a fast passage. They might not even be able to tell if a certain passage was out of tune on the whole. But they actually can tell when something
I don't really understand the question. Of course intonation has a minimum limit in both classical and pop.
David K, rather than arguing and making various excuses for your intonation in multiple threads, how about just improving it? :-)
I don't understand why this is even debatable. Poor intonation is painful for many people to listen to. Very few musicians short of Ozzy Osborne can make a career of putting their audiences in discomfort.
David, your first goal for this evening should be to learn how to spell "professional." It's a bit ironic that you've chosen this particular word to misspell despite having been corrected on this point in previous threads.
You must have good intonation and a good tone. That's why I'm not a professional.
There are no fixed ingredients, intonation or anything else, that guarantee success as an artist, be it classical or pop or rock artist. As I said in the other thread: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If people want to pay you for the things you do, you are successful. There is no recipe. It's a bad unpredictable world out there. So this discussion is rather pointless.
Forgetting the bycicle and other threads' saga-which are of no interest to me-I would say that intonation is 100% important even for non-professionals. Of course pros *will* have intonation lapses, but these are very minor. The violin is challenging enough that some works have more leniency towards what is considered "perfect" intonation (which is often an ideal goal-even the great masters play a very slightly off tune note here and there due to the nature of our instrument.) Mozart Concertos requires more superb perfection than Wieniawski #1, but both MUST sound in tune to the audience. So yes, anyone wbo loves the violin and its repertoire should strive for "perfect intonation"-which by no means implies an insipid, mechanical way of playing, as may have been suggested earlier.
It's always good to reflect on how far you've come along in violin playing, but the key towards artistical mastery is being aware of what could be better, and to keep improving, rather than finding one's playing is "done" and good "as-is". It's a musical life journey that never ends, but it's a sweet and worthy lifestyle in the end, in my strong view.
Adalberto valle rivera
Playing out of tune is objective. It is as much for you and me.
Of course violinists aren't expected to be perfectly in tune... the question is how far out of tune listeners can tolerate. The level of tolerance for error may be higher for pop performers, but it really isn't that much higher.
No. It isn't objective on violin,
of the professional musicians I know/have known NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER SAID:
Pianos are out of tune-a feature of them being "tempered". But they are also "in tune", because most people are used to its pitch system, which is obviously different than that of stringed instruments.
David - where does that tuner show that you are very close?
BTW... tuners... those are not meant to check for our "manual intonation" as you put it. Only tune your A. Most notes will be out of tune with such a device, even if we play perfectly in tune, without vibrato. You can use drones for practice (say, a background F# for F# minor, though I still prefer using the violin itself), but not to check whether you are "in tune". With such an inappropriate standard, not even Heifetz or Oistrakh will play "in tune" for you.
I understand your overall point that the level of perfection expected from violinists is ridiculously--inhumanly--high. You're correct. But that won't be going away any time soon. You may as well attempt to alter the rotation of the Earth.
Speed over intonation because "speed is key."
David Krakovich, I'm still rather gobsmacked by how highly invested you are in defending your own opinion of your playing, and how resistant to are to learning and accepting feedback. I think you have the potential to be really good, but that's not going to happen unless you change your strategy.
Much of the audience can not tell for a specific note - and they might not mind but that's not the point; the people that hire and fire can tell and, as said above, if you want a job and the other 10 candidates play near perfect in tune and you don't... case closed.
"Don't confuse me with the facts--my mind's made up!"
And this is not just intonation, this is things like the length of the pieces,
I think that playing in tune is the art of the violin. Why not strive to make our Art better and more musical every day?
run your instrument through pro-tools with reinforcement and see if you can hear the difference. if you are out of tune with yourself, you'll know.
This conversation really hinges on the definition of "professional." Some would define that as someone who lands a full-time orchestra job, by which definition, there are very few professionals. Some would define it as someone who is able to pay the bills by being a musician. Others would define it as anyone who gets paid to play music at all.
I have had a few recording gigs in the past where we were doing back up strings for pop albums and I assure you that the standard for intonation was every bit as high, if not higher, than for classical playing.
Mr. Krakovich, "pop" is popular because it uses simple musical styles, not because it is tolerant of playing out of tune.
Sure, the ones that get on Top 40 radio are. But what percentage of singers do that?
Oh, come on Mary Ellen, the fact that you did a 'few' recording gigs means nothing. Pop artists are tremendously manipulated by recording engineers--projection, artistic interpretation, etc. and also intonation. The question by Mr. Krakovich is legitimate.
If a tree falls in the wood and no one is there to see/hear it, did the tree really fall?
David K. (and maybe a few others,) stop insulting the public! Why do you assume they can't hear, or don't care, just because you can't and don't?
David K, here's some really old pop music, from way before pitch correction could be easily done in the studio, for you to aspire to.
David, playing in tune is not an "unhuman" standard if thousands (if not tens of thousands) of amateur violinists are able to meet that standard. I'm not even talking about pros.
The short answer to the question is "Yes". Or; if it sounds out of tune it probably is. "Perfect" intonation in the sense of exactly correct Hz (cps) frequencies as measured by some electronic device is impossible. But a practical version of "perfect" intonation, within the natural margin of error of hearing (5 cents or 1/20 of a half-step !) is possible, the evidence being the performances and recordings of leading soloists, string quartets, and good singers, both pop and classical. Violin is especially hard to play in tune, at least for me, because that margin of error of our hearing is smaller than what our fingers can feel or measure on the fingerboard (less than 1 mm!) Vibrato helps. ---"Violin is Not mechanical" I respectfully disagree. In my teaching I have found that most technical problems are related to incorrect mechanics, motions, posture, ergonomics.
Yes. Intonation should be a barrier. As should bad bowing technique, poor tempo, lack of musicianship, and unpleasant stage presence.
I cannot for the life of me understand why you guys keep discussing this nonsense with Tuner Man.
I agree Herman. I kept saying I won't, but I just keep coming back. It's some sort of sick addiction. Speaking for myself, I know how hard I've worked and how hard I continue to work to achieve perfection. I know how hard my students work, I know how hard all the posters here work to become better violinists. I know I spent an hour this morning before work on 2 lines of music- making them as near to perfect as I can get them. I did not spend an hour posting a nonsense video claiming my playing was 'good enough.'
I think the value of fast food is that every Chick-fil-A nugget in the country is going to taste exactly the same. It's consistent. That may seem like an easy feat, but I assure you quality control over an entire country's restaurant chain is very difficult. Like intonation, no? Every note always in tune, consistently is no easy feat.
David K. --Stick with music. Cranky musicians cause less damage to the world than politicians that know they are right. done with this.
Katie B. - Thanks? I hope that was a compliment, and not a comment on my nonexistent OCD. (I'm kidding, don't worry. Thanks!)
Adalberto valle rivera
"Oh, come on Mary Ellen, the fact that you did a 'few' recording gigs means nothing. "
And recording engineers have the very best ears of anyone in the business.
I'm a section player. If I didn't fit, I wouldn't work.
"This is a huge task that you ask - and as i said I sound reasonable to myself overall already."
David you seem to be under the impression that intonation is fluid in real life. It's not. It's dead on balls math. And if you miss it, you will stick out as out of tune.
Can I ask exactly what do you mean by 'playing out of tune'? Because if the answer is 'an electric tuner' we need to have a totally different topic....
I would add that the rock bands playing at bars, often "for the exposure" for free, almost always have singers who are singing in tune. Might they be a little bit off here and there? Perhaps, but not enough to seize one's attention, or spoil the performance. And I'd guess many of those singers don't actually make a living in music.
I also can’t agree that other styles pay better than classical. At the absolute upper echelon (again, top 40 radio), yes. For literally everyone else, no. I play gigs in a number of different styles, and by far the best paying gigs are regional orchestras and weddings. In any other style, you will be expected to be willing to play for “exposure,” as Lydia mentioned. If you aren’t willing to do that (and I’m not; I’ll play for free occasionally, if I truly believe in the cause, but I don’t need “exposure”), be prepared to fight for pay. Musicians in other styles don’t have salaried full-time gigs with benefits. So actually, classical musicians are far more privileged than most in terms of what they can charge and the kind of working conditions they can expect.
My main issue is that Mr. Krakovich uses the flawed argument: "some pop styles do not require perfect intonation, so why should I work on my own?" as a justification to leave his playing stuck in a level he could most assuredly surpass if he chose to work on it, rather than complain about it.
There's merit in the core point that David is making, which is that every player has to decide what they are satisfied with, and prioritize their practice time accordingly.
Latin lesson: -
I'd like to point out, the point of auto-tune on most pop songs (with the exception of "Friday" by Rebecca Black) is not to fix minor errors (though that is its purpose) but rather to make the music more clean and modern sounding. It's mostly just a genre thing now.
I eat once a week in a Chinese café and I notice that a lot of Chinese pop music uses autotune nowadays. Pity. Not only do studios have auto-tune, they have auto-tempo or auto-rhythm as well! (I speed-read a book on it and can't remember its official name)
Perhaps a little off topic, but speed-reading is a real skill that can be taught, as it should be for the best results (compare violin-teacher vs. self-taught). The "speed-reading" in the joke would have been no more than skimming through the book, thereby missing most of the detail.
I'm a speed reader. I took courses on it - helps me take less time on independent reading in English, while still being able to read stuff for myself.
Nina, I'm sure that experienced violinists, along other instrumentalists, especially if they are busy orchestral players, can read through their sheet music and "hear" in real time how it should sound. Furthermore, they will have developed the ability to swiftly skim through their sheet music in order to identify the technically tricky bits which will need special attention in the practice room.
This is like some "many-worlds" hypothesis stuff. Every thought this guy has creates a new universe to justify his personal reality.
We seem to have changed the subject?
Anyway what's wrong with fast food? Our president serves it to his guests.
Well, that's just the reality of the situation for musicians. You *do* have to spend time practising, pay $$$ for piano accompanists, deal with picky audiences, etc. If you don't like the classical music industry (which would be very understandable!) I suggest keeping violin as a hobby, rather than pursuing it as a full-time job.
It's nice to know that there are Billionaires among the commentators on my thread;) (Gemma k)
It's not about what you think "should be" or what you think is fair. The standard is where it is because there are a lot of people who can achieve it. Plain and simple. Argue all you want, but that's the truth and that high standard is what we are all striving to achieve.
David, I'm a near-broke student, not a billionaire. The sad fact is, being a musician costs money, often more than someone will earn from it.
David, the answer to the original question is. No.
Tony, that is a rather inflammatory association of ideas!
David, the only way you will prove to me that you're not a troll will be to spell "professional" correctly from now on.
About Florence Foster Jenkins, the history of arts and culture is riddled with such individuals. I read that Frank Zappa (an exceptionally gifted musician) made the movie "200 Motels" because he wanted to see how bad of a movie people would actually pay to see. But he was outstripped (literally!) by John Waters.
David, I liked your bit about flour and the Torah!
"I read that Frank Zappa (an exceptionally gifted musician) made the movie "200 Motels" because he wanted to see how bad of a movie people would actually pay to see. But he was outstripped (literally!) by John Waters."
That comparison with Julia Fischer is so absurd as to be either grotesque or pitiful.
If you listen to hers, then yours, her's is so much better. And it still would be if she was "riding" a bike. And do you know what makes it worse for you? Violin is not her only instrument.
It does not sound reasonable. That is the problem. In fact, the tuner proves that it is not reasonably in tune. You are 20-30 cents off on many notes -- a quarter of the way to the next note! Mattias has already explained how you're misreading the tuner, anything further I can say about it is redundant.
To improve the intonation while playing on a Bike you have to work on it slowly- at 5km/h;)
" To improve the intonation while playing on a Bike you have to work on it slowly- at 5km/h;)"
"But overall i think my intonation is not so horrible as you say here."
Can you please learn to spell "professional" correctly? I know it's not your first language but it just seems like stubbornness at this point.
Elise. My inner ear is not good for intonation and I can tell its out of tune.
David, why do you assume that the wider public can't hear the difference?
The wider public may even hear the inaccuracy, but it may be "Tolerant" for it for other things: Let's say speed, or playing it on a bike!!!. In classical music it is unacceptable such "compromise" at professional level.
In is pretty much like pop - where you don't have really standarts, or limits for "Professionalism",
You're "riding" a stable recumbent bike at a very slow speed.
as I said before, you have no chance in po-classical.
"But seriously, for some reason the auto correction on keyboard gave me this option. I changed it now."
David, your intonation is atrocious. I am still interested in your answer to Elise about whether you are basing your whole argument on what your tuner shows. Also, I see no real-world evidence that pop singers can't stay in tune, so I am wondering what your evidence is for that, since it is clear to most of us that you have no idea what "in tune" is. Tuner, again?
See? He spells "professional" correctly now. That proves he's trainable. And who succeeded? Good ol' Paul, that's who.
I listened to your recording - it was pretty good! I think you should forget this whole approach. Here is my suggestion:
Paul, didn't you see the pic? It was the phone's fault. It's not a proffessional phone. It's a pop phone. The autocorrect standards of pop phones aren't nearly as high as a proffessional phone.
It says that because you doctored a photo because you're either a troll or you have a disordered personality.
I saw the title of this thread pop up and immediately guessed who the OP would be. What do you know, I was right.
I don't know any professional violinists with bad intonation, they just don't get hired. It's a little like asking if you need to be able to balance on a bicycle in order to do the Tour de France.
Also, re: Auto-Tune in pop music, often it's for effect, not because the singer can't sing in tune.
1. I simply don't agree that my intonation is so bad.
If we tell you we think you are a professional-level violinist, will you stop making threads here?
Even if you all right (and you don't, but let's say you do),
Er, I had noticed that David K.
Would Paganini (and the other composers) agree it sounds as intended? Or would they just say: "at least it's fast!"
"So you say that when i wrote the word the auto correction showed that the right word is "Professional" and i insisted to change it to wrong word - 'proffessional'."
Nina, I've talked to the conductor I mentioned in my previous post about “speed reading” music. The short answer is that he has never heard of it. Would it indeed be possible, given that printed music and the printed word are entirely different languages? The printed word is self-sufficient, and exists in its own right. A music score is not the music – it consists of written or printed instructions for making the sounds the composer had in his head.
Adalberto, I know that 'type' all too well, but at least they have the excuse of being teenagers.
Whats the point of continuing this discussion, stopping would be for the best for all. You have got to realise the personality traits of the op and if you do not, just trust me when I say that this is doing no good whatsoever to anyone, it is a loosing battle.
Maria, I quite agree, it's a bit like being unable to stop scratching one's eczema..
Laurie (as usual) got it totally right.
I saw a faint glimmer of hope for D.K. when he noticed that his violin was not resonant, but dull. The resonance, clarity, and volume will improve when the intonation is fixed. Only after that step consider getting better equipment. Elise S. advice is spot-on; do string quartets, If you can find a quartet that would accept you. The second violin part, Not the first. A quartet that rehearses and works on tuning the chords, not an ad-hoc sight-reading- only quartet.
Trevor - Thanks for going through the trouble of asking your conductor!
Here's a way to look at this topic which is undeniably clear: If you are hearing auditions and someone comes in and plays beautifully in tune, then the next person comes in and plays just as well as the first person in every regard EXCEPT that their intonation is not as good, which one are you going to hire?
Thank you. Next!
David K. seems to be so hopelessly invested in making excuses and justifications, that I think we are wasting our time trying to help him. Wouldn't our time and skills be better invested elsewhere?
Yes, a waste of time and energy, but strangely entertaining, like watching Russian car crash videos on u-tube.
"Elise S. advice is spot-on; do string quartets, If you can find a quartet that would accept you. The second violin part, Not the first. "
Troll: nom, nom, nom.
But the tuner in the background is superfluous. Any video posted can be heard, and assuming that some sort of auto-tune magic hasn't been performed, that's the test right there. People here have videos up for others to check out, and by doing that, they are putting it all out there. Just as David does, I'm tempted to hedge, and go, "well this video isn't perfect, but you should have heard the rehearsal", or I ate some old cheese before and it really threw out my bow arm" or any number of things, but the proof is in the listening, and if my ears tell me something sounds good but the tuner disagrees, then I'm inclined to go with my ears as a listener. I have to be more circumspect as a performer, and that's where the playback is helpful.
This is like asking if it’s important for a baseball pitcher to throw strikes or if it’s important for a soccer player to be able to hit the net with the ball. Intonation is not just important - it is absolutely EVERYTHING.
Herman wrote: "this ignores the obvious problems in the cooperation area, of which DK's inability to hear his own intonation is just a symptom... Quartet playing is about listening to each other and working to fit in, which are two things DK is clearly unwilling to do. "
Whenever I see one of these threads pop up, I'm always reminded of that one story where a tuning cellist at a symphony audition was asked to leave by the judges (was it Heifetz? I can't remember) because they had already heard enough.
He's not terrible in *every* way if he helps sell albums and shows. The fact that he's black probably hasn't much to do with any of that.
You know, it really isn't that hard to look up a name. I googled "Dave Matthews band violinist" and in less than ten seconds I had the name Boyd Tinsley. I didn't even need to know his ethnicity, which is completely irrelevant to this discussion.
Just in case it needed be mentioned-the above poster is trolling. Do not feed.
I'm not trolling, you're trolling.
Seems like we need some pruning of the obviously fake troll-members. No racist remarks please, no mentally deranged ramblings. Bye bye, you no longer see their comments. Thanks.
Thank you Laurie: my scrolling finger can take a break!
David Krakovich, some words on intonation:
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