Violin tuning

October 25, 2017, 11:12 PM · Dose any one knows the difference between eastern and western violin tuning, Where does this difference came from ?!

Replies (3)

October 26, 2017, 12:54 PM · What styles of music are you talking about?
Edited: October 26, 2017, 3:21 PM · As far as I know, the Western musical system is originally derived from the Pythagorean analyses which are based on divisions of a stretched string and the naturally occurring harmonics that occur from certain divisions of a string. From these divisions, we find that there are 12 tones and then each of these tones can be doubled or divided in half to produce different octaves. So from A to the next octave of A, there are 12 "notes" such as C# or E. Going beyond this point, we have "A" again which is really just double the frequency of the original A.

As far as I know, the "Eastern" system has MANY more than 12 tones; something like 30+, so the frequency increase from one named tone to the next is very small, let's say from 440HZ to 450HZ would be considered another tone, instead of just an overly-sharp A.

So, on a violin that is normally tuned, it's hard to do anything less than a Western-half-step or 'semitone' even if we squeeze our two fingers as close as possible to each other. It's my guess that an Eastern-tuned violin has intervals much smaller than Western Fifths between the strings (they would have to be ALMOST the same pitch as each other), in order to allow the player to step up to the next pitch by simply playing on the next string over, and then the next string over again to step up the pitch further. To play an Eastern-chromatic-scale on the Eastern-tuned violin, the player would cycle through all 4 open strings, then come back to the original string with a low 1st finger, and cycle through the strings again (with a low 1st finger on each), and then a normal 1st finger position, cycle through, low 2nd position, cycle through, etc etc etc....

In this way a player would be able to play all of the "Eastern notes" that occur in between our "Western notes," despite the stop length of the violin being so short that a finger-to-finger squeeze would normally only allow a Western Semi-tone to occur.

The disadvantage to this would be that the total octave range of the violin would be very small.

Also, this is all me speculating. I actually no clue what I'm talking about.

EDIT: turns out I'm completely wrong. Except for the pythagorean part, which is probably most relevant to your question anyways.

Edited: October 26, 2017, 3:23 PM · The only eastern music I know a little is Hindu (and to a lessre extent Karnatic) classical music.

What permits and encourages minute inflections of pitch must be the continuous drone, rich in harmonics, from tampura or harmonium. This way the melody melts into the drone or shimmers against it. I compare it to some magical bird emerging from a river, indulging in flights of fancy, and returning to the river.

Western music is rich in combined notes, which never quite fit into a perfect sytem, like the 29 days in febuary every four years, except for the hudredth year..
Our intervals are in orbit and xcan choose to come down anywhere. A great responsability.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Yamaha YEV Series Violin
Yamaha YEV Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pluhar Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings Ltd

Violin Lab

Violin Pros

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop